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Tears in God's Winesin: A Theology of Hospitality

Part 4: Appendix

The Old Testament Passages

The Sodom Incident (Genesis 19:1-25)

Early Christian scholars equated the sin of Sodom with acute immorality caused by idolatry, separation from God and xenophobia, as reflected by Matthew Henry, “Lot was good, but there was not one more of the same character in the city. All the people of Sodom were very wicked and vile.” [1] John Calvin similarly says, “The greatness of their iniquity and wantonness is apparent from the fact that, in a collected troop, they approach, as enemies, to lay siege to the house of Lot . . . they were not contaminated with one vice only, but were given up to all audacity in crime, so that no sense of shame was left in them.” [2] And Frank Hole comments, “As night came on his house was besieged by godless men, bent on monstrous evil. Lot’s attempt to pacify them by the sacrifice of his two unmarried daughters shows how low in his own mind he himself had sunk by reason of Sodom’s contamination.” [3]  

However, commentators came to believe Sodom’s wickedness to be homosexuality and proclaimed that God destroyed the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of same-sex behaviour, as can be seen in the work of writers like Bob Utely, “The men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter. This implies that every single man in the town, both young and old, had become homosexuals, or at least, bisexuals. The Bible often speaks of the sin of homosexuality, which was apparently common in Canaan (cf. Lev. 18:22; 20:13).” [4] In actuality, as Michael Carden notes, “[T]his Christian myth began its life in the third century C.E. but took several centuries to become the dominant reading.” [5] It was cemented in the 11th century with the invention of the word sodomia/sodomy by Peter Damian, a reforming Benedict monk and cardinal in the circle of Pope Leo IX, consequently establishing a definition of same-sex desire as a human nature, or more specifically against human nature and rebelling against both Creator and divinely created natural order. Eventually, translation of other biblical text where the presence of homosexuals might be implied, resulted in their also being named ‘Sodomites’ following the Genesis story, a poorly chosen appellation that unfortunately held fast and consequently shaped the content of various biblical passages even before being read. However, the question must be raised of whether the perception of Genesis 19 as a story reflecting the destruction of a people for being homosexual is accurate.

Before the events at Sodom take place, God reveals to Abraham that, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me.” (Gen. 18:20-21). The Hebrew word, גָֽדְלָ֤ה צַעֲקָתָם ‘tseaqah’ translated as ‘outcry’ is used when petitioning a king or judge to solve a dispute, similar to shouting, “This is unfair!” or “Give me justice!” When we read Luke’s Gospel (Lk. 18: 1-8) the parable of the persistent widow carries the same powerful plea, “Grant me justice against my adversary!” But what exactly was the ‘injustice’ in Genesis and who was crying out for God’s justice, causing him to respond so decisively? We must wait for Ezekiel to answer this. James McKeown, quoting Nahum Sarna, understands it to be “the anguished cry of the oppressed, the agonized plea of the victim for help in the face of some great injustice.” [6] He observes how this echoes the earlier story of the blood of innocent Abel crying out to God from the ground (Gen. 4:10) after Cain murdered him. Sodom and Gomorrah stand already condemned to destruction, prompting Abraham to plead for the cities for the sake of the righteous. Interestingly, he does not plead for his nephew Lot and Lot’s family directly, “God saves them for Abraham’s sake but does so without Abraham’s having asked for them” (Gen. 19:29) Bert Olam notes, emphasizing the depth of relationship God has with Abraham and the grace he bestows on him, providing both contrast and comparison with Lot’s situation in Sodom. [7]

