The meaning of Sodomite in the Bible
(From International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)
sod'-om-it (qadhesh, feminine qedheshah): Qadhesh denotes properly a male temple prostitute, one of the class attached to certain sanctuaries of heathen deities, and "consecrated" to the impure rites of their worship. Such gross and degrading practices in Yahweh's land could only be construed as a flagrant outrage; and any association of these with His pure worship was abhorrent (Deuteronomy 23:17 f.): The presence of Sodomites is noted as a mark of degeneracy in Rehoboam's time (I Kings 14:24). Asa endeavored to get rid of them (I Kings 15:12), and Jehoshaphat routed them out (I Kings 22:46). Subsequent corruptions opened the way for their return, and Josiah had to break down their houses which were actually "in the house of the Lord" (II Kings 23:7). The feminine qedheshah is translated "prostitute" in Genesis 38:21-22; Hosea 4:14; in Deuteronomy 23:17 "prostitute" (the King James Version margin "sodomitess," the Revised Version margin transliterates). The English word is, of course, derived from Sodom, the inhabitants of which were in evil repute for unnatural vice.
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