Jump to: Smith's • ATS • ISBE • Easton's • Webster's • Concordance • Thesaurus • Greek • Hebrew • Library • Subtopics • Terms
International Standard Bible EncyclopediaCIRCUMCISION
sur-kum-sizh'-un (mul, muloth; peritome): The removal of the foreskin is a custom that has prevailed, and prevails, among many races in different parts of the world-in America, Africa and Australia. It was in vogue among the western Semites-Hebrews, Arabians, Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Egyptians, but was unknown among the Semites of the Euphrates. In Canaan the Philistines were an exception, for the term "uncircumcised" is constantly used in connection with them. Generally speaking, the rite of circumcision was a precondition of the enjoyment of certain political and religious privileges (Exodus 12:48 Ezekiel 44:9); and in view of the fact that in the ancient world religion played such an important role in life, it may be assumed that circumcision, like many other strange customs whose original significance is no longer known, originated in connection with religion. Before enumerating the different theories which have been advanced with regard to the origin and original significance of circumcision, it may be of advantage to consider some of the principal references to the rite in the Old Testament.
Greek4061. peritome -- circumcision
... circumcision. Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: peritome Phonetic
Spelling: (per-it-om-ay') Short Definition: circumcision Definition: circumcision ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/4061.htm - 7k
203. akrobustia -- the prepuce, foreskin, hence uncircumcision
4059. peritemno -- to cut around, circumcise
2487. ichnos -- a track
1986. epispaomai -- to draw over, to become as uncircumcised
2699. katatome -- concision, mutilation
Strong's Hebrew4139. mulah -- circumcision
... 4138, 4139. mulah. 4140 . circumcision. Transliteration: mulah Phonetic
Spelling: (moo-law') Short Definition: circumcision. Word ...
/hebrew/4139.htm - 6k
1118. Bimhal -- perhaps "son of circumcision," a descendant of ...
Whether Circumcision was a Preparation For, and a Figure of ...
Of the Circumcision of Christ.
Whether the Rite of Circumcision was Fitting?
Concerning the Circumcision.
The Circumcision of Jesus
Whether Circumcision was Instituted in a Fitting Manner?
Of Circumcision (Four Articles)
Whether Circumcision Bestowed Sanctifying Grace?
Smith's Bible DictionaryCircumcision
was peculiarly, though not exclusively, a Jewish rite. It was enjoined upon Abraham, the father of the nation, by God, at the institution and as the token of the covenant, which assured to him and his descendants the promise of the Messiah. Gen. 17. It was thus made a necessary condition of Jewish nationality. Every male child was to be circumcised when eight days old, (Leviticus 12:3) on pain of death. The biblical notice of the rite describes it as distinctively Jewish; so that in the New Testament "the circumcision" and "the uncircumcision" are frequently used as synonyms for the Jews and the Gentiles. The rite has been found to prevail extensively in both ancient and modern times. Though Mohammed did not enjoin circumcision in the Koran, he was circumcised himself, according to the custom of his country; and circumcision is now as common among the Mohammedans as among the Jews. The process of restoring a circumcised person to his natural condition by a surgical operation was sometimes undergone. Some of the Jews in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, wishing to assimilate themselves to the heathen around them, "made themselves uncircumcised." Against having recourse to this practice, from an excessive anti-Judaistic tendency, St. Paul cautions the Corinthians. (1 Corinthians 7:18)
ATS Bible DictionaryCircumcision
A cutting around, because in this rite the foreskin was cut away. God commanded Abraham to use circumcision, as a sign of his covenant; and in obedience to this order, the patriarch, at ninety-nine years of age, was circumcised, as also his son Ishmael, and all the male of his household, Genesis 17:10-12. God repeated the precept to Moses, and ordered that all who intended to partake of the paschal sacrifice should receive circumcision; and that this rite should be performed on children on the eighth day after their birth, Exodus 12:44 Le 12:3 Joh 7:22. The Jews have always been very exact in observing this ceremony, and it appears that they did not neglect it when in Egypt, Joshua 5:1-9.
