IS THE BIBLE AGAINST HOMOSEXUALITY?
A scholarly response on what the Hebrew and Aramaic Bible says concerning LGBTI people.
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Homosexuals (Part 1)
I believe the Peshitta Old Testament translated the Hebrew word re-a sometimes as raḥma "lover" or khow-ra "friend" for a reason; and hence it gives the correct understanding of when the Hebrew word re-a carries the meaning of "lover" or "friend." According to the Peshitta, re-a's first meaning is "lover, sexual partner;" and that is the meaning of its first occurrence in the Bible. Secondly, the word "lover" can be used in the construct state (i.e. "the lover of") in expressions such as "lover of God," "lover of tax-collectors," etc. It's connected with words that the reader or hearer wouldn't consider the "lover" to be a "sexual partner." A "lover of God" would be someone "who loves (likes) God" and hence could be considered a "friend of God." Along that line, the word "lover(s)," was also the word chosen to refer to "allies," and hence "friends," of a king or nation. Differently, according to the Peshitta Old Testament, the Hebrew word re-a doesn't mean "lover" in the common expression (Ex. 11:2, etc.): "[every] man from his friend [neighbor]," "[every] woman from her neighbor," and any like expression. The Aramaic word khow-ra was used for those translations. That is predictable and makes it like the word "brother," which can refer to a "husband" in a marriage; but doesn't carry that meaning in the phrase "every man his brother" (Ex. 32:27, etc.). At Judges 14:20, the Hebrew text says: "And the wife of Samson was given to one of his friends who was a friend to him [at the wedding] (i.e. his groomsman)." The expression "a friend to him [at the wedding]" means "his groomsman" according to the Aramaic Targum and Aramaic Peshitta. So, in this one instance, the Peshitta used the word "groomsman" for the translation versus the word "lover" or "friend" here. Also, since the word re-a can refer to a "groomsman," as it does here; that's why the previous expression means "one of his friends" instead of the literal meaning of "one of his lovers." Context determined this. I want to stress that context, spelling and other words determine what a Hebrew word means. Did you know that re-a[h] "lover" and ro-eh "shepherd" are sometimes spelled exactly the same way in the Ashshuri Masoretic Hebrew text; but are pronounced differently? That is because Hebrew words and their conjugations can be spelled more than one way (with or without the vowel letters: vav "o or u" sound and the yod "i or e" sound). However, a Hebrew writer could let us know which meaning is meant by at least spelling this word one time with the vav "o." Otherwise, we know when the Hebrew word means "shepherd" by the tradition of pronunciation and spelling, translation witnesses and other words used in the verse such as "tent, sheep, flock, etc." For (Gen. 38:12), the disputed word is expressed after pronouns: i.e. ".. he and his lover (re-e-hu) Ḥirah .." Re-e-hu (רֵעֵהוּ) is also the established spelling for: “his friend [companion, neighbor, etc.]” (Gen. 11:3, 7; 15:10; etc.). So the Hebrew prophets just don’t spell “his shepherd” with those consonants - perhaps to avoid a misunderstanding of meaning. That statement can be expressed by the words ro-eh lo, which literally mean: "shepherd to him" or "his shepherd" (LXX). Hence the Hebrew text at (Gen. 38:20) says: "And Yehudah (Judah) sent [the] kid of the goats by the hand of his lover (re-e-hu) the Adullamite (ha-Adul-la-mi) ..." The Aramaic Peshitta and Targums also further show that the word in question is "lover" and not "shepherd," every time, in this story. However, we could conclude that Ḥirah was Yehudah's lover and also a shepherd since he was shearing sheep (Gen. 38:20) plus he provided an "animal" later as a "payment." The parallel text in Jubilees, which sometimes has the text worded differently than the Biblical text, plus additional info, does call Ḥirah "his shepherd." However, Mr. Rabin's Hebrew Text Translation of Jubilees does erroneously leave out the PRONOUN on the Hebrew word ro-eh (רֹעֶה) "shepherd" there. Nevertheless, the Ethiopic Ge’ez Text is ultimately the surviving source text. So the Hebrew [with the edit]/Ge’ez text says: "And Yehudah (Judah) sent [the] kid of the goats by the hand of his shepherd (ro-e-hu [רֹעֵהוּ]) from Adullam (me-Adul-lam), but he didn't find her" (Jubilees 41:15). It is possible that “his friend (lover) [רֵעֵהוּ]” (Cf: Gen. 38:20) was mistranslated as “his shepherd” into Greek Jubilees, then Ge’ez Jubilees. Having all this in mind, I'm going to show a couple clear homosexual relationships from the Hebrew and/or Aramaic Bible where the Aramaic Bible specifically has the word "lover(s) in the text. I 'm not going to give all of them because that would be exhausting plus I want to later show other homosexual relationships in the Bible that used other words to indicate their relationships. Additionally, it should be noted that there is another Hebrew word o-ha-vim "lovers" which is sometimes translated incorrectly as "friends." The Aramaic text indicates this. So when you are reading the English Bible, just keep in mind that the so called "friend" or "friends" may actually be a "lover" or "lovers."
2. It came to pass at that time that Judah departed from his brothers, and visited (turned aside to) a certain Adullamite whose name was Ḥirah. ... Now in the process of time the daughter of Shua, Judah's wife, died; and Judah was comforted, and went up to his sheepshearers at Timnah, he and his friend (lover) Ḥirah the Adullamite. – When Judah saw her [Tamar], he thought she was a harlot, because she had covered her face. Then he turned to her by the way, and said, "Please let me come in to you"; ... So she said, "Will you give me a pledge ... -- And Judah sent the young goat by the hand of his friend (lover) the Adullamite, to receive his pledge from the woman’s hand, but he did not find her. (Gen. 38:1; 12, 15-17, 20 NKJV). Judah turned aside to stay or live with Ḥirah the Adullamite. "Visited (ויפקד)" isn't the Hebrew word used and isn't necessarily implied. Furthermore, the Aramaic text says that Ḥirah was the "lover" of Judah. That means Judah was bisexual and Ḥirah was gay. Later we see the effeminate (or gay) Ḥirah delivering a kid of the goats to a female (i.e. Tamar). In the patriarchal culture, men and women were separated from each other in society. But this story narrates that it was okay for a homosexual (or a man that doesn’t have any sexual desire for a woman) to associate with and be around a woman alone without suspicion.
