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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Deuteronomy 23:14

 

 

"Since the LORD your God walks in the midst of your camp to deliver you and to defeat your enemies before you, therefore your camp must be holy; and He must not see anything indecent among you or He will turn away from you.

The Biblical Illustrator

Deuteronomy 23:14

The Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp.

Camp law and camp life

I. An instructive comparison. The Church of God is in many respects comparable to a camp.

1. It is a camp for separation. We are crusaders, and are separated from the mass for the service of the Cross which we bear on our hearts. We are in an enemy’s country, and we must keep ourselves to ourselves very much, or else we shall certainly fail of that holy military discipline which the Captain of our salvation would have us strictly enforce.

2. It is a camp, because it is on the defensive.

3. It is a camp, especially, because it is always assailing the powers of darkness. We have a world to conquer, and we cannot afford to loiter. We have a kingdom to set up for the Lord of hosts, and we must not sleep, for the adversaries of the Lord are ruing. We are an army, sworn to war against the Canaanites of error and sin, to cast down their walled cities, to break their idols, and to cut down their groves.

4. It is a camp, because we are on the march. We ought to be advancing in grace, in knowledge, in earnestness, in holiness, in usefulness, and if not we scarcely realise the figure of a camp.

5. Yet, once more, no doubt, a camp, as formed for temporary purposes, was a token of the Church; for although the Church stands still and abides, yet in her individual members she is subject to the same law of decay, and death, and change as the rest of the world. Soon shall the camp cease, and the soldiers become citizens, and the tents be exchanged for mansions.

II. A special privilege.

1. God is present in the camp of His people with a special presence of love. The Church is the garden of the Lord, His paradise. Where is a father most at home but with his children?

2. God is present in the camp of His people with a special presence of observation. He sees all things; but His eyes are, in the first place, fixed on His Church. With burning glance He searches the very heart of professors.

3. The peculiar privilege of Israel is to have a special presence of salvation. “The Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp to deliver thee.” God is with His people, to help them in their times of trouble, to rescue them out of danger, to answer their cries in their necessity, to save them in the hour of temptation.

4. The Lord is with the camp of His” people, as a special presence for victory.

5. It is a special presence in covenant. “The Lord thy God.

III. A corresponding conduct.

1. This rule, that the camp be holy, applies to the commonest places wherein we are found. The Holy Spirit arrays you in the white raiment of holiness, that you may shine out bright and clear and distinct before the sons of men.

2. While this holiness pertained to their commonest things, it was also ordered that every unclean thing was to be put from them. Let us come continually to the washing place--even to the fountain opened. Let us beseech the cleansing Spirit to operate as with fire, and burn His purifying way through and through our souls.

3. Note well the fearful warning which is added. If there be in the camp an unclean thing tolerated and delighted in, and He see it--if it becomes conspicuous and grievous to Him, then the worst consequences will follow--“Lest He turn away from thee.” Oh! what would happen to us if the Lord were to turn away from us as a Church? (C. H. Spurgeon.)


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Deuteronomy 23:14". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/deuteronomy-23.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp,.... In the tabernacle, which moved when the host marched after the camps of Judah and Reuben, and before those of Ephraim and Dan, in the midst of them: this was the position of it while in the wilderness, and afterwards when they came into the land of Canaan, and went to war with their enemies, the ark sometimes went with them, the symbol of the divine Presence; and here it is made a reason why they should avoid all uncleanness, since the holy God, or that token of his, presence, was in the midst of them:

to deliver thee, and give up thine enemies before thee: to save them from falling into the hands of their enemies, and to deliver their enemies into their hands, which depended not upon their numbers, strength, and skill, but on the Presence, providence, and power of God with them; wherefore, as the above writerF20Moreh Nevochim, par. 3. c. 41. observes, by these actions (of purity and cleanliness) God meant to confirm the faith of those that engaged in war, that the divine Majesty dwelt among them; for which reason such orders were strictly to be observed by them:

therefore shall thy camp be holy; both in a moral and ceremonial sense:

that he see no unclean thing in thee; whether natural, moral, or ceremonial; the word here used signifies such nakedness as is forbidden to be uncovered, Leviticus 18:6. Hence MaimonidesF21lbid. applies it to whoredom; for he says,"by this phrase God meant to deter and dehort from whoredom, which is too usual and common among soldiers, as long as they are absent from their own houses; that therefore we may be delivered and abstain from those impure works, God has commanded such things to be done, which may bring to our remembrance that his glory dwells in the midst of us:"

and turn away from thee; and so they fall into the hands of their enemies, and become an easy prey to them, their God having forsaken them; and that this might not be their case, care should be taken not to offend him, and cause him to depart from them.


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 23:14". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/deuteronomy-23.html. 1999.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

In the midst of thy camp; either because the ark was commonly present with them, or at least some of the holy instruments, which were pledges of God’s presence; or because God had promised to go forth with them when they engaged in a just and necessary war.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Deuteronomy 23:14". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/deuteronomy-23.html. 1685.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

No uncleanness. This caution against suffering any filth in the camp was to teach them to fly the filth of sin, which driveth God away from the soul. (Challoner) Those who have had the misfortune to fall into the sink of iniquity, must not fail to use the sharp instrument of compunction, with which they may hide the enormity of their crimes. (Haydock) --- Incessanter terram mentis nostræ pœnitentiæ dolore confodiat &....abscondat. (St. Gregory, Mor. iii. 13.) --- In a camp where three million people were collected, if some such regulation had not been made, great and serious inconveniences would have ensued. The lawgiver, therefore, descends to several particulars which to us might appear minute; but besides the obvious meaning, which is very rational, the words convey other mystical instructions of the highest importance. --- God was pleased to assume to character of a powerful monarch, residing among his people, and hence every appearance of indecency must be removed. (Haydock)


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 23:14". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/deuteronomy-23.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

walketh. Figure of speech Anthropopatheia. App-6. Compare Genesis 3:8. Leviticus 26:12.

camp. Some codices, with Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "camps".

holy = separated. See note on Exodus 3:5.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 23:14". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/deuteronomy-23.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 23:14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/deuteronomy-23.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.
walketh
Genesis 17:1; Leviticus 26:12; 2 Corinthians 6:16
unclean thing
Heb. nakedness of any thing.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 23:14". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/deuteronomy-23.html.

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