17 December 2014

EJ&T Deuteronomy 23: Damaged testicles, bastards, wet dreams, defecation, whores, sodomites and dogs

In the Every Jot and Tittle project, I am listing all of the Bible's commandments from Genesis to Revelation, in accordance with Jesus's words in Matthew 5:18-19. I have no idea how many commandments I'll find, but Jewish tradition claims there are 613. See here for a list of those that I've found so far.

  1. Men with damaged genitals shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord.
  2. He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD. Deuteronomy 23:1

  3. A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord.
  4. A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD. Deuteronomy 23:2

  5. To enter into the congregation of the Lord you must prove that there were no bastards among your ancestors for at least ten generations.
  6. A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD. Deuteronomy 23:2

  7. An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.
  8. An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD. Deuteronomy 23:3

  9. To enter into the congregation of the Lord you must prove that you have no Ammonite or Moabite ancestors for at least ten generations (and perhaps forever).
  10. An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever: Deuteronomy 23:3

  11. Don't seek the peace or prosperity of any Ammonite or Moabite.
  12. Thou shalt not seek their peace nor their prosperity all thy days for ever. Deuteronomy 23:6

  13. Don't abhor Edomites.
  14. Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother. Deuteronomy 23:7a

  15. Don't abhor Egyptians.
  16. Thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land. Deuteronomy 23:7b

  17. The grandchildren of Egyptians (and maybe Edomites) may enter the congregation of the Lord.
  18. The children that are begotten of them shall enter into the congregation of the LORD in their third generation. Deuteronomy 23:8

  19. When you go to war, stay away from wicked things.
  20. When the host goeth forth against thine enemies, then keep thee from every wicked thing. Deuteronomy 23:9

  21. If you have a wet dream, you must go to the special wet dream place and wash with water the next evening before returning to camp.
  22. If there be among you any man, that is not clean by reason of uncleanness that chanceth him by night, then shall he go abroad out of the camp, he shall not come within the camp: But it shall be, when evening cometh on, he shall wash himself with water: and when the sun is down, he shall come into the camp again. Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad: Deuteronomy 23:10-12

  23. When you defecate, cover up your excrement (so that God doesn't step in it).
  24. And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee: For the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee. Deuteronomy 23:13-14

  25. Don't return runaway slaves to their masters. Let them live with you in peace and freedom.
  26. Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee: He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best: thou shalt not oppress him. Deuteronomy 23:15-16

  27. Make sure there aren't any whores or sodomites in your community.
  28. There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel. Deuteronomy 23:17

  29. Don't bring the hire of a whore or the price of a dog into the house of the Lord.
  30. Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God. Deuteronomy 23:18

  31. Don't charge interest when loaning money. (Unless they are strangers. Then it's okay.)
  32. Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury: Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury. Deuteronomy 23:19-20

  33. If you make a vow to the Lord, you must keep it.
  34. When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee. ... That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform; even a freewill offering, according as thou hast vowed unto the LORD thy God, which thou hast promised with thy mouth. Deuteronomy 23:21-23

  35. You may eat grapes from your neighbor's vineyard, but don't put any in your basket.
  36. When thou comest into thy neighbour's vineyard, then thou mayest eat grapes thy fill at thine own pleasure; but thou shalt not put any in thy vessel. Deuteronomy 23:24

  37. You may pluck kernels of grain from your neighbor's farm, but don't cut any stalks down with a sickle.
  38. When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbour, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbour's standing corn. Deuteronomy 23:25

16 December 2014

That's what Hanukkah is all about, Charlie Brown

This year, Hanukkah begins at sundown tonight (December 16) and ends on Christmas Eve.

Everyone knows what Christmas is all about (ever since Linus explained it to Charlie Brown), but how many can say the same for Hanukkah?

Well, it's all about the Hanukkah killings in the first book of Maccabees (Killing 145 in Drunk With Blood: God's killings in the Bible).

Here's the story.

A year after God's slaughter of Georga's army, Lysias attacked Judas with army of 60,000.

