Homosexuality and the Tanakh


By Yochanan Zaqantov


Today let us look into the Tanakh and see what it says about what we call in a modern sense Homosexuality.  Does the Tanakh refer to such action and if so what does it say about it.  We need to rely on the miqra (scriptures) to show us what we need to do in matters of sexual relations.  Are their sexual relationships we are told not to have?  That is what we will be looking at this today.


So when was the term homosexuality first used and what does it mean? 


homosexual (adj.) Look up homosexual at Dictionary.com 1892, in C.G. Chaddock's translation of Krafft-Ebing's "Psychopathia Sexualis," from homo-, comb. form of Gk. homos "same" (see same) + Latin-based sexual (see sex).  'Homosexual' is a barbarously hybrid word, and I claim no responsibility for it." [H. Havelock Ellis, "Studies in Psychology," 1897] The noun is first recorded 1912 in Eng., 1907 in French. In technical use, either male or female; but in non-technical use almost always male. Slang shortened form homo first attested 1929. The alternative homophile (1960) was coined in ref. to the homosexual regarded as a person of a particular social group, rather than a sexual abnormality. Homo-erotic first recorded 1916; homophobia is from 1969.  ( http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?l=h&p=10 )


So we see from this etymology the word Homo-sexual is from the latin homo meaning same and sexaul meaning sex.  Thus, this would include both the male as well as the female.


Where do find reference to something similar to this in the Tanakh?


Wayiqra/Leviticus 18:22
וְאֶת־זָכָר לֹא תִשְׁכַּב מִשְׁכְּבֵי אִשָּׁה תֹּועֵבָה הִֽוא


We’et-zakhar lo tish’kav mis’kaveyishah to’evah hiv


And male not your lying from lyings woman hateful thing it is.


Zakhar – 2145 masculine noun

Shakhav – 7901 verb

Mishkav – 4904 masculine noun

Ishah – 802 feminine noun

To’evah – 8441 feminine noun

Hiv – 1931 participle pronoun masculine


If we start in the context of the chapter we see that theses were hateful practices of the Egyptians and Canaanites.  Wayiqra chapter 18 starts out…


1 YHWH spoke to Moshe, saying: 2 Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them: I am YHWH Eloheykhem!

3 What is done in the land of Egypt, wherein you were settled, you are not to do; what is done in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you, you are not to do; by their laws you are not to walk. 4 My regulations you are to do, my laws you are to keep, walking by them, I am YHWH Eloheykhem! 5 You are to keep my laws and my regulations, which when a human does them, he lives by (means of) them, I am YHWH! 6 Any-man, any-man-to any kin of one's (own) flesh you are not to come-near, exposing their "nakedness"!(lo tiq’revu legalot er’wah לֹא תִקְרְבוּ לְגַלֹּות עֶרְוָה) I am YHWH!

So first these listed in this chapter are things that the Egyptians or the Canaanites did in the manner to expose nakedness or sexual relations.  We as Israelites are told not to do them.  The practicing of these things are hateful things. This is To’evah or hateful things. Reference number 8441.  Anything in chapter 18 is a abominal practice and therefore we are not to do them.

Wayiqra/Leviticus 18:24-30


24 You are not to make-yourselves-tamei through any of these, for through all these, they make-themselves-tamei, the nations that I am sending out before you. 25 Thus the land became-tamei, and I called it to account for its iniquity, so that the land vomited out its inhabitants. 26 But you are to keep, yourselves, my laws and my regulations, not doing any of these abominations (hato’evot הַתֹּועֵבֹת), the native and the sojourner that sojourns in your midst, 27 for all these abominations (et-kal-hato’evot  אֶת־כָּל־הַתֹּועֵבֹת) did the men of the land do that were before you, and the land became-tamei- 28 that the land not vomit you out for your making it tamei as it vomited out the nation that was before you. 29 For whoever does any of these abominable-things- (ya’oseh mikol hato’evot יַעֲשֶׂה מִכֹּל הַתֹּועֵבֹות ) cut off shall be those persons that do (them) from amid their kinspeople! 30 You are to keep my charge by not doing (any of) the abominable (hato’evot הַתֹּֽועֵבֹת) practices that were done before you, that you not become-tamei through them, I am YHWH your God!


