Gallery D

All Over Circumcision

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The Day God Almost Killed Moses

By James Donahue

When you carefully study the Old Testament books of the Law, it is difficult to understand why the Hebrew people loved the God they called YHVH. In reality, because of the things that YHVH was constantly doing to them, their devotion was undoubtedly out of fear.

Consider the story in Exodus, when God called upon Moses to go into Egypt and rescue the children of Israel who were living under the oppression of the Pharaoh.

In Exodus 4 we read that Moses “took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took of rod of God in his hand.”
It seemed that Moses was being obedient to YHVH and taking the long trip into Egypt, just as he had been ordered to do. But then, in Exodus 4:24-26, God met up with Moses and his family at an inn. Suddenly it appears that YHVH had unexpectedly changed his mind and threatened to kill Moses.

What went wrong?

It seems that YHVH had peeked under the garments of the son of Moses and discovered the boy had not been circumcised. This was one of the early demands established by the Hebrew god that all the men and boys have the foreskin of the penis cut back as a sign of brotherhood or something.

It was lucky that Moses’ wife, Zipporah was along on the trip and that she had her wits about her. In verse 25 we read that “Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me.”

In verse 26 we read that because of her act, YHVH let the family go and spared Moses’ life. And Zipporah was quoted as saying to Moses: “A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.”

Imagine having to unexpectedly perform a circumcision on a young boy with a sharp stone along a dusty road? Not only did the act draw blood, was extremely unsanitary, but it must have really hurt the child. Was that an act of love on the part of God?

We have to wonder why God had such an aversion to male foreskins? Were we not all created by God to look as we do? The act of circumcising male children has been carried down through the centuries, and it is still widely practiced among Christian and Jewish families. Yet medical researchers say they see no health benefits.

This is another one of those strange Bible stories that should make us all wonder about the sanity of the author of the early text. If it was Moses, as many scholars like to believe, was Moses not the real creator of the strange laws that have enslaved the Jews and Christians for so long?
And if Moses just casually made up these rules, was he not a psychopath?