OF NOTE: This article is the second chapter of  K. J. Aaron 's Sexuality and the Bible  which has been posted because it is EXCELLENT and that it has value to help people understand the Bible. A special thank you is due to Keith Hunt for his recognition of such rare Biblical study material and for granting permission to re-post it here at this website. The reader is strongly encouraged to start with the 1st chapter...see the links (below) for these pages/chapters:

 1st Biblical Euphemisms for Sexual Activities  2nd Prostitutes and Prophets   3rd   Nude and Lewd:The Bare Facts    4th The Sin of Onan: Birth Control and More! 


Prostitutes and Prophets 

by K. J. Aaron 

"Would you make love to me if I paid you a million dollars?" a man asked a woman he knew.

 "For that amount - why yes, of course!" she replied. 

"Would you do it for fifty dollars?" 

Indignant, she answered: "What do you think I am?" "I've already established what you are," he said, "I'm just dickering on the price!"

Though the law of Moses said: "Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore" (Leviticus 19:29), prostitution was apparently tolerated among the Israelites. The accompanying drawing from an old Bible shows Judah, from whom the famous tribe derives its name, propositioning a woman for sex and agreeing on a price (Genesis 38:16,17). There is nothing in the text that would suggest this was unusual behavior. 

When Joshua sent two spies to Jericho, they "came into an harlot's house, named Rahab, and lodged [margin: lay] there" (Joshua 2:1). The margin "lay" is no doubt correct, for the Hebrew word used here is not translated "lodge" in any other reference. The word in question can mean to merely lie down for rest, but it is also used in the sense of "sexual connection" (Strong's Concordance, 7901).

Are we suggesting, then, these men may have been sexually involved with Rahab? We don't know for certain, but if they were only seeking a place to "lay" for sleep, why in a harlot's house? If they the engage in sexual relations, it would not have been totally inconsistent with the general moral tone of the time.

Because Rahab hid the two men, lied about their whereabouts, and helped them escape, she was spared when the city was overthrown. As the Israelite armies approached the best little whore house in Jericho, Rahab identified it by hanging up a piece of scarlet cloth. In the course of time, a red light came to be an identifying mark for a house of prostitution. The colors scarlet and red have long been associated with sexual sins, even at the time of Isaiah who wrote: "...though your sins be as scarlet, they shell be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool" (Isaiah 1:18).

When the Israelites took Jericho, seeing the scarlet cloth, "Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father's household, and all she had" (Joshua 6:25). This dramatic event, as pictured by famous artist Gustave Done (1832-1883), is included here. Rahab continued living among the Israelites, but we are not specifically told whether or not she continued the oldest profession. According to legend, she had become a prostitute at age 10, was one of the four most beautiful women in history, had sexual intercourse with various kings and leaders from whom she heard about the exploits of the Hebrews. Finally she married Joshua and became the mother of noted priests and people. Another belief, based on Matthew 1:5, is that she married Salmon, which would have made her a great grandmother of David.

The word translated "Rahab" is "rachab," meaning "broad" (Strong's Concordance 7342, 7343). It is so translated in Jeremiah 51:58 and Ezekiel 42:11. Of course it is only coincidental that the word "broad" is, today, a derogatory expression for a woman!

We read that Samson saw a harlot at Gaza "and went in unto her" (Judges 16:1). 

The Biblical text does not condemn Samson for this, but seems to imply that prostitution was quite common and unquestioned at this period. Interestingly, it was not while having sex with a harlot that the Lord departed from him-this happened later when he got a haircut! A fifteenth century woodcut by the famous artist Albrecht Durer shows Delilah cutting off Samson's hair. But the careful Bible reader will notice it was a MAN who cut off Samson's hair, NOT Delilah! (Judges 16:19,20). At the time of Solomon, two harlots who shared the same house, gave birth to sons within three days of each other, When one of the women awoke to "give suck" to her baby, it was dead. As she carefully observed the infant, she realized it was not her baby. The babies had been switched! 

We are reminded of a Chinese couple and a Caucasian couple whose babies were born in the same hospital. By mistake a nurse had gotten the babies mixed up. The problem was not too difficult, however, for upon comparison they realized that "two Wongs don't make a white!"

