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Author Topic: Why did God try to kill Moses?  (Read 2867 times) Average Rating: 0
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Pilgrim
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« on: August 14, 2009, 05:17:37 PM »

In Exodus, immediatly after sending him on his mission, God tries to kill Moses. The only thing that saves him is when his wife circumcises his son and throws the foreskin at his feet.

I have heard that this is an 'Angel of the Lord' as the english states, and that this was a fallen angel. But then why would circumcising his son save Moses? Also, if this was God, why would he try to kill Moses after sending him on his mission. And why would he fail. What does Holy Tradition state about this incident?
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« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2009, 06:08:50 PM »

I have heard that this is an 'Angel of the Lord' as the english states, and that this was a fallen angel. But then why would circumcising his son save Moses?

The only thing I have heard from Orthodox tradition is that the Angel of the Lord often refers to Christ at work in the Old Testament.
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« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2009, 08:16:59 PM »

Presbytera Jeannie Constantinou's podcast recently addressed this as she is doing a Bible study on Exodus.
Apparently many have interpreted it to mean Satan (not God) or one of his minions. This was the traditional Jewish teaching and the Early Christian teaching apparently.
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« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2009, 07:03:49 PM »

Allow me a speculation.

Without faith it is impossible to please God - not an intellectualized, abstract faith, but a faith that results in works.  Moses' faith had not shown up in works in regards to his son.  Circumcision was no little thing, but the sign of the covenant God had made with Abraham.  God did not desire a leader who felt free to disregard His commands, and Moses, growing up in Egypt among Egyptians, yet a Hebrew, and knowing the Hebrews circumcised, knew the importance of the command, yet chose to disregard it. He had had time to obey this and circumcise his son - my speculation is that God expected this, and in full knowledge of what God wanted him to do, Moses chose to disregard it.  This meant that Moses had removed himself from the covenant of grace and was under the law, thus under condemnation.

These things are written for our instruction. God may choose and use us, but we are not free to disregard His commands or take refuge from them in His choice and use.  Many will prophesy, said Jesus, but He will deny them.  At that moment in history Moses stood in that long line.  God brought him back and he repented.  Dare we claim God's call on our lives trumps the need for His holiness in our lives? I think not.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2009, 07:04:44 PM by truthstalker » Logged
Pilgrim
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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2009, 05:47:02 PM »

Presbytera Jeannie Constantinou's podcast recently addressed this as she is doing a Bible study on Exodus.
Apparently many have interpreted it to mean Satan (not God) or one of his minions. This was the traditional Jewish teaching and the Early Christian teaching apparently.

That is what I was referring to. The problem is that in the Greek is states "the Lord" not "angel of the Lord". Thats what I have heard anyway, perhaps someone could confirm it.
Allow me a speculation.

Without faith it is impossible to please God - not an intellectualized, abstract faith, but a faith that results in works.  Moses' faith had not shown up in works in regards to his son.  Circumcision was no little thing, but the sign of the covenant God had made with Abraham.  God did not desire a leader who felt free to disregard His commands, and Moses, growing up in Egypt among Egyptians, yet a Hebrew, and knowing the Hebrews circumcised, knew the importance of the command, yet chose to disregard it. He had had time to obey this and circumcise his son - my speculation is that God expected this, and in full knowledge of what God wanted him to do, Moses chose to disregard it.  This meant that Moses had removed himself from the covenant of grace and was under the law, thus under condemnation.

These things are written for our instruction. God may choose and use us, but we are not free to disregard His commands or take refuge from them in His choice and use.  Many will prophesy, said Jesus, but He will deny them.  At that moment in history Moses stood in that long line.  God brought him back and he repented.  Dare we claim God's call on our lives trumps the need for His holiness in our lives? I think not.

This is a possibility. The problem I find is that God did this after he had sent Moses on His mission. While God may do things as He wills, it seems strange that he would not have done this before, or perhaps at the Burning Bush.
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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2009, 07:43:48 PM »

Possibly he was now being held as a teacher at a higher standard?? Or it was the last opportunity? Or maybe I am just grasping at straws??

If God had really tried to kill him, there would not have been any failure. Hmmmmm.
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« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2009, 07:57:09 PM »

lol Maybe Moses took so long to accept the mission God missed Family Guy...that would make ME mad.

