Luke’s Gay Apocalypse: “Two Men in One Bed”

Whether or not you believe in the rapture, and whether or not you even believe the Bible, there is nevertheless something very significant for gays and lesbians that is located smack-dab-in-the-middle of one of the main passages used to support the notion of the rapture.  “Practicing” gays and lesbians are not automatically disqualified for heaven.

Two Couples in Luke’s Gospel: One Gay and One Lesbian

Luke 17:20-37 is sometimes called “Luke’s Small Apocalypse.” (1)  There are two little verses just before the climax of Luke’s Small Apocalypse which are really quite extraordinary.  Luke 17:34-35 are used in support of the doctrine of the rapture, and refer to two same-sex couples, two gays and two lesbians.

          I tell you, in that night,
          there shall be two men in one bed;
                the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.
          Two women shall be grinding together;
                the one shall be taken, and the other left.
           (Luke 17:34-35, KJV)

I know that most people concerned with these issues believe that Jesus never mentioned homosexuality. Well, technically, he didn’t, at least not as an abstract category. But he did mention four gays and lesbians–flesh and blood, living, breathing homosexuals. Jesus illustrates a key moment in “God’s Countdown to Judgment” by using as his examples 1) two men in one bed and 2) two women grinding together 3) at night. And half of the gays and lesbians (one member from each of the couples) are acceptable to God. And from what I read, the lesbian couple is in the middle of making love. Thus, acceptability to God has nothing to do with their celibacy.

Some of you are already pulling out your Greek testaments and interlinear Bibles ready to do battle.  Some of you will quibble with my use of the King James Version. That’s fine. I understand the translation options for “two men in one bed.” And if those few words were all I had to go on, my case would be fairly weak.  That is not, however, all there is.

Proper Exegesis: Look at the Context

Look at the context. Immediately before the mention of two men in one bed is a lengthy discussion of the destruction of Sodom. Now I don’t believe the sin of Sodom was homosexuality. But there are many today who believe that it was, and I think most of the Jewish believers in Luke’s audience may have believed it as well.

Jesus knew that by recounting key details of Sodom’s destruction, his audience would have man-on-man sex on its mind.  Jesus intended for us to understand that the “two men in one bed” were gay. It is no accident that for more than a hundred years every minister preaching on the rapture from Luke 17 has had to disavow the sexual content of verse 34.

“Just because two men are sleeping in the same bed doesn’t mean something bad is going on. I used to sleep with my brothers when I was young, and we weren’t gay. Also, it was common for travelers in ancient Israel, as well as for poor laborers, to share the same bed.”

Why has that disavowal of the sexual content in Luke 17:34 been necessary for the tens of thousands of sermons preached on the rapture? Very simple. Jesus deliberately mentioned Sodom details like Lot and his wife so that his audience would realize that the two men in one bed were gay.

Proper Exegesis: Studying Old Testament Antecedents to Understand the New Testament

If you are familiar with the rules of proper Bible exegesis (interpretation), you  know that one key practice for interpreting a passage in the Greek scriptures is to look for its antecedents in the Old Testament. For example, if you wanted to explore the meaning of “the Son of Man” in Matthew, you would study the occurrences of “the Son of Man” in the Old Testament. (2) You may be able to tell where I’m headed with this.

I’ve only found two Old Testament references to two men laying together.

Thou shalt not lie with a man, as with a woman: it is abomination. (Leviticus 18:22)

If a man lie with a man, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. (Leviticus 20:13)

By clearly alluding to the Levitical prohibitions against male homosexuality, followed immediately with his declaration that “one shall be taken, and the other left,” Jesus declared his own acceptance of gays and lesbians, and that gays and lesbians are not automatically rejected by God.

Before rushing to deny the sexual content of Jesus’ remarks, it seems more responsible to follow some of the proper procedures for doing exegesis. Proper exegesis includes, among other things, 1) looking at the passage in context and 2) looking at Old Testament antecedents.

When I return to Luke’s Small Apocalypse I will discuss the surprising evidence I uncovered regarding the two women “grinding together.”


1) Matera, Frank J. New Testament Theology: Exploring Diversity and Unity. WJKP, 2007. p 92.

2) Matthew 8:20, cp. Psalm 144:3; Isaiah 51:12; Jeremiah 50:40; Daniel 7:17.

[To read the entire series on “Luke’s Gay Apocalypse” and the gays and lesbians in Luke, click here.]

About Ron Goetz

Intellectual, struggler, disciple, writer, Widower, father, grandpa, friend, son, orphan.
This entry was posted in Homosexuality, Luke 17:34-35, Rapture, Two Men in One Bed and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

65 Responses to Luke’s Gay Apocalypse: “Two Men in One Bed”

  1. Daniel Crocker says:

    Ok, well put your observation of the men in bed together. It’s quite possible that the passage refers to a homosexual couple. But the women grinding as a sexual reference? That is about women grinding grain together, not their genitalia. C’mon that’s reaching a bit, don’t you think?

    And, I’m gay and have no problem with my sexuality or that of any other, for that matter.

    Daniel Crocker


    • Ron Goetz says:

      Daniel, you’ll be surprised. I knew that I needed to have confirmation that “grind” was used in the time of Christ. I found that confirmation in a story by Plutarch that was written at the same time Luke was writing his gospel. See “Two Women Grinding Together,” pt. 2.


      • Michael Swaney says:

        Grinding grain was a common women’s duty as it still is today in many third world countries. As for the men, it can be interpreted as two men, but is probably more clear as two people. In many tribes, men sleep under the same roof, and often shared beds due to economics. If they were to have intercourse, they would need a place to go do it, and not sleep all night long together, because in many tribes considered it is punishable by death to lay (have sex with) with another man. In many texts, it says “a man was found with another man” when describing sex, not sleeping together. Reading the whole verse, and the rest of the chapter, I get a sense he is talking about two people doing the same activity and one being taken, and also that it will come at a time when it’s least expected. Not that it will come during a time of intercourse between men or women.