Then we are told how hateful these are and that they defile the land and that the people of the land did them and that was why they were being removed.  You will also notice the actions also made the inhabitants tamei/unclean.  These actions would cause us the same situation.


So when we look at verse 22, it is from this vantage point that we must examine it.  It is a hateful practice not to be done by Yisrael whether an ‘ezrach (home born/native) or Ger (sojourner).


Let us examine each word here for this verse to make sure we are seeing what I have translated.


Zakhar – 2145 masculine noun.


Bereshit/Genesis 1:27


27 And Elohim created man (adam) in His image, in the image of Elohim He created him; male (zakhar  זָכָר) and female He created them.


He created them male (zakhar) and female.


Bamidbar/Numbers 31:17, 18


17 So now, kill every male among the little-ones, and every woman who has known a man (iysh) by lying with a male (leMish’kav zakhar  לְמִשְׁכַּב זָכָר), kill (as well)! 18 But all the younger-ones among the women who have not known lying with a male (lo-yad’u mis’kav zakhar  לֹא־יָדְעוּ מִשְׁכַּב זָכָר) - you may keep them alive for yourselves.

The women were separated and those who had not known a male by lying with him were spared.  We see here that the lying with a woman by a male known as mish’kav zakhar.

Shofetim/Judges 21:11-12


11 This is what you are to do: Proscribe (dedicate to destruction) every male, and every woman who has known a male. ( kal-zakhar wekhal ish yoda’at mish’kav-zakhar כָּל־זָכָר וְכָל־אִשָּׁה יֹדַעַת מִשְׁכַּב־זָכָר)


Here we have a command for them to execute any male or female who known a male by laying with a male.  It clearly shows males lying with males in this verse.


12 They found among the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead 400 maidens who had not known  a male with lying (lo-yad’ah iysh leMish’kav zakhar

  לֹֽא־יָדְעָה אִישׁ לְמִשְׁכַּב זָכָר); and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan.


This is the story of the tribe Binyamin and getting them wives since the other tribes went to battle them and they swore not to give of their own daughters.  Again the lying was with a male (Mish’kav zakhar).


Shakhav – 7901 verb


This word means to lay as in to lie down.  In the literal sense it is used to describe one lying down but it can also mean in a euphemism to lie down with someone as in sexual relations.


In the literal sense,


Devarim/Deuteronomy 24:13


13 you are to return, yes, return to him the pledge when the sun comes in, that he may lie down (WeShakhav  וְשָׁכַב) in his garment, and bless you, and yours will be righteous-merit, before the presence of YHWH Eloheykha.


Here he is lying down and sleeping in his cloth.  He is not in a bed but lying in his covering garment.


Shemot/Exodus 22:15-16


15 When a man seduces a virgin who has not been spoken-for and lies (WeShakhav   וְשָׁכַב) with her, (for) the marrying-price he is to marry her, as his wife. 16 If her father refuses, yes, refuses to give her to him, silver he is to weigh out, according to the marriage-price of virgins.


We see this word also used euphemistically as in sex or to lie down or lay with someone.


Wayiqra/Leviticus 15:24


24 And if a man lies, yes, lies (Shakhov Yish’kav  שָׁכֹב יִשְׁכַּב) with her, so that her (state of) being-apart is upon him, he will remain-tamei for seven days, any place-of-lying upon which he lies (HaMish’kav asher Yish’kav  הַמִּשְׁכָּב אֲשֶׁר־יִשְׁכַּב) becomes tamei.


So we can see that laying or lying down has a sexual connotation from the reading of Lev. 18.  By laying with her the Tumah/ impurity is transferred and he passes it by lying too.


Mish’kav – 4904 masculine noun


Mish’kav is often translated as bed but we see from its root the verb Shakhav (7901) which has the meaning of lay.  So this mish’kav would mean from laying/lying.  This very similar to another word which Mish’kan which everyone agrees means from dwelling as in the name of the tent that YHWH would dwell.  With the -ey suffix found in the word in Lev. 18:22 it would be translated as with lays or lyings making it in a plural form.  Since a bed is where one would lay you can see why it was translated that way.  However, in the plural form this cannot being referring to a specific bed but the way one lays with a woman.


