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Deuteronomy Chapter 23

Verse 1. Those who reject faith and charity cannot enter into heaven.
Verse 2. Nor those whose good conduct is not from religion but from a spurious origin.
Verses 3-6. Nor those principles which falsify truths and adulterate goods, for they do not supply the soul with true sustenance, and also endeavour to oppose what is truly spiritual.
Verses 7, 8. But external religion agreeing with internal (or with a life of usefulness for a good end) is not to be shunned.
Verse 9. In temptations it is especially essential to avoid everything known to be evil.
Verses 10-14. The soul is remitted into external states to be purified from evils, otherwise the influences from heaven would be rejected from the soul.
Verses 15, 16. The rational faculty is not to be enslaved by spiritual truths.
Verses 17, 18. No love of perverting truth, or falsity which denies the Lord and the necessity of a good life, shall be permitted to exist in the regenerate soul; nor are knowledges acquired for evil ends or for vanity acceptable to heaven.
Verses 19, 20. The spiritual must not do good for the sake of reward as an end.
Verses 21-23. Things resolved upon as being right, must be acted upon.
Verses 24, 25. Good and truth derived from others may be adjoined to the soul, but must not be mixed with the good developed therein by the Lord in regeneration.
  1. He that is wounded in the stones, or has his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.
  1. Those who have rejected what relates to faith and charity and the conjunction of them, so that they cannot bring forth the fruits of good living from heaven into the life, cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven (AC 2468).
  1. A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD.
  1. He whose good conduct is not the offspring of genuine religion, but is spurious (such as what results from a regard to reputation or some worldly motive), shall not enter into heaven till he has acquired remains (i.e. genuine good from the Lord).
    [Note.—Remains signify all the good states, aspirations, and thoughts with which man is gifted during the whole of the regenerate life, and which are stored up in the interiors of his soul for use, and become the medium by which he is saved. (See AC Index.)]
  1. An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever:
  1. Those who have falsified truth and adulterated good shall not enter into heaven, because they have no remains of genuine good and truth.
    [Note.—Ammon and Moab are thus described in the AC 2468: "They in general denote those who are principled in external worship, which appears in some respect holy, but not in internal worship,* and who eagerly embrace as good and true whatever relates to external worship, but reject and despise what relates to internal worship: such worship and such a religion takes especial root in those who are principled in natural good, but who despise others in comparison with themselves." In the same article, near the end, these verses in Deuteronomy are briefly described, and it is shown how if all the good in the soul becomes adulterated with evil, and all the truth mixed with falsity, all interior religion is despised and rejected; thus all the good stored up by the Lord in the soul is destroyed.]
  1. Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when you came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you.
  1. Because (such principles) do not supply true spiritual nourishment of good and truth when the soul leaves natural things for the regenerate life; and because they endeavour to pervert knowledges of truth which they suppose favour their doctrines, so as to oppose and infest those things in the soul which are truly regenerating, and to say that they are not from heaven.
    * Internal worship is to carry put the Divine Will, as revealed in the Word and the Divine Humanity (who is the Word brought forth to view in a Divine Person, John 1:1, 14, 18), by a life of the highest usefulness that can be attained, see AC 7884.
  1. Nevertheless the LORD your God would not hearken to Balaam; but the LORD your God turned the curse into a blessing to you, because the LORD your God loved you.
  1. Nevertheless the Divine Love and Wisdom are not diverted from the soul by these efforts of the perverted knowledges of good and truth; and instead of opposing they assist the regenerate life, and bring the influx of Love and Wisdom from heaven closer to it; for the Lord especially guards and protects the spiritual things received from Himself with those who are regenerating.
  1. You shall not seek their peace nor their prosperity all your days for ever.
  1. This external religion without internal does not bring true peace or spiritual welfare in any state of the regenerate life.
  1. You shall not abhor an Edomite; for he is your brother: you shall not abhor an Egyptian; because you were a stranger in his land.
  1. But external religion agreeing with internal is not to be shunned; for it is the brother of internal religion: nor are its scientifics (or knowledges in the memory) to be shunned; for before regeneration the mind dwells amongst scientifics (and is kept there) in an external state, to be instructed till the time when truths can be implanted in the life.
  1. The children that are begotten of them shall enter into the congregation of the LORD in their third generation.
  1. The truths that proceed from this external religion and its scientifics shall be incorporated into the spiritual life when fully agreeing with internal truth.
  1. When the host goes forth against your enemies, then keep you from every wicked thing.
  1. When the truths and goods of the soul go forth to contend against falses and evils in the life, then be especially careful to avoid evil in thought, word, and deed.
  1. 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:
  1. If any principle in the soul has become defiled with sin from the impure loves of self and of the world while in an obscure state; the soul is permitted by the Lord to lapse into a worldly and external state for a time, and feel the loss of happiness which comes from the removal of association with good spirits:
  1. But it shall be, when evening comes on, he shall wash himself with water: and when the sun is down, he shall come into the camp again.
