Deuteronomy 23:1

Deuteronomy 23:1 I. It will be helpful to remember that we are under a New Covenant. HEB 12:24. A. The first covenant has thus been made the old covenant. HEB 8:13. B. The old covenant is abolished by Christ's death. EPH 2:15. C. No such regulation as DEU 23:1 exists under the New Covenant. II. This law forbade a male with a physical defect in his genitalia from entering into the congregation of the LORD. A. A bastard (one begotten and born out of wedlock; an illegitimate or natural child) was likewise forbidden to the tenth generation. DEU 23:2. B. Ammonites and Moabites were likewise forbidden to the tenth generation for ever. DEU 23:3-6. C. Edomites and Egyptians were likewise forbidden to the third generation. DEU 23:7-8. D. Any guesses as to why there is no generational prohibition mentioned in DEU 23:1? E. Mind that one could not choose to not be born a bastard, Ammonite, Moabite, Edomite or Egyptian but one could choose to mutilate himself. 1. Adamantius Origen (3rd. C. Christian scholar) mutilated himself. 2. Origen was notorious for allegorizing Scripture but he took MAT 19:12 in a natural sense. F. Mind also that a parent could not choose to make his child anything other than what he was genealogically but a parent could choose to mutilate a son to make him a eunuch. 1. eunuch: A castrated person of the male sex; also, such a person employed as a harem attendant, or in Oriental courts and under the Roman emperors, charged with important affairs of state. 2. “...they were also valued as high-level political appointees since they could not start a dynasty which would threaten the ruler.” (Wikipedia article, Castrato) 3. An unscrupulous parent might have seen an opportunity for social, political or financial preferment in a castrated son. DEU 23:1 would have discouraged this by forbidding such a child from entering into the congregation of the LORD, a responsibility the parent would have borne. G. Entering into the congregation of the LORD appears to address participation in religious service in Israel. 1. Ruth was a Moabitess who was graft into the nation of Israel and became a progenitor of David and Christ. RUTH 4:10-22. 2. Jephthah was a bastard who was made a Judge in Israel and a hero of faith. JDG 11:1; HEB 11:32. 3. The complaint of the eunuch in ISA 56:3-5 is that he did not have a place in God's house. 4. PSA 74:4-8 connects congregations of the Lord with synagogues. Places of religious assembly were throughout the land. 5. congregation: 1. The action of congregating or collecting in one body or mass. 5. In English versions of the Bible, applied in the O.T. to the collective body of the Israelites in the wilderness, and to a public solemn assembly of the people or nation: so congregation of the Lord, etc. III. The O.T. priesthood required a blemish-free priest with intact stones. LEV 21:17-23. A. Sanctuary service did require circumcision, not castration. EZE 44:9. Deuteronomy 23:1 3-7-15 Page 1 of 2 B. We are warned against exceeding God's requirements with will-worship. COL 2:20-23. IV. O.T. offerings had to be blemish-free: no corruptions, missing parts, broken parts, extra parts. LEV 22:19-24. V. All of the O.T. system of priestly service and sacrifice spoke of and were fulfilled in Christ. A. He is the blemish-free high priest, perfect in humanity. HEB 7:26; EPH 4:13. 1. He is missing nothing. COL 2:9. 2. He has nothing superfluous: he took not on him the nature of angels. HEB 2:16. B. He was the blemish-free offering. HEB 9:14; 1PE 1:19. C. His work made His church blemish-free. EPH 1:4; 5:27. D. We are complete in Him, eternally. COL 2:10. VI. There are principles of righteousness for us from DEU 23:1 (and other foregoing points). A. Eunuchs could not produce life. Those without spiritual life cannot produce spiritual things or enter God's kingdom. JOH 3:5-6. B. Eunuchs bore no fruit and were in one sense separated from God. 1. Those without proper fruit cannot enter under the N.T. ACT 2:38; MAT 3:8. 2. Those who bear no spiritual fruit are estranged from God under the N.T. JOH 15:2; JUDE 1:12. C. The eunuch could not present his whole body to the Lord. 1. We are to present our whole body a living sacrifice to God. ROM 12:1. 2. We are to glorify God in our body as well as our spirit. 1CO 6:19-20. D. What the spiritual body of the church may lack in one member is countered by the honor bestowed upon it by other members. 1CO 12:23-25; EPH 4:16. VII. Paul's recommendation of an unmarried state in no way implies self-mutilation, only a gift of continence. 1CO 7:7. A. This is obviously a gift that only some have. B. Solomon warns about those who boast of a false gift. PRO 25:14. VIII. The faithful, God-fearing eunuch under the N.T. has no such restriction as DEU 23:1. A. ISA 56:3-5 prophesied of his access to God's house under a new covenant. B. The Ethiopian eunuch whom Philip baptized entered the congregation of the Lord in earth and heaven, fellowship-wise, service-wise. ACT 8:38 c/w ACT 2:41; HEB 12:22-23. Deuteronomy 23:1 3-7-15 Page 2 of 2
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