Examples of this are for Mishkav,


Wayiqra/Leviticus 15:4, 26

4 any place-of-lying (kol-haMish’kav  כָּל־הַמִּשְׁכָּב) that the one-with-a-flow lies (Yish’kav  יִשְׁכַּב) on becomes tamei, and any vessel that he sits on becomes tamei.


26 Any lying-place (kol-haMish’kav  כָּל־הַמִּשְׁכָּב) upon which she lies (Tish’kav  תִּשְׁכַּב), all the days of her flow, shall be for her like the lying-place (keMish’kav  כְּמִשְׁכַּב) (during) her being-apart, and any vessel that she sits upon shall be tamei, like the tum'a of her being-apart.


Some translations use bedding since in the modern sense a bed is what people lie upon.  Yet, this is not the case in Hebrew as the ground may be lied upon a cloth may be lied upon, etc…


Again examples of Shakhav,


Bereshit/Genesis 47:30


30 When I lie down (WeShakhav’tiy  וְשָֽׁכַבְתִּי) with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their burial-site! He said: I will do according to your words.


Here we see Yaaqov (Jacob) telling them to bury him when he lies down with his fathers or dies.


Shemuel Bet/II Samuel 12:16


16 David entreated God for the boy; David fasted, and he went in and spent the night lying on the ground (weShakhav aretzah  וְשָׁכַב אָֽרְצָה).


Here we see him lying on the ground and so we see this word being used consistently as to lie or lay.


Shakhav can mean sexually too.


Bamidbar/Numbers 5:13, 19


13 in that a man lay with her (with) an emission of seed, (WeShakav iysh otah shikh’vat zera וְשָׁכַב אִישׁ אֹתָהּ שִׁכְבַת־זֶרַע), and it was hidden from the eyes of her husband, -she concealed herself, since she had made-herself-tamei- and since there was no witness against her, she was not apprehended-


Here the woman lies with a man and seed is passed to her. Shikh’vat zera is her covering seed.  A man lying covers her with seed.


19 The priest is to have her swear, saying to the woman: If a man did not lie (‘im-lo shakhav iysh  אִם־לֹא שָׁכַב אִישׁ) with you, and if you did not stray to make-yourself-tamei under your husband('s authority), be-clear from this Water of Bitterness Bringing the Bane!


So we see that the word Mish’kav would mean “from lying” and one lays down or in the case of Wayiqra 18:22 as one who lays down with a woman.


The next place we see a similar verse is Wayiqra/Leviticus 20:13


13 A man who lies with a male (as one) lies with a woman- abomination have the two of them done, they are to be put-to-death, yes, death, their bloodguilt is upon them!


In Hebrew it says:

וְאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִשְׁכַּב אֶת־זָכָר מִשְׁכְּבֵי אִשָּׁה תֹּועֵבָה עָשׂוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם מֹות יוּמָתוּ דְּמֵיהֶם בָּֽם


We’iysh asher yish’kav et-zakhar mish’khavey ishah to’evahasu sheneyhem mot yumatu demeyhem bam


Translated as:


And Man which he shall lay a male from lyings a woman hateful thing they made two of them utterly die their blood in them.


Some have suggested what is being forbidden here are two men lying in a woman’s bed. However, we see that this is not the case here either.  The bed is not what is being referred to here but the action of the two men lying together with one male acting as the woman.  Many of the same words we have reviewed from the previous verse apply here also.


So what about the account of Lot and the messengers from YHWH.


We find this account in the book of Bereshit.  Chapter 19 outlines the events that happened between Lot, the Messengers and the Town people of Sodom.

