Deuteronomy 23:18
Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God.
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(18) The hire of a whore.—Even a lamb or a kid might not be sacrificed for them, if obtained as the wages of sin (Genesis 38:17).

The price of a dog.—The ass might be redeemed with a lamb, and the lamb could be sacrificed. The dog could not be treated thus. Yet “the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs.” But there is a “dog that turns to his own vcmit again,” and of these it is written that “without are dogs and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie” (Revelation 22:15).

Deuteronomy 23:18. The hire of a whore — It was a custom among the idolatrous nations for prostitutes to dedicate to the honour of their false gods some part of what they had earned by prostitution. In opposition to which abominable practice this law is thought to have been instituted. Or the price of a dog — It is not easy to give any satisfactory account why these two, the price of a whore, and of a dog, are associated in the same law. Thus much seems clear, (from Numbers 18:15,) that the price of a dog is not here rejected because the dog is an unclean creature. Some have thought it is because the dog was worshipped by the Egyptians; that God, to draw his people from or guard them against idolatry, casts this contempt upon that creature in refusing the price it should be sold for. But the most natural sense of the passage seems to be, to take the word dog here in a figurative sense, for the sodomite, or whoremonger, before mentioned, such persons being not improperly styled dogs, on account of their shameless incontinency and brutal manners. Accordingly, men of canine, beastly natures, are called dogs, Matthew 15:26; 2 Peter 2:22;

Revelation 22:15.

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.Another Gentile practice, connected with the one alluded to in the preceding verse, is here forbidden. The word "dog" is figurative (compare Revelation 22:15), and equivalent to the "sodomite" of the verse preceding. 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. This is opposed to the practice of the Gentiles, who allowed both such persons and their oblations they made out of their wicked and infamous gains; and some of them kept lewd women, who prostituted themselves in the temples, and to the honour of their false gods, and offered part of their profit to them. See Micah 1:7; /APC Bar 6:43; Herodotus in the end of his first book, and Strabo in his eighth book. The price of a dog; either,

1. Properly; the dog being a vile and contemptible creature in those eastern parts, 1 Samuel 17:43 24:14 2 Samuel 3:8 Ecclesiastes 9:4, and unclean by God’s designation, which yet should have been redeemed by virtue of that law. Numbers 18:15, had it not been for this prohibition. And this may be here prohibited, either,

1. That by this one instance, put for all others of the like kind, they might be taught not to offer to God what cost them nothing, or was worth nothing. Or,

2. To bring contempt upon the creature, which divers of the Gentiles offered up to their gods, and the Egyptians worshipped as gods. Or,

3. That by comparing whores and dogs together, and equalling the prices of them, he might expose whores to the highest disgrace and infamy. Or,

II. Metaphorically, as that word is oft used in Scripture, as 1 Samuel 24:14 Psalm 22:16,20 Isa 56:10,11 Mt 7:6 Philippians 3:2; and particularly it is used for unclean or filthy persons, 2 Peter 2:22 Revelation 22:15; as Horace also calls whores bitches; which name doth most properly agree to them in respect of that impudence, and filthiness, and insatiableness, for which both of them are branded. And this sense may seem most proper in this place, because it agrees with all the other expressions; and as the hire of a whore answers to the whore, Deu 23:17, so the price of a dog may seem to answer to the sodomite, Deu 23:17, and so all concerned the same thing, whereas the price of a dog, properly so called, may seem to be quite incongruous, and foreign to the place. It is true which is objected, that lawgivers use to deliver their laws in proper, and not in metaphorical terms, to prevent mistake and ambiguity; but there seems to be no great danger of mistake here, where the metaphor is so clearly explained and determined by so many words joined with it. For any vow; and much less in other sacrifices, which being of a higher nature, and prescribed by God, must needs require more exactness than those which depended much upon a man’s will and choice, as vows and free-will offerings did. Both these, i.e. the whore and the dog, and therefore the price of either of them cannot be acceptable. And this may seem to favour the latter opinion, that the dog is here taken metaphorically rather than properly, because there is no mention in the law (save in this place which is in question) of any abominableness of a dog unto God, more than of an ass, or any other unclean creature; but how abominable sodomites are to God is sufficiently evident from other scriptures, and from undeniable reasons.