God sends two angels to Sodom where Lot greets them and persuades them to stay in his home. McKeown speaks of the depravity and licentiousness of the inhabitants of Sodom and compares Lot’s offer of hospitality with that of Abraham’s. [8] While Lot may have settled in Sodom and was no doubt aware of the city’s complete breakdown in moral living he had not forgotten the principles of being a caring and protective host. The angels confirm that judgement on Sodom and Gomorrah has been pronounced by God and that they have been sent to carry out the destruction (Gen 19:12-13). The author of Genesis records that every man, young and old alike and from every part of the city, surround Lot’s house and demand the presence of his visitors so that “we might know them.” The Hebrew word for ‘know’ (yāda) is an innocuous term on its own and according to Derrick Bailey is found 943 times in the Old Testament, the majority being in the context of ‘examining closely’ or ‘fully understanding.’ [9] In sexual terms, it is used nine times to refer to intercourse between a man and a woman and once between a man and an animal, as noted by Samuel Driver. [10] If the author’s intended meaning here is sexual, as seems clear from the context, then the entire episode relates to intended violent gang rape and bears no relation to committed, loving same-sex intimacies. Driver further observes, “Emphasis is laid on the fact that all took part in this shameless act: none attempted to hide his purpose.” [11]

Victor Hamilton points out that yāda is frequently used in the Old Testament but never with a nuance of abuse or violation, while unmistakable language can be found relating to rape incidents. The Shechemites “seized” and “lay with” and “humbled” Dinah (Gen. 34:2); Amnon “forced” and “lay with” his half-sister Tamar (2 Sam. 13:14); Deuteronomy uses “seize” and “lay with” in its biblical laws concerning rape (Deut. 22:25-27). Hamilton’s intention is to suggest that the Genesis account implies homosexuality in general and not attempted rape. However, noting Lot’s offer of his daughters to the mob he does concede, “Lot would never have made such an unusual suggestion if the request was only for a handshake and moments of chit chat.” [12] In reality, consciences in Sodom were utterly seared and hospitable considerations simply did not exist, so the men of the city would not have regarded their own behaviour as wrong or inappropriate in any sense; which is precisely the point: there was no fairness or moral quality in Sodom and the men’s nonchalance is reflected in their banal language.          

Horrified at the men’s utter disrespect and extreme violation of accepted hospitality etiquette, Lot attempts to protect his visitors by offering his two young daughters to the menacing crowd. Today, such an action would be viewed as a criminal act and morally contemptible. However, it is difficult to conclude whether Lot was thinking and acting rationally, was himself affected by an ungodly and immoral society, or was so concerned for his guests he simply did not know what else to do. As Gordon Wenham records, “In the ancient Near East outside Israel (cf Lev. 18:22) homosexual acts between consenting adults do not seem to have been banned, but homosexual rape was, except to humiliate prisoners of war. Everywhere it would have been regarded as abhorrent to treat guests this way; rather, there was a sacred duty to look after them.” [13]

What is clear is that Lot was prepared to do anything to protect his houseguests, even to the detriment of his own children, so deeply held was the Hebrew concept of hospitality. Daughters at that time were viewed on the whole as property, their importance being in securing land and status through marriage and for this to be successful they needed to be sexually untouched. Lot’s offering his daughters to the mob, assuming they would survive, would inevitably result in substantial financial loss and a considerable decline in status. Nevertheless, the men of Sodom refuse Lot’s offer, so the angels render them blind and rescue Lot and his family as Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed.

There are several points in this Genesis passage that deserve emphasis. Notably, the destruction of the two ancient cities was planned before the events of the alleged homosexual incident, as is related by the angels first to Abraham and again to Lot; the destruction was not a result of the event. As details of the incident unfold, we are told that all the men of the city participated in the assault on Lot’s home, which would have included every able man of legal age upwards, young and old, single or married, sons, fathers and grandfathers, yet since demographic records began to be taken by social and governing bodies, never has more than a minority of the population been recorded as being homosexual. Today approximately 10-12% is regarded as accurate for most cultures.

