Study Guide

Book of Deuteronomy Chapter 23

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Chapter 23

More Laying Down the Law

  • Every culture has its Do-Not-Fly List, and this is the Israelites'. We get a list of individuals not allowed to enter the temple, including Ammonites and Moabites.
  • Back in Genesis, we found out that the Moabites and the Ammonites are the children of Lot, Abraham's nephew. That means they're distant cousins of the Israelites.
  • The Ammonites did not give food to the Israelites, and the Moabites hired the prophet Balaam—the guy with the talking Donkey—to curse the Israelites (see Numbers 22-24).
  • Next up, laws regarding the Israelite camp and bodily functions. Things get gross here, people. We're talking "nocturnal emissions" and where to bury your feces. You may not have known these things were in the Bible, but Deuteronomy is very thorough.
  • Changing the subject, escaped slaves are allowed to remain in the Promised Land.
  • No female or male temple prostitutes. This was probably an issue in the regional religious scene.
  • All people can charge interest on loans to foreigners, but not on loans to fellow Israelites.
  • If you make a vow, do what you said you would do. Seems like sound advice.
  • When you're on your neighbor's property, you can eat his grapes and grain. You just can't take any with you. Hmmm, we might go camp out in Napa now.

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