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This story really begins in Genesis 13, in which Abraham and his nephew Lot have too many livestock for their present land, and Abraham, seeking peace, offers Lot the first pick as to what land he shall choose. Lot sees and chooses the then verdant plain of Sodom. But the sober note of Scripture is, "But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly." (Gen 13:13). Later in chapter 18, the LORD and two angels visit Abraham in the plains of Mamre, appearing as men, with the two angels being sent on a mission of investigation and judgment to Sodom. Understanding the nature of judgment, Abraham most reverently intercedes for Lot and his kin, and is assured by God that even if there remains at little as 10 righteous souls in the city then God will not destroy it. The verdict of the investigation of the "very grievous" (or heavy) sin of Sodom is revealed in what happens to the angels appearing as men.

Gn. 18: "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."

Gn. 19: "And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; {2} And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night. {3} And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.

{4} But before they lay down, the men of the city, even "the men of Sodom", compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: {5} And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, "that we may know them". {6} And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, {7} And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. {8} Behold now, I have two daughters which have "not known man"; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. {9} And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door. {10} But the "men" put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. {11} And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.

{12} And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: {13} For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it."

The issue here is not simply that forced manner of sexual relations is what is best evidenced, but also the perverse homosexual nature of it, which defines the practice from whence the term "sodomy" was derived, and accentuates the Sodomites worthiness of judgment. In the light of cultural attitudes toward homosexual relations, Gordon J Wenham concludes that the demand to know Lot's guest was sexual, and while this was a most grievous manner of inhospitality, yet "...undoubtedly the homosexual intentions of the inhabitants of Sodom adds a special piquancy to their crime. In the eyes of the writer of Genesis and his readers it showed that they fully deserve to be described as 'wicked, great sinners before the LORD' (13:13) and that the consequent total overthrow of their city was quite to be expected." (The Old Testament Attitude to Homosexuality, Gordon J Wenham, Expository Times 102 (1991): 259-363) Jewish Ethics and Halakhah For Our Time (2002), comments, “The paradigmatic instance of such aberrant behavior is found in the demand of the men of Sodom to “know” the men visiting Lot, the nephew of Abraham, thus lending their name to the practice of “sodomy” (homosexuality; Cf. Genesis Rabbah 50:5, on Gen. 9:22 ff. More generally see M.Kasher, Torah Shlemah, vol. 3 to Gen 19:5.)

As this story evidences for traditionalists that the most notable physical sin of Sodom had to do with homoerotic relations, (Robert A. J. Gagnon, The Bible and Homosexual Practice, pp. 73-74, and Why the Disagreement over the Biblical Witness on Homosexual Practice, pp. 46-50; What was the Sin of Sodom and Gomorrah? Gregory Koukl) and which “filthy” lifestyle resulted in Sodom becoming the foremost example of the judgment of God, and a warning to “those that after should live ungodly” (Pet. 2:6), pro-homosex apologists most typically seek to disallow that the "very grievous" sin of Sodom here had anything to do with homoeroticism. Instead, they seek to attribute it to simply being "inhospitality”. (D S. Bailey, Homosexuality and the Western Tradition, p. 8; John Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980), p. 93.; John J. McNeil, the Church and the Homosexual, pp. 50, 93) Scroggs, while seeking to justify homosex, states he finds it “difficult to deny the sexual intent of the Sodomites”, and that he believes “the traditional interpretation to be correct.” (The New Testament and Homosexuality, by Robin Scroggs; p. 73) In addition, conservative apologist James Holding states, "I know of no evidence for the claim that Lot violated a custom by not getting permission to have a guest. ("On Homosexuality and Rape in Genesis", James Patrick Holding) While Sodom certainly manifested “inhospitality,” it is the specific expression of it which is the issue.

Two words focused upon in the attempt to remove homosexual abuse from Gn. 19 are ''men'' as in "the men of Sodom", and "know" as in ''know them'', which the men demanded Lot allow them to do regarding his guests. The first assertion is that the word for men used in Genesis 19:4, "'ĕnôsh" (Strong's, #582), is not gender specific, but simply indicates mortals or people, and instead the word ''îysh'' (or ''eesh'') (Strong, #376), would have been used in Gn. 19:4 if it specifically meant men. ( Actually Gn. 19:4 does state both "the men of Sodom" and "all the people", yet the use of enosh need not exclude the men from being the more particular subject, as 'ĕnôsh is often used elsewhere where the subjects are specifically male, (Gn. 6:4; 17:27; 26:7; 34:7; 43:15-18,24,33; Ex. 2:13; Josh. 2:2-5; Ruth 1:11; Jer. 29:6; Ezek. 16:45; etc.), and is sometimes used in distinction to women (Ex. 35:22; Dt. 31:12; Jdg. 9:51; Neh. 8:3) as well as for all the references to the angels in this chapter (Gn. 18:2,16,22; Gn. 19:5,8,10-12,16). The word 'ĕnôsh is often used to denote man in plurality, including both men and women (Josh. 8:25) and when men only are indicated (Jdg. 8:17; 2Sam 11:17; 2 Ki. 10:6; 6:30; 8:17), and in such places as Josh. 8:14 for all the people when men in particular are preeminent (in such Biblical times, it was the men who did the actually fighting and were usually targeted for killing).

