Question: God sought to kill Moses in the book of Exodus

Discussion in 'Muslim <---> Christian Dialogue' started by WhiteKnight, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. WhiteKnight
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    WhiteKnight Junior Member

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    Peace and God's blessings be upon you :)

    While reading the Book of Exodus, I found these 3 verses that shocked me :confused-82:. Exodus (4:24-26) says (New International Version):-

    At a lodging place on the way, the LORD met Moses and was about to kill him. But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it. “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me,” she said. So the LORD let him alone. (At that time she said “bridegroom of blood”, referring to circumcision.)

    Zipporah , Moses' wife, saved her husband from being killed by God when she had circumcised her son and stained Moses' feet with the circumcision blood according to the book of Exodus. How could God the most Merciful 'meet' prophet Moses and seek to kill him because he hadn't circumcised his own son :(?. Some say that circumcision was obligatory upon the generations of Abraham because it was the sign of their covenant with God, and that Moses ''breached'' God's covenant by neglecting to circumcise his son. The book of Genesis (17:20) says:-

    "This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised."

    Nonetheless, the mere thought of God's trial to kill His own prophet because his son hadn't been circumcised is 'illogical'. God might have ordered Prophet Moses to circumcise his son calmly as what happened to the Israelites in the time of Joshua. The book of Joshua (5:2-4) says:-

    "At that time the LORD said to Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise the Israelites again.” So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the Israelites at Gibeath Haaraloth. Now this is why he did so: All those who came out of Egypt— all the men of military age — died in the desert on the way after leaving Egypt. All the people that came out had been circumcised, but all the people born in the desert during the journey from Egypt had not "

    In the previous verses, God ordered Joshua to circumcise the Israelites. God didn't ''seek'' to kill the uncircumcised Israelites as he did to prophet Moses, but he ordered them gently to undergo circumcision. Why God had mercy on the common Israelites for being uncircumcised and sought to kill His own Prophet , who is one of the greatest prophets ever, because he hadn't circumcised his son?? God might have ordered Moses to circumcise his son as he ordered Abraham and the Israelites in the time of Joshua, instead of ''meeting'' him and seeking to shed his blood o_O. God is so great to meet somebody and kill him, whatever the circumstances.

    I don't mean to offend Christians at all by my thread :) but I need someone to answer me ;)
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014
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  2. ali-abdelwahab
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    Peace and God's blessings be upon you,First, I agree with you , I wonder how The Bible has different versions that are different in their significations.
    Next , I wonder if all the Christians have a mind to know what is the purpose of that , while the holy Quran is one version in every single place on the Earth .
    Finally , I want one of the Christians to convince us and answer us about our wonders.
  3. Cariad
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    Cariad Junior Member

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    I see as Christians are in a minority on here.. Like I think just one.. That is me..unless there are some others who are very shy by nature :) I guess then it is beholden upon myself to provide an answer to your question, as best I can.

    Simply put what we take from this verse is God was going to kill Moses because Moses was supposed to teach the Israelites God's Law, yet Moses was not obeying God's Law himself. God had already told Moses to circumcise his son, Moses knew that God had made this demand, yet Moses had not done so. Maybe because his wife found the practice abhorrent and persuaded Moses against it. Whatever the reason Moses disobeyed God, do you think that if God told you personally to do something, even something you did not wish to do, would you refuse? And in refusing would you not expect there would be no consequences of your disobedience to your Holy God? No one is above Gods law, not even prophets. I think on the point of prophets we maybe do view them differently.

    The Quran portrays prophets as higher moral values than other people, maybe almost sinless. That prophets are chosen by God because of their special qualities, forgive me if I am in error on this assumption.. The Bible however does not hold this view it shows that prophets were ordinary people chosen by God for reasons only known to God, and they "became special" by the act of being so chosen. Yet they were men, ordinary men, and as such just like all mankind are weak and capable of sin. I believe seeing the prophets as how they are with their faults and weaknesses exposed, yet through faith and service to God can prevail over sin and become righteous men and women. This shows that there is this hope that all of us can do likewise, and however weak and humble we are we can all strive to attain a degree of righteousness before God.

