Leviticus and the Holiness Code


by: Steve R. Payne

The book of Leviticus was written for the people of Israel. It was a law book for them. It was also known as the Holiness Code. Leviticus was not only the book that recorded the law for the people of Israel. There were also Deuteronomy and Exodus that contained part of the law that the Children of Israel were to follow.

In Leviticus there are two passages that people like to use against Homosexuality. The first is found in Leviticus 18:22: "‘Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable." The Second is found at Leviticus 20:13: "‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. The Holy Bible, New International Version

The Galatians believers were Gentiles. The first Century Judaizers came along and said, ‘you are not Christian if you don't follow Jewish rituals and laws of Moses. Recorded at: Galatians 3:1-3: "You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?"

What Paul is saying how did you receive the Holy Spirit? Was it by following the law? Was it by good deeds? By receiving the Holy Spirit and having faith, where they going to be perfect by going back to ancient traditions, laws, and rituals? Jesus Christ came therefore we are no longer under or forced to follow the Law of Moses. The book of James teaches us more.

 

"For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it."-James 2:10. James says that if you keep all of the law and if you break one, you break all of it. All books mentioned above. So if a person is condemned because he/she is gay and has sex with the same gender should not judge. When James and numerous passages say that if we break one, we break all of them. The gospel comes along and declares no one ever loved by the law; no one ever could, except Jesus. That is why we need a savior. The law showed us that we needed a savior and we got him!

Humanity has always tried through good works to get into God's grace. Different religious groups have created and followed religious systems of laws to follow. They make us think that we are good persons on our own. Therefore they feel they don't need God or Jesus Christ at Calvary. God's Word says we are to follow his decree or we do not have eternal life.

The Apostle Paul wrote: "Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."-2 Corinthians 3:5-6. We have to look at the New Testament to understand the law. For the law is dead, but through the spirit we have Eternal Life!

A Religious Consideration

Leviticus was called "The Holiness Code," because it listed out punishments spells out requirements for Israel to remain "Holy." Israel was God's "Chosen People." God had a covenant with them. It required Israel not to take part in religious practices of the Canaanites. They had to remain separate from the Gentiles, to be like their God and not like other people. They were to be "Holy"–set apart, different, chosen people of God, God-like. So a main concern "The Holiness Code," was to keep Israel different from the Gentiles [or aliens]. "The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'I am the LORD your God. You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices. You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the LORD your God. Keep my decrees and laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. I am the LORD." (Leviticus 18:1-5, NIV)

What were the practices of the Land of Canaanites as well as other lands surrounding them? Religious practices included fertility rites involving sexual rituals that were thought to bring blessing on the cycle of the seasons, the production of crops, the birth of livestock. Even whole families and group of families all have sex with one another. "When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the LORD your God." (Deut. 18:9-13, NIV) They are told time after time, that these things were desirable to the Lord, their God. As we continue to see what the Israelites continued to follow after the surrounding cities. We come to Judges 2:6-23 which we read:

"After Joshua had dismissed the Israelites, they went to take possession of the land, each to his own inheritance. The people served the LORD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had seen all the great things the LORD had done for Israel. Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of a hundred and ten. And they buried him in the land of his inheritance, at Timnath Heres in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel. Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals. They forsook the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They provoked the LORD to anger because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. In his anger against Israel the LORD handed them over to raiders who plundered them. He sold them to their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the LORD was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress. Then the LORD raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshipped them. Unlike their fathers, they quickly turned from the way in which their fathers had walked, the way of obedience to the Lord's commands. Whenever the LORD raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the LORD had compassion on them as they groaned under those who oppressed and afflicted them. But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their fathers, following other gods and serving and worshipping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways. Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel and said, "Because this nation has violated the covenant that I laid down for their forefathers and has not listened to me, I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died. I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the LORD and walk in it as their forefathers did." The LORD had allowed those nations to remain; he did not drive them out at once by giving them into the hands of Joshua."-Judges 2:6-23, NIV) The Israelites continued to Serve other gods and be unfaithful. Here First Kings 14:22-24 says: "Judah did evil in the eyes of the LORD. By the sins they committed they stirred up his jealous anger more than their fathers had done. They also set up for themselves high places, sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree. There were even male shrine prostitutes in the land; the people engaged in all the detestable practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites." " Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. Unlike David his father, he did not do what was right in the eyes of the LORD his God. He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel and even sacrificed his son in the fire, following the detestable ways of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites. He offered sacrifices and burned incense at the high places, on the hilltops and under every spreading tree." (2 Kings 16:1-4, NIV) "Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the LORD Almighty, and all who come to sacrifice will take some of the pots and cook in them. And on that day there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the LORD Almighty." (Zechariah 14:21)

Having sex with a menstruating woman (while she is on her period) and offering child-sacrifice to the Canaanite gods, Moloch, are other alleged Canaanite practice listed in the section of "The Holiness Code." The holiness code prohibits all those acts. It calls them all "ABOMINAIONS" and prescribes that "‘everyone who does any of these detestable things--such persons must be cut off from their people."-Leviticus 18:29.