      • Ron Goetz says:

        Michael, almost all of your remarks have been coverd in my posts and in the subsequent comments, but I’ll reply again.

        First, the Greek word for “mill” (muloni) does not appear in Luke 17:35. Muloni does appear in the Matthew parallel, but it is not here. Thus, the semantic range is expanded to include the sexual use of the word “grind.”

        Second, I have acknowledged many times that the duo in 17: 34 can be translated as “two” or as “two men.” Both are accurate. Luke, however, often has paired male/female elements in his gospel, for example the man who loses a sheep and the woman who loses a coin.

        Additionally, the poetic parallelism of placing two men side by side with two women is more expected. The parallelism of “two men in one bed” and “two women grinding together” is similar to the carefully parallel structure of “the days of Noah” and “the days of Lot.”

        Third, the context supports a sexual understanding of the two pairs. First, verse 34 specifies that this action takes place “at night.” Second, a couple of verses before these we have the account of Sodom’s destruction. The Sodom account features male-on-male sex quite prominently.

        Fourth, the only Old Testament antecedants for two men laying together occurs in the Levitical prohibitions against it.

        There’s much more going on in this passage than just verses 34 and 35.

        Thanks for dropping in!


    • ShmuwAL says:

      Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If either of them goes to fall, one helps the other to stand-up. Consciousness sends out two by two. These are according to the appointments of lives to be pairs of the Eight of Núwach. Various parables convey the side by side relationship of the Kuwáhnim and queens. “On that night there are two in one bed; one is taken and the other left.” The night is the 15th of the month, when there is not light of the moon. The two are from the two sides of the fulcrum of the full moon and the sun which meet together in the midst. As the instruction of the Kuwáhnim on the left—meaning to release/give/permit the flow to impart illumination embodied in Understanding, the other receives Wisdom—acquires/takes/receives. As the offerings, one rises upon the other as the oylah rises on the wood. Two are grinding flour, one receives Knowledge—takes/acquires/receives, from the other who gives from the left—releases/gives/opens the seed. These two depict the hands of the queens of Bayinah, on the left, who imparts all to the queen on the right—Chækúwmah. As the offerings, one receives their strength from the other as the oylah rises on the wood. Two are at the well, one draws out from their depths, and the other receives the refreshing drink. As the offerings, one supports another as the oylah rises on the wood. These examples of pairs are at the coming of the Offspring of Neúwn. As paired sides of one body, the fish rise from the waters via the conscious flow from one to another. As such, you are your brother’s keeper and committed to actions of support and reciprocity of Túwrahh/Torah. excerpt from Shuphetim/Judges 19,


  2. Ted Hayes says:

    Search as I might, I cannot find my own copy. But if I remember correctly, Daniel Helminiak, in “What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality,” makes a very strong case for the possibility that the centurion who asks Jesus to heal his “servant” at home has a lover rather than a servant. Jesus even commended the faith of the centurion when he told Jesus he didn’t even have to come to his residence, but just heal from where he was at the time. Matthew 8:5ff.


  3. Tom Harris says:

    It does seem a stretch (and I’m with Daniel on the connotation of “grinding.”) I always thought that Sodom itself wasn’t merely about homosexuality either. Still, you’ve got my attention. The centurion’s servant could be a sexual partner, but I don’t know if that can be necessarily derived from the text. If so, I find it hard to imagine it being a particularly consensual arrangement.


    • Ted Hayes says:

      “The centurion’s servant could be a sexual partner, but I don’t know if that can be necessarily derived from the text.” Probably not in English, but when Helminiak delves into the Greek, he makes a strong case.


      • Tom Harris says:

        Didn’t say it was impossible. Though looking at the Greek (thanks for pointing that out) the word used could also imply a child servant (pais, paidos) which as I said isn’t exactly the modern ideal for sexual relationships. It’d be an interesting relationship to exegete, but I’m not sure I’d want to make too much of an analogy here to modern sexual relationships.


    • “the word used could also imply a child servant (pais, paidos) which as I said isn’t exactly the modern ideal for sexual relationships.”

      From the following wikipedia excerpt, it would appear that “pais” and “erômenos” or “beloved” (plural eromenoi) are interchangeable. “The word erômenos, or “beloved” (plural eromenoi), is the masculine form of the present passive participle from ero, viewed by Dover as the passive or subordinate partner. An erômenos can also be called pais, “child.”” (


  4. Marie says:

    The sin in the Leviticus is not homosexuality… it is the sin of a man wasting his “seed”.Life was regarded as sacred , and if men were to lie together the seed would not be for procreation. Hence the other laws prohibiting men from having relations with their wives during their menses.., the seed would be wasted. (Among the reasons women are not mentioned, no seed.)
    to equate the grinding corn reference to lesbians is pure error in exegesis. Yet since the Bible can be interpreted, I cant disagree with what you interpret per se, anyone can say what they feel the Bible says , yet it is not exegetically sound.There is no evidence.


    • Ron Goetz says:

      Regarding the grinding “corn” reference. Several words are inserted into Luke 17:35 to “clarify” grinding, including corn and meal, but most often “mill.” The word mill does not occur here in Luke, but it does appear in the parallel account in Matthew. But these small differences between the synoptic gospels indicate differences in theological emphasis.

      Naturally, I disagree with your assertion that my exegesis is “pure error in exegesis.”


      • rjwalker says:

        As an aside: >>But these small differences between the synoptic gospels indicate differences in theological emphasis.