    God is merciful, yet cannot deal with sin lightly. The wages of sin is death, it's simple. All sin comes with a price and the sin of a prophet is no different to any other person, in fact you may even say it is worse. You are free to believe God can just forgive sin arbitrarily, but then is this also just? And we know God is also just, to be just all sin has a price and that price must be paid. God is the Holy, none can meet that standard, we will always fall short of His glory.

    We see God did show mercy, and did not kill Moses... Did God ever intend to kill Him? We know God could if He wished yet God spared Moses... But we learn an important lesson. No one is above Gods law, and we all answer when we sin against our Holy God.

    I hope my answer goes some way to bring you some understanding of how Christians see this.

    Blessings. C
  4. Cariad
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    Cariad Junior Member

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    Please, what do you mean by different versions? Are you talking of translations? The Bible and the Quran are not the same, and I don't think it is possible to make a fair comparison between them.

    May I ask, convince you of what? I do not see it necessary to "convince" you of the truth of the Bible as I see it. It is not your Holy Book so it does not matter to you that I am convinced, or do you need to be convinced :) it is enough that you understand that it is my Holy Book and is every bit as important to me as your Holy Book is to you :)

    My friend, there is no convincing needed. Besides Gods Holy Spirit convinces whom He wills. I have zero power in that department. :) I am willing to answer questions if I am able to .. To help you understand how a Christian views things and why but that's as far as it goes, :)

    Peace and blessings. C
  5. WhiteKnight
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    I know that Christians are better than Jews with regard to the interpretation of the Old Testament :), as Jesus (PBUH) taught them everything about God's mercy and love and completed ''The Old Testament'', giving Christians facts Jews hadn't known before ;)

    However, we believe that the Old Testament had been distorted, even if some Islamic scholars say that the distortion had occurred on a ''relatively'' small scale. If you read Exodus 4, you will find that those verses talking about God's intent to kill Moses have been wedged into the chapter. It feels as if someone had put these unusual verses in Exodus 4 without linking them to either the verses before or after them (disregarding the pronouns). If God had ordered Moses formerly to circumcise his son, this should have been mentioned in the book of Exodus like: "And God ordered Moses to cut off the foreskin of his son" and so on rather than mentioning God's intent to shed the blood of His prophet without the scene talking about the divine order to Moses concerning his son's circumcision. Or at least those three verses would tell us that Moses neglected to circumcise his own son, and hence God sought to kill him.

    However, we'll find those verses "undecipherable" and cannot be understood well. It feels as if those verses were to form a separated chapter, they have no ties with the fourth chapter of the book of Exodus at all (disregarding the pronouns as we said before).

    Let's say that the prophets are not impeccable and liable to sin as Quran taught Muslims :). So why God would meet Moses Himself and seek to kill him? :(. The Bible says "and the LORD met Moses''. It might have said "and the LORD sought to kill Moses'' or ''and the LORD decided to slay Moses'', but why the verb ''met'' is mentioned in particular??. God might have sent Moses an angel threatening him, but why God met Moses on His own? The Bible mentioned the verb ''met'' only in those very three verses. While talking about Er and Onan, sons of Judah (whom had been killed for their disobedience to God as the book of Genesis says) the Bible said that God had slain them. The Bible didn't say that God had met them as he did to Moses, nor did the Bible say that God had met anybody to kill him in any other passage :confused-82:

    Those three verses are one of the most intriguing passages in the Bible. The scene those three verses are depicting was given the name ''Zipporah at the Inn'' by some scholars. Jewish and Christians scholars have been doing their best over centuries to come up with a logical interpretation for that scene. But sorrowfully, each biblical scholar comes up with his own interpretation. All these interpretations to me are not ''sensible'' and don't describe what those verses are really talking about. These interpretations were ''roaming about'' the real significance of the ''Zipporah at the Inn'' verses, no one of these interpretations had come straight to the point. The better part of these interpretations highlight the fact that God himself had met Moses and sought to kill him. The scholars even wonder whom the pronouns in those verses refer to. Some scholars say Moses, others his firstborn son Gershom and others say his son Eleazar.

