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Why had the Israelites stopped circumcising their children by the time Joshua took over as a leader? (Joshua 5:5–7)

Why had the Israelites stopped circumcising their children? (Joshua 5:5–7)

 5 All the people that came out had been circumcised, but all the people born in the wilderness during the journey from Egypt had not. 6 The Israelites had moved about in the wilderness forty years until all the men who were of military age when they left Egypt had died, since they had not obeyed the Lord. For the Lord had sworn to them that they would not see the land he had solemnly promised their ancestors to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey. 7 So he raised up their sons in their place, and these were the ones Joshua circumcised. They were still uncircumcised because they had not been circumcised on the way.

Joshua 5:9

ESV - 9 And the Lord said to Joshua, "Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you." And so the name of that place is called Gilgal to this day.

Clarify Share Report Asked June 29 2018 Mini Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
Although, to my knowledge, God did not specifically authorize suspension of the rite of circumcision (which was why He referred to the failure of Israel to perform it after their departure from Egypt as a reproach (Joshua 5:9)), I would speculate that circumcision was impossible from a practical standpoint during Israel's forty years of wandering both because of the uncertainty of their status from day to day, and because of the healing process associated with circumcision. (That is, the Israelites never knew when they might be required to uproot and move the entire camp on short notice because of external circumstances, which prevented meticulous compliance with the required time frame associated with circumcision (Genesis 17:12), and also would potentially not permit proper care and healing from the performance of it.)

June 30 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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