I have put my foot in it and said that the Ten Commandments is about sex.  My case is weakened if I am the only person who ever thought so.  So do religions of the time and region concern themselves with sex?  According to Herodotus, if memory serves, the only places he knew of where there was no temple prostitution were Greece and Egypt.  An Egyptian papyrus records how to diagnose a sexually transmitted disease from a priestess, so either Herodotus did not know or it was not going on just at that time, but it went on.  The Holy Land was within his realm of interest, so it seems clear that there was sex in holy places in the Holy Land in that general time.  So yes, sex and religion occur together. 

Is this consistent with scripture?  Exodus 34:15 Moses is told to take precautions lest the people “go a whoring after (foreign) gods.”  Leviticus 17:7 God orders that the people will, “no more offer their sacrifices unto devils, after whom they have gone a whoring.”  Leviticus 20:3 God threatens, “I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people because he hath given of his seed to Molech to defile my sanctuary.”  Deuteronomy 31:16 God tells Moses, “This people will rise up and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land.”  Judges 2:17 “They would not harken unto the judges but went a whoring after other gods.”  Judges 8:33 “As soon as Gideon was dead … the Children of Israel turned again and went a whoring after Baal.”  I Kings 14:23 “They also built them high places and images and groves on every high hill and under every green tree.”  I Chronicles 5:25 “They transgressed against the God of their fathers and went a whoring after the gods of the people of the land.” Isaiah 57:5 “Inflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree.” Jeremiah 17:2 “Their children remember their altars and their groves by the green trees upon the high hills.”  Ezekiel 6:9 God announces terrible punishment for the people who, “Go a whoring after their idols.”  Hosea 4:10 “They shall commit whoredom and shall not increase.” 

We are talking sex here.  It is no figure of speech.  You don’t use a figure of speech for something that is actually happening.  “The clouds were dropping water like rain,” just does not work as a simile. 

In form the objection is not the promiscuous sex.  The objection is to sex under the color of a foreign religion.  It is sex with outsiders.  Hosea lays it right on the line.  The point of all this sex is to have children, to “increase,” and it is not going to work.  It cannot work in the long run.  They are having sex with the wrong people, with outsiders, and for that the punishment will be terrible. 

Generally the prophets announce doom either in the form of an invading army, which is pretty sure to arrive in any country that cannot field a force of young men, or in the form of spectacular sound and light coming from the sky.  But the doom is far colder, far less exciting, far less avoidable.  It is the bleak comfortlessness of the childless. 

There have been 1,048 visitors so far.  This is research, not advice.  Linton Herbert

Home page.