23:1-16. Men.

m2  p1  1-8. Congregation (exclusions).
    p2  9-14. Camp (cleanness).
    p3  15,16. Home (slave).

1452 B.C.

Deuteronomy 23)

1: He that is wounded in the stones, or has his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation (= assembly) 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 (Heb. masculine. Therefore not excluding Ruth the Moabites. Matt. 1:5. Cp. Ruth 1:14-16); 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 you all came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against you (cp. Num. 22:5. Jude 11. Neh. 13:1,2) Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia (Heb. = Aram-Naharim, i.e. "Syria of the two rivers), to curse you.
5: Nevertheless the Lord your God would not listen to Balaam; but the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing unto you, because the Lord your God loved you.
6: You shall not seek their peace nor their prosperity all your days for ever.
7: You shall not abhor an Edomite; for he is your brother (the posterity of Esau. Gen. 25:25-30. Obad. 10:11. Num. 20:14): you shall not abhor an Egyptian; because you were a stranger in his land.
8: The children that are begotten of them shall enter into the assembly of the Lord in their third generation (The Massorah quotes the Babylonian Codex, which reads "shall enter unto you in the assembly of Yahaveh", by reading laken, "unto you", instead of the second lakem which the R.V. ignores, and the A.V. paraphrases. The present Hebrew text reads "shall enter unto them", which can only mean unto the Edomite and Egyptian, which is incongruous. The reading of the Babylonian Codex makes all clear).

9: When the host goes forth against your enemies, then keep you from every wicked thing.
10: If there be among you any man, that is not clean by reason of uncleanness that chances 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 comes on, he shall wash himself with water (see Lev.14:9): and when the sun is down, he shall come into the camp again.
12: You shall have a place also outside the camp, to which place you shall go forth abroad:
13: And you shall have a paddle (= blade) upon your weapon (= staff); and it shall be, when you will ease yourself abroad (beautiful Euphemy, when dealing with physical uncleanness, but plain speaking when dealing with moral uncleanness. Means to sit down, as on a toilet), you shall dig therewith, and shall turn back and cover that which comes from you:
14: For the Lord your God walks in the midst of your camp (cp. Gen.3:8. Lev.26:12), to deliver you, and to give up your enemies before you; therefore shall your camp be holy (= set apart or separate, see Ex. 3:5): that He see no unclean thing in you, and turn away from you.

15,16. Home. (slave).

15: You shall not deliver to his master the servant which is escaped from his master to you:
16: He shall dwell with you, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of your gates, where it likes him best: you shall not oppress him.

17,18. Women.

17: There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel (= sodomites. Heb. means one consecrated as such in connection with heathen worship. Hence her name kedêshah, a separated one. Cp. 1 Kings 14:24; 15:22; 22:46. Job 36:14 ["unclean" = temple woman]. Hos. 4:14. The laws of Khammurabi refer to these [#'s 181, 187, 192. See Ex.18:16), nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel (first occ. of this word, see above note).
18: You shall not bring the hire of a whore (= a prostitute, Heb. zônah), or the price of a dog (Heb. keleb; but here probably = priest [of the above orgies], same as Arabic kaleb), into the house of the Lord your God for any vow: for even both these are abomination to the Lord your God.

19-23. Men.

m3  q1  19,20. Usury.
    q2  21-23. Vows.

19: You shall not lend upon usury to your brother (cp. Ex. 22:25. Lev.25:35-37); usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury:
20: To a stranger you may lend upon usury; but to your brother you shall not lend upon usury: that the Lord your God may bless you in all that you set your hand to in the land to which place you go to possess it.

21: When you shall make a solemn vow to the Lord your God (cp. Num. 30:2), you shall not 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 shall forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in you.
23: That which is gone out of your lips you shall keep and perform; even a freewill offering, according as you have vowed to the Lord your God, which you have promised with your mouth.

24,25. Vineyards and Cornfields.

K2  r  s  24-. Vineyard.
        t  -24-. Permission.
         u  -24. Prohibition.
    r  s  25-. Cornfields.
        t  -25-. Permission.
         u  -25. Prohibition.

24: When you come into your neighbor's vineyard,

then you may eat grapes your fill at thine own pleasure (= as your soul desires);

but you shall not put any in your vessel.

25: When you come into the standing corn of your neighbor (cp. Matt.12:1),

then you may pluck the ears with your hand;

but you shall not move a sickle to your neighbor's standing corn.

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