Deuteronomy 23:17
There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(17) Whore and sodomite seem both intended to be taken in the sense in which they belonged to the temples of Baal and Ashtaroth, of persons dedicated to impurity.

Deuteronomy 23:17. There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel — No common prostitute, such as were tolerated and encouraged by the Gentiles, and used even in their religious worship. Not that such practices were allowed to the strangers among them, as is evident from many passages of Scripture and reason; but that it was in a peculiar manner, and upon special reasons, forbidden to them, as being much more odious in them than in strangers. It is remarkable that the original words, which we render whore and sodomite, import a man or woman consecrated to some deity, who served their gods by prostitution.23:15-25 It is honourable to shelter and protect the weak, provided they are not wicked. Proselytes and converts to the truth, should be treated with particular tenderness, that they may have no temptation to return to the world. We cannot honour God with our substance, unless it be honestly and honourably come by. It must not only be considered what we give, but how we got it. Where the borrower gets, or hopes to get, it is just that the lender should share the gain; but to him that borrows for necessary food, pity must be showed. That which is gone out of thy lips, as a solemn and deliberate vow, must not be recalled, but thou shalt keep and perform it punctually and fully. They were allowed to pluck and eat of the corn or grapes that grew by the road side; only they must not carry any away. This law intimated what great plenty of corn and wine they should have in Canaan. It provided for the support of poor travellers, and teaches us to be kind to such, teaches us to be ready to distribute, and not to think every thing lost that is given away. Yet it forbids us to abuse the kindness of friends, or to take advantage of what is allowed. Faithfulness to their engagements should mark the people of God; and they should never encroach upon others.Compare the marginal reference. Prostitution was a common part of religious observances among idolatrous nations, especially in the worship of Ashtoreth or Astarte. Compare Micah 1:7; Baruch 6:43. 15, 16. Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which has escaped from his master unto thee—evidently a servant of the Canaanites or some of the neighboring people, who was driven by tyrannical oppression, or induced, with a view of embracing the true religion, to take refuge in Israel. No common prostitute, such, as were tolerated and encouraged by the Gentiles, and used even in their religious worship.

Of the daughters of Israel; not that such practices were allowed to the strangers among them, as is evident from many scriptures and reasons, but that it was in a peculiar manner, and upon special reasons, forbidden to them, as being much more odious in them than in strangers; though the words may be rendered among the daughters, and so in the following clause, among the sons, for the Hebrew mem is sometimes used in that sense, as Numbers 22:22 Psalm 31:12, and so it notes that none of that sort should be permitted among them, whether Jews or strangers.

A sodomite; who defileth or suffereth himself to be defiled with mankind. See Genesis 19:5 Leviticus 18:12 1 Kings 14:24 22:46 Romans 1:27. There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel,.... The word for "whore" is "kedeshah", which properly signifies an "holy" one; and here, by an antiphrasis, an unholy, an impure person, one that is defiled by man; See Gill on Genesis 38:18. Jarchi interprets the word, one that makes herself common, that is sanctified, or set apart; that is, one that separates herself for such service, and prostitutes herself to everyone that passes by: but some understand this not of common harlots in the streets, but of sacred whores, or such as were consecrated to Heathen deities, as such there were to Venus. Strabo (x) tells us that the temple of Venus at Corinth was so rich, that more than a thousand of those sacred harlots were kept, whom men and women had devoted to that goddess; and so a multitude of the same sort were at Comana, which he calls little Corinth (y); now these of all harlots being the most abominable are forbidden to be among the daughters of Israel:

nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel: by the same rule that "kedeshah" is rendered "a whore" in the preceding clause, "kadesh" should be rendered "an whoremonger" here, as in the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions; though Aben Ezra interprets it passively, one that is lain with, and Jarchi one that is prepared to lie with a male, that prostitutes his body in this unnatural way; and it looks as if there were such sort of persons sacred to idols, since we read of the houses of the sodomites, which were by, or rather in the house of the Lord, 2 Kings 23:7.

(x) Geograph. l. 8. p. 261. (y) lb. l. 12. p. 385.

There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verses 17, 18. - Amongst idolatrous nations prostitution was in certain cases regarded as an act of religious service (cf. Herod, 1:199), and both males and females prostituted themselves especially in the worship of Astarte. All such abominations were to be unknown in Israel (cf. Micah 1:7). Whore; kedeshah (קְדֵשָׁה), a female who prostituted herself in the worship of an idol. The price of a dog; not money obtained from the sale of a dog, but the gains of the kadesh, or male prostitute, here called a dog, as the type of all uncleanness (cf. Revelation 22:15). The person who had become unclean through a nightly occurrence, was to go out of the camp and remain there till he had cleansed himself in the evening. On the journey through the desert, none but those who were affected with uncleanness of a longer duration were to be removed from the camp (Numbers 5:2) but when they were encamped, this law was to apply to even lighter defilements.
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