  1. And at the close of that state, it is purified by truths; and when the ardour of its selfish affections becomes less vehement, it is admitted into a heavenly state again.
  1. You shall have a place also without the camp, whither you shall go forth abroad:
  1. In the regenerate life there will be states when the soul is not in heavenly affections;
  1. And you shall have a paddle upon your weapon; and it shall be, when you will ease yourself abroad, you shall dig therewith, and shall turn back and cover that which comes from you:
  1. And by them the evil thoughts and affections of the heart will be separated and buried by truth, and left in the natural life:
  1. For the LORD your God walks in the midst of your camp, to deliver you, and to give up your enemies before you; therefore shall your camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in you, and turn away from you.
  1. For the Love and Wisdom proceeding from the Divine Humanity walk through and survey the affections and thoughts of the soul to save what is good, and to deliver up to the evil whatever would hurt or destroy the soul; therefore shall your affections and thoughts be kept pure and holy; for if the impure things proceeding from the loves of self and of the world are not removed from the soul, the Lord cannot dwell there, and all His holy influences would be rejected therefrom.
  1. You shall not deliver to his master the servant which is escaped from his master to you:
  1. You shall not deliver up again to the service of falsity and evil, the powers of the rational understanding when they have ceased to serve falsities, and have acceded to the truths of the Church:
  1. He shall dwell with you, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of your gates, where it liketh him best: you shall not oppress him.
  1. They shall be with the spiritual things of the soul, and be incorporated with them amongst the external truths, which are serviceable to introduce good into the mind, where they shall be in freedom, and be allowed free play; and shall not be oppressed by dogmatism.
  1. There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.
  1. No love of falsifying and perverting truths shall be permitted to exist amongst the affections for truth in the soul; nor shall any falses proceeding from self-love, which deny the Humanity of the Lord and the life of charity proceeding from Him, be permitted to exist amongst the truths of the Church (AC 2350-2354).
  1. You shall not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD your God for any vow: for even both these are abomination to the LORD your God.
  1. The knowledges acquired by the perversion or falsification of spiritual truth, or by the mere cupidity of knowledges derived from vanity of learning, shall not be presented before the Divine Humanity, which is the temple of the Divine Love and Wisdom, as acceptable worship or desires after genuine good; for both these do but tend to utterly avert from the soul the Love and Wisdom which flow from Him.
  1. You shall not lend upon usury to your brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury:
  1. Amongst those who are spiritual, the works of charity must not be performed for the sake of reward as an end—whether it be the impartation of knowledges, or of the good derived from them, or of anything in which there is any expectation of reward either in this world or the next:
  1. Unto a stranger you may lend upon usury; but to your brother you shall not lend upon usury: that the LORD your God may bless you in all that you set your hand to in the land whither you go to possess it.
  1. Amongst those who are external, it is permitted to do good for the sake of reward; but not amongst those who are internal or spiritual: for it is by doing good without expectation of reward that the Divine Love and Wisdom become conjoined to the soul in all its efforts after holiness, which will then be attained in those heavenly states to which the soul is being led.
  1. When you shall vow a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not slack to pay it: for the LORD your God will surely require it of you; and it would be sin in you.
  1. When a line of conduct or thought about religious matters has been confirmed in the mind as being in accordance with the Divine Love and Wisdom, and becomes a deliberate intention (as the right thing to do); it is necessary to act upon it without delay: it becomes a matter of conscience and duty, and it would be sin to neglect it.
  1. But if you shall forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in you.
  1. But if it has not been confirmed into deliberate intention, that is, if the mind is not fully resolved that it is right, it is not binding.
  1. That which is gone out of your lips you shall keep and perform; even a freewill offering, according as you have vowed to the LORD your God, which you have promised with your mouth.
  1. Whatever has been fully intended must be performed with a willing mind according to the full import of what has been deliberately resolved on as the right thing to do, and as being in accordance with the Divine will.
  1. When you comest into your neighbour's vineyard, then you may eat grapes your fill at your own pleasure; but you shall not put any in your vessel.
  1. "Every one associating with others who are of a different doctrine and religion may learn and accept their goods of charity; but not imbibe them or conjoin them to his own truths. (A vineyard, as it denotes the Church, denotes where there is doctrine or religion; grapes are the goods of charity; a vessel is the truth of the Church.)" (AC 5117.)
  1. When you comest into the standing corn of your neighbour, then you may pluck the ears with your hand; but you shall not move a sickle to your neighbour's standing corn.
  1. So also when you comest amongst the natural goods that have been developed from others of different religious creed, it is allowable to make use of the good scientifics which gave birth to those goods as external truths under the power of spiritual truth; but it is not allowable to imbibe them and make them your own, as the goods with which the Lord has endowed your own soul by the separation of good and evil within you in regeneration.
    Note.—Standing corn denotes the truth of good and faith in conception. (See also AC 5212.)]

DEUTERONOMY 23    Other translations  -  previous  -  next  -  notes  -  discussion  -  Deuteronomy  -  BM Home  -  Full Page