Bereshit/Genesis 19:1-9

1 The two angels (shenei hamal’akhim  2 messengers שְׁנֵי הַמַּלְאָכִים) arrived in Sodom (Sedomah סְדֹמָה) in the evening, as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom (Sedom סְדֹם). When Lot saw them, he rose to greet them and, bowing low with his face to the ground, 2 he said, “Please, my lords (adonai  אֲדֹנַי), turn aside to your servant’s house to spend the night, and bathe your feet; then you may be on your way early.” But they said, “No, we will spend the night in the square.” 3 But he urged them strongly, so they turned his way and entered his house. He prepared a feast for them and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

4 They had not yet lain down, when the townspeople, the men of Sodom (sedom סְדֹם), young and old—all the people to the last man—gathered about the house. 5 And they shouted to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may be intimate with them (WeNed’ahotam וְנֵדְעָה אֹתָֽם).” 6 So Lot went out to them to the entrance, shut the door behind him, 7 and said, “I beg you, my friends, do not commit such a wrong. 8 Look, I have two daughters who have not known a man (lo-yad’u iysh  לֹֽא־יָדְעוּ אִישׁ). Let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you please; but do not do anything to these men, since they have come under the shelter of my roof.” 9 But they said, “Stand back! The fellow,” they said, “came here as an alien, and already he acts the ruler! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.” And they pressed hard against the person of Lot, and moved forward to break the door.

Yada 3045  which is to know someone intimately.  It has a sexual connotation or a deep knowledge of matters.  It is a verb thus denoting an action.

Bereshit/Genesis 4:1

1 Now the man knew (yada יָדַע) his wife Chavvah, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gained a male child with the help of YHWH.”


Yada here shows the intimacy was sex.  The result was pregnancy and a birth of a child.


Bereshit/Genesis 24:16


15 And it was: Not yet had he finished speaking, when here, Rivka came out, -she had been born to Betuel, son of Milca, wife of Nahor, brother of Avraham- her pitcher on her shoulder. 16 the maiden was exceedingly beautiful to look at, a virgin-no man had known her (We’iysh to yeda’ah וְאִישׁ לֹא יְדָעָהּ). Going down to the spring, she filled her pitcher and came up again.


Here Rivka is referred as not knowing a man.


Shofetim/Judges 21:11


11 This is what you are to do: Proscribe every man, and every woman who has known a man carnally (kol-zakhar wekhal ishshah yoda’at mish’kav-zakhar כָּל־זָכָר וְכָל־אִשָּׁה יֹדַעַת מִשְׁכַּב־זָכָר).”


So in this case the men of Sedom wanted to know them in a way that one would want to know a woman.  Why else would Lot offer up his daughters instead.  Also with this verse we see that men knowing men was also prevalent in the land of Canaan.


The Sins of Sedom


 Yes, in Yechezqel/Ezekiel 16, it refers to another place and this place as a sister to Samaria, and Sodom.  Look at these verses:


Yechezqel/Ezekiel 16: 1 The word of YHWH came to me: 2 O mortal, proclaim Jerusalem’s abominations to her, 3 and say: Thus said Adonai YHWH to Jerusalem: By origin and birth you are from the land of the Canaanites—YOUR FATHER WAS AN AMORITE AND YOUR MOTHER A HITTITE.


Capitalized portions are my emphasis.  Notice that this place being referred to here was Jerusalem.  Now lets look at further in the account.


45 You are the daughter of your mother, who rejected her husband and children. And you are the sister of your sisters, who rejected their husbands and children; FOR YOU ARE DAUGHTERS OF A HITTITE MOTHER AND AN AMORITE FATHER. 46 Your elder sister was Samaria, who lived with her daughters to the NORTH of you; your younger sister was Sedom, who lived with her daughters to the SOUTH of you.


He we see Jerusalem had two sisters.  In the North Yisrael and in the south Yehudah.  Notice that these three sisters where the daughters of a Hittite Mother and an Amorite Father.  Just like in verse three.  This is not literally talking of the Sedom and Samaria of Lot’s time but the level of sin Yisrael, Yehudah and Yerusalayim achieved in disobedience. 


