ESV - 24 At a lodging place on the way the Lord met him and sought to put him to death.
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God was displeased with Moses at this point for many reasons, and therefore sought to kill him. Moses had demonstrated timidity and a continuous lack of faith; he had also failed to circumcise his sons, thus breaking the law. The commentary for this section of scripture is helpful for understanding this more fully.
In my opinion, this is one of the most puzzling sections of Exodus due to seemingly sudden and inexplicable actions by God (seeking to kill Moses) and Zipporah (performing circumcision on her son to save her husband) packed in mere three verses. There are several underlying issues at hand: God's commandment to Abraham to circumcise all males (Gen 17:14), God's plan to use Moses as the leader to free the Israelites from slavery, and Moses had a son who was uncircumcised. Reading between the lines of Moses' life, he probably wanted to circumcise his son but his Midianite wife vehemently opposed the idea of performing such a barbaric act on an eight-day old infant. Moses, wanting to maintain peace at home, gave into Zipporah. But now, God was going save a nation of circumcision through Moses whose son was uncircumcised. The importance of circumcision is elevated in this context. Zipporah must have been aware of her role in Moses' disobedience in his household. Here is the link to a good article that summarizes the views of leading OT scholars on Exodus 4:24-26: http://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/ted_hildebrandt/otlit/week3/allen-ex4-bloody-bsac.pdf
I do not believe that the LORD wanted to kill Moses. He sure wanted to teach him a lesson. It was a good thing that his wife Zipporah was with him to do what was needed. Exodus 3:24-26
The lord had met the uncircumcised son of Moses and wanted to take his life for GOD said in Genesis 17:14, 'And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people'. So in verse 25 of Exodus 4, Zipporah(Moses' wife) took a sharp knife and circumcised her son..and her son was spared.
This question is a result of poor translation. NIV reads: 21 The LORD said to Moses, "When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. 22 Then say to Pharaoh, 'This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son, 23 and I told you, "Let my son go, so he may worship me." But you refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.'" 24 At a lodging place on the way, the LORD met Moses and was about to kill him. 25 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. 26 So the LORD let him alone. (At that time she said "bridegroom of blood," referring to circumcision.) (Exodus 4:21-26) The KJV says from Exodus 4:21-26: 21 And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go. 22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: 23 And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn. 24 And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him. 25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. 26 So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision. (Exodus 4:21-26) "Him" in verse 24 refers to Pharaoh's firstborn son In verse 23, God makes it clear that he will slay Pharaoh's firstborn son if Pharaoh refuses to let go of Israel. Now, in verse 24, the "him," refers not to Moses but to Pharaoh's firstborn son. This interpretation makes sense grammatically because the nearest antecedent is "firstborn" in verse 23. This interpretation also makes sense narratologically because the previous verse speaks of God promising to kill Pharaoh's firstborn son. Thus verse 24 belongs together in the same episode as that of verse 23. Many translations (even some KJV editions) begin a new section after verse 23 (often with a new section heading), obscuring the fact that "him" in verse 24 refers to Pharaoh's firstborn son mentioned in verse 23. Having a break between verse 23 and 24 is not necessarily wrong because there seems to be a chronological break between the two verses (e.g. "And it came to pass...." (verse 24)), but there is no thematic break. Verse 24 says that the LORD met Pharaoh's firstborn son in an inn and determined ("sought") to kill him. God had the foreknowledge of Pharaoh's refusal to let Israel go, so God was already prepared to seek the death of the firstborn son. This sentence also serves to foreshadow the future narrative. So verses 22-26 are summarized as follows: In verses 22-23, God tells Moses that God would kill Pharaoh's firstborn son. In verse 24, God locks his target on the firstborn son. Moses fears for the safety of his son because the son had not yet entered into a covenant relationship with God. Thus in verse 25, Zipporah circumcises her son as Moses holds him still. In verse 26, the circumcision is finished and Moses lets go of his son. In verses 25 and 26, Zipporah calls Moses a "bloody husband" because of his strange and bloody procedure of circumcision. Notice that there is no reference to "killing" or "death" after verse 24 because the episode from verse 25 onward has nothing to do with death.
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