For good reasons, some of which are associated with the universal male tendency toward sexual conquest. In general, the heart of a man will roam, while the heart of a woman seeks a home. Male sexual energy persists past female menopause, causing men to seek younger partners-or at least to be vulnerable to the temptation of doing so. The male by nature has no long-term investment in pregnancy; he may inseminate regularly with no time lost for childbirth. How are these biological appetites to be curbed, directed, focused?
We may expect that the idea of one person owning another would be strongly censured in the Bible. What we find instead is a general acknowledgment of the existence of slavery, the use of slavery as a metaphor, and a theological trajectory that moved society in the direction of abolition without formally demanding it.
The sex drive also involves the soul. Your soul is composed of your mind, emotions, and will; all three of these are affected by the sex drive. The mind weighs everything that goes into decisions. It considers the facts; it measures the pros and cons; it evaluates your feelings. Some conscious decisions are made about your sexual desires; but sex influences many of your everyday decisions, whether you realize it or not. Your mind acts like a referee in the midst of your will, your emotions, your opinions, and many other competing influences-including your sex drive.
We know, of course, that sex involves the body, the physical component of our being. A sexual relationship is the most intimate physical bond that can exist between two human beings, as a man and woman use their bodies to express their love and appreciation for one another. All five physical sense are involved:
Sexual intercourse between persons too closely related for normal marriage. The twofold theological rationale for the prohibition of incestuous unions is the divine claim “I am the Lord your God” (Lev 18:2,4,6) and the note that such behavior characterized the Egyptians and
The woman guilty of sexual misconduct was to lose her capacity for childbearing. This was a fearsome penalty indeed, for women in the ancient Near East established their sense of personal value and esteem on one activity only-bearing and raising children. Education, business, military status, community leadership-none of these were open to women; motherhood was everything.
Engaging in sexual intercourse prior to marriage. The Song of Songs is an extended poem extolling the virtue of sexual fidelity between a king and his chosen bride. Sexual desire runs strong throughout the song as the king and his beloved anticipate their union together. At intervals the poet repeats a refrain counseling sexual restraint: “Young women of Jerusalem, I charge you, by the gazelles and the wild does of the field; do not stir up or awaken love until the appropriate time” (Song 2:7 HCSB; 3:5; 8:4). To the church in Corinth, a city well-known for
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)→