The year following Lysias gathered together threescore thousand chosen men, and five thousand horsemen. 1 Machabees 4:28
Judas asked God to deliver the Syrians like he did the mighty and the strangers to David and Jonathan.
Judas met them with ten thousand men ... and he prayed, and said: Blessed art thou, O Saviour of Israel, who didst break the violence of the mighty by the hand of thy servant David, and didst deliver up the camp of the strangers into the hands of Jonathan the son of Saul and of his armourbearer. 4:29-30
He asked God to scare the hell out of them.
Strike them with fear ... and let them quake at their own destruction. 4:32
And kill them with the sword of those that love him.
Cast them down with the sword of them that love thee: and let all that know thy name, praise thee with hymns. 4:33
And it worked. God helped Judas kill another 5000.
And there fell of the army of Lysias five thousand men. 4:34
After God "discomfited" the Gentiles, Judas and his brethren went to clean up the Temple.
Then Judas, and his brethren said: Behold our enemies are discomfited: let us go up now to cleanse the holy places and to repair them. 4:36
They found the Temple to be a bit of a mess.
And they saw the sanctuary desolate, and the altar profaned, and the gates burnt, and shrubs growing up in the courts as in a forest, or on the mountains, and the chambers joining to the temple thrown down. 4:38
So they did the usual things that Jews do when they get upset: they rent their garments, put ashes on their heads, and fell on their faces.
They rent their garments ... and put ashes on their heads ...And they fell ... on their faces. 4:39-40
Then they cleaned things up at the Temple and killed some animals for God.
They made new holy vessels, and brought in the candlestick, and the altar of incense, and the table into the temple. And they put incense upon the altar, and lighted up the lamps ... And they offered sacrifice. 4:49-53
And everyone fell on their faces once again. (You just can't do that too many times.)
And all the people fell upon their faces . 4:55
When the Gentiles found out that the Jews had cleaned up the temple, they were exceedingly angry.
Now it came to pass, when the nations round about heard that the altar and the sanctuary were built up as before, that they were exceeding angry. 1 Machabees 5:1
So they began to persecute and kill the Jews.
And they thought to destroy the generation of Jacob that were among them, and they began to kill some of the people, and to persecute them. 5:2
Which got Judas (and God) in a killing mood once again. He slaughtered the children of Esau.
Judas fought against the children of Esau in Idumea, and them that were in Acrabathane ... and he made a great slaughter of them. 5:3
Burned to death the children of Bean.
He remembered the malice of the children of Bean ... And they were shut up by him in towers, and he ... burnt their towers with fire, and all that were in them. 5:4-5
And smote the children of Ammon.
Then he passed over to the children of Ammon ... and they were discomfited in their sight, and he smote them. 5:6-7
God helped Judas kill the Gentiles because God likes the Jewish people more than other people, likes the Jewish religion more than other religions, and likes Jews to kill sacrifice animals to him in the Temple. After the slaughter of the Gentiles and the re-dedication of the Temple, the Jews established the annual eight-day festival, which we know today as Hanukkah.
Judas, and his brethren, and all the church of Israel decreed, that the day of the dedication of the altar should be kept in its season from year to year for eight days, from the five and twentieth day of the month of Casleu. 1 Machabees 4:59
And that's what Hanukkah is all about, Charlie Brown.

15 December 2014

Exodus: Gods and Kings -- Leaving out the best parts of the story

I was inspired to see the movie by Christian Bale's comment on Moses, the character he played in the movie.
I think the man was likely schizophrenic and was one of the most barbaric individuals that I ever read about in my life.
He said that he prepared for the role by reading the stories about him in the Bible and the Quran, along with Jonathan Kirsch's excellent book on Moses.

And Christian Bale was certainly right about that. It's hard to find a more barbaric individual than Moses, outside of the Bible anyway.

But that wasn't how Moses was portrayed in the movie. And Gods and Kings completely left out the most interesting parts of the Exodus story.

The movie was supposedly based upon the first 32 chapters of the book of Exodus. Here are some of the exciting details that were left out of the movie:

  1. God teaches Moses some magic tricks (Exodus 4:2-9)
    Moses worried that the Pharaoh wouldn't listen to him when he told him to let his people go. So God taught Moses some magic tricks to impress the Pharaoh. First, throw your rod on the ground; it will become a snake. Then grab the snake by the tail and it will become a rod again. Next, make your hand appear leprous, and then cure it. And finally, pour water on the ground and it will turn into blood. None of these instructions were included in the movie.

  2. "Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips." (Exodus 6:12, 30)
    In the biblical story, Moses's brother Aaron plays a major role. Moses has a speech defect (uncircumcised lips), so Aaron becomes God's spokesman and magician. In the movie, Aaron says and does nothing at all.

  3. God hardens the Pharaoh's heart eight times
    (Exodus 4:21; 7:3, 13; 9:12; 10:1, 20, 27; 11:10)
    (Some hearts are hard even for the God of the Bible to harden.)
    There was no mention of this in the movie.

  4. God tries to kill Moses. (Exodus 4:24-26)
    In the movie, Zipporah (Moses's wife) and Gershom (Moses's first son) play important roles. In the Bible, they are rarely mentioned. About the only time is in Exodus 4:24-26, where God tries to kill Moses. Zipporah saves him by cutting off Gershom's foreskin and throwing it at Moses's feet. Now that would have been a great scene in the movie!

