Thursday

Leviticus Loves Deuteronomy

One argument I hear (other than we are to follow the old Leviticus laws as Christians) for carrying over the Leviticus passage of; "A man shall not lay with a male" to the present day as a broad condemnation of all homosexuality even outside of idolatry is:

"If the practices in Leviticus 18 and 20 are condemned only because of their association with idolatry, then it logically follows they would be permissible if they were committed apart from idolatry. That would mean incest, adultery, bestiality and child sacrifice (all of which are listed in these chapters) are only condemned when associated with idolatry; otherwise, they are allowable."

But every prohibition in Leviticus that involved the death penalty (incest, adultery, bestiality, child sacrifice, etc) is re-stated in Deuteronomy (a man prohibited from having sex with his daughter-in-law in Lev. 20:12? Found in Deut. 27:23, a man or woman having sex with animals found in Lev. 20:15 and 16? Found in Deut. 27:21 and so on with the other prohibitions) or elsewhere in the Bible  Guess which one is nowhere to be found? That's right; "Man shall not lie with a male." So know we know the Leviticus verse is talking about a man laying with a male in the context of idolatry, the religious prostitution services involved in the idolatry of the Canaanites, the setting Leviticus was written in. Let me say it again. ALL prohibitions are re-stated in Deuteronomy or elsewhere in the Bible outside of the idolatry of Leviticus as a general prohibition but only one is absent; "Man laying with a male..." because it was never meant as a general prohibition with the proof you can't find "Man lying with a male" or any variation of it anywhere else in the Bible or in any ancient Jewish writings.

Remember, the context of the Leviticus passage starts with the mention of the pagan God "Moloch" and child sacrifice to him (Leviticus 20:2) and even mentions the prostituting out of Canaanite males in the priestly to Moloch (Leviticus 20:5) that shows the idolatry context those verses are in.

Deuteronomy DOES give a replacement for the "Man shall not lie with male" Leviticus verses where it SPECIFIES BY NAME who Leviticus IS talking about, the Canaanite priests called the "Qa-desh or Kadesh" (קָדֵשׁ) found in Deuteronomy 23:17, mistakenly translated as "Sodomite" in most Bible translations. The same Hebrew word קָדֵשׁ is also mentioned several times in 1 and 2 Kings (also mistakenly translated as "Sodomite"). It's only when we get to Job 36:14 do we get the correct translation; "And their life perishes among the cult prostitutes (קָדֵשׁ)."

Now knowing all of this, look at Leviticus 29:13 again; "If a man (Hebrew for man here is "ish") lies with a male (Hebrew for male here is "zakhar") as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination." A "Zakhar" is almost always a male in a religious role all the many other times the word is used in the Bible even with male animals about to be sacrificed in a religious ceremony.


I posted a later argument for the Kadesh in Leviticus.

A question was asked in the comments section here on the incest verses.