Yet another reason for seeking a concubine was to demonstrate control over the assets and legacy of a father or king. Reuben attempted to force the hand of Jacob into declaring him the primary heir of the family by sleeping with his father’s concubine (Gen 35:22). The same happened in royal circles. Abner, Absalom, and Adonijah all either slept with a king’s concubine or attempted to do so in order to advance their legitimacy as a royal figure (2 Sam 3:7; 16:21-22; 1 Kings 2:17, 21-25).
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.
Breaking of the marriage covenant. An action contrary to the pattern of “one man, one woman, one lifetime” revealed by God in Gen. 1:27; 2:21-25. The root idea implied a cutting of the marriage bond. While ancient cultures different in details, most had a concept of marriage and a corresponding concept of divorce. Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY “DIVORCE”→
Hosea 1:2-3 “When the LORD first spoke to Hosea, He said this to him: ‘Go and marry a promiscuous wife and have children of promiscuity, for the land is committing blatant acts of promiscuity by abandoning the LORD’S. ‘ So he went and married Gomer daughter of Diblaim.”Continue reading “WOMEN OF THE BIBLE” GOMER: THE UNFAITHFUL WIFE→