In the Old Testament the rendering of the Hebrew word mamzer' , which means "polluted." In Deuteronomy 23:2 , it occurs in the ordinary sense of illegitimate offspring. In Zechariah 9:6 , the word is used in the sense of foreigner. From the history of Jephthah we learn that there were bastard offspring among the Jews ( Judges 11:1-7 ). In Hebrews 12:8 , the word (Gr. nothoi) is used in its ordinary sense, and denotes those who do not share the privileges of God's children.
Among those who were excluded from entering the congregation, even to the tenth generation, was the bastard. ( 23:2 ) The term is not, however, applied to any illegitimate offspring, born out of wedlock, but is restricted by the rabbins to the issue of any connection within the degrees prohibited by the law.
bas'-tard (mamzer; nothos):
In Deuteronomy 23:2 probably the offspring of an incestuous union, or of a marriage within the prohibited degrees of affinity (Leviticus 18:6-20; 20:10-21). He and his descendants to the tenth generation are excluded from the assembly of the Lord. (See Driver, at the place). Zechariah (Zechariah 9:6), after prophesying the overthrow of three Philistine cities, declares of the fourth: "And a bastard (the Revised Version, margin "a bastard race") shall dwell in Ashdod," meaning probably that a "mixed population" (BDB) of aliens shall invade and settle in the capital of the Philistines. In Heb (Hebrews 12:8) in its proper sense of "born out of wedlock," and therefore not admitted to the privileges of paternal care and responsibility as a legitimate son.
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