101 Bible Secrets
Bible Secret Number 94 

No Circumcision in the Wilderness

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Did Israelites circumcise their male children while they were in the wilderness?

While the Israelites were in Egypt they circumcised their children in order for them to take the Passover (Exodus 12:43-50), but they did not do it for the forty years they were in the wilderness (Joshua 5:7). They refused to enter the land when God ordered them, so God must have told Moses that "the reproach of Egypt" was to remain on the Israelite male children born in the wilderness. This effectively made them no closer to him than the Gentile Egyptians that they had just left in Egypt.

However, after the forty years wandering in the wilderness was over (and when they crossed the River Jordan in the Land of Promise), there was a massive circumcision ritual. This was just before their first Passover in the Holy Land. God called it a "rolling away of the reproach of Egypt" (Joshua 5:9). That’s when all the children came back into a covenant relationship with God.

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