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An outcry had gone against the two cities of Sodom & Gomorrah as early as the thirteenth chapter in the book of Genesis concerning a grievous sin.

Genesis 13:12-13 NKJV

12 Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom. 13 But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the LORD.

Again the same outcry & grievious sin is mentioned in the eighteenth chapter

Genesis 18:20-21

20 And the LORD said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.”

When the angels finally visit Sodom & Gomorrah they mention again the same outcry & grievous sin to Lot

13 For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the LORD, and the LORD has sent us to destroy it.”

The men of these two cities try to have sexual relations with the two angels which culminates in the destruction of the cities.

Could this grievious sin have been referring to homosexuality?

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While this was surely one of the great sins Sodom and Gomorrah committed, they were also condemned for behaving unethically towards their neighbors,

Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. 50They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. Ezekiel 16:49-51.

In rabbinic aggadah the Sodomites are accused as well of behaving unethically by shunning outsiders and withholding bread from the poor, and even punishing severely those who showed mercy or invited paupers into their home (like Lot). So it seems to have been a combination of immorality (homosexuality, adultery etc.) and cruelty on their part that brought them their destruction.

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    They were behaving precisely as those before the Flood - every imagination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually (Genesis 6:5) – enegue Jun 3 '18 at 15:41
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Abraham bargained with God for the righteous that might be found in Sodom. From fifty righteous all the way down to ten righteous souls, Abraham dared to ask God for their salvation.

Gen. 18:32,

"And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake." (KJV)

While we have the account of the wicked who wanted to lay with the angels, God does not specify only one sin against Him. He just says they have sinned against Him. Because He did destroy the two cities, then He could not find even ten righteous souls in them. They were described as wicked. I am sure that their sin of homosexuality (sodomy) was only one of their sins against God.

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If I can try to refine the question a little: Was the only bad sin homosexuality? I will give my humble perspective then rephrase the question in other ways. As other proposed answers have stated - it was not the only sin. Certainly dragging people (or angels) into the street to do anything violent to them would be bad. So that is another sin. What sin is worse (or "grievous")? This is a truly profound question and needs an answer. If we use the Mosaic law we see the death penalty for various sins but not for others. Male Homosexuality carries such a penalty. Assualt resulting in death carries that penalty. If we examine the context of the whole scripture, accepting the Council of Nicea as inspired, we see the LORD making statements (end of Deuteronomy) that unless you keep the WHOLE LAW you are cursed. In Proverbs it says there are "6 things the LORD hates, yes, 7 that are an abomination", and lists them. Sexual sin is not included specifically in that list. But we also see no penalty for David for adultery and murder. We see no penalty for Moses for murder. We see no penalty for the Apostle Paul for an unknown number of murders. We see the LORD stating quite often that he will destroy a people group, then a few verses later saying he will relent and remove their sin because of his great Love. He does not say these things only about Israel. In Zechariah he says he will remove all sin in one day. I think we know what day. So is homosexuality the "grievous" sin for which they and their society were destroyed? I think not. I think the clues are numerous, and I posted an analysis I found about it under the question "what was going on at Sodom? - I am interested to read responses. It seems that the scripture is remarkably consistent in its message, but only when you completely recognize the fundamental message of "the gospel".

Another possible reading of the question here is: "Is the sin of homosexuality so bad that God will not tolerate for more than a few divine minutes?" Again, the same analysis clarifies this. All sin is BAD and all sin (even the more acceptable little ones) results in spiritual death - which is worse than physical death in the long run. But the LORD has removed all sin in a single day for those who look to him for mercy.

So why the devastation at Sodom? Perhaps because they were into something far more permanent than physical sin. The LORD expresses his looming judgement a lot through the law and prophets, most often citing the cause as turning to something or some being other than himself for provision/meaning/life but especially for MERCY. It may be that Sodom and the 4 other cities mentioned had tapped into the power of heaven in the wrong way. Jesus said that All manner of sin will be forgiven, except blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Blasphemy is slander, which is speaking that which is not true about someone. In the context here, the religious leaders accused Jesus as being from one the head demons. If you think the LORD and any other spiritual power are the same thing, that is some serious slander. Change your thinking (repent is the correct word, and change your thinking is the correct meaning) before all choice is removed.