3. “Then Aḅimelech came to him from Gerar with Aḥuzzath, one of his friends (lovers), and Phichol the commander of his army.” (Genesis 26:26 NKJV). The Hebrew text literally says that Aḥuzzath was [one] of his lovers (me-re-e-hu)." That same understanding is expressed in the Aramaic Peshitta, which translates this verse as "... with Aḥuzzath, his lover [singular], ..." The Targums & P’shitta show that it was odd for Aramaic to use the words "one of" in conjunction with a plural noun when there was only one of persons/things. Since Aḥuzzath was the only "lover," that's why the Aramaic P'shitta says: "... with Aḥuzzath, his lover ..." Only much later do we see that same Shemitic expression in Aramaic as: “one of his friends (lovers)” (1 Macc. 6:14; 14:39). Additionally, the Hebrew word kha-ve-rav (חֲבֵרָיו) "his friends, companions" would have been the better word to express "friends." The name "Aḥuzzath" means "possession (property) of [Aḅimelech]." Aḥuzzath is the feminine construct of the feminine word a-ḥuz-zah "possession, property." His name suggests he is Aḅimelech's husband or boy; and hence one of his lovers. Women and gay men were considered "property" or at least fell under that definition. Aḥuzzath's name is similar to other females or cities that have the meaning: "something of." First Samuel lists a trans-person called Bechorath “firstborn female of” (1 Sam. 9:1) among the men having sons and Joshua lists a couple cities called Baalath "wife of [so-&-so]" (Josh. 19:44) and Khelqath "portion of" (Josh. 21:31). Thus, Aḅimelech and Aḥuzzath were in a homosexual relationship. Aḥuzzath came along with Aḅimelech similarly to how a wife may tag along with her husband. Phicol was the bodyguard.
1st Note: Me-re-e-hu is not a separate word or listing as James Strong puts it in his Concordance/Dictionary. It's from the words min "of, from" and re-a "lover, friend." The "n" drops off when connected to a noun and since the first letter of the word re-a "lover" is a guttural, the "i" vowel turns into an "e" vowel. An example of the word min attached to a non-guttural word would be mi-sa-ri-se "[one] of the eunuchs of the king ..." (Esther 4:5). The personal pronoun -ehu “of him (his)” is attached to nouns that can be singular or plural. A plural or singular adjective, pronoun and context can all be used to indicate the number of the noun (or correct meaning). Usually the attachment of the min (i.e. me or mi) at the front of the noun will be translated as: “of” if the noun is plural; while it is translated as: “from” when the noun is singular. Me-re-e-hu means” "[one] of his friends (lovers)" in six places (Judg. 15:2, 6; 2 Sam. 3:8; Prov. 19:7). It means: “from [by] his friend (lover),” “from the other,” etc. in other places (Gen. 31:49; Job 6:14; Prov. 12:26; Eccl. 4:4; Jer. 9:4). A more precise way to say: “[one] of his friends (lovers)" is מֵרֵעָיו me-re-av (Jub. 37:29; cf: Job 32:3). Moreover, a more precise way to say: “from his friend (lover)” is ֹמֵרֵעו me-re-o (cf: Jer. 6:21).
2nd Note: Me-re-e-hu always means "[one] of his friends (lovers)" in a supporting context; even though the King James Version and the Peshitta sometimes translate it singular as "friend, companion" or "groomsman" at Judges 14:20, etc. The KJV says: "But Samson's wife was given to his companion, ..." The Hebrew text literally says: "But Samson's wife was given to [one] of his friends, ..." This is supported by the Greek LXX which has that correct literal translation there and at other places. The friend there happened to be a "groomsman;" so that explains the Peshitta translation.
4. Then the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at (in) the river. And her maidens (na-ar-o-they-ha-her girls, girlfriends) walked along the riverside; and when she saw the ark among the reeds, she sent her maid (ama-thah – her female servant) to get it. And when she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby wept. So she had compassion on him, and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.” Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?” And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” So the maiden (al-mah - young woman) went and called the child’s mother (Exodus 2:5-8 NKJV). The first underlined word maidens is not the best translation for the Hebrew word na-ar-oth (girls [from infancy to adolescence], girlfriends). It is a word for endearment here. Miriam was one of the "girlfriends" or "girls" of Pharaoh's daughter. This word is not to be taken literally because Miriam is also called a al-mah (a young woman up to twenty-five years of age). A Al-mah (yound woman) is the next Hebrew word in line to describe a female that is no longer a na-ar-ah (girl). The second underlined word maid comes from the Hebrew word a-mah, which means a female servant. It doesn't always refer to a female that is a "slave," but also as a female worker or a female that provides services (see Ruth 3:9, 1 Kings 1:13, etc.). The Bible also gives references of where an a-mah (maidservant or handmaid) was used for sex (see Gen. 21:10-13; Ex. 23:12; Ruth 3:9). No where in the Bible does it say that Miriam got married to a man. In fact, Miriam does have some masculine characteristics of power. It was Miriam and Aaron that spoke against Moses to try to take over as leaders of the congregation of Israel. Numbers 12:2 says this: So they said, “Has the LORD indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us also?” And the LORD heard it. (NKJV). Lesbians were seen helping and being around women. In this case, Miriam was seeing, washing and guarding the naked daughter of Pharaoh.
Note: The Hebrew word na-ar-ah has the primary meaning of a "girl (from infancy to adolescence)" but can also mean a "young woman" in a supporting context. This is corroborated by the fact that the word na-ar-ah was translated sometimes as tli-tha (girl) and a-laym-ta (young woman) in the Aramaic Peshitta Old Testament. One of those words in the Aramaic Bible was chosen for the translation to be more precise in describing the person's age group.