This same section of "The Holiness Code" includes the prohibition of male homogenital acts, because of religious consideration, not because of sexual ones. But the concern is to keep Israel from taking part in Gentile practices. Homosexual sex is forbidden because it is associated with Pagan activities, Idolatry, and which identifies with the Gentiles.

Arguments in Leviticus are religious, "not" ethical or moral. No thought is given to weather the sex in itself is right or wrong. All concern is for keeping Jewish identity strong!

Some things for us today we would consider unclean. Take for example the Roman Catholic Church. Lent was very important to them. They were not to eat meat on Friday. And if they did they were told that they were going to HELL! But know it would be considered okay, not unclean. What about a Satanic ritual that included sexual acts? Jews and Christians would object to such sex. They would object even if the sex involved with a husband and wife, because it is worshipping Satan.

What is an Abomination?

‘An abomination is something that makes God want to vomit,' said a pastor one time. But we have to ask ourselves this question, "What does it mean to the ancient Hebrew mind? Leviticus 20:25, 26 says: "'You must therefore make a distinction between clean and unclean animals and between unclean and clean birds. Do not defile yourselves by any animal or bird or anything that moves along the ground--those which I have set apart as unclean for you. You are to be holy to me because I, the LORD, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own."

But first before we read that Scripture and understand it, what do these words mean to be "clean" and "unclean"? "Abominable" means "unclean, abomination is to violation of purity rules that governed Israelite society and kept the Israelites different from the other people. (To recapture the meaning of "clean" and "unclean"……"pure" and "impure" in ancient Israel)

Purity rules were principles of sanitation, which certain things were forbidden because they were health hazards. A person with certain skin diseases was considered "leprous-not in today's technical sense of the term-and was declared unclean. "If the disease breaks out all over his skin and, so far as the priest can see, it covers all the skin of the infected person from head to foot, the priest is to examine him, and if the disease has covered his whole body, he shall pronounce that person clean. Since it has all turned white, he is clean."-Leviticus 13:12, 13. But if a person(s) skin has turned all white he is pronounced clean.

Some examples of unclean for us today or "Gross":

· Playing in the potty (bathroom)

· Throwing food (Playing with food)

· Picking your nose

· Eating snot (from your nose)

Romans 3:10-23

10 "As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one;

11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.

12 "All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one."

13 "Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit."

"The poison of vipers is on their lips."

14 "Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness."

15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood;

16 ruin and misery mark their ways,

17 and the way of peace they do not know."

18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes."

19Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.

20Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

21But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.

22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,

23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

If someone wants to judge someone else based on the law. Then they are accountable to the law as well. If they miss something in the law they are guilty. So if they quote passages in Leviticus, then they are to follow the law as well. I can't express it anymore. Paul speaks about "no one being righteous in his sight by observing the law!" By the law we become conscious of sin.

Reading verses 21-23 it talks about "righteousness from God, apart from law and the prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to ALL WHO BELIEVE." What does it say? "TO ALL WHO BELIEVE." It does not say for straight people only. It continues to say, "There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short the glory of God."

You can't pull a passage from Leviticus 18 or 20 and say, "see right here. God Hates homosexuals." To use the law, you have to follow it yourself. Let's talk about the law and some demand the law required.

Scriptures in King James Version and New

International Version Compare and Contrast

Deuteronomy 23:20 (KJV)

20Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it

Deuteronomy 23:20 (NIV)

20You may charge a foreigner interest, but not a brother Israelite, so that the LORD your God may bless you in everything you put your hand to in the land you are entering to possess.

Deuteronomy 24:5 (KJV)

5When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.

Deuteronomy 24:5 (NIV)

5If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.

Leviticus 19:4 (KJV)

4Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 19:4 (NIV)

4"‘Do not turn to idols or make gods of cast metal for yourselves. I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 19:17 (KJV)

17Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.

Leviticus 19:17 (NIV)

17"‘Do not hate your brother in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in his guilt.

