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Deuteronomy 23-25 Common English Bible (CEB)

The Lord’s assembly

23 [a] No man whose testicles are crushed or whose penis is cut off can belong to the Lord’s assembly. No one born of an illegitimate marriage[b] can belong to the Lord’s assembly either. Not even the tenth generation of such children can belong to the Lord’s assembly. Ammonites and Moabites can’t belong to the Lord’s assembly. Not even the tenth generation of such people can belong to the Lord’s assembly, as a rule, because they didn’t help you with food or water on your journey out of Egypt, and because they hired Balaam, Beor’s son, from Pethor of Mesopotamia to curse you. But the Lord your God wasn’t interested in listening to Balaam. The Lord your God turned that curse into a blessing because the Lord your God loves you. So don’t be concerned with their health and well-being as long as you live.

Don’t detest Edomites, because they are your relatives. Don’t detest Egyptians because you were immigrants in their land. Children born to them are permitted to belong to the Lord’s assembly starting with the third generation.

Rules for the war camp

When you are camped in battle against your enemies, guard yourself from every possible evil. 10 If an individual in the camp becomes polluted due to a nighttime emission, he must exit the camp area and not reenter. 11 When the next evening arrives, he must wash with water; and when the sun sets, he can come back to the camp.

12 The latrines[c] must be outside the camp. You will use them there, outside the camp. 13 Carry a shovel with the rest of your gear; once you have relieved yourself, use it to dig a hole, then refill it, covering your excrement.

14 Do these things because the Lord your God travels with you, right in the middle of your camp, ready to save you and to hand your enemies over to you. For this reason your camp must be holy. The Lord must not see anything indecent among you, or he will turn away from you.

Escaped slaves

15 Don’t return slaves to owners if they’ve escaped and come to you. 16 They can stay with you: in your own community or in any place they select from one of your cities, whatever seems good to them. Don’t oppress them.

Consecrated workers

17 No Israelite daughter is allowed to be a consecrated worker.[d] Neither is any Israelite son allowed to be a consecrated worker.[e] 18 Don’t bring a female prostitute’s fee or a male prostitute’s[f] payment to the Lord your God’s temple to pay a solemn promise because both of these things are detestable to the Lord your God.

Charging interest

19 Don’t charge your fellow Israelites interest—whether on money, provisions, or anything one might loan. 20 You can charge foreigners interest, but not your fellow Israelite. Do this so that the Lord your God blesses you in all your work on the land you are entering to possess.

Solemn promise

21 When you make a promise to the Lord your God, don’t put off making good on it, because the Lord your God will certainly be expecting it from you; delaying would make you guilty. 22 Now if you simply don’t make any promises, you won’t be guilty of anything. 23 But whatever you say, you should be sure to make good on, exactly according to the promise you freely made to the Lord your God because you promised it with your own mouth.

Neighbor’s goods

24 If you go into your neighbor’s vineyard, you can eat as many grapes as you like, until full, but don’t carry any away in a basket. 25 If you go into your neighbor’s grain field, you can pluck ears by hand, but you aren’t allowed to cut off any of your neighbor’s grain with a sickle.

Marriage and divorce

24 Let’s say a man marries a woman, but she isn’t pleasing to him because he’s discovered something inappropriate about her. So he writes up divorce papers, hands them to her, and sends her out of his house. She leaves his house and ends up marrying someone else. But this new husband also dislikes her, writes up divorce papers, hands them to her, and sends her out of his house (or suppose the second husband dies). In this case, the first husband who originally divorced this woman is not allowed to take her back and marry her again after she has been polluted in this way because the Lord detests that. Don’t pollute the land the Lord your God is giving to you as an inheritance.

A newly married man doesn’t have to march in battle. Neither should any related duties be placed on him. He is to live free of such responsibilities for one year, so he can bring joy to his new wife.


Millstones or even just the upper millstone must not be pawned, because that would be pawning someone’s livelihood.


If someone is caught kidnapping their fellow Israelites, intending to enslave the Israelite or sell them, that kidnapper must die. Remove[g] such evil from your community!

Skin disease

Be on guard against outbreaks of skin disease[h] by being very careful about what you do. You must carefully do everything the levitical priests teach you, just as I have commanded them. Remember, after all, what the Lord your God did to Miriam on your departure from Egypt!