5. "And they raised their voice and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law [goodbye], but Ruth was joined to her." (Ruth 1:14). The Hebrew words da-ve-qah bah, translated as "clung to her" (NIV) here, can have several layers of meaning that fit the storyline in the Book of Ruth. That text can also be saying that Ruth remained (stayed) with her [Naomi] (see Ruth 2:8, 21, 23; 2 Sam. 20:2). Additionally, that statement can be saying that Ruth's soul "was joined to her," that is, Ruth "was attracted to her" (see Gen. 34:3; Ps. 63:8). Furthermore, it can be saying that Ruth "was joined in love" to Naomi (see 1 Ki. 11:2). Finally, if that statement is taken to be written after the fact of the events in the Book of Ruth, the author could also be saying that Ruth "was joined in marriage to her" (see Gen. 2:24; Rom. 7:3). The verses that could show that Ruth and Naomi had a sexual relationship and were married are the following. (Ruth 4:15-16) says: "... For your daughter-in-law (bride), who has loved you, has borne him. She who is better to you than seven sons. Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and she was his rearer (o-me-neth: upbringer, nurse). And the female neighbors gave him a name, saying, 'a son (or grandson) was born to Naomi.' And they called his name Oḅed. ..." Though the word love can be non-sexual in meaning, it can also designate sexual love. As we will see from other verses, I think the female neighbors meant both the emotional love and the sexual love. They portray Ruth as the man, or husband, in the relationship, who gave Naomi a son; who was also her grandson. I have no problem understanding the word "son" as having a dual meaning here. Usually it is the heterosexual or bisexual woman that has the child and the lesbian is the אמנת o-me-neth. However, due to the circumstances, the lesbian Ruth became the mother and Naomi became the o-me-neth “guardian (foster-mom, rearer, upbringer, nurse, etc.” It still looks like they were in a relationship. (Ruth 1:16) has Ruth saying this: "And Ruth said: 'do not entreat me to leave you, or to turn back from following after you. For where you will go, I will go. And where you will lodge, I will lodge. Your people will be my people, and your God, my God. Where you will die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May YHWH deal thus with me and may He do thus more, if anything except death shall separate you and me." - "... and she lived with her mother-in-law (wife)." (Ruth 2:23). We see from these verses that Ruth and Naomi lived together. Ruth also wants to be buried with her wife Naomi like a husband and wife are buried together. The Book of Ruth portrays Ruth, and sometimes Naomi, with some manly characteristics. (Ruth 1:16) has Ruth literally telling Naomi "do not meet with me [for entreaty or attack]." At (Ruth 1:18), Naomi saw that Ruth was "being strong (obstinate, firmly resolved, persistent, stubborn)" to go with her; so she stopped telling her [to go]. Boaz told Ruth this: "... for all [the men] in the [city] gate of my people are knowing that you are a valiant woman." (Ruth 3:11). The Hebrew words e-sheth kha-yil can also be translated as "a woman of strength (valor)" and hence "a warrioress (female warrior)." The last word is usually ascribed to men, as in :"a mighty man of valor." The Hebrew Deuterocanonical book (Ben Sira 46:1) says: "A mighty man (warrior), a son of (ben) strength (kha-yil: valor) was Yehoshua, the son of Nun, the minister of Mosheh (Moses) ..." - So Ruth was manly. At (Ruth 2:14), we see Ruth hanging out and eating with men without any suspicion, instead of eating with the women. She was also working and gleaning after the men instead of only with the women. The word cal-lah can mean: "a bride, wife [as if completed] &/or daughter-in-law." The word kha-moth can mean: "a groomess, wife [as joined in marriage] &/or mother-in-law." Usually those root words are used together in heterosexual relationships [i.e. the groom (kha-than) and the bride (cal-lah)]. But what about when you have two females in a lesbian relationship? Well, you can keep the word cal-lah for the bride but you would have to use the feminine equivalent to the word "groom, husband, father-in-law, etc.;" which would be the word kha-moth "groomess, wife, etc." If it's not already obvious, the word kha-than doesn't always refer to a "groom" or "newly married man" or "one about to be married." It can refer to a husband who has been married for a long time (see Ex. 4:25-26). It's from the verb kha-than "to be joined in marriage." Following how nouns are made from verbs, its first meaning should be "a man joined in marriage" or "a husband, bridegroom." An "in-law" meaning would be secondary and determined by the context. The feminine for kha-than would of course carry the same meanings but refer to the "female." The writer of the Book of Ruth likely chose the words s/he used to let us readers know that Naomi was both the mother-in-law and wife of Ruth. Ruth was both the daughter-in-law and the wife of Naomi. Since they were "joined in marriage" (Ruth 1:14), they could also be designated as na-shim "wives," similarly like the woman who was joined to a husband (Rom. 7:3), was called at-tha "a wife." “In-laws, cousins, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces and other relatives” were sometimes “lovers.” If an aunt or uncle weren’t married, then they weren’t under the prohibition at (Lev. 18:14; 20:20) - which involved an invasion of privacy, adultery or something else. Jacoḅ and Othniel married their cousins, Amram married his aunt Yocheḅed and Mordecai’s "lover" may or may not have also been his “uncle” (Gen. 29:10; Josh. 15:16-17; Num. 26:59; Esther 2:7). Naḥor married his niece which in turn means she married her uncle (Gen. 11:29). There was also the Levirate marriage where a brother-in-law marries his dead brother’s widow to take care of her and sleeps with her to provide her and the deceased children (Gen. 38:6-10). This was also done to keep property in the same family and maybe it was specifically allowed for same sex couples because a damaged child wouldn’t be produced. It seems like a family violation, a taboo or gross to us but just remember that Ruth was a Moaḅitess and Naomi was a Jewess [female citizen of Judah] (Ruth 1:2). They weren’t closely related if Ruth didn’t get married to one of Naomi’s sons. Ruth likely was a lesbian who married one of Naomi's sons to raise a child or children. When her husband Maḥlon died, she married Naomi and also her uncle-in-law Boaz (Ruth 1:5; 4:10). Boaz was also the brother-in-law of Naomi (Ruth 4:3). Her husband was to provide her a child and a livelihood, protection, etc.