Leviticus 19:19 (KJV)

19Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.

Leviticus 19:19 (NIV)

19"‘Keep my decrees.

"‘Do not mate different kinds of animals.

"‘Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed.

"‘Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.

Leviticus 19:27 (KJV)

27Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.

Leviticus 19:27 (NIV)

27"‘Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.

Leviticus 19:32 (KJV)

32Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.

Leviticus 19:32 (NIV)

32"‘Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD.

Deuteronomy 23:1 (KJV)

1He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.

Deuteronomy 23:1 (NIV)

1No one who has been emasculated by crushing or cutting may enter the assembly of the LORD.

Deuteronomy 23:2 (KJV)

2A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD.

Deuteronomy 23:2 (NIV)

2No one born of a forbidden marriage nor any of his descendants may enter the assembly of the LORD, even down to the tenth generation.

Leviticus 20:9 (KJV)

9For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.

Leviticus 20:9 (NIV)

9"‘If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother, and his blood will be on his own head.

Scriptures in King James Version and New

International Version Compare and Contrast (Cont.)

Leviticus 20:10 (KJV)

10And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

Leviticus 20:10 (NIV)

10"‘If a man commits adultery with another man's wife–with the wife of his neighbor–both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.

Leviticus 21:17 (KJV)

17Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God.

Leviticus 21: 17 (NIV)

17"Say to Aaron: ‘For the generations to come none of your descendants who has a defect may come near to offer the food of his God.

Leviticus 21:18 (KJV)

18For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous,

Leviticus 21:18 (NIV)

18No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed;

Leviticus 21:19 (KJV)

19Or a man that is broken footed, or broken handed,

Leviticus 21:19 (NIV)

19no man with a crippled foot or hand

Leviticus 21:20 (KJV)

20Or crookbacked, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken.

Leviticus 21:20 (NIV)

20or who is hunchbacked or dwarfed, or who has any eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles.

Leviticus 21:21 (KJV)

21No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God.

Leviticus 21:21 (NIV)

21No descendant of Aaron the priest who has any defect is to come near to present the offerings made to the LORD by fire. He has a defect; he must not come near to offer the food of his God.

Leviticus 15:19 (KJV)

19And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even.

Leviticus 15:19 (NIV)

19"‘When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening.

Leviticus 15:20 (KJV)

20And every thing that she lieth upon in her separation shall be unclean: every thing also that she sitteth upon shall be unclean.

Leviticus 15:20 (NIV)

20"‘Anything she lies on during her period will be unclean, and anything she sits on will be unclean.

Leviticus 15:28 (KJV)

28But if she be cleansed of her issue, then she shall number to herself seven days, and after that she shall be clean.

Leviticus 15:28 (NIV)

28"‘When she is cleansed from her discharge, she must count off seven days, and after that she will be ceremonially clean.

Leviticus 15:29 (KJV)

29And on the eighth day she shall take unto her two turtles, or two young pigeons, and bring them unto the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

Leviticus 15:29 (NIV)

29On the eighth day she must take two doves or two young pigeons and bring them to the priest at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.

Leviticus 15:30 (KJV)

30And the priest shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for her before the LORD for the issue of her uncleanness.

Leviticus 15:30 (NIV)

30The priest is to sacrifice one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. In this way he will make atonement for her before the LORD for the uncleanness of her discharge.

Deuteronomy 22:5 (KJV)

5The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

Deuteronomy 22:5 (NIV)

5A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this.

Taken from the King James Version of the Bible

Taken from the New International Version Bible

 

 

Examples

Some of the laws in the above charts show what the children of Israel were to follow in the law. If we are to follow the law, we must then follow all of them (613). The following is some examples for us today if we are to follow these laws or written code.

In Deuteronomy 24:5 says that if man has recently married, he must not be sent to war. But is to remain to stay home and bring happiness to his wife for one year. No duties were to be laid on him. If we were to apply that to us, people would laugh at us. If you just got married and are not staying home then you are guilty of breaking the law, so much for drafting people into the army.

Leviticus 19:19, say not to mate different kinds of animals. If you are mating different kinds of animals, you are breaking the law.

"Do not plant your fields with two kinds of seeds. This is a good one! If you are planting roses with lilies you are breaking the law. Better yet, "do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material." If you are wearing cotton and polyester you are breaking the law and are guilty of breaking all of them.

Leviticus 19:27, "do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off edges of your beard." Didn't think this one was in the law? Sure is! Break this law and you don't get into the Promise Land.

