IS THE BIBLE AGAINST HOMOSEXUALITY?
A scholarly response on what the Hebrew and Aramaic Bible says concerning LGBTI people.
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Interestingly, the word Sodom originally didn't carry any meaning dealing with homosexuality or anal sex. Our understanding of sodomy (sodomia) as anal sex is a Latin and English definition which comes from the story of Sodom. The meaning of the city Sedom (Sodom) is in dispute. It may be from the Hebrew word sid-dim (pl.) "lime (-pieces), whitewash, plaster, chalk, slime, cement." Both Hebrew and Aramaic have the singular form with those meanings [i.e. sid / say-da] (see Gen. 11:3). Sedom would be just a slight alteration of that word. Support for that connection is that a city often had a mountain, valley, field and/or desert (wilderness). Those land features could simply be called for this city as: "mountain of Sedom, valley of Sedom, etc. The Hebrew of (Jub. 13:22 ) says that Siddim was "... by Sedom, by Admah and by Ẓeḅoyim." Also, we know that there is such a mountain called Mt. Sedom where Sodom is believed to be near. So, Sedom is likely a slight corruption of the word sid-dim [the one "d" is doubled or pronounced twice for this plural word]. That's why we also see the expression: "the Valley of Siddim" or "the Salty Valley (Ravine, Chasm)" [LXX] in the Bible (Gen. 14:3, 8, 10); for the valley adjacent to Sedom. It's also said to be the same as the "Salt (Dead) Sea" and has "pits of khe-mar (asphalt, bitumen, tar, pitch)." Large blocks of asphalt are occasionally found floating on the surface of the Dead Sea. The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon or (F. Brown, S. Driver and C. Briggs) or (BDB)Qadesh noun masculine temple prostitute
The New Strong's Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible James Strong LL. D, S.T.D.6945. [6x] , kaw-dashe’; from 6942; a (quasi) sacred person, i.e. (tech.) a (male)devotee (by prostitution) to licentious idolatry:- sodomite [5x], unclean [1x]. Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible by Jeff A. BennerQede-sha – A female prostitute set aside for a special purpose.Qa-desh – A male prostitute set aside for a special purpose.Qa-dash – To set someone or something apart for a special purpose.
1st Note: A qede-sha (f.) and qa-desh (m.) can literally mean "a holy one" or "a person set apart for a special purpose;" and hence "a prostitute." Both words in their proper gender appear in the Samaritan Targum as qad-di-shah (f. - "a holy female, prostitute) and qad-dish (m. - "a holy man, prostitute"). This is old Aramaic. 2nd Note: Qa-dosh (MS) and Qedo-shah (FS) are technically the actual pronunciations and spellings for: "holy, holy one, etc." Other Purported Meanings for Sodom (i.e. Sedom):
James Strong lists Sedom's meaning as: to scorch; burnt (i.e. volcanic or bituminous) district [Strong’s Exh. Conc. of the Bible]. If so, then that would make Sedom the infinitive pronunciation of the hypothetical word sa-dam "it scorched (burnt)." Sed-om would then mean: "to scorch" in my opinion. The first problem I see is that sa-dam may not have been a legitimate Hebrew word in the past and now. That verb root doesn't appear at all in the Hebrew Bible in any conjugation, command form, infinitive form, participle form, etc. So I'm not convinced that sa-dam existed in Hebrew as a verb during the Bible's development or even after. My Webster's Hebrew Dictionary doesn't list the verb sa-dam as being in Modern Hebrew vocabulary. So James Strong appears to be wrong; as he is in other instances in his connection of verb roots and word meanings. Finally, that verb root also doesn't appear in the Aramaic. That's significant since Hebrew and Aramaic are sister languages and were copying each other. The second problem I have with the meaning that James Strong gives for Sedom is that it doesn't match the meaning of the Arabic verb sa-dam. Sa-dam means "it was dry (a spring)." So I would think that a hypothetical Hebrew word sa-dam would carry that same meaning. Thus the meaning James Strong gives for Sedom is questionable and hence may not be correct. Why doesn't it appear at (Jub. 36:11), which says: ".. as He [God] burned (sa-raph) Sedom .."?
Note: It should be mentioned that Arabic isn't as closely aligned with Hebrew as Hebrew and Aramaic are. As a Shemitic language, it shares a lot of the same meanings for the same verb roots and their nouns; but it also has additional meanings for the same Shemitic words along with additional words in its vocabulary.
Some people think that Sedom means: "Their Assembly" or "Their Counsel." That would make the city Sedom a revoweling of the word: so-dam (Gen. 49:5). The vav (o) deletes in that conjugation and has the same consonantal spelling as "Sedom," but of course pronounced differently. Or it’s possible that the Masoretes misvoweled this word and the correct pronunciation of this city’s name was: “Sodam.” There is Aramaic and Greek support for the “o” vowel for the first syllable. The Aramaic Genesis Apocryphon* (Col. XXI:6, 24, 26, 31, 33; etc.) has “Sedom” pronounced “Sodam (סוֹדָם)” while the Greek Old Testament has “Sedom” transliterated as: “Sodoma (Σοδομα).” Contrarily, “Sedom (Sdom) has support in the Aramaic Jewish and Samarian Targums plus the Aramaic (Syriac) P’shitta. * See: “The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition Volume 1” by Florentino Garcia Martinez and Eibert J.C. Tigchelaar.
Is the Bible Against Homosexuality? by Preacher Mattai © (Ɔ) 2016. All rights reserved.