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Doubt about Moses and Zipporah

Posted on 2011-02-23
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Exodus 4:

24. Now he was on the way, in an inn, that the Lord met him and sought to put him to death.

25. So Zipporah took a sharp stone and severed her son's foreskin and cast it to his feet, and she said, "For you are a bridegroom of blood to me."

26. So He released him. Then she said, "A bridegroom of blood concerning the circumcision."

Could someone tell me why God wanted to kill Moses?

What is going on?

We are studying the book of Exodus in one of my Bible Study classes and I was given the assignment of finding some answers to my questions.

Maybe God wanted to kill Moses' son and not Moses?

and why is said " "For you are a bridegroom of blood to me.""

Thanks.
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Question by:hidrau
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by:WaterStreet
WaterStreet earned 10 total points
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There is some mystery about these verses.

Moses was sent by God to rescue the Hebrews, but Moses couldn't be the proper example for a leader until he fulfilled one of the most basic commandments given to the descendants of Abraham, to have his son circumcised.  When the problem arose, Zipporah saw the solution, and performed the circumcision on behalf of her husband, Moses.

This shows us that the more important the leader is, the more important it is that he set a good example, especially for the biblical narratives.

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by:hidrau
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WaterStreet, do you know any midrash on this?
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Callandor earned 40 total points
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I think there are two textual clues in this enigmatic passage: the rite of circumcision as the explanation of the episode, and "my firstborn son" as the connection between this section and the other.  The nature of the near fatal experience is not revealed, so it is not important.  Moses was unable to help with his hands, so Zipporah jumped in and took action.  Her words of reproach "Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me" indicates that the root of the problem was her revulsion and disgust with the rite of circumcision.  So as WaterStreet said, part of the preparation of God's commissioned servant was the preparation of his family.  God was very serious about circumcision being the sign of his covenant, and anyone not circumcised was considered cut off from his people.  Moses may have deferred performing this rite on his son out of deference to his wife, but he was clearly disobedient to God and nearly died for it.  As soon as Zipporah touched the foreskin to Moses' feet, the Lord let Moses go, underscoring the connection between the circumcision of his son and Moses' condition.
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by:hidrau
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thanks very much
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by:WaterStreet
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Thanks.

That narrative also suggests that there was some missing parts of the narrative that were not written down.  There are many examples of this in the Hebrew bible.  These (not necessarily this one) are used to demonstrate that there was an oral law that passed down in parallel with the written law.  This is too large a subject to spend time on here for me.  I might be able to give you a couple examples if you want to ask in a separate thread.
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by:hidrau
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I'll do that WaterStreet,

I would really like that

thanks
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