Genesis 17:14

And the uncircumcised male child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.
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Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
Not without reason or by excessive reaction do many find this passage disturbing, in that the Lord should say, “Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.” Indeed, it is not taken lightly that the negligence of the parents could bring punishment upon an eightdayold infant, so much so that his soul would perish, while even in the case of homicide—committed, however, by one who had unintentionally killed a man—the law stipulated to what cities the perpetrator might flee to obtain impunity for the shedding of blood. How is it possible, then, that for the case of homicide the involuntary character of the killing is taken into consideration, while here no account is taken of infancy, in which there could have been no fault whatever, whether of negligence or of purpose—unless perhaps some might think that the parents receive an even graver punishment in the death of their son? But it is regarded as u...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Circumcised. Septuagint adds, "on the eighth day "with the Samaritan and many Latin copies. (Calmet) Destroyed lose the privileges of the Hebrews, or be put to death, when he grows up and does not supply this defect. St. Augustine reading on the eighth day, concluded that as a child of that age, could not, with reason, be put to death for an offense, in which he could have no share, the destruction here threatened is that of the soul, for transgressing, in Adam, the original covenant, and dying in that state unclean, must be excluded from heaven, as people are now who die unbaptized. This difficult passage may, however, be explained as if the threat regarded the negligent parents. "He who shall not circumcise. Shall be destroyed. "Syriac, or, as the Hebrew may be rendered, "the male that doth not"; in which case, he becomes guilty of a transgression, when he is arrived at the years sufficient to understand his duty, and does not fulfil it. (Worthington) ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
See the Lord’s wisdom in knowing how inobservant future generations are likely to be, and so, as though putting a bit in their mouths, he gave them this sign of circumcision, curbing their unrestrained urges in case they should mingle with other peoples. You see, he was aware of their lustful tendencies in not practicing restraint, even though it had been drummed into them countless times to refrain from their irrational impulses. Consequently he gave them a perpetual reminder with this sign of circumcision, as though fastening them with a chain. He set limits and rules to prevent them overstepping the mark instead of staying within their own people and having no association with those other peoples but rather keeping the patriarch’s line uncontaminated. In this way even the fulfillment of the promises could be achieved for their benefit. It is like a man of selfcontrol and good sense having a disobedient child; he puts limits and rules on him not to show his face outside the front doo...

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

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