1 He that is wounded in the stones [testicles], or hath his privy member cut off [a severed organ], shall not enter into the congregation [Kahal] of Yahweh.

The employment of eunuchs in places of honour was common 

eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon - Isa 39: 7, Jer 38: 7.

and therefore the operation was sometimes done at the request of parents for religious purposes, or to secure a high position of state for their son

Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his Elohim...or hath his stones broken...of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of Yahweh made by fire: - Lev. 21:17-21.

Incidently, the Hebrew dakkah signifies "crushed", not ' wounded; and there is no word in the Hebrew for stones. The mutilation was performed by the two methods here specified: crushing or excision.

Such a practice however, negates the divine purpose which required man to "replenish the earth" (Gen. 1:28). In the spiritual realm, there is need to be fruitful in Yahweh's service (see Gal. 5:22-23; 2 Cor. 6:13). And this is the typical lesson set forth in the prohibition of this verse.

Though eunuchs could form part of the nation, they were excluded from its exclusive rulership body, or eldership. In the Covenant of Grace, such exclusion does not apply, as the baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch by Philip revealed - Acts 8: 27,28.

Eunuchs were excluded from the representative body of Israel, because it was constituted "a kingdom of priests and an holy nation" - Exod. 19: 6. Its representatives had to be as close to perfection as possible.

The Christadelphian Expositor

But no impediment to inheriting the kingdom...

...neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. For thus saith Yahweh unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;

Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.

Isa 56: 3-5.

2 A bastard [mamzer] shall not enter into the congregation [Kahal] of Yahweh; even to his 10th generation shall he not enter into the congregation [Kahal] of Yahweh.

— The Hebrew mamzare is from a root signifying to alienate, and defines a mongrel (i.e. born of an Israelitish father and a heathen mother, or of a harlot). In the light of that description, Jephthah was one (Jud. 11:1-2).

However, the word in the O.T. occurs only here and in Zech. 9:6. The New International Version renders the phrase "no one born of a forbidden marriage" shall enter.

Why should this be so, seeing the fault did not lie with the one so born? Is God unjust? By no means. An important spiritual lesson is taught that would exclude all such from the congregation or inner counsel of Israel.

A true son is one who reflects the father's characteristics. Isaac is called Abraham's "only son" though he had other sons, because he was the only one who reproduced the faithful characteristics of the patriarch (Gen. 22:2).

Israel as Yahweh's firstborn son (Exod. 4:22) was expected to manifest the qualities of the Father, and when it did not do so, it was nationally described as "the sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore" (Isa. 57:3).

Christ told the Jews of his day that they were "of their father the devil" (John 8:44). They were highly indignant at the description and denied that they were "born of fornication" (v. 41). The verse before us, therefore, has important spiritual implications. These are summed up by Paul to the Hebrews when he declared that if any did not experience the chastening of Yahweh "then are ye bastards, and not sons" (Heb. 12:8).

For every true son of God will be disciplined and chastened by Him as necessary for his spiritual development.

The Christadelphian Expositor

3 An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of Yahweh; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of Yahweh for ever:

4 Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse thee.

5 Nevertheless Yahweh thy Elohim would not hearken unto Balaam; but Yahweh thy Elohim turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because Yahweh thy Elohim loved thee.

6 Thou shalt not seek their peace nor their prosperity all thy days for ever.

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.

8 The children that are begotten of them shall enter into the congregation of Yahweh in their third generation.

9 When the host goeth forth against thine enemies, then keep thee from every wicked thing.

10 If there be among you any man, that is not clean by reason of uncleanness that chanceth him by night, then shall he go abroad out of the camp, he shall not come within the camp:

11 But it shall be, when evening cometh on, he shall wash himself with water: and when the sun is down, he shall come into the camp again.

12 Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad:

13 And thou shalt have a paddle [shovel] upon [in addition to to] thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad [relieve thyself outside], thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee:

The Law of Moses provided even for sanitation in a way that was the most effectual of all sanitary methods from what is called the hygienic point of view, and at the same time, as a type, yielded some interesting suggestions concerning the perfect state that is coming.

The uncleanness and stench of military camps are well known in times of war. This was provided against during Israel's journey in the wilderness by the direction contained in Deut. 23:13--which was probably acted on when they settled in their land. 

