[b-hebrew] YHWH's attitude towards zonah

Stoney Breyer stoneyb at touchwood.net
Fri Jul 16 14:36:23 EDT 2004

Peter -

I agree that there's some sort of "association between qadesha and
zona", but I'm much less confident that "temple prostitution" is the

1) If we didn't have the entertaining but hardly dependable Herodotus,
would we ever have arrived at the notion that there was such a thing as
"temple prostitution"? Or would we assume that the prophets'
identification of religious and sexual infidelity is a metaphor, not
condemnation of actual physical or economic acts? 

(And even if the prophets *are* asserting sexual misconduct, is it any
more reliable than the persistent accusations against Vestals and nuns?)

2) Vince reminds us that words change their meanings: May the LXX
translations as porne in Genesis and Deuteronomy reflect an exegetical
tradition strongly influenced by precisely such an equation of sexual
and religious transgression? Or may they represent the LXX translators'
best guesses from context? 

(And by the way, just out of curiosity, does LXX distinguish between
zona and qedesha in these places?) 

Thanks for indulging my diabolic advocacy!

Stoney Breyer
Writer / Touchwood

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