Amplified Bible

Deuteronomy 23

Persons Excluded from the Assembly

1“He who has been castrated by having his testicles crushed or his male organ cut off shall not enter the congregation of the Lord. A person of [a]illegitimate birth shall not enter the assembly of the Lord; none of his descendants, even to the tenth generation. An Ammonite or [b]Moabite shall not enter the assembly of the Lord; none of their descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall ever enter the assembly of the Lord, because they did not meet you with bread (food) and water on the road as you came out of Egypt, and because they hired [to act] against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you. Nevertheless, the Lord your God was not willing to listen to Balaam, but the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you because the Lord your God has loved you. You shall never seek their peace nor their prosperity all your days.

“You shall not detest an Edomite, for he is your brother [Esau’s descendant]. You shall not detest an Egyptian, because you were a stranger (resident alien, foreigner) in his land. Their children of the third generation who are born to them may enter the assembly of the Lord.

“When you go out as an army [to fight] against your enemies, you shall keep yourselves from every evil [thing].

10 “If there is any man among you who is [ceremonially] unclean because of nocturnal emission, then he must go outside the camp; he shall not come back to the camp. 11 But when evening comes, he shall bathe in water, and at sundown he may return to the camp.

12 “You shall also have a place outside the camp to which you may go, 13 and you shall have a spade among your tools, and when you [prepare to] sit down outside [to relieve yourself], you shall dig a hole with it and shall turn and cover up your waste. 14 Since the Lord your God walks in the midst of your camp to rescue you and to defeat your enemies before you, therefore your camp must be holy (undefiled); and He must not see anything indecent among you or He will turn away from you.

15 “You shall not hand over to his master a slave who has escaped from his master to you. 16 He shall live among you, in the place he chooses in one of your cities where it pleases him; you shall not mistreat or oppress him.

17 “There shall be no cult prostitute among the daughters of Israel, nor shall there be a cult prostitute (a sodomite) among the sons of Israel. 18 You shall not bring the wages of a prostitute or the price of a dog [that is, a male prostitute] into the house of the Lord your God as payment for any vow, for both of these [the gift and the giver] are utterly repulsive to the Lord your God.

19 “You shall not charge interest to your fellow Israelite—interest on money, food or anything that may be loaned for interest. 20 You may charge interest to a foreigner, but to your fellow Israelite you shall not charge interest, so that the Lord your God may bless you in [c]all that you undertake in the land which you are about to enter to possess.

21 “When you make a [d]vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay to pay it, for He will most certainly require it of you, and a delay would cause you to sin. 22 But if you refrain from making a vow, that would not be [counted as] sin in you. 23 You shall be careful to perform that [vow] which passes your lips, just as you have made a voluntary vow to the Lord your God, just as you have promised with your own words (mouth).

24 “When you enter your neighbor’s vineyard, you may eat your fill of grapes, [e]as many as you please, but you shall not put any in your basket [to take with you].

25 “When you come into the standing grain of your neighbor, you may [f]pluck the ears of grain with your hand, but you shall not wield a sickle in your neighbor’s standing grain [to harvest it].

  1. Deuteronomy 23:2 That is, one who was born from incest, an adulterous relationship, or a mixed marriage (a Jew or a Jewess and a Gentile).
  2. Deuteronomy 23:3 Ruth, one of the ancestors of Jesus, was a Moabitess, but she essentially became an Israelite (Ruth 1:16) and married an Israelite (Boaz). Moreover, the rabbis taught that Deut 23:3 applied only to Ammonite and Moabite men. This teaching was summarized by what became a common saying: “An Ammonite [is forbidden], but not an Ammonitess; a Moabite, but not a Moabitess!” (as quoted from the Talmud).
  3. Deuteronomy 23:20 Lit all to which your hand is put.
  4. Deuteronomy 23:21 The abuse of vows was a practice for which Jesus sternly rebuked the Pharisees. There were at least two kinds of abuse for which they were rightly held responsible: 1) their approval of vows which should have been overruled and rejected because they violated even more important commandments (see Matt 15:3-6); and 2) inappropriate or hair-splitting criteria for determining the validity of a vow (Matt 23:16-22).
  5. Deuteronomy 23:24 Lit according to your soul.
  6. Deuteronomy 23:25 When Jesus and His disciples picked some grain in this manner, they were not charged with theft by the Pharisees, but of doing work on the Sabbath, which was clearly not the case (Matt 12:1-6).

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