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<<Prior to my previous posting I read chapter 4 of Hosea in both Hebrew and English translation, trying to do so with the mentality of someone who had never heard of any connection between the qadeshah and prostitution, to see whether I would have inferred a connection on the basis of the text alone. I did not find a connection in the text. Hosea talks about prostitution and about the qadeshah, but in my view, not to suggest that the qadeshah was a prostitute, but only to argue that prostitution and the worship of gods other than Jehovah were both part of the moral disorder that comes from being unfaithful to Jehovah. What about Deuteronomy? The close proximity of the reference to the zonah and the qadeshah makes it appealing to see them as being linked. But it is not clear that the author intended to do so>> I think only a detailed look at these two disputed passages can make clear the connections they make between zonah and qedeshah In Deuteronomy 23 the law of qadesh (priest), qedeshah (priestess), prostitute and dog only make sense as a unit. In context they are a distinct unit separate from surrounding laws, encampment rules on nocturnal emissions and bowel movements, escaped slaves, and lending at interest. Let us try to understand the prostitute and dog if we separate them from the qadesh and qedeshah. The law states, "You will not bring a wage of a prostitute (zonah) or the price/wage of a dog (masculine) (no preposition) house of the LORD your God for any vow, because an abomination (to'evah) of the LORD your God are both of them." First problem -- prostitution was a legal, though despised occupation in ancient Israel, and is trreated as illicit only in close connection with the qedeshah -- see below. Prostitution is nowhere else termed a to'evah. Problem two -- we have no evidence that dogs were ever bought and sold then, or that they were to'evah, except as food. However, the dog is used a number of times as a negative term for certain people, which seems to be how it is used here. What is the context or antecedent which gives meaning to the term "dog"? Problem three -- what do prostitutes and dogs have to do with each other? They are treated as a pair. The law concerns their wage and they are tied together again as "both of them." But, if we look at the previous verse, we find a neat pair of female (qedeshah, priestess) and male (qadesh, priest) -- "There will be no qedeshah from the daughters of Israel nor shall be a qadesh from the sons of Israel." These two pair up nicely with the zonah and dog. Combined they make a simple unit which provides an explanation for the term to'evah -- abomination, for their unacceptable religious practices. Hosea 4 is poetry. It has simple parallelism common to Hebrew poetry. Here are verses 12b-14. ""For the spirit of fornication has made them err And they fornicate from beneath the LORD On the heads of mountains they zebah. sacrifice And on the hills they burn incense Under oak and balsam and terebinth For its shade is good Therefore your daughters fornicate And your brides do adultery I will not punish your daughters because they fornicate And your brides because they do adultery For they (masc. pl) with prostitutes (zonah) go apart And with priestesses (qedeshah) they do zebah. sacrifice And a people lacking understanding will be destroyed The connection between the zonah and the qedeshah is as tight as between sacrificing and burning incense, as between daughters fornicating and brides doing adultery. The connection in the parallels is stronger than the distinctions. It is unlikely that non-religious prostitution would be part of this series. It is hardly the same level of offence as daughters and brides having illicit sex, or illicit religious practices. Its parallel with the qedeshah seems to make it the same kind of illicit activity. Jim Miller **************Wondering what's for Dinner Tonight? Get new twists on family favorites at AOL Food. (http://food.aol.com/dinner-tonight?NCID=aolfod00030000000001)