Lot’s offer of his daughters to the mob strongly suggests that he understood his neighbours to be generally heterosexual. If the men of Sodom were predominantly homosexual it made no sense for Lot to attempt such an offer. The entire episode relates to intended violent gang rape, perpetrated by human men, knowingly or otherwise, against heavenly angels, which also raises the question of how this horrific though futile scenario equates to committed human same-sex partnerships. The event bears no relation to sexual intimacy between same-sex partners, but rather inhospitality in the extreme, reflected in xenophobic, anticipated aggressive physical abuse and the exertion of power by a majority over a minority. Interestingly, if the issue did concern sexual immorality, we might wonder why God spared Lot, who later commits incest with his daughters. Biblically, it is the daughters rather than Lot who are implicated as the instigators of incest (Gen. 19:30-36), presumably as originally related by Lot’s reporting the story and a common justification and defence produced by an incestuous relative.

Perhaps most significantly, every other scriptural passage that refers to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah mentions nothing about homosexuality. If it was for homosexuality that God destroyed the cities, surely prophetic commentary on the event would mention the fact. Isaiah speaks only of the desolation of Sodom following its destruction (Isa. 1:9). Jeremiah says that the prophets of Jerusalem, who commit adultery, live a lie and strengthen evildoers, are like the people of Sodom and Gomorrah (Jer. 12:14). Amos mentions only that Sodom was overthrown (Am. 4:11) and Zephaniah says simply that Sodom is a place of weeds and salt pits, a wasteland (Zeph. 2:9). Ezekiel states that God declares Sodom to be overfed and arrogant, worshipping idols, acting despicably and never helping the poor and needy (Ez. 16:48 – 50) and in this respect it is Ezekiel who reveals the poor and needy as those who bring their ‘outcry’ to God for justice.  Martti Nissinen further notes that Ezekiel makes no mention of sexual acts, yet the same chapter refers to the behaviour of Jerusalem with clearly pornographic expressions. [14]

Coming forward into the New Testament, in the context of contemplating the hospitality his disciples may or may not experience, Jesus says that Sodom will fare better at the Judgement than any town that is inhospitable towards his followers (Lk. 10:10-12). He makes no mention of homosexuality and clearly has in mind extreme inhospitality and xenophobic behaviour. Further, Jude in his letter, does comment on the sexual immorality of the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah and points out that the men went after “strange” or “alien” flesh (Jude 7), indicating not other human men but God’s angels.

Parallel to the time of Christ, Ovid wrote his substantial work, Metamorphoses, a fifteen book mythological narrative written in the meter of epic and depicting the acts and adventures of the Roman gods. In book eight, the story of Philomena and Baucis unfolds, telling how Zeus and Hermes came to a town disguised as ordinary peasants, asking at every door for a place to sleep that night. They were rejected by everyone before coming to Baucis and Philemon’s very humble dwelling. Despite being poor, the couple’s generosity surpassed that of their rich neighbours, at whose homes the gods found “all the doors bolted and no word of kindness given, so wicked were the people of that land.” After serving the two guests simple food and meager wine, Baucis noticed that, although she had refilled her guest’s cups many times, the jug remained full. Realizing their guests were gods, the couple “raised their hands in supplication and implored indulgence for their simple home and fare.” Philemon went to catch and kill the goose that guarded their house for a meal, but it ran to safety in Zeus’ lap. Zeus told the couple they need not slay the goose, but they should leave the town because he was going to destroy the place and everyone who had turned them away without a shred of due hospitality. The god encouraged Baucis and Philemon to climb the mountain with Hermes and him, without turning back until they reached the top. After climbing to the summit, “as far as an arrow could shoot in one pull”, Baucis and Philemon looked back on their town and saw that a flood had turned it into a swamp and their cottage had been transformed into an ornate temple. The couple wished only to be guardians of the temple and requested that when the time came for one of them to die, the other would die within the hour. Zeus granted both wishes and, upon their death, the couple transformed into an oak tree and a linden tree intertwined, standing in the swamp that was once their town.

Ovid’s story remarkably parallels the Genesis 19 story and we have to ask whether these accounts arose independently or could Ovid’s tale be of Jewish origin? We may never discover the facts behind Ovid’s tale but what seems clear, if Ovid is indeed retelling the Sodom story, is that his understanding of the town’s destruction rests unquestionably on the issue of hospitality and no other.