All the other nations sprung from Abraham besides the Hebrews, as the Ishmaelites, the Arabians, etc., also retained the practice of circumcision. At the present day it is an essential rite of the Mohammedan religion, and though not enjoined in the Koran, prevails wherever this religion is found. It is also practiced in some form among the Abyssinians, and various tribes of South Africa, as it was by the ancient Egyptians. But there is no proof that it was practiced upon infants, or became a general, national, or religious custom, before God enjoined it upon Abraham.
The Jews esteemed uncircumcision as a very great impurity; and the greatest offence they could receive was to be called "uncircumcised." Paul frequently mentions the Gentiles under this term, not opprobriously, Ro 2...26, in opposition to the Jews, whom he names "the circumcision," etc.
Disputes as to the observances of this rite by the converts from heathenism to Christianity occasioned much trouble in the early church, Acts 15:1-41; and it was long before it was well understood that "in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature," Galatians 5:2,3:6:15.
The true circumcision is that of the heart; and those are "uncircumcised in heart and ears," who will not obey the law of God nor embrace the gospel of Christ.
Easton's Bible DictionaryCutting around. This rite, practised before, as some think, by divers races, was appointed by God to be the special badge of his chosen people, an abiding sign of their consecration to him. It was established as a national ordinance (Genesis 17:10, 11). In compliance with the divine command, Abraham, though ninety-nine years of age, was circumcised on the same day with Ishmael, who was thirteen years old (17:24-27). Slaves, whether home-born or purchased, were circumcised (17:12, 13); and all foreigners must have their males circumcised before they could enjoy the privileges of Jewish citizenship (Exodus 12:48). During the journey through the wilderness, the practice of circumcision fell into disuse, but was resumed by the command of Joshua before they entered the Promised Land (Joshua 5:2-9). It was observed always afterwards among the tribes of israel, although it is not expressly mentioned from the time of the settlement in Canaan till the time of Christ, about 1,450 years. The Jews prided themselves in the possession of this covenant distinction (Judges 14:3; 15:18; 1 Samuel 14:6; 17:26; 2 Samuel 1:20; Ezek. 31:18).
As a rite of the church it ceased when the New Testament times began (Galatians 6:15; Colossians 3:11). Some Jewish Christians sought to impose it, however, on the Gentile converts; but this the apostles resolutely resisted (Acts 15:1; Galatians 6:12). Our Lord was circumcised, for it "became him to fulfil all righteousness," as of the seed of Abraham, according to the flesh; and Paul "took and circumcised" Timothy (Acts 16:3), to avoid giving offence to the Jews. It would render Timothy's labours more acceptable to the Jews. But Paul would by no means consent to the demand that Titus should be circumcised (Galatians 2:3-5). The great point for which he contended was the free admission of uncircumcised Gentiles into the church. He contended successfully in behalf of Titus, even in Jerusalem.
In the Old Testament a spiritual idea is attached to circumcision. It was the symbol of purity (Isaiah 52:1). We read of uncircumcised lips (Exodus 6:12, 30), ears (Jeremiah 6:10), hearts (Leviticus 26:41). The fruit of a tree that is unclean is spoken of as uncircumcised (Leviticus 19:23).
It was a sign and seal of the covenant of grace as well as of the national covenant between God and the Hebrews.
(1.) It sealed the promises made to Abraham, which related to the commonwealth of Israel, national promises.
(2.) But the promises made to Abraham included the promise of redemption (Galatians 3:14), a promise which has come upon us. The covenant with Abraham was a dispensation or a specific form of the covenant of grace, and circumcision was a sign and seal of that covenant. It had a spiritual meaning. It signified purification of the heart, inward circumcision effected by the Spirit (Deuteronomy 10:16; 30:6; Ezek. 44:7; Acts 7:51; Romans 2:28; Colossians 2:11). Circumcision as a symbol shadowing forth sanctification by the Holy Spirit has now given way to the symbol of baptism (q.v.). But the truth embodied in both ordinances is ever the same, the removal of sin, the sanctifying effects of grace in the heart.
Under the Jewish dispensation, church and state were identical. No one could be a member of the one without also being a member of the other. Circumcision was a sign and seal of membership in both. Every circumcised person bore thereby evidence that he was one of the chosen people, a member of the church of God as it then existed, and consequently also a member of the Jewish commonwealth.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary1. (n.) The act of cutting off the prepuce or foreskin of males, or the internal labia of females.