        I think they indicate _large_ differences in how the 3 writers viewed Jesus and how they came to understand his divinity. .
        Compare the “homecoming” stories, first in the first writetn, Mark, in 6:4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” 5 He _could not_ do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.” [Emphasis added]

        With Matthew 13: 58 And he _did not do_ many miracles there because of their lack of faith.” [Emphasis added]

        One can almost hear Matthew reading Mark and saying, “Whow!. Jesus is the son of God and is divine himself, whadda ya mean, there’s something he couldn’t do?”


      • Ron Goetz says:


        What people frequently forget is that Paul’s epistles were written before the gospels. People have seen Pauline influence in the gospels, which is odd when you think about it.

        When you read where Jesus says, “You have heard it said…but I say unto you,” you are actually hearing the Biblical version of “The Great Conversation,” a discussion of the great themes of scripture.

        This is why we need to resist the impulse to “harmonize” scriptures where tension exists.


  5. rjwalker says:

    >>But there are many today who believe that [the story of Sodom] was [about homoseuality], and I think most of the Jewish believers in Luke’s audience may have believed it as well.

    Why do you think that? Jesus himself, earlier in Luke tells us (or at least suggests) that the sin of Sodom was violation of that society’s hospitality code:

    When getting ready to send his disciple out, Jesus instructs them “10 But if a town refuses to welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘We wipe even the dust of your town from our feet to show that we have abandoned you to your fate. And know this—the Kingdom of God is near!’ 12 I assure you, even wicked Sodom will be better off than such a town on judgment day.”


  6. Though I’m with the people who think Bible Thumping Liberal has a weak argument here, I gotta admit that if Jesus was a homophobe, and especially if he was a homophobic all-knowing God Incarnate who would’ve foreseen any confusion over this issue, he would’ve said, “…there shall be two men in one bed–not in a gay way–”

    While arguing from omission is tricky, I find it very significant that Jesus doesn’t appear to have said a single word about sexuality of any kind.


    • Ron Goetz says:

      Yup. If Jesus really did agree that being a non-celibate gay or lesbian got you a one-way ticket to hell, this is the moment when he would have said it.

      Of course we differ on whether it’s an argument from silence, but that’s okay. Uniformity of beliefs isn’t our goal, last time I heard!


  7. Dove says:

    I’m with Daniel here: the Bible was written far before our use of the word “grinding” referred to anything sexual. The women in this text were working together, preparing food. I’m not homophobic, I just cannot logically believe this passage refers to anything sexual.


  8. Ken Howard says:

    I am writing as a person who has studied this matter in the Hebrew and the Greek for some time, and is persuaded that the 5 or 6 passages in the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament have nothing to do with homosexuality as we know it, and that Jesus was entirely silent on the subject.

    So while I think it is a non-issue in Scripture, I don’t think you do your case or the cause of gay and lesbian people in the church any favors to construct weak arguments from the Scripture that attempt to show Jesus speaking in favor of same-sex behavior. As I read it in the Greek, the first phrase literally says “two [duo] in the same bed” (not identifying sex). The second phrase certainly refers to women grinding but the word for grinding (aletho) comes comes from a root word which means “wheat” or “wheat flour.” To project backwards the modern connotations of “grinding” is much of an anachronism as projecting modern conceptions of homosexuality back onto the people of Jesus’ or Moses’ times.


    • Ron Goetz says:

      Ken, I just blogged about the O.T. use of “grind” as a euphemism for sexual intercourse. This usage would have been familiar to many in Jesus’ audience, especially the Scribes. So there are no anachronisms here.

      I may not get to your other objections right away, but I am familiar with them and will try not to be too tardy with a response.


  9. Pingback: ‘Gay apocalypse’? « John Meunier

  10. Pingback: Did Jesus accept one each of gay and lesbian couples? - Gentle Wisdom

  11. Peter von Kaehne says:

    Your argument is flawed in several levels.

    1) The identification of the first couple as two men is in doubt. There is no “men”, just “two”. Others mentioned this already

    2) The reference to Sodom is overstated – Sodom is mentioned together with the days of Noah, not alone. The point Jesus makes in both examples is the suddenness of destruction, overwhelming all ordinary life, emphasising the need for alertness and rapid flight, not Sodom’s specific sin.

    3) Even if either or both are references to homosexual couples, it still would not amount to approval. Consider Calvary – two men were crucified next to Christ – one was saved, one not. Both were confirmed sinners. There is no approval whatsoever of their life in Christ saving them. It was the faith of the one which saved him.


    • Ron Goetz says:

      Peter, the issues you’ve raised are valid and constructive.

      1) If taken in isolation without regard to its context, 17:34 could obviously be rendered “two men” or “two persons.” That’s the way Greek works (and many other languages as well). Scholars have observed, however, that Luke shows a preference for male/female pairings. (I will provide examples in a blog post shortly)

      2) “Alertness and rapid flight” is specifically stated in the gospel of Matthew, but not in the gospel of Luke. As you know, the gospel writers often used the same material but put it to a different theological use. The cleansing of the temple is an obvious example. The synoptic gospels place it near the end of Jesus’ ministry, while John locates it in chapter 2. They put the same episode to distinctly different uses.

      The statement, “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” is Matthew 24:44, but is not in Luke.

      You’re right, not just Lot and Sodom are mentioned, but Noah as well. It is in this context of judgment that Jesus teaches that homosexual sex was a non-issue for him.

      3) Regarding remark #3: If my thesis is correct, then Jesus described two gay and lesbian couples, at night, and the lesbian couple is in the middle of sex. We don’t know what the gay couple is doing, the text doesn’t specify “sleeping,” “eating,” or “embracing.” Gay and lesbian sex were non-issues for Jesus. If my thesis is correct, the theme of Luke’s Gay Apocalypse is, “Non-Celibate Homosexuality is Not a Criterion for Acceptability to God.”