The sin of Sodom involved complete moral breakdown and the consequent abandonment of hospitality towards strangers. J. Gerald Janzen records, “It is clear from a comparison of 19:1-3 with 18:1-8 that the test of Sodom turns on the question of hospitality . . . [regarding the men’s intention of raping visitors] it desecrates its victims in a world which according to the Bible arises and is sustained within the hospitality of God . . . In the present instance the men of the city of Sodom, by their act of ‘knowing’ aim to assert their political power and identity by their degrading treatment of these strangers.” [15] It is nonsensical to compare the Sodom incident to faithful and loving same-sex relationships. It would be like saying that a violent rapist is the paradigm of a considerate husband, or suggesting that Lot is a perfect example of how fathers should behave towards their children.

It should not be forgotten that it is also God’s total destruction of Sodom that a number of heteronormative Christians use to justify their preference for the total destruction of non-heterosexuals today. Michael Carden reminds us, “The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is also an account of mass genocide, and therein lies a danger for inverting the Christian account into one of divine judgement on misogyny and homophobia. The virulence of the Christian myth of Sodom is derived very much from this fact of genocide, giving license to gallows, concentration camp and hate crime.” [16] One needs only to look at the devastation of Sodom from the perspective of being poorly read biblically to appreciate how some Christians can speak of compassion and love for heterosexuals in one breath and absolute hatred for homosexuals the next.

The sin of Sodom, from the text and in the light of other biblical text, is undeniably injustice and idolatry producing an inhospitality so deeply ingrained it affects every aspect of human contact and morality, empowering a collective intention to violate strangers, even powerful angelic beings. Injustice, idolatry, hostility and inhospitality plague every generation and it may be pertinent to suggest that modern Sodomites, as related in Genesis, are those who judge, condemn or violate others based upon deficient moral understanding and personal presumption, perhaps even misunderstood religious text. This is the kind of oppression of which the people of Sodom were guilty and while perhaps a controversial observation, those who verbally or actively mistreat homosexuals because of the supposed ‘homosexual sin’ of Sodom could be considered to be the true Sodomites of Genesis sentiment.


The Holiness Code (Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13)

“Does the Bible prohibit homosexuality? Of course it does, but the prohibition is severely limited.” Says Jacob Milgrom. [17] Walter Houston comments how, “In traditional Jewish Communities children begin their study of the Hebrew Bible with Leviticus.” [18] Today most Christians hardly read Leviticus or follow the rules and rituals described in the book, believing that the Law from Genesis to Numbers is fulfilled in the saving grace and liberation found in Jesus Christ. Leviticus is a book of prescribed rituals and is a manual of holiness for priests, intended to enable them to guide and lead the people of God. The ritualistic structures provided the Hebrew people with meaning and functionality in their religious life and bring purpose and understanding to their social activities. Even areas relating to morality and social order involved some element of ritual, giving meaning to the written laws. Less concern was given to how things ought to be done as to what should be done, for example the way sacrifices differed, depending on the type of sacrifice required, whether it was for thanksgiving or atonement and what levels of cleanness were required for functioning socially and religiously. Such instruction was not for the novice but for the experienced priest to guide people in the ways of Yahweh and understand what pleased or displeased the God of Israel.

Today, Torah-living Jews regard the ritual laws of Leviticus in moral terms for day-to-day living while others appear to find moral teaching that is inflexible and turgid. Many Christians will quote Leviticus 18:22 and 20:30 as clear and current biblical ultimatums on homosexuals while ignoring completely what Leviticus might have to say about other circumstances. Unfortunately, such a naïve reading of scriptural text serves only to distort the Old Testament meaning and dismiss the New Testament message. If Leviticus is read as a book that prescribes how a nation’s religious leaders encourage the people of God to live in obedience to a loving, holy God, rather than read as a rule book dictated by God, then there is room for appreciating the moral teaching of Leviticus without surrendering to a rigid morality.

