There are those within the Southern Baptist Convention and the Sojourners that use Leviticus 19:33-34 to allow for amnesty amount undocumented immigrants. The verse is laid out here:

33      ‘When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong.
34      ‘The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.

This can easily be argued away be the uninformed by saying, “That’s Old Testament and we’re a New Testamental Church!” The problem with this is that this verse applies morals that should be consistent with our age. The major problem with interpreting Lev. 19:33-34 as a program for amnesty lies within the usage of the root word “Ger.” Gerrim meant “stranger”.

A Gerrim was a immigrant that was required to live by civil and religious law. They were not considered a “citzen” of sorts until  a later generation.

8      “The sons of the third generation who are born to them may enter the assembly of the LORD.

Undocumented immigrants shouldn’t be considered living by the “civil and religious” law because they often have skipped borders or stayed beyond their visas. In a case of the lie becoming a bigger lie, they break further laws (such as driving with a falsified or no license). They do not strive to learn the language of the land and furthermore wouldn’t be considered able to fully commune with the people in the new land.

While I believe Jesus’ words give us a necessity to love undocumented illegals, Leviticus 19:33-34 shouldn’t be applied today. There are very few cases in the Bible of Gerrim ( Uriah the Hittite! ). This doesn’t mean amnesty shouldn’t be provided as we are a nation free of the bonds of Church and State, however this should quell any questions about Leviticus 19:33-34.


New American Standard Bible : 1995 Update (LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), Dt 23:8.

New American Standard Bible : 1995 Update (LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), Le 19:33–34.

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