Galatians 2 (Part 1)

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Categories Apostolic Writings, Galatians, Media | Tags: | Posted on November 14, 2007

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  1. by Carisa Downing

    On March 14, 2015

    I was listening to Galatins 2 part 1 & at 24:40-25:00 the teacher states no where in Torah does it tell us specifically what is to be circumcised. When I read Genesis 17, it seems to me very specific. What am I mis-understanding? Thank you, Shalom!

  2. by L. Grant Luton

    On March 15, 2015

    Carisa, Thank you for your question; it is an excellent one and one that is often asked about my teaching on circumcision.

    The Hebrew word that our translators normally translate as ‘foreskin’ is the word orlah. I, too, had always assumed that orlah meant ‘foreskin’ until I read R’ Moshe ben Nachman’s (1194-1270) commentary on Genesis (Artscroll, p.386) where the editors introduce his comments in the following way: “The Torah does not define what part of the body is to be circumcised. How is it known that it is the foreskin? Ramban [i.e. R’ Nachman] begins his discussion of this matter…” And then what follows is a discussion and explanation of how the word orlah does not, in fact, translate literally as ‘foreskin’, but rather means either ‘that which blocks’ or is ‘superfluous’. There are five things the Tanach describes as having orlah and thus in need of circumcision: the male body, the heart (Deut.10:16), the lips (Exodus 6:12), the ears (Jeremiah 6:10), and fruit trees (Lev.19:23). Each of these five things is a channel for seed, and yet each is described as having orlah that needs to be cut away. Therefore, to simply state that the word orlah means ‘foreskin’ is to greatly oversimplify and to miss the purer meaning of what the Scriptures are teaching, and that is there is always blockage to the path seed must take and God requires of us that we cut the blockage away wherever it is found.

    I hope this helps explain!

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