  5. Aaron has a magic competition with Pharaoh's magicians.
    (Exodus 7:9-12)
    God tells Moses and Aaron that when Pharaoh asks for a miracle just throw your rod down and it will become a serpent. So Aaron throws down his rod and it becomes a serpent. But the Egyptian magicians duplicate this trick, too. Luckily, for Aaron, his snake swallows theirs.

  6. "And the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments." (Exodus 7:22)
    In the Bible, the first plague begins when Aaron smites the Nile with his rod, turning it into blood. The movie skips Aaron's rod and begins the plague with a crocodile attack. And it completely leaves out the "fact" that Pharaoh's magicians successfully repeated the rivers-to-blood trick.

  7. "And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt." (Exodus 8:7)
    In the movie, the second plague is frogs, just as it is in the Bible. But, once again, the movie doesn't give the Pharaoh's magicians credit for repeating the frog plague. This competition between God and the magicians is a major theme in the book of Exodus.

  8. "Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God." (Exodus 8:19) Only one of the ten plagues isn't mentioned in the movie: the plague of lice. Yet this is the plague that convinced the Egyptian magicians. They couldn't repeat God's lice trick, so they gave up and said, "This is the finger of God."

  9. "All the firstborn of cattle" (Exodus 12:29)
    In the movie, as in the Exodus story, God killed the firstborn Egyptian children. But the movie didn't show God killing the firstborn animals as well, as he did according to Exodus 12:29.

  10. "They borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment." (Exodus 12:35)
    In the Bible (Exodus 11:2), God tells the Hebrews to steal the Egyptians' valuables as they leave. (Later Aaron uses the stolen gold to make a golden calf.) This "borrowing" isn't shown in the movie.

  11. "The LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire." (Exodus 13:21)
    In the movie, God was invisible during the Exodus. In the Bible, God is in a cloud in the daytime and a fire at night.

  12. "The Lord ... took off their chariot wheels." (Exodus 14:24-25)
    What a great scene this would have made! God (maybe as a little boy) getting out there with his wrenches and whatnot taking off the wheels of the Egyptian's chariots.

  13. "Be ready against the third day: Come not at your wives."
    (Exodus 19:15)
    The night before going up on Mount Sinai to receive the commandments, Moses tells the men not to have sex with their wives. This would have been a fun line in the movie.

  14. "And they saw the God of Israel: and ... under his feet ... a sapphire stone." (Exodus 24:10)
    In the Bible (but not in the movie), Moses, Aaron, and seventy elders saw God on Mount Sinai. (They even got a peek at his feet!)

  15. Aaron's golden calf (Exodus 32:1-4)
    Aaron makes a golden calf (out of the gold the Israelites stole from the Egyptians) and tells the people to take off their clothes and dance around naked. (There is only the slightest hint of this in the movie, when it shows campfires along with some dancing.)

  16. "Let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them." (Exodus 32:10)
    God tells Moses that he wants to kill all of the Israelites for dancing naked around the golden calf that Aaron made.

  17. "Wherefore should the Egyptians speak." (Exodus 32:12)
    Moses talks God out of killing everyone by using the age-old argument, "What will the neighbors think?".

  18. Who is on the LORD's side? (Exodus 32:26)
    God tells Moses, Aaron, and the other Israelite leaders to kill their family and friends for dancing naked around Aaron's golden calf. "And there fell of the people that day about 3000 men." This would have been a fitting ending for the movie.

Ultimately, I agree with Eric D. Snider's review of Exodus at GeekNation.com:

This big dud isn’t blasphemous enough to be outrageous, emotional enough to be inspiring, or interesting enough to be good.

It would have been a lot more blasphemous, emotional, and interesting if it had of stuck to the biblical story. It might even have been good.

14 December 2014

EJ&T Deuteronomy 22: Lost and found, transvestites, mixed seeds and fibers, bloody sheets, and raped virgins

In the Every Jot and Tittle project, I am listing all of the Bible's commandments from Genesis to Revelation, in accordance with Jesus's words in Matthew 5:18-19. I have no idea how many commandments I'll find, but Jewish tradition claims there are 613. See here for a list of those that I've found so far.

