As Moses prepares for the journey, God appears to him again, reassuring him that those who sought to destroy him are dead. He also warns Moses that Pharaoh will not be quick to acquiesce to freeing the people. He tells Moses that He will harden Pharaoh’s heart so that He can avenge His people. As Pharaoh abused God’s firstborn — the Children of Israel — He will kill Pharaoh’s firstborn.
As the Israel Bible explains, all mankind are the children of God, but being His firstborn, the Children of Israel have a unique role to be His representatives on Earth and bring Godliness to the world.
Along the way back to Egypt, Moses and his family stop overnight at an inn. While there, God seeks to kill Moses. His quick-thinking wife, Zipporah, saves him by swiftly circumcising their second son.
The episode highlights the significance of ritual circumcision in Jewish law. Abraham is commanded to circumcise himself at the age of 99, and all subsequent descendents at the age of eight days, in Genesis 17. Upon arrival in the land of Canaan, in Joshua 5, the entire generation born in the desert is circumcised, as they did not perform the ritual during the forty years in the desert.
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