1st Note: The following are some verses where the word "love" or "lover" implies "sexual love" or a "sexual lover." (Ps. 88:18 ; Song 2:4; 8:7; Ezek. 16:36-37; 23:5; Hoshea 2:5, 7, 10, 12-13; 3:1; etc.).
2nd Note: The active feminine participle Kho-then-eth means "a female being joined by marriage, wife" or "a female-in-law (as being joined by marriage)." It appears only one time in the Bible and means a "mother-in-law" there at (Deut. 27:23). It's from the verb kha-than "to be joined by marriage, etc." It's the feminine counter part of the word kho-then "father-in-law, son-in-law." As far as Biblical usage, Kho-then-eth "wife, female-in-law" is not the normal feminine counterpart of kho-then though. The Hebrew word kha-moth "wife, female-in-law" is its normal counterpart and is Kho-then-eth's synonym. It carries the same various meanings for the different contexts. All or most Hebrew synonyms have all the same different contextual meanings from what I've seen. Interestingly, the words kho-then "father-in-law" and kha-than "groom, husband" are spelled exactly the same in the Hebrew Bible; but voweled differently. One is left wondering if kha-than is a later pronunciation to distinguish between "groom, husband." and kho-then "father (son) -in-law." Further wonderment ensues because kha-than is also given as the pronunciation for "son-in-law" [10x] in the Bible.
6. SUPPORTIVE HOMOSEXUAL VERSES: "Don't exchange a lover (o-hev) for a price; and an attached brother (akh taluy) for the gold of Ophir." (Ben Sira 7:18 Heb. Text). The word "brother" also refers to "a person of affinity [i.e. same trade, same religion, a relative, etc.]" or "someone in a relationship [i.e. husband, etc.]" and hence also referred to a lover or husband in a homosexual relationship (union, marriage). The lover and attached brother could be the same person. The verse could be saying: "Don't exchange a lover for a price; and [don't exchange] a lover for the gold of Ophir." - The Greek translation, however, says: "a true (genuine) brother" (Ben Seirach 7:18). The Aramaic translation is: "Do not exchange a lover (raḥ-ma) for mamona (wealth, riches); and your brother (Lit. the brother you have) for the gold of Ophir." (Bar Sira 7:20).
Note: Mamona is equivalent to the Hebrew word Mamon (Ben Sira 31:7 ) but it is also often the translation of the Hebrew word be-ṣa "gain made by violence (unjust gain, profit)" in the Aramaic Targums (Ps. 119:36; etc.). "[Wine] and strong drink shall gladden the heart, and more than both of them is the love of beloved ones." (Ben Sira 40:20). Do-dim "beloved (loved) ones" is grammatically masculine but could be inclusive of female beloved ones also. "Shimon the great grandson of (ben) Sira" (AKA: Shimon the son of Yeshua" addresses his audience with verbs in the masculine conjugation or with masculine nouns (i.e. my son, etc.) but the masculine words can include females also. So, quite literally, Shimon is saying to a man that: "[Wine] and strong drink shall gladden the heart, and more than both of them is the love of male and female beloved ones." The Aramaic translation is: "Old wine gladdens the heart and more (or better) than it is the love of a lover." (Bar Sira 40:20). The word raḥ-ma (lover) is in the masculine spelling, and hence literally means "a male-lover." The Greek text says something similar, but just remember that it isn't reliable because the Greek Old Testament has a bias toward gay people. It says: "wine and music rejoice the heart, and above [them] both is the love of wisdom" (Wisdom of Ben Seirach 40:20). "My lovers (o-ha-vai) and my friends (re-ai) shall stand before my blow (wound); and my neighbors (qe-ro-vai) stood at a distance." (Ps. 38:11). This verse sure does shatter the notion that the Israelites practiced just monogamy or polygamy; where there was the husband and wife and sometimes concubine(s). There were also lovers (see also Ps. 88:18). The word "lovers" is grammatically masculine here and Hebrew does have a way to say: "my female lovers." So the "lovers" don't appear to be a reference to David's multiple wives or possibly concubines. Nevertheless, the word "lovers," because it is grammatically masculine, includes both male and female lovers. Jonathan was one of David's male lovers. There are verses in the Bible where the word o-hev "male-lover, friend" may not just refer to a "male-friend" (Prov. 18:24; 27:6; Jer. 20:4, 6; etc.). There were different rules for different ages or times. I think God wants us to be monogamous in the New Covenant. God doesn't want us to destroy our temple - our body. He wants us to be disease free and healthy (1 Cor. 6:18). So be monogamous and don't sleep around. Just look if that helps quench any desire. You don't want to get a STD such as HIV, etc.
"There is not a greater love than this, that a man (person) lay down his (her) life for his (her) lovers (or friends)." (Jn. 15:13). This verse has multiple layers of meaning because the word nash, though grammatically masculine, refers to both genders. A female example is at (Lk. 8:46). Hence, it can mean "a man" or "a person." Nash "person" also often follows the word cul "every" [i.e. cul-nash - "every person, all" (Lk. 1:63; 4:15; 6:47)]. Also note that the only reason why the pronoun "his" is in the statement is because the word nash "man (person)" is grammatically masculine. Since the word nash "person" includes both genders, the pronoun "his" or "its" also includes both genders (i.e. her or their). - The Aramaic word raḥ-ma can also mean either a "lover" or a "friend." If the Aramaic text only meant "friend," then it would have used the word khow-ra "companion, friend." Also, the word "lover," though grammatically masculine, can include females. So for a heterosexual or LGBTI person, this verse can speak of a person laying down their life for their lovers [husband, wife &/or concubine(s), girlfriend(s), boyfriend(s)] & friends. This verse is a reference to any person with any sexual orientation or gender identity. Compare: (1 Jn. 3:16; Jn. 10:11).
