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Exclusion From the Assembly

23 No man whose testicles are crushed or who has a severed penis is to come within the assembly of the Lord.[a]

A child born of an incestuous relationship[b] 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.

An 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, because 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 of Aram Naharaim[c] to curse you. But 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. Do not seek their peace and prosperity as long as you live.

Do not detest an Edomite, because he is your brother. Do not detest an Egyptian, because you were an alien in his land. Their children may come within the assembly of the Lord in the third generation.

Miscellaneous Laws

When you go out on a campaign against your enemies, you must guard yourselves against anything evil.

10 If 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. 11 Toward evening he is to bathe himself in water, and when the sun sets, he may re-enter the camp.

12 You are to have a designated area[d] outside the camp where you can go. 13 In 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. 14 Since 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.

15 Do not return a slave who escaped to you from his master. 16 Let 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.

17 The daughters of Israel must not become female temple prostitutes, and neither are the sons of Israel to become male temple prostitutes.

18 Do not bring the fee earned by a whore or the pay earned by a “dog”[e] 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.

19 Do not make your brother Israelite pay interest, whether interest of money or of food, or of anything that may be loaned out for interest. 20 You 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.

21 When 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. 22 But if you do not make a vow at all, you will not be guilty. 23 Whatever 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.

24 When you come into your neighbor’s vineyard, you may eat grapes to satisfy your appetite, but you must not put any into your container. 25 When 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.


  1. Deuteronomy 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.
  2. Deuteronomy 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.
  3. Deuteronomy 23:4 Or Aram of the Two Rivers, which is in northern Syria between the tributaries of the Euphrates River
  4. Deuteronomy 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.”
  5. Deuteronomy 23:18 A male prostitute