Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

“Sign Of The Covenant”

Why did God seek to kill Moses in Exodus 4?  Was it because Moses didn’t circumcise his boys?  I have also read comments that Moses himself was not circumcised, and this is why God sought to kill Moses.  Can you clarify the account for me?  Thank you!


Dear Wincing,

Ex 4:24-26 is an odd little anecdote in Moses' life.  We don't get many details, so everything that we understand about it is from putting very few pieces of information together.  Here is what we know:

  1. God was angry enough with Moses to kill him.
  2. Zipporah, Moses' wife, circumcised their son, and she wasn't happy with the fact that she had to perform emergency surgery on her son.
  3. After the circumcision, Moses' life was spared.

Using these meager pieces of information, our understanding is that God was mad at Moses because he hadn't obeyed God's command to circumcise his children.  Remember, circumcision was the sign of God's covenant with Israel (Acts 7:8).  The fact that Moses, God's chosen leader for Israel, wasn't keeping that covenant with his children was a big deal.  There is nothing to indicate that Moses wasn't circumcised.  Our understanding is that the issue was Moses had not circumcised his son.