Deuteronomy Chapter 23-25 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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People Who Can Join in Worship

23 “A man with crushed testicles or part of his sex organs cut off may not join with the men of Israel to worship the Lord. 2If a man’s parents were not legally married, then that man may not join with the men of Israel to worship the Lord. And none of his descendants* to the tenth generation—may join in that group! 3“An Ammonite or Moabite may not join with the men of Israel to worship the Lord. And none of their descendants* —to the tenth generation—may join in that group. 4Why? Because the Ammonites and Moabites refused to give you bread and water on your trip at the time you came from Egypt. They also tried to hire Balaam to curse you. (Balaam was the son of Beor from the city of Pethor in Mesopotamia.) 5But the Lord your God refused to listen to Balaam. The Lord changed the curse into a blessing for you. Why? Because the Lord your God loves you. 6You must never try to make peace with the Ammonite or Moabite people. As long as you live, don’t be friendly to them.

People the Israelites Must Accept

7“You must not hate an Edomite. Why? Because he is your relative. You must not hate an Egyptian. Why? Because you were a stranger in his land. 8The children of the third generation born to the Edomites and Egyptians may join with the men of Israel to worship the Lord.

Keeping the Army Camp Clean

9“When your army goes to fight against your enemies, stay away from everything that would make you unclean.* 10If there is any man who is unclean because he had a wet dream during the night, then he must go out of the camp. He must stay away from the camp. 11Then, when evening comes, the man must bathe himself in water. And when the sun goes down, he may come into the camp again. 12“You also must have a place outside the camp where you can go to have a bowel movement. 13With your weapons, you must also carry a stick to dig with. Then, when you have a bowel movement, you must dig a hole and cover it up. 14Why? Because the Lord your God is there with you in your camp to save you and to help you defeat your enemies. So the camp must be holy. Then the Lord will not see something disgusting and leave you.

Other Laws

15“If a slave runs away from his master to you, you must not give this slave back to his master. 16This slave may live with you wherever he likes. He may live in whatever city he chooses. You must not trouble him. 17“An Israelite man or woman must never become a temple prostitute.* 18The money earned by a man* or woman prostitute must not be brought to the special house of the Lord your God. A person can’t use that money to pay for the things he promised to give to God. Why? Because the Lord your God hates for people to sell their bodies for sexual sin. 19“When you loan something to another Israelite, you must not charge interest. Don’t charge interest on money, on food or on anything that may earn interest. 20You may charge interest to a foreigner. But you must not charge interest to another Israelite. If you follow these rules, then the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do in the land where you are going to live. 21“When you make a promise to the Lord your God, don’t be slow to pay all that you promised. Why? Because the Lord your God will demand that you pay it. You will sin if you don’t pay the things you promised. 22If you don’t make a promise, then you are not sinning. 23But you must do the things you say you will do. If you make a special promise to God, then you chose to make that promise. God did not force you to make that promise. So you must do the thing you promised! 24“When you go through another person’s field of grapes, you may eat as many grapes as you want. But you can’t put any of the grapes in your basket {and take them with you}. 25When you go through another person’s field of grain, you may eat all the grain you can pick with your hands. But you can’t use a sickle to cut that person’s grain and take it with you.

descendants A person’s children and their future families. unclean Not pure or not acceptable to God for worship. temple prostitute The people who worshiped false gods in the land of Canaan had both men and women serving as priests by giving their bodies in sexual sin. man Literally, “dog.” This probably means a man paid by other men that use him for sexual sin.

