“And you shall not let any of your descendants pass through the fire to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the Lord. You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.”-Leviticus 18:21-22
The only way we’re going to comprehend the real meaning of verses 21 and 22 in Leviticus chapter 18 is to understand how they were connected to religious or shrine prostitution.
Let me start off by saying there is no Hebrew word that means “homosexuality” as we understand it today.
Today we treat homosexuality as a blanket term that refers to two or more men having sex with each other OR to two or more women having sex with each other.
But again, there is no Hebrew term in the Bible that carries such meaning.
If we’re going to use a term even remotely resembling homosexuality as us moderns understand it, it would be best to use the term “Sodomite“.
The original Hebrew for “sodomite” would be the word KADESH and contextually speaking it refers to male priests who engaged in sacred prostitution unto their pagan gods.
We also know the word KADESH has a religious connotation to it based on the root form of the word.
Doesn’t the word KADESH have a familiar ring to it?
It should, because it comes from the word KODESH which means “holy”.
For example, the Holy Spirit in Hebrew is “RUACH HA-KODESH“.
A literal English translation of KADESH would be “male holy one” (KEDESHAH would literally be “female holy one”) or it is sometimes translated as “temple holy one”.
Now what actually occurred during the religious observances?
Brace yourself because what I’m about to say might cause your stomach to turn.
The male “holy” priests would commit anal sex with another male worshipper unto their gods.
And even if a male participant had sex with a female temple prostitute, he didn’t have sex with her in the normal way but via anal penetration.
This makes sense.
If a female temple prostitute, who may have been having sex with literally hundreds of men over a given time period, had sex in the normal way, she would get pregnant real soon and be out of business.
So whether the temple priest was a male or a female, anal sex was par for the course at these religious shrines.
This was the disgusting reality that was prevalent in ancient Biblical times and God said and I’m paraphrasing here, “No way in hell is anybody who is to be a part of my people Israel to participate in such vile activities. It is an abomination!“
Even Paul referred to such activities in the Book of Romans.
“For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.”-Romans 1:26-27
I actually did a little research and I found something interesting about what the early church fathers said about these specific verses in Romans.
I’m talking about around 100AD to 300AD, so this would be referring to the disciples of the original apostles of Yeshua.
The early church fathers did NOT believe this was referring to homosexuality as we understand it today or even lesbianism.
Let me say that again.
The early church fathers did NOT believe Romans 1:26-27 was referring to male homosexuality or lesbianism.
They understood it as referring to UNNATURAL anal sex which was typical of pagan temple prostitution.
Paul, here, is NOT condemning homosexuality as we understand it today.
He was specifically referring to the widespread practice of anal sex unto false gods that took place daily in the pagan temples.
I believe verse 22 goes together with verse 21.
Otherwise contextually speaking, it doesn’t make sense.
Because what in the heck is a commandment against child sacrifice doing smack dab amongst a list of thou-shall-NOT sexual commands?
It only makes sense when viewed through the lens of God condemning the activities that typically occurred at the pagan temples.
I believes verses 21 and 22 as a pair are referring to child sacrifice and the practice of anal sex between a male temple priest and a male worshipper unto the false god Molech.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness,
in the lusts of their hearts,
to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
who exchanged the truth of God for the lie,
and worshiped and served the creature
rather than the Creator,
who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions.
For even their women exchanged
the natural use for what is against nature.
Likewise also the men,
leaving the natural use of the woman,
burned in their lust for one another,
men with men committing what is shameful,
and receiving in themselves the penalty of
their error which was due.”