Deuteronomy 23:1
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
No one who has been emasculated by crushing or cutting may enter the assembly of the LORD.

New Living Translation
"If a man's testicles are crushed or his penis is cut off, he may not be admitted to the assembly of the LORD.

English Standard Version
“No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the LORD.

New American Standard Bible
"No one who is emasculated or has his male organ cut off shall enter the assembly of the LORD.

King James Bible
He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
No man whose testicles have been crushed or whose penis has been cut off may enter the LORD's assembly.

International Standard Version
"No man whose testicles have been crushed or whose penis has been cut off may participate in the assembly of the LORD.

NET Bible
A man with crushed or severed genitals may not enter the assembly of the LORD.

New Heart English Bible
He who is wounded in the stones, or has his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the assembly of the LORD.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
A man whose testicles are crushed or whose penis is cut off may never join the assembly of the LORD.

JPS Tanakh 1917
He that is crushed or maimed in his privy parts shall not enter into the assembly of the LORD.

New American Standard 1977
“No one who is emasculated, or has his male organ cut off, shall enter the assembly of the LORD.

Jubilee Bible 2000
He that is wounded in the stones or is castrated shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.

King James 2000 Bible
He that is a eunuch by crushing or mutilation shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.

American King James Version
He that is wounded in the stones, or has his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.

American Standard Version
He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the assembly of Jehovah.

Douay-Rheims Bible
An eunuch, whose testicles are broken or cut away, or yard cut off, shall not enter into the church of the Lord.

Darby Bible Translation
He that is a eunuch, whether he have been crushed or cut, shall not come into the congregation of Jehovah.

English Revised Version
He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the assembly of the LORD.

Webster's Bible Translation
He that is wounded or mutilated in his secrets, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.

World English Bible
He who is wounded in the stones, or has his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the assembly of Yahweh.

Young's Literal Translation
'One wounded, bruised, or cut in the member doth not enter into the assembly of Jehovah;
Study Bible
Exclusion from the Congregation
1"No one who is emasculated or has his male organ cut off shall enter the assembly of the LORD. 2"No one of illegitimate birth shall enter the assembly of the LORD; none of his descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall enter the assembly of the LORD.…
Cross References
Galatians 5:12
As for those who are agitating you, I wish they would proceed to emasculate themselves!

Leviticus 21:20
or a hunchback or a dwarf, or one who has a defect in his eye or eczema or scabs or crushed testicles.

Leviticus 22:24
Also anything with its testicles bruised or crushed or torn or cut, you shall not offer to the LORD, or sacrifice in your land,

Deuteronomy 23:2
"No one of illegitimate birth shall enter the assembly of the LORD; none of his descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall enter the assembly of the LORD.

Isaiah 56:3
Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD say, "The LORD will surely separate me from His people." Nor let the eunuch say, "Behold, I am a dry tree."
Treasury of Scripture

He that is wounded in the stones, or has his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.

wounded

Leviticus 21:17-21 Speak to Aaron, saying, Whoever he be of your seed in their generations …

Leviticus 22:22-24 Blind, or broken, or maimed, or having a running sore, or scurvy, …

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there …

shall not enter It is evident that his law was not meant to exclude such Israelites either from the common benefits of civil society, or any essential religious advantages; but merely to lay them under a disgraceful distinction. This would tend to discourage parents from thus treating their children; a practice which was exceedingly common in those ages and countries. To this they were induced by the custom which prevailed, of employing such in the houses in the great and the courts of princes; so they often rose to the highest posts of honour and authority. Some expositors therefore consider the phrase, `shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord,' as meaning, that they should be incapable of bearing any office in that government which was placed over the people of God, who must thus enter a protest against this custom, and deliver selfish parents from this temptation.

Deuteronomy 23:2,3,8 A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD…

Nehemiah 13:1-3 On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the …

Isaiah 56:3,4 Neither let the son of the stranger, that has joined himself to the …

Lamentations 1:10 The adversary has spread out his hand on all her pleasant things: …

(1) The rule that a eunuch should not enter into the congregation was doubtless intended to prevent the Israelitish rulers from making eunuchs of their brethren the children of Israel. As a set off to this apparent harshness towards the man who had been thus treated, we must read Isaiah 56:3-4, in which a special promise is given to the eunuchs that keep God's Sabbaths and take hold of His covenant. God will give to them within His house and within His walls "a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters--an everlasting name that shall not be cut off." As a special calamity it was foretold to Hezekiah that some of his descendants should be eunuchs in the palace of the King of Babylon. But Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in whom this prophecy was fulfilled, have ennobled the "children that are of their sort" for evermore.

