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The Circumcision Issue
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When God Threatened To Kill Moses

By James Donahue

The practice of circumcision has been losing its popularity among young families for a few obvious reasons. It is just one more costly medical procedure involving newborn babies, and many doctors now question it’s value as a health benefit.
Circumcision involves the cutting away of the foreskin of the male penis. It has been a serious part of the Jewish faith dating back to the Old Testament. But it seems that the reason for this practice is only because God commanded it. And the truth behind this strange commandment lies buried only in the minds of the writers of the five books of the Torah.

With these questions left unanswered, we find the strange story in Exodus 4:24-26, that tells of Moses' decision to obey God's commandment for his life, and to travel to Egypt. But on his way, "the LORD met him and sought to kill him." Why was God suddenly poised to kill His obedient servant, Moses, just as Moses is about to submit to God's holy plan for his life? Believe it or not, it is because Moses is still walking around with an uncircumcised penis.

Moses' wife, Zippor, saves the day, however. Once she understands why God is mad enough to kill her husband, she "took a sharp stone and cut off the foreskin . . . and cast it at Moses' feet.
Zippor then announces: "surely you are a husband of blood to me!" Egad, there stood poor Moses, the foreskin of his penis sliced by a jagged piece of rock and dripping blood. Thus her description of the scene was quite telling.
After this, God "let him go."
So why was the act of slicing away the thick covering of skin over the head of the male penis so important to God? Contemporary medical people once thought it was done as a way of keeping the penis clean but this has since found to not be true.

Genesis 17 gives us the answer. In this ancient book God allegedly explained that the act was a sign of a covenant between God and the people of Israel that would mark the Jewish people for as long as the Jewish people remained on the Earth.
That's it. It is just a sign of obedience to God. Was it really a commandment from God or was it something made up by a scribe carving what he believed were holy messages in a stone somewhere in the desert several thousand years ago?