Same Sex Marriage and the End of the World
Marriage is a life-long covenant between one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others, recognised throughout the world since ancient times as a unique relationship, different from all others, because of its ability to procreate children and provide the natural social model for raising them to maturity. Same-sex "marriages" do not contribute to this process and are just fake imitiations of the real thing. Homosexual relationships have existed throughout history, but occurrences of same-sex "marriage", complete with legal documents, are scarce and difficult to verify from primary sources.
I have discussed these matters in my previous article Same Sex Marriage Does Not Exist (it's just a legalised fantasy), but since then I have found references to same-sex marriage in the Jewish classical literature, always resulting in the destruction of the nations involved, and even the destruction of the world at the time of Noah.
Jewish Historical Sources
Judaism is based on the Bible, the section that Christians call the "Old Testament". It's called the Tanakh, an acronym based on the division of the Bible into three sections:
The Tanakh is read in Hebrew in most synagogues, although it may also be read in the language normally spoken by members of the congregation. In Israel, obviously, it's all in Hebrew. Various English translations are available. They don't use the KJAV, NIV or any of the translations used by Christians, they have their own English translations.
In addition to the Tanakh, they have a much larger collection of classical literature, including commentaries on the Tanakh, supplemented by events from their own history and culture. Much of it has been passed down orally from generation to generation and eventually written down.
The oral tradition is apparent in many of the classical works, for example in Genesis Rabbah, quoted in this article, we have "R. ‘Azariah and R. Judah b. R. Simon in R. Joshua's name said..." This might seem a bit clumsy to the unfamiliar reader, but it means two rabbis are quoting from another rabbi. The abbreviation "R." means "Rabbi" and "b." means "ben" which is Hebrew for "son". The reverse apostrophe before "Azariah" represents a Hebrew character that indicates a slight pause where the throat is closed. So the phrase means "Rabbi ‘Azariah and Rabbi Judah the son of Rabbi Simon in Rabbi Joshua's name said..."
The original languages of the classical literature are Hebrew and Aramaic, depending on the colloquial language at the time and place when it was written. Aramaic is similar to Hebrew, and it uses the Hebrew characters, but not many people speak it these days. Some of the original works have been translated into English, but not all of them. When an English version quotes from the Tanakh, it doesn't normally use any of the standard English translations like a Christian commentary would do. Instead they translate the complete text, Tanakh and commentary, from the original language into English. So there are quotations in English that don't match any standard text, they have just translated it as they went along. In that case, when quoting from the Bible in this article, I found there is no advantage in using a Jewish text. I've used a Christian Bible, the KJAV, because it's just as good.
There are many volumes of Jewish classical literature, written during their long history, just as there are many volumes of Christian literature, written by church fathers, priests and monks over the centuries. The most important Jewish works are:
Now that we have had a brief look at the Jewish literature and identified our sources, let's have a look at how they supplement the Biblical text.
Midrash Rabbah on the Flood, Sodom, Egypt and Caanan
The conditions that led to the Flood are described in Genesis 6 (KJAV) as follows:
1. And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
Genesis Rabbah 26:5 comments on this as follows:
THAT THE SONS OF GOD (BENE ELOHIM) SAW THE DAUGHTERS OF MEN, etc. (VI, 2). R. Simeon b.Yohai called them the sons of nobles; [furthermore], R. Simeon b. Yohai cursed all who called them the sons of God.1 R. Simeon b. Yohai said: If demoralisation does not proceed from the leaders, it is not real demoralisation.2
Judaism is a very ancient religion with a long history, much of it passed on orally from generation to generation until it was eventually written down. This passage is a typical elaboration of an ancient event, about what they believe was happening before the Flood. It describes despotic rulers who would take a bride from her husband on their wedding night, and it tells us how pederasty (unequal senior/junior homosexuality) and bestiality were not only commonplace, they were legalised and celebrated. The reference to "marriage deeds" is relegated to a footnote, but that does not diminish its authority. It's about the translation of the Hebrew word gemumasi’ot which is derived from the Greek gamos from which we get monogamy, polygamy, etc. Gemumasi’ot could just as easily mean "nuptial songs" or "marriage deeds", it doesn't make any difference, they both involve social approval.
Now we look at the book of Leviticus, containing various laws that the Lord gave to Moses, after the exodus from Egypt. Chapter 18 gives a list of forbidden sexual practices, including incest, adultery, homosexuality and bestiality, but first there is an introduction as follows:
1. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
Leviticus Rabbah 23:9 comments on this as follows:
R. Ishmael taught: AFTER THE DOINGS OF THE LAND OF EGYPT... AND AFTER THE DOINGS OF THE LAND OF CANAAN... SHALL YE NOT DO, etc. (XVIII, 3), otherwise, I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD (ib. 4).1 R. Hiyya taught: Why is I AM THE LORD written twice?2 It implies: I am He who inflicted punishment upon the Generation of the Flood, upon Sodom, and upon Egypt, and I am the same who will inflict punishment upon any one who will act in accordance with their practices. The Generation of the Flood were blotted out from the world because they were steeped in whoredom. R. Samlai observed: In every instance where you find the prevalence of whoredom, an androlepsia3 comes upon the world and slays both good and bad. R. Huna says in the name of R. Jose: The Generation of the Flood were only blotted out of the world on account of their having written hymenean songs for sodomy. R. Azariah in the name of R. Judah son of R. Simeon and R. Joshua b. Levi in the name of Bar Kappara say: We find that the Holy One, blessed be He, is long-suffering towards every offence except whoredom, and there are numerous texts to bear this out; as it says, And came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth... that the sons of God saw the daughters of men... and they took them wives... And the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great... And the Lord said: I will blot out man (Gen. VI, 1 ff). ...
