Exodus 4:25 MEANING

Exodus 4:25
(25) A sharp stone.--On the use of stone knives by the Egyptian paraschist? see Herod. ii. 86. They were regarded as more pure than metal knives. From Joshua 5:2 it would seem that stone knives were in the early ages commonly employed for circumcision by the Israelites.

At his feet.--Moses' feet, undoubtedly. The action was petulant and reproachful. Zipporah regarded the bloody rites of her husband's religion as cruel and barbarous, and cast the foreskin of her son at his feet, as though he were a Moloch requiring a bloody offering.

A bloody husband.--Heb., a husband of bloods A husband, i.e., who causes the blood of his children to be shed unnecessarily for some unintelligible reason.

Verse 25. - Zipporah took a sharp stone. Literally "a stone." Stone knives were commonly used in Egypt for making the incisions necessary when bodies were embalmed, and were regarded as purer than iron or bronze ones. Joshua ordered the preparation of stone knives for the circumcision of those born in the wilderness (Joshua 5:2); and the Jews seem to have used stone for circumcision for many ages, though before the compilation of the Talmud they had changed their practice. Cast it at his feet. Not, certainly, the child's feet, but her husband's, to whom at the same moment she addresses herself. A bloody husband. Literally, "a bridegroom of blood." The words are clearly a reproach; and the gist of the reproach seems to be that Moses was a husband who cost her dear, causing the blood of her sons to be shed in order to keep up a national usage which she regarded as barbarous.

4:24-31 God met Moses in anger. The Lord threatened him with death or sent sickness upon him, as the punishment of his having neglected to circumcise his son. When God discovers to us what is amiss in our lives, we must give all diligence to amend it speedily. This is the voice of every rod; it calls us to return to Him that smites us. God sent Aaron to meet Moses. The more they saw of God's bringing them together, the more pleasant their interview was. The elders of Israel met them in faith, and were ready to obey them. It often happens, that less difficulty is found than was expected, in such undertakings as are according to the will of God, and for his glory. Let us but arise and try at our proper work, the Lord will be with us and prosper us. If Israel welcomed the tidings of their deliverance, and worshipped the Lord, how should we welcome the glad tidings of redemption, embrace it in faith, and adore the Redeemer!Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son,.... Perceiving that it was the neglect of circumcising her son was the cause of the divine displeasure against her husband; and he being either so ill through the disease upon him, or so terrified with the appearance of the Lord to him, in the manner it was, that he could not perform this rite himself, she undertook it; and, according to the Jewish canons (b), a woman may circumcise; and having with her no instrument more proper to do it with, took a sharp stone, very probably a flint, of which there was great plenty in Arabia Petraea, where she was, and did it; and so the Jewish writers say (c), they circumcise with a flint stone, with glass, or anything that will cut; and such like actions have been performed with sharp stones among the Heathens (d): and cast it at his feet; not at the feet of the infant Eliezer, as R. Samuel in Aben Ezra; the blood of the circumcision running down to his feet, as Lyra interprets it; and so touched his feet (e), as some render the words; not cast at the feet of the destroying angel, as the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem, in order to pacify him; but at the feet of Moses, as the Jerusalem Talmud (f); and so Jarchi and Aben Ezra:

and said, surely a bloody husband art thou to me; those who think it was at the feet of the child the foreskin was cast, take these words to be spoken of that, and observe that it is usual for women, at the circumcision of a child, to call it a bridegroom or husband, because it is then espoused unto, and reckoned among the people of God; but this is not well supported; it is a custom of too late a date to give any countenance to such a sense of the words, which seem plain enough to be spoken to and of Moses; but not in an angry upbraiding way, as if he was a bloody cruel man to oblige her to do such an action, but rather in a congratulatory way, as being thankful and rejoicing, that by this means, through the blood of the circumcision, she had saved her husband's life; and as it were in that way had bought him, and afresh espoused him to herself as her husband; or otherwise it would have been all over with him, but now to her great joy he was delivered from the threatened destruction, and restored to her; and so the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem paraphrase the next verse,"then Zipporah gave praise, and said, how amiable is the blood of circumcision, which hath delivered my husband from the hand of the destroying angel.''

(b) Maimon. Hilchot Milah, c. 2. sect. 1. Shulchan Aruch, par. 2. Yore Dea, Hilchot Milah, c. 264. sect. 1.((c) Maimon. ib. Shulchan ib. sect. 2.((d) "Mollia qui rupta secuit genitalia testa." Juvenal Satyr 6. "Devolvit ipse acuto sibi pondera silice." Catullus. (e) "tetigitque pedes ejus", V. L. (f) T. Hieros. Nedarim, fol. 38. 2.

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