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circumcision

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circumcision


  3  definitions  found 
 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
 
  Circumcision  \Cir`cum*cision\,  n.  [L.  circumcisio.] 
  1.  The  act  of  cutting  off  the  prepuce  or  foreskin  of  males, 
  or  the  internal  labia  of  females. 
 
  Note:  The  circumcision  of  males  is  practiced  as  a  religious 
  rite  by  the  Jews,  Mohammedans,  etc 
 
  2.  (Script.) 
  a  The  Jews,  as  a  circumcised  people. 
  b  Rejection  of  the  sins  of  the  flesh;  spiritual 
  purification,  and  acceptance  of  the  Christian  faith. 
 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
 
  circumcision 
  n  1:  a  Jewish  and  Muslim  religious  rite  performed  on  a  male  8 
  days  after  birth; 
  2:  surgical  removal  of  the  foreskin  of  males 
 
  From  Easton's  1897  Bible  Dictionary  [easton]: 
 
  Circumcision 
  cutting  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  (Gen.  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  (Ex.  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  (Josh.  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  (Judg. 
  14:3;  15:18;  1  Sam.  14:6;  17:26;  2  Sam.  1:20;  Ezek.  31:18). 
 
  As  a  rite  of  the  church  it  ceased  when  the  New  Testament  times 
  began  (Gal.  6:15;  Col.  3:11).  Some  Jewish  Christians  sought  to 
  impose  it  however,  on  the  Gentile  converts;  but  this  the 
  apostles  resolutely  resisted  (Acts  15:1;  Gal.  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  (Gal. 
  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  (Isa.  52:1).  We  read 
  of  uncircumcised  lips  (Ex.  6:12,  30),  ears  (Jer.  6:10),  hearts 
  (Lev.  26:41).  The  fruit  of  a  tree  that  is  unclean  is  spoken  of 
  as  uncircumcised  (Lev.  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  (Gal.  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  (Deut.  10:16;  30:6; 
  Ezek.  44:7;  Acts  7:51;  Rom.  2:28;  Col.  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. 
 




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