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Deuteronomy 23:18 KJV

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

What exactly does this phrase refer to,should this be read in a literal or non literal sense?

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  • Relevant : For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. Revelation 22:15.
    – Nigel J
    Jun 17 '20 at 10:46
  • This question has already been answered in detail elsewhere hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/7527/…
    – Bach
    Jun 17 '20 at 14:50
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Before answering this question let me share what Barnes says on Deut 23:18,

Another Gentile practice, connected with the one alluded to in the preceding verse, is here forbidden. The word "dog" is figurative (compare Revelation 22:15), and equivalent to the "sodomite" of the verse preceding.

With this understanding, some versions more helpfully translate this verse as follows:

  • NIV: You must not bring the earnings of a female prostitute or of a male prostitute into the house of the LORD your God to pay any vow, because the LORD your God detests them both.
  • BSB: You must not bring the wages of a prostitute, whether female or male, into the house of the LORD your God to fulfill any vow, because both are detestable to the LORD your God.
  • CSB: Do not bring a female prostitute's wages or a male prostitute's earnings into the house of the LORD your God to fulfill any vow, because both are detestable to the LORD your God.

Thus, the verse says that money earned from prostitution, whether from a female or male prostitute, is prohibited from the temple as payment for a vow. That is, if one could not afford to pay the promised amount for a vow, it is effectively illegal to earn the money by prostitution.

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