2. (n.) The Jews, as a circumcised people.
ThesaurusCircumcision (98 Occurrences)
... During the journey through the wilderness, the practice of circumcision fell into
disuse, but was resumed by the command of Joshua before they entered the ...
/c/circumcision.htm - 53k
Uncircumcision (19 Occurrences)
Underwent (22 Occurrences)
Foreskin (12 Occurrences)
Uncircumcised (48 Occurrences)
Circumcised (58 Occurrences)
Concision (1 Occurrence)
Reckoned (98 Occurrences)
Credited (19 Occurrences)
Value (138 Occurrences)
Bible ConcordanceCircumcision (98 Occurrences)
Luke 1:59 And on the eighth day they came to see to the circumcision of the child, and they would have given him the name of Zacharias, his father's name;
Luke 2:21 When eight days were fulfilled for the circumcision of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
John 7:22 Moses has given you circumcision (not that it is of Moses, but of the fathers), and on the Sabbath you circumcise a boy.
John 7:23 If a boy receives circumcision on the Sabbath, that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me, because I made a man completely healthy on the Sabbath?
Acts 7:8 He gave him the covenant of circumcision. So Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day. Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs.
Acts 10:45 They of the circumcision who believed were amazed, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was also poured out on the Gentiles.
Acts 11:2 When Peter had come up to Jerusalem, those who were of the circumcision contended with him,
Acts 11:3 Saying, You went to men without circumcision, and took food with them.
Acts 15:1 Now certain men came down from Judaea, teaching the brothers and saying that without circumcision, after the rule of Moses, there is no salvation.
Acts 15:5 But some of the Pharisees, who were of the faith, got up and said, It is necessary for these to have circumcision and to keep the law of Moses.
Acts 16:3 Paul had a desire for him to go with him, and he gave him circumcision because of the Jews who were in those parts: for they all had knowledge that his father was a Greek.
Acts 21:21 And they have had news of you, how you have been teaching all the Jews among the Gentiles to give up the law of Moses, and not to give circumcision to their children, and not to keep the old rules.
Romans 2:25 For circumcision indeed profits, if you are a doer of the law, but if you are a transgressor of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.
Romans 2:26 If therefore the uncircumcised keep the ordinances of the law, won't his uncircumcision be accounted as circumcision?
Romans 2:27 Won't the uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfills the law, judge you, who with the letter and circumcision are a transgressor of the law?
Romans 2:28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh;
Romans 2:29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter; whose praise is not from men, but from God.
Romans 3:1 Then what advantage does the Jew have? Or what is the profit of circumcision?
Romans 3:30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
Romans 4:9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.
Romans 4:10 How then was it counted? When he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
Romans 4:11 He received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while he was in uncircumcision, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they be in uncircumcision, that righteousness might also be accounted to them.
Romans 4:12 The father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had in uncircumcision.
Romans 15:8 Now I say that Christ has been made a servant of the circumcision for the truth of God, that he might confirm the promises given to the fathers,
1 Corinthians 7:18 Was anyone called having been circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Has anyone been called in uncircumcision? Let him not be circumcised.
1 Corinthians 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
Galatians 2:3 But not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was made to undergo circumcision:
Galatians 2:7 but to the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the Good News for the uncircumcision, even as Peter with the Good News for the circumcision
Galatians 2:8 (for he who appointed Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision appointed me also to the Gentiles);
Galatians 2:9 and when they perceived the grace that was given to me, James and Cephas and John, they who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcision.
Galatians 2:12 For before some people came from James, he ate with the Gentiles. But when they came, he drew back and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision.
Galatians 5:2 Behold, I, Paul, tell you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will profit you nothing.
Galatians 5:3 Yes, I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
Galatians 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision amounts to anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith working through love.
Galatians 5:11 But I, brothers, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? Then the stumbling block of the cross has been removed.
Galatians 5:12 I would that they that unsettle you would even go beyond circumcision.
Galatians 6:12 All who desire to display their zeal for external observances try to compel you to receive circumcision, but their real object is simply to escape being persecuted for the Cross of Christ.
Galatians 6:13 For even they who receive circumcision don't keep the law themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised, that they may boast in your flesh.
Galatians 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.