But in the case of the two harlots, how could they prove who the living baby belonged to? "Then came there two women, that were harlots unto the king, and stood before him" (1 Kings 3:16). When each insisted she was the mother of the living baby, Solomon ordered the baby to be cut in two-half given to each. The resulting response, of course, revealed which woman was the true mother. 

Though this incident is given to show how much wisdom Solomon had, it also reveals something about the prevailing attitude regarding prostitution. It appears that the oldest profession was more or less taken for granted-a necessary evil. Certainly these women were not arrested or put in jail. Indeed, a special gift of wisdom in Solomon functioned in their behalf. 

One might suppose that wise king Solomon would have been able to rid the holy city of prostitution - if this had been his aim. But no such moral reform was a part of his administration. It would appear from the book of Proverbs, he could actually look out the palace window and see prostitutes carrying on their trade on the street! "For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, and beheld ... a young man void of understanding, passing through the street near her corner ... and behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtle of heart" (Proverbs 7:6-10). Such activities were carried on "in the streets" and "at every corner" (verse 12).

For much of its history, Jerusalem was a "holy city" in name only. The prophets described its moral condition in these words: 

In the midst of thee they commit lewdness. In thee have they discovered their fathers' nakedness [incest]: in thee have they humbled her that was set apart for pollution [forcing sex on menstruating women]. And one hath committed abomination with his neighbor's wife; and another hath lewdly defiled his daughter-in-law; and another in thee bath humbled his sister, his father's daughter .... They committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlot's houses. They were as fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbor's wife .... I have seen thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredom.... Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem! (Ezekiel 22:2-11; Jeremiah 5:7, 8; 13:27). 

According to the Encyclopedia Judaica, after capturing Jerusalem in 70 A.D., in order to desecrate the temple, "Titus entered the Holy of Holies...and spreading out a Scroll of the Law on the top of the altar, had intercourse with two harlots he had brought in." 

We know Solomon was familiar with the seductive words used by harlots in Jerusalem, for he quoted some of them in Proverbs 7:18: "Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves." The actual wording is watered down in our English translation. Clarke puts it in Latin., stating that "the original itself is too gross to be literally translated.!" She had paid her vows, her husband was away, her bed was perfumed. In seductive tones she promised a good time - love making in all forms - not just for the few hurried moments of a sexual quickie, but "until the morning."

In another proverb dealing with prostitution, we read: "For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life" (Proverbs 6:26). Some versions, including the Septuagint and Vulgate, word it like this: "For the price of a whore is about one loaf." In order to survive, so many women were forced into prostitution, they hired out for a bare sustenance. The Goodspeed translation points out a contrast between the two clauses of this verse: "For the price of a harlot is but a piece of bread, but the adulteress hunts for the precious life." A man would only have to pay a piece of bread for a harlot, but a sexual affair with a married woman might cost his life.!

A strange verse about harlots is linked with the death of Ahab. 

Having been mortally wounded in battle, his blood flowed into his chariot, "and one washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood; and they washed his ARMOR" (1 Kings 22:38).

 Though not generally known, the word that is used here translated "armor," is the word that is elsewhere translated "harlots"! (Strong's Concordance, 2158). In view of this, it seems evident that Goodspeed has come closer to the original in his translation: "And when they washed off the chariot by the pool of Samaria, the dogs licked up his blood, and the HARLOTS washed in it." The Septuagint says, "And the swine and dogs licked his blood, and the WHORES bathed themselves in his blood." It has been suggested that to bathe in a king's blood may have been considered a tonic or beauty treatment.

 Some rabbis have understood this passage to mean there were images of prostitutes in Ahab's chariot. Clarke has written: "They suppose that Jezebel had made him two images of prostitutes, which he had with him in the chariot. It is not worth inquiring into the use for which they say these images were made."

The Encyclopedia Judaica, however, does not hesitate to explain the use of the images: they were to excite him sexually. 

This brings to mind an experience I once had when car trouble forced me to hitchhike into town. As I climbed up into the cab of a huge truck that stopped, I noticed the cross-country truck driver had Playboy magazine opened. I asked if he read it or just looked at the pictures - it was obvious he was looking at the magazine while he drove. Well, Ahab didn't have Playboy magazine in his chariot, but according to rabbinical tradition, he did have images of two naked prostitutes. 

