Deuteronomy 23

Persons Excluded from the Assembly

1 "1No one who is emasculated * or has his male organ cut off shall enter the assembly of the LORD.
2 "No one of illegitimate birth shall enter the assembly of the LORD; none of his descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall enter the assembly of the LORD.
3 "2No Ammonite or Moabite shall enter the assembly of the LORD; none of their descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall ever enter the assembly of the LORD,
4 3because * * they did not meet you with food and water on the way when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you 4Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you
5 "Nevertheless, the LORD your God was not willing to listen to Balaam, but the LORD your God 5turned the curse into a blessing for you because the LORD your God 6loves you.
6 "7You shall never * seek their peace or their prosperity all your days.
7 "You shall not detest an Edomite, for 8he is your brother; you shall not detest an Egyptian, 9because you were an alien in his land.
8 "The sons of the third generation who are born to them may enter the assembly of the LORD.
9 "When you go out as an army against your enemies, you shall keep yourself from every evil thing.
10 "10If there is among you any man who is unclean * because of a nocturnal emission, then he must go outside * * the camp; he may not reenter * the camp.
11 "But it shall be when evening approaches, he shall bathe himself with water, and at sundown * he may reenter * the camp.
12 "You shall also have a place outside * the camp and go out there,
13 and you shall have a spade among your tools, and it shall be when you sit down outside, you shall dig with it and shall turn to cover up your excrement.
14 "Since 11the LORD your God walks in the midst of your camp to deliver you and to defeat your enemies before you, therefore your camp must be 12holy; and He must not see anything indecent among you or He will turn away from you
15 "13You shall not hand over to his master a slave who has escaped from his master to you.
16 "He shall live with you in your midst, in the place which he shall choose in one of your towns where it pleases him; 14you shall not mistreat him.
17 "15None of the daughters of Israel shall be a cult prostitute, 16nor shall any of the sons of Israel be a cult prostitute.
18 "You shall not bring the hire of a harlot or the wages of a 17dog into the house of the LORD your God for any votive offering, for both * of these are an abomination to the LORD your God.
19 "18You shall not charge interest to your countrymen: interest on money, food, or anything that may be loaned at interest
20 "19You may charge interest to a foreigner, but to your countrymen you shall not charge interest, so that 20the LORD your God may bless you in all that you undertake in the land which you are about to enter to possess.
21 "21When you make a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not delay to pay it, for it would be sin in you, and the LORD your God will surely require it of you
22 "However, if you refrain from vowing, it would not be sin in you.
23 "You shall be careful to perform what goes out from your lips, just as you have voluntarily vowed to the LORD your God, what you have promised.
24 "When you enter your neighbor's vineyard, then you may eat grapes until you are fully satisfied, but you shall not put any in your basket.
25 "22When you enter your neighbor's standing grain, then you may pluck the heads with your hand, but you shall not wield a sickle in 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 22

  • 1. Leviticus 21:20; Leviticus 22:24
  • 2. Nehemiah 13:1, 2
  • 3. Nehemiah 13:2
  • 4. Numbers 22:5; Numbers 23:7; Joshua 24:9; 2 Peter 2:15; Jude 11
  • 5. Proverbs 26:2
  • 6. Deuteronomy 4:37
  • 7. Ezra 9:12
  • 8. Genesis 25:24-26; Obad 10, 12
  • 9. Exodus 22:21; Exodus 23:9; Leviticus 19:34; Deuteronomy 10:19
  • 10. Leviticus 15:16
  • 11. Leviticus 26:12
  • 12. Exodus 3:5
  • 13. 1 Samuel 30:15
  • 14. Exodus 22:21; Proverbs 22:22
  • 15. Leviticus 19:29; Deuteronomy 22:21
  • 16. Genesis 19:5; 2 Kings 23:7
  • 17. Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13
  • 18. Exodus 22:25; Leviticus 25:35-37; Nehemiah 5:2-7; Psalms 15:5
  • 19. Deuteronomy 28:12
  • 20. Deuteronomy 15:10
  • 21. Numbers 30:1, 2; Job 22:27; Psalms 61:8; Ecclesiastes 5:4, 5; Matthew 5:33
  • 22. Matthew 12:1; Mark 2:23; Luke 6:1

Footnotes 22

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

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