In the Book of Leviticus, chapters 17-26 are known as the Levitical Holiness Code. The code is a set of commands given to the nation of Israel outlining the proper conduct they were to follow while in the land of Palestine, under the Law of Moses. The code addressed the nation of Israel thirteen separate times. It never addressed the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans or Christians.
“You shall not lie with a male as with a women; it is an abomination.” Leviticus 18:22 NRSV
“If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them.” Leviticus 20:13 NRSV
What is the religious context behind the above verses? In order for us to begin to reach a conclusion we must take a closer look at Leviticus 18:21.
“You shall not give any of your offspring to sacrifice them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.” Leviticus 18:21 NRSV
The purpose behind this prohibition relates to the issue of idolatry concerning the Canaanites. God did not want the Israelites to engage in any of the idolatrous practices of the Canaanites. The idea was to separate them and keep them from defiling themselves.
The Canaanites worshipped Molech, also known throughout Palestine and the Bible by the general name Baal. Molech was associated with life and reproduction and children were also sacrificed as a form of worship to this false god. The goddess Ashoreth was also worshipped along with Molech, this goddess represented fertility.
The prohibitions addressed after Leviticus 18:21 refer to idol worship and shrine cult prostitution which will be discussed more when we cover Deuteronomy 23:17.
Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 address male worshippers who stood in for the fertility goddess. These male worshippers used sex as a form of worship to their deity; men had sex with men as well as women. Some men even castrated themselves in order to worship Baal and Ashoreth.
When the Bible mentions something as being an abomination what is it referring to? The Hebrew word for abomination is toebah and it means detestable. Something that is detestable is culturally or ritually associated with idolatry.
God calls the eating of certain foods such as shellfish, pork and rabbits an abomination. He also forbids the wearing of mixed fabrics. These things within themselves are not bad or immoral. These things were seen as an abomination because they were culturally or ritually associated with idolatry.
In the same sense, a sexual relationship between two men or two women is not bad or immoral within itself; it was viewed as an abomination by God in the context of idol worship. We as Christians no longer refrain from eating certain foods because we view them as sinful; we simply see them as food. We no longer refrain from wearing cloths with mixed fabrics; we simply see them as clothing. These things are no longer associated with cultural or ritual idolatry.
If God was really condemning same sex relationships as some nongays believe, why is there no mention of female-female sex within these verses? In cult shrine prostitution male worshippers participated in sex with both male and female shrine prostitutes, however females never had sex with other females because women do not have seed. The worship of the deity involved the spilling of seed or the sacrificing of seed, such as child sacrifice.
Those who live prior to the Law of Moses were not under the Law.
Those who lived prior to the Law of Moses were not required to live under the Law. As we will see, those who lived prior to the Law would have clearly violated the Law.
Abraham and Sarah
“You shall not uncover the nakedness of your sister, your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether born at home or born abroad.” Leviticus 18:9 NRSV
“If a man takes his sister, a daughter of his father or a daughter of his mother, and sees her nakedness, and she sees his nakedness, it is a disgrace, and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people; he has uncovered his sister’s nakedness, he shall be subject to punishment.” Leviticus 20:17 NRSV
“Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister…” Genesis 20:2 NRSV
“Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.” Genesis 20:17 NRSV
The Law of Moses clearly forbids a man to marry is sister, yet we know from the text that Abraham married his sister Sarah. Even though this violates the Law, God bless them and their seed Isaac. Therefore, the Law was not binding for them.
Amram and Jochebed
“You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s sister; she is your father’s flesh.” Leviticus 18:12 NRSV
“You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister or of your father’s sister, for that is to lay bare one’s own flesh; they shall be subject to punishment.” Leviticus 20:19 NRSV
“Amram married Jochebed his father’s sister and she bore him Aaron and Moses, and the length of Amram’s life was one hundred thirty-seven years.” Exodus 6:20 NRSV
The Law of Moses clearly forbids a man to marry his aunt, yet we know Amram married his aunt Jochebed. Even though this violates the Law, God blessed them and used both Aaron and Moses to free the Hebrews from slavery to Egypt. Therefore, the Law was not binding to them.
Judah and Tamar
“You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law: she is your son’s wife; you shall not uncover her nakedness.” Leviticus 18:15 NRSV
“If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall be put to death; they have committed perversion, their blood is upon them.” Leviticus 20:12 NRSV
According to the account in Genesis 38:16-26 that is exactly what took place.
The Law of Moses clearly forbids a man to have sex with his daughter in law, yet we know Tamar was Judah’s daughter in law. Even though this violates the Law, Jesus came from the tribe of Judah. Therefore, the Law was not binding for them.
Jacob with Leah and Rachel
“And you shall not take a woman as a rival to her sister, uncovering her nakedness while her sister is still alive.” Leviticus 18:18 NRSV
According to the account in Genesis 29:18-28 that is exactly what took place.
The Law of Moses clearly forbids a man to marry two sisters while they are both living, yet we know Jacob married both Leah and Rachel who were sisters. Even though this violates the Law, Joseph and Benjamin were born from the second wife Rachel, in which Joseph was used by God to save a nation. Therefore, the Law was not binding for them.
Leviticus 18 describes the nature of the crimes and Leviticus 20 describes the punishment for the crimes, yet God never punished Abraham or Sarah, Amram or Jochebed, Judah or Tamar, Jacob, Leah or Rachel.
Those who lived after the death of Christ are not bound by the Law
There are those who still insist homosexuals have to abide with the Law of Moses. The Law of Moses began around 1450BC and ended in 30AD with the death of Christ.
As we have already established, those living prior to the Law of Moses did not need to abide by the Law and the people who lived after the death of Christ are not required to follow the Law. Below are a few scriptures that show us this is true.
“For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, because a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant. Where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive.” Hebrews 9:15-17 NRSV
“For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:14 NRSV
“For Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.” Romans 10:4 NRSV
“The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17 NRSV
The death of Christ was the end of the Law of Moses; it was never intended for Christians to follow.
The text in Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13 do not address or condemn homosexuals or homosexuality. However, the text does forbid heterosexual men to have sex with other men (for the purpose of ritual prostitution) like they would usually have sex with a woman.
The text has nothing to do with homosexuality, not as we know it. The text clearly addresses the issue of shrine or cult prostitution connected with the worship of Baal and Ashoreth.
The children of Israel were forbidden to take part in Canaanite fertility rituals. These rituals had nothing to do with marriage, (heterosexual or homosexual) love or devotion to one another. The Law of Moses is obsolete and is no longer binding to Christians or homosexuals. The text in Leviticus does not condemn homosexuality.
Isa ito sa mga verse na paboritong gamitin ng mga taong nagsasabing bawal sa bibliya ang bakla,sa totoo lang basahin muna nilang mabuti ang Leviticus Chapter 18 para malaman nila kung kanino pinapatungkol ang verse na ito.Hindi ito patungkol sa mga kabaklaan o sa mga honosexuals.Ito ay patunkol sa mga Israelites kung saan laganap noon ang pagsamba sa diyus-diyusan nilang si Molech.Sa pamamagitan ng pakikipagtalik ng natural na lalaki sa isang natural na lalaki naipapakita nila ang pagsamba nila sa kanilang diyus-diyusan.
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