Homosexuality in the Bible (16-7-24)

Homosexuality in the Bible

Homosexuality in the Bible is a contentious topic. There are people who maintain that sex should be only for reproduction, but even Judah used to go to prostitutes for pleasure (Gen. 38: 15 to 18). Apart from this, if sexuality is only reproduction, then why would anybody worry about homosexuality, since homosexuality is not reproduction! Maybe this fact makes homosexuality so pleasurable particularly for women, since they can have sex without the thought of pregnancy and childbirth!

Today’s reading follows on from last week. It is the conversation in which Abraham pleads with God or his three visitors for the righteous of Sodom.

Gen. 18: 20 to 32:

[20] And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; [21] I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. [22] And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD. [23] And Abraham drew near, and said,

 Homosexuality in the Bible

Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?

[24] Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that [are] therein? [25] That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? [26] And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.

[27] And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which [am but] dust and ashes: [28] Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for [lack of] five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy [it].

[29] And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And he said, I will not do [it] for forty’s sake. [30] And he said [unto him], Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do [it], if I find thirty there. [31] And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And he said, I will not destroy [it] for twenty’s sake. [32] And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy [it] for ten’s sake.

This reading

follows on from last week and this week’s devotion will have the same underlying perspective regarding the scientific – religious insights of the Ancients. It is very important to keep this view of the Ancients in mind when discussing homosexuality in the Bible, since superficially there is the death penalty for male homosexuality: Lev. 20: 13, ‘If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood [shall be] upon them.’ There is nothing in the Bible against female homosexuality! Why the difference?

Our devotion last week

explained that since the Original Sin the Ancient view on reproduction was that the ejaculation was an early form of the complete child which would grow into a complete human being inside a woman. We have to remember that the Ancients did not have microscopes with which they could have seen that there are millions of sperm cells in one ejaculation.

They had observed that the gooey substance inside a chicken egg develops into a young chicken, if the hen sits on the egg. By the same token the gooey substance coming forth from a man’s penis would change into a newborn baby if a woman holds it inside her belly for ‘the time of life’.

If now a man inserts this gooey substance, this unborn child, into the backside of another man, the poor child would die! Homosexuality in the Bible was seen as murder! Therefore there is the view, that homosexuality in the Bible is a sin.

Any responsible man

would insert the developing human being that comes forth from his penis only into a woman so that it can begin its life.

That’s why the Ancients punished homosexuality in the Bible with the death penalty!

That is why the scripture portrayed homosexuality in the Bible as a sin. As a matter of fact, on the surface the matter is much worse (Lev. 20: 13), ‘If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood [shall be] upon them.

Is sexual pleasure ungodly?

Quite the contrary! Sexual feelings were used to conjure up the presence of God! There is an explanation in Greetings from Paradise in the chapter ‘Ecstasy’. When Abraham sent his servant back to Haran to get a woman for his son Isaac, he said (Gen. 24: 2 & 3), ‘Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a woman (there is no word for wife in Hebrew) unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a woman unto my son Isaac.

Where exactly is ‘under the thigh?’ The Hebrew word is yarek. According to the Gesenius Lexicon the word originates from the concept of softness, which the thigh is certainly not! The yarek is the body part from which the sons of Israel had come forth in Gen. 46: 26 and Ex. 1: 5 (King James translated ‘loins’). In other words the servant touched his testicles. That’s why it says ‘under’ the testicles. The Ancients thought that the feeling of sexual pleasure which this touch causes is an indication of the presence of God!

This may not be full homosexuality in the Bible, but it is closely related. One man touches the testicles of another to produce a special feeling, a feeling which most would call sexual pleasure.

Another example

occurred in Gen. 47: 29 to 31. Just before Jacob died ‘he called his son Joseph and said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, put, I pray thee, thy hand under my yarek, and deal kindly and truly with me; bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt: But I will lie with my fathers, and thou shalt carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their buryingplace. And he said, I will do as thou hast said; and he said, Swear unto me; and he sware unto him. And Israel bowed himself upon the bed’s head.

Why did he do that? Was this an intentional action or did the feeling of sexual pleasure move him to do so? And what happened next?

What happened at the brook Jabbok?

Jacob had sent his people across the brook. Gen. 32: 24, ‘And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.’ The word ‘abaq occurs only in this and the following verse in the Bible. The Gesenius Lexicon says that the word ‘dust’ is a close relative to ‘abaq. So in picturesque language, they were raising dust.

So it appears the two men were rolling around in the dust and small clouds of dust rose into the air. This could indicate fighting, but they could have rolled in the dust for a different reason.

In Ancient Greece boys would have a mentor who would teach them to wrestle in the Gymnasium. The word gymnos means naked. These mentors had sex with the boys and one can easily imagine how this well intended instruction developed into physical love. Plutarch in his Life of Solon (1: 2 & 3) reported that the Athenian tyrant Peisistratus saved the life of the Athenian Law giver, Solon, because they had been such a couple during Peisistratus’ youth.