As for “Iyish” H376 this word is most often for singular males, but it is not necessarily always gender specific (Ex. 11:7; 16:18; Jer. 51:43; Hos. 11:9, etc.), and can also denote what would seem to be a mixed multitude (Num. 9:10; Josh. 10:21).Another word for man is "'âdâm" (H120), but which is used for mankind in general (Gn. 6:1; 2Ch. 6:18,30; Job 7:20), and thus is also not gender specific (Ex. 4:11; 8:17,18; 9:9,10,19,22; 30:32; 33:20) The Hebrew word which is strictly gender specific is "zâkâr" (H2145), and is used in such cases as Gn. 7:10 and Lv. 18:22; 20:13, but it is not the only word used to denote a crowd of men. Also, the word used for people ("‛am," H5971) in Gn. 19:4, as in "all the people from every quarter", can be used when it would apply to males in particular, as in Gn. 26:10.

Thus, while 'ĕnôsh may often denote a multitude of people irrespective of gender, yet as it is used in cases where men are clearly the subject, it's use in Gn. 19:4 to denote men as the particular subject cannot be disallowed. In the continuing context, Lot goes outside and entreats his ''brethren'' (a word ("âch,'' H251) that most often denotes males), saying, "I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly", and proceeds to offer them his two daughters "which have not known man" (v. 8). This they refuse, and they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door." But the men ('ĕnôsh) angels rescue him (vs. 4-11). Lot's address and the nature of his appeal and their violent reaction best indicates men in particular.

The next word in contention is the Hebrew word ''yâda‛'' (H3045), for ''know'', in "that we may know them", and "I have two daughters which have not known man". (Gn. 19:5-8) This word is more critical as to determining the particular nature of the inhospitality of Sodom. To those familiar with the Biblical use of yâda‛ as a primary verb to sexually know a human, the meaning should be clear enough, “Know a person carnally, of sexual subj. and obj. (of sodomy) Gn 19:5).” Brown, Driver and Briggs, (Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody ME: 1996), p. 394.) but homosexual apologists contend that since yâda‛ is used over 930 times to denote non-sexual knowing, then it's use here only denotes interrogation, albeit of a violent nature. However, while forced sex is mentioned elsewhere (2 Sam. 13:1-14), violent interrogation itself is not evident in the Scriptures, and yâda‛ is never used to denote gaining information by such means, unless Jdg. 19:25 (the parallel account to Gn. 19) is made to convey such, but interrogation is hardly conveyed by “they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning”. (Jdg. 19:25). Even the use of yâda‛ to denote gaining non-sexual personal knowledge by close contact with another person is exceedingly rare. (Gn. 45:1) But yâda‛ is clearly used 14 times in the Old Testament to denote ''knowing'' someone sexually, in addition to Gn. 19:4, and an equivalent word 2 times in the New: Gn. 4:1,17,25; 24:16; 38:26 (premarital); Num. 31:17,18,35; Jdg. 11:39; 19:25; 21:11,12; 1Sam. 1:19; 1Ki. 1:4; cf. Mt. 1:25; Lk. 1:34. Another possible instance of such, and of a non-consensual homosexual act, is in Gn. 9:20-27 (v. 24) (Holding, Homosexuality and Rape in Genesis)

The Bible, as in many languages and cultures, makes abundant use of euphemisms for sex, such as "know" or "lie with" or "uncover the nakedness of" or "go in into", etc. Ancient languages which also used this allegorical use of “know” included Egyptian, Akkadian, and Ugaritic, (Botterweck, 1986, 5:455-456,460) as well as Syriac, Arabic, Ethiopic, and Greek (Gesenius, 1979, p. 334). The Egyptian equivalent is "rh" and the Ugaritic is "yd." Both may mean " to know sexually" in certain contexts. The Aramaic yeda has the same breadth of meaning as the Hebrew." (James de Young, Biblical Sanctions Against Homosexuality, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Vol. 34 No. 2, June 1991 pp157-177.). Hebrew scholars, in defining 'know' as used in Genesis 19:5, used terminology like 'sexual perversion' (Harris, et al., 1980, p. 366), 'homosexual intercourse' (Botterweck, 5:464) and 'crimes against nature', (Gesenius, p. 334; Sodom—Inhospitality or Homosexuality? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Additionally, Lot's offer of his two daughters who “have not known [yâda'] man” (Lot had married daughters also, not at home) to the Sodomites in response to their demanded to “known” his guests, best indicates that Lot was offering substitute bodies for them to know sexually, rather than being sacrificed in pagan idolatry, as some homosexual apologists assert. The latter position is untenable in the light of actions of the men in the parallel story in Judges 19.

