What the prophets said about Sodom
A number of times, the prophets were moved to say that the sins of Jerusalem were as the sins of Sodom, or worse. If the special sin of Sodom was homosexual sex, was gay sex also the special sin of Jerusalem?
Isaiah 3:8,9 “For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judas is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the LORD, to provoke the eyes of his glory. The show of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.”
Jeremiah 23:14 “I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.”
Ezekiel 16:46 – 48 “And thine elder sister is Samara, she and her daughters that dwell at they left hand: and thy younger sister, that dwelled at thy right hand, is Sodom and her daughters. Yet hast thou not walked after their ways, nor done after their abominations: but, as if that were a very little thing, thou was corrupted more than they in all their ways. As I live, saith the Lord GOD, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters.”
(Although many suggest that abomination refers particularly to gay sex, I believe that abomination simply refers to practices that God does not approve. Please see my post, “What Is an Abomination to God?” Any practice out of harmony with God’s character of love is an abomination to Him, and he hates such behavior. Looking up references to things God hates brings up pride much more frequently than any sexual sins.)
After telling the Israelites that their sins were greater than those of Sodom, the prophet was moved to specify the special sins of Sodom:
Ezekiel 16:49, 50 “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.”
Notice the list − pride, fullness of bread, abundance of idleness and disregard for the poor and needy, haughtiness and committing “abomination.” No mention of homosexuality. (Abomination does not necessarily mean gay sex. A “proud look” is also an “abomination.” In more modern versions of the Bible, abomination is reserved for spiritual sins, such as some kinds of idolatry. Perhaps that is what Ezekiel was referring to here, and that’s what the Amplified Bible seems to indicate.) On the other hand, `gay pride` could possibly fit into this list. After all, pride is pride – whether gay or straight.
In the following texts, Sodom is listed as a “sister” of Israel, indicating the similarities of their sins. Thus, if homosexual / gay sex were the special sin of Sodom, there should be some evidence that they were the sins of Israel as well. Yet the Bible leaves no such record.
Ezekiel 16:51 – 56 “Neither hath Samara committed half of thy sins; but thou has multiplied thine abominations more than they, and has justified thy sisters in all thine abominations which thou has done. Thou also, which has judged thy sisters, bear thine own shame for thy sins that thou has committed more abominable than they: they are more righteous than thou: yea, be thou confounded also, and bear thy shame, in that thou has justified thy sisters. When I shall bring again their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, then will I bring again the captivity of thy captives in the midst of them: That thou mayest bear thine own shame, and mayest be confounded in all that thou hast done, in that thou art a comfort unto them. When thy sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to your former estate. For thy sister Sodom was not mentioned by thy mouth in the day of thy pride.”
[Next: What Jesus said about Sodom]