Thou shall not bring the hire of a whore,.... Which was given to her as a reward for the use of her body:

or the price of a dog; not of the firstborn of a dog, the price for the redemption of it, as some; nor for the loan of a hunting dog, or a shepherd's dog for breed, as Josephus (z) interprets this law. Abarbinel understands it figuratively of a sodomite, comparable to a dog, for his uncleanness and impudence; see Revelation 22:15; and the price of such an one the gain he got by the prostitution of his body to unnatural lusts; and so as the hire of a whore answers to one in Deuteronomy 23:17, the price of a dog to a sodomite here; and in this he is followed by some, nor is it a sense to be despised; though the Jews (a) understand it literally of a dog, and of the exchange of another creature with that; so Onkelos renders it,"the exchange of a dog:''now neither of these might a man bring

into the house of the Lord thy God for any vow; that is, when a man vowed to offer any sacrifice to the Lord, it was not to be anything that was given to a whore as her hire; as, for instance, as Jarchi, if he gave her for her hire a lamb, it was not fit to be offered; which agrees with the Jewish (b) canons,"what is the hire of a whore? if one says to a whore, take this lamb for thy hire, though an hundred, they are all forbidden; and so if one says to his neighbour, lo, this lamb is thine, that thine handmaid may lie with my a servant, Rabbi says it is not the hire of a whore, but the wise men say it is.--If he gives her money, lo, this is free; wines, oils, and fine flour, and the like, that are offered on the altar, are forbidden; (but the commentators say (c), wheat, olives, and grapes, out of which fine flour, oil, and wine are made, are free;) if he gives her consecrated things, lo, these are free, birds, they are forbidden.''Now this law seems to be made in opposition to the customs and practices of the Phoenicians and Canaanites, whose land the Israelites were going to inhabit; whose women, as we are told (d), used to prostitute themselves in the temples of their idols, and dedicate there the hire of their bodies to their gods, thinking thereby to appease their deities and obtain good things for themselves; and the like did the. Babylonians and Assyrians; See Gill on Micah 1:7; so it is asked (e),"what is the price of a dog? if a man says to his neighbour, take this lamb for that dog; so if two partners divide, one takes ten (lambs), and the other nine and a dog; what is in lieu of the dog is forbidden, but those that are taken with him are free:''a whore and a dog are fitly put together, because both are libidinous, impure, and impudent; perhaps the vileness and baseness of the creature is chiefly regarded in this law, to keep up the credit and veneration of sacrifices as sacred things; and it may be in reference to the worship of this creature, as by the Egyptians, who are said to worship a dog, their god Anubis (f), the image of which had a dog's head on it; or to its being offered in sacrifice to idols, as it was by others; the Colophonians sacrificed the whelps of dogs to their goddess Enodius, as others did to Enyalius or Mars (g):

for even both these are an abomination to the Lord thy God; both the hire of the whore and the price of the dog, when brought as a sacrifice to him; the one being a breach of the moral law, and the other tending to bring into contempt the sacrifices of the ceremonial law, if not a favouring idolatry, than which nothing is more abominable to God, who cannot endure anything evil, base, and impure.

(z) Antiqu. l. 4. c. 8. sect. 9. (a) In R. Sol. Urbin. Ohel Moed, fol. 28. 2.((b) Misn. Temurah, c. 6. sect. 2, 4. (c) Maimon. & Bartenora in ib. (d) Athanasius contra Gentes, p. 21. (e) Misn. ut supra, (b)) sect. 3.((f) "Oppida tota canem venerantur", Juvenal. Satyr. 15. l. 8. "latrator Anubis", Virgil Aeneid. l. 8. prope finem. (g) Pausanias in Laconic. sive, l. 3. p. 188.

Thou shalt not bring the {i} hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

(i) Forbidding that any income gained from evil things should be applied to the service of God, Mic 2:7.

Deuteronomy 23:18On the other hand, male and female prostitutes of Israelitish descent were not to be tolerated; i.e., it was not to be allowed, that either a male or female among the Israelites should give himself up to prostitution as an act of religious worship. The exclusion of foreign prostitutes was involved in the command to root out the Canaanites. קדּשׁ and קדשׁה were persons who prostituted themselves in the worship of the Canaanitish Astarte (see at Genesis 38:21). - "The wages of a prostitute and the money of dogs shall not come into the house of the Lord on account of (ל, for the more remote cause, Ewald, 217) any vow; for even both these (viz., even the prostitute and dog, not merely their dishonourable gains) are abomination unto the Lord thy God." "The hire of a whore" is what the kedeshah was paid for giving herself up. "The price of a dog" is not the price paid for the sale of a dog (Bochart, Spencer, Iken, Baumgarten, etc.), but is a figurative expression used to denote the gains of the kadesh, who was called κίναιδος by the Greeks, and received his name from the dog-like manner in which the male kadesh debased himself (see Revelation 22:15, where the unclean are distinctly called "dogs").
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