Deuteronomy 23

Persons Excluded from the Assembly

23 “No one who is [a]emasculated or has his male organ cut off may enter the assembly of the Lord. No one of illegitimate birth may enter the assembly of the Lord; none of his descendants, even to the tenth generation, may enter the assembly of the Lord. No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the assembly of the Lord; none of their descendants, even to the tenth generation, may ever enter the assembly of the Lord, because they did not meet you with [b]food and water on the way when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of [c]Mesopotamia, to curse you. Nevertheless, the Lord your God was unwilling to listen to Balaam, but the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you because the Lord your God loves you. You shall never seek their peace or their prosperity all your days.

“You shall not loathe an [d]Edomite, for he is your brother; you shall not loathe an Egyptian, because you were a stranger in his land. The sons of the third generation who are born to them may enter the assembly of the Lord.

“When you go out as [e]an army against your enemies, you shall be on guard against every evil thing.

10 “If there is among you any man who is unclean because of a nocturnal emission, then he must go outside the camp; he may not [f]reenter the camp. 11 But when evening approaches, he shall bathe himself with water, and at sundown he may [g]reenter the camp.

12 “You shall also have a place allocated outside the camp, so that you may go out there to relieve yourself, 13 and you shall have a [h]spade among your tools, and it shall be when you sit down outside, you shall dig with it and shall turn and cover up your excrement. 14 Since the Lord your God walks in the midst of your camp to save you and to [i]defeat your enemies before you, your camp must be holy; so He must not see [j]anything indecent among you [k]or He will turn away from you.

15 “You shall not hand over to his master a slave who has [l]escaped from his master to you. 16 He shall live with you in your midst, in the place that he chooses in one of your [m]towns where it pleases him; you shall not mistreat him.

17 “None of the daughters of Israel shall be a cult prostitute, nor shall any of the sons of Israel be a cult prostitute. 18 You shall not bring the earnings of a prostitute or the money for a [n]dog into the house of the Lord your God as payment for any vowed offering, because both of these are an abomination to the Lord your God.

19 “You are not to charge interest to your countrymen: interest on money, food, or anything that may be loaned on interest. 20 You may charge interest to a foreigner, but to your countrymen you shall not charge interest, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all [o]that you undertake in the land which you are about to enter to [p]possess.

21 “When you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay to pay it, for the Lord your God will certainly require it of you, and it will be a sin [q]for you. 22 However, if you refrain from making vows, it will not be a sin [r]for you. 23 You shall be careful and perform what goes out of your lips, since in fact you have vowed a [s]voluntary offering to the Lord your God, whatever you have [t]promised.

24 “When you enter your neighbor’s vineyard, you may eat grapes [u]until you are satisfied; but you are not to put any in your [v]basket.

25 “When you enter your neighbor’s standing grain, you may pluck the heads of grain with your hand, but you are not to [w]use a sickle on your neighbor’s standing grain.


  1. Deuteronomy 23:1 Lit wounded by crushing of testicles
  2. Deuteronomy 23:4 Lit bread
  3. Deuteronomy 23:4 Heb Aram-naharaim
  4. Deuteronomy 23:7 I.e., a descendant of Esau
  5. Deuteronomy 23:9 Or a camp
  6. Deuteronomy 23:10 Lit come to the midst of
  7. Deuteronomy 23:11 Lit come to the midst of
  8. Deuteronomy 23:13 Lit peg
  9. Deuteronomy 23:14 Lit give
  10. Deuteronomy 23:14 Lit nakedness of anything
  11. Deuteronomy 23:14 Lit and
  12. Deuteronomy 23:15 Lit delivered himself
  13. Deuteronomy 23:16 Lit gates in the good to him
  14. Deuteronomy 23:18 Prob. refers to a male prostitute
  15. Deuteronomy 23:20 Lit the putting forth of your hand
  16. Deuteronomy 23:20 Lit possess it
  17. Deuteronomy 23:21 Lit in you
  18. Deuteronomy 23:22 Lit in you
  19. Deuteronomy 23:23 Or freewill offering
  20. Deuteronomy 23:23 Lit spoken with your mouth
  21. Deuteronomy 23:24 Lit according to your soul, your satiation
  22. Deuteronomy 23:24 Lit container
  23. Deuteronomy 23:25 Lit brandish