The system of earth closets is considered in our day the best method of disposing of nightsoil. The principle of the earth-closet (covering up at once with a layer of mother earth) is the principle of the Mosaic enactment. The earth, by its chemical action, soon absorbs the rejected elements, and turns into an earth-enriching manure that which by a bungling treatment easily becomes a source of disease.

It is far better than the modern systems of disposing of sewage. If it cannot be carried out under modern conditions in great cities, it is because the modem system of banishing the people from the land and huddling them together in masses at great centres does not admit of it. Men are beginning to see that this system itself is as much a mistake as the systems of sewage, and that the best conditions for mortal population are those prescribed by the Law of Moses.

While they have begun to see this, they have not begun to discover how the system is to be altered. This is beyond their power. God will alter it in the day when He fulfils His promise to set up a Kingdom that will break in pieces all others, and stand for ever, as the everlasting refuge of man for the glory of God. The "the isles shall wait for his law", They will say, "He will teach us of his ways and we shall walk in his paths", But His name must be hallowed and His will be done before the blessedness can come. This will result from the judgments which will teach the world righteousness. A clean, holy, happy earth will then outspread itself to view everywhere to the joy of righteous men.

But what suggestion of the perfect day is there in the Mosaic method of sanitation? What type can we see in this? The comment associated with the injunction may help us' "Therefore shall thy camp be holy, that he see no unclean thing in thee", While this was a word of practical direction for the time then present for Israel, we cannot err in seeing a typical significance in so striking an element of a law which was "a shadow of good things to come". We read in the Apocalypse (20:9) of "the camp of the saints"--the camp of the holy ones--in the happy day.

This is a camp in which no unclean thing is seen: "There shall in nowise enter into it anything that defileth". While this applies to the moral characteristics of those admitted, it is true physically as well. All who "enter therein" are incorruptible in nature. They require no longer to say, "He shall change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body", because this has been done. 

They can now exult historically that though "sown in dishonour" they have been "raised in glory: sown in weakness, raised in power: sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body", A corruptible and unclean body is no longer their experience. All that has been buried away in the earthy experience of the past. By the weapon which they used--"the sword of the Spirit" --is the change which has caused "this corruptible to put on incorruption".

Law of Moses Ch 31.

14 For Yahweh thy Elohim walketh in the midst of thy camp [machaneh], to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy [machaneh be kadosh]: that he see no unclean thing [ervat davar (shameful thing)] in thee, and turn away from thee.

In like manner, all who were lepers, who had issues and who were defiled by the dead, had to leave the Camp-again in pursuance of the same moral end, that of teaching those who dwelt there to be holy. When we read God's promise regarding the Land in the light of these facts, the parallel between it and the Camp becomes patent:

"I will set my tabernacle among you ... and I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people".

The parallel could not be made plainer. The Land, like the Camp, was to be God's "holy habitation"; life in the Camp was an apprenticeship to life in the Land. This meant in practical terms just that the Land, like the Camp, was no place for the morally unclean and corrupt, and that their presence there would not be tolerated by God. It was to be the abode of the holy and the holy alone. The expulsion from the Camp of those who were physically defiled was thus but a foreshadowing of the deportation of the nation from the Land of its inheritance if it should prove to be morally corrupt.

All this was implicit in the Song of Moses. Looking forward to the occupation of Canaan Moses sang, "Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, 0 Lord, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, 0 Lord, which thy hands have established" (Exod. I5: 17).

The Land as a whole would be God's abode inasmuch as His Tabernacle would be pitched within it. That is, the Land would be to the eventual central shrine what the Camp in the wilderness became to the Sanctuary at its centre. Houses and farms would take the place of tents, and in due course the Temple would supersede the Tabernacle; but one thing would remain unchanged throughout the passage of time and alteration of circumstances - the principle on which God would consent to dwell among His People.

That was unalterable. They had either to be holy like Him, or be banned from His Presence. 

"Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations ... that the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you" (Lev. 18: 26-28).

Law and Grace Ch 11

15 Thou shalt not deliver unto his master [adon] the servant [eved] which is escaped [rescued] from his master [adon] unto thee:

16 He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates [she'arim], where it liketh him best: thou shalt not oppress him.

The thoughtful Israelite could not fail to see a didactic purpose in this law. He was to see in the fugitive slave the reflection of himself fleeing from Egypt and to accord to him the same mercy and protection as he himself had been vouchsafed by God. Apart from humanitarian considerations any failure on his part to obey was much more than an act of disobedience: it was also an unwitting confession of spiritual blindness.