    • Ron Goetz says:

      Peter, I have said that if my argument depended on a single verse, verse 34, then it wouldn’t add up to anything–but it doesn’t.

      The meanings of this passage you give in your #2 are the traditional meanings assigned to it.

      Now that I have filled in the elements of my argument, you can see that I have introduced four major arguments to support my thesis: 1) two men in one bed, 2) two women grinding together (no “clarifiying” word like corn, meal, or mill is present in Luke), 3) the chief O.T. story associated with man-on-man sex, and the chief Roman symbols associated Zeus and Ganymede, who exemplify what we would call “homosexuality.”

      About your point #3 about the two couples being gays and lesbians. Note that the text does not say what the men are doing, sleeping, dining, playing dice, or making love. And the two women are in the middle of making love. My thesis has been from the outset: Non-celibate gays and lesbians are not automatically rejected by God (as some insist). Gay and lesbian sex are non-issues for God and Jesus when it comes to their acceptability or unacceptability.

      Basically, the phrases “gay Christian” and “lesbian Christian” are not oxymorons.


  12. Steve Sherman says:

    Some translations say “two men in one bed”, some say “two people were in one bed”, others say “two were in one bed”. Why ? Because the Greek doesn’t say; just that two were in one bed.


    • Ron Goetz says:

      Steve, I’ve said in many places that if my case depended on a single verse, it would be incredibly weak–nothing more than mere assertion. It’s a 50-50 proposition whether it’s translated “two men in one bed” or “two in one bed.” But when you take the companion verse (“two women grinding together”), together with the detailed discussion of the Destruction of Sodom, plus other religious indicators, you will realize there’s a lot more to the argument than one isolated verse.


  13. Joseph says:

    Oh, please. In various times and places, it was COMMON for unmarried men (or women) to share a bed. Beds were in short supply. And two women “grinding” together is no doubt a reference to food preparation.


    • Ron Goetz says:

      Joseph, you say beds were in short supply? That’s an odd assertion–can you back that up with any evidence whatsoever? That’s an unfounded statement with no evidence whatever.

      Do you think Sodom refers primarily to the sin of homosexuality? If in your opinion it does, then doesn’t the immediate context suggest that “two men in one bed” and “two women grinding together” could refer to gay and lesbian couples? That’s what is called “taking it in context.”


  14. Don Rappe says:

    Wouldn’t it be odd for women to grind corn at night? I would think daylight would be helpful.


  15. Dwight Osborne says:

    anyway, just so you know, this isn’t a passage about the rapture, but about the revelation. That’s the second coming of Jesus at the end of the great tribulation and the beginning of the earthly millenial kingdom.


  16. someone says:

    oh please. In Leviticus 18:22 God says that lying with a man as with a woman is an abomination. If God thought homosexuality was disgusting, why don’t we? In Leviticus 20:13, God ordered the death penalty for homosexuality. Do you really think homosexuality isn’t a sin?
    *Jesus is God and followed all the law/commandments.
    In Luke 17:26-36, the point of the passage is that the end will be quick/destroy/end them all. It has nothing to do with homosexuality. I see you try to claim that verses like Luke 24:34-35/Matthew 24:40-41 prove that Jesus spoke of homosexuality, but you are badly mistaken. Both in Luke 17:35-36 AND Matthew 24:40-41 where the KJV has two “men” in one bed, and two “women” grinding, the Greek simply has duo (two). Check the Interlinear Bible if you don’t believe me. The Greek simply implies two (people), not two “men” or two “women”. That was an imagination created by the KJV. Plus the “bed” that the “men” had “sex” in is the Greek word klines. It comes from the verb klino, meaning to rest/incline/recline. That’s right. the Greek word wasn’t strictly a “bed” as we think of it. Google the word Greek word klines/kline. It will show you pictures of “beds” that would look uncomfortable to sleep in and have sex. The Greek word klines was a reclining bed, which you also could sleep in. The paralyzed man was carried around on a “bed” (Luke 5:18/Matthew 9:2).
    some people in this comment section actually think grinding meant to have sex? Did the “women” really have sex when the text says they were grinding?
    The Greek word aletho means to grind (at a mill). What were they grinding? The Greek word aletho and the Greek word aleuron (meal/flour) come from the same root word. So does the Greek word aletho mean to have sex? Let’s see what the Greek Septuagint has to say. The Greek word aletho appears 4 times in the Greek Septuagint. The first appearance, Numbers 11:8, shows the people aletho (grinding) the manna (verse 9) in handmills. In Judges 16:21, Samson ground (aletho) at the mill. Was he having sex with himself? Were the people in Numbers 11:8 having sex? The two last instances (Ecclesiastes 12:3-4), just simply says aletho (grinding). From all these verses we can see that when people aletho, they are grinding at a mill, not having sex.
    Which is what Matthew 24:41 says exactly. That the two (people) were grinding at the mill. Nothing to do with sex whatsoever.


    • Ron Goetz says:

      Brother, thank you for your response. Your objections are understandable, and I have dealt with almost all of them on my blog.

      For your objections to the Luke material on gays and lesbians, please go to the “Gays and Lesbians in Luke” index here:

      Look especially at these:

      Two Men in One Bed at Night

      “Two Men in One Bed” (Luke 17:34)
      “That Old, Old Problem: Two Men in One Bed

      Two Women Grinding Together at Night

      “Two Women Grinding Together” — O.T. Hebrew
      “Two Women Grinding Together” – Sumerian, Latin, and Greek
      “Two Lesbians without a Mill”

      If you’ll read these, you will find that I have answered all of your objections already.

      Let me answer your first question here: “If God thought homosexuality was disgusting, why don’t we?”

      First of all, “disgusting” is not the definition of Hebrew word toeba. Toeba is better-defined as “unknown among us,” “taboo,” or “forbidden.”

