Statue of Moses in Venezuela
Moses is recognized as the one who gave God’s Law to the Israelites
12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.
~ Ge 17:12
Circumcision was a symbol of being under God’s covenant with Abraham. It was also a symbol of what God really wanted: a heart that was tender enough to receive instruction.
16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.
~ Dt 10:16
29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
~ Ro 2:29
The heart and mind both need to be receptive to the word of God, to bring one to repentance and to bring one into a relationship with Him.
31 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord:
33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
The parallels between this and what we traditionally call the “Last Great Day” should become clearer the more we think about them. Circumcision is on the eighth day after birth, and the mass circumcision of the heart of those who died not knowing the truth is represented by an eighth day. Without the influence of Satan, after seeing what God is capable of doing and after realizing how much they hurt others doing things contrary to the Law, they will have the scales fall off their eyes, but more importantly their hearts will be open to repentance.
Some of the purification laws involved seven days for cleansing, and they were followed by a sacrifice on the eighth day. A leper who was healed was sprinkled with the blood of a bird in which cedar wood, scarlet, hyssop and another live bird were dipped, then he washed his clothes, shaved all his hair and waited seven days. He again shaved and washed his clothes and himself on the seventh day. On the eighth day, he offered a sacrifice.
Seven days for purification, which were followed by an eighth day: a familiar pattern?
Livestock was not to be sacrificed until it was 8 days old, even if it were a freewill offering.
27 When a bullock, or a sheep, or a goat, is brought forth, then it shall be seven days under the dam; and from the eighth day and thenceforth it shall be accepted for an offering made by fire unto the Lord.
Matthew Henry Commentary says of this:
Here it is provided that no creature should be offered in sacrifice till it was eight days old complete. Sooner than that it was not fit to be used at men’s tables, and therefore not a God’s altar. The Jews say, “It was because the sabbath sanctifies all things, and nothing should be offered to God till at least one sabbath had passed over it.’ It was in conformity to the law of circumcision, which children were to receive on the eighth day. Christ was sacrificed for us, not in his infancy, though then Herod sought to slay him, but in the prime of his time.
~ Matthew Henry, “Commentary on Leviticus 22“
Notice the tie-in to circumcision! The Jews recognized a similarity in the pattern.
Of course, patterns run throughout these commands. However, the message this morning about the parallel between circumcision performed on the eighth day and the eighth day of the festival really made a lot of sense to me.