10 When you make any type of loan to your neighbor, don’t enter their house to receive the collateral. 11 You must wait outside. The person to whom you are lending will bring the collateral to you out there. 12 Moreover, if the person is poor, you are not allowed to sleep in their pawned coat. 13 Instead, be certain to give the pawned coat back by sunset so they can sleep in their own coat. They will bless you, and you will be considered righteous before the Lord your God.

Payment for workers

14 Don’t take advantage of poor or needy workers, whether they are fellow Israelites or immigrants who live in your land or your cities. 15 Pay them their salary the same day, before the sun sets, because they are poor, and their very life depends on that pay, and so they don’t cry out against you to the Lord. That would make you guilty.

Generational punishment

16 Parents shouldn’t be executed because of what their children have done; neither should children be executed because of what their parents have done. Each person should be executed for their own guilty acts.

Rights of widows, orphans, and immigrants

17 Don’t obstruct the legal rights of an immigrant or orphan. Don’t take a widow’s coat as pledge for a loan. 18 Remember how you were a slave in Egypt but how the Lord your God saved you from that. That’s why I’m commanding you to do this thing.

19 Whenever you are reaping the harvest of your field and you leave some grain in the field, don’t go back and get it. Let it go to the immigrants, the orphans, and the widows so that the Lord your God blesses you in all that you do. 20 Similarly, when you beat the olives off your olive trees, don’t go back over them twice. Let the leftovers go to the immigrants, the orphans, and the widows. 21 Again, when you pick the grapes of your vineyard, don’t pick them over twice. Let the leftovers go to the immigrants, the orphans, and the widows. 22 Remember how you were a slave in Egypt. That’s why I am commanding you to do this thing.

Corporal punishment

25 Now two people have a disagreement and they enter into litigation and their case is decided, with the judges declaring one person legally right and the other legally liable. If the guilty party is to be beaten, the presiding judge will have that person lie down and be punished in his presence—the number of blows in measure with the guilt determined. Give no more than forty blows. If more than that is given, your fellow Israelite would be completely disgraced in your eyes.

Working oxen

Don’t muzzle an ox while it is threshing grain.

The brother-in-law’s duty

If brothers live together and one of them dies without having a son, the dead man’s wife must not go outside the family and marry a stranger. Instead, her brother-in-law should go to her and take her as his wife. He will then consummate the marriage according to the brother-in-law’s duty. The brother-in-law will name the oldest male son that she bears after his dead brother so that his brother’s legacy will not be forgotten in Israel. If the brother does not want to marry his sister-in-law, she can go to the elders at the city gate, informing them: “My brother-in-law refuses to continue his brother’s legacy in Israel. He’s not willing to perform the brother-in-law’s duty with me.” The city’s elders will summon him and talk to him about this. If he doesn’t budge, insisting, “I don’t want to marry her,” then the sister-in-law will approach him while the elders watch. She will pull the sandal off his foot and spit in his face. Then she will exclaim: “That’s what’s done to any man who won’t build up his own brother’s family!” 10 Subsequently, that man’s family will be known throughout Israel as “the house of the removed sandal.”

Improper touching

11 If two men are fighting with each other—a man and his fellow Israelite—and the wife of one of them gets into the fight, trying to save her husband from his attacker and does so by reaching out and grabbing his genitals, 12 you must cut off her hand. Show no mercy.

Honest business practices

13 Don’t have two different types of money weights in your bag, a heavy one and a light one. 14 Don’t have two different types of ephahs in your house, a large one and a small one. 15 Instead, you must have only one weight, complete and correct, and only one ephah, also complete and correct, so that your life might be long in the fertile land the Lord your God is giving you. 16 What’s more, all who do such things, all who do business dishonestly, are detestable to the Lord your God. 17 Remember, after all, what Amalek did to you on your departure from Egypt: 18 how he met up with you on the way, striking from behind those who were lagging back because you were weak and tired, and because he didn’t fear God. 19 So once the Lord your God gives you relief from all the enemies that surround you in the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, you must wipe out Amalek’s memory from under the heavens. Don’t forget this!


  1. Deuteronomy 23:1 23:2 in Heb
  2. Deuteronomy 23:2 Heb uncertain
  3. Deuteronomy 23:12 LXX, Syr, Vulg place of the hand (a euphemism); MT has only hand.
  4. Deuteronomy 23:17 Traditionally cultic prostitute
  5. Deuteronomy 23:17 Traditionally cultic prostitute
  6. Deuteronomy 23:18 Or a dog’s
  7. Deuteronomy 24:7 Or burn
  8. Deuteronomy 24:8 Heb uncertain; traditionally leprosy—a term used for several different skin diseases
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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