48 As I live—declares Adonai YHWH—your sister Sedom and her daughters did not do what you and your daughters did. 49 Only this was the sin of your sister Sedom: arrogance! She and her daughters had plenty of bread and untroubled tranquility; yet she did not support the poor and the needy. 50 In their haughtiness, they committed abomination before Me; and so I removed them, as you saw.


The sister Sedom (Yehudah) was taken away at this time in that the King was removed.  But Yerusalayim was still standing.  The King was removed but the City still stood with the appointed King by Babylon.  Thus, the noble and knowledgeable were removed.  They left the temple standing for now.


53 I will restore their fortunes—the fortunes of Sedom and her daughters and the fortunes of Samaria and her daughters—and your fortunes along with theirs. 54 Thus you shall bear your disgrace and feel your disgrace for behaving in such a way that they could take comfort. 55 Then your sister Sedom and her daughters shall return to their former state, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former state, and you and your daughters shall return to your former state.


I have heard some who will say that the sins of Sedom were not sexual rape but not caring for the poor and needy.  This was not the evidence from Torah. This chapter is a metaphor for the sins of Benei Yisrael.


The instance of the men of Binyamin


Shofetim 19-21 is the full account of the story.  It essentially parallels the account of Sedom.  Let’s start in chapter 19 verse 22-25.


22 While they were enjoying themselves, the men of the town, a depraved lot, had gathered about the house and were pounding on the door. They called to the aged owner of the house, “Bring out the man who has come into your house, so that we can be intimate with him (Weneda’enu  וְנֵדָעֶֽנּוּ).” 23 The owner of the house went out and said to them, “Please, my friends, do not commit such a wrong. Since this man has entered my house, do not perpetrate this outrage. 24 Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. Let me bring them out to you. Have your pleasure (and you all humble them ( We’an’u otam  וְעַנּוּ אֹותָם), do what you like with them; but don’t do that outrageous thing to this man.” 25 But the men would not listen to him, so the man seized his concubine and pushed her out to them. They raped (knew – We’yed’u וַיֵּדְעוּ) her and abused her all night long until morning; and they let her go when dawn broke.


Clearly again they knew her sexually and wanted to know the man the same way.  This is something we are told that is not to be done.  We know from this account in Shofetim that the tribe of Binyamin were almost all wiped because of them not wanting give up these men.  So we know this gang of men wanted to know a man.  It does not explain why.


It does say what they wanted to do with them though.


What about some translations that talk about sodomites?  We find that in Hebrew the word qadesh (6945) that is masculine noun.  In this case we also see the feminine form of the word qadeshah (6948) which is a temple prostitute.  So the male form refers to a Male temple prostitute. 

Hosea 4:14

14 I will not punish their daughters for fornicating Nor their daughters-in-law for committing adultery; For they themselves turn aside with whores And sacrifice with [the temple] prostitutes (haqedeshot הַקְּדֵשֹׁות), And a people that is without sense must stumble.

We see this more clearly in the next verse in Devarim.

Devarim/Deuteronomy 23:18-19

18 There is to be no holy-prostitute (qedeshah  קְדֵשָׁה) of the daughters of Israel, there is to be no holy-prostitute (qadesh  קָדֵשׁ) of the sons of Israel. 19 You are not to bring the fee of a whore (zonah2181  זֹונָה) or the price of a dog (kelev – 3611 כֶּלֶב)  to the house of YHWH Eloheykha, for any vow; for an abomination to YHWH Eloheykha are the two-of-them!


They were told not to do cultic prostitution for any of the children of Israel.  Part of that we will see was done and the men were the ones doing it in Israel.

Melekhim Bet/II Kings 23:7

7 He tore down the houses of the male prostitutes (et-batey haqedeshim אֶת־בָּתֵּי הַקְּדֵשִׁים) in the House of YHWH, at the place where the women wove coverings/houses for Asherah (Batiym la’asherah  בָּתִּים לָאֲשֵׁרָֽה).


Here we see that the male prostitutes would conduct themselves in the temple area and were related to the Asherah worship.  In doing research, there is much written on the practices of the Male Prostitutes acting like the female goddess.  Thus, men acting in the ways of a woman.


This is from the myth of Ishtar.