GIDON (GIDEON) AND PARAH (PURAH):
"And if you are afraid to descend [alone], you and your boy Parah (Purah), go down to the camp. .... he and Parah his boy descended to the end of the [company of] fifty (or armed) men who were around the camp." (Judges 7:10-11). Parah was likely the armor-bearer of Gidon, but definitely his battle-companion. Such groupings were between homosexual lovers in Yisrael and the surrounding nations. (Sira 37:5) mentions "a good male-lover who fights against the enemy and holds the buckler (round shield)." The Aramaic word raḥ-ma "lover, friend" is used there. That word means the "male lover" or "sexual partner;" and in other contexts, the word can have a dual meaning of both "lover" and "friend." Thus, perhaps this verse can also refer to a "friend" who is fighting. However, if the Aramaic text only meant "friend," then it would have used the word khow-ra "companion, friend." Parah is Gidon's boy (boyfriend). The word "boy" is a term of endearment and shouldn't always be taken literally. Since Jewish men had to be eighteen years old to fight, Parah would have been technically a young man. Hence, the Aramaic text calls Parah the "young man" of Gidon here. There is an issue of the correct pronunciation for the name of Gidon's boyfriend. I think his name originally was pronounced Parah (f.) a female young ox, heifer, cow." That would give it the same spelling and pronunciation for that Hebrew word; with the letters "P-R-H." The Greek LXX and Latin Vulgate transliterated this name as "Phara." We can back track on what the original translators understood as this word's pronunciation. Often the hard "P" sound was transliterated as "PH" when it begins the name of a person, city, etc. Also, Greek and Latin wouldn't put a final "H" at the end - it would be left out. Greek doesn't have a "H" letter and Latin doesn't put a "h" at the end of its words. Latin uses its "H or h" letter only at the beginning of words or in their midst, much like the Greek language uses an apostrophe (') to represent an "H" sound in the same manner. So it looks like the translators understood this person's name as "Parah." Interestingly, the Aramaic Peshitta translated Gidon's boyfriend's name as Pera "Fruit." I don't know if it has any relation to how homosexuals are sometimes called "fruits." - Yes, I'm joking on my previous point. The word "fruit" can also mean "the offspring, increase (NKJV)" of both humans and animals (Deut. 28:4, 11, etc.). Pa-rah (female cow offspring, heifer) is likely from the verb pa-rah "to bear fruit, be fruitful." From that verb we get the noun par [P-R] "male ox offspring, bullock." Hebrew would just add the "h" at the end to make par "bullock" feminine (i.e pa-rah - "heifer"). James Strong erroneously thought pa-rah & par were from the verb pa-rar [P-R-R] "to break (-asunder), etc." Words where the second and third letters are the same often make two letter nouns by deleting the final letter. However, they are not the only type of words. Words that have a middle "n" or end in "h" can also do the same. Another way to make a noun from a verb that ends in "h," is to delete the "h" and add a yod "i" at the end. That's where we get the word pri (fruit, offspring), from the same verb root. Pa-rah's unique pronunciation is to distinguish that it means: "the ox offspring (fruit)" or "a heifer." Gidon's boyfriend has a feminine name; whether it was pronounced "Parah" or "Purah." The final "h" in Hebrew words indicate the word is feminine. Also, when the word is used in statements, the word will be accompanied with verbs with feminine pronouns (i.e. through conjugations). Purah / Porah (f.) means "a branch, [leafy-] bough, foliage." It's two or three (Peorah) pronunciations are always spelled with four letters (P-A-R-H) in the Bible. The Aleph (A) is silent and there is a "u" or an "o" sound/vowel marking inserted in between. Gideon's boy's name is only spelled with three letters (P-R-H); which gives more credence to it's correct pronunciation as "Parah," and not "Purah." The word "heifer," whether it's the word pa-rah or the synonym word eg-lah, also refers to a female "girlfriend" or "wife" in the Bible (Hos. 4:16; Judg. 14:18; Jer. 46:20). Dan and King David also had a wife named "Eglah" (Jubilees 34:29; 2 Sam. 3:5).
DAVID AND JONATHAN:
"Also Jonathan David's beloved [friend] (ḥab-bi-wa – beloved) was a counsellor, a man of understanding, and a scribe;..." (1 Chr. 27:32 Lamsa). The word [friend] is not in the Aramaic text. Jonathan is the beloved of King David. There are a few other verses that need to be mentioned to show the bi-sexuality of David and Jonathan.
“…the soul of Jonathan was knit (joined) to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul (or himself).” (1 Sam. 18:1 Lamsa, NKJV). This verse says that the soul of David was drawn to the soul of Jonathan. Jonathan's soul longed for, delighted in, was attracted to, desired after, took pleasure in and became one with the soul of David (See similar Gen. 34:3, 8). The "soul" can also be understood as the "heart or seat of feelings and emotions" here. Hence that statement could be translated as: "Jonathan's heart was set on David" or "Jonathan had feelings for David." Dead Sea Scroll Tobit uses the word "heart" and a verb synonym for the above expression and says: “…and he [Tobiah] loved her a lot, and his heart was joined very much to her.” (Tobit 6:18 DSS). Peshitta Tobit similarly uses a verb synonym for this expression at (1 Sam. 18:1) when describing Tobiah’s love for Sarah: “…and he [Tobiah] loved her, and his soul was exceedingly joined to her.” (Tobit 6:18 Peshitta Text). Separately, for the last part of First Samuel 18:1, the verb "to love" and the words "as himself" are the same words used at Ephesians 5:33 - "...and he [ the husband] shall love his wife as himself." Finally, "... and Jonathan, the son of Shaul, desired greatly in David." (1 Sam. 19:1). Compare how that same Hebrew verb kha-mets “desired” is used at (Deut. 21:14; 25:7; Esther 2:14). David also found favor in Yonathan’s eyes (1 Sam. 20:3).