As one commentator states,

In narrative literature of this sort it would be very unlikely to use one verb with two different meanings so close together unless the author made the difference quite obvious. In both verses 5 and 8 "yada" should be translated "to have sexual intercourse with." The context does not lend itself to any other credible interpretation. (Derek Kidner, "Genesis: An Introduction and Commentary," Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Chicago: InterVarsity Press, 1963), p. 137;

Another misleading argument that the less ambiguous word ''shakhabh'' (H7901) would have been used instead of the word "yâda if sexual knowing was meant, (G. A. Barton) yet shakhabh even more often means sleep or rest, while (again) "yâda is used instead of shakhabh to gain sexual knowledge 13 times in the Old Testament Bible, besides the disputed verses in Gn. 19.

In their quest to render yâda to be non-sexual, some point to the Greek Septuagint translation which renders yâda' in Gen 19:5 as ''synginomai'', which they suppose only means becoming acquainted, while v. 8 it translates yâda' as ginosko ("know), which is clearly is sexual in that verse. Besides possible problems with the Septuagint (which apparently has Methuselah dying after the flood in Gn. 9, etc,. ( and the incongruity of the men of Sodom merely wanting to get acquainted with the strangers, that synginomai can have a sexual meaning is evidenced by Gen 39:10, in which synginomai is used to refer to Joseph's refusal to sleep with the wife of Potiphar. It also occurs in three places in the Apocrypha (Judith 12:16; Susanna 11, 39), with all conveying a sexual meaning. Among secular sources, synginomai is used to denote a sexual meaning in Xenophon's "Anabasis" 1.212, Plato's Republic 329c (5th to 4th century B.C.), and, among others, in writings of Epidaurus (4th cenury B.C), which indicates that the translators of the Septuagint knew of the use of the term for sexual meanings, which use preceded their translation. (Dr. James B. DeYoung, Homosexuality, pp. 118-122)

It is noteworthy that pro-homosex polemicists who disallow a sexual meaning here are often not reluctant to read homosex or a homosexual relationship into stories such as Ruth and Naomi, David and Jonathan, Daniel and Ashpenaz, the centurion and his servant, Jesus and John, and (some) Elijah and the son of the widow of Zarephath, and even resort to asserting that Paul was a repressed homosexual, etc.

As yâda is often used as a verb to refer to sex narratives, another attempt is made to disallow homosex in Gn. 19 based upon the absence of yâda when the Bible mentions homosexual acts (in Lv. 18:22; 20:13; 23:17) (Julie M. Smith, Sometimes a Cigar is Just a Cigar) However, this argument fails, as it would also disallow yâda from denoting premarital sex, (Gn. 38:26) or forced sex, (Jdg. 19:25) which, like Gn. 19, is described in narratives by using the euphemism yâda, but when proscribed as a sin, it uses the euphemism “lie/lay” (Dt. 22:25-29). In addition, none of the laws against illicit sex in Lv. 18 and 20 use yâda. TOC^

Jdg. 19: "Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, ''that we may know him''. {23} And the man, the master of the house, went out unto them, and said unto them, Nay, my brethren, nay, I pray you, ''do not so wickedly''; seeing that this man is come into mine house, ''do not this folly''. {24} Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and ''humble ye them'', and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man ''do not so vile a thing''. {25} But the men would not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and ''they knew her, and abused her'' all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go."

Judg 20: "And the men of Gibeah rose against me, and beset the house round about upon me by night, and thought to have slain me: and my concubine have they ''forced,'' that she is dead. {6} And I took my concubine, and cut her in pieces, and sent her throughout all the country of the inheritance of Israel: for they have committed ''lewdness and folly'' in Israel."