The passage from Leviticus makes it clear that the forbidden practices were all going on in Egypt before it was destroyed by the plagues, and they were still going on in Caanan at the time, until it was destroyed by the Israelites. The Leviticus Rabbah also mentions the Flood and Sodom, so there are four events altogether, the Flood, Sodom, Egypt and Caanan where socially-approved immorality was followed by destruction and devastation. In particular, it repeats the claim from Genesis Rabbah, that the Generation of the Flood was blotted out when they wrote hymenean (wedding) songs for sodomy.
Sifra and Maimonides, on Egypt and Caanan
Returning to the passage from Leviticus that we have already seen, which says: After the doings of the land of Egypt, ... and ... the land of Canaan, ... shall ye not do ..., Midrash: Sifra Aharei Mot 8:9 comments on this as follows:
And what did they do? One man marries another man, a woman marries a woman, and a man marries a woman and her daughter, and a woman marries two [men].
Maimonides quotes this passage from the Sifra, referring to the authors as the "Sages", and he specifically associates Lev. 18:3 with Egypt, probably because he lived there. In his Mishneh Torah, Issurei Bi'ah (Forbidden Sexual Relations) 21:8 he says:
Lesbian relations are forbidden. This is "the conduct of Egypt" which we were warned against, as [Leviticus 18:3] states: "Do not follow the conduct of Egypt." Our Sages said: What would they do? A man would marry a man, a woman would marry a woman, and a woman would marry two men."
So the Sifra, supported by Maimonides, affirms what we have already seen from the Midrash Rabbah, but it's more specific, it says that they had gay marriage, lesbian marriage, polygamous marriage including incest, and polyandrous marriage.
Talmud on Numerology, Israel and the Gentiles
The Jews are good at numerology. They believe that numbers have a significance and they use them to interpret the Bible. We will look at a passage from the Talmud which comments on Hosea 3:1-2 where Israel is described as an adulteress, bought for 15 pieces of silver and a homer and a half of barley. Then it comments on Zechariah 11:13 where 30 pieces of silver are cast to the potter in the house of the Lord. This passage is obviously familiar to Christians because it represents the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot, but the Jews believe that it represents the 30 righteous men by whose virtue the world continues to exist, or the 30 laws of the Gentiles.
Here is the relevant text from the Talmud, Mas. Chullin 92a-b
R. Simeon b. Lakish said: This people [Israel] is like unto a vine: its branches are the aristocracy, its clusters the scholars, its leaves the common people, its twigs those in Israel that are void of learning. This is what was meant when word was sent from there [Palestine]. ‘Let the clusters pray for the leaves, for were it not for the leaves the clusters could not exist’.1
Note: The word "Palestine" has its traditional meaning, from before the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1949. At that time, the whole region was called "Palestine" and all the inhabitants, including the Jews, were called "Palestinians".
The matters of interest from this passage are the belief that a certain number of righteous people are needed to enable the world to exist, and the prohibition of same-sex marriage is included as one of only three laws that continue to be observed by the "sons of Noah" (the Gentiles), the others being the prohibition of cannibalism, and respect for the Torah.
When God prepares for judgement, He takes into account the number of righteous who are going to be destroyed, together with the wicked, as we see from Genesis 18:23-33 where Abraham prays for Sodom and asks the Lord to spare the city if ten righteous people can be found. The Lord agreed with his request, but ten people could not be found and the city was destroyed.
Will God destroy the nations that have passed laws allowing same-sex marriages? Possibly, but not necessarily. It depends on the number of people who are praying about it, and raising their voices in opposition.
Looking at the three laws of the Gentiles, they can all be related to the conditions that existed before the Flood
The Gentiles had 30 laws but only observed three of them. Why did they consider these three to be so important? Because violation contributes to the destruction of the world.
Marriage was the first of God's commandments. He made man and woman, male and female, and commanded them to be fruitful and multiply. (Gen 1:27-28). This commandment was given even before they were told what they could eat. (Gen 1:29). The third commandment was to look after the garden of Eden (Gen. 2:15) and the fourth was not to eat the forbidden fruit. (Gen. 2:16-17). The law of marriage came before everything, so if it gets messed up, the creation has no purpose any more and might as well be destroyed.
My purpose in writing this article has not been to show that Christianity is opposed to homosexual practices. Much has already been written on this issue, quoting numerous Bible passages that condemn homosexual practices absolutely. See for example an article by Greg Downes. My purpose has been to supplement the argument with the Jewish classical literature, showing that there are dire consequences for allowing homosexual practice to become legalised and included in the institution of marriage.
In the light of this, we would expect both Jews and Christians to be universally opposed to same-sex marriage, but there are divisions in both camps. Orthodox Jews are opposed to same-sex marriage while Conservative and Reformed Jews are generally in favour. The canons of both the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches are opposed to same-sex marriage, and most evangelicals are opposed to it, but some are in favour.
The argument among Christians, in favour of same-sex marriage, is generally along the lines that Jesus was inclusive and compassionate, and never said anything directly against homosexuality. But the argument is flawed on two counts:
The Biblical and Apostolic teaching on this subject is clear enough, from every possible source. It has prevailed for thousands of years and should not be abandoned for the sake of keeping in touch with modern trends. Otherwise, we might be asking ourselves "Do we have ten righteous people in Sodom?"