“You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination” (Lev.18:22). Many Christian writers, John Schultz for example, regard these verses as a blanket prohibition of all same-sex relationships, “Verse 22 is a clear prohibition against homosexuality. [The Living Bible] puts it more clearly as: ‘Homosexuality is absolutely forbidden, for it is an enormous sin.’ The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in itself is enough of an indication as to what God thinks about homosexuality . . . Homosexuality denies the difference between male and female. In the spiritual realm this means that man presents himself as ‘male’ in his relationship with God and thus denies his role in this relationship. This is detestable to God, who wants our surrender to him in love; he is not interested in gay rights.” [19] Similarly, some hold the view that God prohibits homosexuality in Leviticus because it abuses natural laws. J. R. Porter concludes, “Homosexuality and bestiality bring about uncleanness because they are a violation of nature: men should only have intercourse with women and human beings with human beings.” [20] However, the Levitical words occur solely within the prescribed rituals for Israel’s priests and so their meaning can only be fully appreciated in the historical setting and cultural context of the religious life of the Hebrew people.  

For the Israelites, the concept that certain sexual behaviour was wrong was not based on its being objectively harmful but rather on the notion that it was ‘unclean’ or ‘disloyal’ for them as followers of Yahweh. Such an idea is found in numerous cultures and possibly stems from a symbolic function of prohibitions reinforcing theocratic societal structures. In this sense, then, “For a man to take the role of the woman in the sexual act, or for the fundamental boundary between humans and animals to be blurred, symbolically threatens the foundations of society” as Walter Houston points out. [21] Since prohibitions relate to a specific order of society and because the Bible in general takes no account of sexual orientation, great care should be taken if ever it is suggested that Levitical text should determine modern day sexual ethics.

Samuel Balentine argues that regarding the Levitical text on homosexuality, “It is accorded no more importance than the other prohibitions, many of which seem not to have made much impact on the community of faith,” and goes on to point out that, “The latter part of the phrase ‘lie with a male as with a woman,’ which occurs in both 18:22 and 20:13, is an idiom used only for homosexual acts performed by heterosexuals . . . The text does not address homosexuality in terms of permanent sexual orientation.” [22] Milgrom argues that the Levitical text refers only to Jewish male homosexuals and its importance is to do with males inappropriately spilling their seed, which is why lesbianism is not prohibited and he expounds on this being the reason why Leviticus ignores lesbianism, referring to Babylon omen text which records how lesbianism certainly existed across the land and was culturally known. He suggests that homosexuality between related males, for example uncle and nephew, would have also been an issue and concludes with, “Homosexual relations with unrelated males are neither prohibited nor penalized,” [23] pointing out that specific rather than general prohibitions are intended by the text.  

Ancient Near Eastern history and the Old Testament both speak of widespread pagan religions and the many gods worshipped at that time. As God’s chosen people, the Israelites were strange and unique worshipping only one God, standing in contention with the religion of the surrounding Canaanites who worshipped multiple gods, predominantly of fertility cults. In Canaanite religious culture, worship frequently involved sacred temple prostitution, as noted in Deuteronomy 23:17 and which repeatedly tested and compromised Israel’s loyalty to God. During the time of the Judges, the Israelites adopted many cruel and questionable practices of the fertility cults (Judges 8:33). The entire half tribe of Manasseh came to accept religion that engaged cult prostitution (1 Chron. 5:25); under King Rehoboam there were male prostitutes, or qadeshim, meaning ‘holy ones’, that were associated with the hill shrines (1Kings 14:23-24); and King Ahab fell into Baal worship, which included the practise of temple prostitution (2 Chron. 33:3). Not all Israelites participated in pagan worship, but everyone would have been aware of its large scale presence (1 Kings 15:12; 22:46; 2 Kings 23:7; Ezekiel 16:5-58; see also Jubilees 22:20-22); evidence of such practices remained common across the known world into the time of Christ and Paul.

