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Bible Dictionaries

The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary

Circumcision

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There is somewhat particularly interesting in this Jewish rite. And as the appointment is from God, it demands suitable attention for the proper apprehension of it. It evidently appears, from the first moment of its institution, that the ordination was with an eye to Christ, for the covenant of redemption by Jesus had this token or seal, and it is expressly said, "that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promise made unto the fathers." (Romans 15:8) And by the ceasing of this Jewish rite, and the institution of Baptism to supersede it, it should seem, that it was understood by Christ's submitting to this act, he thereby became debtor to the whole law, and fulfilled it: and hence, all his redeemed not only are freed from it, but, in fact, they are prohibited the observance. Paul the apostle was so earnest on this point, that he declared to the Galatian church that an attention to circumcision virtually denied the covenant. "Behold, I Paul (said he) say unto you, that if ye be circumcised Christ shall profit you nothing." (Galatians 5:2) And the reason seems to have been this: The seed of Abraham, by the act of circumcision, declared that they were looking for and waiting to the coming of the promised Seed, in whom all the families of the faithful were to be blessed. To be circumcised, therefore, after Christ was come, was in effect denying that Christ Was come, and by that act saying, We are looking for his coming. Hence, all the faithful posterity of Abraham were so tenacious of observing the rite of circumcision before Christ came, and so determined not to observe it after. And also, this other cause renders circumcision improper. The person circumcised, by that act, declared himself under obligations to fulfil the whole law. And hence Christ submitted to it with this view. But his redeemed are justified in Him, and therefore, to undergo circumcision would imply a defect in this justification. "I testify (said Paul,) again, to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law." (Galatians 5:3) This, then, is the proper apprehension concerning the rite of circumcision.


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Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Circumcision'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/pmd/c/circumcision.html. London. 1828.

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