IS THE BIBLE AGAINST HOMOSEXUALITY?
A scholarly response on what the Hebrew and Aramaic Bible says concerning LGBTI people.
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Separately, it is important to note that in the Bible, God nowhere set up statutes for a priest to marry couples; though I'm not against the practice. There are also some things that English readers don't see. Generally, when it says a man married a woman, the Hebrew word used says the man took the woman. The Hebrew word la-qakh, which means “he took,” is underneath the words “he married” in the following verse: “Now afterward Hezron went in to the daughter of Machir the father of Gilead, whom he married when he was sixty years old; and she bore him Segub.” (1 Chronicles 2:21 NKJV). Also, in the Hebrew text, the words man & husband are from the same word (ish); and the words woman & wife are from the same word (ish-shah) in our English Bible. An example is in this verse: “Then Sarai, Abram’s wife (ish-shah -woman), took Hagar her maid, the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband (ish - man) Abram to be his wife (woman), after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan." (Genesis 16:3 NKJV). No marriages in ancient societies closely match our modern equivalent. The Hebrew word la-qakh “he took,” is short for: "he took [la-qakh] a wife [ish-shah] for himself [lo]" (Gen. 4:19; 6:2; Jubilees 10:25; etc.) hence: "he married." Mostly or always, the wife was taken from her family and became a worker in her husband's family (i.e. her new family). This would apply to a trans-woman as well. So (1 Chron. 2:21) can also be translated as: “And afterwards, Hezron went into (entered, had sex with) the daughter of Macir, the father of Gilad, and he had took her [for a wife], and he was sixty years old; and she bore Seguḅ for him.” This word may have also been used for “eunuchs (gay men),” who were also taken as feminine ones (na-shim) [see Matt. 24:38; Lk. 17:27 - Aram. Text & Greek rendering]. The Hebrew of (2 Ki. 20:18) actually says: “And he [the king] will take [-away] (yiq-qakh “marry”) some of your sons who will go out from you [i.e. between your loins], whom you shall cause to be born; and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Baḅel (Babylon).” The Masoretic Hebrew Text shows the conjugated verb in question as (3MS) or consonantally yiq-qakh “he will take (marry).” That’s the most obvious reading and the Pseudo-Jonathan Targum would agree. That verb can take all of the meanings of: “take (take away, marry).” We know from (Dan. 1:4, 9; 14:2); that is exactly what the king of Baḅel did. We are told that he took some of their handsome sons to live with him and to be his lovers, counselors, etc. Royal “eunuchs” were often “lovers” that lived in the king’s home.
1ST Note: The king is getting credit for “taking (marrying)” some of their gay sons along with taking them away. Obviously, the king’s servants took and brought those sons to the king. That is why the parallel text at (Isaiah 39:7) says: “they [the servants of the king] will take.” That’s a common feature by Biblical writers to change pronouns plus add or delete details of the story [Compare: 2 Ki. 18:13-18 with Isa. 36:1-3; 2 Ki. 18:19-37 with Isa. 36:4-22; 2 Ki. 19:1-19 with Isa. 37:1-20; etc.]. It preserves the actual message from later corruption or allows a writer to single out a certain person doing a particular action. That writer would have to change the pronoun if multiple persons also did the same action. Thus the full narrative is seen by reading all of the statements together [i.e. like the synoptic Gospels]. Since the two statements can be harmonized, there is no reason to believe that there is a scribal error at (2nd Kings 20:18). It’s also not reasonable that the Masoretic Text would have an irregular spelling for this (3CP) verb conjugation: yiq-qa-khu “they will take” [i.e. missing the vav at the end]. That spelling isn’t seen anywhere else. Nevertheless, three old translation witnesses (Tgm Var., GrkOT, Vg.) have interpreted that verb as being misspelled [corrupted] or deserving of the (3CP) vowels. They all show [interpreted] the conjugated verb in question as the Qal-Imperfect (3MP) or yiq-qa-khu “they will take [-away].” The Targum Variant and the Latin Vulgate [because it sometimes just copies the Greek OT] shouldn’t be considered as independent witnesses of what the original Hebrew said. - Moreover, the Hebrew verb is also definitely not the Niphal-Imp (3MP) or yil-la-qe-khu “they [your sons] will be taken” (cf: Syr). There is one or two letters missing from the verb at (2 Ki. 20:18; Isa. 39:7); which invalidates that interpretation. 