The Hebrew word for male temple prostitutes, ‘qadeshim’ is horrendously mistranslated as “sodomite” in some versions of the Bible, which fails to explain their function and leaves readers misdirected. ‘Qadeshim’ were literally, ‘the holy ones’ or ‘the sacred ones’; but they were holy and sacred to the Canaanite fertility gods, not the God of Israel, and their rituals and rites did not please Yahweh. Should a farmer desire a heavier yield from his crops, or an increase to his flocks or cattle stock, or if his wife wanted children, he might appeal to the Canaanite fertility gods and for this, engagement in ritual sexual intercourse with a temple prostitute was encouraged. While completely alien to us today, in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and Babylon the practice was common and culturally widespread. It endured into both Greek and Roman religions and was frequently assimilated into the worship of Yahweh by the Hebrew people. Religious prostitutes were encountered very early on in Israel’s history (Num. 25:21-28) and the people of God were incessantly plagued by cult prostitution even though the law strictly prohibited it (Deut 23:17-18), regarding it as ‘tôēvâ’, ‘abomination.’

Because the way we understand and use the word ‘abomination’ today and how Israel understood the term are completely different, it is important here to understand exactly what an abomination was. An abomination was something God found detestable and pronounced it unclean, unjust, or disloyal to him or to worship of him. Three Hebrew words translate as ‘abomination’ and these are: ‘shaqâts’ or ‘sheqets’, meaning ‘ill omens’ (Daniel 9:27, 11:31; 1 Kings 11:5-7; 2 Kings 23:24; Isaiah 66:3; Ezekiel 20:7), ‘piggul’, referring to stale or putrid flesh in terms of sacrifice (Lev. 7:18, 19:7; Ezek. 4:14; Isa. 65:4); and

the one most frequently used, ‘tôēvâ’, relating to idolatry or worshipping false gods (Deut. 7:25, 13:14; 1Kings 14:24;Isa 44:19; Jer. 32:35). ‘Tôēvâ,’ is used numerous times in Ezekiel where it is heavily associated with idols and people’s attitudes towards them. Olam emphasizes that ‘tôēvâ’ (abomination) is the opposite of ‘râsôn’ (favour) when it comes to Yahweh guiding and blessing his people. [24] It is ‘tôēvâ’ that is used in Lev.18:22 and 20:13, revealing a direct association with idolatry and the practice of cult prostitution. Consequently, regarding specifically same-sex acts in Leviticus, any conclusion that the text refers in general to homosexual relationships must be called into question since it is extremely unlikely the passage refers to anything other than sexual engagement with temple prostitutes.

A further question may be raised concerning the Levitical text, particularly when considering how broadly dismissed today are the rituals and laws of Leviticus in practical terms. The conventional church maintains that these two texts are entirely relevant today while most if not all the surrounding verses are completely ignored. For example, the eating of shellfish, wearing mixed fibres, planting two different crops in the same field, being tattooed, or failing to build a parapet around the roof of one’s house are all displeasing to God, some named as ‘tôēvâ’ while others call for the death penalty. Yet it is consistently asserted and affirmed that two Levitical verses remain relevant for today in their condemnation while all other verses are purely cultural and therefore irrelevant. If consistency with Leviticus were to be seriously maintained, those who insist on the relevancy of 18:22 and 20:13 would most likely discover they are required to put most of their family and friends to death, according to the other verses. In addition, where the surface value and literality of these verses is insisted upon as eternal and global condemnation by God of all homosexuals for all ages, the total absence of condemnation of lesbianism is simply not addressed.

Perhaps as Christians we need to look honestly and holistically at the culture, history, context and language of Leviticus, the dynamics of its reality as a whole for us today and its fulfilment in Jesus Christ in accordance with New Testament teaching. In this way the moral code and guidance of Leviticus can be fully appreciated by all without turning the text into oppressive pronouncements against minorities. Care must be taken not to distort Old Testament meaning and deny New Testament teaching in our reading of Old Testament text.



