Saturday, December 11, 2010

A touchy topic, circumcision

First off, I had brief thought related to suffering, and my previous posts on it. If it's wise, and holds some water, then thank God for giving me this insight. If it's way off, I'm human, there you go.

My thought and perhaps a rebuttal to atheists and agnostics etc that say "Why would a loving God allow suffering?" The thought that came into my head today is, God may see this as not why does He allow us humans to suffer, but what do we here on earth do to prevent and relieve that suffering? Perhaps it's allowed so that we have a chance to show God's glory and reveal our own characters. Perhaps I've already been down this road.

Anyways, my friend and sibling in the Lord, Hopeful has asked why did God choose circumcision as a sign of the covenant with Abraham? Here is the question in it's entirety. Hopeful, thanks for your question.

"I often thought about the nature of circumcision in the Bible and why this was an important right of passage. And then an odd thought struck me about it. Much of the Old Testament was a “physical” battle of demonic entities and much of the New Testament is a spiritual battle with the same entities, although the spiritual affects those physically on Earth. Again in the Old Testament, there is a under current theme of physical demonic beings corrupting a chosen people, even by cross breeding. So, the act of circumcising ones penis is not something people would naturally be inclined to do. What if this practice was done to attempt to maintain a pure blood line of God’s people? The circumcised penis would be obvious before sexual intercourse took place. In other words, this practice was done to combat the spread of the nephilim blood line."

For those unfamiliar with circumcision, it's the removal of the foreskin of the penis. That's basically it. The Bible commands this to be done on the 8th day, and some of the research I turned up indicates that other cultures, (that is, pagans) did it too. Though some cultures did not. There are also records of adults being circumcised throughout the Bible as well. Here is a good overview. (warning, graphic images.) and here are all or most of the spots it shows up in the Bible. (

Hopeful's is a very interesting insight into circumcision, and it's certainly not something I can discount. In the OT it definitely was a purely physical thing, and in the NT, it takes on a more spiritual undertone with terms like "circumcised hearts" it seems that to God, it's a big deal, but later on a physical circumcision is less so.

Before we begin speculating on circumcision as a way to prevent nephilim infiltration, let's take a look at some facts about circumcision. In the Bible, I believe that Genesis 17:10 (verse 9 is the set up) is the first instance of circumcision.

17:10 This is the covenant that you and your descendants must keep: Each male among you must be circumcised;

17:11 the flesh of his foreskin must be cut off. This will be a sign that you and they have accepted this covenant.

17:12 Every male child must be circumcised on the eighth day after his birth. This applies not only to members of your family, but also to the servants born in your household and the foreign-born servants whom you have purchased.

17:13 All must be circumcised. Your bodies will thus bear the mark of my everlasting covenant.

Notice in verse 11, that it is indeed a sign of a covenant. My Life Application Study Bible has some commentary on this that possibly supports Hopeful's theory. Here is the commentary, paraphrased:

"Why circumcise? 1) sign of obedience, 2) a sign of belonging to the covenant people, 3) a symbol of cutting off the old sin life, and 4) as a health measure." (It has been written that circumcised males have a much lower rate of STD transmission than uncircumcised males. see the wiki article above has some stats on it as well.)

If it is a sign of obedience to God, enemies of God would possibly not performed the practice. more on that later.

Another really good answer I found was in Yahoo answers oddly enough. Rather than quote directly, my interpretation of the answer is that sensitivity is required when you are in a spiritual relationship with the Lord, and circumcision is a constant reminder (especially if you did it when you are older!) of the sensitivity and vulnerability required.

There are those in the secular world who would have us believe that circumcision was invented elsewhere, then adopted by the Jews. ( Here, the author indicates that the ritual is far older than the account of Abraham. Several sources seem to agree that the oldest record of circumcision was found in Egypt. ( Which makes some sense since the Israelites lived there. No doubt a number of Egyptians adopted the practice. Of course historians and anthropologists want to speculate that the Jews took it from someone else, again I disagree. I can't see a culture adopting this just for the heck of it without being directed to from an outside source.

My thoughts are that since the Torah was written long after Abraham that would create some chronological confusion for our anthropologists. I personally believe that it was indeed Abraham who originated it at God's direction, and perhaps later other cultures imitated it at Satan's direction, or for some other reason. That is my theory anyways, I suppose I could really dig deep and put this out there with a ton of documentation, and maybe I will one day.

David Guzik's commentary is good overall, and he makes other good points. Here is a brief bit of what he says:

i. Circumcision was not unknown in the world at that time. It was a ritual practice among various peoples.

ii. There were undoubtedly hygienic reasons, especially making sense in the ancient world. “There is some medical evidence that this practice has indeed contributed to the long-lasting vigor of the Jewish race.” (Morris) McMillen, in None of These Diseases, noted studies in 1949 and 1954 showing an incredibly low rate of cervical cancer for Jewish women, because they mostly have husbands who are circumcised.

iii. But more importantly, circumcision is a cutting away of the flesh and an appropriate sign of the covenant for those who should put no trust in the flesh.

iv. Also, because circumcision deals with the organ of procreation, it was a reminder of the special seed of Abraham, which would ultimately bring the Messiah.

