Deuteronomy 23:14

Deuteronomy 23:14

For the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp
In the tabernacle, which moved when the host marched after the camps of Judah and Reuben, and before those of Ephraim and Dan, in the midst of them: this was the position of it while in the wilderness, and afterwards when they came into the land of Canaan, and went to war with their enemies, the ark sometimes went with them, the symbol of the divine Presence; and here it is made a reason why they should avoid all uncleanness, since the holy God, or that token of his, presence, was in the midst of them:

to deliver thee, and give up thine enemies before thee:
to save them from falling into the hands of their enemies, and to deliver their enemies into their hands, which depended not upon their numbers, strength, and skill, but on the Presence, providence, and power of God with them; wherefore, as the above writer F20 observes, by these actions (of purity and cleanliness) God meant to confirm the faith of those that engaged in war, that the divine Majesty dwelt among them; for which reason such orders were strictly to be observed by them:

therefore shall thy camp be holy;
both in a moral and ceremonial sense:

that he see no unclean thing in thee;
whether natural, moral, or ceremonial; the word here used signifies such nakedness as is forbidden to be uncovered, ( Leviticus 18:6-19 ) . Hence Maimonides F21 applies it to whoredom; for he says,

``by this phrase God meant to deter and dehort from whoredom, which is too usual and common among soldiers, as long as they are absent from their own houses; that therefore we may be delivered and abstain from those impure works, God has commanded such things to be done, which may bring to our remembrance that his glory dwells in the midst of us:''

and turn away from thee;
and so they fall into the hands of their enemies, and become an easy prey to them, their God having forsaken them; and that this might not be their case, care should be taken not to offend him, and cause him to depart from them.


F20 Moreh Nevochim, par. 3. c. 41.
F21 lbid.