In this episode, beginning in Jdg. 19:1, a Levite (who is no model of virtue himself) is traveling back home after fetching his departed concubine (a wife: Jdg. 20:4; Gn. 30:4; 35:22; 2Sam. 16:21, 22), who played the whore against him and ran away. On his way back, and finding no one that would receive him in a strange city (Gibeah), he is taken in by an old man, a resident of the town. However, no sooner had they eaten, then "certain sons of Belial" came and demanded of the old man, "Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know [yada] him" (v. 22). Like unto Lot, the host beseeches them “do not so wickedly” (v. 23), adding, “do not this folly”, and then offers his own virgin daughter and the Levite's concubine to them to “humble", saying "unto this man do not so vile a thing." At first it appears they refused, hoping for the man, but being given the concubine by the man, "they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go."

Homosexual apologists sometimes contend that this abuse also was non-sexual, and they only wanted to kill the man by violent interrogation, but here again, that the crowd's desire to "know" the guest(s) was sexual is best indicated by the context and language. The only two choices for the manner of “knowing” are that the men wanted to non-sexually interrogate the men, or that they desired to know them sexually, both being in a violent way that could or would lead to death. Again, rather than the word “know” (yâda‛) meaning gaining intimate personal knowledge by interrogation, it is clearly used is many places for gaining sexual knowledge by physical intimacy, as shown under the Gn. 19 section. And as there, the offer of virgins by the resident host (who like Lot, would know what his fellow countrymen were after) is best understood as an offer of substitute bodies for immediate gratification by sex, even if it was abusively. This is in contrast to the idea that the offer of the women was for a pagan sacrifice, which is contrary to their response and the fact that the men of the city were Benjaminites (19:14; 20:4; cf. Josh. 18:24; 21:17). The Levite did fear they would kill him (Jdg. 20:5), and the concubine did die, but not until after they “knew her, and abused her” and let her go (vs. 25-28). The Levite further stated that they “forced” (KJV) her. (Jdg. 20:5) He then states that they “committed lewdness and folly [same word as vile] in Israel" (Jdg. 20:6).

Grammatically, the Hebrew word used for humble (“‛ânâh” , H6031), as in “humble ye them” (19:24), usually means afflict, but it is also often used for humbling someone sexually (Gn. 34:2; Ex. 22:10,11; Dt. 21:14; 22:21,24;29;. 2Sam.13:12,14,32), while “folly” and "vile", as in “do not this folly”, and “do not so vile a thing” (Jdg. 19:23,24), are from the same Hebrew word (“nebâlâh,” H5039), which is mostly used in sexual sense when referring to a specific sin of action (Gn. 34:7; Dt. 22:21;. 2Sam.13:12; Jer. 29:23). Likewise, “lewdness” (“zimmâh/zammâh,” H2154), as in “they have committed lewdness and folly in Israel” (20:6), is used more in a sexual sense than for any other type of sin (Lv. 18:17; 19:29; 20:14; Jer. 3:27; Ezek. 16:43,58; 22:11; 23:21,27,29,3544,,48). As for “abused” (“‛âlal,” H5953) as in “they knew her and abused her all the night”, (v. 25) this offers no other precise meaning other here than what the context indicates.

Taken together, it is most evident that the abuse the women suffered was violently sexual, and which best defines the type of “knowing" that “certain sons of Belial” (a term used for fornicators in 1Sam. 2:12, cf. v.22) sought to have, and which would result in death. And which serves to define the manner of “knowing” which was sought in Gn. 19. The only real difference between this and Gn. 19 is that these men finally took the substitute offer of the women (which was also sin). And though both Gn. 19 and Jdg. 19 specifically show homosexual rape itself to be sin, it was not simply the manner in which they sought relations (such as the women suffered) that was called vile, but the homosexual aspect of it. Even pro-homosex author Robin Scroggs also concurs that in Jdg. 19 "the verb yada almost surely refers to a sexual desire for homosexual rape", and that the traditional interpretation of Gn. 19 is correct. (The New Testament and Homosexuality, by Robin Scroggs, pp. 73-75)

Finally, that the sin of Sodom was attempted homosexual rape hardly needs any of the above for confirmation, as Jude 7 (see below) clearly tells us that not only was Sodom and company given to fornication, but that this included a perverse kind. TOC^

Jude is a book dealing with the manifestations and consequences of spiritual and moral declension, in contrast to the purity and power of the holy love of God. Verse 7 come after examples of men and angels who went backwards in rebellion against God, and suffered certain judgment, and then Jude declares, "Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." (KJV)

Here, it is explicitly stated that not only Sodom but also Gomorrha and the cities about them in like manner “gave themselves over to fornication”, with a specific form of it being the culmination of such surrender to sensuality. The Greek (which the New Testament was written in) word from which the emphasized phrase comes from, is “ekporneuō” (G1608), and is only Biblically used here, but it is a combination of “ek,” denoting motion, as in “giving themselves,” and “porneuō,” meaning fornication. Ekporneuō also occurs in the Septuagint to denote whoredom in Genesis 38:24 and Exodus 34:15. The verb ekporneuo refers to sexual immorality with the preposition ek explaining that it means that "they gave themselves up fully, without reserve, thoroughly, out and out, utterly. (Richard Wolff, "A Commentary on the Epistle of Jude", Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1960), p. 75.)

