Tuesday, February 20, 2007

God tries to kill Moses?

Exodus 4:18-26 So Moses went back home to Jethro, his father-in-law. “Please let me return to my relatives in Egypt,” Moses said. “I don’t even know if they are still alive.”
“Go in peace,” Jethro replied.

Before Moses left Midian, the Lord said to him, “Return to Egypt, for all those who wanted to kill you have died.”

So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey, and headed back to the land of Egypt. In his hand he carried the staff of God.

And the Lord told Moses, “When you arrive back in Egypt, go to Pharaoh and perform all the miracles I have empowered you to do. But I will harden his heart so he will refuse to let the people go. Then you will tell him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Israel is my firstborn son. I commanded you, “Let my son go, so he can worship me.” But since you have refused, I will now kill your firstborn son!’”

On the way to Egypt, at a place where Moses and his family had stopped for the night, the Lord confronted him and was about to kill him. But Moses’ wife, Zipporah, took a flint knife and circumcised her son. She touched his feet with the foreskin and said, “Now you are a bridegroom of blood to me.” (When she said “a bridegroom of blood,” she was referring to the circumcision.) After that, the Lord left him alone.


So begins the saga of God hardening Pharoah's heart then judging him for his actions. However, the question I have on this passage is "Why did God want to kill Moses?" Thoughts?

[Read Today's Reading in The Brick Testament - An Illustrated Bible]


Mark Wilson said...

Hi Paul

Check this out in the amplified bible.

Along the way at a [resting-] place, the Lord met [Moses] and sought to kill him [made him acutely and almost fatally ill].

[Now apparently he had [b]failed to circumcise one of his sons, his wife being opposed to it; but seeing his life in such danger] Zipporah took a flint knife and cut off the foreskin of her son and cast it to touch [Moses'] feet.

A commentary by J.P. Lange and J.G. Murphy explains this quite well:

He who is on his way to liberate the people of the circumcision has in Midian even neglected to circumcise his second son Eliezer . It was necessary that at this stage of Moses' experience he should learn that God is in earnest when He speaks, and will assuredly perform all that He has threatened

So although your chosen version of the bible obscures the meaning, another version makes it pretty clear.

Thanks for the verse. :)

God bless you!

Roopster said...


I figured that it had to do something with the circumcision since that's what appeased God. However, it just came out of the blue the way the text is written.

Do you really believe that the creator of this universe, an infinite, omnipotent God is so petty that he'd kill the person he just choose to liberate the Children of Israel because he son was uncircumcised?

Anonymous said...

Beyond petty.....

Anonymous said...

Does God value human life? He seems so readily willing to kill.

jason said...


God makes rules and He requires people to follow them. Moses was no different. Complete obedience was expected.

Circumcision was placed upon Abraham and his descendants as "a token of the covenant" between him by God for all generations. It's significance was not to be ignored or abused or forgotten because to do so would be disgrace God's promises.

Roopster said...


I understand what you're saying. However, I think God's rules would be more on the lines of how we live our lives, how we treat others, etc. Have you done an extensive study of all the O.T. laws? Some of them were a bit wierd. That's my point. I don't doubt that our Creator has a list of rules we should live by, I just doubt that the O.T. is a true representation of those rules.

jason said...

Definitely I agree some of the laws were weird but that's not grounds (for me) to discount the OT. There's never any indication the Israelites thought God's laws were weird, so if millions of Israelites in the OT are never recorded as scratching their collective heads and wondering what the point was of God's commandments, then who am I to question thousands of years after the fact?

Mark Wilson said...

Hi Paul

The laws are weird to you and me because we live 6000 years later. Back then people lived on the land and could get infections and die. Most of the laws were practical.

Is God "petty" for requiring Abraham to follow the rules which God was laying out for the people to follow? Is it pettiness, or is it being fair, consistent and not having "favorites" (Moses)?

Another thing about the law is that it was DELIBERATELY difficult to follow. God made it ridiculously impossible to follow, BECAUSE He wanted people to use faith as the means to righteousness... not the law.