  1. If you find a lost item, return it to its owner.
  2. Thou shalt not see thy brother's ox or his sheep go astray, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt in any case bring them again unto thy brother. And if thy brother be not nigh unto thee, or if thou know him not, then thou shalt bring it unto thine own house, and it shall be with thee until thy brother seek after it, and thou shalt restore it to him again. In like manner shalt thou do with his ass; and so shalt thou do with his raiment; and with all lost thing of thy brother's, which he hath lost, and thou hast found, shalt thou do likewise: thou mayest not hide thyself. Deuteronomy 22:1-3

  3. If you see a donkey or an ox fall down, lift it up.
  4. Thou shalt not see thy brother's ass or his ox fall down by the way, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt surely help him to lift them up again. Deuteronomy 22:4

  5. Women shouldn't wear men's clothing (and vice versa). It's an abomination to God.
  6. The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God. Deuteronomy 22:5

  7. If you see a bird's nest, don't take the mother bird. Take the young birds instead.
  8. If a bird's nest chance to be before thee in the way in any tree, or on the ground, whether they be young ones, or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young: But thou shalt in any wise let the dam go, and take the young to thee; that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy day. Deuteronomy 22:6-7

  9. When building a roof, make sure it is safe.
  10. When thou buildest a new house, then thou shalt make a battlement for thy roof, that thou bring not blood upon thine house, if any man fall from thence. Deuteronomy 22:8

  11. Don't plant a vineyard with different kinds of seeds.
  12. Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled. Deuteronomy 22:9

  13. Don't plow with an ox and an ass together.
  14. Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together. Deuteronomy 22:10

  15. Don't wear a garment made from different kinds of fibers.
  16. Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together. Deuteronomy 22:11

  17. If a man falsely accuses his wife of not being a virgin on her wedding night, then the husband cannot divorce her and must pay her father 100 shekels of silver.
  18. If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: And the damsel's father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her; And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him; And they shall amerce him in an hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days. Deuteronomy 22:13-19

  19. If a man accuses his wife of not being a virgin on her wedding night, and her parents are unable to produce the bloody sheets to disprove the accusation, then the men of the city shall stone her to death.
  20. If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: And the damsel's father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her; And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him; And they shall amerce him in an hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days. But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you. Deuteronomy 22:13-21

  21. City Rape: If a betrothed virgin is raped in the city, stone her and her rapist to death.
  22. If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you. Deuteronomy 22:23-24

  23. Country Rape: If a man rapes a betrothed damsel outside of the city, then kill the man but do nothing to the damsel.
  24. But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die. But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter: For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her. Deuteronomy 22:25-27

  25. If a man rapes an unbetrothed virgin, the rapist must marry his victim and pay her father fifty shekels of silver.
  26. If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days. Deuteronomy 22:28-29

12 December 2014

Gay Bible Stories, Part 2 - The Levite's Concubine

(From Chapter 3 of Strange Flesh: The Bible and Homosexuality by Steve Wells)
The story is about a Levite (a descendant of Levi) and his wayward concubine, who had “played the whore” against him, running away to her father’s house.
There was a certain Levite ... who took to him a concubine. ... And his concubine played the whore against him, and went away from him unto her father's house ... and was there four whole months. Judges 19:1-2
So the Levite travelled to her father’s house to “speak friendly to her” and retrieve her. When he arrived, her father rejoiced and greeted him warmly.
And her husband arose, and went after her, to speak friendly unto her, and to bring her again. … And when the father of the damsel saw him, he rejoiced to meet him. 19:3
The Levite stayed three days, eating and drinking and having a gay old time.
And he abode with him three days: so they did eat and drink, and lodged there. 19:4
On the fourth day, the Levite decided to leave, but his concubine’s father talked him out of it, suggesting that they eat, drink, and be merry again for just one more night.
On the fourth day ... he rose up to depart: and the damsel's father said unto his son in law, Comfort thine heart with a morsel of bread, and afterward go your way. And they sat down, and did eat and drink both of them together: for the damsel's father had said unto the man, Be content, I pray thee, and tarry all night, and let thine heart be merry. 19:5-6
The next day, when they Levite rose to depart, his father in law talked him out of it again. So he stayed there another night.
And when the man rose up to depart, his father in law urged him: therefore he lodged there again. 19:7
On the morning of the fifth day, the Levite tried to leave again, but his host insisted he stay a bit longer and eat a bit more.
And he arose early in the morning on the fifth day to depart; and the damsel's father said, Comfort thine heart, I pray thee. And they tarried until afternoon, and they did eat both of them. 19:8
Finally, though his host begged him to party with him one more night, the Levite, his two asses, and his concubine departed for the city of Gibeah.
And when the man rose up to depart, he, and his concubine, and his servant, his father in law, the damsel's father, said unto him, Behold, now the day draweth toward evening, I pray you tarry all night: behold, the day groweth to an end, lodge here, that thine heart may be merry; and to morrow get you early on your way, that thou mayest go home. But the man would not tarry that night, but he rose up and departed ... to Gibeah. 19:11-14
When they arrived in Gibeah, the Levite decided to camp out in the street, since there was no room in the inn. But an old man saw them and insisted that they stay with him. So they went ot the old man’s house, where they washed their feet, ate, and drank.
And they turned aside thither ... he sat him down in a street of the city: for there was no man that took them into his house to lodging. And, behold, there came an old man … and when he had lifted up his eyes, he saw a wayfaring man in the street of the city. ... And the old man said, Peace be with thee; howsoever let all thy wants lie upon me; only lodge not in the street. So he brought him into his house, and gave provender unto the asses: and they washed their feet, and did eat and drink. 19:15-21
As they were making their hearts merry, the men of Gibeah knocked on the door, asking the old man to bring out the man that was visiting so that they could “know him.”
Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him. 19:22
Can't you just picture it? All the men of a city come to a house and demand to have sex with the new guy in town.1