When Isaiah sought to illustrate how Israel would conquer the city of Tyre, taking from it all the riches it had taken from others, he likened it to a rich prostitute. "And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy years, that the Lord will visit Tyre, and she shall turn to her HIRE, and shall commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world ... and her merchandise and her HIRE shall be holiness to the Lord" (Isaiah 23:17,18). 

If the reader will pardon a crude example, it will illustrate the idea the prophet had in mind. A man once told me he had gone to a prostitute in the Philippines during World War II. While engaged in sexual relations with her, he figured she probably kept her money under a little mat by the bed. Later, when she went into the adjoining room to wash, he grabbed all her money and fled from the shack. So would be the fate of Tyre at the hands of the Israelites. 

In those days harlots walked the streets and sang seductive songs, a fact alluded to by Isaiah: "Take an harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered" (Isaiah 23:16). By likening Tyre to a singing harlot, Isaiah emphasized that she was old, for young harlots also danced as they sang to show how lively they were. 

Such was the type of girl that danced at Herod's birthday party-and no doubt extremely talented in exotic dancing, as evidenced by the fact that Herod promised her anything "unto the half of his kingdom" (Mark 6:21-23). Whether she jumped out of a huge birthday cake--dressed only in her birthday suit - we are not told, but we can be certain her performance was X-rated entertainment. 

Another famous political figure, Tiberius, who was Caesar at the time of Jesus' ministry (Luke 3:1), was known for his indulgence in many forms of sensual entertainment. His favorite pleasure involved using CHILDREN in a perverted way. According he caused little children, of the tenderest age to be taught to play between his legs, while he was swimming in his bath, calling them his little fishes, to touch him lightly with tongue and teeth, and like babies of some little strength and growth, though not yet weaned, to suck his privates as they would their mother's breast. His age and his inclination predisposed him for this sort of pleasure before all others." 

According to the writers of antiquity, it was not uncommon for children to be sold and traded, and used for the basest purposes. 

The prophet Joel wrote: "They ... have given a boy for a harlot and sold a girl for wine" (Joel 3:3). Amos mentioned a man and his father will go in unto the same MAID" (Amos } - "maid" being the word used to describe a female child from (Strong's Concordance, 5291). 

Prostitution prevailed at the time of Jesus and prostitutes were even mentioned in some of his messages. He told of a wayward young man who went into a far country and spent his inheritance on "harlots" (Luke 15:30). On another occasion, Jesus shocked the religious leaders of his time by saying: "The harlots go into the kingdom of God before you"! (Matthew 21:31). The point was that sinful people will sooner repent than self-righteous people who feel no need of repentance. 

The very thought that Jesus Christ would have sex with a prostitute is repulsive to any Christian. Using this as the basis for his argument, Paul likened Christians to the various parts of the body of Christ - feet, ears, eyes, and even the "uncomely parts" (1 Corinthians 12:12-27) - so that for Christians to visit prostitutes would be parallel to Jesus Christ himself doing this! "Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them the members of a harlot? God forbid" (1 Corinthians 6:15,16). 

The Old Testament prophets commonly likened Israel's unfaithfulness to that of a woman who cheats on her husband. In making this point, they did not hesitate to give vivid details about the sexual acts committed, about the woman's breasts being handled and bruised in wild orgies, and even talked about the size of male sex organs. Even though the language has been softened by our translators, it is still so crude that THE PULPIT COMMENTARY, referring to a passage in Ezekiel, says, "We shudder as we read it." Clarke, suggesting the prophet used such wording to shock the people into a true realization of their condition, goes on to say: "Let this be the prophet's apology for the apparent indelicacy of his metaphors; and mine, for not entering into any particular discussion concerning them"! 

The prophet Ezekiel compared Jerusalem to a baby that was forsaken at birth and left to die. But the Lord-or more correct Yahweh, the actual name used for deity thousands of times in the Old Testament - adopts her, raises her, and she blossoms into a beautiful and shapely young girl. In spite of the considerable age difference, he takes her for a wife. But she does not remain true to him and ultimately becomes a prostitute of the lowest type! 

In the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple [cleanse] thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all. None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field to the loathing of my person, in the day that thou wast born (Ezekiel 16:4,5). 

