In perhaps the most explicit and clear denunciation of homosexual behavior found in the Old Testament, the Book of Leviticus spells out in no uncertain terms that “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination” (Lev. 18:22).
This is followed-up two chapters later with a similar statement: “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them” (Lev. 20:13).
The context is found in Leviticus 18:3, where the Lord God explains to Moses that he and the nation of Israel would not enter the Promised Land and do what was done in Egypt, where Israel was coming from, or in Canaan, where Israel was going.
Israel was not to be like her pagan neighbors, who had engaged in all kinds of sexual promiscuity and perversion, in adoration and worship of their deities.
Instead, Israel was to be holy; for the Lord God Almighty is holy (Lev. 11:44-45; 19:2; 20:7, 24, 26; 21:8).
Israel was not to imitate, emulate, simulate, reduplicate, or impersonate what she had seen or heard done by those who had “defiled” themselves through same-sex relations and practices.
Often homosexual sympathizers wish to blow past this clear injunction and make the Levitical passages out to reflect a patriarchal stance against women that is no longer relevant by comparison to today’s ethics, much like Matthew Vines recently did in his book God and the Gay Christian (pg. 77-93).
But such nonsense is easily shown to be exactly that when one simply observes the context and the language being used to condemn same-sex liaisons.
Again, the Lord is commanding Moses to relay to the people that they were not to be like the Egyptian or Canaanite pagans and imitate their sexual mores.
The first 18 verses of Leviticus 18 deals with all of the sexual combinations that the pagans embraced, and that which the Israelites were to shun.
Most of those practices involved some sort of incest.
The euphemism used to denote the sexual taboo is coined in the phrase, “uncover the nakedness” of so-and-so.
It is then that God hands Moses the restrictions,
Also you shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness during her menstrual impurity.
And you shall not have intercourse with your neighbor’s wife, to be defiled with her.
Neither shall you give any of your offspring to offer them to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God; I am the Lord.
You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.
Also you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion.
From there God tells Moses that the Israelites were not to “defile” themselves by participating in “any of these things,” because they were abominable.
To be defiled was to make oneself unclean, morally, spiritually, and ritually. One was not to become like the world, which hates God and would later hate Jesus (Jn. 15:18-19).
To be abominable (Heb. to’eba) meant to make oneself morally repugnant, abhorrent, or detestable.
Of course, immoral perverts like Matthew Vines wish to mitigate the term to make homosexuality more palatable or acceptable.
So, instead of homosexuality being the morally disgusting practice that it is, he gravitates to the left-leaning ideas of academician Phyllis Bird, who concluded that abomination “is not an ethical term, but a term of boundary marking,” with “a basic sense of taboo.”
But, once again, given all of the company found in Leviticus 18, one must stretch beyond the “boundary” of credulity to conclude that when God informed Moses that committing all the sexually immoral practices found in that chapter, God really was not thinking ethics when He deemed them “abominable.”
Later in Leviticus 20:13 we read, “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.”
Here “detestable act” is the same Hebrew word translated earlier as “abominable.” It meant something morally disgusting, abhorrent, and equal with committing an act of idolatry.
Remember Molech earlier?
What God had in mind when He told Moses that homosexuality was abominable or detestable was more than just stretching a boundary, as if one was placing cone markers on a field to play a game of soccer.
No, those who engaged in homosexuality were guilty of committing a capital offense (“bloodguiltiness”), that is just how far out of “bounds,” morally, they had gone. They were to be put to death.
But for the grace of God, today, they still would be, even though the practice remains morally reprehensible, as we will see later.
So, from the Levitical law code it is clear that homosexuality is a morally disgusting practice that the Israelites were to distance themselves from. Anyone with an ounce of moral decency and common sense would do the same thing.
Lawmakers today need to heed what God has said about homosexuality, and the company it keeps, lest the nation reap the fruits of the abominable seed that it sows.