      But let’s assume for a moment that “disgusting” is an acceptable meaning (which it is not). Let me ask you this:

      “If God thought that eating pork was disgusting, why don’t we?”

      Or, “If God thought eating rabbit and shrimp was disgusting, then why don’t we?”

      Or, “If God thought eating abalone or squid was disgusting, then why don’t we?”

      The Hebrew word toeba was rendered “abomination” in the KJV over 400 years ago, and it’s meaning in English has evolved in that time, taking on connotations of loathing and disgust that are not present in the Torah.

      Brother, if you want to continue the discussion on the gays and lesbians in Luke 17, please go to the appropriate post and respond there. Thanks!


      • Kerwin Alexander says:

        The passage does not speak about homosexuals it refers to the grave (death is a sleep in the bible).
        (comment edited)


      • Ron Goetz says:

        Sorry, sleep does not always mean death or the grave.

        The following uses of the word “sleep” are not allegorical or symbolic.

        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; (Genesis 2:21)

        Adam did not die.

        And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. (Genesis 15:12)

        Abram did not die.

        And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. (Genesis 28:11)

        Jacob did not die.

        Your exegesis, your interpretation, your argument, is not accurate. Just asserting something does not make it true.


  17. Wendy says:

    I don’t think God is likely to moderate it.


  18. Robert Langley says:

    Luke 17:34-37 is not speaking of gays and lesbians. It is not even talking about the the rapture. The disciples asked Jesus in verse 37, “where Lord?”. They wanted to know where these people would be taken. If not to heaven then it could not represent the rapture. The place they will be taken is revealed by Jesus. This he revealed had to do with their bodies and the gathering if eagles or birds. The time frame is after the rapture and close to the revelation. The passage to which we must refer is Revelation 19:17-18. We should not read into scripture what is not only not there but not intended. God is quite capable of articulating His thoughts. He obviously is not speaking about the rapture nor gays and lesbians.


    • Ron Goetz says:

      Robert, the question of the disciples comes at the end of Jesus’ teaching. Scholars acknowledge that Jesus’ reply to their qu.estion is one of the most confusing and enigmatic in Scripture.

      Obviously I disagree with you about the absence of a gay and lesbian theme. The pertinent passage looks like this: Sodom–Lot’s wife–two men in one bed–two women grinding together–at night. They are in very close proximity to one another. You can’t simply say “the passage isn’t about homosexuality,” not with those five indicators clustered together like that.


  19. Pegs says:

    Leviticus 18:22 ESV
    You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-10 ESV
    Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

    Romans 1:26-28 ESV
    For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

    Leviticus 20:13 ESV
    If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.

    Exodus 22:19 ESV
    “Whoever lies with an animal shall be put to death.

    Leviticus 18:1-30 ESV
    And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, I am the Lord your God. You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not walk in their statutes. You shall follow my rules and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore keep my statutes and my rules; if a person does them, he shall live by them: I am the Lord. …

    Romans 1:26 ES
    For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;

    Romans 1:29-32 ESV
    They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

    Leviticus 18:15-24 ESV
    You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law; she is your son’s wife, you shall not uncover her nakedness. You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother’s wife; it is your brother’s nakedness. You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and of her daughter, and you shall not take her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter to uncover her nakedness; they are relatives; it is depravity. And you shall not take a woman as a rival wife to her sister, uncovering her nakedness while her sister is still alive. “You shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness while she is in her menstrual uncleanness. …

    Matthew 6:33 ESV
    But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

    1 Corinthians 6:9 ESV
    Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,


    • Ron Goetz says:

      And don’t forget this stern warning against a particular sexual behavior, Pegs:

      “If a man has sexual relations with a woman during her monthly period, he has exposed the source of her flow, and she has also uncovered it. Both of them are to be cut off from their people.”

      Interesting thing, the regulation of sexuality.


  20. Me says:

    When you search the scripture to find some shred of evidence to support gay marriage. I think you are looking for a needle in a haystack (that’s not there). Jesus spoke extensively on the kind of marriage that he condones now and has condoned since Genesis. That is the marriage between a man and a woman. God is not know for making escape routs or alternates. He also does not lie or contradict himself. I think these two scriptures describe what you are trying to do Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Col 2:8 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 2 Tim 4:3-4


    • Ron Goetz says:

      “The letter kills, but the spirit gives life.”

      Give that some time to sink in. Do you really have any idea what that means? In your ministry, in your personal life, you need to learn what this means, or you risk everything turning out to be wood, hay, and stubble.


    • ShmuwAL says:

      Gays and lesbian are actually trying to mend waters of strife that have plagued humanity and causes death. There are no bisexuals in the heavens so why try to force this contention state of waters in the earth?


  21. John says:

    This article is utter vomit


  22. Scott says:

    Interesting that you say “Now I don’t believe the sin of Sodom was homosexuality. But there are many today who believe that it was, and I think most of the Jewish believers in Luke’s audience may have believed it as well”, yet you use that premise (against your own beliefs) to make your argument and have Jesus allowing those poor followers to maintain their wrong belief (in your words) of what Sodom sin was to make a more important point without clearing that up. So Jesus is saying in essence, ‘Now folks I’m going to let you keep thinking that Sodom’s sin was homosexuality just so I can make this next plug for my acceptance of it now since I have evolved and seen the light and error of my ways.’ Got it. Nothing like a little God inspired confusion, right?


    • Ron Goetz says:

      In the church God is a God of order, not of confusion. But in many places, that is not so.

      God promises to send confusion upon our enemies.

      Exodus 14:24
      During the last watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion.

      Exodus 23:27
      “I will send my terror ahead of you and throw into confusion every nation you encounter. I will make all your enemies turn their backs and run.

      Deuteronomy 7:23
      But the Lord your God will deliver them over to you, throwing them into great confusion until they are destroyed.