2ND Note: The Hebrew of (Isa. 39:7) says: “And they will take [-away] some of your sons who will go out from you [i.e. between your loins], whom you will cause to be born; and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Baḅel (Babylon).” - Similarly, young women who were beautiful virgins, were gathered to the harem at the citadel of Susa - to become the wives of the king. Esther, who was among them, was also taken there and to the palace of the king (Esth. 2:2-3, 8). Nevertheless, when "two men" or "two women" got married, either one of the partners was a likely candidate to join another family. So a couple better words were used to mean "married" for same-sex couples as well as heterosexuals. They are the words: "yoked (joined together)" and "[was] joined" - discussed below. So there is no reason to deny same-sex couples or any person of any sexual orientation the words: "marriage" or "married." God wants equality and the Bible uses the same words for "marriage" and "married" for same-sex couples as well. The Old Testament records verses that show that not all unions were between a man and a woman. The following are a few examples. “If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son, or your daughter, or your lawful wife, or your friend, who is as your own soul, entices you secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which you have not known, you nor your fathers;” (Deuteronomy 13:6 Lamsa). The underlined words your friend, who is as your own soul in the Aramaic literally means: “your lover according to your soul [heart, desire, emotion(s)].” The word raḥ-ma, translated here as “friend,” also means a lover (in a relationship), as shown here: “His mouth is like sweet honeycombs; his garments are lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.” (Song of Solomon 5:16 Lamsa). For some, it is hard to distinguish when the word raḥ-ma is referring to a friend or when it is referring to a lover in a relationship. I believe the context gives the clue. Note: The word "soul" is sometimes also translated as "will (desire)" into (Aramaic, NAS, INT) or the Aramaic has the active verb "desires" added in the translation before "soul" [i.e. "if your souls are desiring" & "my soul desires"] (see Gen. 23:8; Ps. 27:12; 41:2; 78:18; 105:22; Jer. 15:1; Ezek. 16:27).
"For if you shall indeed turn away and shall be joined [in alliance] to the remnant of the nations, those who are remaining, those among you, and you shall be joined by marriage (make marriages) with them, and you shall go into (penetrate) them, and they [shall go into (penetrate)] you." (Josh. 23:12). There are multiple layers of meaning that this statement can and does mean. The Hebrew word kha-than "to be joined by marriage," is used. It's from this verb that we get the words kho-then "husband, bridesgroom, son-in-law, etc." and kho-then-eth "wife, mother-in-law, etc." Aramaic has this same root word, khthan, and it means "to be united, joined, married." So don't get confused by how James Strong's renders the Hebrew word kha-than, as: "to contract affinity by marriage, etc.;" which is accurate, but not literal. The Hebrew word bo definitely does mean to "enter into, penetrate," as in vaginal or anal sexual intercourse (Gen. 29:21, 23, 30; 38:2, 8). It can also mean to "come to." This verse literally says that if the Yisraelites turn away from God and the men shall be joined (married) with them [men], and you shall penetrate them, and they [shall penetrate] you." All of the underlined words and conjugations are masculine. One thing to notice is that this verse is a confirmation that the anus, like the vagina, aren't just an "exit," they are both also an "entry." Nevertheless, the word "go into" can also include the meaning of "come to," and hence includes men coming to and associating with other men. The above cited verse can also refer to heterosexual men marrying women and penetrating (lying with) them along with both of them coming to each other and associating. Masculine words, whether in the singular or plural, also include females. The Aramaic and Greek translations also understood the words “you shall penetrate them” as referring to “sex.” Their same translation isn’t an exact representation of the Hebrew verb but conveys a similar meaning. They both say: “you shall mix with them” instead. That verb translation means that the men and women of the different races, families, nations, etc. will "intermarry" and “have intercourse with" each other plus "make alliances with (associate with, have dealings with, etc.)" with one another. "All flesh shall love its kind (min); and every man (adam: human) the one being like him. The kind (min) of all flesh is beside (e-ṣel: near) him; and a man (human) shall be joined together (ye-khub-bar: or married) to his kind (min)." (Ben Sira 13:14-15 Hebrew Text). These verses also tell us that there are different kinds (sorts) of humans that shall be married. These verses look like they support gay marriage, trans marriage, heterosexual marriage, etc. The Aramaic translation is numbered as (Bar Sira 13:19-20) and essentially says the same thing. For the last part, the Aramaic text reads: "... and a son of man is being joined together [married] (mit-dab-baq: cleaving) to his kind." (Sira 13:20). “Again, the kingdom of the heaven(s) is being like a dragnet that shall be cast into the sea, and it gathered some of every KIND." (Matt. 13:47). Surely single or married LGBTI people are included in Yeshua's symbolic statement of the kingdom of heaven being like (or consisting of) every KIND of people gathered (assembled).
