In The Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible uses two different words for prostitute, zonah (זנה) and qedesha or kedeshah (קדשה). The word zonah simply meant an ordinary prostitute or loose woman. But the word kedeshah literally means "consecrated (feminine form)", from the Semitic root q-d-sh (קדש) meaning "holy" or "set apart".
Whatever the cultic significance of a kedeshah to a follower of the Canaanite religion, the Hebrew Bible makes it clear that cultic prostitution had no place in Yahwism. Thus Deuteronomy 23:18-19 tells followers:
None of the daughters of Israel shall be a kedeshah, nor shall any of the sons of Israel be a kadesh.
You shall not bring the hire of a prostitute (zonah) or the wages of a dog (kelev) into the house of the Lord your God to pay a vow, for both of these are an abomination to the Lord your God.
Stephen O. Murray writes that biblical passages ban qdeshim and link them with gods and 'forms of worship detested by orthodox followers of Yahweh'
Celia Brewer Marshall, and Celia B. Sinclair have written that 'the ethical demands of the covenant preclude worshiping Yahweh in licentious sexual rites (sacred prostitution)"
The meaning of the male form kadesh or qadesh is not entirely clear. The Hebrew word kelev (dog) in the next line may also signify a male dancer or prostitute.
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Famous quotes containing the word hebrew:
“...a man of uncircumcized lips...”
—Bible: Hebrew (RSV)