      1 Samuel 14:20
      Then Saul and all his men assembled and went to the battle. They found the Philistines in total confusion, striking each other with their swords.

      When God’s people forsake him, he will send confusion on them.

      Deuteronomy 28:20
      The Lord will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him.

      Micah 7:4
      The best of them is like a brier, the most upright worse than a thorn hedge. The day God visits you has come, the day your watchmen sound the alarm. Now is the time of your confusion.

      We can pray that God will send confusion upon our opponents.

      Psalm 35:26
      May all who gloat over my distress be put to shame and confusion; may all who exalt themselves over me be clothed with shame and disgrace.

      And if that’s not enough, just look at the “confusion” of beliefs and teachings among Christians themselves. I think you’d better refrain from “parting shots” that give more heat then light.


  23. anthony Algers says:

    I’m thinking the Gospel is going into the middle east & arab nations before His return, (Matthew 24:14) I think many Muslims are going to come to Christ before the harvest & what He’s speaking about are the virtuous, the ones who are abstaining from sexual immorality. You shouldn’t be sharing a bed with a member of the opposite sex unless you’re married to them (marriage is not bound by a piece of paper, but a covenant (Matthew 18:18 ). The men sharing a bed are 2 workmen simply sharing a bed so one doesn’t have to sleep on the floor. The same for the women. They are virtuous, they have forsaken sexual things & are serving Christ in the last days.. Once Malachi 4:5,6/Acts 3:22,23 arrives he straightens out everyone, there won’t be any gays in the church going in the rapture. They may be in a church, but it won’t be going (Matthew 7:22)(Matthew 25)(Revelation 20:4).. if you’re not willing to repent & turn from sin then nope, it’s not going to work out for you. The same is true for the liar & the adulterous & the idolator.. Just because you believe in Jesus & are saved doesn’t automatically mean you are leaving in the rapture. The rapture is a reward for being faithful to Christ & honoring Him with your life & obeying Him. I know that’s not what you necessarily want to hear, but that’s the way it’s going down.


    • Ron Goetz says:

      Anthony, thanks for your response. I have presented a LOT of evidence for my interpretation, whereas you have merely made assertions about the meaning of the passage. What we have is evidence and argument vs. personal opinion. That’s all I can say.


    • Shmuel says:

      Hello Anthony,
      What is the gospel that you refer to as going in the middle-east? Is this the same gospel proclaimed to Avrehhem, and if so, what does it mean?


  24. William says:

    Leviticus in context shows that men are not to lie with men as a man lie with a woman. Sleeping in the same bed for sake of having no where else to rest your head is not the point because notice in Leviticus 18:23 it makes a comparison using the word neither in respects of a woman laying down with a animal. I am pretty sure it is not speaking of fido jumping on the Wifes lap while on the bed and falling asleep. In context, comparing scripture with scripture and rightly divide the word.


    • Ron Goetz says:

      Remember the saying that “You can’t pick and choose?”

      If you want to insist on the prohibition against gay male behavior, then consistency requires you to support the death penalty for practicing gay males. So either you and your congregation must take it upon yourselves to stone practicing male homosexuals, or you must mount an active campaign to make homosexualty a capital crime.

      If you refuse to take both halves of the Leviticus verse literally, then you need to explain how you apply the verse to male homosexuals, but manage to avoid the very same verse to yourself.

      Good luck with that.


  25. Billy says:

    I will have to do more research on the men but when it says two women grinding, it does not mean something sexual as what perverts think it means today. In those does the women would grind spices, wheat, etc for the next day. Please learn about that culture before misquoting scriptures.


    • Ron Goetz says:

      Billy, I have documented the sexual use of “grind” in several places in the Old Testament, as well as in the Greek and Latin languages in general in the time of Christ and Luke.

      One article is here:

      Another article is here:

      The word “grind” is used sexually in many different languages, including German, Chinese, Japanese, French, Italian, as well as numerous ancient languages, like Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Sumerian, etc.

      It is not a vulgar word. In the Bible it is used as a polite euphemismen, pretty much the same as “making love” is today.

      When I first started studying this, I was appalled, shocked at the idea that Jesus would use “gutter language.” After I learned that grind is used sexually in Old Testament Hebrew, and in first century Latin and Greek, I realized that “grinding” was not gutter language, not pervert language, but the common language of the Old and New Testament era.

      Billy, please read the posts I have linked. I suspect it may take a while to get used to this.


  26. Martin says:

    Your arguments are based on many unfounded assumptions. In fact, you assume the least likely possibilities in order to support your opinion of what you want the Bible to say.

    The context of this apocalyptic passage is the sudden arrival of judgment. That is what was on the minds of Jesus’ listeners as he developed this prediction, not homosexual sex, as you presume due to your predisposition. You assume that two in a bed are two men when the experience of the vast majority of Jesus’ listeners would have led them to think of a man and wife in bed. You assume that people would have interpreted grinding as a sexual term and that it was happening at night. Again, Jesus’ listeners would have been thinking of the far more common activity of grinding grain (Matthew in fact adds at the mill). When the rapture occurs, it will be night in some places and day in others. There is absolutely no need to assume that two women grinding grain at the same location is happening at night.

    Ron, I think you should examine your inclination to ignore the plain meaning of God’s Word in order to justify sin. Have you considered the liability you incur by leading people astray like this? i strongly encourage you to resist the evil one’s deception and align yourself with God’s thinking so that you may be among the faithful who get taken when the Son of Man returns.


    • Ron Goetz says:

      Hi Martin,
      Thanks for taking the time to respond to this post. Let me answer your objections as efficiently as I can.