Gen. 32: 25, ‘And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.

Now this verse is very open to interpretation. The word yakol really means to be able to or to can. King James translated it twenty two times out of its one hundred ninety five occurrences as ‘prevail’, as he did here also. But every time one could take the word to refer to ability.

For example,

Gen. 30: 8, ‘And Rachel said, With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed: and she called his name Naphtali.’ Incidentally, the word for ‘wrestlings’ in this verse is naphtul, not ‘abaq, as in Gen. 32: 24. In Gen. 30: 8 though she did not prevail, in the sense overcome, her sister at all. By this time Leah had already born four sons and Naphtali was the second son of Rachel’s handmaid, not of Rachel herself. The meaning of the word is, that she just managed something, but certainly not that she was better than her sister.

In most other cases, one can interpret the word as ‘prevail’, but it still holds the meaning of ability to smite or conquer someone. It usually occurs with a second phrase. For example Numb. 22: 6, ‘…peradventure I shall prevail, [that] we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land: ….’ This could mean either. But it may mean, ‘… perhaps I am able to smite (I and my people) them ….’

The word naga’ means ‘to touch’. Some few translations have rendered it ‘to strike’ but it certainly has a gentle meaning, don’t touch the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3: 3).

The word for ‘hollow’ is kaph. Scripture has often used it for the hollow of the hand or the palm of the hand. It’s root, however, is kaphaph which means to bend or to bow down, to arch. In other words, kaph does not necessarily mean hollow, it might well mean ‘curved outward’.

The word for ‘out of joint’ is yaqa’. It really means ‘to hang’ and it was used for the death penalty.

So could this verse mean,

‘And when he saw that he could not (do him), he touched his testicles, (arched yarek) and the arched yarek hung down (in pleasure) as he threw up dust with him’?

The Bible won’t be as obscene as that? Really? What about this? Isa. 60: 16, ‘Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob’? Now this is pure King James!

In the next verse, Gen. 32: 26, Jacob asks the other to bless him. The word for ‘to bless’ is barak. It is in the piel verb form which means it is very intensive! There is a relationship to the word knee,. In other words it’ll make someone kneel down, lose control of his own body, just kneeling down in awe of something higher which it is hard to recognise.! What might that be?

Now in Gen. 32: 28 Jacob is renamed Israel. The reason which Genesis gives is, ’… for as a princess (it does not say prince!) hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.

So in other words,

Israel is a short form of I sarah el, sarah meaning princess! Now princess doesn’t mean daughter of a king, it means someone who is good at bringing forth good quality children! But since people recognised that the ejaculation makes women pregnant, people thought men to be the ones who brought forth life! However the female form of the word sarah, princess, still held the awe and so the man called Israel after a sarah, a princess meaning someone good at bringing forth life!

Now the man with whom he raised dust was a man, not God. For an explanation see Last Week’s Devotion. This man felt his virility and he thought and said, that Jacob must be just as good at bringing forth children as this man himself, and people used to call men like that gods (see Last Week’s Devotion)! That’s why he called him by the old – fashioned name sarah, not sar, princess, not prince! So the name Israel is a contraction of Isarahel, someone who is good at bringing forth offspring in the form of an ejaculation which, he properly implants it into a woman, where it would grow into a new born baby!

So the name Israel means good breeder, really the female form of it, since this was the original one before women realised what makes them pregnant! And the word god for the other person just means the same, someone who is good at creating life! How would this person know that Jacob is good at creating life? Could it be, because he felt his virility? Is this an example of homosexuality in the Bible?

Gen. 32: 31,

And as he (Jacob) passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.’ Maybe Jacob still was touching his yarek in pleasure. If the hip really would have been out of joint, he would not be able to walk then or later in the absence of modern medical help.

David and Jonathan

They were a couple which some quote as an example of homosexuality in the Bible!

David was king after King Saul. King Saul treated him very poorly, because he wanted his own son to be king after him! This is an example of the Original sin! But David was the more warlike man.

Now David had slain Goliath and the reward for slaying Goliath was to get to marry King Saul’s oldest daughter. But King Saul did not keep his promise. However, 1. Sam. 18: 1, ‘the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.

Now when Saul finally gave in and gave him his second daughter Michal, he said (1. Sam. 18: 21), ‘Thou shalt this day be my son in law in [the one of] the twain.’ How was he his son in law for the first time? Was it to be the lover of Jonathan?

When Jonathan died in battle, David said about him 2. Sam. 1: 26, ‘I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.’ Is this an example of homosexuality in the Bible?

So what was the sin of the Sodomites? Was it homosexuality in the bible or was it rape?

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Amen!