What about Yahweh?
It's hard for most of us to take that question seriously. God, if he exists, doesn't have a body, so he doesn't have a sexual nature, certainly not a homosexual one. And yet Christians tend to think of God as a person, a father even, and use the pronoun "he" when referring to "him." God made man in his own image and only later made a woman after the man couldn't find an acceptable "help meet" among the animals that God created.1 So if men are made in the image of God, God must be a male, right?
You see where I'm going with this. I don't have to draw you a picture, do I?2
The Bible is unclear about God's body,3 as it is about pretty much everything else. But there are stories about God's body in the Bible. And some of them, when you turn your head slightly and look at them just right, look just a bit on the gay side.
Here are a few of my favorites.
In chapter 32 of the book of Genesis, a man showed up from out of nowhere and completely unannounced and wrestled all night with Jacob.
Jacob ... wrestled a man ... until the breaking of the day. Genesis 32:24
Unable to beat Jacob in a fair fight, the man touched "the hollow of his thigh," dislocating it.
And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint. 32:25
The man begged Jacob to let him go because it was getting light and he had a vampire-like fear of daylight.
Let me go, for the day breaketh. 32:26a
Jacob said, "I won't let you go until you bless me."
And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. 32:26bThe vampire-man asked, "What's your name?" And Jacob said, "Jacob".
And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, 32:27
The man said, "Your name is no longer 'Jacob,' but 'Israel', because you have wrestled with God and won."
And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. 32:28
Jacob asked, "What's your name?" The vampire man-god answered, "Why do you want to know?" Then the mysterious wrestler blessed Jacob/Israel.
And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. 32:29
Jacob named the site of the wrestling match "Peniel" because he saw God face to face and lived.
And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. 32:30
That was a fun story, wasn't it? But who was the strange creature that wrestled with Jacob all night? Well, apparently it was God, since Jacob wrestled with God and saw him face to face.
But what was it that God did to the hollow of Jacob's thigh? It's hard to say for sure, but since "thigh" is sometimes used as a biblical euphemism for penis,4 some say there was some hanky-panky going on here between God and Jacob. Perhaps God grabbed Jacob's private parts or, as Jennings suggests in Jacob's Wound, God wounded Jacob in a violent homoerotic attack.5
One of the strangest stories in the Bible occurs in the fourth chapter of the book of Exodus, where God, for no apparent reason, tries to kill Moses.
Moses and his family were on their way to Egypt, when all of a sudden:
The LORD met him, and sought to kill him. Exodus 4:24
Luckily for Moses, his Egyptian wife Zipporah knew just what to do. She found a sharp stone, cut off the foreskin of her son, threw the bloody bits at her husband's feet, and said: "You're nothing but a bloody husband to me."
Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. Exodus 4:25
And that did it. God let Moses go, and Zipporah repeated her "bloody husband" speech.
So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision. Exodus 4:26
I don't think anyone really knows what to make of this story, but it must have something to do with God, a baby's penis, and Moses's feet. And since "feet" is sometimes Bible-talk for "penis,"6 I guess maybe it's all about God and penises.
There are some imaginative theories, though. Keith Sharpe, for example, in The Gay Gospels, says that "even though the text tells us that Yahweh wanted to kill Moses this again looks more like a violent sexual attack which Zipporah frustrates, rather than a case of attempted murder."7
Man, that Yahweh is something, isn't he? We already knew he was a serial mass murderer,8 but a serial homosexual rapist, too? It's almost too much to believe.
There's a story in the book of Jeremiah in which God gives Jeremiah some divine instructions about a girdle (loincloth). He tells Jeremiah to get a linen girdle and put it on his loins, but don't wash it.
Thus saith the LORD unto me, Go and get thee a linen girdle, and put it upon thy loins, and put it not in water. Jeremiah 13:1
So Jeremiah does as he is told and puts a linen girdle on his loins.
So I got a girdle according to the word of the LORD, and put it on my loins. 13:2Then God told Jeremiah to remove the girdle from his loins and hide it in a hole in a rock on the Euphrates River.
And the word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying, Take the girdle that thou hast got, which is upon thy loins, and arise, go to Euphrates, and hide it there in a hole of the rock. So I went, and hid it by Euphrates, as the LORD commanded me.13:3-5Then, after many days, God told Jeremiah to go to the Euphrates and get the girdle from the hole in the rock.
