Deuteronomy 23

Listen to Deuteronomy 23

Those Excluded from the Assembly

1 "No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the LORD.
2 1"No one born of a forbidden union may enter the assembly of the LORD. Even to the tenth generation, none of his descendants may enter the assembly of the LORD.
3 2"No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the assembly of the LORD. Even to the tenth generation, none of them may enter the assembly of the LORD forever,
4 3because they did not meet you with bread and with water on the way, when you came out of Egypt, and because they 4hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of 5Mesopotamia, to curse you
5 But the LORD your God would not listen to Balaam; instead the LORD your God turned 6the curse into a blessing for you, because the LORD your God loved you.
6 You 7shall not seek their peace or their prosperity all your days forever.
7 "You shall not abhor an Edomite, for 8he is your brother. You shall not abhor an Egyptian, because 9you were a sojourner in his land.
8 Children born to them in the third generation may enter the assembly of the LORD.

Uncleanness in the Camp

9 "When you are encamped against your enemies, then you shall keep yourself from every evil thing.
10 "If any man among you becomes 10unclean because of a nocturnal emission, then he shall go outside the camp. He shall not come inside the camp,
11 but when evening comes, he shall 11bathe himself in water, and as the sun sets, he may come inside the camp.
12 "You shall have a place outside the camp, and you shall go out to it.
13 And you shall have a trowel with your tools, and when you sit down outside, you shall dig a hole with it and turn back and cover up your excrement.
14 Because 12the LORD your God walks in the midst of your camp, to deliver you and to give up your enemies before you, therefore your camp must be holy, so that he may not see anything indecent among you and turn away from you

Miscellaneous Laws

15 13"You shall not give up to his master a slave who has escaped from his master to you.
16 He shall dwell with you, in your midst, in the place that he shall choose within one of your towns, wherever it suits him. You shall not wrong him.
17 "None of the 14daughters of Israel shall be a cult prostitute, and none 15of the sons of Israel shall be a cult prostitute.
18 You shall not bring the fee of a prostitute or the wages of a dog[a] into the house of the LORD your God in payment for any vow, for both of these are an abomination to the LORD your God.
19 16"You shall not charge interest on loans to your brother, 17interest on money, interest on food, interest on anything that is lent for interest
20 18You may charge a foreigner interest, but you may not charge your brother interest, 19that the LORD your God may bless you in all that you undertake in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.
21 20"If you make a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not delay fulfilling it, for the LORD your God will surely require it of you, and you will be guilty of sin
22 But if you refrain from vowing, you will not be guilty of sin.
23 You shall be careful to do what has passed your lips, for you have voluntarily vowed to the LORD your God what you have promised with your mouth.
24 "If you go into your neighbor's vineyard, you may eat your fill of grapes, as many as you wish, but you shall not put any in your bag.
25 If you go into your neighbor's standing grain, 21you may pluck the ears with your hand, but you shall not put a sickle to your neighbor's standing grain.

Deuteronomy 23 Commentary

Chapter 23

Who are shut out from the congregation. (1-8) Cleanliness enjoined. (15-25) Of fugitive servants, Usury, and other precepts. (9-14)

Verses 1-8 We ought to value the privileges of God's people, both for ourselves and for our children, above all other advantages. No personal blemishes, no crimes of our forefathers, no difference of nation, shuts us out under the Christian dispensation. But an unsound heart will deprive us of blessings; and a bad example, or an unsuitable marriage, may shut our children from them.

Verses 9-14 The camp of the Lord must have nothing offensive in it. If there must be this care taken to preserve the body clean, much more should we be careful to keep the mind pure.

Verses 15-25 It is honourable to shelter and protect the weak, provided they are not wicked. Proselytes and converts to the truth, should be treated with particular tenderness, that they may have no temptation to return to the world. We cannot honour God with our substance, unless it be honestly and honourably come by. It must not only be considered what we give, but how we got it. Where the borrower gets, or hopes to get, it is just that the lender should share the gain; but to him that borrows for necessary food, pity must be showed. That which is gone out of thy lips, as a solemn and deliberate vow, must not be recalled, but thou shalt keep and perform it punctually and fully. They were allowed to pluck and eat of the corn or grapes that grew by the road side; only they must not carry any away. This law intimated what great plenty of corn and wine they should have in Canaan. It provided for the support of poor travellers, and teaches us to be kind to such, teaches us to be ready to distribute, and not to think every thing lost that is given away. Yet it forbids us to abuse the kindness of friends, or to take advantage of what is allowed. Faithfulness to their engagements should mark the people of God; and they should never encroach upon others.

Cross References 21

  • 1. [Zechariah 9:6]
  • 2. Nehemiah 13:1, 2
  • 3. [Deuteronomy 2:29]
  • 4. Numbers 22:5, 6; [2 Peter 2:15]
  • 5. Acts 7:2
  • 6. Numbers 23:11; Numbers 24:10
  • 7. [Ezra 9:12]
  • 8. Genesis 25:24-26; Numbers 20:14; Obad. 10, 12
  • 9. Deuteronomy 10:19; Exodus 22:21; Exodus 23:9; Leviticus 19:34
  • 10. Leviticus 15:16
  • 11. See Leviticus 15:5
  • 12. Leviticus 26:12
  • 13. 1 Samuel 30:15
  • 14. Leviticus 19:29
  • 15. 1 Kings 14:24; 1 Kings 15:12; 1 Kings 22:46; 2 Kings 23:7
  • 16. See Exodus 22:25
  • 17. [Nehemiah 5:10]
  • 18. [Deuteronomy 15:3]
  • 19. Deuteronomy 15:10
  • 20. [Psalms 66:13, 14; Psalms 76:11]; See Numbers 30:2
  • 21. [Matthew 12:1; Mark 2:23; Luke 6:1]

Footnotes 1

Chapter Summary


Orders are here given to restrain certain persons from entering into the congregation of the Lord, De 23:1-8, and to take care that there be no unclean person in the camp, or any indecent thing done in it, De 23:9-14, to protect fugitive servants, and not deliver them up to their masters, De 23:15,16 not to suffer a filthy person to be among them, or any filthy thing to be brought into the house of God for a vow, De 23:17,18, then follow some laws against usury, and for the payment of vows, De 23:19-23, and the chapter is concluded with some directions how to behave in a neighbour's vineyard, or standing corn, De 23:24,25.

Deuteronomy 23 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.