Circumcise Your Heart

1000 Verses - a project of Judaism Resources

Circumcise Your Heart

We are commanded by God to circumcise our hearts (Deuteronomy 10:16; Jeremiah 4:4). How does one go about fulfilling this injunction? What is the meaning of this metaphor?

In the language of Scripture, the heart is the seat of understanding. Just as the eye sees and the ears hear so does the heart understand and know (Isaiah 6:10). Scripture employs the metaphor of uncircumcision for the ear (Jeremiah 6:10). The uncircumcised ear cannot listen or hear. It would then follow that the uncircumcised heart cannot know or understand.

This interpretation is reinforced when we consider the context of the two passages in which our metaphor appears (Deuteronomy 10:16; Jeremiah 4:4). In both instances Scripture employs a different metaphor as a parallel to the metaphor under discussion. In Deuteronomy the Scripture speaks of ceasing to stiffen our necks. Throughout Scripture a stiff neck is a reference to stubbornness…

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