In response, most homosexual apologists propose or contend that as the word for “strange” basically means “another,” “other,” “altered” or even “next,” then the meaning is unclear, and if the the condemnation of Sodom was sexual, then it is likely that it was because women sought to commit fornication with “other than human” beings, meaning angels, (Bailey, pp. 11-16; Boswell, p. 97) perhaps referring to Genesis 6 and or the apocryphal book of Enoch. Besides the fact that there are sound reasons for the Book of Enoch being rejected from the Jewish canon, the Septuagint and Vulgate, and the Apocrypha, including its tales of approx. 443 foot height angelic offspring, or angels (stars) procreating with oxen to produce elephants, camels and donkeys, (86:1-5) (, if the “sons of God” in Gn. 6 are fallen angels, or if Enochian legends are being alluded to, then it is about them going after the daughters of men, not the other way around. And that if homosex advocates would give the Book of Enoch more veracity above the portion which Jude uses, (who would be following the Biblical practice of quoting an inspired utterance from a source that is not wholly inspired, just as Paul did in quoting a pagan prophet in Acts 17:28) then Enoch's condemnation of "sodomitic" sex (10:3; 34:1) ( would provide further testimony that homosex was the prevalent "physical" sin of Sodom. And as Jude connects the judgment of Sodom with their going after strange flesh, then the connection to Gn. 19 is intimated. Additional evidence which indicates that Jude 7 and 2 Peter 2:6-7,10 possesses a homoerotic dimension is found in the nearest parallels in early extra Biblical Jewish texts, that of Philo of Alexandria, (Abraham 133-41; Questions on Genesis 4.37) and Josephus. (Antiquities 1.194-95, 200-201; Jewish War 4.483-5; 5.566) and the Testament of Naphtali (3:4); Robert A. J. Gagnon, The Bible and Homosexual Practice pp. 87-89)

As for “other,” as in “strange flesh,” the Greek for the phrase, “strange flesh” is “heteros” and “sarx,” with the former basically meaning “other/another,” while “sarx” denotes the nature of man, or (once) a class of laws from God which deal with earthly matters as washings (Heb. 9:10). Heteros could easily refer to "other than normal, lawful or right," as in Rm. 7:3 or Gal. 1:6, pertaining to that which is contrary to God's law and design. Dave Miller states this pertains to the indulgence of passions that are “contrary to nature” (Barnes, 1949, p. 393)—“a departure from the laws of nature in the impurities practiced” (Salmond, 1950, 22:7; Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Some assert that Jude is referring to the Sodomites seeking sex with angels, (W. Countryman) which Jude deals with in v. 6. However, it is first seen that the structure of Jude shows he is using different examples of the rebellion of sinners in the Christian realm, which he likens to apostates in Israel, (v. 5) to angels, (v. 6) to the pagans of Sodom, in v.7, whom v. 8 likens to dreamers which "defile the flesh". The idea the sin was knowingly seeking sex with angels is further militated against by the fact that both Gn. 18 and Jude 1:7 reveals that fornication was an ongoing and regional issue of fornication, and extraordinarily so, that of a homosexual nature, (Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible; ;Vincent's Word Studies) (What was the Sin of Sodom and Gomorrah?, Gregory Koukl) "out of the order of nature." (Commentary on the Old and New Testaments by Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown). The angels appearance as men was in order to find out whether the great cry of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gn. 18:20) was true, and it is certain that this cry was not that of men seeking sex with angels. Moreover, it is highly unlikely that the Sodomites knew that the men were angels. (cf. Gill, Gn. 19)

Gagnon contends,

"Not only is it not required by the wording of the Greek text that ekporneusasai (“having committed sexual immorality”) refer exclusively to copulation with angels, [but] there are also at least six indications that ekporneusasai alludes, at least in part, to attempted male-male intercourse." (response to prof. l. William Countryman’s review in anglican theological review; On Careless Exegesis and Jude 7)

Taken together, it is unreasonable to hold that that the particular primary physical sin of Sodom, leading to their destruction, was not sexual, while the most warranted understanding is that it was widespread regional fornication, including that of a most perverse manner, that of men seeking to sexually “know” men, albeit unknowingly it was with angels, and but which attempt positively confirmed the investigation of their grievous sin. TOC^

