Chapter 23

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1 He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.

2 A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD.

3 An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever:

4 Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse thee.

5 Nevertheless the LORD thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved thee.

6 Thou shalt not seek their peace nor their prosperity all thy days for ever.

7 Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land.

8 The children that are begotten of them shall enter into the congregation of the LORD in their third generation.

9 When the host goeth forth against thine enemies, then keep thee from every wicked thing.

10 If there be among you any man, that is not clean by reason of uncleanness that chanceth him by night, then shall he go abroad out of the camp, he shall not come within the camp:

11 But it shall be, when evening cometh on, he shall wash himself with water: and when the sun is down, he shall come into the camp again.

12 Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad:

13 And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee:

14 For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.

15 Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee:

16 He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best: thou shalt not oppress him.

17 There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.

18 Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

19 Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury:

20 Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it.

21 When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee.

22 But if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee.

23 That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform; even a freewill offering, according as thou hast vowed unto the LORD thy God, which thou hast promised with thy mouth.

24 When thou comest into thy neighbour's vineyard, then thou mayest eat grapes thy fill at thine own pleasure; but thou shalt not put any in thy vessel.

25 When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbour, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbour's standing corn.

Commentary for Deuteronomy 23

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

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.

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.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Deuteronomy 23

  • The companionship of dogs is one of God's greatest gifts to mankind. Trafficking in them for profit is as distasteful as prostitution
  • Chris - in Reply on Deuteronomy 23:18
    Steve, I've never imagined that Deut 23:18 referred to the trafficking of dogs for profit. Did they even do such a thing in those days? What would have been the demand for dogs at that time? I've always thought of this verse to apply to the preceding verse, in reference to the Sodomites, where both the harlot & male prostitute were great abominations to the Lord. But I do agree, that our furry friends can be the most loving & faithful companions around.
  • D.J. - in Reply on Deuteronomy 23:18
    Concerning "DOGS"

    It is interesting to note that the word for "dog" is the Hebrew words "kol" meaning "all" and "leb" meaning "heart."
  • Janet on Deuteronomy 23
    V. 21 Father, help me reflect Your image by being a person of my word.
  • Irene123 on Deuteronomy 23
    To Joy Isa.1:18 - Jesus wants us to be reasonable in all things of His word. Jesus came to 'fulfill' the law, yes, but ONLY the moral law; That's why He allowed the 2nd temple to be destroyed in 70 a.d.; because His people would not leave the ceremonial law and turn to Him. And that's why he dispersed them so they couldn't rebuild it. In this life WE are His temple, 1 Cor.6:19-20.
  • The Law was created and written by God.If he changes not and is not like man that he should lie.Why would his law change or become void through Jesus. After all Jesus came to came to uphold the law not do away with the law.
  • William on Deuteronomy 23
    Antonio G. Read Hebrews 12:6-9 for a full understanding of what a bastard actually is. It is not a child of unwed parents, as Satan's bastards would have you believe. Plainly and simply, God never once created a bastard in any child, but Satan corrupts those who choose to follow him in self-will. In the plainest of language, a bastard is defined in one word . . . SATANIST! See: Deut. 23
  • Lilian on Deuteronomy 23
    Jesus have come to give us life. We need to thank his precious blood that shed for us. We are saved by his grace in the hands of Satan. Our job now is to obey his words and commandments until rapture. Exodus 20.. We need to show our obedience to Jesus as he had showed his perfect obedience to the Father. Meditating God's words day and night are more important and more powerful than prayers. God loves us and always do what is good and avoid doing evil things coz salvation is not for everyone. God will only save for his own people who love him and obey his words and commandments until rapture. Amen and thanks be to God
  • Lilian on Deuteronomy 23
    Jesus have come to give us life. Thanks to Jesus for sheding his precious blood to us in order for us to have life in abundance. We are save by his Grace and not of what we have done. Our job now is to believe Jesus that he is our Savior and obey his words. Without obedience to his words and be Born Again in Spirit its impossible for us to enter into the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is within us. What a lovely Holy Father and our God is faithful to his words and promises. Because of his mercy and love to us he has anointed us with oil. When God is with us who can be againsts us?.. I will continue praising God and thanking God for everything he have done into our lives for he is worthy to be praised. Amen
  • Dilbert on Deuteronomy 23:2
    Gone to Hell before i was even born what do you think? Christ Jesus died for everyone, including you so that people may not go to hell. Although the Old Testament laws have their reason that being laws set forth for obedience , so us long as one rest upon the Gospel of Christ for salvation, you will be saved and not go to hell.


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Bible Trivia

Which peoples were refused entrance to the congregation of the Lord, because they did not welcome the Israelites with bread and water but instead hired Balaam to curse the Israelites?
  • Ammonites and Moabites
  • Ammonites and Anakims
  • Anakims and Edomites
  • Edomites and Jebusites