0 God tries to kill Moses (Ex 4:18-31)

Episode 25: God tries to kill Moses

(Exodus 4:19-31)

Moses returns to Egypt

4 19 God said to Moses,

Go back to Egypt. Everyone who was trying to kill you is now dead.?p-->

20 So Moses put his wife and sons on a donkey, and returned to Egypt, carrying God's rod in his hand.

21 God said to Moses,

When you get to Egypt, do all the wonders that I taught you in front of the Pharaoh.

I'll harden his heart, so he won't let the people go.

22 Say to him:

God said, "Israel is my firstborn son. 23 If you refuse to let him go, I'll kill your firstborn son."

God tries to kill Moses

24 One night while they were traveling to Egypt, God tried to kill Moses.

The Circumcision of son of Moses, Jan Baptist Weenix ca 1640

25 But his wife, Zipporah, took a sharp stone, cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet.

26 So God let him go.

Zipporah said to Moses, "You're a bloody husband because of the circumcision."

Moses and Aaron speak to the Israelites

27God said to Aaron,

Go into the wilderness to meet Moses.

So Aaron met Moses on the mountain of God, and kissed him.

28 Moses taught Aaron all of the signs that God taught him.

29 Moses and Aaron met with the Hebrew elders and showed them all of God's magic tricks.

31And the people believed.

A few more words about this episode

His wife and sons (4:20)
Up to now, Moses only had one son, Gershom, who was born in verse Exodus 2:22. Only one other son is mentioned in the Bible, Eliezar (1 Chronicles 23:15).
I'll harden his heart (4:21)

Who hardened the Pharaoh's heart?

God tried to kill him (4:24)

The story doesn't say for sure, but apparently God's motive for trying to kill Moses was that his son (Gershom, or one of the other nameless ones) wasn't yet circumcised.

The Bible doesn't say whether Moses was circumcised. Some Rabbis say he was born circumcised. (See Chabad.org: Was Moses born circumcised?)

Cast it at Moses's feet (4:25)

Note for Ex 4:25 from The Oxford Annotated Bible: "Feet, a euphemism for the sexual organs (Is 7:20)." - Page 72

Strange Flesh: Moses and God

Feet: A biblical euphemism for genitals

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