Ezekiel 16:49 and inhospitality texts

A final attempt by homosexual apologists to disallow the most particular sin of Sodom from being sexual is to assert that other summations of the iniquity of Sodom do not mention sexual sin, but that Ezekiel and Jesus condemn it for inhospitality to strangers. (Bailey, Homosexuality and Western Tradition, pp. 1-28; McNeil, Church and the Homosexual, pp. 42-50; Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, pp. 92-97)

However, while Ezek 16:49 states, "Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy", yet widespread promotion of sensuality and homoeroticism in particular, tends to be a product of and concomitant with, pride, abundance of food, idleness, and selfishness. In addition, while verse 49 states overall sins, the next verse states, "And they Sodomites were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good." The word for “abomination” here is tô‛êbah, and (contrary to many homosexual assertions) it is not the word often used for ritual uncleanness, but is often used for sexual sin (Lv.18:22; 26-27,29,30; 20:13; Dt. 23:18; 24:4 1Ki. 14:24; Ezek. 22:11; 33:26), including in this chapter (vs. 22, 58). And contextually this chapter is much about fornication by Israel. While the Hebrew is sparse in vs. 47-48, contextually the LORD was comparing Israel with Sodom (even calling it “thy sister”), and yet revealing that Israel was different, not in the sense that Sodom's physical sins were different, or those of Samaria, but that the Israelites went beyond them in scope and degree, and by the foundation sin of idolatry they had violated their covenant with God and thus faced certain judgment. (cf. Straight & Narrow?: Compassion and Clarity in the Homosexuality Debate, Thomas E. Schmidt)

In addition, Sodom is associated more with sexual sins than with inhospitality or any other physical type of sin.

Sins to which Sodom is linked to elsewhere include,

#adultery and lies (Jer. 23:14);

#unrepentance (Mt. 11:20-24; Mk. 6:11, 12);

#careless living (Lk. 17:29);

#shameless sinning (Is. 3:9);

#and overall “filthy conversation” (G766), which means sexual sins (lasciviousness: 2Pet. 2:7; cf. Mk. 7:22; 2Co_12:21; Eph. 4:19; 1Pet. 4:3; Jud_1:4; or wantonness: Rm. 13:13, 2Pe_2:18).

As for the claim that Jesus condemned Sodom for inhospitality, in reality Jesus did not invoke Sodom as a warning to cities because they were generally inhospitable, rather He foretold that cities which would not repent would be judged more severely than Sodom (Mt. 10:14; 11:20-24), as that was the cause behind their specific inhospitality toward His disciples, who “went out, and preached that men should repent” (Mk. 6:11,12), which rejection Biblically was and is the ultimate sin of damnation.

These sources do not have the authority of the Bible, and are of varying historical value, but for textual and cultural reasons they can be relevant. These references include historians, extra Biblical books (apocryphal and pseudepigraphical) and Jewish commentary, as well as the Quran. Excluding the latter source, some reference is sometime made to these in prohomsex polemics, to which traditionalists such as James B. De Young respond. (Young, A Critique of Prohomosexual Interpretations of the Old Testament Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha)


In summarizing the Genesis 19 account, the Jewish historian Josephus stated: “About this time the Sodomites grew proud, on account of their riches and great wealth; they became unjust towards men, and impious towards God, in so much that they did not call to mind the advantages they received from him: they hated strangers, and abused themselves with Sodomitical practices” “Now when the Sodomites saw the young men to be of beautiful countenances, and this to an extraordinary degree, and that they took up their lodgings with Lot, they resolved themselves to enjoy these beautiful boys by force and violence” (''Antiquities'' 1.11.1 — circa A.D. 96).

Early commentators

The famous Philo of Alexandria (c. 20 BC to AD 50), famous Jewish philosopher, theologian, and a contemporary of Jesus and Paul, described Sodom and its people.

The country of the Sodomites was a district of the land of Canaan, which the Syrians afterwards called Palestine, a country full of innumerable iniquities, and especially of gluttony and debauchery, and all the great and numerous pleasures of other kinds which have been built up by men as a fortress, on which account it had been already condemned by the Judge of the whole world. (134) And the cause of its excessive and immoderate intemperance was the unlimited abundance of supplies of all kinds which its inhabitants enjoyed.

