Deuteronomy 23

Purity in Public Worship

23:1 A man with crushed1 or severed genitals2 may not enter the assembly of the Lord.3 23:2 A person of illegitimate birth4 may not enter the assembly of the Lord; to the tenth generation no one related to him may do so.5

23:3 An Ammonite or Moabite6 may not enter the assembly of the Lord; to the tenth generation none of their descendants shall ever7 do so,8 23:4 for they did not meet you with food and water on the way as you came from Egypt, and furthermore, they hired9 Balaam son of Beor of Pethor in Aram Naharaim to curse you. 23:5 But the Lord your God refused to listen to Balaam and changed10 the curse to a blessing, for the Lord your God loves11 you. 23:6 You must not seek peace and prosperity for them through all the ages to come. 23:7 You must not hate an Edomite, for he is your relative;12 you must not hate an Egyptian, for you lived as a foreigner13 in his land. 23:8 Children of the third generation born to them14 may enter the assembly of the Lord.

Purity in Personal Hygiene

23:9 When you go out as an army against your enemies, guard yourselves against anything impure.15 23:10 If there is someone among you who is impure because of some nocturnal emission,16 he must leave the camp; he may not reenter it immediately. 23:11 When evening arrives he must wash himself with water and then at sunset he may reenter the camp.

23:12 You are to have a place outside the camp to serve as a latrine.17 23:13 You must have a spade among your other equipment and when you relieve yourself18 outside you must dig a hole with the spade19 and then turn and cover your excrement.20 23:14 For the Lord your God walks about in the middle of your camp to deliver you and defeat21 your enemies for you. Therefore your camp should be holy, so that he does not see anything indecent22 among you and turn away from you.

Purity in the Treatment of the Nonprivileged

23:15 You must not return an escaped slave to his master when he has run away to you.23 23:16 Indeed, he may live among you in any place he chooses, in whichever of your villages24 he prefers; you must not oppress him.

Purity in Cultic Personnel

23:17 There must never be a sacred prostitute25 among the young women26 of Israel nor a sacred male prostitute27 among the young men28 of Israel. 23:18 You must never bring the pay of a female prostitute29 or the wage of a male prostitute30 into the temple of the Lord your God in fulfillment of any vow, for both of these are abhorrent to the Lord your God.

Respect for Others’ Property

23:19 You must not charge interest on a loan to your fellow Israelite,31 whether on money, food, or anything else that has been loaned with interest. 23:20 You may lend with interest to a foreigner, but not to your fellow Israelite; if you keep this command the Lord your God will bless you in all you undertake in the land you are about to enter to possess. 23:21 When you make a vow to the Lord your God you must not delay in fulfilling it, for otherwise he32 will surely33 hold you accountable as a sinner.34 23:22 If you refrain from making a vow, it will not be sinful. 23:23 Whatever you vow, you must be careful to do what you have promised, such as what you have vowed to the Lord your God as a freewill offering. 23:24 When you enter the vineyard of your neighbor you may eat as many grapes as you please,35 but you must not take away any in a container.36 23:25 When you go into the ripe grain fields of your neighbor you may pluck off the kernels with your hand,37 but you must not use a sickle on your neighbor’s ripe grain.

Next Chapter