We have no means of knowing whether the eunuchs that were in the service of the kings of Israel or Judah (1Samuel 8:15; 1Kings 22:9; 2Kings 8:6; 2Kings 9:32, &c.) were Israelites by birth or not. Ebedmelech, the Ethiopian, who received a special blessing from Jeremiah (Jeremiah 39:15-18), was a foreigner, and so very possibly were most, if not all, of his kind in Israel.

As to the second clause of this verse, it must be remembered that circumcision was the sign of the covenant of Jehovah; mutilation a form of heathen self-devotion. (See Gal. 5, 12, Revised New Testament, Margin, and Bishop Lightfoot's comment on that place.) St. Paul's words in Galatians receive a double meaning from this law. By doing what he refers to, they would cut themselves off from the congregation of the Lord. Rashi also gives another meaning, which would connect the precept with Leviticus 15:2.

Verse 1. - Mutilation was performed by the two methods here specified - crushing and excision. The exclusion of persons who had suffered this from the congregation, i.e. from the covenant fellowship of Israel, the πολιτεία τοῦ Ισραὴλ (Ephesians 2:12), was due to the priestly character of the nation. Israel was a kingdom of priests (Exodus 19:6), and the admission into it of one in whom the nature of man, as made by God, had been degraded and marred, would have been unfitting; just as all bodily blemish unfitted a man for being a priest, though otherwise qualified (Leviticus 21:16-24). This law, however, was one of the ordinances intended for the period of nonage; it had reference to the outward typical aspect of the Israelitish constitution; and it ceased to have any significance when the spiritual kingdom of God came to be established. Even under the theocracy, eunuchs were not excluded from religious privileges; they could keep God's Sabbaths, and take hold of his covenant, and choose the things pleasing to him, and so be part of the spiritual Israel, though shut out from the fellowship of that which was outward and national (cf. Isaiah 56:4). He that is wounded in the stones,.... In any of them, not accidentally, but purposely; which are crushed and bruised by the hands of men, with a design to make him unfit for generation, or to make an eunuch of him:

or that hath his privy member cut by himself or another, and is a thorough eunuch by the hands of men; for of such eunuchs that are made by men, and not born so, the law speaks; so Maimonides interprets it (f); See Gill on Matthew 19:12.

shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; which is to be understood not of the sanctuary of the Lord, or of being refused admittance into the church of God, and to join in religious rites, and partake of sacred ordinances, which all Israelites, and strangers that were proselytes, had a right unto; such might bring their offerings, keep the passover, &c. Exodus 12:48 nor of the commonwealth of Israel, as if unfit to be members of civil society; it cannot be thought that such defects should abridge them of their civil rights and privileges: but by the congregation is to be understood the elders, judges, and representatives of the people, that met together in some one place to execute judgment; see Numbers 35:12, into which such persons were not to be admitted; either because disgraceful and dishonourable, or because of the influence such defects have on their minds, they thereby becoming effeminate, irresolute, and wanting courage, as well as in opposition to the customs and usages of the Heathens, with whom it was common to admit such persons to civil offices; hence the word eunuch is sometimes used for an officer, Genesis 37:36 and elsewhere; the Jews (g) restrain this law to marriage, but unnecessarily.

(f) Hilchot lssure Biah, c. 16. sect. 8. (g) Targum Jon. in loc. Misn. Yebamot, c. 8. sect. 2, 4, 5, 6. Maimon. Moreh Nevochim, par. 3. c. 49. CHAPTER 23

De 23:1-25. Who May and Who May Not Enter into the Congregation.

1-3. He that is wounded …, shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord—"To enter into the congregation of the Lord" means either admission to public honors and offices in the Church and State of Israel, or, in the case of foreigners, incorporation with that nation by marriage. The rule was that strangers and foreigners, for fear of friendship or marriage connections with them leading the people into idolatry, were not admissible till their conversion to the Jewish faith. But this passage describes certain limitations of the general rule. The following parties were excluded from the full rights and privileges of citizenship: (1) Eunuchs—It was a very ancient practice for parents in the East by various arts to mutilate their children, with a view to training them for service in the houses of the great. (2) Bastards—Such an indelible stigma in both these instances was designed as a discouragement to practices that were disgraceful, but too common from intercourse with foreigners. (3) Ammonites and Moabites—Without provocation they had combined to engage a soothsayer to curse the Israelites; and had further endeavored, by ensnaring them into the guilt and licentious abominations of idolatry, to seduce them from their allegiance to God.23:1-8 We ought to value the privileges of God's people, both for ourselves and for our children, above all other advantages. No personal blemishes, no crimes of our forefathers, no difference of nation, shuts us out under the Christian dispensation. But an unsound heart will deprive us of blessings; and a bad example, or an unsuitable marriage, may shut our children from them.
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