On a side note, Guzik (I believe) also points out that this is where God gives Abraham something to do. Hence, Abraham has to prove his faith by taking an action.

Matthew Henry says:

"Those who will have God to be to them a God must consent and resolve to be to him a people. Now, (1.) Circumcision was a bloody ordinance; for all things by the law were purged with blood, Heb. 9:22. See Ex. 24:8. But, the blood of Christ being shed, all bloody ordinances are now abolished; circumcision therefore gives way to baptism. (2.) It was peculiar to the males, though the women were also included in the covenant, for the man is the head of the woman. In our kingdom, the oath of allegiance is required only from men. Some think that the blood of the males only was shed in circumcision because respect was had in it to Jesus Christ and his blood. (3.) It was the flesh of the foreskin that was to be cut off, because it is by ordinary generation that sin is propagated, and with an eye to the promised seed, who was to come from the loins of Abraham. Christ having not yet offered himself to us, God would have man to enter into covenant by the offering of some part of his own body, and no part could be better spared. It is a secret part of the body; for the true circumcision is that of the heat: this honour God put upon an uncomely part, 1 Co. 12:23, 24. (4.) The ordinance was to be administered to children when they were eight days old, and not sooner, that they might gather some strength, to be able to undergo the pain of it, and that at least one sabbath might pass over them. (5.) The children of the strangers, of whom the master of the family was the true domestic owner, were to be circumcised (v. 12, 13), which looked favourable upon the Gentiles, who should in due time be brought into the family of Abraham, by faith. See Gal. 3:14. (6.) The religious observance of this institution was required under a very severe penalty, v. 14. The contempt of circumcision was a contempt of the covenant; if the parents did not circumcise their children, it was at their peril, as in the case of Moses, Ex. 4:24, 25. With respect to those that were not circumcised in their infancy, if, when they grew up, they did not themselves come under this ordinance, God would surely reckon with them. If they cut not off the flesh of their foreskin, God would cut them off from their people. It is a dangerous thing to make light of divine institutions, and to live in the neglect of them."

So as you can see throughout all of these examples that there is plenty of non-nephilim reasons for circumcision. It was possibly for health reasons, it was part of a blood covenant with God and thus symbolic (possibly) of Christ's shed blood, it signified that the flesh ought not be subject to the flesh and many more signs. But, does that exclude the possibility that it was also used for the purpose of preventing nephilim?

I couldn't find any other information about that, of course. I had thought maybe to look in the Talmud, but my attempt to contact a Rabbi went unanswered (go figure). I would like to look in there to see if there is anything "mythical" about circumcision. Sadly, I must instead try to use some logic to puzzle it out.

Firstly, is it possible that a nephilim could have infiltrated God's people? We do know that many nephilim were described as giants, but that does not necessarily mean they were all actual giants. I believe it's been said that the "giants" of Genesis 6 could also mean "men of renown." My thought, and this is PURE SPECULATION is that some of the Genesis 6 nephilim were giants, actual giants, and some were not, but were amazing in other ways perhaps like superheroes. But all of the Genesis 6 nephilim were killed in the flood. Then you have some nephilim on the earth after the flood.

This is really a study for another time, but we don't know how the nephilim after the flood were created. It doesn't matter. But the Bible says they were around. But as far as I can tell, out of all those folks, the nephilim (if I am right) were all giants. Deut 3:11 gives Og's bed a dimension of 13 feet long. We also know from elsewhere that Goliath was something like 9 feet tall. 2 Samuel 21:18 ( indicates that further nephilim (if they were nephilim) were also giants and that they had other distinguishing characteristics such as polydactylism.

For more on the nephilim I would 1) read the Bible, 2) go to that link and 3) check out Judd Burton's book (the title of which I have forgotten) and 4) check out this link

So what's with the detour on giants and such, when we have not yet answered the main question? Could circumcision have also been used to prevent those of nephilim descent from intermarrying with the Israelites?

I guess where I was going with this is that I think all of the descendants of the nephilim would have had gigantic stature, or readily apparent distinctive features. In light of this, I think that it is unlikely that circumcision was a way to keep nephilim out. If there were nephilim that had tried to infiltrate Israel, I think that it would have been in the Bible. We do know though, that the demons (spirits of dead nephilim) attacked Israel through idol worship and pagan practices. We also know there were physical battles with nephilim as well. Alot of the "ites" appeared to be descended from giants.

However, I cannot rule out that it was a possibility. Mainly because, if any male was found uncircumcised, he was to be cut off from the people of Israel. So if a nephilim had snuck in, and if he was found to be uncircumcised, he would have been kicked out. But, if they had wanted to badly enough, an adult nephilim could have undergone circumcision and infiltrated anyways, though as hopeful points out, it's contrary to one's nature to circumcise oneself at an older age. But who's to say that the nephilim wouldn't have circumcised their boys, to facilitate infiltration at a later time? If so, Jews circumcising their children would not necessarily be the best way to protect themselves from nephilim infiltration and bloodline pollution. It could have been possible(depending on if the nephs did circumcision in any way).

