Read Deuteronomy 23 – Why yes, I am blushing – I feel as if the LORD just had “the talk” with me. You know, the talk one’s parents have when a child is on the cusp of puberty. So, let’s TALK.
“If a man’s testicles are crushed or his penis is cut off, he may not be admitted to the assembly of the LORD.” :1 I had to look at what the commentators had to say, Smith, Henry and Guzik, the LORD is referring to men who were associated with the pagan culture, and they were unable to be circumcised as was required of the LORD, so they would not be suitable within the assembly of the LORD. Likewise for illegitimate persons, although there is disagreement on what it is meant by illegitimate, and it was suggested it is those born through incest.
There were restrictions against the Ammonites and Moabites for ten generations because they did not offer hospitality when Israel came out of Egypt. But the Edomites (relatives of Israelites through Esau, Isaac and Rebekah’s son, Genesis 25) and Egyptians (because Israel lived among them as foreigners) they were not to detest.
The LORD addressed nocturnal emissions, saying that the men who experienced them would need to stay outside of camp all day, bathe toward evening and could return at sunset. I wonder what this looked like in practice. Was it shameful? Did these men get teased?
The LORD addresses another bodily function, relieving one’s self. They were explicitly told to go outside of camp, to the designated area and cover excrements with a spade. He explains why in :14, saying it is because he, the LORD their God moves around them in camp to protect them and defeat their enemies. Also that he must not see any shameful thing among them or he will turn away.
I find myself full of questions about this; how about you? I am trusting that it will all make sense in heaven… I am also wondering if the need to relieve oneself will be removed in our eternal form? Wouldn’t that be convenient?
Our chapter goes on to cover other things, giving escaped slaves refuge, temple prostitutes and their tithes, loans, vows, and how to behave in the neighbors vineyard. The LORD has expectations and standards for his children, and I doubt he blushed or fidgeted when he gave the TALK.