Fw: [b-hebrew] "Sodomite" in 2 Kings 23.7

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Tue Jul 13 16:28:06 EDT 2004

The Hebrew word translated "sodomite" is "Qedeshim". It appears in the
singular "Qadesh" (NOT the place-name) in Deut. 23:8, 1 Kings 14:24 and
22:47, and in the plural in 1 Kings 15:12, Job 36:14 and here. In all of
these, it refers to something that the Bible regards negatively, some
forbidden practice. Since the root QD$ is usually related to things
"sacred", one would assume that here, too, the reference is to some
forbidden cultic activity.
The feminine form "Qedeshah" in Hosea 4:14, definitely in a cultic setting,
in Deut. 23:18, where it's a forbidden practice, and several times in Gen.
38 (the Judah and Tamar story), where it clearly parallels "Zonah",
Combine all of this, and you have the theory that the Qedeshah was the
Canaanite sacral prostitute who engaged in various sexual rituals in
"marriage" to Baal, a practice that the Bible forbids. Her male counterpart
was the Qadesh. This is where the KJV got "sodomite" - someone who engages
in forbidden sexual practices. NRSV is more explicit - "male temple


----- Original Message -----
From: "Dora Smith" <villandra at austin.rr.com>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2004 9:47 PM
Subject: [b-hebrew] "Sodomite" in 2 Kings 23.7

> What is meant by "sodomite" (or word translated thereas) in the following
> passage on Josiah's eviction of Baal from the LORDs temple in
> Jerusalem?
> "And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that
> were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove
> hangings for the grove." (2 Kings 23.7).
> One thing it does not appear to mean is homosexuality.   It is a place
> women wore hangings for the grove - where Yahweh's wife Asherah was
> worshipped.
> But it clearly also is not a reference to a failure to show hospitality to
> strangers, as appears to be the case in other Old Testmament references to
> the term sodomite.
> St. Paul seems to have thought that homosexuality was closely tied to the
> practice of idolatry - is this a clue to what was actually going on in the
> minds of the authors of Kings?
> Yours,
> Dora Smith
> Austin, Texas
> villandra at austin.rr.com
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> b-hebrew mailing list
> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew

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