Ephesians 2:11 Therefore remember that once you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called "uncircumcision" by that which is called "circumcision," (in the flesh, made by hands);
Philippians 3:2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision.
Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh;
Philippians 3:5 Being given circumcision on the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in relation to the law, a Pharisee:
Colossians 2:11 in whom you were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ;
Colossians 3:11 where there can't be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondservant, freeman; but Christ is all, and in all.
Colossians 4:11 and Jesus who is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These are my only fellow workers for the Kingdom of God, men who have been a comfort to me.
Titus 1:10 For there are also many unruly men, vain talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision,
Genesis 17:10 And this is the agreement which you are to keep with me, you and your seed after you: every male among you is to undergo circumcision.
Genesis 17:11 And ye shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of a covenant betwixt Me and you.
Genesis 17:12 Every male among you, from one generation to another, is to undergo circumcision when he is eight days old, with every servant whose birth takes place in your house, or for whom you gave money to someone of another country, and not of your seed.
Genesis 17:13 He who comes to birth in your house and he who is made yours for a price, all are to undergo circumcision; so that my agreement may be marked in your flesh, an agreement for all time.
Genesis 17:14 And any male who does not undergo circumcision will be cut off from his people: my agreement has been broken by him.
Genesis 17:23 And Abraham took Ishmael, his son, and all whose birth had taken place in his house, and all his servants whom he had made his for a price, every male of his house, and on that very day he gave them circumcision in the flesh of their private parts as God had said to him.
Genesis 17:24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he underwent circumcision.
Genesis 17:25 And Ishmael, his son, was thirteen years old when he underwent circumcision.
Genesis 17:26 Abraham and Ishmael, his son, underwent circumcision on that very day.
Genesis 17:27 And all the men of his house, those whose birth had taken place in the house and those whom he had got for money from men of other lands, underwent circumcision with him.
Genesis 21:4 And when his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham made him undergo circumcision, as God had said to him.
Genesis 34:14 And they said, It is not possible for us to give our sister to one who is without circumcision, for that would be a cause of shame to us:
Genesis 34:15 But on this condition only will we come to an agreement with you: if every male among you becomes like us and undergoes circumcision;
Genesis 34:17 But if you will not undergo circumcision as we say, then we will take our daughter and go.
Genesis 34:22 But these men will make an agreement with us to go on living with us and to become one people, only on the condition that every male among us undergoes circumcision as they have done.
Genesis 34:24 Then all the men of the town gave ear to the words of Hamor and Shechem his son; and every male in the town underwent circumcision.
Exodus 4:26 So he let him alone. Then she said, "You are a bridegroom of blood," because of the circumcision.
Exodus 12:44 But every man's servant, whom he has got for money, may take of it, when he has had circumcision.
Exodus 12:48 And if a man from another country is living with you, and has a desire to keep the Passover to the Lord, let all the males of his family undergo circumcision, and then let him come near and keep it; for he will then be as one of your people; but no one without circumcision may keep it.
Leviticus 12:3 And on the eighth day let him be given circumcision.
Leviticus 19:23 And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as their uncircumcision: three years shall they be as uncircumcised unto you; it shall not be eaten.
Deuteronomy 10:16 Let your circumcision be of the heart, and put away your pride.
Deuteronomy 30:6 And the Lord your God will give to you and to your seed a circumcision of the heart, so that, loving him with all your heart and all your soul, you may have life.
Joshua 5:2 At that time the Lord said to Joshua, Make yourself stone knives and give the children of Israel circumcision a second time.
Joshua 5:3 So Joshua made stone knives and gave the children of Israel circumcision at Gibeath-ha-araloth.
Joshua 5:5 All the people who came out had undergone circumcision; but all the people whose birth had taken place in the waste land on their journey from Egypt had not.
Joshua 5:7 And their children, who came up in their place, now underwent circumcision by the hands of Joshua, not having had it before: for there had been no circumcision on the journey.
Joshua 5:8 So when all the nation had undergone circumcision, they kept in their tents till they were well again.
Judges 14:3 Then his father and mother said to him, Is there no woman among the daughters of your relations or among all my people, that you have to go for your wife to the Philistines, who are without circumcision? But Samson said to his father, Get her for me, for she is pleasing to me.
