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Study information for Theocratic Ministry School
Highlights of Deuteronomy 23 - 27
Bible reading: Deuteronomy 23-27 (10 min.)
(Deuteronomy 23:1)“No man who has been castrated by having his testicles crushed or who has had his male organ cut off may come into the congregation of Jehovah.
*** it-2 pp. 1088-1089 Testicles ***
The Law further read: “No man castrated by crushing the testicles or having his male member cut off may come into the congregation of Jehovah.” (De 23:1) Such ‘castration’ did not relate to congenital defects or to an accidental condition. (Compare Le 21:17-21; De 25:11, 12.) Evidently, therefore, it had to do with deliberate emasculation for immoral purposes, such as homosexuality. Such a one was to be kept out of the congregation, not being allowed to associate with it, thereby protecting its purity.
The respect that Jehovah has for man’s right to have children by his wife, and for the reproductive powers He has placed in man and woman, was emphasized by the Law. Brother-in-law marriage provided for the continuance of a man’s family line, name, and inheritance. (De 25:5-10) Immediately following the statement of this arrangement, the Law went on to say that if two men were struggling together and the wife of one of them grabbed the other man by his private parts in order to assist her husband (an act that could destroy the reproductive powers of the man), her hand was to be amputated. (De 25:11, 12) So the law of like for like did not here apply. (De 19:21) God did not require the destruction of her reproductive organs or those of her husband. In this way the marriage could still be fruitful, her husband’s family line being carried on through it.
In the case of the Christian congregation, persons who have been castrated are not barred from entry, for the Law has been set aside on the basis of Christ’s sacrifice. (Col 2:13, 14) Nevertheless, the laws above quoted illustrate God’s regard for the reproductive organs and strongly indicate that an operation that would destroy a person’s procreative powers simply because he had no appreciation for that gift from God would be wrong.
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