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Genesis 17:11

And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskins; and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you.
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Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
I know that this part of the text is disturbing to many. Indeed, if circumcision is a good thing, it should be maintained today as well. If it is useless, it never should have been mandated in the first place, particularly not by divine precept. But, inasmuch as the apostle said, “Abraham received the sign of circumcision,” certainly the sign is not the reality itself but points to another reality. That is, it is not the truth but points to the truth. In fact, Paul expounds this teaching in the following terms: “He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of justice and of faith.” For this reason it is not inappropriate for us to understand that bodily circumcision is a sign of spiritual circumcision. Therefore the sign remained until the truth arrived. The Lord Jesus arrived, he who says, “I am the way and the truth and the life,” because he circumcises the whole person in truth, not a minor bodily member in sign. He abolished the sign; he installed the truth, because once that whi...

Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
Abraham is ordered to circumcise himself when he is about to receive the inheritance of a true progeny. Is it not evident that “circumcision of the flesh” is the precept of chastity, that one should remove the passions of the flesh and curb the desires that unbridled lust renders indomitable? Indeed, the very word circumcision prescribes this, that every stench of impurity be wiped away and that the stimulus of the passions be removed. . ...

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
: In what sense is the covenant eternal? One interpretation is that it is eternal according to the One promising, for the things of God are not time conditioned. But relative to us eternal things become time conditioned. Another interpretation is that even when the covenant with Israel was abolished, it was maintained for us, and we are God’s [people] in place of them. Circumcision took over a second territory after the faith [came]. For just as the birth of the illegitimate child came first, after the promise of the legitimate one, because the birth of the latter was likewise belated, so now circumcision came first because the time for the spiritual [circumcision] was not yet; but when this new one appears, the other circumcision is thrown out. For “in Christ Jesus,” we say, “neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any avail.” That circumcision was a sign of the covenant, which could be present even in transgressors. But the true circumcision is the perfect observance of the law...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
You shall, either by yourselves, or by the ministry of others, with respect to infants. That part of the body was chosen, because the effects of sin first appeared there; and because a part of the Hebrews' creed was, that Christ should be born of the family of Abraham. A sign that Abraham had agreed to the covenant with God, and to be a memorial of his faith and justice, Romans iv. 2; to distinguish also the faithful from infidels; to purge away original sin in male children, eight days old; and to be a figure of baptism. (Menochius) (Tirinus) God always appoints some sign of his covenants, as Jesus Christ instituted the holy sacrament of his body and blood, under exterior appearances, to assure us of his new alliance with Christians. (Calmet) The sacraments of the old law caused grace, only by means of faith in the Redeemer, of which they were signs. (St. Augustine, de Nupt. ii. chap. ult.) In this sense, the holy fathers assert, that circumcision remitted original sin to those who...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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