24  “A man might marry a woman, and then find some secret thing about her that he does not like. If that man is not pleased with her, he must write the divorce papers and give them to her. Then he must send her from his house. 2When she has left his house, she may go and become another man’s wife. 3–4But suppose the new husband also does not like her and sends her away. If that man divorces her, then the first husband may not take her again to be his wife. Or if the new husband dies, then her first husband may not take her again to be his wife. She has become unclean to him. If he married her again, he would be doing something the Lord hates. You must not sin like this in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. 5“When a man is newly married, he must not be sent into the army. And he must not be given any other special work. For one year he must be free to stay home and make his new wife happy. 6“When you lend a person something, you must not take as security* any part of the stones he uses to grind flour. Why? Because that would be the same as taking away his food. 7“A person might kidnap another Israelite—one of his own people. And that kidnapper might sell that person as a slave. If that happens, then that kidnapper must be killed. You must remove that evil from your group. 8“When you have a very bad skin disease,* be very careful to follow all the things the Levite priests teach you. You must follow carefully the things I told the priests to do. 9Remember what the Lord your God did to Miriam* on your trip out of Egypt. 10“When you give a person any kind of loan, you must not go into his house to get security.* 11You must stand outside. Then the person that you gave the loan to will bring out the security to you. 12If he is a poor man, {then he might give the clothes that keep him warm}. You must not keep that security overnight. 13You must give his security back to him every evening. Then he will have clothes to sleep in. He will bless you, and the Lord your God will accept this as living right and doing good. 14“You must not cheat a hired servant that is poor and needy. It does not matter if he is an Israelite or if he is a foreigner living in one of your cities. 15Give him his pay every day before sunset. Why? Because he is poor and depends on the money. If you don’t pay him, he will complain against you to the Lord. And you will be guilty of sin. 16“Parents must not be put to death for something their children did. And children must not be put to death for something their parents did. A person should be put to death only for a bad thing that he himself did. 17“You must make sure that foreigners and orphans* are treated fairly. And you must never take clothes from a widow* as security.* 18Remember, you were poor slaves in Egypt. And the Lord your God took you from that place and set you free. That is why I tell you to do these things for poor people. 19“You might be gathering your harvest in the field, and you might forget and leave some grain there. You must not go back to get it. It will be for the foreigners, the orphans,* and the widows.* If you leave some grain for them, then the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do. 20When you beat your olive trees, you must not go back to check the branches. The olives you leave will be for the foreigners, the orphans, and the widows. 21When you gather the grapes from your vineyard, you must not go back to gather the grapes you left. Those grapes will be for the foreigners, the orphans, and the widows. 22Remember you were poor slaves in Egypt. That is why I tell you to do these things for poor people.

security Anything a person gives to show he will pay his loan. If the person does not pay back his loan, then the lender can keep that thing. a very bad skin disease Or, “leprosy.” Miriam See Num. 12:1–15. orphans Children whose parents have died. widow(s) Women whose husbands have died. Often these women had no one to care for them.

25 “When two people have an argument, they should go to the court. The judges will decide which person is right and which person is wrong. 2If the judge decides a person must be beaten with a whip, then the judge must make that person lie face down. Someone will beat the guilty person while the judge watches. The number of times he must be hit depends on the crime. 3You must never hit a person more than 40 times. If you beat a person more than 40 times, then that shows that person’s life is not important to you. 4“When an animal is being used to separate grain, you must not cover its mouth to stop it from eating. 5“If two brothers live together, and one of them dies and has no son, then the wife of the dead brother must not be married to a stranger outside the family. Her husband’s brother must take her as a wife and have sexual relations with her. Her husband’s brother must do the duty of a husband’s brother for her. 6Then the first child that she gives birth to will take the place of the man’s dead brother. Then the dead brother’s name will not be taken out of Israel. 7If the man does not want to take his brother’s wife, then the brother’s wife must go to the leaders at the town meeting place. His brother’s wife must say to the leaders, ‘My husband’s brother refuses to keep his brother’s name alive in Israel. He will not do the duty of a husband’s brother to me.’ 8Then the leaders of the city must call the man and talk to him. If the man is stubborn and says, ‘I don’t want to take her,’ 9then his brother’s wife must come to him in front of the leaders. She must take his shoe off his foot. Then she must spit in his face. She must say, ‘This is being done to the man who will not build up his brother’s family!’ 10Then that brother’s family will be known in Israel as ‘the family of the man who had his shoe taken off.’ 11“Two men might be fighting against each other. One man’s wife might come to help her husband. But she must not grab the other man’s private parts. 12If she does that, then cut off her hand. Don’t feel sorry for her. 13“{Don’t carry trick weights for cheating people.} Don’t use weights that are too heavy or too light. 14Don’t keep measures in your house that are too large or too small. 15You must use weights and measures that are correct and accurate. Then you will live a long time in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. 16The Lord your God hates people that cheat with false weights and measures. Yes, he hates all people who do wrong.

The Amalekites Must Be Destroyed

17“Remember what the people of Amalek did to you when you were coming from Egypt. 18The Amalekites did not respect God. They attacked you when you were weak and tired. They killed all your people who were slow and walking behind everyone else. 19That is why you must destroy the memory of the Amalekites from the world. You will do this when you enter the land that the Lord your God is giving you. There he will give you rest from all the enemies around you. But don’t forget to destroy the Amalekites! 

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