Deuteronomy 23:18

Hebrew Bible

16 Indeed, he may live among you in any place he chooses, in whichever of your villages he prefers; you must not oppress him. 17 There must never be a sacred prostitute among the young women of Israel nor a sacred male prostitute among the young men of Israel. 18 You must never bring the pay of a female prostitute or the wage of a male prostitute into the temple of the Lord your God in fulfillment of any vow, for both of these are abhorrent to the Lord your God. 19 You must not charge interest on a loan to your fellow Israelite, whether on money, food, or anything else that has been loaned with interest. 20 You may lend with interest to a foreigner, but not to your fellow Israelite; if you keep this command the Lord your God will bless you in all you undertake in the land you are about to enter to possess.

Isaiah 23:17

Hebrew Bible

15 At that time Tyre will be forgotten for 70 years, the typical life span of a king. At the end of 70 years Tyre will try to attract attention again, like the prostitute in the popular song: 16 “Take the harp, go through the city, forgotten prostitute! Play it well, play lots of songs, so you’ll be noticed.” 17 At the end of 70 years the Lord will revive Tyre. She will start making money again by selling her services to all the earth’s kingdoms. 18 Her profits and earnings will be set apart for the Lord. They will not be stored up or accumulated, for her profits will be given to those who live in the Lord’s presence and will be used to purchase large quantities of food and beautiful clothes.

 Notes and References

"... Micah 1:7 can speak of Samaria’s idols that have been gathered “from the hire of a harlot” (compare also Isaiah 23:17–18). The concept of prostitution as a means to pay vows was so well known that the Greek translators of Proverbs 19:13 had recourse to it in elucidating a passage that otherwise remained obscure to them. Whereas the Hebrew text speaks of a wife’s quarreling, which is likened to “a continual dripping of rain,” the LXX talks about the unholy “votive gifts from the hire of a hetaera.” From a text-critical point of view the Masoretic Text is to be preferred, but the Greek rendering is revealing of the notoriety of the custom that interests us here ... Besides the attestations of incidental sexual promiscuity on the occasion of festivals, however, the Hebrew Bible also mentions a specific category of people who are generally considered to have been the “professionals” of “sacred” prostitution in ancient Israel. These are the qĕdēšîm, a term frequently rendered as “cult prostitutes.” Although the traditional understanding of this term has been challenged on the basis of the evidence concerning the Ugaritic qdšm, the parallelism between qĕdēšâ and zônâ in Genesis 38 and Deuteronomy 23:18–19 favors the idea that the qĕdēšîm engaged primarily in sexual activities. The Ugaritic qdšm seem to have consisted of non-priestly temple personnel dedicated to a deity. They were free to marry and have children and could be released from their service by a royal decree. The situation of the Israelite qĕdēšîm may, to some extent, have been similar ..."

Van der Toorn, Karel God in Context: Selected Essays on Society and Religion in the Early Middle East (pp. 93-95) Mohr Siebeck, 2018

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