As men, being unable to bear discreetly a satiety of these things, get restive like cattle, and become stiff-necked, and discard the laws of nature, pursuing a great and intemperate indulgence of gluttony, and drinking, and unlawful connections; for not only did they go mad after women, and defile the marriage bed of others, but also those who were men lusted after one another, doing unseemly things, and not regarding or respecting their common nature, and though eager for children, they were convicted by having only an abortive offspring; but the conviction produced no advantage, since they were overcome by violent desire; (136) and so, by degrees, the men became accustomed to be treated like women, and in this way engendered among themselves the disease of females, and intolerable evil; for they not only, as to effeminacy and delicacy, became like women in their persons, but they made also their souls most ignoble, corrupting in this way the whole race of man, as far as depended on them. Philo, On Abraham, 133b-136a

Methodius, bishop of Olympus and Patara (AD 260-312).

But we do not say so of that mixture that is contrary to nature, or of any unlawful practice; for such are enmity to God. For the sin of Sodom is contrary to nature, as is also that with brute beasts. But adultery and fornication are against the law; the one whereof is impiety, the other injustice, and, in a word, no other than a great sin. But neither sort of them is without its punishment in its own proper nature. For the practicers of one sort attempt the dissolution of the world, and endeavor to make the natural course of things to change for one that is unnatural; but those of the second son — the adulterers — are unjust by corrupting others’ marriages, and dividing into two what God hath made one, rendering the children suspected, and exposing the true husband to the snares of others. And fornication is the destruction of one’s own flesh, not being made use of for the procreation of children, but entirely for the sake of pleasure, which is a mark of incontinency, and not a sign of virtue. All these things are forbidden by the laws; for thus say the oracles: Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind. For such a one is accursed, and ye shall stone them with stones: they have wrought abomination. (Commentary on the sin of Sodom)

Basil, archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia (circa AD 330-379).

They who have committed sodomy with men or brutes, murderers, wizards, adulterers, and idolaters, have been thought worthy of the same punishment; therefore observe the same method with these which you do with others. We ought not to make any doubt of receiving those who have repented thirty years for the uncleanness which they committed through ignorance; for their ignorance pleads their pardon, and their willingness in confessing it; therefore command them to be forthwith received, especially if they have tears to prevail on your tenderness, and have [since their lapse] led such a life as to deserve your compassion. (first canonical epistle)

John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople (AD 347-407),

All these affections then were vile, but chiefly the mad lust after males; for the soul is more the sufferer in sins, and more dishonored, than the body in diseases. But behold how here too, as in the case of the doctrines, he deprives them of excuse, by saying of the women, that “'they changed the natural use.” For no one, he means, can say that it was by being hindered of legitimate intercourse that they came to this pass, or that it was from having no means to fulfill their desire that they were driven into this monstrous insaneness. For the changing implies possession. Which also when discoursing upon the doctrines he said, “They changed the truth of God for a lie.” And with regard to the men again, he shows the same thing by saying, “Leaving the natural use of the woman.” …For genuine pleasure is that which is according to nature. But when God hath left one, then all things are turned upside down. And thus not only was their doctrine Satanical, but their life too was diabolical. (Commentary on Romans 1:26-27)

Augustine of Hippo (AD 354-430),

Can it ever, at any time or place, be unrighteous for a man to love God with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his mind; and his neighbor as himself? Similarly, offenses against nature are everywhere and at all times to be held in detestation and should be punished. Such offenses, for example, were those of the Sodomites; and, even if all nations should commit them, they would all be judged guilty of the same crime by the divine law, which has not made men so that they should ever abuse one another in that way. For the fellowship that should be between God and us is violated whenever that nature of which he is the author is polluted by perverted lust.” (Confessions. Commenting on the story of Sodom from Genesis 19)

Alsop, John Calvin, Protestant reformer and theologian (1509-1564), John Wesley, Protestant evangelist, theologian and founder of Methodism (1703-1791), likewise attributed the specific sin of Sodom to being homosexual relations. (


The apocryphal Testament of Benjamin, part of Books of Twelve Patriarchs (circa 2nd century BC) warned in regard to Sodom,

"that ye shall commit fornication with the fornication of Sodom," (Concerning a Pure Mind, 9:1; )

Anther book within the same collection, the Testament of Naphtali, states,

"But ye shall not be so, my children, recognizing in the firmament, in the earth, and in the sea, and in all created things, the Lord who made all things, that ye become not as Sodom, which changed the order of nature." (3.5.) (

The Book of the Secrets of Enoch (Slavonic Apocalypse of) Enoch, warned:

"And those men said to me: This place, O Enoch, is prepared for those who dishonour God, who on earth practise sin against nature, which is child-corruption after the ''sodomitic fashion'', magic-making, enchantments and devilish witchcrafts, and who boast of their wicked deeds, stealing, lies, calumnies, envy, rancour, fornication, murder, ...." (10:4; in J recension Ch. I.118); Late 1st cent. AD.;

The Old Testament apocrypha, Testament of Isaac. Probably originally from Egyptian Judaism, but shows pronounced Christian elements. "The angel said to me, 'Look at the bottom to observe those whom you see at the lowest depth. They are the ones who have committed the sin of Sodom; truly, they were due a drastic punishment." (5.27. Ch. I.909; Second century AD) (


The "Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer" compilation of the Mishnah, portrays the sin of Sodom as being crass inhospitality, including that of fencing in the top of trees so that even birds could not eat of their fruit.

