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Deuteronomy Twenty Three

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

Deuteronomy 23:1 He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.

stones. That is, the “testicles.”

Deuteronomy 23:2 A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD.

bastard. The Hebrew word here possibly refers only to certain types of illegitimate children, particularly those conceived in especially flagrant sins, such as incest or in pagan idolatrous ceremonies. However, note the listing of a ten-generation genealogy of Judah's illegitimate son Phares to David (Ruth 4:18-22).

Deuteronomy 23:3 An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever:

Moabite. This proscription applied specifically to males. Ruth, for example, was a Moabite woman who married an Israelite man and became a proselyte to his faith (Ruth 1:4, 16).

Deuteronomy 23:4 Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse thee.

Deuteronomy 23:5 Nevertheless the LORD thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved thee.

Deuteronomy 23:6 Thou shalt not seek their peace nor their prosperity all thy days for ever.

Deuteronomy 23:7 Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land.

Deuteronomy 23:8 The children that are begotten of them shall enter into the congregation of the LORD in their third generation.

Deuteronomy 23:9 When the host goeth forth against thine enemies, then keep thee from every wicked thing.

Deuteronomy 23:10 If there be among you any man, that is not clean by reason of uncleanness that chanceth him by night, then shall he go abroad out of the camp, he shall not come within the camp:

Deuteronomy 23:11 But it shall be, when evening cometh on, he shall wash himself with water: and when the sun is down, he shall come into the camp again.

Deuteronomy 23:12 Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad:

without the camp. The sanitation practices outlined in Deuteronomy 23:9-14 were much in advance of those of other nations of the time, especially in reference to armies in their encampments. This no doubt contributed in measure to the freedom from disease promised them by the Lord (Exodus 15:26).

Deuteronomy 23:13 And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee:

paddle. That is, a “small spade.”

Deuteronomy 23:14 For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.

Deuteronomy 23:15 Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee:

servant which is escaped. This instruction evidently had to do with men or women taken captive from one of the cities outside the land of Canaan (Deuteronomy 20:11, 14). God had given a different set of instructions relative to indentured Hebrew servants (e.g., Exodus 21:2-6; Deuteronomy 15:12-18).

Deuteronomy 23:16 He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best: thou shalt not oppress him.

Deuteronomy 23:17 There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.

Deuteronomy 23:18 Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

price of a dog. It is evident from the parallel structure of these ordinances that the term “dog” is here used as an equivalent to “sodomite,” presumably because of similar behaviors of the two. Since homosexuality is an “abomination” in God's sight (e.g., Leviticus 18:22), it is understandable that Paul should warn Christians to “beware of dogs” (Philippians 3:2) and that, in describing the inhabitants of the New Jerusalem, the Lord Himself says that “without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie” (Revelation 22:15).

Deuteronomy 23:19 Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury:

Deuteronomy 23:20 Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it.

Deuteronomy 23:21 When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee.

Deuteronomy 23:22 But if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee.

Deuteronomy 23:23 That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform; even a freewill offering, according as thou hast vowed unto the LORD thy God, which thou hast promised with thy mouth.

Deuteronomy 23:24 When thou comest into thy neighbour's vineyard, then thou mayest eat grapes thy fill at thine own pleasure; but thou shalt not put any in thy vessel.

Deuteronomy 23:25 When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbour, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbour's standing corn.