The sacred priestesses were not alone in undertaking sexual rites in the temple. Any number of other women, including those from the highest families in the land, would also prostitute themselves in the temple at least once during their lifetime. Indeed, there was at one stage a law which required a woman to do so before she married. This was a precautionary measure to deflect the wrath of the goddess, for she did not hold with monogamy. The Greek historian Herodotus gives us an excellent, if not wholly approving, description of the practice:

"The worst Babylonian custom is that which compels every woman of the land once in her life to sit in the temple of love and have... intercourse with some stranger... the men pass and make their choice. It matters not what be the sum of money; the woman will never refuse, for that were a sin, the money being by this act made sacred. After their intercourse she has made herself holy in the sight of the goddess and goes away to her home; and thereafter there is no bribe however great that will get her. So then the women that are tall and fair are soon free to depart, but the uncomely have long to wait because they cannot fulfill the law: for some of them remain for three years or four."

For a contemporary person such an attitude is very strange indeed. But in its pure form, a deeply spiritual significance was attached to these rites. The goddess, because she presided over fertility, represented the creative power which is an essential aspect of all female beings. By sacrificing her sexuality to the deity, a woman was offering herself as a vehicle for the divine energy. The experience of abandoning herself in this way evidently engendered a sense of spiritual fulfillment which was more important to her than either sensual satisfaction or even human love. Temples to Ishtar, at Erech and other places, were also served by male prostitutes. They were referred to as men "...whose manhood Ishtar has changed into womanhood." Attitudes toward homosexuality, however, seem to have changed at a later stage of Babylonian culture. The Middle Assyrian Law Tablets, dating back to the twelfth century BC make it clear that some kinds of homosexuality, at least, could lead to castration. http://www.ishtartemple.org/myth.htm

So male prostitutes were used as woman in the practice.  Ishtar is Ashterah and the Ashterot are the poles that were built accompanying the worshipping of Baal. The fact that they believe themselves to be holy to their deity may be why the root that both qadesh and qadeshah is from is qodesh or holy in Hebrew.  It may have been a derogatory way of referring to them.


Now what about female homosexuality.  If the act of male on male sexuality is forbidden then why was not female on female sexuality covered in Lev. 18 and 20?  This may not have been a practice of the Canaanites or the Egyptians.  But if we use heqesh which would apply these verses Vayiqra 18:22 and 20:13 then one could say as an anology these would apply to same sex female relationships where one takes on the role of the man.


So what about the supposed relationship between Jonathan and David?


The verse quoted for this is Shemuel Aleph/I Samuel 18:1-4


1 When [David] finished speaking with Saul, Jonathan’s soul became bound up with the soul of David; Jonathan loved David as himself. 2 Saul took him [into his service] that day and would not let him return to his father’s house.—3 Jonathan and David made a pact, because [Jonathan] loved him as himself. 4 Jonathan took off the cloak and tunic he was wearing and gave them to David, together with his sword, bow, and belt.


The word for soul here is nefesh which is also used when describing the life of the person as mentioned in Bereshit 2:7  in the same chapter it talks of Chavah and that he would cling (davaq) to his ishah.


In the first verse the word used her for the phrase “bound up” of the two nefesh is niq’sharah which is the Niphil form of the verb.  The verb form is one simple and passive.  Thus, it is like saying they were bound together.  They had a bond.  We see this in the Kal usage of the same word were Deut. 6:8 where it metaphorically says we should bind the law for a sign to us.  But in the more literal sense the same word is used to show two or more in a conspiracy.


Shemuel Aleph/ I Samuel 22:8


8 Is that why all of you have conspired (qashar’tem) against me? For no one informs me when my own son makes a pact with the son of Jesse; no one is concerned for me and no one informs me when my own son has set my servant in ambush against me, as is now the case.”


Again it denotes two or more joining together or even an object bound.  Thus, this bond was that of two men who felt a kinship to one another.


What about this loving him as his own? 


In Wayikra 19 we are told to love our neighbor or ger as yourself.


18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your countrymen. Love your fellow (neighbor) as yourself: I am YHWH.