Thats what confuses me too. If it was God or His angels there would be no failure. And Moses would not have been given any mission first.
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« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2009, 11:15:01 PM »

Allow me to challenge your assumption on the last.  Why do you say God would not have given Moses a mission first?
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« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2009, 01:17:18 AM »

I think you are looking at this from a human logical point of view.
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« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2009, 02:08:34 PM »

From the Septuagint according to this site : http://www.ecmarsh.com/lxx/Exodus/index.htm

24 And it came to pass that the angel of the Lord met him by the way in the inn, and sought to slay him. 25 and Sepphora having taken a stone cut off the foreskin of her son, and fell at his feet and said, The blood of the circumcision of my son is staunched: 26 and he departed from him, because she said, The blood of the circumcision of my son is staunched.

from hebrew : http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0204.htm

כד  וַיְהִי בַדֶּרֶךְ, בַּמָּלוֹן; וַיִּפְגְּשֵׁהוּ יְהוָה, וַיְבַקֵּשׁ הֲמִיתוֹ.    24 And it came to pass on the way at the lodging-place, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him.
כה  וַתִּקַּח צִפֹּרָה צֹר, וַתִּכְרֹת אֶת-עָרְלַת בְּנָהּ, וַתַּגַּע, לְרַגְלָיו; וַתֹּאמֶר, כִּי חֲתַן-דָּמִים אַתָּה לִי.    25 Then Zipporah took a flint, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet; and she said: 'Surely a bridegroom of blood art thou to me.'
כו  וַיִּרֶף, מִמֶּנּוּ; אָז, אָמְרָה, חֲתַן דָּמִים, לַמּוּלֹת.  {פ}    26 So He let him alone. Then she said: 'A bridegroom of blood in regard of the circumcision.'

It looks like yes , the angel of God , or God came in the way and tried to kill Moses.This i think must be comprehended in context with the all conversation God had with Moses and esspecially from verse 22-23 , when God warns the Pharaoh the Israel is His first-born , and that He will slay the first-born of the Pharaoh.The Angel of God left Moses alone after Sephora circumcise the child of Moses.The circumcision was the sign God gave to Abraham , Isaac and Israel.The Angel attacked Moses as a prefiguration of what will happen with Pharaoh and with his first-born.I think it must be understood as in contrast with Abraham who took Isaak to Mount Moria to give him as sacrifice to God, spiritually Isaac was given sacrifice , died and resurrected , so now everyone who doesn`t give himself spiritually to God , trough baptism or then(circumcision) is in danger of death as Pharaoh(the emperror of this world) and all the first born of the Egyptians.This is how Moses sanctified his first-born as a prefiguration of sanctifying Israel (the first born of God) trough the circumcision in detriment of the first born of Pharaoh and Egypt , the uncircumcised children.The circumcision is the bond God made with Abraham and Israel in eternity to sanctify them , this is for a circumcision of the heart for the holy things.Trough that circumcision , Moses circumcise himself(by circumcising his child) ,and sanctified himself , he gave the first fruit to God the best of Him , and start confiding in God, the Circumcision is a sign of the Baptise and the undressing of the flesh , the heading to the spiritual , the first-born , first-fruit represent first(the best) the primary things , represents putting God as a priority in everything.This is my perspective.
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Pilgrim
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« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2009, 09:50:40 PM »

Allow me to challenge your assumption on the last.  Why do you say God would not have given Moses a mission first?

well it just seems strange to me that God would tell Moses to confront Pharaoh, and then try to kill him.

I think you are looking at this from a human logical point of view.
Instant coffee is proof that human solutions to problems can sometimes be worse than the problem.

Heh. Good point.
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« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2009, 11:16:34 AM »

In Exodus, immediatly after sending him on his mission, God tries to kill Moses. The only thing that saves him is when his wife circumcises his son and throws the foreskin at his feet.
I have heard that this is an 'Angel of the Lord' as the english states, and that this was a fallen angel. But then why would circumcising his son save Moses? Also, if this was God, why would he try to kill Moses after sending him on his mission. And why would he fail. What does Holy Tradition state about this incident?

Since Dan Romania has already given you the Septuagint vs. Masoretic Tanakh readings “the angel of the Lord” vs. “YHWH (the LORD)”, you might find this interesting. It’s not from Church Tradition but from the Targum Psuedo-Jonathan, a very early explanatory Aramaic translation of the Hebrew (emphasis mine):

{Exodus 4:24-26}But it was on the way, in the place of lodging that the angel of Yah (YHWH/the LORD) met him, and sought to kill him, because Gershom his son had not been circumcised, inasmuch as Jethro his father-in-law had not permitted him to circumcise him: but Eliezer had been circumcised, by an agreement between them two. And Zipporah took a stone, and circumcised the foreskin of Gershom her son, and brought the severed part to the feet of the angel, the Destroyer, and said, “The husband sought to circumcise, but the father-in-law obstructed him; and now let this blood of the circumcision atone for my husband.” And the destroying angel desisted from him, so that Zipporah gave thanks, and said, “How lovely is the blood of this circumcision that hath delivered my husband from the angel of destruction!” (Targum Pseudo-Jonathan)

So looks like this Targum equates this “angel of the Lord” with Abbadon/Apollyon – the angel of destruction, i.e. Satan.
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