The New Testament also has verses that can be interpreted to include heterosexual and homosexual marriage unions along with men or women marrying transgender persons. Or they are inclusive of both heterosexual and homosexual unions. 2nd Corinthians 6:14 literally says this: "And you shall not be married men (sons of the yoke) with those who are not believing [mhaym-nin mp]. For what partnership has righteousness with evil? Or what intimacy has light with darkness." The words "married men" and "those who aren't believing" are both grammatically masculine; though masculine words can also include females. I believe that is the case here, but I will get to that later. This verse is literally talking about male homosexual marriages. There is a feminine verb spelling for: "those who are not believing." If this verse was talking only about heterosexual men not being in a marriage with female unbelievers, then the verb spelling and pronunciation would be mhaym-nan "believing" [fp]. The following are a couple examples of the root word za-wig (yoking, marrying) and the related word zu-wa-gha (marriage); so you can see how the words "sons of the yoke" mean "married men, etc." 1st Timothy 4:3 says: "And they [will be] forbidding to be married (yoked, paired, coupled) ..." (Mark 10:9) has Yeshua discouraging divorce by saying: "Therefore what God was joining together (yoking, uniting), let not man be separating." Finally, Paul said this: "Marriage is [held in] honor by all and their [marriage] bed is pure, but God will be judging fornicators and adulterers." (Hebrews 13:4). The word "sons" can refer to" men (offspring) of any age." So "sons of the yoke," in regard to homosexual unions, refers to "married [young-] men." Additionally, there are other marriage/relationship words used in this verse. The word show-ta-pu-tha means: "partnership, communication, marriage, conjugal intercourse, etc." It's referring to the relationship between "partners, spouses." Also, the Aramaic word khul-ta-na means: "intimacy, mingling, contact, intercourse, meeting, etc." It's from the root word khlat "to mix, join, unite, associate with, have to do with and have intercourse with." That's the word used to refer to the "mixing" of races (families); such as when the Yisraelite men "mixed" with the foreign women and produced offspring. The words "sons of the yoke" can refer to "children of the yoke," hence "married men and married women." Plus, the word "believers" can refer to either male or female believers. Again, masculine words can refer to males and/or females. The word "sons of" is used in the statement "sons (children) of Yisrael." That statement and like constructed statements include both males and females. So 2nd Corinthians 6:14 is talking about married men or married women being joined together in marriage to either male or female believers. The statement is constructed perfectly to refer to "men marrying men," "men marrying women," "men marrying trans-women," "women marrying trans-men," etc. The Aramaic word ay-len "those," is a "common (neuter)" pronoun; meaning it refers to both males and females. It's the only Aramaic word that I'm aware of that isn't grammatically either masculine or feminine ONLY. If this statement was referring to only "men marrying men," then the masculine pronoun ha-non "those" would have been used. The word "those" is the key word that is letting us readers know that 2nd Cor. 6:14 is referring to the various marriages of all the sexual orientations.
Romans 13:9 says this: "For also that statement which says that 'You shall not commit adultery,' and 'You shall not murder,' and 'You shall not steal,' and 'You shall not covet,' and if there is another commandment, it is being performed [by you] if you do this following statement - 'You shall love your near one like yourself.' " (see also Eph. 4:25, etc.). The Aramaic word qa-ri-wa "near one" is from the word qa-riw "near," and has three main meanings. All of them could be meant here. It can mean a "neighbor [as near];" though shwa-wa is the more precise word for "neighbor" (Lk. 1:58). It can also mean a "relative [as near of kin]" (1 Ki. 16:11; 2 Ki. 10:11). And finally, it can mean an "intimate one (close one, lover, wife, husband) [as near]" (Song 1:8 , 14 , etc. - the Hebrew word for "my love or my lover" is translated literally as "my near one" in P'shitta & LXX . When "you love your intimate one like yourself" you won't commit adultery against that person and you will have self-control so as not to covet (desire, lust) after someone else's spouse. In regards to when qa-ri-wa means an "intimate one, lover" for the statement "You shall love your intimate one as yourself," that statement is grammatically masculine. The words "you shall love" is in the third person masculine singular form (3MS). The word "intimate one, neighbor, relative" is also grammatically masculine. However, masculine singular or plural words also include females; so this statement is all inclusive. But quite literally, when referring to lovers, this verse is telling a homosexual man to love his intimate one (boyfriend, husband) as himself.