If the question could have an undertone: "Am I doomed to being hated by God because I am homosexual?" then the answer is clear: the LORD has removed your sins. Jesus loves you. The true followers love you too. Your focus should be on Him, not on sin.

  • Your last paragraph reads what exactly? Are you condoning homosexuality? – Nihil Sine Deo Jul 24 '19 at 23:07
  • @autodidact - I am sorry that the last paragraph triggered a misunderstanding. I was restating a possible question that may be involved in answering the original question asked. I suggest that it may help in understanding to substitute another sin instead of homosexuality: "Am I doomed to being hated by God because I am a gossip?" This has direct relationship to the original question in that God took certain actions against Sodom that he did not take against the Benjamites, illustrating that there is a different set of requirements at play than the existence of a paritcular physical sin. – Read my profile please Jul 25 '19 at 0:26
  • @autodidact - continued response - Seeking proper use of the scriptures, we must reconcile all the passages. By "condone", I take it that you mean "approve of" or "classify as acceptable physical actions". I do not approve of any sin. It does not matter what I do or do not condone anyway. It does not matter what a society approves or disapproves. It matters what the One who is Supreme says. That is what the disciplines of exegesis and hermeneutics attempt to resolve via the scriptures. It matters very much whether we can stand before Him on that final day. – Read my profile please Jul 25 '19 at 0:28
  • @autodidact - in this hermeneutics forum, you voted to close the posting that lists the exegetical foundation for the statements made. I thought this forum was specifically for such things - using the scriptiures to understand the scriptures. – Read my profile please Jul 25 '19 at 1:07
  • First I voted to close your question not this question. Second yes God hates all sin. A practicing sinner is sinning. God is angry with said person every day. Psalm 7:11. I get the impression you subscribe to antinomianism/hyper-grace. I am not less indulgent to a practicing gossip, liar, thief, adulterer, or one operating with a spirit of religion. You in one day addressed what appears to me to be three questions all on homosexuality. That’s a topic of interest. And you’re attempt to make homosexuality trivial as lying instead of making lying as horrendous as the sin of homosexuality says all – Nihil Sine Deo Jul 25 '19 at 1:28
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Yes. Even today Hebrew preserved the old term: מַעֲשֵׂה סְדוֹם "sodomy" as anal sex. We don't find in the bible that anal sex is forbidden, it just homosexulity.

In the bible we can find two stories about homosexuality and the outcome by God: he vanish the people.

The second story in Judges 19.

Both stories viewing what God think about homosexuallity. And what is the punish for it ( destroying the city to dust / destroy Benyamin tribe till he merged to Jehuda ).

Luckly we are in 2018 and that she/he not thinking like that anymore... (-:

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First of all, who did cry the ‘outcry’ that determined IEUE to send a number of angels to inspect the real situation?

Hardly the outcry was let out from some inhabitants of those towns. Had it happened so, those hypothetical ‘screamers’ could deliver themselves, lefting those towns to their’s fate (a choice the Lot’s son-in-laws didn’t grasp). Then, more probably, people that were in touch with those towns – for commercial purpose (compare Genesis 37:25, Judges 5:10, 11), or poor people in search for a place to reside – were the ‘screamers’ to God, about the ‘sin’ of those towns.

But, what about their real ‘sin’?

Genesis 13:13 affirms: “Now Sodom’s men, from IEUE viewpoint, were much [morally] unsuitable and sinners.” Several Bible passages let us to get a full view of the seriousness of the towns of Sodom, Gomorrah, &c. The extreme wickedness of those people was described (making a parallel with the rebellious Israelites, also) by Moses in Deu 32:32.

In addition to the Genesis record (the attempt to rape the angels) about those towns, the Bible passage of Jude 7 makes reference to sexual sins from their part. Also the parallel IEUE made between those execrated towns and the ‘prophets of Jerusalem’ - mentioned in Jer 23:14 - enlarges the wickedness’ ‘action field’, adding also to it adultery, falsehood, and the incitement to make bad things (compare Rom 1:32).

Moreover, the Bach apt reference to Eze 16:46-56, finally, permit us to complete the overview on the ‘sin’ of those town, so including arrogance, and the refusal to support people in need.