So what did the host do when he answered the door? Well, he offered the mob his virgin daughter (and his guest's concubine), of course! It's the polite thing to do.

Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing. 19:24
But the men didn't want the host’s virgin daughter, so the Levite gave them his concubine instead.
But the men would not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning. 19:25
The men raped her all night; the next morning, she came back to the house and collapsed at the door.
Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man's house where her lord was, till it was light. Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man's house where her lord was, till it was light. 19:26-27
The Levite opened the door, saw the concubine lying there, and told her to get up. But she didn't answer.
And he said unto her, Up, and let us be going. But none answered. 19:28a

So he put her on his donkey and went home.

Then the man took her up upon an ass, and the man rose up, and gat him unto his place. 19:28b
When the Levite arrived home, he cut his concubine into twelve pieces and sent one piece to each of the twelve tribes of Israel.
When he was come into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, together with her bones, into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the coasts of Israel. 19:29

Now that is a strange way to send a message!2 Someone from each tribe of Israel got a rotting piece of flesh in the mail. What were they supposed to make of that? (Oh, look Martha, here's a stinking hunk of putrefied abdomen that arrived in the mail parcel post!)

When considering this story, it’s important to note that there is nothing in this story that indicates that God disapproves of:

  • A man having a concubine

  • A father offering his virgin daughter to a sex-crazed mob

  • Chopping up dead bodies

  • Sending messages with body parts
Okay, but what does this story have to do with homosexuality?

Well, did you notice that the Lot-like host offered his own daughter and his guest’s concubine to the crowd? He apparently thought that the heterosexual rape of two women (one being his own daughter) was preferable to the homosexual rape of the stranger who was lodging with him. And so it seems did the author of Judges and (if you believe in the Bible) God.

Very few believers, if any, can read this story and say to themselves, “Darn, I’m glad this story is in the Bible!” But some conservatives come close. They use it as even more evidence that God is disgusted by male same-sex intercourse, whether rape or consensual.3 Here, as in the case of Sodom, the desire of the mob to have same-sex intercourse was enough to condemn them.

Liberal Christians view this story as Genesis 19’s evil twin, a mythical story that condemns inhospitality and hostility toward visitors. They deny, of course, that it has any relevance to the homosexuality debate. As Daniel Helminiak said in What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality:

Judges 19 tells another story that is an obvious parallel to the story of Sodom. … Clearly, the story of the Levite’s concubine is indifferent to homosexuality or heterosexuality--as is the story of Sodom. … The people of Gibeah and Sodom are condemned for their meanness, cruelty, and abuse. Not homosexuality but hardheartedness is the offence of Gibeah and Sodom.4

  1. The same Hebrew verb yadha (“to know”) is used in the Judges 19 story as was used in the Sodom story from Genesis 19. Note for Genesis 19:5 in The New Oxford Annotated Bible (p.23 OT): "Know" refers to sexual relations (v.8), here homosexual sodomy."

  2. Well, it’s not that strange in the Bible, actually. Saul does pretty much the same thing when the Spirit of the Lord comes upon him, except he kills, chops up, and sends twelve pieces of ox to the twelve tribes instead of a concubine.
    And the spirit of God came upon Saul ... and he took a yoke of oxen, and hewed them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the coast of Israel. 1 Samuel 6:10-11

  3. [H]ow is it possible to reasonably argue that homosexual intercourse per se did not add to the dimension of horror for the old man, for the Levite, and for the narrator of the story?” Robert Gagnon, The Bible and Homosexual Practice, p. 95.

  4. Daniel A. Helminiak, What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality, p. 47. See also Nancy Wilson, Outing the Bible, p. 57.