Ancient Prostitution

Then he asked the men of that place, saying, Where is the harlot, that was openly by the way side? And they said, There was no harlot in this place.

Genesis 38:21 (KJV)

Harlot – Hirah is the one who asked the question. He was Judah’s friend, and an Adullamite. The story, as you might know, begins with Judah marrying off his sons – one of which, Er, marries a woman named Tamar. Er was wicked and dies before his wife bears any children, and so Judah promises his younger son, Shelah, to her for a future marriage. This is the law of the kinsman redeemer from Deuteronomy 25:5. As the story goes, Shelah becomes of age, but Judah never gets around to giving him to Tamar. So Tamar becomes anxious and sets out to persuade Judah on his way to the sheering floor (where he’s going to sheer his sheep). She covers her face and seemingly pretends to be a harlot. Continue reading “Ancient Prostitution”