The Babylonian Talmud (which contains many odd fables) also does not explicitly mention sexual sins in regards to Sodom, but attributes cruelty and greed to it, including that if one cut off the ear of his neighbor's donkey, they would order, “Give it to him until it grows again.” (Sanhedrin 109b)

However, it also clearly condemns homoeroticism:

He Who commits sodomy with a male or a beast, and a woman that commits bestiality are stoned. (Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 54a Soncino 1961 Edition, page 367)

Several texts in the Midrashic literature written in the early Christian centuries, such as Beresheth Rabbah 26:5 commenting on Genesis 6:2, also asserted that God is patient with all sins except fornication, and which included homoeroticism.

The Quran

The Quran (circa 600 A.D.) references many Biblical characters and stories, though usually with distortions and or additions ( (likely due to Muhammad's own illiteracy and that of others, and contact with religious factions who added to the Scriptures), and thus it is of limited value in affirming Biblical truth. But it often does contain key aspects of notable stories seen in the Bible, and in four different Suras it records the sin of Sodom to be homosex.

"(We also sent) Lut (as a messenger): behold, He said to his people, "Do ye do what is shameful though ye see (its iniquity)? Would ye really approach men in your lusts rather than women? Nay, ye are a people (grossly) ignorant!" (sura 27:54,55: Yusufali)

"And his people came unto him, running towards him - and before then they used to commit abominations - He said: O my people! Here are my daughters! They are purer for you. Beware of Allah, and degrade me not in (the person of) my guests. Is there not among you any upright man? They said: Well thou knowest that we have no right to thy daughters, and well thou knowest what we want." (sura 1I: 78,79: Pickthal)

"The folk of Lot denied the messengers (of Allah),... What! Of all creatures do ye come unto the males, And leave the wives your Lord created for you? Nay, but ye are froward folk." (sura 26.160: Pickthal:)

"And (remember) Lut: behold, he said to his people: "Ye do commit lewdness, such as no people in Creation (ever) committed before you. Do ye indeed approach men, and cut off the highway?- and practise wickedness (even) in your councils?" But his people gave no answer but this: they said: "Bring us the Wrath of Allah if thou tellest the truth." (sura 29:28,29: Yusufali)

An examination of both grammar and context in Gn. 19 best indicates a homoerotic intent on the part of the Sodomites. The sexual connotation in this story is further evidenced in the parallel story of the Levite and his concubine in Judge 19, whom men of Belial “knew” and abused all the night. (Derek Kidner, "Genesis: An Introduction and Commentary," Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Chicago: InterVarsity Press, 1963), p. 137.) To this is added the confirmation in the Book of Jude that Sodom's most notable physical sin was fornication, culminating in a perverse kind. While prohomsex polemicists attempt to render this as referring to Sodomites knowingly seeking sex with angels, Jude 1:7 reveals that fornication was a regional issue which preceded the angelic visit, and Gn. 18:20-22 indicates that Sodom was practicing their damnable sin prior to the arrival of Lot's angelic guests. In addition, it is most unlikely that the Sodomites knew then what manner of men his guests were (or that they would go after angels if they did), until the angels smote them with blindness and pulled Lot inside and shut the door. This would have been impossible for ordinary men, and the Sodomites would then have realized that the men whom they sought were no ordinary men. TOC^

Table of Contents


Part 4

Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13

Leviticus Summation

Part 1


Sexual morality in the Bible

Interpretive Foundations

Principal Sources

Part 5

Sex Laws versus Slavery

Silence of Jesus Argument and Love Hermeneutic

Part 2

Genesis: the Unique Union of Man and Women

1 Corinthians 11

Celibacy, Polygamy, and Procreation

Eunuchs and Exegesis

Proclivity and Permission Polemic (Social Justice) Summary

Part 6

Romans 1

1Corinthians 6:9 and

1 Timothy 1:10

Part 7

False postulations or assertions of approved homosex:

Ruth and Naomi

David and Jonathan

Daniel and Ashpenaz

1 and 2 Kings

Jesus, the centurion and his servant

Jesus and John

Was Paul gay?

Part 3

Genesis 19

Judges 19

Jude 1:7

Ezekiel 16:49 and Inhospitality Texts

Extra Biblical historical sources