Religious information about circumcision


Peace Crusader and Echo


Why did God command Abraham and all his male descendants be circumcised?

Circumcision must be good because the commandment came from God. But is it really good? Has there been any reported deaths due to circumcision? Every Jewish male baby on his eighth day should be circumcised. Why on the eighth day? Should all males be circumcised? Why did God not command Jewish females be circumcised as well?

All quotations herein are from the Holy Bible, King James Version, unless otherwise stated.

The commandment regarding circumcision of Abraham and his male descendants is stated in Genesis 17:9-12, to wit:
9 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.
10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.
11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.
12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.

From Webster Third New International Dictionary, here are the definition of the verb circumcise and the noun circumcision.

Circumcise – 1 a: to cut off the prepuce of (a male) or the clitoris of (a female); b : to cut around, off, or away – now used only in medicine; 2 : to purify spiritually (Deuteronomy 10:16 – “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.”)

Circumcision – the cutting off of the prepuce of males being practiced as a religious rite by Jews and Muslims and as a sanitary measure in modern surgery.

Prepuce is foreskin. So in circumcision, the foreskin is cut around (Latin circum), off, or away exposing the glans penis.

Not only was Abraham circumcised (Genesis 17:24) but also Ishmael (Genesis 17:25), Isaac (Genesis 21:4), John the Baptist (Luke 1:59) and Jesus (Luke 2:21). Abram became Abraham (Genesis 17:4). Females are not required to undergo circumcision; only the male child on his eighth day. Sarai became Sarah (Genesis 17:15).

Circumcision is required for the Jews and Muslims because it is a token of the covenant between God and Abraham’s descendants.  But to Christians, it is optional as stated in 1 Corinthians 7:19, to wit: “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.”

Circumcision has been replaced by baptism, the naming of a child in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).  Jesus said in John 3:5, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Jesus gave the example when He was baptized by John the Baptist at the Jordan River (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22).
Please read for other information about circumcision.


File:  005-circumcision.htm     URL:
First uploaded:  2009-09-06     Last updated:  2009-09-06     Rev. No. 0

Copyright © 2009 Aristeo Canlas Fernando
All rights reserved.


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