My final word (I think) on circumcision as it relates to Passover

I got this email question from a truth seeker today. It’s one I’ve been asked many times. It’s a hot potato subject, to be sure. Some will read my answer and disagree. That’s fine. Frankly, I don’t really care. I’ve moved on to bigger issues!

After years of deliberation and after taking everything into consideration from Genesis to Revelation on the subject, this is where I’ve landed on the issue of circumcision being a requirement in order to keep Passover properly (i.e. according to the letter of the law of Torah).

First the question, then my answer.

Shalom Pastor Natan,

I’ve been learning to walk in the Torah for a little over a year now. One of the most confusing aspects of it for me has been Galatians. I’ve been listening to your teaching on it as well as Corner Fringe Ministries’ ongoing study, and it’s helped me quite a bit. But you mentioned in Part 1 of your series that you won’t get into the matter of circumcision for Passover. With Passover coming up, I’d really like to know your thoughts on that. I know that circumcision is not necessary for salvation, but it is for keeping Passover (Exodus 12:43-49). Since we are instructed to keep the Passover (1 Corinthians 5:8), should uncircumcised followers of Yeshua abstain from it until they are ready to do that?

Hello S—,

I think you answered your own question. Physical circumcision is not a salvation issue. Yeshua commanded us to keep Passover at his last supper. (“Do this in remembrance of me.”) End of discussion.
Yes, I know what Exod 12:43–48 says about circumcision being a requirement for the Israelite males to properly keep Passover per the Torah, and whoever wasn’t circumcised couldn’t keep Passover and thus would be cut off from Israel. Some well meaning people will disagree with me here. But being cut off from a physical nation for not being circumcised hardly equates with losing one’s salvation because they aren’t physically circumcised when they do Passover. It’s apples and oranges here. To be part of the physical nation of Israel, you had to have the birth certificate, if you will, or the national passport or ID card. That happened to be physical circumcision—at least for the guys. So what was the criteria for women? Good question. How about “your Elohim will be my Elohim and your people will be my people…?” Seemed to have worked for Ruth the Moabitess. After all, she became an ancestor of the Jewish Messiah! (And don’t forget Rahab the harlot of Jericho who also accepted YHVH Elohim, was grafted into the nation of Israel and who is also in the lineage of Yeshua!) She wasn’t physically circumcised, obviously, but she was heart circumcised, to be sure. So heart circumcision is the highest common denominator to be reached for here, not physical circumcision.
So let me get this straight. Physical circumcision for men was  the requirement for Israelite men to be part of Israel, while heart circumcision for Gentile women was their requirement for being part of Israel. What gives here? Obviously, the physical circumcision was the national ID card for a man to be part of the physical nation of Israel. But Moses in three places talked about how YHVH really desired heart circumcision; that was really his highest ideal and criteria for membership in Isreal. This seemed to work for Ruth (and Rahab), and it was obviously acceptable to Elohim. So why not now?
Look, I’m all for physical circumcision. Thankfully, it’s not something I have to worry about. My Hebraic parents took care of that for me when I was eight days old 58 years ago.
There is a blessing for being circumcised physically. If I weren’t already, I’d get it done. It’s pleasing to Elohim and it shows that one is zealous and passionate to obey all of YHVH’s commandments. Besides, your local urologist will do it for just a few hundred dollars and you’ll drive yourself home afterwards and after a week or two you’ll be healed and fine.
Paul was both for and against circumcision. As a requirement for salvation, he was totally against it. As an act of loving obedience, passion and devotion to Elohim, he was for it. It showed that one had a zeal for being part of Israel. What’s wrong with that? We’re now the Israel of Elohim (Gal 6:16). There’s still nothing wrong with being physically circumcised. It must be a good thing, especially now since so many God and Bible hating secular humanistic libtards are against it!
Bottom line: In ancient Israel, and as a requirement for keeping Passover, it was necessary to separate out those who were serious about being a part of the physical nation of Israel. That one act separated the imposters and wolves in sheep’s clothing wannabes from those who were really zealous for Elohim and Torah. After all what imposter would really want to go through the ordeal of circumcision in the days of flint knives and no anesthetic? Let’s get real! For the Israel of the one new man (Eph 2:11–19), the Israel of Elohim (Gal 6:16) we now have confession of sin, repentance, public confession and acceptance of Yeshua and baptism followed by receipt of the Spirit. Cultural and spiritual conditions and contexts have changed from the Passover in Egypt till now.
Does any of this make sense? I hope so.
 

2 thoughts on “My final word (I think) on circumcision as it relates to Passover

  1. I’ve mulled this issue as well, I’ll share a few thoughts I’ve had they may be right or wrong, nonetheless you nailed it on the head that ultimately it’s a heart attitude issue.

    When Paul wrote 1 Cor. 5:8 the Temple was still standing, there was a functioning Sanhedrin as well as a High Priest and a priesthood, the place and manner of Passover observation, changed from the first observation in Egypt to the time when Paul penned his letters. From a small intimate family unit functioning as the forerunner to the royal priesthood promise of Mount Sinai, transitioning to a corporate observation in Jerusalem during the time of Paul.

    Present day–no Temple, no high priest, as well as no blemish free male kid or lamb for the Pesach was required in the absence of the former, as all offering after the inauguration of the Levitical priesthood after the golden calf. All temple sacrifices were subject to the acceptance of the priest. (An interesting tangent, a female kosher animal was only offered as a sacrifice for personal sin or idolatry, a female animal is far more valuable than a male, i.e. offspring and milk products. I digress, the sin offering was completely consumed by fire and no one benefited from the sacrifice i.e. hide, horns and no flesh was eaten in comparison with other offerings, which were primarily male, exceptions Red Heifer, leper and nazarite defilement/cleansing all specified females, other offerings could be either male or female).

    One of the perspectives I’ve considered with regards to Passover/Feast of Unleavened bread. I cannot find an injunction that one has to be circumcised to eat unleavened bread. see Deu. 16:1-8

    (Deut 16:3 [NKJV])
    You shall eat no leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat unleavened bread with it, that is, the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), that you may remember the day in which you came out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life.

    When we read 1 Cor. 5:8 Paul’s injunction is to therefore keep “the feast” from the context of the verse it almost sounds like the feast of “unleavened bread”, and I can’t find anything requiring circumcision to eat the bread of affliction for seven days, perhaps it just semantics with regards to unleavened bread/Passover.

    It seems even the forerunner/types of Unleavened bread/Passover can be seen with Abraham and his three visitors, unleavened bread was served (if I recall correctly) and Lot serving “unleavened bread” to his guest the night before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

    Yet at the end of the day it goes back to the heart issue as you so very clearly point out.

  2. Thank you…Great question, great summary! I have a notebook of printouts from your teachings for easy access when not connected to web. It’s growing fast. I appreciate ALL your devotion to Elohim and hard work in the furtherance of his Kingdom. When in high school, I didn’t like to study. With the word of Elohim, I can’t get enough and wish I could study all day long. What a difference in my life.
    Shalom!

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