The prostitution of Israel (Hos 4:10-4:12)

“They shall eat,

But not be satisfied.

They shall play the prostitute,

But not multiply.

They have forsaken

Yahweh

To cherish prostitution.

Wine,

With new wine,

Takes away

Understanding.

My people consult

A piece of wood.

Their divining rod

Gives them oracles.

A spirit of prostitution

Has led them astray.

They have left

Their God

To play the prostitute.”

These northern Israelites would eat, but not be satisfied or full. They played the prostitute. They did not increase or multiply. They have cherished prostitution rather than Yahweh. All kinds of wine, new and old, take away understanding. Thus, the Israelite people consult with pieces of wood, the wooden idol gods. Their oracles or sayings come from their magical divining rods or sticks. This concept of prostitution has led them astray. They have left God to be prostitutes to other gods. Obviously, this was an allusion to the prostitution fertility rites and the fact that they were turning to other wooden idol gods, rather than being faithful to Yahweh.

No pity for the children (Hos 2:4-2:5)

“Also,

I will have no pity

Upon her children,

Because they are children

Of whoredom.

Their mother

Has played the whore.

She conceived them,

But she has acted shamefully.

She said.

‘I will go after

My lovers.

They give me

My bread,

My water,

My wool,

My flax,

My oil,

My drink.’”

The prophet Hosea also has no pity on his or her children since they were considered the children of a prostitute. She conceived them and bore them, but she had acted shamefully. She went after her lovers in order to get bread, water, wool, flax, oil, and something to drink, basically the necessities of life. Obviously, Gomer, the prostitute, was the Israelite people, who sought their lovers among the various fertility Canaanite gods and Baals.

The prostitute (Prov 23:27-23:28)

“A prostitute is a deep pit.

An adulteress is a narrow well.

She lies in wait like a robber.

She increases the number of the faithless.”

Once again there is a warning about prostitutes and adulteress women who are trying to lure young men. They are like a deep pit or a narrow well. They will rob you since they lay in wait for you. These evil women are the cause of the increase in the number of the faithless. It is never the fault of the men, only the women. There are no admonitions to young women about males attempting to rape them. Perhaps they were more protected in this society.

The spies of Joshua at Jericho (Josh 2:1-2:7)

“Then Joshua son of Nun sent two men secretly from Shittim as spies.  He said to them. ‘Go! View the land, especially Jericho.’ So they went. They entered the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab. They spent the night there. The King of Jericho was told. ‘Some Israelites have come here tonight to search out the land.’ Then the King of Jericho sent orders to Rahab. ‘Bring out the men who have come to you, who entered your house. They have come only to search out the whole land.’ But the woman took the two men and hid them. Then she said. ‘True, men came to me. But I did not know where they came from. When it was time to close the gate at dark, the men went out. Where the men went I do not know. Pursue them quickly, for you can overtake them.’”  

The Israelites were camped at Shittim, while Jericho was in the Jordan valley. Joshua sent spies out to view the land. They visited a prostitute. There is no indication why they went there. Anyhow, the King of Jericho found out about them. He asked Rahab what happened. She said that they were there but had left. She suggested that they go catch them when, in fact, she had hid them. Rahab, the prostitute, gave the leaders of Jericho the wrong information.

“She had, however, brought them up to the roof. She had hidden them with the stalks of flax that she had laid in order out on the roof.  So the men pursued them on the way to the Jordan as far as the fords. As soon as the pursuers had gone out, the gate was shut.”

Rahab had hid them on the roof. While the others were pursuing the two spies, the gate of the town was shut. So far, all is going well.