The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleExodus 4:25
Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of
Perceiving that it was the neglect of circumcising her
son was the cause of the divine displeasure against her husband; and he
being either so ill through the disease upon him, or so terrified with
the appearance of the Lord to him, in the manner it was, that he could
not perform this rite himself, she undertook it; and, according to the
Jewish canons F2, a woman may circumcise; and having with her no
instrument more proper to do it with, took a sharp stone, very probably
a flint, of which there was great plenty in Arabia Petraea, where she
was, and did it; and so the Jewish writers say F3, they circumcise
with a flint stone, with glass, or anything that will cut; and
such like actions have been performed with sharp stones among the
Heathens F4: and cast it at his feet; not at the feet of the infant
Eliezer, as R. Samuel in Aben Ezra; the blood of the circumcision
running down to his feet, as Lyra interprets it; and so touched his
feet F5, as some render the words; not cast at the feet of the
destroying angel, as the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem, in order to
pacify him; but at the feet of Moses, as the Jerusalem Talmud F6; and
so Jarchi and Aben Ezra:
and said, surely a bloody husband art thou to me;
those who think it
was at the feet of the child the foreskin was cast, take these words to
be spoken of that, and observe that it is usual for women, at the
circumcision of a child, to call it a bridegroom or husband, because it
is then espoused unto, and reckoned among the people of God; but this
is not well supported; it is a custom of too late a date to give any
countenance to such a sense of the words, which seem plain enough to be
spoken to and of Moses; but not in an angry upbraiding way, as if he
was a bloody cruel man to oblige her to do such an action, but rather
in a congratulatory way, as being thankful and rejoicing, that by this
means, through the blood of the circumcision, she had saved her
husband's life; and as it were in that way had bought him, and afresh
espoused him to herself as her husband; or otherwise it would have been
all over with him, but now to her great joy he was delivered from the
threatened destruction, and restored to her; and so the Targums of
Jonathan and Jerusalem paraphrase the next verse,
``then Zipporah gave praise, and said, how amiable is the
blood of circumcision, which hath delivered my husband from
the hand of the destroying angel.''
F2 Maimon. Hilchot Milah, c. 2. sect. 1. Shulchan Aruch, par. 2. Yore
Dea, Hilchot Milah, c. 264. sect. 1.
F3 Maimon. ib. Shulchan ib. sect. 2.
F4 "Mollia qui rupta secuit genitalia testa." Juvenal Satyr 6. "Devolvit
ipse acuto sibi pondera silice." Catullus.
F5 (wylgrl egtw) "tetigitque pedes ejus", V. L.
F6 T. Hieros. Nedarim, fol. 38. 2.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Exodus 4:25". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=ex&chapter=004&verse=025>. 1999.