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The Second Circumcision, COVID-19, and the Messiah

Photo by Maria Pop on

Today is the first day of Passover. As part of the Torah reading we learn what God told Joshua after the mourning period for Moses had passed and the Jewish people were preparing to conquer Israel.

Joshua 5:2: “…the LORD said to Joshua, ‘Make flint knives and proceed with a second circumcision of the Israelites.’”

The language used here seems odd. You can’t get circumcised twice. So what is the reference to a “second circumcision?”

The literal explanation in the Bible (Joshua 5:4-7) is that the “second circumcision” was of the children of those who escaped Egypt. That generation died out in the wilderness because of their deeds. God knew it had to be their children, who were circumcised after them (“second circumcision”) to conquer the land.

The commentator Rashi, citing Yevamos 71B, says that many simply had not had the opportunity to circumcise themselves upon leaving Egypt, due to weather conditions. (This probably refers to the “mixed multitude,” who essentially converted when they saw the miracle of the Exodus happening.)

But then what was the first circumcision?

Thus Rashi brings a second explanation: Before they could enter the Holy Land, God told the Jewish people that their circumcision had to “expose the corona.”

It is interesting that we have just undergone a plague called the “coronavirus.” Is it possible that there is a connection between the second circumcision and this illness?

One thing that occurs to me is that circumcision is a symbolic way of accepting that God dominates the world and not man, and that in pre-Messianic times we learn that evil will dominate the world.

Perhaps the “coronavirus” is a hint from God that those days are soon ending.


By Dr. Dannielle (Dossy) Blumenthal. All opinions are the author’s own. Public domain. Photo by Maria Pop on

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