Sod'omite (קָדֵשׁ, kadesh, i.e. consecrated; Vulg. scortator, effeminatus). This word does not denote an inhabitant of Sodom (except only in 2 Esdr. 7:36), nor one of their descendants; but is employed in the A.V. of the Old Test. for those who practiced as a religious rite the abominable and unnatural vice from which the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah have derived their lasting infamy. It occurs in De 23:17; 1Ki 14:24; 1Ki 15:12; 1Ki 22:46; 2Ki 23:7; and Job 36:14 (margin). The Hebrew word kadesh is said to be derived from a root kadash, which (strange as it may appear) means "pure," and thence "holy." The words sacer in Latin, and "devoted" in our own language, have also a double meaning, though the subordinate signification is not so absolutely contrary to the principal one as it is in the case of kadesh. "This dreadful 'consecration,' or rather desecration, was spread in different forms over Phoenicia, Syria, Phrygia, Assyria, Babylonia. Ashtaroth, the Greek Astarte, was its chief object." It appears also to have been established at Rome, where its victims were called Galli (not from Gallia, but from the river Gallus in Bithynia). There is an instructive note on the subject in Jerome's Comment. on Ho 4:14. SEE SODOMY.
The translators of the Sept., with that anxiety to soften and conceal obnoxious expressions which has often been noticed as a characteristic of their version, have, in all cases but one, avoided rendering kadesh by its ostensible meaning. In the first of the passages cited above they give a double translation, πορνεύων and τελισκόμενος (initiated). In the second, σύνδεσμος (a conspiracy, perhaps reading קֶשֶׁר); in the third, τὰς τελετάς (sacrifices); in the fourth the Vat. MS. omits it, and the Alex. has τοῦ ἐνδιηλλαγμένου; in the fifth, τῶν Καδησίμ; and in the sixth, ὑπὸ ἀγγέλων. There is a feminine equivalent to kadesh, viz. kadeshdh. This is found in Ge 38:21-22; De 23:17; and Ho 4:14. In each of these cases it throws a new light on the passage to remember that these women were (if the expression may be allowed) the priestesses of a religion, not plying for hire, or merely instruments for gratifying passing lust. Such ordinary prostitutes are called by the name zonah. In 1Ki 22:38 the word zonoth is rendered "armor." It should be "harlots" — "and the harlots washed themselves there" (early in the morning, as was their custom, adds Procopius of Gaza). The Sept. has rendered this correctly. The "strange women" of Pr 2:16, etc., were foreigners, zaroth. SEE HARLOT.