But it shall be, when evening cometh on
When the day declines, and it is near sun setting:
he shall wash himself with water;
dip himself all over in water, not only wash his garments but his flesh:
and when the sun is down he shall come into the camp again;
and take his place and rank in the army. Now if all this was necessary on account of ceremonial uncleanness, which as much as possible was to be avoided, how much more careful were they to be of moral uncleanness, as fornication, adultery, and all sorts of debauchery and lewdness? and yet nothing more frequent among those that are of the military order; it would be well if there was no occasion for the reproach Maimonides
F17 casts upon the camps of the Heathens, among whom, no doubt, he means Christians, if not principally; when he observes that these orders were given, that this might be deeply fixed in the mind of every one, that their camp ought to be holy as the sanctuary of God, and not like the camps of the Gentiles, in which abound corruptions of all kinds, transgressions, rapines, thefts, and other sins.
F17 Moreh Nevochim, par. 3. c. 41.