Note: Dead Sea Scroll Tobit contains the original Aramaic text. For Peshitta Tobit, it is stated at the end of the book that some of the material is from the Septuagint Version (Greek Old Testament) and some of the material is from another Version, as remembered. “And Yonathan continued to make David swear (adjure David) by his love for him [Yonathan], for he loved him with the [same] love [he had] for his own soul (himself).” (1 Sam. 20:17). This verse has a similar meaning as (1 Sam. 18:1) above. The first part of the verse could also be rendered that Jonathan continued to make David take an oath (put David under oath) … However, it’s unclear if the second half of the verse is saying that Yonathan loved David as his soul (self, life) again (1 Sam. 18:1) or if David also loved Yonathan as his own soul (self, life) this time [i.e. as well]. The Author of the book of Samuel later states: “And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor (mad-daiv), even to his sword and his bow and his belt.” (1 Sam. 18:4 NKJV). Jonathan took off his outer robe and then all his clothes underneath. The Hebrew word mad means a “vesture (as measured)” and is from the verb ma-dad “to measure” At Judges 3:16, Ehud fastened a dagger “…under his clothes (mad-daiv) on his right thigh.” Mad refers to all types of clothes (see also 1 Sam. 4:12) and armor, including the tunic. Underwear [or trousers NKJV, breeches (KJV)] was not worn by the general public except for the priests. This means Jonathan ended up standing before David naked. Some people also believe David reciprocated, meaning they exchanged garments. This means both of them didn’t have any problem getting naked before each other.
Here is another verse that shows David and Jonathan’s relationship: “I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; you have been very pleasant to me; your love to me was wonderful, surpassing the love of women.” (2 Sam. 1:26 NKJV). The love of women is referring to the love that is experienced between men and women, which included sex. David was equating Jonathan to a female. He apparently felt Jonathan’s love toward him surpassed that of women. Also, David didn’t have to use the word “women” in his statement. He could have said “…surpassing the love of friends;” if nothing homosexual was meant. Therefore I believe their relationship was also sexual based on all of the Biblical verses. David said that Yonathan was very pleasant to him. Maybe that was because of Yonathan’s affection toward him and because Yonathan was handsome. The Greek translation says: “you were very handsome (o-rai-o-thes) to me; ...” Also, the Hebrew of (2 Sam. 1:23) says: “Shaul and Yonathan, ones being loved and pleasant (handsome) in their lives …” The Greek translation has the word o-rai-oi “handsome (beautiful).” That Greek adjective or noun is made from the afore mentioned Greek verb. Sometimes a person is pleasant because of their beauty. And Shaul (Saul) said, I will give her to him, and she shall be a stumbling-block to him. And the hand of the Philistines shall be upon (against) him. And Shaul said to David, you shall be my son-in-law today by both of them.” (1 Sam. 18:21 Peshitta). The Aramaic text adds the word “them” and translates the Hebrew text as “by both of them.” The Aramaic translation of "by both of them" is also grammatically masculine and is used to designate both Saul's son and daughter. The source Hebrew text has bish-ta-yim “by two" [f.] (see Isa. 6:2), from the preposition be (by, with) and shta-yim (two). It wouldn’t be correct to translate bish-ta-yim as “in the one of the twain (two)” (KJV). The Hebrew text would have been written differently if the King James interpretation was correct. Saul was referring to his daughter Mical, who loved David (see 1 Sam. 18:20) and his son Jonathan, the beloved of David, with his statement; “by both of them.” He wasn’t referring to his other daughter, Merab, who was given to Adriel (see 1 Sam. 18:19). The Greek Old Testament also suggests Saul was referring to Mical and Jonathan; not by its translation, but by its deletion of these Hebrew words. The Greek Translation has a bias toward gay people and either doesn’t translate the Hebrew or Aramaic text correctly or just deletes words in the translation. There are two ways to say “by two” in Hebrew. The masculine spelling is bish-na-im “by two,” while the feminine spelling is bish-ta-yim “by two.” Saul used the feminine spelling to designate his daughter and effeminate son Jonathan. Thus, bish-ta-yim could be translated here as: "by two [of my] feminine ones." The words "female" and "women" in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin also mean an "effeminate man" and "effeminate men." Also, Saul could have used the masculine gender for the statement "by two" if he had wanted to. Jonathan was a male and masculine words can include females. However, his words wouldn't have signified that Jonathan was gay though.
Note: The following are some Biblical references where you may never have considered that the word "women" could dually refer to "effeminate men" (Num. 31: 9, 15, 18; 1 Sam. 2:22; 30:2-3; Isa. 3:12; Jer. 51:30; etc.). Num. 31:18 and 1 Samuel 30:2-3 could have more meaning than how they are usually translated. Numbers 31:18 could say this: "& every child among the women and effeminates (na-shim) who have not known the bed of a man (i.e. slept with a man), preserve for yourselves." The word taph could refer to either a "male" or a "female" child. For 1st Samuel 30:2-3, the adjectives describing "women" are masculine grammatically [from small (or young) to great (or old)]. That's fine for Hebrew grammar because masculine singular or plural words can also include females or feminine words. However, if "women" are only meant, we know that they can have adjectives that are grammatically feminine [i.e. Hebrew women (Ex. 1:19); foreign women (1 Kings 11:1); etc.]. So the issue is, why are the words "small" and "great" grammatically masculine at 1 Sam. 30:2? I think the reason is because the word נָשִים na-shim refers collectively to "women, trans-women and effeminate men." It’s from the adjective/noun נָשִי na-shi “womanly [feminine]” or "feminine one" (Webster’s Heb. Dictionary). Additionally, (2 Chron. 29:9) likely has more meaning meant: i.e. “For behold, because of this, our parents [usually translated just as “fathers”] have fallen by the sword; and our sons and our daughters and our feminine ones [usually translated just as: “women”] are in captivity.” Compare: (2 Chron. 28:8).
