Bible Question:

Why did God want to kill Moses in Exodus 4:24?

Bible Answer:

When we read Exodus 4:24, it does leave one asking why God would want to kill Moses, one of the greatest leaders in the Bible.

Now it came about at the lodging place on the way that the LORD met him and sought to put him to death.(NASB) Exodus 4:24

The two verses after Exodus 4:24 help us understand what occurred.

Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and threw it at Moses’ feet, and she said, “You are indeed a bridegroom of blood to me.” So He let him alone. At that time she said, “You are a bridegroom of blood” — because of the circumcision. (NASB) Exod 4:25-26

These two verses indicate that God wanted Moses to circumcise his son. Circumcision was a sign of the covenant or agreement that God made with Abraham according to Genesis 17:10-23. Moses apparently had not circumcised his son. Since Moses was going to be God’s leader to Israel and since he was a Jew, Moses should have circumcised his son. It appears that Moses had refused to comply. God had made an agreement with Abraham and all of his descendants that their male offspring should be circumcised. God appears to have been angry with Moses for his lack of obedience.


This might appear to be an overreaction by God. If so, that only reveals our great insensitivity to sin and our complete lack of understanding of God’s ultimate holiness. He is magnificently holy or without sin. In contrast, we are horrible sinners. The chasm between us and God cannot be any greater than that. When Jesus Christ died on the cross and returned to life, He enabled you and me to have our sins forgiven. When a person believes and depends upon God for the forgiveness of his or her sins, he or she is declared to be positionally holy. That is, while we are not holy in our conduct in this life, God considers us to be holy for the purpose of granting us eternal life.  Praise the Lord.

Suggested Links:

Searching For God
What is the correct understanding of the circumcision of Abraham in Romans?