When Yahweh passed by, he saw the bloody baby, and saved her life. "And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live" (Ezekiel 16:6). I have known people who believe that reciting this verse will stop nosebleeds. But blood from the nose is not the subject here! 

Twelve or thirteen years pass - the girl reaches womanhood and the prophet finds it important to mention that her pubic hair has grown and her breasts have developed: "thou art come to excellent ornaments: they breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown" (Ezekiel 16:17). As THE PULPIT COMMENTARY says, breast development and pubic hair growth "point to the most obvious signs of female puberty." Puberty is a hair-raising experience! Today we might just say the girl reached puberty or womanhood - without going into details about her breasts and pubic hair. But the Eastern style of writing was very descriptive! 

Apparently she became quite shapely, for the word translated "fashioned" in the phrase "thy breasts are fashioned" means "to be erect" and is translated by such words as "certain" (Deuteronomy 17:4) and "firm" (Joshua 3:17). Later in the story, Ezekiel tells of ornaments such as bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. But the shape of her breasts was, as the margin has it, her ornament of ornament: "Thou art come to your ornament of ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned." 

Her breasts developed. Her pubic hair appeared. She began menstruating. According to the customs of the time, she was old enough to be married and make love. "Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold thy time was the time of love." The word translated "love" here means sexual love (from the Hebrew meaning "to boil") and is used in erotic passages of the Song of Solomon, in Ezekiel 23:17, and Proverbs 7:18. 

"I spread my skirt over thee" - a primitive way of describing marriage - "I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee...thou becamest mine. Then washed I thee with water; yea, I thoroughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil" (Ezekiel 16:8,9). Since a menstruating woman was considered unclean, all menstrual blood to be washed away before intercourse was considered proper. 

When David watched Bathsheba take a bath, the bath was that ritual cleansing that followed her menstrual period. David "from the roof saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon .... And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness" (2 Samuel 11:2,4). This wording seems to imply that David did not regard sexual intercourse too seriously - as long as the woman had completed her menstrual cycle and taken a bath! 

Ezekiel's vivid and sensual description continues: I thoroughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil." Anointing with oil is a very common expression in the Bible. But here the word translated :anointed" is not the usual word. It has the meaning of "smeared" (Strong's Concordance, 5480). The word "oil" is the normal word used for any oily substance, defined by Strong as grease, especially liquid (Strong's Concordance, 8081). If the oil was smeared in the same area from which the blood had been washed away, it is clear this lubricant was to prepare the virgin girl for her first intercourse. These are some of the things we were not told in Sunday School - and were afraid to ask!

The girl was now married - to Yahweh - who gave her beautiful garments and jewelry. Her beauty became known among the nations (Ezekiel 16:14). Had she lived in our day, she could have been a beauty contest winner. But the young bride was unable to properly handle her fame and beauty. She cheated on her husband - not only with a passing affair or two - but actually became a prostitute! "Thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playest the harlot because of thy renown, and pourest out thy fornications on every one that passed by; HIS IT WAS" (verse 15). 

"His it was." THE PULPIT COMMENTARY says these are the words of "extremist scorn." She became so wild that she wanted sex with anyone and everyone - a point that Ezekiel continues to stress as the story unfolds. 

Thou hast also built unto thee an eminent place [margin: brothel house], and hast made thee an high place in every street. Thou hast built thy high place at every head of the way, and hast made thy beauty to be abhorred, and hast opened thy feet to every one that passed by, and multiplied thy whoredoms (Ezekiel 16:24,25).

The language is very strong. So great was her lust, she is described as doing business in "every street." She did not refrain from any type of sexual act, all were apparently indulged in, for she even "multiplied her whoredoms" as she engaged in sex with "everyone that passed by." 

Then, as if all this sexual activity was not enough, the prophet tells us she used artificial penises for sexual stimulation. She made "images of men [margin: of a male], and did commit whoredom with them" (Ezekiel 16:17). The word translated "men" here does not carry the meaning of statutes of men, but that which makes a man expressly male (strong's Concordance, 2145). Numerous writers have pointed out that artificial penises are meant here. Even the Kinsey report mentions this. 