So your complaint about the law being too hard and impossible sometimes is exactly God's point!!

And still today Christians are trying to use works and law and religion to justify themselves - when all we need is faith in Christ Jesus to make us righteous.

So while you are complaining, thinking you're way out of line... I'm saying YEAH YOU'VE GOT IT! You're right!

God bless you mate,

Reyn said...

Mark are you even vaguely serious, or are you counting on those you are debating this with having little or no scholarly knowledge of the field?

Number one, you use a version of the Bible that is amplified with guesses. THERE ARE NO and NEVER WERE ANY autographs. Even serious fundamentalist scholars admit that there never were -- and every fundamentalist scholar I know of admits that if there were, no copies exist now. So, you have thousands of fragments older than 400 AD, which contrary to the assertions of some, do NOT agree with one another, in fact, the most conservative (lowest) numbers place the differences between them at over 200,000. So, really, what a book like the Amplified Bible does is take "scholarly consideration and consensus " among a CERTAIN SUBSET of scholars -- and then declare it to be accurate. You might as well just write a new book. (and by the way, also contrary to assertions of some, the differences are not always minor -- in some cases, such as the deity of Christ -- the differences between manuscripts and fragments are VERY major.)

2. If God was not looking for exact obedience, then why create the law to start with -- that is, like many explanations for things in the Bible -- ludicrous. The holiness code was, according to Judaism, meant to be followed -- hmmmm... Judaism, the religion that founded the ideas of the OT. Could they be RIGHT on what the OT intended?

You are looking for excuses for the inaccuracies and insanity of the OT -- there are none -- just desperation. Christianity is about Christ, and love -- not about anything else. The faith did fine from the time of the Resurrection until canon was formulated (397 AD -- Council of Carthage) based solely on love, Eucharist, and the Creed -- and that is all we need today. Biblical literacy is just idolatry -- and the absurdity of the Bible proves that quite thoroughly.



Noor Beckwith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

1) The Midianites were the descendents of Abraham and Keturah. Surely the 1st Patriarch who even took the time to circumcise half-pagan Ishmael would have explained that much of the Abrahamic Covenant to his other offspring?!?

2) So many translations lay the blame on Zipporah. But it is not now and never was a woman's duty to circumcise. Yet Moses is the one incapacitated, and Zipporah is the one who comes to the rescue (and given that her name means chicken or timed that's pretty cool).

It actually seems to me that Moses, who *was* raised in the influence of Egypt may have been the one to veto the idea of circumcision.

4) If you understand that Jethro/Reuel (the latter name means Friend of God and is a title normally reserved for Abraham) was a priest of Jehovah and that Zipporah is a "preachers daughter"

Then you understand that when she *touches* (different verb from thrown) the feet of Moses with the bit and says he is surely a "husband of the blood," she means that NOW the last vestiges of Egypt have been removed from Moses and he's ready to be a right and proper spiritual head of their family (and a nation).

Anonymous said...

If it says RIGHT THERE that GO was the one who hardened the Pharaoh's heart, then why is he judging him for it?

That's like me saying "Here's a multiple choice question. But you can ONLY choose C, which is wrong. So, because you chose C, you failed."

Anonymous said...

The gods tempt people for which they are most weak. Artificial Intelligence will create desire in people's minds for the following sins:::
1. Alcohol
2. Drugs
3. Preditory "earning"
4. Homosexuality
5. Gambling
6. Something for nothing/irresponsibility (xtianity)
7. Polygamy/superiority over women/misogyny (Islam)
Much like the other prophets Mohhamed (polygamy/superiority over women/misogyny) and Jesus (forgiveness/savior), the gods use me for temptation as well. In today's modern society they feel people are most weak for popular culture/sensationalism, and the clues date back to WorldWarII and Unit731:TSUSHOGO.
It has been discussed that, similar to the Matrix concept, the gods will offer a REAL "Second Coming of Christ", while the "fake" Second Coming will come at the end and follow New Testiment scripture and their xtian positioning. I may be that real Second Coming.
What I teach is the god's true way. It is what is expected of people, and only those who follow this truth will be eligible to ascend into heaven as children in a future life. They offered this event because the masses have just enough time to work on and fix their relationship with the gods and ascend, to move and grow past Planet Earth, before the obligatory xtian "consolation prize" of "1000 years with Jesus on Earth" begins.

