Sodomy from Sodom and Gommorah

I don’t know much about linguistics, or even if linguistics is the right word.

But did the word ‘sodomy’ come from the Sodom and Gommorah story?

Yep. And in its purest definition, it means all non-procreative sex, even that between man and woman.

Qadgop: Blow me.:smiley:

Ah, Jomo Mojo do you normally speak to the SDMB Doctor like that? Remember, he has instruments! :smiley:

Also, he knows in which cells the rubber hoses are kept.

Don’t mess with the doc.


Edmund: Tell me, Brother Baldrick, exactly what did God do to the Sodomites?
Baldrick: I don’t know, My Lord, but I can’t imagine it was worse than what they used to do to each other.


Oh, and I believe the word you want to use instead of linguistics is “etymology,” the study of a word’s origin.

Ever notice that while sodomy might be illegal, you can gommorah all you want?

But then you get gonnarea!

(And the name of that disease comes from the Gommorah of that story, I believe.)

IIRC the term sodom only became associated with homosexual sex (or maybe it was just sex in general) because St. Augustine of Hippo theorized that these were the sins for which the town was destroyed.

Don’t forget that when the Sodomites wanted to be sodomites with the angels, the righteous man Lot offered up his virgin daughters to them. Apparently that was a perfectly acceptable righteous act.

Don’t get me started.

The story appears in Genesis 19. In the prior chapter, God announced to Abraham that He was going to destroy Sodom, and Abraham pleaded with God to spare the city for the sake of the innocent. So God agrees the city will be spared if there are ten innocents there.

So, in Chapter 19, two angels arrive in Sodom to see how many innocent people there are, really. Lot (Abraham’s nephew) is the only one who shows them hospitality, invites them in, feeds them, lets them wash, etc. The townspeople all come to Lot’s house, demanding that the strangers be given to them for homosexual rape. Lot offers his daughters to the townspeople instead, but they get more hostile and grab Lot, but are struck by a blinding light and fall back. Then the angels tell Lot’s family to leave, and the city is destroyed by fire and brimstone from heaven

Hence, the word “sodomy” comes from the town of Sodom, as mentioned before. Nahum Sarna, in JPS Torah Commentary says that the bible clearly regards homosexuality “as one of the abhorrent perversions of the Canaanites. In this instance, the sin is compounded by aggression.”

The idea of sacrificing your daughters’ virginity to save total strangers from being raped (or more, since the crowd was obviously violent) seems very peculiar to us moderns. At the time, it was certainly a difficult moral dilemma for Lot. However, the bible views hospitality to strangers as a sacred duty. This is described in instance after instance. Hospitality was considered a higher moral obligation than other societal values.

It was an era when “a patriarch had absolute power over the members of his clan, and daughters were held in low esteem” (Sarna) By the standards of the age, Lot was making a desparate attempt to uphold his code of honor and to protect the strangers whom he had offered hospitality. By modern standards, of course, we view his actions as morally dubious (at best).

I remember reading something like that, only I think it was St. Jerome. Maybe. My memory is fuzzy.

However. I was then suprised, on perusing Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews to see this:

Now, granted, this is a translation–I’m hardly capable of reading Josephus in the original. But when I started reading the passage, I said “Well, look, it’s true, a Jew of, what, the 1st century CE considered the sin of Sodom to be greed and lack of hospitality. It made sense when I read it before, and it makes even more sense now, reading Josephus’ telling of it!” And then my brain screeched to a halt at the “sodomitical practices” thing.

Now, it’s entirely likely that Josephus was more specific and this translator (think early 18th Century) may well have replaced some other phrase with the euphemistic “sodomitical practices.” Still, they did get a mention, euphemistic or not. At least as I read it, it seems that while the main sin of Sodom was indeed greed and pride, the “sodomy” was a result of that, and not entirely unconnected with their infamy–at least that’s the way one 1st century Jew saw it.

The people of Sodom said “What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is yours.”, and that’s why they were destroyed.

You might find it interesting to take a look at Ezekiel 16:49.

And of course, consentual homosexual sex is completely different from homosexual RAPE, just as it is with heterosexuals. So if they’re condemning rape, then that’s not the same thing as condemning homosexual sex that is consentual.

I would still think, though, that Lot could have just told the towns people to get stuffed. I mean, rape is immoral, is it not?

Of course said daughters tried to seduce their father when they thought they were the only people left on earth. shudder


I do think the interpretation of S and G being hit by fire do to like of sharing and caring for strangers, greed, etc. is the most accurate interpretation. Afterall, it doesn’t say much to have G-D just burn down a city for being sinful in the fleshy sense. That’s just plain old sinning, social mores is more complex and in need of reinforcement and reminding, so to speak.

Why did Lot’s wife get the salt pillar? Does that particular punishment mean anything, or was G-D just showing off his special effects tools?

IIRC, as they were leaving, God said something to the effect of “Whatever you do, don’t look back.” She looked back.