Though it was before the days of modern shipping methods and "adult" shops, the artificial penis was well known in the ancient world. The city of Miletus, which was included in one of Paul's missionary trips (Acts 20:15), was known for the manufacture and exportation of this product. According to classical writings of this period, Milesian women made "imitations in leather, eight inches long and thick in proportion."

The word "dildo," a common term for an artificial penis, is of uncertain origin, says the book A PLEASURE IN WORDS, but may be a corruption of "dill" - the pickle. Called "anise" in the scriptures (Matthew 23:23), dill is used for making dill pickles. Others lick the word "dildo" with the Italian "tiletto" - meaning "delight." 

Yahweh's unfaithful wife is pictured as having sex with Egyptian men - men who were commonly imagined to have large penises. "Thou hast also committed fornication with the Egyptians thy neighbors, GREAT OF FLESH; and hast increased thy whoredoms" (Ezekiel 16:26). Though the translators have used the word :flesh" here, there is no doubt that the male sex organ is intended (Strong's Concordance, 1320).

Even the debased "Philistines" were embarrassed at the actions of Yahweh's wife: "The daughters of the Philistines are ashamed of thy lewd way" (Ezekiel 16:27). Considering the very negative feelings the Israelites had for the Philistines, this comparison is loaded with feeling. Ezekiel continues: 

Thou has played the whore also with the Assyrians, because thou wast unsatiable; yea, thou hast played the harlot with them, and yet couldest not be satisfied, Thou hast moreover multiplied thy fornication in the land of Canaan unto Chaldea; and yet thou wast not satisfied therewith .... Thou doest all these things, the work of an imperious whorish woman (Ezekiel 16:28-30). 

Having become a whore in "every street" in town, she is pictured as going to other towns and cities, and even other countries to have sex with foreigners. She stimulated herself with dildos. She sought out Egyptians with big penises. She multiplied her acts of whoredom. She had sex with anyone who passed by. Still she was not satisfied--a nymphomaniac! 

Ezekiel points out that all whores sell sex to men, but this woman is so debased SHE PAYS THEM! "They give gifts to all whores: but thou givest thy gifts to all thy lovers, and hirest THEM, that the may come unto thee on every side for thy whoredom" (Ezekiel 16:33).Needless to say, with this much action, she was a busy body! She wanted to be chased, not chaste! 

In another message by Ezekiel, he likens Yahweh to a man who marries two sisters, "the daughters of one mother," and both end up being untrue to him! (Ezekiel 23:2). The older sister, Aholah, personified Samaria (the capital of Israel) and Aholibah, the younger sister, personified Jerusalem (the capital of Judah). 

And Aholah played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbors ... she committed whoredoms with them, with all them that were the chosen men of Assyria .... Neither left she her whoredoms brought from Egypt: for in her youth they lay with her, and they bruised the breasts of her virginity, and poured their whoredom upon her (Ezekiel 23:5-8).

The word "doted" that appears repeatedly in this chapter means to breathe after, i.e., to love sensually (Strong's Concordance, 5689) - an allusion to the heavy, excited breathing and sensual lust of this unfaithful wife. The prophetic writer makes no effort to speak in a refined way, but uses the crudest terms in describing her activities.

And when her sister Aholibah saw this, she was more corrupt in her inordinate love than she, and in her whoredoms more than her sister in her whoredoms. She doted upon the Assyrians .... Then I saw that she was defiled, that they took both one way, and that she increased her whoredoms: for when she saw men portrayed upon the wall ... she doted upon them ... and the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoredom, and she was polluted with them (Ezekiel 23:11-17). 

Though Aholibah did not have PLAYBOY magazine to look at, erotic pictures of men were available "men portrayed upon the wall ... she doted upon them." She indulged in all kinds of sexual acts as she "increased her whoredoms" and "inordinate love." She was also into group sex, for Babylonian men (plural) came to the bed of love and she was polluted with THEM. Whether the two sisters and their lovers ever got together for four-play, we are not told.

"Then I said unto her that was old in adulteries, Will they now commit whoredoms with her, and she with them?" (Ezekiel 23:43). She remembered those days of youth, the "lewdness," and the Egyptians "bruising her teats ... the paps of her youth" (verse 21). Moffatt translates this verse: "Yes, you sought to repeat the lustful days of your youth, when the Egyptians handled your nipples and pressed your young breasts." She was older now, the past-tense reference to her well-developed breasts may imply they had sagged with Cowper's droop. 

