Tōʻēḇā is used in the following ways:
- Every shepherd was "an abomination" unto the Egyptians (Genesis 46:34).
- Pharaoh was so moved by the fourth plague, that while he refused the demand of Moses, he offered a compromise, granting to the Israelites permission to hold their festival and offer their sacrifices in Egypt. This permission could not be accepted, because Moses said they would have to sacrifice "the abomination of the Egyptians" (Exodus 8:26); i.e., the cow or ox, which all the Egyptians held as sacred and so regarded as sacrilegious to kill.
- Proverbs 6:16-19 lists seven things which are also abominations: "haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are swift in running to mischief, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers."
Tōʻēḇā is also used in Jewish scriptures to refer to:
- idolatry or idols (Deuteronomy 7:25, Deuteronomy 13:14, Isaiah 44:19)
- illicit sex (e.g. prostitution, adultery, incest) (Ezekiel 16:22,58, Ezekiel 22:11, Ezekiel 33:26)
- illicit marriage (Deuteronomy 24:2-4)
- male prostitution and/or other male homosexual acts (see Homosexuality in the Hebrew Bible) (Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 18:27-30, Leviticus 20:13)
- temple prostitution (1Kings 14:24)
- child sacrifice to Molech (Jeremiah 32:35)
- cross-dressing -- likely for the sake of confusing a person for illicit reasons (Deuteronomy 22:5)
- cheating in the market by using rigged weights (Deuteronomy 25:13-19, Proverbs 11:1)
- dishonesty (Proverbs 12:22)
- dietary violations (Deuteronomy 14:3)
- stealing, murder, and adultery, breaking covenants (Jeremiah 7:9,10)
- usury, violent robbery, murder, oppressing the poor and needy, etc. (Ezekiel 18:10-13)
The Canaanites used homosexual acts as part of their pagan rituals. Therefore the Israelites were prohibited from doing this, not because it was an act between two men but because it was symbolic of pagan ritual. In today's world this prohibition now has no meaning [and homosexual sex is permitted]. - Rabbi Michele Brand Medwin