Judges 15:18 After this, he was in great need of water, and crying out to the Lord, he said, You have given this great salvation by the hand of your servant, and now need of water will be my death; and I will be given into the hands of this people who are without circumcision.
1 Samuel 14:6 And Jonathan said to his young servant who had his arms, Come, let us go over to the armies of these men who have no circumcision: it may be that the Lord will give us help, for there is no limit to his power; the Lord is able to give salvation by a great army or by a small band.
1 Samuel 17:26 And David said to the men near him, What will be done to the man who overcomes this Philistine and takes away the shame from Israel? for who is this Philistine, a man without circumcision, that he has put shame on the armies of the living God?
1 Samuel 17:36 Your servant has overcome lion and bear: and the fate of this Philistine, who is without circumcision, will be like theirs, seeing that he has put shame on the armies of the living God.
1 Samuel 31:4 Then Saul said to the servant who had the care of his arms, Take out your sword and put it through me, before these men without circumcision come and make sport of me. But his servant, full of fear, would not do so. Then Saul took out his sword, and falling on it, put an end to himself.
2 Samuel 1:20 Give no news of it in Gath, let it not be said in the streets of Ashkelon; or the daughters of the Philistines will be glad, the daughters of men without circumcision will be uplifted in joy.
1 Chronicles 10:4 Then Saul said to the servant who had the care of his arms, Take your sword and put it through me, before these men without circumcision come and make sport of me. But his servant, full of fear, would not do so. Then Saul took out his sword, falling on it himself.
Isaiah 52:1 Awake! awake! put on your strength, O Zion; put on your beautiful robes, O Jerusalem, the holy town: for from now there will never again come into you the unclean and those without circumcision.
Jeremiah 4:4 Undergo a circumcision of the heart, you men of Judah and people of Jerusalem: or my wrath may come out like fire, burning so that no one is able to put it out, because of the evil of your doings.
Jeremiah 9:25 Behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that I will punish all those who are circumcised in their uncircumcision:
Jeremiah 9:26 On Egypt and on Judah and on Edom and on the children of Ammon and on Moab and on all who have the ends of their hair cut, who are living in the waste land: for all these nations and all the people of Israel are without circumcision in their hearts.
Ezekiel 28:10 Your death will be the death of those who are without circumcision, by the hands of men from strange lands: for I have said it, says the Lord.
Ezekiel 31:18 Whom then are you like? for you will be sent down with the trees of Eden into the lowest parts of the earth: there you will be stretched out among those without circumcision, with those who were put to the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his people, says the Lord.
Ezekiel 32:19 Are you more beautiful than any? go down, and take your rest among those without circumcision,
Ezekiel 32:21 The strong among the great ones will say to him from the underworld, Are you more beautiful than any? go down, you and your helpers, and take your rest among those without circumcision, and those who have been put to the sword.
Ezekiel 32:25 They have made a bed for her among the dead, and all her people are round about her resting-place: all of them without circumcision, put to death with the sword; for they were a cause of fear in the land of the living, and are put to shame with those who go down to the underworld: they have been given a place among those who have been put to the sword.
Ezekiel 32:26 There is Meshech, Tubal, and all her people, round about her last resting-place: all of them without circumcision, put to death by the sword; for they were a cause of fear in the land of the living.
Ezekiel 32:28 But you will have your bed among those without circumcision, and will be put to rest with those who have been put to death with the sword.
Ezekiel 32:29 There is Edom, her kings and all her princes, who have been given a resting-place with those who were put to the sword: they will be resting among those without circumcision, even with those who go down to the underworld.
Ezekiel 32:32 For he put his fear in the land of the living: and he will be put to rest among those without circumcision, with those who have been put to death with the sword, even Pharaoh and all his people, says the Lord.
Ezekiel 44:7 To have let men from strange lands, without circumcision of heart or flesh, come into my holy place, making my house unclean; and to have made the offering of my food, even the fat and the blood; and in addition to all your disgusting ways, you have let my agreement be broken.
Ezekiel 44:9 For this cause the Lord has said, No man from a strange land, without circumcision of heart and flesh, of all those who are living among the children of Israel, is to come into my holy place.
LinksBible Concordance • Bible Dictionary • Bible Encyclopedia • Topical Bible • Bible Thesuarus