    I've been searching for a logical justification for what is mentioned in those verses for a long time, but in vain. So, can you please tell me why God would meet Moses Himself and seek to kill him (taking in consideration that the Bible didn't say that God had ordered Moses to circumcise his own son) and allay my doubts logically ;)

    Peace and God's blessings be upon you :D
  6. Cariad
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    Hmm.. Yes, I understand that muslims believe the previous scriptures have been distorted, yet usually can offer no evidence to where, when, how, why and by whom. I see this as a difference to how we both view our respective scriptures differently. You see the Quran as the word of God verbatim whereas Christians and Jews do not view their scriptures the same way. We see that the Scriptures are divinely inspired and tell of Gods plan for mankind from their creation, their fall, their journey towards enlightenment through God and ultimately their salvation. From beginning to end spanning a period of around 1500 years by numerous authors Prophets and Apostles. The telling of this story as it unfolded is put in historical context of the time.

    The Bible has other instances of God "meeting" with man, so I don't see the problem with God confronting Moses, yes, for sure he could have sent an Angel, or even ended the life of Moses in a blink of an eye, only God has the knowledge of why He "met" with Moses.

    I'm afraid I can't help you in finding a logical explanation :) I do not see the need for logic in matters of faith, if it's Gods will that something happens this way or that it's good enough for me. If one has to seek proof in logic before one can have absolute faith in God, then for me that is not true faith, no offence meant to your good self. :) I think sometimes "scholars" overthink this in their quest for knowledge that they sometimes forget what faith is. If you build your faith on proof and logic and someone in time comes along and proves you wrong... Example .. A new advance in science or something.. What then of your faith? Whereas if your faith is built on your belief that with God anything is possible and God does not need to conform to our idea of logic, the nothing can shake that faith.

    Of course God demanded of Moses the circumcision of his son, Moses was under the Abrahamic covenant which required all males to be circumcised by the eighth day. You are talking of the Jews, this knowledge would have been an intrinsic part of their being.

    So I must apologise that on this occasion I cannot satisfy your need for a logical explanation. :) I can only give my understanding of what we as Christians are to take as a lesson from these verses.

    Blessings. C
  7. WhiteKnight
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    WhiteKnight Junior Member

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    No problem at all, but my religion taught me that God is too great to descend from heaven and abase Himself under any circumstances. There's nothing compared to His glory. No human can think how God is and how great He is because our thinking is limited.

    Peace be upon you ;)
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  8. Cariad
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    We can put this down to how each of our respective religions view God. :) For sure there is nothing comparable to the glory of God, we can never understand the nature of God, well at least whilst we sojourn on earth. I do not see if God chooses to "know" His creation on a more human level that in any way debases His glory. In fact to say this is beneath God or beyond His capabilities I think looks like we are putting limitations on His very greatness.

    This may be because the Bible teaches a "knowable" God and there are many instances where God has made Himself known to His creation. To me this shows the true greatness of God that out of His love for us He wishes for us to be in community with Him. Like when someone asks .. "Why does God need a Son... Surely God is sufficient in His being?" Well, yes, of course this is true God the Father is sufficient in every way, it is not Gods need for a Son, but our need that is paramount to God our Father born out of His love for us.

    This is a big difference with Allah, who does not seek to interact with His Creation, and for me personally because of this different concept of seeing God I struggle to see how you can have a relationship with Him. Yet, millions of muslims do see they have a relationship, so obviously I'm missing something :)

    Yet both points of view share that there is nothing comparable to the greatness of Our God.... That is the most important thing to take from this. :)

    Blessings. C
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  9. WhiteKnight
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    OK, let's say that God had made himself known to His creatures in the biblical ages. So Why won't God Almighty make Himself known to the humans living in the ages after Jesus Christ? I think the best time for God to make Himself known is now; as there are many atheists and unbelievers who neither believe in Him nor obey Him. Even those who believe in him have gone astray :confused-82:.