      You asserted, “Your arguments are based on many unfounded assumptions.” I rarely make “assumptions” that I know of. I assiduously make assumptions. If you can bring to my attention a specific instance where I have assumed something, please bring it to my attention. In argumentative writing, simply accusing someone of carelessness, without demonstrating the carelessness, is pointless. In my many posts, I go into considerable detail to demonstrate my poing, from the immediate passage, and from elsewhere in Scripture. So no, my conclusions are not based on unfounded assumptions. Additionally, I have argued my position in numerous posts and comments.

      With that in mind, I will address a number of your criticisms.

      I agree that the sudden arrival of judgment is a major theme in this passage. A passage or sermon can have many, intertwining themes. Having acknowledged that, however, I need to point out that there is at least one other theme present as well. That other theme is same-sex relationships.

      Martin, why do you think Matthew thought it was necessary to add the word “mill” to the passage? There is one obvious reason: to avoid what looked to him like ambiguity, that without specifying “mill” Luke’s version could refer to sex or making love, something besides grinding grain or grinding a mill.

      If you believe that Matthew’s version was original, and that Luke eliminated a word like “mill” or “grain,” then why would Luke want to introduce the ambiguity of a legitimate sexual interpretation?

      I have not extracted the same-sex theme from a mere two verses. The same-sex theme in Luke 17 has at least five elements: 1) the reference to Sodom, 2) the reference to Lot’s wife, 3) two men in one bed, 4) two women grinding together, and 5) these activities taking place at night.

      Since Jesus just finished talking about Sodom and Lot’s wife, it seems reasonable to me that when Jesus mentions two men in one bed, and two women grinding together, at night, only a couple of verses later, that same-sex relations would be a natural interpretation.

      It looks like this: Sodom–Lot’s wife–two men in one bed–two women grinding together–at night. Martin, seeing same-sex couples here is not a forced, unnatural interpretation.

      Martin, you made a very “absolute” denial of something I wrote.
      “There is absolutely no need to assume that two women grinding grain at the same location is happening at night.” You are, of course, misstating my position. First, I do not believe the two women are grinding grain.

      Second, I made no such “assumption.” I have made a detailed argument, documenting the sexual use of “grind” in classical Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Sumerian, as well as Swahili, Chinese, French, Japanese, German, and numerous other languages. And I have stated that “grinding” was not vulgar, gutter language, but, basically, the ordinary way to refer to “making love” or “having sex.”

      You wrote, “There is absolutely no need to assume that two women grinding grain at the same location is happening at night.”

      Absolutely no need to assume? You are correct, but I have “assumed” nothing. Let me give you a final response to “at night.”

      In that night
      Dogs will bark,
      Cats will meow.

      At eleven a.m.
      The choir sang.
      The preacher preached.

      Is there any reason at all to assume “night” is not the time of both the barking and the meowing? Is there any reason to assume that eleven a.m. is not the time of the singing and the preaching? Please, Martin. Think it through.

      Dogs and cats. Singing and preaching. Men and women.

      Martin, I don’t think anyone is required to “assume” that the passage is about the rapture. I’m going with a simple, grammatical reading. Your refutation of my thesis is filled with complications that have nothing to what is intrinsic to the text. You have introduced no less than three elements in your refutation: 1) the theological construct of the “rapture”, 2) the introduction of geographical knowledge unknown to Jesus’ audience, and 3) the introduction of planetary knowledge unknown to Jesus’ audience. I really think the plain meaning of this brief passage is preferable to yours, which requires knowledge unavailable to Jesus’ listeners.

      Back to the topic of assumptions. I have a question for you..” Martin, what exactly do you mean my “predisposition”? Are you making an assumption? It seems from its location in the context of your comment that it has something to do with homosexuality.


      • Martin says:

        Sure Ron,
        If you insist that I demonstrate your carelessness and highlight your assumptions, I will oblige you and be even more specific. I think it was clear that I was challenging your assumptions as invalid. You are the one who supplied the word “unfounded” not I. I’m sure you believe they are founded. I have not taken the time to read all your other posts and that should not be necessary since we should be able to limit our discussion to what is in this post (which through some circumstance I happened to come across). To address your last question first regarding predisposition, when I saw your unconventional (to be polite) preposterous (to be direct) interpretation of this verse, I wondered what your motivation was. Since you freely direct people around your website, you won’t be surprised that I read a little of your biography in which you describe your son’s struggle with homosexuality. You may correct my assumption if it is wrong, but it seems that that experience was a significant element of your journey toward believing that homosexuality is not sin and is not proscribed by the Bible. Believe me, my heart goes out to you and others and their families who have to suffer with those and similar circumstances. I’m sure you are aware that many have endured homosexual tendencies without acting out on them at great cost – often out of obedience to God’s Word. They saw it as a cross they had to bear, a price they had to pay to follow Jesus faithfully. The fact that we have to suffer to stave off temptation should not be a motivation for us to find a biblical justification for sin. We must all take seriously Jesus’ words in this very passage:
        33 Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.
        I’m glad you agree that sudden judgment is a major theme in this passage. You assert that same-sex relationships is a theme in this passage and it seems you even admit that it is minor by comparison, but Jesus did not mention sexual behavior with regard to the days of Noah or Lot. The most obvious point is that the people of those days were going about their customary duties and functions, eating, drinking, etc., when judgment came suddenly and catastrophically.
        Regardless of who wrote their gospel first, it is useless to speculate why one clarified what the grinding referred to and the other didn’t. It certainly makes more sense to assume that they were in agreement that grinding was a work activity than to assume that there were talking about two completely different things. As to your speculation, if Matthew clarified Luke’s ambiguity, it could be to avoid the misinterpretation you espouse. As to the other scenario, Luke wouldn’t have had to clarify because Matthew already had.
        None of your same-sex assumptions in Luke 17 are valid. If you insist that Jesus was thinking about same-sex when he referenced Sodom, then aren’t you admitting that Sodom was judged for that? Lot’s wife was judged for disobeying and looking back. You can’t make any argument from why she did so. It is more logical to assume that the two referred to by Jesus were not a homosexual couple as I already explained. You talk about the sexual use of “grind” in languages like Swahili and Chinese. Jesus’ listeners probably didn’t even have much exposure to classical Greek and Latin, let alone nascent French and German. You strain at a gnat and swallow a camel. Even if you find a few biblical instances of “grind” referring to sexual activity, the far more commonly understood meaning of “grind” is related to it’s etymology of milling grain. So what seems to you to be a natural interpretation is completely unnatural.
        I understand that you are quite attached to your minority and obscure meaning of “grind”, but my point with the comment “There is absolutely no need to assume that two women grinding grain at the same location is happening at night” is to address the objection that women don’t grind grain at night. Jesus mentioned activities that would be happening during the day as well as during the night. He started out the section with “On that day…” There were some pretty sophisticated astronomers wandering around Judea around the time of Jesus birth so to assume complete planetary ignorance on the part of Jesus’ listeners seems to be unfair. In any case, Jesus included day and night for good reason.
        I don’t know how much training you have had in exegesis, but I would caution you to not put too much weight on sentence juxtaposition and poetical constructs. The disciples weren’t poets and frankly neither are you.
        In that day,
        In that night,
        Dogs will bark,
        Cats will meow.
        People will eat,
        People will sleep,
        They will plant and grind wheat,
        And Jesus will come.
        People all over the world will be engaged in their customary diurnal or nocturnal activities when
        … the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. Ro 1 18
        Finally, I don’t know what your interpretation of “taken” means. Let me guess, it’s probably obscure! Paul described it as caught up to meet Jesus in the air. The concept is in the text, but its not so germane to the principal topic of discussion, so we can probably just agree that at the least it means accepted by God.
        That’s what really matters, Ron. Being accepted by God. For that we must avoid at all costs constructing our own version of the truth and accept His.