And, what is more, a comparison between phraseology of Isaiah 3:9 and 2 Peter 2:7 helps us to conclude that the ‘sin’ of Sodom, along with the other involved towns, was accompanied with an impudent stance, from their part. In fact, the Isaiah’s expression לא כחדי (lit. “not they hide [it] (that is, their ‘sin’)” was well summed up by the Greek term ασελγεια, utilized by Peter.

God was fully justified to destroy those towns.

This fact put before us an example to avoid. Jude 7 said: “Likewise, Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities near them […], serve as an example of the punishment of eternal fire” (ISV).

  • I apologize for the automatic format misplacement of the two Hebrew terms. In fact, the expression cited in my post includes first the term לא and then the term כחדי. – Saro Fedele Jun 3 '18 at 20:55
  • I fixed the word order for you. Could it be that your keyboard layout switches to a left-to-right language between the words? – user2672 Jun 3 '18 at 21:00
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The fact that the cry against them was loud and urgent suggesting that there were predatory behaviors in these cities and the people were not being protected by the government. Consensual experimentation would not evoke such urgent appeals for government intervention. On that basis I would suggest that the governments either condoned or was unable to control wickedness. That when presented with the opportunity they attempted to prey on angels does not suggest a particular preference for angel flesh but rather their indiscriminate appetite for anything with two legs (more likely legs weren't even required). As Chris Rock says, "All a man needs is a fold"!

Jude describes it as "being sex obsessed" and the angel thing as "sexually engaging a different species":

Jude 1:7  Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, 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.

Exegesis might lead to the same conclusion. However, the angel thing probably didn't occur previously (though angels have been known to stray while away at college).

So in the absence of any explicit mention of homosexuality and the evidence of forced unlawful carnal knowledge being the issue I would say that no, consensual same sex relations in and of themselves were neither the cause of the cries nor of the judgments. It was evidently sexual predation.

I would also add that the judgment was not incurred prior to the men hitting on the angels. Prior to that point they were there on a fact-finding mission and judgment had not yet been passed.

Of course Paul decries same sex relations as profoundly sinful but that is another story.

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I've come across news articles (https://medium.com/@adamnicholasphillips/the-bible-does-not-condemn-homosexuality-seriously-it-doesn-t-13ae949d6619 and https://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-nicholas-phillips/the-bible-does-not-condemn-homosexuality_b_7807342.html) that have done in-depth research on what the translations actually mean.

I also did my research and found out that...

...it isn't today's definition of homosexuality.

Today's definition of homosexuality wasn't in the Bible. "Homosexuality" then wasn't today's equivalent. Today's homosexuality is mostly about rights and equal treatment.

But back in Bible times, sex with the same or opposite gender - in a negative sense - was more a show of power and ruthlessness.

Sodom & Gomorrah's sin - though it looks it from first glance without understanding the culture and wasn't explicitly stated - wasn't homosexuality. It was inhospitality. And they showed inhospitality by treating their neighbors horribly through sexual aggression and dominance. That's what they wanted to do to the angels (aliens) who had bunked at Lot's house.

Today that would look like a neighbor coming over asking for help and instead of giving the help you take them hostage, torture, then kill them as a manifestation of not wanting to help.

Since hospitality was a big thing in Middle Eastern culture, they were punished for that through the fire and brimstone.

It was this same sexual aggression that brutally dehumanized the Levite's concubine in Judges 19:20-26.

So no, it wasn't homosexuality that we know today. Their sin was inhospitality and lack of love for their neighbors through aggressive sexual dominance.

  • I can't see any difference in the two things you are contrasting. I don't see that scripture sees any difference either. – Nigel J Dec 4 '18 at 14:53
  • If you look at Middle Eastern & Greco-Roman culture that term "homosexual" doesn't exist. It only came up in the late 1800s. Again, the purpose of that same-sex coitus was either to show dominance or engage in sexually perverse acts because their culture allowed it. It is not - however - an issue of gender identity & rights which the are LGBTQI lobbying for recently. That is what we have today. Like the former, I also do not approve of the latter. A male pretending to be female & a female pretending to be male is a distortion of their true biology and identity. Basically: lying. – Philip Dec 4 '18 at 15:18

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