Walled cities of Bible times had guards posted on the walls to warn of approaching danger (2 Sam 18:26). These words of Solomon’s bride showed that armed guards also policed the area inside the walls, particularly at night.
The formal mention of prostitutes in the Bible is often used to shape our impression of people with whom they were associated. Because the law of God was clear on this matter, the linking of a man with a prostitute, whether sexually or by birth, cast a dark cloud over his character. This included notables like Judah, Jephthah, and Samson (Gen 38:15; Judg 11:1; 16:1). When Joshua sent spies to Jericho, the population was so immoral that the one person of redeeming value found in the city was a prostitute (Josh 2:1). And the image of Ahab was clearly tarnished by the fact that his bloody chariot was washed out at the place where the prostitutes bathed (1 Kings 22:38). By contrast, Israel’s leaders who aggressively expelled shrine prostitutes
Within the larger ancient Near Eastern world, prostitution was legal and generally accepted by members of society, and there is evidence that some prostitutes in Mesopotamia gathered into professional associations linked to the goddess Ishtar. The Hebrew of the Old Testament uses two different words when referring to those who functioned as prostitutes (zona, translated “prostitute” in Gen 38:15; and qedesa, translated “shrine prostitute” in Gen 38:21-22), which suggests that the prostitutes in Canaan were of two types: secular sex workers and prostitutes linked to pagan worship. Nevertheless, given the extent of the evidence we possess from the ancient world, we need to use caution in identifying the latter too closely with pagan worship rites that sought to increase the fertility of flocks, herds, and fields.
Two prostitute roommates had babies within three days of each other. While sleeping one night, one prostitute rolled over on her son and accidentally suffocated him. She quietly swapped sons with the other woman, and insisted it was her baby. The other woman knew better.
Two women and a baby showed up in Solomon’s court.
Various acts of sexual immorality especially being a harlot or whore.
Old Testament – Normally women are the subject of the Hebrew verb zanah, but in Num 25:1 “people began to play a harlot” (NASB). The clearest example is that of Tamar sitting on the roadway to entice Judah (Gen 38:24; Lev 21:9; Deut 22:21). Fornication meant being unfaithful to a marriage commitment (Judg 19:2). Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (FORNICATION)→
There’s no nice way to say it. Rahab was a harlot-in modern parlance, a hooker. At her home atop the wall that surrounded the bustling, ancient city of Jericho, Rahab took in strange men and gave out sexual favors.
Because of her prominent role in the story of Israel, a few prim and proper types have tried to improve Rahab’s image by engaging in a bit of revisionist history. “Maybe,” they’ve suggested, “she wasn’t actually a ‘lady of the night.’ Perhaps she was only an ‘innkeeper.'” Continue reading WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (RAHAB: THE SHADY LADY)→