[b-hebrew] "Sodomite" in 2 Kings 23.7 & Homosexuality

david.kimbrough at charter.net david.kimbrough at charter.net
Tue Jul 13 15:09:20 EDT 2004

"Sodomite" in the narrowest sense just means a resident of the city of Sodom.  It has the connotation of homosexuality due to the story of Sodom in Genesis.

However here the word is Kadeshim, or ritual male prostitutes.  There is a female version, kadeshah, the role that Tamar played in Genesis.  This is sometimes translated as "temple prostitutes" but in the Genesis story of Tamar, she pretended to be a kadeshah far from any fixed temple (assuming her tent did not constitute a temple).  The root is kd#, to sanctify.  The activities of these ritual prostitutes (male and female) may have been assoicated with the Asherah / Baal cults.

While the kadesh performed homosexual acts as a cultic activity, the individual may or many not have been of the homosexual *orientation* in the modern sense.  This is to say, given a preverence, the kadesh may have not engaged in homosexual acts in the privacy of his own home with another man.  Conversely, a lesbian (in the modern sense) may have been a kadeshah and engaged in heterosexual acts for ritual purposes.

David Kimbrough
San Gabriel

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