Exodus 4:24

Hebrew Bible

22 You must say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the Lord has said, “Israel is my son, my firstborn, 23 and I said to you, ‘Let my son go that he may serve me,’ but since you have refused to let him go, I will surely kill your son, your firstborn!”’” 24 Now on the way, at a place where they stopped for the night, the Lord met Moses and sought to kill him. 25 But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off the foreskin of her son and touched it to Moses’ feet, and said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me.” 26 So the Lord let him alone. (At that time she said, “A bridegroom of blood,” referring to the circumcision.)

Jubilees 48:2


1 And in the sixth year of the third week of the forty-ninth jubilee thou didst depart and dwell in [2372 A.M.] the land of Midian, five weeks and one year. And thou didst return into Egypt in the second week in the second year in the fiftieth jubilee. 2 And thou thyself knowest what He spake unto thee on [2410 A.M.] Mount Sinai, and what prince Mastêmâ desired to do with thee when thou wast returning into Egypt on the way when thou didst meet him at the lodging-place. 3 Did he not with all his power seek to slay thee and deliver the Egyptians out of thy hand when he saw that thou wast sent to execute judgment and vengeance on the Egyptians? 4 And I delivered thee out of his hand, and thou didst perform the signs and wonders which thou wast sent to perform in Egypt against Pharaoh, and against all his house, and against his servants and his people.

 Notes and References

"... A strange incident occurs on the way to Egypt (verses 24–25). The angel of the Lord meets Moses and threatens to kill him (verse 24). Sepphōra intercedes by circumcising her son (verse 25), somehow averting her husband’s death. Biblical studies designates this among the more enigmatic pericopae in the Hebrew Bible. It is not even mentioned by Philo or Josephus, and takes on new meaning in LXX Exodus .. The subject is the ἄγγελος Κυρίου, “angel of the Lord.” This reading is affirmed by the Targums, Targum Neofiti I (Targum Pseudo-Jonathan has “destroying angel”; compare Jubilees 48:2 where it is Mastemah), though the Masoretic text reads יְהוָה and makes no mention of an “angel” ..."

Gurtner, Daniel M. Exodus: A Commentary on the Greek Text of Codex Vaticanus (pp. 230-231) Brill, 2013

"... a more modest version of this theory is that the changing nature of God in Judaism may have prompted the transference to other heavenly beings of certain actions and attributes now deemed unbecoming of the deity. Efraim Urbach notes several examples in which angels are employed to avoid anthropomorphism in describing God. In addition, angels replace God in various retellings of biblical stories: Satan replaces God in the Chronicler’s retelling of the story of David’s census (1 Chronicles 21:1; compare 2 Samuel 24:1); Mastema replaces God in the account of the binding of Isaac (Jubilees 17:15–18:19; compare Genesis 22) and again in the story of God’s attempt to kill Moses (Jubilees 48:2; compare Exodus 4:24) ..."

Galbraith, Deane "The Origin of Archangels: Idealogical Mystification of Nobility" in Myles, Robert J. (ed.) Class Struggle in the New Testament (pp. 209-240) Fortress Academic, 2019

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