24 And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the Lord met him, and sought to kill him.

25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me.

26 So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.

These verses don’t seem to fit in very well with the broader narrative. We seem to be coming into the middle of a drama that we never heard the beginning of. And this could be the case. It is possible that these verses were part of a separate record about Moses, the beginning of which was lost, but this part was still inserted into the broader narrative for the sake of completion.

Whatever the case, apparently Moses had failed to follow the Abrahamic covenant which required each male to be circumcised. The fact that the Lord was angered enough to kill him makes me assume that Moses was not ignorant on the matter either. It seems likely to me that there had been some prior conversation about the matter already, for how else would Zipporah have known that this is what needed to happen?

And in this story we see an example of Zipporah being a good spouse to her husband, helping to improve him in his failings, as every husband and wife should aspire to do for one other. There are probably other lessons that could be derived from these verses, but I don’t feel comfortable trying to identify them without having a fuller context of what happened.

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