May 19, 2015

The Bible and Homosexuality XIV: A Divine Act of Grace or Gay?

It becomes immediately evident when researching the alleged homosexuality of Daniel and Ashpenaz that the assertion is based on one verse in Daniel’s superscription (Helminiak 127). The homosexual viewpoint is formulated by a single verse or more specifically two words within Daniel 1:9. Proper hermeneutics is to not formulate an entire doctrine around one verse of Scripture but this appears to be the case here.

What is interesting about this passage in Daniel is that it is also the Hebrew that is being used to defend a pro-homosexual position.

Daniel 1:9 ~ “Now God had brought Daniel into favor and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.” (KJV)

Daniel 1:9 ~ "Now God made Daniel to find favor, compassion and loving-kindness with the chief of the eunuchs" (Amplified)

The traditional view of the relationship between Daniel and Ashpenaz is that it is friendship at best and nothing within the context alludes to sexuality. Ashpenaz was the chief eunuch guarding the family of Nebuchadnezzar. He is most known for the diet and lifestyle administered to Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Brand et al 126). This of course does not prevent people with a poor grasp of the Bible and improper hermeneutics from seeing what they want to see in the text. From a theological point of view it is incomprehensible that A God who hates sin would make one of His prophets homosexual when His Law strictly forbids it. Prophets in the very office/role they inhabit are heralds of the Law and when all else fails they are heralds of doom.

Because of the wordage of specific English versions and liberal interpretation of the Hebrew of this passage, some believe that there could’ve possibly been an insinuation of a homosexual relationship when it says that God had brought tender love (KJV) on Daniel from Ashpenaz (Robinson). What this view completely fails to take into account is that the Bible specifically calls homosexuality sin and being such is against God’s nature. When viewed from the proper historical context, Sitz im leben and the Sitz im buch the passage defends itself as being non-homosexual. In Hebrew it says that God had brought Daniel וּֽלְרַחֲמִ֑ים/racham and לְחֶ֖סֶד/checed in the sight of Ashpenaz (Harris 305-307). The word לְחֶ֖סֶד /checed or hesed in the Hebrew is a word that can mean favor and other things such as mercy, loyalty and love. In this context is makes sense to understand the use of the word to be align to a meaning of loyalty and/or or kindness not love as is being implied from a homosexual point of view (especially love in an erotic sexual sense). It should be understood to mean favor or a kindness of a man towards a man. The other word וּֽלְרַחֲמִ֑ים/racham based on the context should be viewed to mean compassion of man for another a man. This passage is merely stating that Daniel was given loyalty and compassion by Ashpenaz specifically because of God.

Based on a request by Daniel to not defile himself by partaking of forbidden food and drink, “he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.” We do not see a statement of sexuality in Daniel 1:9; instead we see a statement about faith and conviction. So much so that God inspired Ashpenaz to take notice to this and it inspired a favor and loyalty in him towards Daniel. God gave this kindness to Daniel through Ashpenaz. It is clear to Ashpenaz that Daniel’s request was based in a principled decision and conviction. It would also appear that Ashpenaz’s recognition of this fact was a result of divine grace.

What most homosexual exegetes miss in this verse by focusing on the “compassion” and “favor” is the fact that God has the definite article attached to it in Hebrew in order to show that this is indeed an act of grace towards Daniel by the Elohim or the One True God. God always honors those that are faithful witnesses to Him. It therefore follows that a homosexual prophet is not being an obedient faithful witness to the One True God because they would be committing an overt sin being his representative. It is in total violation of Scripture and is therefore totally incompatible with God’s character (Young 45).

It is totally against God’s attributes to ascribe to Him the favor given Daniel from Ashpenaz was homosexual in nature. This is a total misreading of the passage and it is forcing a non-theological context into the passage that does not belong there. What we see is another forced homosexual presupposition into a theological statement about the relationship between two men. It is a relationship that clearly had positive biblical connotations because we see God acting as the prime mover behind the scenes.

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