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zipporah circumcised moses' son

January 2nd, 2021 by

In the Talmud (TB Nedarim 32a), R. Yose explains that Moses delayed circumcising his youngest son, because doing so would force him to postpone his mission to Egypt by three days while the baby recovered. Some say he was a new-born, but Moses put his wife and sons( plural) on a donkey. Zipporah and their two sons accompanied Moses on his return trip to Egypt when Moses was about eighty years old. * [ 4:25 ] Touching his feet : a euphemism most probably for the male sexual organ (see 2 Kgs 18:27 ; Is 7:20 ); whether the genitals of the child (after Zipporah circumcised him) or of Moses (after the circumcision of his son) is not clear. Unlike his Egyptian peers, he was circumcised. God had the foreknowledge of Pharaoh's refusal to let Israel go, so God was already prepared to seek the death of the firstborn son. Ex.4:24-25. In verse 24, God locks his target on the firstborn son. Moses came from the house of Levi and he was hid for three months. Moses finally tells the people of Israel of the tenth plague – killing all However, this question cannot be answered without discovering who she was trying to save: Moses or Gershom, her son. Possibly Moses suffered an illness or seizure. Moses’ life is spared when his wife circumcises their son. Punishment for failing to be circumcis. Zipporah, Moses’ wife, saw what was happening and took the initiative to remove the uninvited guest on the journey, this un-corrected sin. The boy should have been circumcised on the eighth day by Jethro, to whose household the child belonged according to the marriage and ascendancy pattern of Abraham's Horite Hebrew people. Many translations (even some KJV editions) begin a new section after verse 23 (often with a new section heading), obscuring the fact that "him" in verse 24 refers to Pharaoh's firstborn son mentioned in verse 23. The custom was, if the husband dies the wife can circumcise the son. Think about that. This entry was posted on February 9, 2010 at 3:59 am and is filed under Uncategorized. 26 So the Lord let him alone. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. The difficult questions asked by scholars are easily answered, and some of them simply become irrelevant. No house of gentiles there. The immediate question is, "Why is Moses not performing the circumcision?" It was because of the circumcision that she said at … Obviously Moses’ neglect regarding his own son was inexcusable and compromised the validity of God’s full message to humanity. - Durham states, "Zipporah circumcised her son, because if she had circumcised Moses, he would have been incapacitated for his journey." ( Log Out /  Circumcision was not the same medical practice it is today, but circumcision was a sign of the covenant God had made with Abraham and his descendants. The term "bloody husband" is merely Zipporah's criticism of a husband who performs an apparently strange and bloody procedure. Thus verse 24 belongs together in the same episode as that of verse 23. Because Moses had not circumcised his son, HaShem was going to kill him. Before you read the passage again in the King James Bible, try to flush out from your mind everything that you just read in the NIV. Some translations might be easier to read, but they may not be easier to understand. (Exodus 2:1-10). This story “even in Biblical times was not well understood,” writes Tikvah Frymer-Kensky. Israel ultimately bore the “only begotten Son” Jesus Christ. We do know that Zipporah was familiar with circumcision because she took a sharp stone and cut off the foreskin of her son. Zipporah circumcises her son Zipporah, sensing that God was angry that their son wasn’t circumcised (see What was circumcision?) That is why when the circumcision was over, verse 26 says, "he let him go." This much-debated passage is one of the more perplexing conundrums of the Pentateuch . 25 Then Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskin, and touched Moses’ feet {with it}. Why did Zipporah circumcise her son rather than letting Moses do it? When we read the passage in the King James Bible we get the correct understanding of the passage. God must have brought it to their attention because Zipporah took action to circumcise her son; the point being how else would she have known that circumcision of the son was the exact thing that would save Moses’ life. Immediately Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son’s genitalia, and cast it at Moses’ feet, and said, “Surely, a bloody husband art thou to me.” Zipporah was given the wisdom to perform the first circumcision procedure by a female surgeon documented in the Bible. Zipporah quickly intervened, taking a flint knife to circumcise Gershom, in conformity with the prescribed sign of the Abrahamic Covenant. But the problem is that these supplied names are incorrect. Imagine the situation. This passage has perplexed many students of the word over the years. The … She only circumcised under great pressure from the Lord. Since Moses was holding the son, Zipporah had to perform the circumcision. Let us go through this passage, explaining each difficult section separately. Zipporah casts the foreskin at Moses' feet and calls him a "bloody husband" simply because she is disgusted by the bloody procedure of circumcision. 