And it came to pass after many days, that the LORD said unto me, Arise, go to Euphrates, and take the girdle from thence, which I commanded thee to hide there. 13:5-6So Jeremiah went to the Euphrates and found the girdle. But, alas, it was ruined.
Then I went to Euphrates, and digged, and took the girdle from the place where I had hid it: and, behold, the girdle was marred, it was profitable for nothing. 13:7Apparently, the point of the girdle story was to say that worshipping other gods "is good for nothing."
This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing. 13:10
And that, as Theodore W. Jennings, Jr. explains in Jacob's Wound, "Judah should cling to that which Yahweh's loincloth clings -- his phallus."9
As the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith the LORD. 13:11
This isn't just Jennings's interpretation. Here's what Howard Eilberg-Schwartz says in his book, God's Phallus:
The principal meaning of this passage is obviously to condemn Israel's lack of fidelity to God. But not far beneath is the exceedingly erotic conception of Israel's relationship to God as the cloth covering God's loins."10
Chapters 5 and 6 of First Samuel are mostly about hemorrhoids. God punishes the Philistines with hemorrhoids ("emerods" in the KJV) in their secret parts and then he demands five golden hemorrhoids to make him stop.
Here's the story.
The Philistines stole the ark of the covenant from the Israelites. And that's when their troubles really began. God destroyed the people of Ashdod and smote those that survived with hemorrhoids.
But the hand of the LORD was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with emerods. 1 Samuel 5:6
So the people of Ashdod decided to send the ark to another Philistine city: Gath.
What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel? And they answered, Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried about unto Gath. And they carried the ark of the God of Israel about thither. 5:8
And then God smote the people of Gath, the small and the great, with hemorrhoids in their secret parts.
The hand of the LORD was against the city with a very great destruction: and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts. 5:9
After that, what do you think the Gathites decided to do with God's ark? They sent it to Ekron.
Therefore they sent the ark of God to Ekron. 5:10
When the ark arrived at Ekron, God did the usual thing: he killed most of the people and gave the rest hemorrhoids.
There was a deadly destruction throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there. And the men that died not were smitten with the emerods: and the cry of the city went up to heaven. 5:11-12
After striking the Philistines with hemorrhoids "in their secret parts," God demanded that they send him five golden hemorrhoids as a "trespass offering."
What shall be the trespass offering which we shall return to him? They answered, Five golden emerods ... Ye shall make images of your emerods ... Ye shall give glory unto the God of Israel: peradventure he will lighten his hand from off you, and from off your gods. 6:4-5
Okay, that's a pretty nasty story. But according to Jennings, it's even nastier. He suggests that the hemorrhoids with which God punished the Philistines were the result of anal rape, with God as the rapist.
Thus, the population of each of the five cities experienced the phallic assault of Yahweh upon them, an assault that is somehow connected to the ark as the sign and seat of that potency. ... Yahweh afflicts the Philistines, both young and old with the mark of anal rape.11
- "Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam ... but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man." Genesis 2:19-22
- Since I'm not much of an artist, I suggest you read the book God's Phallus by Howard Eilberg-Schwartz.
- See "Does God have a body?" at the Skeptic's Annotated Bible
- "[T]he word 'thigh' is sometimes used in ancient Jewish sources as a euphemism for the penis." Eilberg-Schwartz, God's Phallus, 88.
- "The prohibition of eating the nerve is practicable because it is so readily identifiable, being about as big around as the small finger. In wrestling, a particularly violent grip at the base of the buttocks could strain or damage this nerve, resulting in serious injury. The same would be true of a violent sexual assault." Theodore W. Jennings, Jr., Jacob's Wound, 253.
- "The term 'feet' is an occasional euphemism for penis (Isa. 7:20; Ruth 3:7; possibly Exod. 4:25)." Eilberg-Schwartz, God's Phallus, 78.
- Keith Sharpe, The Gay Gospels, 135.
The same suggestion is made by Jennings: "[T]he assault on Moses appears to have been a kind of attempted rape, a violent assault. It is this violent sexual assault that is averted by the claim of Zipporah upon Moses' sexuality." Jacob's Wound, 248.
- See Drunk With Blood: God's killings in the Bible (Wells 2013) which chronicles 158 killings in the Bible that God either inspired, approved of, or performed himself.
- Jennings, Jacob's Wound, 46.
- Eilberg-Schwartz, God's Phallus, 101-2
- Jennings, Jacob's Wound, 49.