Circumcision (Jn 7:22-7:22)

“Moses

Gave you

Circumcision.

It is not from Moses,

But from your ancestral fathers.

Thus,

You circumcise

A man

On the Sabbath.”

διὰ τοῦτο Μωϋσῆς δέδωκεν ὑμῖν τὴν περιτομήν, — οὐχ ὅτι ἐκ τοῦ Μωϋσέως ἐστὶν ἀλλ’ ἐκ τῶν πατέρων, — καὶ ἐν σαββάτῳ περιτέμνετε ἄνθρωπον.

John uniquely indicated that Jesus said that Moses (διὰ τοῦτο Μωϋσῆς) gave them (δέδωκεν ὑμῖν) circumcision (τὴν περιτομήν).  However, he quickly added that it was not from Moses (οὐχ ὅτι ἐκ τοῦ Μωϋσέως ἐστὶν), but from their ancestral fathers (ἐστὶν ἀλλ’ ἐκ τῶν πατέρων).  Thus, they circumcise a man (περιτέμνετε ἄνθρωπον) on the Sabbath (καὶ ἐν σαββάτῳ).  This would be true if it is the eighth day after the birth of the male child.  They wanted to follow Leviticus, chapter 12:3, that on the eight day after birth, the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.  Circumcision is the removal of the foreskin from the human male penis.  This circumcision was and is a main feature of Jewish male life.  Although it goes back to the time of Abraham and his covenant with Yahweh in Genesis, chapter 17:10, it was also part of the Mosaic Levitical law.  Thus, Moses did not institute the practice of circumcision.  However, sometimes today circumcision is used as a treatment for certain medical conditions or for preventative reasons.  An estimated one-third of all males worldwide are presently circumcised today.  This procedure is most common among Muslims and Jews and parts of Southeast Asia, and Africa.  However, it is rare in Europe, Latin America, parts of Southern Africa, and most of Asia.  In the United States, rates of circumcision have decreased to 58% in 2010.  The oldest documented evidence of circumcision comes from ancient Egypt, around 3,000 BCE, although it was even practiced among many indigenous tribes throughout the world.  Various theories have been proposed as to its origin including as a religious sacrifice, as a rite of passage marking a boy’s entrance into adulthood, or as a way to identify a captured slave.  However, here it was part of the religious law in Judaism.  However, circumcision is also found in Islam, as well as among Coptic and Ethiopian Orthodox Christians.  According to Luke, chapter 2:21, Jesus was circumcised on the eighth day at the Temple in following the Jewish law.  Thus, circumcision on the eighth day was more important than the Sabbath rest.  Do you know anybody that has been circumcised?

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