And he brake down the houses of the Sodomites that were by the
house of the Lord
Near the temple were apartments, in which men, the worshippers of idols, prostituted their bodies to each other; committing that unnatural sin with one another, which has its name from Sodom, and from which those are so called, and which sin they committed in honour of the idols they worshipped; to such vile affections were they, in a judicial manner, delivered up, because of their idolatry; see ( Romans 1:27 Romans 1:28 ) the word signifies "Holy Ones", they being called so by an antiphrasis; though Abarbinel thinks these were the idolatrous priests, whom the worshippers of idols reckoned "holy", and so built houses for them near the temple to lodge in; the Targum is,
``and broke down the houses of things consecrated to idols,''where they were put; and Theodoret on the place observes, that by an homonymy, they called the demons or idols themselves "Holy Ones"; and it is not likely, indeed, that the Sodomites should be
where the women wove hangings for the grove;
that is, for Astarte, as the same writer observes: or "curtains", as the Jewish writers generally interpret it, in which either the idol was enclosed, or these made apartments for the idolaters to commit their abominable wickedness privately; though the Syriac and Arabic versions are,
``they wove garments for the idols that were there;''and so the Septuagint version, of the Complutensian edition; that is, they wove garments for the goddess Astarte, which they dressed her with: the word signifies "houses", and may mean the shrines of the idol made of woven work.