[1] Matthew Henry, Genesis 19 (Bible Apps.com), Available online at: http://bibleapps.com

[2] John Calvin, Commentary on Genesis, Vol.1: Christian Classics Ethereal Library (Grand Rapids, MI: C.C.E.A), Available online at: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom01

[3] F.B. Hole, Genesis (Bible Centre.org), Available online at: http://www.biblecentre.org

[4] Dr Bob Utely, Genesis (Free Bible Commentary.org), Available online at:


[5] Michael Carden, Genesis, in The Queer Bible Commentary, Deryn Guest, Robert E. Goss, Mona West, Thomas Bohache [Eds.] (London: SCM Press, 1988), p.37.

[6] James McKeown, Genesis: The Two Horizons Old Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdman, 2008), p.105, quoting Nahum M. Sarna, Genesis: The JPS Torah Commentary (Philadelphia, PA: Jewish Publication Society, 1989), p.132.

[7] Bert Olam, Genesis: Studies in Hebrew Narrative and Poetry, David W. Cotter [ed.] (Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 2003), p.178.

[8] James McKeown, Genesis, pp.106-07.

[9] See F. Brown, S.R. Driver and C.A. Briggs, A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament (Oxford: Clarendon, 1952).

[10] Derrick S. Bailey, Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition (London: Longmans, Green, 1955 [reprinted, Hampden, CN: Archon Books, 1975]), p.2-3, referring to Gen 4:1,17, 25; 19:5, 8; 24:16; 38:26; Num 31:17, 18, 35; Judges 11:39; 19:22, 25; 1 Sam 1:19.

[11] S. R. Driver, The Book of Genesis With Introduction and Notes (London: Methuen and Co., 1909), p.198.

[12] Victor P. Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 18-50: The New International Commentary of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids MI: William B. Eerdman, 1995), p.34.

[13] Gordon J. Wenham, Genesis, Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2003), p.53.  

[14] Martti Nissinen, Homoeroticism in the Biblical World: A Historic Perspective (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1998).

[15] J. Gerald Janzen, Genesis 12-50: Abraham and All the Families of the Earth: International Theological Commentary (Grand Rapids MI: William B. Eerdman, 1993), pp.61-63.

[16] Michael Carden, Genesis, in The Queer Bible Commentary, Deryn Guest, Robert E. Goss, Mona West, Thomas Bohache [Eds.] (London: SCM Press, 1988), p.38.

[17] Jacob Milgrom, Leviticus: A Continental Bible commentary (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004), p.196.

[18] Walter J. Houston, Leviticus in, Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible, James D.G. Dunn and John W. Rogerson [Eds.] (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2003), p.101.

[19] Rev John Schultz, Commentary to the Book of Leviticus, Available online at: http://www.scribd.com

[20] J.R. Porter, Leviticus: The Cambridge Bible Commentary on the New English Bible (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976), p,148.

[21] Houston, Leviticus, p.116; also A Noordtzij, Leviticus: Bible Student’s Commentary, Raymond Togtman [trans.] (Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1982), p.187.

[22] Samuel E. Balentine, Leviticus: Interpretation, A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (Louisville: John Knox Press, 2002), p.159, referring also to Milgrom, Leviticus 17-22, p.786; Douglas, Leviticus as Literature, p.238; Levine, Leviticus, p.123.

[23] Milgrom, Leviticus, p.197, referring also to J. Bottéro and H. Petschow [trans.] 1975, Babylon Omen Text: TCS 4, 194: XXIV 13 in, Stephen O. Murray and Will Roscoe, Islamic Homosexualities: Culture, History and Literature (New York: New York University Press, 1997), pp.59-61.

[24] Bert Olam, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy: Studies in Hebrew Narrative and Poetry, David Cotter [ed.] (Collegeville, MI: Liturgical Press, 2002), p.74.