“Then Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said to him, O you son of the rebellious young woman, do I not know that you are choosing the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame (disgrace) of your mother’s nakedness (or naked husband)?” (1 Sam. 20:30 Hebrew Text). The Hebrew word ba-khar means “to choose, pick.” Sometimes it can be used in the sense of choosing one thing over another (Job 36:21; Ps. 84:10). Presumably, King Saul is saying that Jonathan is “choosing” David - his husband, lover and partner (me-to-chos), over himself and over his mother or father. Ba-khar is also the word used for “choosing” a wife (see Gen. 6:2) and could be used to express choosing a same-sex partner (lover). Hence the Greek text has the word “partner” instead of “choosing” and says: “… that you are a partner to the son of Jesse to your own shame …” The words "mother's nakedness" may be literal, or it may mean a "mother's naked husband," just like the opposite words, "father's nakedness," means a "father's naked wife" (Lev. 18:8). Revelation 3:18 augments those words a little with a similar meaning of: "the shame of THY NAKEDNESS ..." Saul was giving a visual expression of shame and saying that his son Jonathan was choosing David to his own shame and to his mother's or father's shame (disgrace) [from being uncovered (see GrkOT)]. David could inherit their kingdom. Also, the SHAME would have been doubly bad if Jonathan was sleeping with his father's former lover. The people knew David was formerly King Shaul's armor (weapon)-bearer. 1 Samuel 16:21-22 says that Shaul "loved [David] GREATLY (very much)" and that he became his "weapon-bearer." David also "found favor (grace) in his eyes." Sometimes someone finds "grace" in the eyes of another because the other person is attracted to and loves that individual (Est. 2:17, etc.). David is also said to be handsome just prior and at the following (1 Sam. 16:12, 18; Ps. 45:2).
NOTE: My translation corrects the Hebrew word na-av-ath (perverse [crooked] woman of) to read na-ar-ath (young woman [damsel] of) to match the Hebrew text in the Dead Sea Scrolls. That would be a correction of one Hebrew letter. The Resh and Vav are written very similar in the Dead Sea Scroll script. The phrase: “the rebellious young woman” is literally in Hebrew “young woman of the rebellion.” The Greek Old Testament agrees that the Hebrew text originally said “young woman, damsel” but translates that phrase in the plural as: “deserting damsels.”
JUDITH AND HER MAID: "And she (Judith) sent her delicate one (habran), who was standing by everything belonging to her, and she called [for] Uzziyah, Khaveri and Carmi, the elders of her city." (Judith 8:10 GrkOT). "And she (Judith) sent her parastatis who was standing by her store-rooms (wine cellars), and she called for Uzziyah, Khowri and Carmi, the elders of the city." (Judith 8:9 P'shitta). The Greek word habras means: "a delicate, soft, graceful, pretty, luxurious &/or splendid woman." I think this word is implying that the maid is Judith's lover / girlfriend. This word is sometimes translated as (or in the place of a) tli-tha "girlfriend" in the P'shitta translation. There are at least a couple other places in the Greek Old Testament where this Greek word appears, and in both of those places, I suspect that lesbianism is involved. Miriam is referred to as one of the "beautiful ones" of Pharaoh's daughter (Ex. 2:5 [2x]). Rebekah's "young women" are called her "pretty ones (etc.)" (Gen. 24:61 GrkOT). Maybe Rakhel's "manliness" had something to do with her being "barren" (Gen. 25:21-22). Her nurse Deḅorah lived with her all her life (Gen. 24:59; 35:8). She may have also been her “lover” because it’s possible that the word מינקת me-ne-qeth doesn’t just mean: “nurse,” but also: “foster-parent, guardian, etc.” Queen Esther's habrai may have also been her lesbian lovers (Est. 4:4, 16). This Greek word habras: was translated as: prast-wi-tha (a Greek loan word). Smith's Syriac Dictionary defines the Aramaic word prast-wi-tha as a "waiting-woman;" but I don't believe that is correct. This word doesn't look Aramaic and it is clearly the Greek word parastatis. Parastatis literally means "one who stands by" and hence: "a helper, assistant, supporter, defender; in the line of battle, a comrade on the flank." It is a noun made from the compound verb pa-ras-ta-te-o “to stand by (serve, defend).” This word has several layers of meaning so it is hard to translate with just one word. But we do see that this is the correct Greek word meant because the Aramaic text afterwards tells us that Judith's maid was "standing by" her store-rooms. “... and she called her delicate one (habran), and she went down into the house where she was staying in on the Sabbath days and on her festivals (feasts). And she removed the sackcloth that she had put on, and took off the garments of her widowhood, ...”(Judith 10:2-3 GrkOT). “And she called to her girl and she went down into her house where she was being (staying) on the Sabbaths, and on the feasts. And she removed the sackcloth that she was wearing and took off the garments of her widowhood.”(Judith 10:2 P'shitta). Again we see that Yehudith's (Judith's) maid is called her soft one (delicate one, etc.). This word was translated into Aramaic as tli-tha; which literally or generally means “a female child, girl [from seven to twelve years of age].” It's also a term of endearment and means: "girlfriend (lover)." At (Youdith 10:17 GrkOT), the female accompanying Judith is her habras. At (Judith 10:10), the maid is referred to as being her paidiske "little girl (1-6 yrs old)" &/or "female-servant;" another word of endearment. In Bible times, female servants were also sexual partners, and this was not considered adultery. Paidiske "little girl" is literally the diminutive of pais "girl" and can also mean or refer to a “young woman” (Ruth 4:12 [translation of the Hebrew word na-a-rah]). The Greek words the-ra-pai-ne and dou-le (NFS) “female servant” (Ex. 11:5; 2 Chron. 28:10) are synonyms of pai-dis-ke and are better words to only refer to a “female servant.” The-ra-pai-ne doesn’t always refer to a “free” “female attendant [servant]” providing “free service” (see Ex. 21:26-27; Job 31:13). In the Aramaic account, Judith calls her female servant “a girl” here because the maid was the beloved of Judith. In verse seventeen, the “maid” is called a “young woman [i.e. a youth up to twenty-five years of age - ạ-laym-ta]." So the word “girl” is not to be taken literally. Again at (Judith 10:10), Judith calls her maid “her girlfriend” or “her girl.”