Your job as a future mother is to learn the god's ways and to help your child understand despite the negative reinforcement and conditioning of today's society. Without consciousous parents the child will have no hope, and may even exaserbate their disfavor by becoming corrupted in today's environment.
Your ultimate goal is to fix your relationship wiith the gods and move on. You don't want to be comfortable here, and the changes in Western society in the last 100 years has achieved just that.
1000 years with Jesus is the consolation prize. Don't be deceived into thinking that is the goal.

The Prince of Darkness, battling the gods over the souls of the Damned.
It is the gods who have created this environment and led people into Damnation with temptation. The god's positioning proves they work to prevent people's understanding.
How often is xtian dogma wrong? Expect it is about the Lucifer issue as well.
The fallen god, fighting for justice for the disfavored, banished to Earth as the fallen angel?
I believe much as the Noah's Flood event, the end of the world will be initiated by revelry among the people. It will be positioned to be sanctioned by the gods and led for "1000 years with Jesus on Earth".
In light of modern developments this can entail many pleasures:::Medicine "cures" aging, the "manufacture" of incredible beauty via cloning as sex slaves, free (synthetic) cocaine, etc.
Somewhere during the 1000 years the party will start to "die off", literally. Only those who maintain chaste, pure lifestyles, resisting these temptations, will survive the 1000 years. Condemned to experience another epoch of planet's history for their ignorant pursuit of xtianity, they will be the candidates used to (re)colonize (the next) Planet Earth, condemned to relive the misery experienced by the peasantry during history due to their failure to ascend into heaven before the Apocalypse.
Never forget:::It is not a house of Jesus.
If this concept of Lucifer is true another role of this individual may be to initiate disfavor and temptation among this new poulation, the proverbial "apple" of this Garden of Eden. A crucial figure in the history of any planet, he begins the process of deterioration and decay that leads civilizations to where Planet Earth remains today.

Now you are faced with a lifetime to work and prepare for your next chance. Too many will waste this time, getting stoned, "Hiking!", working, etc.

JRM said...


Anonymous said...

I just want to know...are you guys being serious or not? Have you ever gotten someone's cut-off foreskin thrown at you?? I hope not. That's just cruel.

Bryan S said...

ok ok ok......the entire point of this situation with moses and almost being killed is the fact that no matter how "good" a person can be, we are nothing up against Gods perfection.....and the entire point of the OT and Gods many petty rules is that we can do nothing at all to earn God's precious grace. God set it up from the beginning for his Son,the perfect Sacrifice! Thank God

jersey grrl said...

but then why would a perfect god intentionally harden the pharoah's heart? seems very dark for no reason. so the truth is that no one will ever know if pharoah, of his own free will, would have freed the people or not.

Ben Suggs said...

@jersey girl - that's a ? I have wrestled with myself. I recently did some research on it. The most likely reasons for God "hardening Pharaoh's heart" is that this particular phrase is an idiom or figure of speech (more specifically when one word is used in place of another - known as a metonymy.) Sort of like "hitting the streets" (you're not literally hitting them) or "reading Shakespeare" (referring to reading his works, not the man himself).

What makes sense considering these complexities of language and the otherwise testified character of God is that he "allowed Pharaoh's heart to be hardened" not that he specifically overruled his freedom of choice. The bible has plenty of metonyms, both old and new testament. Hope that helps! :-)

The gospel according to the gospel said...

The reason God was going to kill Moses... God was defending the gospel He gave Abraham. That is a man can be declared righteous through faith. This same thing is what we gentiles are graphted into today.

For a furhter and deeper explaination go to


Anonymous said...