Circumcision is the act of cutting the external membrane of the male genital organ. This rite was executed with a knife made of stone (Josh. 5:2-3). Jehovah initially established this pact with Abraham.
“This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised” (Gen. 17:10). Circumcision was done on the eighth day after the boy’s birth (Acts 7:8).
Jehovah valued circumcision so much that those boys that had not been circumcised were mercilessly condemned to death “But an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant” (Gen. 17:8).
Four hundred years after the covenant with Abraham, Moses, at eighty years of age, pastured the flocks of Jethro, his father-in-law, a priest of Midian, at the feet of the mountain of Jehovah in Horeb. The angel of Jehovah appeared to Moses in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush and called him for the great task of delivering the people of Israel, which was captive in Egypt. Moses, then, went back to Egypt, and as he was on his way, Jehovah sought to kill him. The text is confusing, “Now it came about at the lodging place on the way that the Lord met him and sought to put him to death. Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and threw it at Moses’ feet, and she said, ‘You are indeed a bridegroom of blood to me” (Ex. 4:24,25). Whoever reads the text cannot tell if it is Moses or the boy that Jehovah wants to kill. According to the covenant with Abraham in Gen. 17:14, it seems that Jehovah sought to kill the son of Moses and Zipporah.
We will clarify the meaning of the circumcision in the Scriptures. The circumcised were a chosen group; they were the only ones worthy to receive from God the revelation of the Word (Rom. 3:1,2). Paul states that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision, because of the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers (Rom. 15:8). The uncircumcised were unclean and unworthy of entering in Jerusalem; therefore the circumcision purified the unclean (Is. 52:1). The uncircumcised is the one who has a hardened heart and closed ears to listen to the word of God, and who resists to the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51; Jer. 6:10). The uncircumcised has an unskilled speech. Moses did not want to accept the task that Jehovah gave to him; he confessed to have uncircumcised lips (Ex. 6:12,30). The uncircumcised of eyes is the one with malicious eyes, or pernicious eyes. Job states that he circumcised his eyes so that he would not covet any woman (Job 31:1). We read in the translations, “I made a covenant with my eyes”, but in the Hebrew we find Brit-Hadashá (circumcise). The uncircumcised in their male organ are the lascivious, voluptuous, lubricous, and insatiable (Col. 2:13).
The problem with the circumcision of Jehovah is that it is only on the exterior. Saul, the anointed of Jehovah, was circumcised, but he was rebellious and contemptuous (1 Sam. 15:23,24).
Ahab was circumcised, but he was a wicked man (1 Kings 11:1-9). David, the chosen and anointed of Jehovah, was adulterous and a murderer (2 Sam. 11:2-18). Solomon, son of David and predestined to be the greatest king and the builder of the Temple for the glory of Jehovah to dwell, was circumcised, as his father David was, but he was lubricous, lascivious and insatiable in sex, and had one thousand women. More than that, he was the greater idolater of all times, building temples to every idol that the Moabites, Ammonites and Canaanites had (1 Kings 11:1-9). He did this all with the wisdom that Jehovah had given him (1 Kings 3:12).
The Apostle Paul, seeing these conflicting realities, declared that that circumcision, so important to Jehovah, was of no value at all: “CIRCUMCISION IS NOTHING, AND UNCIRCUMCISION IS NOTHING” (1 Cor. 7:19). Paul compares circumcision with uncircumcision. Would Paul be blaspheming? Looking at the behavior of the great men of the Old Testament who were circumcised on the outside but not on the inside, that is, in the flesh but not in the spirit, Paul concludes that that circumcision was nothing, and adds, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything” (Gal. 5:6). With this, Paul suggests that the circumcision of Jehovah, which did not operate the righteousness of the heart, did not have any virtue. If it did not have any virtue, why did Jehovah kill the children that were not circumcised? Did he kill for pure whim? Why did Jehovah give so much importance to what was of no value to Christ? The great Apostle to the gentiles gives his personal testimony: “Circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews, as to the Law, a Pharisee” (Phil. 3:5). He declares next that when he met Christ, he threw away all that tribal religious inheritance, and considered it all as rubbish (Phil. 3:5). Did Paul consider as rubbish the great covenant of circumcision, made by Jehovah with Abraham and his descendants? If Paul were in the Old Testament Jehovah would strike him, or he would be stoned to death (Lev. 24:10-16). But Paul was under the blood of Christ.
Jehovah was the God of the circumcised; and the circumcised, in the New Testament, were an evil group. “Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision” (Phil. 3:2). “For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision” (Titus 1:10). To Paul, whoever was circumcised would stop belonging to Christ (Gal. 5:2). Paul reveals about the Father God of Jesus: “Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of the Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since, indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one” (Rom. 3:29-30). Nevertheless, Jehovah was God only of the Jews and of the circumcision.
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira