Deuteronomy 23

1 He who is emasculated by crushing or cutting shall not enter into the LORD’s assembly. 2 A person born of a forbidden union shall not enter into the LORD’s assembly; even to the tenth generation shall no one of his enter into the LORD’s assembly. 3 An Ammonite or a Moabite shall not enter into the LORD’s assembly; even to the tenth generation shall no one belonging to them enter into the LORD’s assembly forever; 4 because they didn’t meet you with bread and with water on the way, when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you. 5 Nevertheless the LORD your God wouldn’t listen to Balaam; but the LORD your God turned the curse into a blessing to you, because the LORD your God loved you. 6 You shall not seek their peace nor their prosperity all your days forever. 7 You shall not abhor an Edomite; for he is your brother. You shall not abhor an Egyptian, because you lived as a foreigner in his land. 8 The children of the third generation who are born to them may enter into the LORD’s assembly. 9 When you go out and camp against your enemies, then you shall keep yourselves from every evil thing. 10 If there is amongst you any man who is not clean by reason of that which happens him by night, then shall he go outside of the camp. He shall not come within the camp; 11 but it shall be, when evening comes, he shall bathe himself in water. When the sun is down, he shall come within the camp. 12 You shall have a place also outside of the camp where you go relieve yourself. 13 You shall have a trowel amongst your weapons. It shall be, when you relieve yourself, you shall dig with it, and shall turn back and cover your excrement; 14 for the LORD your God walks in the middle of your camp, to deliver you, and to give up your enemies before you. Therefore your camp shall be holy, that he may not see an unclean thing in you, and turn away from you. 15 You shall not deliver to his master a servant who has escaped from his master to you. 16 He shall dwell with you, amongst you, in the place which he shall choose within one of your gates, where it pleases him best. You shall not oppress him. 17 There shall be no prostitute of the daughters of Israel, neither shall there be a sodomite of the sons of Israel. 18 You shall not bring the hire of a prostitute, or the wages of a male prostitute, into the house of the LORD your God for any vow; for both of these are an abomination to the LORD your God. 19 You shall not lend on interest to your brother; interest of money, interest of food, interest of anything that is lent on interest. 20 You may lend on interest to a foreigner; but to your brother you shall not lend on interest, that the LORD your God may bless you in all that you put your hand to, in the land where you go in to possess it. 21 When you vow a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not be slack to pay it; for the LORD your God will surely require it of you; and it would be sin in you. 22 But if you refrain from making a vow, it shall be no sin in you. 23 You shall observe and do that which has gone out of your lips. Whatever you have vowed to the LORD your God as a freewill offering, which you have promised with your mouth, you must do. 24 When you come into your neighbor’s vineyard, then you may eat of grapes your fill at your own pleasure; but you shall not put any in your container. 25 When you come into your neighbor’s standing grain, then you may pluck the ears with your hand; but you shall not move a sickle to your neighbor’s standing grain.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

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.

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