Exodus 4:24


King James Version (KJV)

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

American King James Version (AKJV)

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

American Standard Version (ASV)

And it came to pass on the way at the lodging-place, that Jehovah met him, and sought to kill him.

Basic English Translation (BBE)

Now on the journey, at the night's resting-place, the Lord came in his way and would have put him to death.

Webster's Revision

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

World English Bible

It happened on the way at a lodging place, that Yahweh met Moses and wanted to kill him.

English Revised Version (ERV)

And it came to pass on the way at the lodging place, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him.

Clarke's Exodus 4:24 Bible Commentary

By the way in the inn - See Clarke's note on Genesis 42:27. The account in this and the following verse is very obscure. Some suppose that the Exodus 4:23 is not a part of the message to Pharaoh, but was spoken by the Lord to Moses; and that the whole may be thus paraphrased: "And I have said unto thee, (Moses), Send forth שלח shallach, my son, (Gershom, by circumcising him), that he may serve me, (which he cannot do till entered into the covenant by circumcision), but thou hast refused to send him forth; behold, (therefore), I will slay thy son, thy first-born. And it came to pass by the way in the inn, (when he was on his journey to Egypt), that Jehovah met him, and sought (threatened) to kill him (Gershom). Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut away the foreskin of her son, and caused it to touch his feet, (Jehovah's, who probably appeared in a bodily shape; the Septuagint call him the Angel of the Lord), and said unto him, A spouse by blood art thou unto me. Then he (Jehovah) ceased from him (Gershom). Then she said, A spouse by blood art thou unto me, because of this circumcision." That is, I who am an alien have entered as fully into covenant with thee by doing this act, as my son has on whom this act has been performed.

The meaning of the whole passage seems to be this: - The son of Moses, Gershom or Eliezer, (for it does not appear which), had not been circumcised, though it would seem that God had ordered the father to do it; but as he had neglected this, therefore Jehovah was about to have slain the child, because not in covenant with him by circumcision, and thus he intended to have punished the disobedience of the father by the natural death of his son. Zipporah, getting acquainted with the nature of the case and the danger to which her first-born was exposed, took a sharp stone and cut off the foreskin of her son. By this act the displeasure of the Lord was turned aside, and Zipporah considered herself as now allied to God because of this circumcision. According to the law, (Genesis 17:14), the uncircumcised child was to be cut off from his people, so that there should be no inheritance for that branch of the family in Israel. Moses therefore, for neglecting to circumcise the child, exposed him to this cutting off, and it was but barely prevented by the prompt obedience of Zipporah. As circumcision was the seal of that justification by faith which comes through Christ, Moses by neglecting it gave a very bad example, and God was about to proceed against him with that severity which the law required.

The sharp stone mentioned Exodus 4:25 was probably a knife made of flint, for such were anciently used, even where knives of metal might be had, for every kind of operation about the human body, such as embowelling for the purpose of embalming, circumcision, etc. Ancient authors are full of proofs of these facts. See Clarke's note on Genesis 50:2. It is probable that Zipporah, being alarmed by this circumstance, and fearing worse evils, took the resolution to return to her father's house with her two sons. See Exodus 18:1, etc.

Barnes's Exodus 4:24 Bible Commentary

In the inn - Or "resting place." See Genesis 42:27 note.

Met him, and sought to kill him - Moses was attacked by a sudden and dangerous illness, which he knew was inflicted by God. The word "sought to kill" implies that the sickness, whatever might be its nature, was one which threatened death had it not been averted by a timely act. Zipporah believed that the illness of Moses was due to his having neglected the duty of an Israelite, and to his not having circumcised his own son; the delay was probably owing to her own not unnatural repugnance to a rite, which though practiced by the Egyptians, was not adopted generally in the East, even by the descendants of Abraham and Keturah. Moses appears to have been utterly prostrate and unable to perform the rite himself.

Wesley's Exodus 4:24 Bible Commentary

4:24 It seems the sin of Moses, was neglecting to circumcise his son, which perhaps was the effect of his being unequally yoked with a Midianite, who was too indulgent of her child, and Moses so of her. The Lord met him, and, probably, by a sword in an angel's hand, sought to kill him - This was a great change. Very lately God was conversing with him as a friend, and now coming forth against him as an enemy. In this case of necessity Zipporah herself circumcised the child without delay; whether with passionate words, expressing the dislike of the ordinance itself, or at least the administration of it to so young a child.

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