Were the Sodomites homosexual?
The demand to sexually abuse Lot’s visitors is often taken as “proof” that the special sin of Sodom was homosexuality. However, the same reasoning would suggest that the great majority of persons incarcerated in the American prison system are there because of their homosexuality − seeing that homosexual sex is common in the prison system. Neither is necessarily a cause-and-effect relationship. Nor is anal penetration limited to the homosexual population. As in the prison system, anal penetration has been used as an act of subjugation by heterosexual males in many cultures for thousands of years. So this incident does not necessarily support the contention that the citizens of Sodom were largely homosexual.
It does, however, say much about Sodom’s treatment of strangers. As they did it to the visitors to their city, they did it to the Lord Himself, according to Matthew 25: 34-40.
Genesis 19: 3-8 “And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat. But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to the this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.”
We see Lot’s offer of his daughters as a horrendous choice, and rightly so. But it does demonstrate that Lot, who knew the citizens of Sodom well, had some reason to believe that his daughters would be sexually attractive to the men outside his door. In other words, Lot did not consider the men as homosexually oriented. But he did understand their request to violate his visitors as a great sin.
When Lot refused to cooperate, the men of the city referred to his “stranger” status as reason enough to abuse him as well:
Genesis 19:9 “And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with him than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door.” (KJV)
[Next: What the prophets said about Sodom]