Note: The Abridged Edition of Liddell & Scott's Greek-English Lexicon lists the feminine verbal noun (pronunciation): Parastatis "a female who stands by (an assistant, defender, comrade, etc.)" and the masculine verbal noun (pronunciation): parastates, which has the same meanings as it's feminine counterpart, as separate entries. These masculine and feminine nouns are both made from the verb pa-ras-ta-te-o “to stand by.” That new Aorist tense verb root was ultimately made from the old verb παραστανω pa-ras-ta-no “to stand by.” So pa-ras-ta-te-o was made by adding a “te” or substituting the “n” for a “te” to replace the older pa-ras-ta-no spelling or to indicate “a defender standing by” versus maybe a midwife “standing by.” It’s not uncommon to add a “t,” “k” or “r” to make a new Greek verb root or a Greek noun from a Greek verb. There are too many “s’s ” in the Greek Language. Many Greek nouns end in “s” and the “s” is also often added in the conjugation of the Future and Aorist verb conjugations, participles, etc. If a change wasn’t made, then that would lead to different words with the same spelling. So sometimes a “t” or a “k,” etc. is added / substituted to make a new word [cf: ze-lo-sis /ze-lo-tes “zealousness / zealot” (Ex. 20:5) and phu-sis / phu-si-kos “nature / natural” (Rom. 1:27)]. The older version of Liddell & Scott's Greek-English Lexicon lists them under pa-ras-ta-no but specifically under the ⍟ entry: παραστας pa-ra-stas [MS] “standing by, helping, serving, defending, etc.” That word is specifically the 1st Aorist compound participle. It’s made from the verb participle stas “he shall be rising up (standing)” or “was standing (stopped);” which appears in the Bible at (Deut. 25:8; Matt. 20:32; Mk. 10:49). Adding the preposition pa-ra “by” will make it a compound participle, with the pronunciation of pa-ra-stas. Also, if one adds the definite article ho “the one” or “the thing,” a verb participle will refer to a participle noun (i.e. a person, place, or thing). Ho pa-ras-tas can mean: “the one standing by” for a person or “the thing standing by (anything that stands by)” for something inanimate such as: “a doorpost (vestibule, etc.).” However, even though it can refer to a “doorpost” in a given context, the Greek Old Testament uses the word σταθμος stath-mos “an upright (standing) post” or “doorpost [as measured]” (Ex. 12:7; 21:6) instead. Stath-mos is made from the verb root σταθμαω stath-ma-o “to measure [-by rule].” Stath-ma-o “to measure” isn’t the same as ‘ιστημι his-te-mi “to stand” (Ex. 20:18; 21:19; etc.). παρα pa-ra “by” and ‘ιστημι his-te-mi “to stand” make up the Present Tense verb root par-is-te-mi “to stand by” (Ps. 5:3). That’s the basic tense from which the other six tenses are derived. The Lexicon bold entries pa-ras-ta-no [old verb root], pa-ras-tas [participle], pa-ras-ta-sis [state of being] “service, etc.” (1 Ki. 10:5), pa-ras-ta-te-o [new verb root], etc. are all in the fourth Aorist Tense for this composite verb; as indicated by the retaining of the “a” before the “s” versus a different letter for the other Tenses - i.e. an “i” [Present Tense], “e” [Perfect Tense], or “ei” [Pluperfect Tense]. Don’t get confused with the older Lexicon’s arrangement. A compound verbal noun is made from a compound verb root. SETTING: Betuloua / Baituloua
"And Elyaqim the high priest, who was in Yerushalem in those days, wrote to the inhabitants of Betuloua, and Baitomesthaim, which is before (opposite) Esdrelon, before the plain that is near Dothan, saying:" (Youdith 4:6 GrkOT).
"And Elyaqim wrote, the high priest in Yerushalem in those days, to the inhabitants of Beth Pallu (Palo) and Beth Mastim, that is over the saw that is before Yizreel and before the great plain that is on the side of Dothan, saying:" (Ihudith 4:5  P'shitta). The Greek transliteration Betuloua looks like it could be from the Hebrew word בתוליה Bethulyah "Virginity (Chastity, Celibacy)" or its plural as: Bethulim "tokens of virginity." Or it can be from the Aramaic word bthulutha; which has the same meanings. They literally mean: "virginness" or "state of being a virgin (trans-woman, lesbian, female-warrior)." On my "Transgender Page (Section), I show that the word "virgin" does carry those additional meanings. So the setting (or city name) seems to fit the storyline. It's about virginness (female-warriorness, lesbianism), etc. As you can see from the Greek and Aramaic transliterations, there are two or three places that may not be transliterated correctly in the P'shitta text. Those Greek renderings don't appear anywhere else in the Greek Old Testament. So I'm not convinced that the Aramaic translator got those place names correct. Esdrelon does kind of look like the Aramaic pronunciation for Yizreel; which is Izarel. The "r" and "d" letters look similar in block Aramaic. So if a Greek translator just added a "d" letter, the words side by side would be: Izdarel / Esdrelon. Nevertheless, I'm not convinced that Beth Palo (Pallu) is the correct rendering of the Greek name Betuloua. Betuloua appears many times in Judith and it never has a "P" in the transliteration. There were plenty of times for a Greek translator to correct a transliteration error if that had occurred. I do believe Judith was originally written in a Shemitic language; either Hebrew or Aramaic or a compilation of both of those languages like Tobi, Ezra, Daniel, etc. The Greek Translation is a translation of one of those languages or both. But the original Judith got lost so the Aramaic Peshitta Judith was translated from the Greek text. Many names of people and places look like they are of either Hebrew or Aramaic origin. Is the Bible Against Homosexuality? by Preacher Mattai © (Ɔ) 2016. All rights reserved.