/* Illicit sexual unions */ Section edit
*30 Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the LORD your God.
Illicit sexual unions===
"None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the LORD." (v. 6)
To "uncover the nakedness" of someone is usually a euphemism for sexual relations (Ezek. 16:8), as it is for "lay with" (as H7901 with H854) someone (Gn. 19:33,34; 26:10; Lv. 18:22; 19:10; 20:11-13,18,20; Num. 5:13,19; Ezek. 23:8), and laws forbidding illicit sexual unions make up most of this chapter, which as a class and sometimes individually find confirmation in the rest of Scripture, from the time of their enactment and sometimes before, as literal sins, including in the New Testament
(Mt. 5:32; Mk. 7:21; 1Cor. 5:1,9-11; 6:9,13,18; 7:2; 10:8; 2Cor. 12:21; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 5:3; Col. 3:5; 1Ths. 4:3; 1Tim. 1:10; Heb. 12:16; 13:4; Jude 1:7; Rv. 21:8; 22:15). ====Incest; verses 7-17====
The primary type of illicit sex unions was that of incest, the prohibited degrees of which are specified from the 7th to the 17th verse. It is noted that incest was used and allowed in more ancient times, as God blessed Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3) while he was married to Sarah, his half-sister. Adam Clarke comments, "i.e., his sister by his father, but by a different mother. Some suppose Sarai was the daughter of Haran, and consequently the grand-daughter of Terah: this opinion seems to be founded on Gen_11:29, where Iscah is thought to be the same with Sarai, but the supposition has not a sufficiency of probability to support it." Even if this was the case, as with Eve being “the mother of all living” (Gen. 3:20), then their immediate offspring would have married each other and had offspring. In addition, in accordance with Genesis 9:1, Noah and his three sons and their wives repopulated the entire world following the great Flood,
As regards zimmâh, unlike ''tōʻēḇā'', this word is not not often used for specific sexual sins, but is generally seen in reference to sexual "lewdness," (Jdg. 20:6; Jer.13:27, Eze. 16:43, 58; 22:9; 23:21,27,29,35,48-49; Eze. 24:13; Hos. 6:9). It often is another word to describe the vile nature of many clearly universally sins which are also categorized as tōʻēḇā, (Lv. 18:17; 19:29; Jer. 13:27; Ezek. 22:11: adultery=tōʻēḇā, incest= zimmâh ). Yet is not always used for all universal sexual sins, and the absence of zimmâh in relation to a sexual sin cannot necessarily negate the intrinsic evil of it's nature, while sins which tōʻēḇā refers to include such.
In addition, ceremonial dietary and ritual cleansing laws overall do not target pagan cultic activity. However, there practices which evidently are a direct expression of idolatry - formal or of the heart - such as sex with illicit partners, versus amoral things which merely accompany idolatry activity, such as a grove of trees in worship (Dt. 16:21). The Bible makes these categories discernible, with unlawful sex between outlawed partners or outside marriage being prohibited
as a class under the N.T. (Mat. 5:32; 15:19; 19:9; Mk. 7:21; Jn. 8:41; Acts 15:20; 15:29; 21:25; Rom. 1:29; 1Co_5:1; 1Co. 6:9,13, 18; 7:2; 2Co. 12:21; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 5:3; Col. 3:5; 1Ths. 4:3; Heb. 12:16; 13:4; 1Pet. 4:3; Rev. 9:21; 14:8, 17:2, 4; 18:3; 19:2) The prohibitions against homosex clearly fit in this category by type, while accompaniments such as simply where to worship or eat would only be contextually wrong. (1Cor. 8)
Secondly, neither the grammar nor any categorical division or cultural context warrants relegating these Levitical commands to merely being prohibitory of idolatrous temple homosex, and belonging to the class of ceremonial laws, which (they delight to point out) Christians do not typically keep.<ref>Townsley, Homosexuality and the Bible</ref> Rather, the reasons why literal obedience to these is not enjoined now is the very reason why the laws against homosex are upheld, as just as the New Testament clearly defines the class of laws which were ceremonial/typological, it just as clearly upholds laws against illicit sexual partners as a class. While literal obedience to the former is not mandated under the New Covenant, sex with illicit partners and any possible mentions of homosex only find unconditional condemnation therein.
As part of extensive substantive documentation the prohibitions against homosex are immutable and universal, the most noted scholar on this subject, Robert A. H. Gagnon, provides seven reasons for their contemporary relevance of the Leviticus 18:22.