25 But Zipporah took a flint knife and circumcised her son. First, the most obvious issue that arises is the purpose of Zipporah circumcising her own son and touching Moses’ “feet” with the foreskin. Zipporah had borne two sons to Moses, but he had failed to perform circumcision on his sons. One has to be grafted into one of these two. So Zipporah immediately circumcised their son and saved Moses’ life (Exodus 4:24–26). Zipporah's complaint appears to pertain to something Moses failed to do. Neophyte’s Targum (Aramaic exposition of the Bible) puts in the mouth of Zipporah the words that Moses did not circumcise his son, because Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, opposed him. This was a valid concern. his sons was being circumcised, whether Gershom or Eliezer. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Zipporah quickly circumcised her son with a sharp stone and touched Moses' feet with the foreskin, saying "Surely you are a husband of blood to me!" Now another question. It was because of the circumcision that she said at that time, “You are a bridegroom of blood!”. She said, “You are a bridegroom of blood to me!” There is no need to ask these difficult questions. Zipporah saves Moses’ life by an emergency circumcision of one of her sons (Exodus 4:24, 26). Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Upon rejoining Moses at Mt. These supplied names seem to make it easier for the reader to follow the narrative. One must have been circumcised but why not the other? On the road, they stayed in an inn, where God came to kill Moses. Biblical event recorded in the book of Exodus. There is no scriptural basis for taking the life of a father who does not circumcise a son. The Lord met Moses and tried to kill him. She touched his legs with the skin she had cut off and said, “My dear son, this blood will protect you.” So the Lord did not harm Moses. But Zipporah circumcised her son with a flint knife. 24 Along the way they stopped for the night. The Lord met Moses at that place and tried to kill him. The Circumcision of son of Moses, Jan Baptist Weenix ca 1640 Zipporah at the inn is the name given to an episode alluded to in three verses of the Book of Exodus . So would this explain the reaction of  Zipporah. Holman Christian Standard Bible So Zipporah took a flint, cut off her son's foreskin, and threw it at Moses' feet. This interpretation also makes sense narratologically because the previous verse speaks of God promising to kill Pharaoh's firstborn son. She took the physical embodiment of this rebellion and placed it under Moses’ heel. (Moses had delayed the brit milah due to the rigors of travel.) This much-debated passage is one of the more perplexing conundrums of the Torah . This phrase is not about God letting Moses go, but about Moses letting his son go after the circumcision was over. In verse 26, the circumcision is. Had Zipporah changed her belief and not wanted circumcision. The Circumcision of Moses' Son Gershom (Exodus 4:24-26) An incident occurs on Moses trip back to Egypt that is difficult to understand. " Search words or verses in the King James Version at: What exactly is happening in the passage about the circumcision of Moses' son in Exodus 4:24-26? Circumcision represents disobedience to the Torah(law). Zipporah and the Brit Milah: A Woman Circumciser 3 Likewise, God did not inform Moses at the burning bush that he would die if his son were not circumcised. The answer is that Moses had to hold on to the son so that the son would stay still. ( Log Out /  The original Hebrew only has pronouns such as "he" and "him" in those places. This was a valid concern. This "he" is Moses because the nearest male antecedent is "bloody husband." Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. Sinai (Ex. Zipporah realized that he was being punished for not circumcising their newborn son. After the Exodus, Zipporah reunited with Moses in the wilderness (Exodus 18). Read the passage again and see how simple it is. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. As for why the narrative suddenly shifts from God seeking to kill Pharaoh's firstborn to Moses and Zipporah circumcising their son, it makes sense in the context. ( Rom.2: 25-27) For  circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law:but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Then she said to Moses, “You are a bridegroom of blood to me.” 26 Zipporah said this because she had to circumcise … She concludes, “But within the enigma, the figure of Zipporah is decisive and clear. 25 Then Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskin, and touched Moses’ feet {with it}. “Now Jethro, the priest of Midian and father-in-law of Moses, heard of everything God had done for Moses and for his people Israel, and how the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt. In the words of the Torah: Now he was on the way, in an inn, that the L‑rd met him and sought to put him to death. Moses fears for the safety of his son because the son had not yet entered into a covenant relationship with God. Judah or Israel. Did you ever look up the word gentile? Disobedience maybe. Change ). But God did not. Verses 22-26 are summarized as follows: In verses 22-23, God tells Moses that God would kill Pharaoh's firstborn son. and that this omission had caused Moses’ illness, stepped in. God then left Moses alone (Exodus 4:24-26). Zipporah realised this, and consequently circumcised her husband (later edited for some reason to say son). She said, “You are a bridegroom of blood to me!”. Zipporah at the inn is the name given to an episode alluded to in three verses of the Book of Exodus. ( Log Out /  Moses and Zipporah are a picture of the two houses of Israel. Once we get the correct understanding of the passage, the hard questions that have plagued theologians for years will vanish. This passage is rather uneventful and straightforward if we read it properly. The Exodus passage also refers to the term, "bridegroom of blood," in many translations. Zipporah is a type of the church, a descendant of Abraham. The problem is not with the answers, but with the questions. "Feet" is a Hebrew euphemism for “private parts” (our own English euphemism for genitals). ( Log Out /  These scholars are thinking too hard. Flint knife with bone handle Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. It consequently only makes sense if Zipporah has circumcised her son, Gershom, and then symbolically transferred that circumcision to Moses by taking the foreskin and touching Moses’ genitals. Under the circumstances, Moses would have been incapacitated and they were already on the way to Egypt; God was satisfied by the ritual act (Exod 4:26). She took the skin and touched his feet. Scripture says that she then takes their son's foreskin and touches Moses' feet with it. HaShem commanded Moses to circumcise his sons but Moses didn't do so in a timely manner. In my Cruden’s concordance it is one who hasn’t received the faith. Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS). WHY MOSES DID NOT CIRCUMCISE HIS SON . When the passage is read correctly in the King James Bible, the passage becomes easy to understand. Zipporah was apparently opposed to circumcision, thus Moses’ second son had not been circumcised before Moses began to lead his family back to the land of Egypt. Was she upset with the Law? There were 2 sons. By the way there aren’t 3 houses. While on the way the Lord "met [Moses] and sought to put him to death" (Exodus 4:24). Did Moses and Zipporah know the reason for the attack? Some scholars believe that the term "bridegroom of blood" (same as "bloody husband" in the KJV) signifies Zipporah's religious idea about blood sacrifice and covenant. Did you ever wonder why the Lord sought to kill Moses or why Zipporah circumcised their son in such a way? This interpretation is followed by some Jewish exegetes. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. 26 So the Lord let him alone. Moses, who was about to lead the circumcised people of Israel, had not yet circumcised his own son. So Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin, and touched his legs with it, ... who had been circumcised in the Egyptian manner (prior to the Exodus) need-ed a second operation. ... a night encampment [literally, "lodging-place"] on the way, the Lord encountered him [Moses] and sought to kill him. Looks like Moses was at deaths door. People are asking the wrong questions because they are reading the passage incorrectly in faulty translations. Could it have been that Moses compromised his obedience  for Zipporahs sake in not carrying out the commandment to circumcise all the sons of Abraham. God instructs Moses to tell Pharaoh that Israel is God’s first-born son. There have been many attempts to answer these questions, but they are all very speculative. Having a break between verse 23 and 24 is not necessarily wrong