February 11, 1993



The story in Genesis 19 (from which our word “sodomy” is derived) and the similar gruesome story in Judges 19 do not apply since they deal not with consensual homosexuality but with the violation, of the ancient law of hospitality and the gang rape, intended or actual, of two “men” in one case, and of a woman in the other.


For further discussion of the priestly outlook, see my Understanding the Old Testament, 4th ed. (Prentice Hall, 1986) pp. 454–466, especially the diagram “the priestly periodization of history.” p. 464.


See the essay by Simon B. Parker, “The Hebrew Bible and Homosexuality,” Quarterly Review 11/3 (1991) pp. 4–19, who stresses that, in a sociological sense, the laws in Leviticus 18 and 20—exemplify a priestly scheme for distinguishing insiders from outsiders, the people of God from other peoples.” I am indebted to Parker’s illuminating essay.