Deuteronomy 23:1, "no one who has been emasculated by crushing or cutting may enter the assembly of the Lord." Is someone going to stand at the church door and ask them to strip before they enter church to make sure that they have all there parts on there body in working order?

Deuteronomy 22:5, if a woman wears men's clothing or man wears woman's clothing the lord detest this. So all of us that wear each other's clothing are breaking the law. Have I made my point yet?

Leviticus 21:18-20, if you are blind, lame, disfigured, deformed, crippled foot or bad, or who is hunchbacked, dwarfed, has eye defects, who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles may not enter into the assembly. Is someone going to stand at the door to check for these defects which we all have one or another. So if you wear glasses, contacts, fake leg or arm, missing fingers, you cannot enter into God's House. And if you do, you are breaking the law.

Woman Caught in Adultery

We come to a passage were someone is caught in adultery. Looking at the passage we read, "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."-John 8:3-7. The Teachers of that day were going by the Law of Moses. When the woman was caught they wanted to stone her. They wanted to trap Jesus and trick him. They wanted to see what his response was. When you said, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." With the law it all come down to being stoned if any person broke the law. Jesus clearly said, ‘if you are without sin, cast the first stone.' They couldn't do it because they have sin in there life and they knew it. For Jesus came and we are no longer bound under the old covenant but that of the new.

 

Woman in the Church

"Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head–it is just as though her head were shaved. If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head."(1 Corinthians 11:4-6).

 

The only dress code mention is when the Apostle Paul was talking to the Corinthian Church found in the above passage. This is only mentioned once in the New Testament. This was mentioned so that the conduct and dress to the church was not dishonored. His point was that their local society customs should not be ignored when doing so implied a lack of morals on their part. This could bring disgrace to the entire Christian witness in Corinth.

Leviticus Passages in Question

If we were to take these passages as face value, then they would be correct. But remember that this is the 21st Century and it is a different meaning to use today. We need to look at all Scripture and how it is applied in ancient Israel and their customs. How the early church applied it, and how it applied to use today. We need to further look at the Hebrew meaning of the words used.

The Old Testament used two words that would mean ‘forbidden.' The two words the Bible uses are Abomination and detestable. If we took these words as they are meant in the English then we would take it literal. But we have to look at the meaning in Hebrew.

 

The Word Abomination and detestable words is found in Strong's Concordance at #8441 and it means:

 

toÚÄeÚbah to-ay-baw'

Feminine active participle of H8581; properly something disgusting
(morally), that is, (as noun) an abhorrence; especially idolatry or (concretely) an
idol:–abominable (custom, thing), abomination.

 

In Leviticus 18:22 (KJV) we read, "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." The word used here means idolatry. It says they have committed an abomination. This was with worship of idols from other lands. For The Law of Moses states: "‘Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the aliens living among you must not do any of these detestable things, for all these things [idolatrous] were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled." (Leviticus 18:24-27)

If we look at the passages in chapter 18 of Leviticus that deal with a man lying with zakar, we see something else when placed in its context with the verses before it.

Leviticus 18:21 (KJV)

21And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.

Leviticus 18:22 (KJV)

22Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

 

Leviticus 18:21 (NIV)

21"‘Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.

Leviticus 18:22 (NIV)

22"‘Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.

 

God's laws were very clear to Israel. But they did it anyway. The practice and participated in acts of worship God did not accept. Therefore the statement here, "the semen should not pass on to Molech," can also mean that you should not have sex with the priest/priestess of Molech, as part of idol worship ceremony.

The thinking of having sex with the priest/priestess of the fertility god, the semen passed right on through the priest to the gods itself. It all comes down to idolatry!

The word #2l45 in Strong's Concordance, zakar, in Hebrew, is a very specific word. It is not the generic word for man, meaning any man, but this word means to he remembered. This is someone special, and you need to remember who he is'. Its root "word is translated as a remembrance. God remembers us, or God remembers our situation and shows His mercy. God remembered Abraham, etc. Many times it is translated as a remembrance because it is an important thing. In other words you're not to lie with this person (to be remembered), somebody very important, the way that you would lie with a common harlot or prostitute. There is a difference in the way one could lie with a prostitute, and the way someone would lay with someone very important, and you better remember whom they are.

Someone important, like a president or a king of a nation, would not be treated the way you would lie with [#802] any woman, a common harlot, or anyone you do not need to know anything about. You cannot treat this high ranking official this way because it is idolatry, [#8441] tow'hah (to-ay-baw' ).

