In Exodus 4:24 (NASB)

But it came about at the overnight encampment on the way, that the Lord met Moses, and sought to put him to death.

Did God want to kill Moses?


1 Answer 1


The reason God sought to kill 'him'

The answer to the question is found in the pericope itself.

Ex 4:24-26

"And it came to pass on the way, at the encampment, that the LORD met him and sought to kill him. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone and cut off the foreskin of her son and cast it at Moses ' feet, and said, "Surely you are a husband of blood to me!" So He let him go. Then she said, "You are a husband of blood!"-- because of the circumcision."

If one follows the text we see:

1) The lord met 'him' (more on the 'him' in a moment) and sought to kill 'him' 2) In response to this Zipporah circumcises her son 3) 'He' is let go

The implication is that Zipporah understood what was happening and was given time to act and her action saved 'him', therefore we must conclude that the reason God sought to kill 'him' was the failure by Moses to have his son circumcised properly.

Who was God seeking to kill

The question asserts that God was seeking to kill Moses however the text is not that clear, the insertion the name Moses is a translators choice and interpretation however the text never mentions Moses in v24-26

It could just as easily be the son that God is trying to kill. See for example:

114 The Hb. grammar of the passage uses proleptic pronouns to refer to Gershom at first and never names Moses at all. Gershom is referred to in v. 25 finally as her son, which tells the reader who it was that God threatened to kill. The choice of the NIV to include the name of Moses twice (in brackets each time) is just that: a translator’s choice, not a matter of literal translation. Its effect is to skew the reader’s attention to Moses rather than the actual referent of the pronouns, “her son.”

[NAC commentary. Stuart, D. K. (2006). Exodus (Vol. 2, p. 153, n114). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers

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