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Deuteronomy 23


Deuteronomy 23 provides a range of guidelines and laws concerning community membership, ethical business practices, and personal hygiene, all aimed at maintaining the purity and integrity of the Israelite society. Key aspects include:
Exclusion from the Assembly: The chapter begins with rules about who may not enter the assembly of the LORD, including those of illegitimate birth and certain foreigners. However, it also specifies that certain groups, like the third generation of Edomites or Egyptians, may enter the assembly.
Sanctity of the Camp: Instructions are given to ensure the cleanliness of the camp where the LORD is present among them. This includes provisions for soldiers to go outside the camp to relieve themselves and to cover their excrement.
Protection for Escaped Slaves: The Israelites are commanded not to return slaves who have escaped from their masters and sought refuge among them. Such slaves are to live freely among them in a location of their choice.
Prohibition of Cultic Prostitution: The chapter prohibits cultic prostitution, a practice associated with Canaanite worship, reaffirming the Israelites’ call to holiness and distinctiveness.
Interest on Loans: The Israelites are forbidden from charging interest on loans to their fellow Israelites, though they may charge interest to foreigners. This law promotes generosity and compassion within the community.
Vow Fulfillment: The chapter emphasizes the importance of fulfilling vows made to the LORD promptly. It also notes that it is not a sin to refrain from making a vow.
Respect for Others’ Property: There are instructions allowing someone to eat grapes or grain from a neighbor’s field when passing through, but not to take any away in a container. This reflects a balance between neighborly sharing and respect for others’ property.
Deuteronomy 23 presents a set of laws that highlight the moral and ethical standards expected in Israelite society. The chapter reflects the community's commitment to fairness, compassion, and maintaining a sacred space where the presence of the LORD is respected. These laws aim to foster a just and compassionate society, where the needs and rights of individuals are balanced with the collective welfare and holiness of the community.

Deuteronomy 23

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.

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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.

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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.

End of Deuteronomy 23

1 Year Plan:  Mar 24 - Deut 23, Deut 24,  Luk 15

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