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But the Eternal your God wouldn’t listen to Balaam, and He turned his curse into a blessing for you because the Eternal your God loves you. Don’t ever make peace with them, and don’t align with them, for as long as you live.

These ordinances seem unduly harsh, but two ideas are at play. First, Lot’s sexual relations with his daughters bring forth the Ammonite and Moabite peoples, so this command is a commentary reflecting on that event. Second, these restrictions are only temporary. God requires a ritually pure and completely devoted people (both internal and external) in order to bring forth the “messianic seed of woman.” One day the physically maimed and social outcasts will be fully integrated into the people of God. Although Isaiah 56:3–5 models this expectation, Jesus makes it a reality.

Moses: Don’t be hostile toward the Edomites because they’re related to you. And don’t be hostile toward the Egyptians because you were once foreign residents in their land.

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