Deuteronomy 23:1

Exclusion From the Assembly

1 No one who has been emasculated by crushing or cutting may enter the assembly of the LORD.

Read Deuteronomy 23:1 Using Other Translations

He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.
"No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the LORD.
“If a man’s testicles are crushed or his penis is cut off, he may not be admitted to the assembly of the LORD .

What does Deuteronomy 23:1 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Deuteronomy 23:1

He that is wounded in the stones
In any of them, not accidentally, but purposely; which are crushed and bruised by the hands of men, with a design to make him unfit for generation, or to make an eunuch of him:

or that hath his privy member cut by himself or another,
and is a thorough eunuch by the hands of men; for of such eunuchs that are made by men, and not born so, the law speaks; so Maimonides interprets it {f}; (See Gill on Matthew 19:12)

shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord;
which is to be understood not of the sanctuary of the Lord, or of being refused admittance into the church of God, and to join in religious rites, and partake of sacred ordinances, which all Israelites, and strangers that were proselytes, had a right unto; such might bring their offerings, keep the passover ( Exodus 12:48 Exodus 12:49 ) ( Leviticus 22:18 ) ( Numbers 9:14 ) ( Numbers 15:14 Numbers 15:15 ) nor of the commonwealth of Israel, as if unfit to be members of civil society; it cannot be thought that such defects should abridge them of their civil rights and privileges: but by the congregation is to be understood the elders, judges, and representatives of the people, that met together in some one place to execute judgment; see ( Numbers 35:12 Numbers 35:24 Numbers 35:25 ) ( Psalms 82:1 ) , into which such persons were not to be admitted; either because disgraceful and dishonourable, or because of the influence such defects have on their minds, they thereby becoming effeminate, irresolute, and wanting courage, as well as in opposition to the customs and usages of the Heathens, with whom it was common to admit such persons to civil offices; hence the word eunuch is sometimes used for an officer, ( Genesis 37:36 ) and elsewhere; the Jews F7 restrain this law to marriage, but unnecessarily.


F6 Hilchot lssure Biah, c. 16. sect. 8.
F7 Targum Jon. in loc. Misn. Yebamot, c. 8. sect. 2, 4, 5, 6. Maimon. Moreh Nevochim, par. 3. c. 49.
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