The Bible contains selected knowledge and hence doesn't contain everything. There was an existing culture that the Bible sprung out of and hence embraces. Since our culture is a continuum of that culture of the past we have a good idea of what the words would be to describe the unions and partners of heterosexuals and LGBTI people. Western culture and the culture of the ancient nations were tolerant of LGBTI people. We know that heterosexuals and LGBTI people use the same relationship terminology today, so I don't see any reason why the terminology would be different back then. Additionally, we know that most of the words about or describing the covenants, partners and words of endearment are the same for heterosexuals and LGBTI people in the Bible. Furthermore, some of the concepts that are true about heterosexual relationships can also be shown to be true about same-sex relationships by using deduction. All this shows that God accepts peoples different sexual orientations. Given that same-sex relationships have been erased in the Bible translations; more knowledge of these relationships are continually being uncovered.
When people were married, they made a covenant (agreement). The vows in a modern marriage would be similar to the covenant of the past. Additionally, when the two parties get married, the relatives of both of the families become "in laws." People don't become "in-laws" if the parties are just boyfriend and girlfriend. (Malachi 2:14 KJV) speaks about a heterosexual marriage by the statement: "... the wife of thy covenant." We can deduct that same-sex marriages consisted of the same things. Shaul (Saul) said to David, "you shall be my son-in-law by two [of my children]" (1 Sam. 18:21 Masoretic Text). Shaul was referring to David being his son-in-law by his son Jonathon and his daughter Michal. Now how does one become an "in law?" It is by marriage. So we can deduct that David and Jonathan must have made a marriage covenant.
The two or more people in the covenant are known literally as shaw-ta-pe (partners) in the Aramaic language. Shaw-ta-pa (ms) means a "husband" and its feminine spelling shaw-tap-ta (fs) means a "wife" (Malachi 2:14). (3 Macc. 4:8 Aramaic) literally says: "But the partners (husbands) of these [brides] were being led and coming by force..." These brides were espoused and married before their bridal feasts or entering into the bridal chamber because verse six talks about the brides having husbands (gaw-re). If you still have doubt, the Greek text translated the Aramaic word "partners" as suzugeis "yoke-fellows, husbands" at (3 Macc. 4:8).
Separately, it is important to note that in the Bible, God nowhere set up statutes for a priest to marry couples; though I'm not against the practice. There are also some things that English readers don't see. Generally, when it says a man married a woman, the Hebrew word used says the man took the woman. The Hebrew word la-qakh, which means “he took,” is underneath the words “he married” in the following verse: “Now afterward Hezron went in to the daughter of Machir the father of Gilead, whom he married when he was sixty years old; and she bore him Segub.” (1 Chronicles 2:21 NKJV). Also, in the Hebrew text, the words man & husband are from the same word (ish); and the words woman & wife are from the same word (ish-sha) in our English Bible. An example is in this verse: “Then Sarai, Abram’s wife (ish-sha-woman), took Hagar her maid, the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband (ish - man) Abram to be his wife (woman), after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan." (Genesis 16:3 NKJV). No marriages in ancient societies closely match our modern equivalent.
The Bible does record a verse that shows that not all unions were between a man and a woman: “If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son, or your daughter, or your lawful wife, or your friend, who is as your own soul, entices you secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which you have not known, you nor your fathers;” (Deuteronomy 13:6 Lamsa). The underlined words your friend, who is as your own soul in the Aramaic literally means: “your lover according to your soul [emotion(s)].” The word rah-ma, translated here as “friend,” also means a lover (in a relationship), as shown here: “His mouth is like sweet honeycombs; his garments are lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.” (Song of Solomon 5:16 Lamsa). For some, it is hard to distinguish when the word rah-ma is referring to a friend or when it is referring to a lover in a relationship. I believe the context gives the clue.
Lesbians and gay men also married the opposite sex to have children so they could dispose of their property (wealth) to them. They likely were more inclined to marry each other since they wouldn't want to have sex with the opposite gender once kids were born. There was no natural insemination back then. A lesbian marrying a heterosexual man or a gay man marrying a heterosexual woman would result in their partners suffering through sexual abstinence. The following is a verse which I believe supports this: "Even the weak (or effeminate) man among you and very luxurious, his eye shall be evil against his brother and against the wife of his bosom, and against the remnant of his children that he (the enemy) shall let remain." (Deut. 28:54). The Hebrew word rak means "weak, effeminate, soft, tender, and delicate." James Strong's Concordance leaves out the meaning of "effeminate" but the Aramaic word maadan means "effeminate, dainty, pleasant" (CAL). Also, along that line, this Hebrew word was translated into Latin as delicatus - "delicate, soft, tender, delightful, pleasing, effeminate, etc."
Hebrew words and statements often have multiple layers of meaning. This verse can refer to some heterosexual men who are "weak" but it can more so refer to effeminate gay men. Consider that this "man" is also said to be VERY delicate (luxurious, pampered). I get the definition of "pampered" from the Aramaic text, which has the word mpa-naq "luxurious, tender, delicate, delightful, pampered, treated with affection, indulgent, given to pleasure, feeding luxuriously." Those same Hebrew and Aramaic words are also used to describe the "delicate (soft, tender) woman (Deut. 28:56).
Is the Bible Against Homosexuality? by Preacher Mattai © 2016. All rights reserved.