34 The sojourner (ger) who sojourns with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt: YHWH I am Eloheykha


Reading these verses we wouldn’t see this love as one having passion or desire but concern for the Ger or Neighbor as one cares for oneself.  So why should be see that when Jonathan loved David as himself do we see anything else but that they has a concern for the other as one cares for ones own life.


In verse 3 of Shemuel Aleph 18  we see that they made a pact or covenant.  As we know a covenant is an agreement.  We don’t see what this agreement is till Shemuel Aleph 20, it was a covenant not to harm one another.  In the end Jonathan make a covenant with the house of David that he treats his descendants favorably.  


In the next point some reason Jonathan removed his clothes for David is not quite accurate. The Hebrew here indicates that he removed his robe or outer garment.  He still had on his garment.  We see this in that the word here is ma’il 4598 which is robe.  This is the same word as used Shemot 28:4


4 These are the vestments (garments/bagadim 899) they are to make: a breastpiece, an ephod, a robe (ma’il) , a fringed tunic (k’tonet 3801), a headdress, and a sash. They shall make those sacral vestments (bag’dey 899) for your brother Aaron and his sons, for priestly service to Me;


If he really got naked then it would have talked about him removing his bagad or garments like Saul did in Shemuel Aleph 19:24


24 Then he too stripped off his clothes (b’gadaynu) and he too spoke in ecstasy before Samuel; and he lay naked all that day and all night. That is why people say, “Is Saul too among the prophets?”


In the case of the second time being offered to marry into his family in Shemuel Aleph 18:21 it states that a second time you shall be son through marriage.  Some would state that this meant he was married to Jonathan first.  But they forget a few verses earlier that Saul offered his older daughter to David and her name was Merab.  In Hebrew culture to arrange a marriage the engagement/betrothal was essentially a marriage but the marriage was not consummated.  In the case of Merab, Saul gave her to another man and thus the second time was the bethroval to Michal.  No were does it ever indicate that Jonathan and David were married.


We see this concept in the Tanakh in…


Devarim/Deuteronomy 28:30


30 If you pay the bride-price (betroth – aras 781) for a wife, another man shall enjoy her. If you build a house, you shall not live in it. If you plant a vineyard, you shall not harvest it.


Devarim/Deuteronomy 22:23


23 In the case of a virgin who is engaged (betrothed – aras) to a man—if a man comes upon her in town and lies with her,


Here the woman is betrothed but the relationship is not yet consummated.   She is attached to a the man who has not yet slept with her.   So we see that Merah was betrothed to David in that “Saul was to give his daughter Merab to David, she was given to Adreil  (Shemuel Aleph 18:19)




Does Shemuel 20:30 indicate that Jonathan and David were married or was the covenant made between Jonathan that he would always be loyal to David as King.  


30 Saul flew into a rage against Jonathan. “You son of a perverse, rebellious woman!” he shouted. “I know that you side with the son of Jesse—to your shame, and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness!


He chose his loyalty to David and not his father’s kingdom.  The nakedness (er’vah) of his mother is derogatory in that he shamed himself so much it was a shame to his mother’s nakedness or him being born.


This is the reason for the statement in verse 31.   Because if they were married they would rule together and therefore the verse 31 statements would make no sense.  But if Jonathan made himself subordinate to David’s rule then it makes sense.


31 For as long as the son of Jesse lives on earth, neither you nor your kingship will be secure. Now then, have him brought to me, for he is marked for death.”


In Shemuel 20:41, some try to say that this was a sexual encounter between David and Jonathan. 


41 When the boy got there, David emerged from his concealment at the Negeb. He flung himself face down on the ground and bowed low three times. They kissed each other and wept together; David wept the longer.


Some have tried to say that gadal was a sign of erection because the word means to become large.  Actually, the verb form used here for this verse is the HIPHIL.  In this form the word would be increased.  Thus, David’s weeping was greater as the verse is translated in the JPS.


So we have seen from the texts studied today that Homosexuality though not a term from the Tanakh is indeed referenced in actions.  Therefore, Homosexuality whether in the form of practice or religious it is a hated thing and punishable by death.