Old Testament

Deuteronomy 23
Exclusion From the Assembly
231No man whose testicles are crushed or who has a severed penis is to come within the assembly of the Lord.[]
2A child born of an incestuous relationship[] is not to come within the assembly of the Lord. Even in the tenth generation his descendant is not to come within the assembly of the Lord.
3An Ammonite or a Moabite is not to come within the assembly. Even in the tenth generation their descendants may never come within the assembly of the Lord, 4because they did not meet you with food and water on your journey after you came out of Egypt, and because they hired Balaam son of Beor from Pethor in Aram of the Two Rivers[] to curse you. 5But the Lord your God was not willing to listen to Balaam, and the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord your God loved you. 6Do not seek their peace and prosperity as long as you live.
7Do not detest an Edomite, because he is your brother. Do not detest an Egyptian, because you were an alien in his land. 8Their children may come within the assembly of the Lord in the third generation.
Miscellaneous Laws
9When you go out on a campaign against your enemies, you must guard yourselves against anything evil.
10If there is a man among you who is unclean because of an emission during the night, he must go outside the camp. He must not come inside the camp. 11Toward evening he is to bathe himself in water, and when the sun sets, he may re-enter the camp.
12You are to have a designated area[] outside the camp where you can go. 13In addition to your weapon, you must have a scraper with you so that when you squat out there, you can dig a hole with it and then proceed to cover up what comes out. 14Since the Lord your God is moving within your camp to save you and to defeat your enemies before you, your camp is to be holy. Do not let him see anything indecent among you so that he turns away from you.
15Do not return a slave who escaped to you from his master. 16Let him live with you, among your people, in the place he chooses within one of your cities that he thinks is good for him. Do not mistreat him.
17The daughters of Israel must not become female temple prostitutes, and neither are the sons of Israel to become male temple prostitutes.
18Do not bring the fee earned by a whore or the pay earned by a “dog”[] to the house of the Lord your God to fulfill any vow, because it is an abomination to the Lord. Yes, both of them are.
19Do not make your brother Israelite pay interest, whether interest of money or of food, or of anything that may be loaned out for interest. 20You may charge interest to a foreigner, but to your brother you are not to charge interest, so that the Lord your God may bless you in everything you do in the land that you are coming to possess.
21When you make a vow to the Lord your God, do not delay fulfilling it, because the Lord your God will require it of you and you will be guilty. 22But if you do not make a vow at all, you will not be guilty. 23Whatever has passed from your lips you must be careful to do, because with your own mouth you vowed to make an offering to the Lord your God with your mouth.
24When you come into your neighbor's vineyard, you may eat grapes to satisfy your appetite, but you must not put any into your container. 25When you come into a field of standing grain belonging to your neighbor and you pluck the heads of grain with your hand, you are not allowed to use a sickle to cut his standing grain.


  • 23:1 In the Hebrew text, chapter 23 starts with English verse 22:30. In chapter 23, the remaining Hebrew verse numbers are one number higher than the corresponding English verse numbers.
  • 23:2 The meaning of the term mamzer is uncertain. Some believe it refers to any illegitimate birth or to any birth resulting from prostitution. The suggestion that it refers to an incestuous relationship is supported by the mention of the Moabites and Ammonites in verse 3. See Genesis 19.
  • 23:4 Aram Naharaim, which is in northern Syria between two tributaries of the Euphrates River
  • 23:12 The Hebrew word here usually means hand. It sometimes refers to a sign or marker, which explains its meaning here, “a handy place.”
  • 23:18 A male prostitute