In these well-documented sexual idolatrous worship encounters. You don't care who the priest is personally, or what their name is. All you care about is that your fertility is guaranteed for whatever you want to be fertile (crops, family, livestock). All that matters is that the religious ritual is satisfied, to please the fertility god (s/dess/es). You don't need to know the name of the Priest priestess, you don't care who their family is, and you don't need their phone number so you can call them up again sometime. This sexual encounter is not to build a longing relationship between the people involved. It is a religious business transaction.

All the things condemned in Leviticus 18 and 20 were what the idolatrous nations where doing. They did treat zakar, to he remembered as if he were a common prostitute, and did it in the name of idolatrous religion. *

God's Word also states, "You must not live according to the customs of the nations I am going to drive out before you. Because they did all these things, I abhorred them." (Leviticus 20:23) God's covenant people, and God's Law, are dealing with God's covenant people. Israel was to be holy, undefiled. But they did it anyway. They practiced idol worship and God detested it. Israel was to be separated from other nations, just as God has called us to be separate from the words as Christ followers.

 

 

Leviticus 20:13 (KJV)

13If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

I want to show the above passage with the Hebrew passages with the Strong's numbers.

If a man [#376] also lie [#7901] with mankind [#2145], as he lieth [#4904] with a woman [#802], both of them have committed an abomination [#8441] [idolatry]: they shall be put to death; their blood shall be upon them (KJV).

If this passage were talking about homosexuality it would have said, man with man or woman with woman. It does not make a case regarding homosexuality. Looking at the Strong's we get a better understanding of what the Hebrew words mean.

 

The word used here for mankind (#802) means "a woman committing adultery." The word two'ebah in the Hebrew means, "Feminine active participle of H8581; properly something disgusting (morally), that is, (as noun) an abhorrence; especially idolatry or (concretely) an idol:–abominable (custom, thing), abomination." So we see that it is something God detests. As we look at the history of Israel and other lands they participated in Cultic worship and worshipped and served other gods.

 

 

 

Saul and the Philistines

 

1Now the Philistines fought against Israel; the Israelites fled before them, and many fell slain on Mount Gilboa. 2The Philistines pressed hard after Saul and his sons, and they killed his sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Malki-Shua. 3The fighting grew fierce around Saul, and when the archers overtook him, they wounded him critically. 4Saul said to his armor-bearer, "Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcised fellows will come and run me through and abuse me."

But his armor-bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it. 5When the armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead; he too fell on his sword and died with him. 6So Saul and his three sons and his armor-bearer and all his men died together that same day. 7When the Israelites along the valley and those across the Jordan saw that the Israelite army had fled and that Saul and his sons had died, they abandoned their towns and fled. And the Philistines came and occupied them. 8The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the dead, they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa.

9They cut off his head and stripped off his armor, and they sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines to proclaim the news in the temple of their idols and among their people. 10They put his armor in the temple of the Ashtoreths and fastened his body to the wall of Beth Shan."- 1 Samuel 31:10.

The Philistines had no intention of taking someone to be remembered and treating them with dignity. They had no intention of burying his headless corpse. They went as far as going temple to temple in town after town to show their god what they were bringing as sacrifice.

These were fertility gods, and sex and temple prostitution was part of their worship. King Saul knew that, and he pleaded with his armbearers to kill him before the philistines had a chance to abuse him. Since armbearers could not kill the wounded king, Saul committed suicide rather then rape at the head of this idol worshipping nation.

 

It may be noted that in Judges 19:25 we read "But the men would not listen to him. So the man took [#2388] his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused [5953] her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. "

The word for "took" in the Hebrew is chazaq which means, "A primitive root; to fasten upon; hence to seize, be strong." It can also mean, "taken by force." The Hebrew word for abuse is alal which means "abuse, pain, defile." They raped her. It was not that they were homosexuals as some may say that this passage refers to homosexuality. It does not. In the case of Saul, they want to rape him as well. He knew this and that is why he killed himself.

 

Conclusion

Leviticus does not say that for a man to lie with a man is wrong, or a sin; but Leviticus says it is a ritual violation, an uncleanness, it is something that was "dirty" to the Israelites back then. But today it has a different mean. Please continue to read these short studies. Next time I will be doing a study on the New Testament and what Paul wrote about it. Since it seems that people more condemn homosexuality from the New Testament.

 

 

Reference Works Cited

 

Openly Gay, Openly Christian: How the Bible Really is Gay Friendly By Samuel Kader

New International Version (NIV)

King James Version (KJV)

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