Genesis 17:12 and Prothrombin

“And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations…” Genesis 17:12

Prothrombin is a plasma protein involved in the blood clotting process. Specifically it is the precursor of the enzyme thrombin, which catalyzes the final step of the clotting process ( Vitamin K along with calcium is needed to convert prothrombin to its derivative thrombin). The final step of the clotting process is the conversion of fibrinogen to fibrin, the protein which forms the mesh of the scabs that we all loved to eat as children and maybe as adults.

Circumcision, according to Genesis, was to be the sign of the covenant between God and Abraham. God commanded that males under this covenant (the Jews today still adhere to it, as do the Muslims since Mohammed took some of his ideas from the Torah) were to be circumcised on the eight day.

Ever since I read this I have wondered why the eight day? So the question did not keep me up at night but it certainly piqued my curiosity. I got the answer listening to Professor Mark Moore at Ozark Christian College. He was lecturing on Acts 7 and Stephen’s speech and he went off on a tangent regarding the Abrahamic covenant (whose sign was to be circumcision).

Moore explained that after a child is born, Vitamin K (and consequently prothrombin) levels take a dip. This makes sense because outside of intestinal bacteria we cannot synthesize Vitamin K. A newborn has no intestinal bacteria, the womb after all, is ideally a sterile environment. I remember that when our son was born he did get a Vitamin K shot.

Anyway back to the eight day. Mysteriously enough, prothrombin levels in the infant spike at 110% of normal levels on the eight day of life. Never again will the prothrombin levels be this high. I checked it out and ran across a link that backs up what Moore claims.

Isn’t it interesting that on the day God commanded His people to perform ‘outpatient’ surgery on their infants, those infants will have an overabundance of a crucial component in the clotting cascade?

The book of Genesis has been called (by atheist Richard Dawkins) “the local origin myth of a tribe of Middle-Eastern camel-herders” . “Camel-herders” they might have been and as such knew nothing about Vitamin K and prothrombin, yet one of these “camel-herders” (Abraham) had a direct line to the One who MIGHT have had a clue about the physiology of the creatures He created on the sixth day. As if we weren’t already in awe of God…

As for my compromising Christian brothers who fail to take the Genesis creation account literally, were Abraham’s descendants to be circumcised when they were 8 days old or 8 billions of years old?


9 Responses to Genesis 17:12 and Prothrombin

  1. freevolition says:

    Very interesting! Thank you for the link. I have printed out the PDF to share with my husband.

    I agree that the Genesis creation took an actual six 24-hour days. Only difference is, I understand it to have been a re-creation from tohu va bohu. Elohim did not create an imperfect world “in the beginning”.

  2. Laz says:

    Ah, the gap theory huh?

  3. freevolition says:

    Yeppers. I’ve mentioned it here previously.
    Try here for some interesting reading on the topic.

    The Creation Science Heresy

    Now regarding Vitamin K, prothrombin and circumcision… one may be lead to wonder why God created males with an overabundance of foreskin in the first place that would necessitate circumcision. Any thoughts?

  4. freevolition says:

    Drat! The link didn’t work. You’ll have to do the copy and paste routine (if you’re interested).

  5. freevolition says:

    Hey, cool! WordPress provided the hyperlink. How nice! I like that snazzy little “Snap” window they’ve implemented too.

  6. Laz says:

    What of Genesis 1:1 being a summary statement?

  7. Jane says:

    Circumcision was practiced in Egypt. Many priests were circumcised. So, they may have learned by experience that babies bleed less on the 8th day.
    Read up on rituals of Egypt concerning circumcism.

  8. John says:

    Nice article, well written. I have a few points. The Hebrew word for “day” may have more than one literal meaning, just as it does in the English language i.e. “The drive from point A to point B took an entire day” referring to a 24 hour day… or, “back in the day, people didn’t have cars as transportation” this ‘day’ would refer to the length of time since man’s existence, until the common use of the automobile… or, “in my Great Grandpa’s day, cars only cost a few hundred dollars” this could refer to a time frame that may include one or both (a) the entire time Great Grandpa was alive, and (b) the length of time in which cars cost as much as $999.00, because once they hit the $1,000.00 mark… that ‘day’ ended.

    “In the beginning” is also a time period. This is a well accepted, although oft argued subject. The beginning time period in which God created the heavens and the earth isn’t included in the creation days. It’s a time, which science has proven, that took billions of years. Think about today’s volcanoes. They grow, they move, they erupt, but they may remain still for hundreds or even thousands of years. It took a lot of volcanic activity to “create” earth.

    Free states:
    “Now regarding Vitamin K, prothrombin and circumcision… one may be lead to wonder why God created males with an overabundance of foreskin in the first place that would necessitate circumcision. Any thoughts?”

    My thoughts are simply that man has been trying to prove for many, many years now, that we need that little piece of skin. Atheist doctors have spent millions in research money (that should have been spent on, oh, I don’t know…. maybe … cancer research!) just to prove that God was wrong, they didn’t need to cut that skin off. Later in the Bible, it’s stated that the covenant was no longer needed, and people could be allowed into the Christian congregation without having to be circumcised.

    At the time this command was given, the conditions weren’t as clean as we have today. We are after all speaking of children. Many kids today have to be talked into taking a bath. Removing the foreskin aided in keeping them clean, both spiritually, and literally. It also kept them a “pure race”; well, more pure at least. Mixing with other nations was not encouraged and could have been easily recognized by the women of the other nations before any “relationships” took place. This may have prevented a lot of battles between the Jews and the other nations.

    Jane says:
    “Circumcision was practiced in Egypt. Many priests were circumcised. So, they may have learned by experience that babies bleed less on the 8th day.
    Read up on rituals of Egypt concerning circumcision”

    True, it was practiced in Egypt. But is this a case of the Jews stealing an Egyptian idea, or the Egyptians stealing a Jewish idea? Who in their right mind would say… “Hey, look at those Egyptians over there; are they cutting off the skin of that baby’s penis? Wow that looks like a cool thing to do, let’s adopt that tradition!”

    I say nobody! The facts are that circumcision was brought into Egypt by, most likely, Joseph, which would predate Moses, and since the God of the Jews was much more powerful than that of any of the impotent Egyptian gods, the Egyptians became jealous and they adopted many of the Jews customs. The Hebrew nation was very afraid of upsetting their God; in contrast, Egyptians had several gods and at best had a difficult time living even one day trying to please one god without displeasing another.

    Those are my common sense, unschooled logic thoughts. Thanks for reading.

  9. Laz says:

    Thank you for your comment, it is well reasoned and I appreciate the time you put into it.

    Individuals far more intelligent than I (I cannot speak for you of course) have debated on the exact length of the word “day” as recorded in Genesis. I do not wish to initiate such a discussion here for both parties make elaborate arguments with Scriptural support to support their positions.

    As far as I know, when a number accompanies “day” in Scripture, the reference is always to a 24-hour day.

    Whether or not science has proven anything dealing with past events in which no human being was present, well that is questionable.

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