I think I might have been wrong about same-sex marriage.
When I have written about this phenomenon and discussed it and debated it in recent years, I have stated unequivocally that it is something new – not seen anywhere or at any time in the history of humankind.
But now I have reason to doubt that.
There may indeed have been a time in man’s history when it was practiced.
It wasn’t in ancient Greece.
It wasn’t in Sodom and Gomorrah.
It wasn’t in Rome.
It wasn’t in Babylon.
But it may have been routine in the days of Noah, just before the flood.
I am hardly a student of the Talmud, part of the oral tradition of Orthodox Judaism. I don’t believe it is the inspired word of God. But it is, nonetheless, a historical record. According to two notable experts, the Babylonian Talmud says that same-sex marriage was prevalent just before the Great Flood of Noah.
Jeffrey Satinover, who holds an MD from Princeton and doctorates from Yale, MIT and Harvard, has made the point that the Midrash Rabbah Genesis suggests such activity represented the last straw before God unleashed the floodwaters to destroy the Earth. He is backed up by Rabbi Aryeh Spero of New York.
But it’s not just conservative scholars and rabbis who see that message in the Talmud. Indeed, a feminist academic from Brandeis University, Gail Labovitz, senior research analyst for the Feminist Sexual Ethics Project, dealt with this issue in a recent paper.
Not only did men marry men and women marry women in the days of Noah, but they wrote marriage contracts for those relationships, just as the world is doing today.
I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if the rabbis were right.
Could this have been what Jesus was referring to in Matthew 24:37-39, when He said: “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took all of them away; so shall the coming of the Son of man be.”
If that’s what Jesus had in mind, it doesn’t bode well for nations practicing this abomination today. But, as He suggests, it may very well be another sign that He is “at the door.”
I know. I know. You don’t believe Jesus is the Son of God – the Savior of the world, the Messiah. You don’t believe the Bible is God’s inspired word. You don’t believe a flood actually destroyed the world more than 4,000 years ago.
It really doesn’t matter what you believe about those things. It only matters what God believes. It only matters what is true. Opinions don’t count when it comes to God’s rules. Only obedience and repentance matter.
People deny the reality of God and sin usually because they don’t want to be accountable for their behavior. Sin is pleasurable for a season, and that’s all that matters to some people. So they reject God and pretend He doesn’t exist, as if that gives them a license to break His rules.
Some people reject God because they think He’s mean to judge them.
But God gives us all the desires of their hearts. That’s true for those who embrace Him just as it is true of those who don’t. Those who make Him the Lord of their lives get to spend eternity with Him. Those who don’t are eternally separated from Him. In other words, they, too, get their wish.
When I’m wrong I admit it. And it appears I was wrong when I stated repeatedly there is no historical precedent for same-sex marriage. But the one I have found is not exactly reassuring. The last time it happened, God destroyed the world.
I should have known better, because Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 1:9: “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”