Lesbians and gay men also married the opposite sex to have children so they could dispose of their property (wealth) to them. They likely were more inclined to marry each other since they wouldn't want to have sex with the opposite gender once kids were born. There was no natural insemination back then. A lesbian marrying a heterosexual man or a gay man marrying a heterosexual woman would result in their partners suffering through sexual abstinence. The following is a verse which I believe supports this: "Even the weak (or effeminate) man among you and very luxurious, his eye shall be evil against his brother and against the wife of his bosom, and against the remnant of his children that he (the enemy) shall let remain." (Deut. 28:54). The Hebrew word rak means "weak, effeminate, soft, tender, and delicate." James Strong's Concordance leaves out the meaning of "effeminate" but the Aramaic word maạdan means "effeminate, dainty, pleasant" (CAL). Also, along that line, this Hebrew word was translated into Latin as delicatus - "delicate, soft, tender, delightful, pleasing, effeminate, etc." Hebrew words and statements often have multiple layers of meaning. This verse can refer to some heterosexual men who are "weak" but it can more so refer to effeminate gay men. Consider that this "man" is also said to be VERY delicate (luxurious, pampered). I get the definition of "pampered" from the Aramaic text, which has the word mpa-naq "luxurious, tender, delicate, delightful, pampered, treated with affection, indulgent, given to pleasure, feeding luxuriously." Those same Hebrew and Aramaic words are also used to describe the "delicate (soft, tender) woman (Deut. 28:56). GOD IN A HOMOSEXUAL MARRIAGE:
The Bible does figuratively portray God as in a marriage with Aḅraham and Yisrael; both are masculine words in Hebrew and Aramaic. The same marriage terms are used for their spiritual homosexual marriage as in a heterosexual marriage. I'm forced to make this a talking point because some Christians are teaching that since the Church is typified as "the bride, the wife of the Lamb" (Rev. 21:9; 22:17); God approves of heterosexual marriage and not homosexual marriage. That's false logic and false teaching. The word "assembly (church)" in Hebrew and Aramaic is a feminine word. So of course it is going to be typified as a "bride" and not a "groom." The word "city" is also a feminine word and of course can be typified as a "woman" or "bride" (Rev. 21:2; 2nd Esdras 10:44-54). Also, the Church is made up of both men and women, which are married to the Christos (Anointed One). Moreover, Trans-women took feminine words such as "bride, wife, etc." So the picture includes Yeshua figuratively being married to a trans-woman as well. "And you, Yisrael, are My servant, Yaaqoḅ whom I have chosen (ba-khar), the posterity of Aḅraham My lover (o-hev)." (Isa. 41:8). and "Are You not our God ... to the posterity of Aḅraham Your lover (o-hev) forever?" (2 Chron. 20:7). The word ba-khar is one of the words used in the Hebrew Bible for when a man has chosen a wife, husband, lover, etc. In these cases, we see God choosing Yisrael as a spouse and Aḅraham as His lover or husband. I'm in no way saying that God is in a sexual relationship with a human. That is just the picture. The word lover is meant to give its picture meaning along with Aḅraham being "a lover of God" hence "someone who loves God." Notes: Yisrael is said to have committed adultery against their God, their Lover [i.e. Husband] (Jer. 3:20). Yisrael didn't literally sleep with someone else besides God. It was spiritual adultery. They went after other gods. Yeshua or God don't literally have a bride or wife that they sleep with. God is also called the "Husband" of the city Ṣiyon (Ẓion), who is personified as a woman (Isa. 54:5) and she & her children symbolize the inhabitants of Yerushalem.
Is the Bible Against Homosexuality? by Preacher Mattai © (Ɔ) 2016. All rights reserved.