Homosexuality in the Hebrew Scriptures

The Mosaic Code & the Hebrew word To’ebah or Toevah

(Often translated as “abomination”)

The Mosaic code, and its applicability today:

The Torah is composed of the first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). It contains numerous laws which make up the Mosaic code. Rabbi Simlai wrote in the Talmud (Jewish traditional commentary about the Hebrew Scriptures) that God gave 613 commandments to Moses. One list finds 3 commandments in Genesis, 111 in Exodus, 247 in Leviticus, 52 in Numbers and 200 in Deuteronomy.

These included 365 prohibitions — a number equal to the nominal number of days in the year. Also included are 248 positive commandments which Rabbi Simlai said corresponded “to the number of organs and limbs in the human body.” Hundreds of these dealt with animal sacrifices and other topics that are not currently practiced. That leaves about 300 commandments that can be practiced today. 

The Holiness Code in the Torah permits:

bullet slavery (Leviticus 25:44)

The code requires:


bullet A child to be killed if he/she curses their parent (Leviticus 20:9)
bullet All persons guilty of adultery to be killed (20:10)
bullet The daughter of a priest who engages in prostitution to be burned alive until dead (21:9)
bullet The bride of a priest to be a virgin (21:13)
bullet Ritual killing of animals, using cattle, sheep and goats (22:19)
bullet Observation of 7 feasts: Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Firstfruits, Feast of Pentecost, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles (23)
bullet A person who takes the Lord’s name in vain is to be killed (24:16)

The code prohibits:


bullet Heterosexual intercourse when a woman has her period (Leviticus 18:19),
bullet Harvesting the corners of a field (19:9),
bullet Eating fruit from a young tree (19:23),
bullet Cross-breeding livestock (19:19),
bullet Sowing a field with mixed seed (19:19),
bullet Shaving or getting a hair cut (19:27),
bullet Tattoos (19:28),
bullet Even a mildly disabled person from becoming a priest (21:18),
bullet Charging of interest on a loan (25:37),
bullet Collecting firewood on Saturday to prevent your family from freezing,
bullet Wearing of clothes made from a blend of textile materials; today this might be cotton and polyester, and
bullet Eating of non-kosher foods (e.g. shrimp). This prohibition has been satirized on the God Hates Shrimp website.

Of the 613 laws, most Christian denominations regard very few as binding on Christians today. Conservative Christians often accept: 


bullet the Ten Commandments found in three places — one of them being Exodus 20:3-17.
bullet Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 which relate to sexual behavior of two men.

They also accept laws which prohibit:


bullet Sexual contact between individuals who are too closely related,
bullet Bestiality: out-of-species sexual contact,
bullet Adultery, and
bullet Some laws regarding the execution of properly convicted murderers.

21st century Christians are free to wear have sexual relations during the wife’s monthly period, wear tattoos, eat shrimp, lobster, pork or meat cooked rare, wear polyester-cotton blends, seed their lawns with a grass mixture, and get their hair cut.
But most conservative Christians consider homosexual behavior — and sometimes merely having a homosexual orientation — as taboo. At first, we were unable to find any logical explanation that would justify conservative Christians concentrating so much on these two laws against homosexuality while abandoning most of the remaining 611 Mosaic laws. 

But further examination found the reason. Using an Protestant English translation of the Bible, conservative Christians believe that the validity of the two anti-homosexual “clobber” passages in Leviticus has been verified by passages in Paul’s Epistles. The NIV and KJV of the Bible clearly condemn homosexual behavior at 1 Corinthians 6:9 and Romans 1:28 in the Christian Scriptures. These translations generally interpret the Greek words “malakoi and “arsenokoitai” as referring to homosexuals.

We can be fairly certain that this is not the meaning that Paul wanted to convey. If he had, he would have used the Greek word “paiderasste.” That was the standard term at the time for males who had sex with males. We can conclude that he probably meant something different from persons who engaged in male-male adult sexual behavior.