    This will lead us to a 'dead end'. But if we took in consideration the fact that God hadn't met anybody or made Himself appear in front of anyone, we would find the answer to that paradox. God is the Omniscient and the Omnipresent and He can interact with humans without Him appearing to them like now (As Christians believe, God hadn't met anybody since Jesus Christ ;) ). Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that godliness is "to worship God though you don't see Him, for He sees you even though you don't see Him :)''. God manifests Himself to His creatures through His miracles and the way he had created the whole universe, not through meeting people and appearing to them :(. Briefly, God hadn't appeared to anybody in order to test the people of faith who would believe in His existence instinctively:)

    Peace and God's blessings be upon you ;)
  10. Cariad
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    Good question :) sometimes when you look at the world today you could be forgiven for thinking where is God when we need Him most? Yet for those of faith, and I include all peoples of faith.. :) God is with us, God is all around us. For Christians we see this through the Holy Spirit, which we see as in dwelling in all those that hold to the teachings of Yeshua. We call it being part of the living Gospel. :) it gives us the understanding of our place in this world and how our actions effect our place in the next. I expect as a Muslim you will also have a unique way in which you feel closer to God, it may be through prayer it may be through quiet contemplation, but the knowledge is there that God is never far away especially when we are in crisis or when spiritual need is greatest. :)

    As to why God revealed Himself to prophets of past times, who can say, we are not privy to the inner knowledge of such matters. Maybe it was felt a necessity at that time to relay His message. If we start with the battle for men's souls away from paganism and towards the One true God, then once those souls are saved, it's keeping them safe. Safe from who? The very anathema of all God is and the one who would wish to destroy every good thing that comes from God, is I think we agree is, satan, the great deceiver and father of lies. Mankind is weak much of the time and can be easily used, unknowingly in this battle. It's possible that God chose to reveal Himself to those souls won in order to emphasis His plan was long term, as christians believe that to be mankind's redemption through the messiah. That we should never give up hope.

    There was no need to reveal Himself after the Christ, Yeshua. :) the main work was done, the gift was given. It's a gift freely given and there is no obligation upon anyone to accept it. Does this mean God then sits back and does nothing? :) no of course it does not, for Christians we see this guidance continues unseen as I already mentioned. You come to the understanding of a different way.

    So people of faith do not need to see God in order to believe because all he has left us through His eternal Word is enough. Atheists do not feel they need God in their lives or even need the belief in a higher power. But just because they do not believe in God does that mean God has forsaken them totally? I don't think it does :) because at any point they may reach a stage in their life where their eyes are opened to the wonder of a Holy God and at that point God is there for them, waiting to encompass them with His eternal loving Spirit. :)

    They may find Him as YHWH or Allah, I don't see a great deal of difference. Although obviously I see the way clearer through Christianity ;) but we are all different are we not? And God gave us freedom to choose the best way to Him that makes sense.

    Blessings. C
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  11. WhiteKnight
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    Of course God hasn't forsaken those who don't believe in Him as my religion taught me :). They are who forsook God. However, God helps them in the ordeals they go through in their lives because He is the Most-Merciful :).
    YHWH, Elohim, Adonai and Allah are different names for the same Omnipotent God :). The first three names are in Hebrew, while God's greatest name ''Allah'' is in Arabic. God's glorious name ''Allah'' is derived from the word ''Al-Ilah" which means "The God" in the Arabic language. Being Hebrew and Arabic of the same Semitic origin, you may find a lexical similarity between "Elohim" and "Allah" ;). However, the way God described Himself in Islam is the most perfect and most logical to me:)

    Peace and God's blessings be upon you :D
  12. Cariad
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    Very true, what's in a name :) the Bible states what God Himself said His name is, it is recorded in Exodus 3 13:15

    13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

    14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

    15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’

    “This is my name forever,
    the name you shall call me
    from generation to generation.

    The I AM, was also used by Yeshua in reference to Himself. :)

    As long as we know who is behind the name and what that infers, the actual name itself becomes secondary.

    Blessings. C

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