‘When God tries – a look inside the theology of Exodus’, or ‘One of the Most Difficult Verses in the Bible’
'On the way, at a place where they spent the night, the LORD met him [Moses] and tried to kill him. But Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son's foreskin, and touched Moses' feet with it, and said, "Truly you are a bridegroom of blood to me!" So he let him alone. It was then she said, "A bridegroom of blood by circumcision."' (Exodus 4:24-26. NRSV)
So, God tried to kill Moses but didn't manage? If at first you don't succeed …
Both the Septuagint, which uses the verb zhte,w, and the Hebrew, which uses the verb vqb, are simply translated as 'sought'. I.e. God 'sought' to kill him. Probably the NIV does a good job with the verse translating it as follows: 'At a lodging place on the way, the LORD met Moses and was about to kill him'. Of course, this rendering also removes one of the theological problems with its more dynamic and less literal approach.
I love bible verses like this!