A Rabbi's take on Leviticus

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Joined in 2005
July 22, 2013, 21:11

The Problem of Homophobia in Leviticus, and How Genesis Solves It

Leviticus 18:22. In Hebrew, it reads, "V'et-zachar lo tishkav mish'k'vei ishah." It is usually translated as, "Do not lie with a male as you would lie with women," an apparent universal condemnation of sex between men.

The words "et-zachar lo tishkav" clearly mean "don't lie with a male" or "don't bed a male."

Jewish tradition, best expressed by Talmudic sage Rabbi Akiva, teaches that there are no superfluous words in Torah. Why, then, would the Torah add the peculiar phrase "mish'k'vei ishah"?


The Bible demands that we being justice to our marketplaces and workspaces, chapter 18 of Leviticus asks us to take the revolutionary step of seeing our bed-space as holy space — to see sex not as merely a mechanical, procreative act but as a conduit to the Divine.

An Interesting take on Leviticus – by a Jewish Rabbi . This interpretation is new to me – but its interesting – and over the years Ive always found Jewish interpretation of the Bible enlightening. I thought others might find this interesting also !

Joined in 2013
July 31, 2013, 14:05

Last semester I did a Research Paper on Gay Theology and vowed that if it really did say something against Homosexuality, then I would reconsider my faith.

In all of my investigations my last resort of interpretation was our Hebrew lecturer, and she says that the words read as follows:

Leviticus 18:22 definitely says: And a male; not to lie down; in a bed of a woman/wife; abomination.

In my understanding the 'And' connects it to the previous verse and there is only one male involved. It all points to self sexual pleasure that may waste seed, rather than anything to do with the homosexual act being an abomination.

It pointed towards the preservation and the procreation of children. These laws do not apply to us anymore anyway, but it's great that homosexuality wasn't spoken of in the way that our English translations of the bible say they did.

I have more information in my presentation.

Hope I've made sense.

Joined in 2005
July 31, 2013, 14:18

Thats quite Interesting

Over the years – I've come across some quite interesting interpretations and understanding of the old testament by those of the Jewish faith compared to Christians. They sometimes lead to some intriguing differences (although I've never had the opportunity to do say a comparative study across different Jewish schools of thought). Its always fascinated me that more Christians aren't interested in the various schools of thought on the old testament (especially when they build arguments based on old testament verses).

Joined in 2012
April 22, 2014, 23:20

Is there any more other clobber texts that have been revisited or interpreted correctly??

Joined in 2005
April 26, 2014, 10:28

Im not aware of any like this per se'

although there are refinements of translations etc but they are all fairly well documented now I think

Joined in 2014
August 31, 2014, 10:08

Great article…I have passed it on to a Christian friend who struggles with his sexuality. His mother was of Jewish decent! Nevertheless, what we so often overlook is what is so blatantly clear in IITim. 3:14,15 "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."

Paul was a devote Jew and knew the holy Scriptures. Here, he is instructing Timothy to look to them for wisdom and truth; for instruction regarding who Jesus is. The Scriptures he is referring to are the JEWISH SCRIPTURES, the Torah and such! They did not have the 'New Testament' at the writing of this letter to Timothy! And so, I believe we too should be looking to the Jewish interpretations of the Old Testament rather than so called scholars who ignore these great men of their faith…those Scriptures and individuals who understand them best and can rightfully direct us towards Jesus and the wisdom of God! I am not advocating that we ignore the Wests Scholars, but they are influenced tremendously by their own cultural bents!

I am really enjoying reading all of these various posts! Feeling more connected and thankful!

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