There was always a risk that such blindness might lead to the oppression of a fellow Israelite. This was emphatically forbidden.

All Israelites - high and low, rich and poor - were equal in their enjoyment of redemption from Egypt and membership of the Covenant nation. None was to forget it: so none was allowed to make a bondman of another Israelite.

Law and Grace Ch 3

17 There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.

18 Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of Yahweh thy Elohim for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto Yahweh thy Elohim.

19 Thou shalt not lend upon usury [neshekh (interest)]to thy brother; usury of money [neshekh of kesef], usury of victuals [neshekh of okhel], usury of any thing that is lent upon usury: [neshekh]

20 Unto a stranger [nokhri] thou mayest lend upon usury [neshekh]; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury [neshekh]: that Yahweh thy Elohim may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land [ha'aretz] whither thou goest to possess it.

Implicit here again, we note, as a compelling motive, is the memory of God's mercy to them in taking account of their need when defenceless slaves in Egypt. That memory was to lay even greater claims upon them, moreover, for once in seven years they were also to acquiesce cheerfully in the total cancellation of their rights as creditors.

"At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release. And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbour shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbour, or of his brother; because it is called the Lord's release."

What had the Exodus been but "the Lord's release"? So once again the sharp distinction was drawn between the redeemed and the unredeemed: "Of a foreigner thou mayest exact it again: but that which is thine with thy brother thine hand shall release" (Deut. 15: 1-3)·

But having reminded the Israelite of the significance of the Exodus in that negative way the regulation also brought home to him his positive duty to his fellow-men. For what had his bondage in Egypt been but a symbol of his hopeless indebtedness to God, as a sinner? His deliverance had thus in a very real sense been a full and absolute "release" from his debts-God had granted him the total pardon of his sins.

The ritual of the Year of Release thus made him consciously realize that he, having himself had his trespasses forgiven, was under the inescapable obligation to forgive in turn those who trespassed against him.

Law and Grace Ch 3

21 When thou shalt vow a vow [neder] unto Yahweh thy Elohim, thou shalt not slack [delay] to pay it: for Yahweh thy Elohim will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin [chet] in thee.

Israel had vowed at Sinai to conform in this way to the will of God. "Moses took the book of the covenant and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient" (Exod. 24: 7). As an express reminder of the solemnity and binding nature of that one oath a special regulation was issued to govern all oaths. Its effect was to show that a permitted vow "shall stand". Once made, it demanded fulfilment.

"If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth" (Num. 30 : 2).

The children of Israel had not been like some daughter, or wife, whose father or husband could disallow the oath immediately it was made, but, like a widow, or grown man, had been in enjoyment of total liberty when their word was pledged at Sinai. So the rule for the individual held good for the nation.

"When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the Lord thy God will surely require it of thee; and it will be sin in thee" (Deut. 23 : 21).

Israel would find then that their liberty had cost them dear if they neglected to make good their promise so freely made. Their God had been true to His word: woe betide them if they fell short of His constancy.

Law and Grace Ch 6

22 But if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee.

23 That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform; even a freewill offering, according as thou hast vowed unto Yahweh thy Elohim, which thou hast promised with thy mouth.

24 When thou comest into thy neighbour's vineyard, then thou mayest eat grapes thy fill at thine own pleasure; but thou shalt not put any in thy vessel.

25 When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbour, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbour's standing corn.

24 When thou comest into thy neighbour's vineyard, then thou mayest eat grapes thy fill at thine own pleasure; but thou shalt not put any in thy vessel.

As long as there was anything growing, which would be most of the time, anyone could go onto another man's private property and eat as much as they liked, as often as they liked.

We can imagine what would happen to some crops; and a concerted effort of a large mob could, quite legally, ruin anyone.

But COULD it? Here is where the element of faith becomes prominent. What would God permit? This regulation came, and could only come, from Him who could replenish inexhaustibly the cruse of oil and the barrel of meal.

What are these strange regulations designed to teach us? For we are plainly told that all was written for our instruction and admonition (1 Cor. 10:11).

They are to teach us the utter unreality of what man in his proud ignorance calls reality, and the existence of a true reality which the natural man doesn't, cannot know exists.

"O ye of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"

Bro Growcott - The spirit of Christ in the Law of Moses