Down through the years, Christians have interpreted these words as referring to people of lacking a high moral standing, or to masturbators, or to men who sexually abuse boys, or to boys who are the victims of sexual abuse.

Interpreting these passages as referring to sexually active homosexuals appears to be simply the latest in a long series of attempts to make sense out of obscure words.

The precise meaning is unknown; it was buried with Paul.

Another Phone another body cavity story 2 years later ….

I know I will be criticised again for carrying this kind of sensationalism but it’s precisely why I do carry them and comment because it’s a great way to tap into the pulse of how the pubic react to stories like this given the homophobic state we are described by everyone else. Another like this was published a full two years before.
Read the story as it appeared today July 8, 2010

The St Catherine South police seized a cellphone from a prisoner on Tuesday albeit in ‘dark’ circumstances. Information reaching The Star is that about 4:30 p.m. police were conducting a search of the lock-ups at the Portmore Police Station and upon approaching one of the 13 cells, a prisoner was said to have placed a phone in his rectum.

Vigilant police personnel extracted the Samsung phone from its hiding place. It is now in the possession of the police, who were shocked about the discovery. Other items seized during the search were cigarettes, matches and lighters.

In recent times, contraband in the lock-up has resulted in the injury of one inmate who was burnt with melted plastic while in his cell. Six other inmates have since been charged with assault occasioning grievous bodily harm.

The Star was informed that no cellphones, lighter, cigarettes or anything that can cause harm, should be in the possession of inmates. Meanwhile, investigations have started to determine how the contraband got into the possession of the prisoner.


two cents continued:

It was interesting to see the reactions to the story, I was fortunate to witness it in Half Way Tree by the paper vendor near Juicy Beef Patties where a lively discussion was on about the headline. Surprisingly a man was shouting so what if a man push a phone in his batty, “Jamaica has bigger problem dan fi a worry bout what a man puts inna him batty” another woman kept to her belief he was a gay man since only gays allegedly have large bottoms of course she was implying repetitive anal penetration causes an opened rectum or spinchter muscle opening.

The vendor himself was dying with intermittent laughter as he briskly sold the papers darting from his paper stand into traffic and back while calling out the headline loudly “Phone inna man batty … whoaaaa!” every now and again.

Other persons passing by were visibly disturbed and some were repulsed when the vendor tried to push the paper on them to buy it.

This is not the first time we have seen the Star News carry a piece like this it was exactly two years to the day that this one appeared about a gang boss from St. Catherine:

PHONE IN DON’S BUTT – Mobile rang in man’s body during police search

Originally published July 8, 2008

Tesha Miller, the reputed leader of the Clansman gang, could be charged with possession of contraband after the police took a cellphone from his butt yesterday.

Miller, who is currently incarcerated at the Horizon Remand Centre, was initially arrested after he was alleged to have breached the conditions of his bail.

THE STAR was told that a search of the accused man’s cell was organised after police believed he had a cellphone in his possession. The police theorised that he had been using the device to contact his cronies.

An initial search of his cell found one cellphone; however, as the police were about to leave, another device rang.

Gloves used

This led to a further search and after combing the cell thoroughly again, it was discovered that the device was inside the accused man’s body. Gloves were said to have been requested, and the phone retrieved from the man’s body.

In a release last night, the Constabulary Communication Network said the phone was was found in Miller’s rectum.

The police also found a cellular charger and Vaseline in the cell. The call record on Miller’s phone is currently being processed by the police in order to ascertain who he had been in contact with since he was taken into custody. Prior to his latest incarceration, the accused man was out on bail and as a condition of the agreement, was required to be at home. THE STAR learnt that the police had visited his home on several occasions only to find that he was not there. He was subsequently arrested.

He was charged with four counts of murder and three counts of shooting in 2005, but fled the island for the United States. He was deported to Jamaica last year by United States authorities and later convicted for absconding bail, for which he served nine months in prison. ENDS

Is this a coincidence that both stories are similar and carried on the same month and date but two years apart?

What is the Star implying here?

You decide folks.

Peace and tolerance