Circumcision of the Heart

Updated: Sep 4, 2019

As we consider the next sign given by the prophet Jeremiah (4:4), we observe that it is very much a reinforcement of the previous one discussed in the previous article in this series (Break Up Your Fallow Ground– February 2019 Advocate). The figure of Yahweh’s exhortation to the men of Judah and Jerusalem in Jeremiah 4:4 changes from one related to agriculture in verse 3, to that of the ordinance of circumcision; but the substance of the rebuke and warning from the LORD is the same, or at least very similar: Circumcise yourselves to the Lord; remove the foreskin of your hearts, O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem; lest my wrath go forth like fire, and burn with none to quench it, because of the evil of your deeds (4:4 ESV).

The admonition given through the prophet Jeremiah carries over from verse 1, in which the LORD pleaded with the Israelites to return to Him and remove their abominations out of His sight. Earlier in the book of Jeremiah these abominations are identified as false gods (2:28). As well, Jeremiah 3:6 refers to the days of King Josiah when he was having the temple repaired and the Book of the Law was found. Josiah rent his clothes when he heard Shaphan read the previously neglected Book of the Law, and acknowledged that the Israelites had forsaken God and burned incense to other gods (2 Kings 22:16-17).

Origin of Physical Circumcision

Physical circumcision was originally instituted by God f