In my opinion, a better opportunity to try to pollute the bloodline of Jesus the Messiah - thus further rendering circumcision as a sign against neph infiltrators useless - would be to seduce the Israelite men with foreign wives. Circumcision doesn't even come into play at this point. A female nephilim (are there such things? why not?) could sneak in through marriage and could pollute the bloodline quite easily. A female nephilim, in my opinion, would have had a better chance at infiltration than a male thus making the circumcision theory somewhat obsolete. This is also a good reason why God commanded that the women and children be killed in Canaan and why Israelite men were not allowed to marry foreign women. I also recall in one of the prophetical books (after the Babylonian exile) the men were told to send their foreign wives away, and they did.

Who knows? This debate could go on forever, one could cover any situation to favor either argument. The enemy would likely have tried both avenues, male and female nephilim, and the enemy, crafty as he is, could have simply had the males circumcised. Or not. It's a tricky situation, and one that I can't confirm or deny. We do see that circumcision already has multiple possible purposes, I don't think that preventing the spread of nephilim was the main reason, but it could have been ONE reason. To rely on circumcision alone to prevent nephilim infiltration would not have been a good idea.

Points to Hopeful for the theory and thinking outside of the box. I know I didn't answer the question definitively, but I don't think it can be answered without knowing more about the nephilim and their practices.

God bless.

UPDATE 4/16/2012

Now, for an intelligent look at circumcision. I'll be listening soon, but it's Dr. Michael Heiser on circumcision, so it's a huge leap beyond what I've got.


  1. Out standing post about the Nephilim. One thought on this subject though is I would like to point out that although the Nephilim were large giants; the Beni-Elihem are not said to be as such. This then would go to logic that the circumcision was a preemptive stop against an infultration from the "Son's of God" not against the Nephilim per say. That being said, the covenant could have eaisly been removed by Jesus because by his time the fallen ones who came back after the flood could have been destroyed by Joshua and Israel, and sent away. Since their race no longer exists, no need to perform a barbaric ritual. BUT; in the end times the DNA disruption will produce the exact same results. This is a very large, complicated topic.

  2. IT IS!

    Thanks for the comments.

    My thought now (and maybe it was then) is that circumcision is an outward sign of an inner commitment. A possible stop on nephilim, is but one more possibility.

    Good thought that the fallen angels weren't said to be giants. They would indeed (I guess) be unable to circumcise themselves, so circumcision might well have been a great way to tell if a man was a man, and not an angel.

    Sharp mind, you're gonna put me out of a blog!

  3. christianity i believe has the best possible answer to the problem of evil.when god made man adam an eve,HE had to give them the potential to commit evil,otherwise they would be robots an render LOVE useless.the fact that we can say i dont love you to anyone gives love its force.without that potential to make choices we again are robotic. god made all things the bible says very good,so EVIL in sense is good gone bad or sour for lack of a better word.just because god has never done evil himself does not mean that he doesnt know sin or what sin is.nor does we or god have to do evil to know what it is.we think on it an actualize it then its sin.again atheists have no answer to good an evil.yet we all know even the atheists an non belivers know what an how to commit evil.thats why god does exists an sets the standards of good an bad an can judge.without an omnipotent god we have only our wretched selves to deal with an anything is open to whatever we can conjure up in all its evil ways.thats why we need a savior.JESUS WHO COMMITED NO SIN.HE PAID THE PRICE.only logical conclusion an inescapable.

  4. Thanks beefree!

    You should get some sort of prize for reading all the old stuff!

  5. no one,if i can get just one person to help bring the good news then i have done my keep the great articles coming.

  6. I don't know if you got your information purely from the Bible but there are other books as well, I have come across one recently that speaks a lot about the Nephilim and their creation, if you type in on your search engine "book of Enoch" it'll come up with searches that make it possible for you to read the whole book if you or anyone is interested

    Hope this was helpful :)

  7. Circumcision was instituted by God. It is a sign of blood in the male organ of procreation so that all seed necessarily passes under the bloody sign in procreation, just as the children of Israel passed under the blood on the lintel and doorposts of their houses in Egypt during the Passover. Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin for “The soul that sins, it shall die”, and in Adam, we are born sinners. So God instituted sacrifices as a sin covering until the one perfect sacrifice for sin should be made, that of His own Son. Since the death of Jesus, the bloody sign is replaced by baptism for ALL infant children of believers to represent their covenant relationship to God and the circumcision of the heart.

  8. You brought up some great points that I never thought about! I HAD to pin this article.As a mother of 2 toddlers we adopted from Ethiopia,we are getting ready to have them circumcised and I came across this article.I noticed that there is such controversy over an issue that shouldn't be an issue at all among Christian parents of boys.I noticed that those who are in the Con camp of circumcising are those that are Pro Abortion and Pro homosexual and mostly mothers who fear for their sons comfort.They go on pure emotion,not trust and obedience to Scripture.I have noticed in these Last days,how people question every jot and tittle of God's Holy Word.Job comes to mind when he began to question God and the LORD reminded Job of who He is...the Creator of the Universe.How arrogant we have become as a culture,thinking we are higher than God and we know more about our children than the One who made them.Great post!! I'll be sharing this with others.