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Fausset's Bible Dictionary


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mamzer . Forbidden to enter the Lord's congregation to the tenth generation, i.e. forever (Deuteronomy 23:2-3). Yet Jephthah, son of a strange woman, and therefore driven out by the legitimate children, was called to be a judge to Israel (Judges 11:1-2). The Talmud and the rabbis are probably therefore right in explaining mamzer , not illegitimate children in general, but those begotten in incest or adultery: from mazar , "to be corrupt." The only other occurrence of mamzer is Zechariah 9:6; "a bastard (a vile alien) shall dwell in Ashdod." Arabs about that time occupied much of S. Palestine, and the prophet foretells Ashdod will be ruled by them. Bastards were not excluded from public worship ordinarily. They had no claim to the paternal inheritance, or to the standing privileges and filial discipline of children (Hebrews 12:7).

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Bastards'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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