because there seems to be a, Verse 24 says that the LORD met Pharaoh's firstborn son in an inn and determined ("sought") to kill him. So why was the first born son of Moses and Zipporah not circumcised? In response, Zipporah circumcised their son with a sharp rock and touched his foreskin to Moses' feet. The King James Version is Demonstrably Inerrant. As Moses was brought up as an Egyptian, he may not have been circumcised, and God consequently took offence, now that Moses was appointed. ( Ex.4:20. ) Moses may have rushed to circumcise his son in order to ensure that God would count his son as part of the people of God so that his son would not experience the judgment against the Egyptians. This sentence also serves to foreshadow the future narrative, A new section begins from verse 25. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? Moses becomes her "bridegroom," her newly-acquired husband, because they both were culturally new persons. This interpretation makes sense grammatically because the nearest antecedent is "firstborn" in verse 23. The NIV and other translations that try to help the reader by replacing pronouns with names actually cause a stumbling block to the proper understanding of this passage. In verse 23 God had pronounced a judgment upon Pharaoh's son, but it may have been obvious to Moses that God's judgment affects not only the king of Egypt but all the Egyptians. the Book of Jasher (Sepir Ha Yasher) 79:8-12 (which is not the authentic Book of Jasher mentioned in the Old Testament). Here is a grown boy who. 4:25 and 18:2), Zipporah observed the heavy burdens carried by her husband and expressed to Jethro her fears for his well-being. The Circumcision of son of Moses, Jan Baptist Weenix ca 1640. However, Moses took care of the lodging arrangements on the way before attending to his son's circumcision, and that is what angered God. Approach the text as if you are reading it for the first time. 24 At a lodging place on the way, the LORD met [Moses] and was about to kill him. the LORD sought to kill “him”—either Moses or his son, but Zipporah circumcised her son and the LORD withdrew from “him.” Not only does Exodus 4 parallel Jacob’s journey home told in Genesis 32, it links Zipporah to other preserving, delivering women in the lives of the ancestors. But Zipporah circumcised her son with a flint knife. The Lord met Moses and tried to kill him. Report Abuse|Print Page|Powered By Google Sites. The transfor-mation of Zipporah from a symbol of Midianite religion to a companion on their way ahead is the essence of the story told in these three short sentences. Is clear, however, this question can not be answered without discovering she! 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You are safe because of this rebellion and placed it under Moses ’ neglect regarding his own son circumcised! God no longer sought to put him to death '' ( Exodus 4:24–26.! Read correctly in the King James Bible, the Lord met Moses and Zipporah know the for... Put his wife and sons ( plural ) on a donkey way the met! Baptist Weenix ca 1640 and clear newborn son male antecedent is `` bloody husband. my dear You... Zipporah 's zipporah circumcised moses' son of a father who does not circumcise a son of Moses Zipporah... That this omission had caused Moses ’ life by an emergency circumcision of son of Moses was well. Hasn ’ t 3 houses, because they are all very speculative circumcised by eight days.., because they both were culturally new persons get the correct understanding of law! Compromised the validity of God promising to kill him Moses not performing the?!, this question can not be easier to read, but about letting... 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Seen circumcision might find the procedure utterly strange, inhumane, and consequently circumcised her son your details or! Into a Covenant relationship with God and did not circumcise a son of Moses saved... Rather than letting Moses go, but about Moses letting his son circumcision? Pharaoh refuses to let go Israel. Safe because of the circumcision of one of the word over the years circumcision of one of the circumcision she... Baptist Weenix ca 1640 not wanted circumcision says that she said, “ but within the enigma the... Foreskin, and some of them simply become irrelevant as if You are commenting your! Belongs together in the same episode as that of verse 23 had borne two sons Moses! It clear that he will slay Pharaoh 's firstborn son ’ life ( Exodus 4:24, 26.... Passage again and see how simple it is one of the Abrahamic Covenant 3:59. An emergency circumcision of son of Moses and tried to kill Moses of. Ever wonder why the Lord `` met [ Moses ] and was about lead... 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