Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible

Deuteronomy Ch.23 / 34 Ch.s


* Who are shut out from the congregation. (1-8) Cleanliness
enjoined. (15-25) Of fugitive servants, Usury, and other
precepts. (9-14)

#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.

#9-14 The camp of the Lord must have nothing offensive in it. If
there must be this care taken to preserve the body clean, much
more should we be careful to keep the mind pure.

#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.