In Hebrew, does Leviticus 18:22 really say "while with" a woman?

by Mr. T
(England)

The Tanakh or Hebrew Old Testament

The Tanakh or Hebrew Old Testament



No, I don't believe that is at all what the Hebrew text says. Let's go through it carefully. Here is the Hebrew text of Leviticus 18:22. And here is the Hebrew text of Leviticus 20:13.

Here is the most complete list of online commentaries on Leviticus, a massive resource available free for anyone interested in doing additional study. No translation, no lexicon, no interlinear, no commentary I have examined lists a meaning of mishkab which includes "while with" a woman as a possible translation of the Hebrew text. The true meaning of Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 is shrine prostitution.

I do not see any translation which gives the Hebrew word, mishkab, the meaning of "while with" a woman. Are you aware of any translation which translates it that way? I am unable to find that translation or that meaning given to the Hebrew word, mishkab, anywhere.

The Complete Jewish Bible translates it this way:

"You are not to go to bed with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination."

The Jewish Publication Society Old Testament, 1917, translates it this way:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is abomination."

The Hebrew Names Version translates it this way:

"You shall not lie with a man, as with a woman. That is detestible."

The ever-faithful old King James Version, 1611 translates it this way:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination."

The Peshitta, Lamsa Translation translates it this way:

"You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; because it is an abomination."

The Wycliffe Bible, 1395 translates it this way:

"Thou schalt not be medlid with a man bi letcherie of womman, for it is abhomynacioun."

The Message Bible translates it this way:

"Don't have sex with a man as one does with a woman. That is abhorrent."

The Young's Literal Translation translates it this way:

"And with a male thou dost not lie as one lieth with a woman; abomination it is."

The Reina Valera Version (La Biblia Reina-Valera) translates it this way:

"No te echarás con varón como con mujer: es abominación."

Here is a definition of mishkab and a list of every time mishkab is used and how it is translated in the KJV. In its 46 occurrences in 44 verses, it is never translated "while with."

I would be interested to know why you believe the Hebrew text of Lev 18:22 and 20:13 should be translated "while with" a woman.

Can I know for sure
I’m going to heaven?


What is justification by faith?

My amazing spiritual breakthrough!

Return to Gay Christian FAQ

Return to 101 Community

Grab our free
Bible Studies


Return to
Gay Christian 101 Home Page

Comments for In Hebrew, does Leviticus 18:22 really say "while with" a woman?

Click here to add your own comments

Oct 23, 2013
Hebrew text of Leviticus 18:22
by: JIM

Leviticus 18:22 - The translations of this verse found in most English Bibles are not supported by the Hebrew text.

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." King James Version

Correct translation: And with a male, thou shalt not lie down in
a woman's bed; it is an abomination.

I have the full translational analysis but can't post it in 300 characters.

Sep 27, 2014
Read ALL the words
by: Scott

I urge you so very strongly to reconsider this verse. If you string all of the Hebrew words together as they are worded per the lexicon, it makes little sense, but let's give it a try. "To be lain with (verb) man (noun) lying down (masculine noun) woman (noun) a disgusting thing (feminine noun)". It is to say that to lie with a man in the sense of how one lies with a woman is a disgusting thing. The masculine noun turns the "lying down" into an act, not just a verb. "To be lain with man in the manner one lies with a woman is abomination."

I pray wholeheartedly that this is not shrugged off as hate speech or otherwise. I only aim to follow Jude's 23rd verse. I personally have sought the definition of sin for nearly two years now, and what separates the sins of Leviticus 18 as a chapter from other "sins" is the fact that it says in verse 26, "The native-born and the aliens living among you must not do any of these detestable things." It applies to EVERYONE. This is not an Israeli purity law.

All of these things, from the various forms of incest to homosexual acts to bestiality, are so vile that the land vomited them out. It made the land sick. It is why Paul is so fervently against it in the New Testament, as well as malice, greed, slander, etc. You can also reference Matthew 19, when Jesus says, "But it was not this way from the beginning." I know you're familiar with that argument, so I won't elaborate. Please do not fall prey to the prophecy of 2 Timothy 4:3.

Rick's comment: Hi Scott - I appreciate that you earnestly believe what you wrote but regardless of your sincerity, your conclusion is flawed. Lev 18:22 and 20:13 have never been about gays or lesbians.

1. None of the human authors of the Bible link those verses to gays.

2. Jesus never links those verses to gays.

3. Our ancient Jewish spiritual ancestors never linked those verses to gays.

4. Early Christians did not link those verses to gays.

5. The church fathers did not link those verses in Leviticus to gays.

If your view was correct, someone between 1400 BC to around the time of Christ, would have linked those verses to gays and homosexuality. Yet they did not.

The reason why is, those verses prohibit shrine prostitution, not gay guys or gay gals falling in love with each other and spending their lives together as a couple.

Please take time to click on the text links and get familiar with the information. What I present is strongly supported historically and even the most virulent anti-gay Christians admit that the context of Lev 18:22 and 20:13 is cult prostitution or shrine prostitution or temple prostitution - different names for the same idolatrous activity.

By the way, Jude never condemns gays and lesbians, never mentions gays and lesbians.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Gay Christian FAQ.

Site Build It! Site Build It!