GOD, SOCIAL REFORM, POLITICAL DEAL-MAKING, AND HEALTH CARE – PART 6 OF 6

“…because you have relied on the king of Syria and have not relied on the LORD your God, therefore the king of Syria has escaped out of your hand …. and in the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa became diseased in his feet. His disease was severe, yet even in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but the physicians.”

The Scripture tells us that God’s people, Judah, did evil in the sight of the Lord by provoking Him to jealousy with all kinds of idolatry, sexual sin, and false worship.

Among the first acts of reform adopted by King Asa was to evict the male cult prostitutes (sodomites) from the land . These men were sodomites that had gained access to the temple service under the reign of Rehoboam . These temple sodomites were part of a larger problem (idolatry) that began with the Jews adopting the abominable sins of their pagan neighbors and thus abandoning God’s design for their lives .

It takes three English words to translate the single Hebrew word (qadesh, קָדֵשׁ) to describe the prostitutes. In an attempt to get the message across, some English translators simply chose “sodomites” to portray the situation. To the untrained eye it looks to be the same word that is translated into the English as “holy.” Incidentally, “holy” in Hebrew (qodesh, קֹדֶשׁ) does not always connote piety; in many cases it means “set apart” or “things dedicated.” In the case of the male cult prostitutes, they were set apart by the sinful Judeans to take part in what was supposed to be a holy temple service. The male cult prostitutes were quasi-sacred persons; technically, male devotees (by prostitution) to licentious idolatry and therefore considered unclean. It was a practice borrowed from the pagans. These acts were declared by the Lord to be utterly despicable .

This is the end of a six-part series.

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