Deuteronomy 23:7
Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land.
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(7) Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite . . . an Egyptian.—The contrast between these and the Moabite and Ammonite is drawn rather well by Rashi in this passace. “Learn here,” he says, “that he who makes a man to sin, treats him worse than he who kills-him; for he that kills, kills only in this world, but he who causes him to sin, banishes him both from this world and from the world to come. Edom, therefore who met them with the sword (Numbers 21:18; Numbers 21:20) they must not abhor; nor, again, Egypt, that would have drowned them (Exodus 1:22); but those who made them to sin are to be abhorred of them, because of the counsel wherewith they counselled them to cause them to sin.” The counsel of Balaam and the whoredoms of Moab are referred to; the Midianites who joined in this effort had been chastised already (Numbers 31).

Deuteronomy 23:7-8. Thou wast a stranger — And didst receive habitation, protection, and provision from them a long time, which kindness thou must not forget for their following persecution. It is ordinary with men that one injury blots out the remembrance of twenty favours. But God doth not deal so with us, nor will he have us to deal so with others, but commands us to forget injuries, and to remember kindnesses. In the third generation — When they had been proselytes to the true religion for three generations, they might be incorporated with the Jewish community. And, according to the Hebrew masters, the grand-children are the third generation.

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.The Edomite, as descended from Esau the twin brother of Jacob (compare Deuteronomy 2:4), and the Egyptian, as of that nation which had for long shown hospitality to Joseph and his brethren, were not to be objects of abhorrence. The oppression of the Egyptians was perhaps regarded as the act of the Pharaohs rather than the will of the people Exodus 11:2-3; and at any rate was not to cancel the memory of preceding hospitality.3. even to the their tenth generation shall they not enter—Many eminent writers think that this law of exclusion was applicable only to males; at all events that a definite is used for an indefinite number (Ne 13:1; Ru 4:10; 2Ki 10:2). Many of the Israelites being established on the east side of Jordan in the immediate neighborhood of those people, God raised this partition wall between them to prevent the consequences of evil communications. More favor was to be shown to Edomites and Egyptians—to the former from their near relationship to Israel; and to the latter, from their early hospitalities to the family of Jacob, as well as the many acts of kindness rendered them by private Egyptians at the Exodus (Ex 12:36). The grandchildren of Edomite or Egyptian proselytes were declared admissible to the full rights of citizenship as native Israelites; and by this remarkable provision, God taught His people a practical lesson of generosity and gratitude for special deeds of kindness, to the forgetfulness of all the persecution and ill services sustained from those two nations. An Edomite; the children of Edom; only the Amalekites are excepted by God’s particular order, and upon special reason, Deu 25:17-19.

Thy brother, by Esau, Jacob’s brother.

Thou wast a stranger in his land, and didst receive habitation, protection, and provision from them a long time, which kindness thou must not forget for their following persecution. It is ordinary with great men and others, that one injury or offence blots out the remembrance of twenty courtesies; but God doth not deal so with us, nor will he have us to deal so with others, but commands us to overlook and forget injuries, and to remember kindnesses.

Thou shall not abhor an Edomite,.... Or an Idumean, the descendants of Esau, whose name was Edom, Genesis 25:30 the Targum of Jonathan adds, "that comes to be made a proselyte"; he was not to be rejected with abhorrence, because of the old grudge between Jacob and Esau, and which was become national in their posterity:

for he is thy brother; the Israelites and the Edomites were nearest akin to each other of all the nations; for Jacob and Esau were own brothers by father's and mother's side, yea, were twin brothers; the relation was very near:

thou shall not abhor an Egyptian; that comes to be made a proselyte also, as the same Targum; though the Israelites were so ill used by them, their lives made bitter with hard bondage, and their male infants slain by them, and they for a long time refused their liberty to depart:

because thou wast a stranger in his land: and at first received many favours and kindnesses from them, being supported and supplied with provisions during a long famine; and had one of the richest and most fruitful parts of the country assigned them to dwell in; and old favours were not to be forgotten, though they had been followed with great unkindness and cruelty.

Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land.
Verse 7. - It was to be otherwise with the Edomite and the Egyptian; though the former had refused permission to the Israelites to pass through their land, and the latter had oppressed and wronged the nation, yet as the former were connected with Israel by a bond of kindred - for he is thy brother - and the latter had received Israel to sojourn in their land, where, notwithstanding the oppression which clouded the later times of their sojourn, they had reaped many benefits, they were not to abhor these nations or place them under a ban of perpetual exclusion; descendants in the third generation of an Edomite or Egyptian might be naturalized in Israel. Vers. 9-11 - When the people went forth to war, all impurity and defilement was to be kept out of their camp. When the host goeth forth; literally, when thou goest forth as a camp or host. As in the wilderness the camp was to be kept pure (Numbers 5:2, etc.), so also in the future, when they went out to war, all defilement was to be removed from their host. Every wicked thing; rather, every evil thing, evil in the sense of blemish or uncleanness (cf. Deuteronomy 17:1). Deuteronomy 23:7Also no Ammonite or Moabite was to be received, not even in the tenth generation; not, however, because their forefathers were begotten in incest (Genesis 19:30.), as Knobel supposes, but on account of the hostility they had manifested to the establishment of the kingdom of God. Not only had they failed to give Israel a hospitable reception on its journey (see at Deuteronomy 2:29), but they (viz., the king of the Moabites) had even hired Balaam to curse Israel. In this way they had brought upon themselves the curse which falls upon all those who curse Israel, according to the infallible word of God (Genesis 12:3), the truth of which even Balaam was obliged to attest in the presence of Balak (Numbers 24:9); although out of love to Israel the Lord turned the curse of Balaam into a blessing (cf. Numbers 22-24). For this reason Israel was never to seek their welfare and prosperity, i.e., to make this an object of its care ("to seek," as in Jeremiah 29:7); not indeed from personal hatred, for the purpose of repaying evil with evil, since this neither induced Moses to publish the prohibition, nor instigated Ezra when he put the law in force, by compelling the separation of all Ammonitish, Moabitish, and Canaanitish wives from the newly established congregation in Jerusalem (Ezra 9:12). How far Moses was from being influenced by such motives of personal or national revenge is evident, apart from the prohibition in Deuteronomy 2:9 and Deuteronomy 2:19 against making war upon the Moabites and Ammonites, from the command which follows in Deuteronomy 23:8 and Deuteronomy 23:9 with reference to the Edomites and Egyptians. These nations had also manifested hostility to the Israelites. Edom had come against them when they desired to march peaceably through his land (Numbers 20:18.), and the Pharaohs of Egypt had heavily oppressed them. Nevertheless, Israel as to keep the bond of kindred sacred ("he is thy brother"), and not to forget in the case of the Egyptians the benefits derived from their sojourn in their land. Their children might come into the congregation of the Lord in the third generation, i.e., the great-grandchildren of Edomites of Egyptians, who had lived as strangers in Israel (see at Exodus 20:5). Such persons might be incorporated into the covenant nation by circumcision.
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