1. Exposition

What Old Testament examples are there of high priests knowing personal weakness?

Hebrews 5:2 (ESV)

2 He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness.

Aaron knows from his own experience what it is to give in to temptation (Exodus 32:22–24); he shows control in the face of provocation and envy (Numbers 14:5; Numbers 16:22; Psalm 106:16). Moses, though not a high priest, knows what it is like to give free rein to his anger against the sin of God’s children (Exodus 32:19). The later high priest Joshua is charged on account of his filthy garments (Zechariah 3:1–3). This awareness of one’s own weakness and sin gives the benefit of a human face to the pastoral care of the high priest. Knowing his limitations, he is able to moderate his feelings of outrage over sin and show compassion with the sinners.1