      • Ron Goetz says:

        Martin, do you know what “sentence juxtaposition” and “poetic parallelism” are? They are part of what is commonly called “context.” So you are advising me to ignore context when it suits me?

        In the Hebrew poetry, poetic parallelism is a determining factor when you interpret Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Job, the Song of Solomon, the Psalms, and large sections of other books. When poetry appears in the New Testament (e.g., the Sermon on the Mount) it behooves us to recognize the form and interpret it accordingly.

        Other than that, it would take a 30-page papers to address all the issues you raise. Frankly, I don’t think it’s worth it, especially when I don’t have a lot of confidence that you will simply take what I write and debate some more.

        “What is crooked cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted.” (Ecclesiastes 1:15)

        BTW, I won’t publish any more long replies.


      • Martin says:

        Correction: Sorry, Ron, I did say your arguments are based on unfounded assumptions.


      • Ron Goetz says:

        Thank you, Martin. Your stock just went up.


  27. Martin says:

    I guess I should say thank you for not responding with a long response because that will save me from responding with another long response. Let me just say, seek the truth at all costs. If you have to force interpretations to suit your predilections, support them primarily through extra-biblical references, or if they are not consistent with the entire body of scripture, view them with a jaundiced eye — better yet, abandon them.

    I am familiar with poetic parallelism and other rhetorical devices in the Bible. I was just questioning the weight you give it particularly in this passage as well as your interpretive use of it. If I were to write a long reply, I would demonstrate to you even more convincingly that the context clearly supports the standard interpretation.

    Thank you, Ron, for engaging in this discussion. Hopefully it has served a good purpose, even if no other than clarifying our thinking. Here’s hoping that what is crooked can be straightened.


  28. Billy Onunga says:

    If you are alluding that Homosexuals will be spared then it leaves us wondering why God never spared the Homosexuals/Gays in Sodom and Gommorah, if that was not what really destroyed the 2 Great Cities!

    I still maintain that, if God won’t punish the Sin of Homosexuality as indicated in the Bible, then I believe He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gommorah for destroying them. Shalom.


    • Ron Goetz says:

      Billy, God did not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because of the same-sex practices among some inhabitants of the cities.

      I’m sure you are familiar with the principal of scripture interpreting scripture. You don’t get too much better than that when the prophet Ezekiel EXPLICITLY defines the sin of Sodom in Ezekiel 16:49-50.

      “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.”

      Their sins are enumerated, and God says, “THEREFORE I DID AWAY WITH THEM AS YOU HAVE SEEN.”


  29. Billy Onunga says:

    Over the years I have heard/encountered different people trying to insinuate that the “Sin of Homosexuality” wasn’t responsible for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

    If it wasn’t Homosexuality, what was it??? I am a Believer who believes that Bible a should interpret bible; not people interpreting the bible with their own minds. Please show us what SIN DESTROYED Sodom and Gommorah!

    Gen. 19:4 says, let me paraphrase: After the two angels had arrived in Sodom, they were welcomed at Lot’s House; but before they had gone to bed, ALL MEN from every part of the City of Sodom, both YOUNG & OLD-surrounded Lot’s house demanding to be given the TWO MEN(Angels)who were in Lot’s house.

    Lot refused and even offered her two VIRGIN DAUGHTERS but the Men of Sodom insisted that they wanted the Men inside the house. That was when Lot was pulled inside and ALL THE MEN of Sodom were STRUCK with BLINDNESS. Why was there no mention of women who came alongside the Men of Sodom?


    • Ron Goetz says:

      I’m sure you are familiar with the principal of scripture interpreting scripture. You don’t get too much better than that when the prophet Ezekiel EXPLICITLY defines the sin of Sodom in Ezekiel 16:49-50.

      “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.”

      Their sins are enumerated, and God says, “THEREFORE I DID AWAY WITH THEM AS YOU HAVE SEEN.”


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