She recalled those sexual sessions with Egyptian lovers "whose FLESH is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses" (Ezekiel 23:20). The word translated "flesh" here, used euphemistically, refers to the penis (Strong;s Concordance, 1320). Seeking to emphasize the size of these Egyptian penises, the prophet compares them to the sex organs of asses. Penis size has been commonly compared to those of animals. Among the Hindus, the smallest size was a "shushah" (hare man), next was a "mrigah" (buck man), then "vrishubba" (bull man) and e largest a "ushvah" (stallion man)---obviously an overstatement since a stallion in passion measures 30 inches long!

Egyptian euphemisms for the male organ include: Edewweel (The Long), Es-Smeek (The Thick), and Gedheeb-el-Kebeer (The Great Rod). Not that men "well endowed" are better lovers, but a certain fantasy prevails. 

Modern studies, such as those performed by Masters and Johnson, have presented some adult averages for penis size. In one such study, the range of those examined was from two and a half inches to five and a half inches long in the flaccid state. The average measurement at the height of sexual excitement was six inches. 

Some feel Ezekiel could have made his point without going into details about penis size. But not only did he state that Aholibah had found lovers with big penises - "as the 'flesh' of asses" - he also talked about how much semen they ejaculated. "...whose issue is like that issue of horses" (Ezekiel 23:20). The word translated issue here means: "a gushing of fluid (semen)" (Strong's Concordance, 2213). Oligospermia, scantiness of semen, was not the case - these men ejaculated like horses! They were young and lusty, for more semen is emitted by young men than older men, as a comparison table in the Kinsey report shows.

Apparently those who listened to Ezekiel's messages were not offended by his sexually explicit metaphors. Surprisingly, he was "unto them as a very lovely song of one that hash a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument"! (Ezekiel 33:32). 

In language very similar to Ezekiel's, Jeremiah described Judah's unfaithfulness in these words (Jeremiah 3:1-3): 

Thou hast played the harlot with many lovers .... Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness ...thou hast a whore's forehead. 

The idea here, as pointed out by The Anchor Bible, is that Judah was so anxious for "lovers," she was like a band of Arabs waiting to waylay a caravan. Prophets such as Ezekiel and Jeremiah illustrated their message with TALK about whores. Hosea went a step further: he MARRIED a whore to illustrate his message! The book that bears his name opens with these words: "The beginning of the word of the Lord by Hosea. And the Lord said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms ... so he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim" (Hosea 1:2,3).

"Daughter of Diblaim" could mean Diblaim was her father or she was from a town by this name. But since Diblaim means two cakes of pressed figs (Strong's Concordance, 1691), it has been suggested (and not without some plausibility) that this was but another way of saying she was a two fig cake whore. One writer compares her to a prostitute being obtained for a couple packs of cigarettes during World War II? 

A few years ago a man told me about a husband and wife team that made extra money on weekends. They would take their pickup and camper to labor camps. Men would have intercourse with the woman in the camper, while the husband collected the money from the men who formed a line, each waiting his turn. Being a prostitute in such labor camps would be especially low and debased. And this, as Hosea preached, was the level to which Israel had fallen. "Israel ... bast gone a whoring from God, thou hast loved a reward upon every cornfloor" (Hosea 9:1). She had become such a low class harlot, as Clarke points out, she would go to the common thrashing places, have intercourse with the lowest class of men, and accept payment even of grain.

Like unfaithful Israel, Hosea's wife had again and again practiced whoredom--"a woman of whoredoms." Her children were "children of whoredoms" - the identity of their real fathers being unknown. During her marriage to Hosea, he fathered three children by her, but she fell back into her old ways. In one scene, Hosea sends the children to plead with her. "Plead with your mother, plead," he instructed them. "Let her put away her whoredoms out of her sight and her adulteries from between her breasts." Finally he threatened to divorce her and, as was the custom in those days, to publicly "strip her naked, and set her as in the day she was born"! (Hosea 2:2,3).



posted by Brian Worley   January 21, 2010 Ex-Minister.org     All rights reserved


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