The 2001 Translation CommentariesCircumcision

This scriptural commentary is not an official view of the 2001 Translation project. We are not a religion and we do not establish doctrine; these commentaries reflect a variety of views and some disagree with each other. Anyone can submit a commentary for inclusion (see requirements).

It appears as though God has provided a secret sign that is known only to God and a person’s mate, to indicate a person’s desire to be righteous…
The foreskin of the genitalia.
On males this is the extra fold of skin around the top of the penis, and on females it is the small piece of skin called the hymen. So, whether this skin remains unbroken or is removed is something that is quite secret and unseen by others, but known by God and one’s mate.

It seems unusual that both of these small pieces of skin appear to have been made to be broken or cut off without creating any long-term injury;
And in the case of the hymen, is exclusive to human females (not other animals).
So, it appears as though mankind was deliberately created with these extra pieces of skin, in order that those who wish to remain faithful before God and to their mates can choose to indicate this in a very private way.

We first learned of the meaning of and the need for males to be circumcised, when God told Abram (later, AbraHam) that he, all the males in his household, and all his male descendants should have their foreskin removed.
Note what He said, as found at Genesis 17:10-12:

‘This is the Sacred Agreement between you and your seed through all its generations, and Me:
All of your males must be circumcised.
The foreskin of your flesh must be circumcised.
This will be the sign of the Sacred Agreement between you and Me.
You must circumcise all of your male children when they are eight-days old, throughout all your generations. [This includes all the] servants that are born in your house, those that are bought with money, and the sons of aliens that are not your seed.’

It is particularly interesting that new-born males were to be circumcised on the eighth day after their birth, because that is precisely the best time to perform this delicate operation, since this is when the least bleeding will occur.
Who would have known this other than God?

It was later on, after the death of Jesus and when many gentile converts were coming into the Christian Congregation that a question about the need for circumcision arose concerning them. For, circumcised Jewish Christians were demanding that uncircumcised gentile converts also be circumcised.
And when the matter was brought before ‘the Holy Ones’ in JeruSalem;
Their decision was that physical circumcision was just a sign that God required of the descendants of AbraHam.
So they decreed (as found at Acts 15:28, 29):
‘It’s apparent to the Holy Breath [of God] and to us that we shouldn’t put any burdens on you other than these necessary things: Stay away from things that are sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things that are strangled, and from sexual immorality.
If you stay away from these things, you will do well.
Good health to you!’

In other words, physical circumcision was no longer required of Christians.

But on the other hand;
Notice what Moses wrote (as recorded at Deuteronomy 10:16, 17):
‘So, circumcise the hardness from your hearts and don’t be [rebellious], for Jehovah your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords.’

As you can see;
There is both a physical circumcision and a spiritual circumcision, and both amount to a removing of the sign of impurity (for males).

Females of course, were not to be circumcised, because their foreskin is a sign of their virginity. And though modern people may call the cruel practice of surgically removing the clitoris (as is practiced by many peoples on the African continent today) ‘female circumcision;’
That is just mutilation, not a removal of the foreskin.

What is the purpose of establishing virginity among women?
God’s view is that a man has the right to choose a woman of high moral character who is clean and untouched. And for this, God provided the sign of the foreskin, which bleeds when first broken in sexual relations.

So in ancient IsraEl (and among other descendants of AbraHam), the custom was to provide the blanket or rug on which the marriage had been consummated to the parents of the bride as proof that their daughter was indeed a virgin.
For we read at Deuteronomy 32:13-15:

‘If any man should take a wife whom he comes to dislike after he has lived with her, then he starts saying bad things about her and calling her bad names, saying,
When I took this woman and had sex with her, she didn’t prove to be a virgin;
Her father and mother must bring the girl’s proof of virginity (the blanket or rug) to the elders at the city gate.’

And in the same way that a person can choose to be circumcised in the heart, people can also choose to be spiritual virgins.
For at Revelation 14:4, we find this said about some individuals:
‘These didn’t dirty themselves with women.
In fact, they are virgins who keep following the Lamb no matter where he goes.
They were bought from mankind [and offered] as the first fruitage to God and to the Lamb.’

What type of virginity is being spoken of there?
This scripture clearly isn’t talking about living the life of a monk or a nun, but of someone that has kept him/herself pure in his or her worship of God. The opposite of this would be those whom the Disciple James spoke of at James 4:4, where he said:

Adulteresses, don’t you know that if you’re a friend of the world, you’re an enemy of God?
So, whoever wants to be a friend of the world is putting himself down as God’s enemy.’

For a graphic view of what God views as being a spiritual whore;
Read His description of the unfaithfulness of Judah and IsraEl, where He used the pseudonyms ‘Her Tent’ (Aholah) and ‘Her Tent is Within her’ (AholiBah) to describe these unfaithful people in the Twenty-Third Chapter of EzekiEl.

In contrast;
Notice that the account of the Bride of the Lamb (spoken of at Revelation 19:7, 8) tells us:

‘Let’s rejoice, shout in joy, and glorify Him, because it’s time for the Lamb’s wedding! His bride has prepared herself and she was found worthy to be dressed in bright, clean, fine linen.
This fine linen represents the righteous actions of the Holy Ones.’

Of course, according to the Law of God;
This bride of Jesus (the Lamb) had to be a virgin, because of his heavenly position as the High Priest before God. For notice what God required of the brides of the entire Priesthood class of IsraEl (Leviticus 21:13-15):
He may only take a wife that is a virgin and from his own tribe
Not a widow, a divorcee, someone that has been violated, or a prostitute.
He may only take a virgin from his own people as a wife;
For he must not profane his seed among his people.
I am Jehovah who makes him holy.’