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Prostitutes & The Bible


15 Judah noticed Tamar and thought she was a prostitute, since she had covered her face. 16 So he stopped and propositioned her. “Let me have sex with you,” Judah said, not realizing that she was his own daughter-in-law. “How much will you pay to have sex with me?” Tamar asked. (Genesis 38:15-6, NLT)
          As the story goes, Judah made the final arrangements, sexually engaged with Tamar, so on and so forth. So, how views the Bible Tamar for engaging in the act of prostitution? You might imagine that she was deemed a vile, wicked woman; however, the Bible defines her quite differently than what most would suspect. In fact, it says something completely different that what many might imagine! It says, “She is more righteous than I am […]” Judah the Patriarch claimed (Genesis 38:26, NLT). So, instead of being burned alive at the stake, Tamar wasn’t deemed a perverted woman.

          Let’s now consider another instance that was repeated in the New Testament and what Yeshua had to say about the matter.           “Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with Elohim by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road” (James 2:25, NLT). Most would reason that Rahab should have been destroyed with the rest of Jericho for her unwanted profession. The truth of the matter is that Bible deemed Rahab the prostitute to have proven her self-worth because of the support she rendered the Israeli spies. In fact, the New Testament claims that “It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey Elohim. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies” (Hebrews 11:31, NLT).
To my surprise, Scriptures deemed several prostitutes as being righteous women filled with faith meriting an inheritance within Elohim's Kingdom.           So, imagine that! The faith of a prostitute preserved her from the destruction that fell upon Jericho. The Bible continues to inform us what happened to Rahab the prostitute: “So Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute and her relatives who were with her in the house, because she had hidden the spies Joshua sent to Jericho. And she lives among the Israelites to this day” (Joshua 6:25, NLT). Rahab the prostitute was so righteous, that she was the matriarch in Messiah Yeshua’s lineage! (Reference Matthew 1:5)
          What, then, did Messiah Yeshua stipulate pertaining prostitutes and their relationship to their entering into the Kingdom? Yeshua said, “I tell you the truth, corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of G-d […]” (Matthew 21:31, NLT). That is correct. As much as anyone may want to reject such an idea, Yeshua, the one who makes the final judgment as to who will inherit eternal life and who will inherit eternal condemnation, already decided that prostitutes will enter into Elohim's Kingdom in the very same manner that Rahab inherited the land when Israel conquered the Canaanites. Amazing!
The Controversy Continues           Recently, my friend encouraged me to go with him and several other guys to Delilah’s, a gentlemen’s club located at Atlantic City, NJ. My friend reasoned that since it was our mutual friend’s birthday, it would be a good idea to go and celebrate it there. A total of four guys encouraged me to go, and I caved into the peer-pressure rather easily.
          When we sat down at the bar, I ordered a club soda. Then, a very beautiful young 22 years old dancer came to the stage and made direct eye contact with me and smiled. I felt embarrassed; so, I looked away and kept engaging my friend in his cheerful conversations. As I spoke to my friend, I couldn't help but wonder, “What would cause such a beautiful woman to become a prostitute?” I pretty much doubt that little girls playing with Barbie entertain the idea, “When I grow up, I want to become a prostitute and make millions of dollars!” Still, woman do make that decision and wind up prostituting their bodies in return for money. Lo and behold, Vanessa came up to me and said, “Hi, Mr. Hat,” with a gleeful smile.
          “I pretty much doubt that when you were growing up, you decided to choose this as your profession. What happened?” I asked her; so, she told me her story. She hooked up with the wrong guy who was always in trouble with the law. She gave birth to two of his children. He’s incarcerated for crimes he committed, and she has been dancing for the past month in order to provide the basic necessities for her two young children. Then, I asked her about her spirituality which I was impressed to learn that she does study the Bible, enjoys watching Joyce Meyers on television, and she’s simply trying to get back on her two feet. I then asked her, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” where she responded in opening up her own beauty salon at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk. At the end of the matter, I wound up going to “The Taj Mahal" and slept in the hotel room with all my friends; in other words, nothing happened other than I got to speak some encouraging words to Vanessa and letting her know that she too can return to the ways of the Heavenly Father.

          The following day, a fellow Messianic sister called out, “Hillel!” I looked across the street and asked the other buddy, “Is that the prostitute?” To my surprise, it was fellow Messianic Jews smiling at me and saying, “We're NOT here to judge!” I was both stunned and surprised. So, I admitted to them the events that transpired the night before. They slapped my hand and said, “Rabbi, you’re being disciplined for ONE month!” and laughed.

          It just goes to show that the Word is true: “I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!” (Psalm 139:7, NLT).
The Messianic Attitude           Without a doubt, the Messianic attitude towards prostitutes is quite different in comparison to the attitude that most Christians have. Whenever we “think” about prostitutes, we think about how they’ve went out of their way to preserve the nation of Israel. We also tend to think about how Scriptures tend to identify them as being righteous and meriting Elohim’s Kingdom, not because of their profession but because of their faith that someone will one day redeem them from such a profession. So, we tend to hold prostitutes with a positive view and not a negative one as most Christians do.

          For the most part, Christians tend to condemn prostitutes; yes, after my friends have encouraged me to go to Delilah’s at Atlantic City, they were quite brazen with the notion that prostitutes will inherit Elohim’s Kingdom. Yet, if we were to carefully read Scriptures as a whole, we come to learn that prostitutes are NOT condemned; on the contrary, Yeshua who judges such matters consider prostitutes to be righteous and merit inheriting Elohim’s Kingdom. Does this mean that Messianic Jews should consider prostitution as a profession to make ends meat? Of course not! Torah discourages such a notion: “Do not defile your daughter by making her a prostitute, or the land will be filled with prostitution and wickedness” (Leviticus 19:29, NLT).
           Does this mean that Messianic Jews can engage in sexual pleasures with prostitutes?  Well, the Bible says two things about men who sleep with prostitutes. Firstly, it says, “The man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father, but if he hangs around with prostitutes, his wealth is wasted” (Proverbs 29:3, NLT). Yeshua reiterated this in the Parable of the Prodigal Son. If we consider our Patriarch’s dealings with Tamar, we learn of his actions: “And Judah never slept with Tamar again” (Genesis 38:26b, NLT). In other words, the Bible encourages Messianic Jews should make good use with their hard earned money.

          The second thing is this: though Torah does NOT condemn Jews from having sexual encounters with prostitutes, Paul gave a logical response as to why Messianic Jews should not have sexual encounters with prostitutes (reference 1 Corinthians 6:15-20). In essence, we believe that our physical body will rise again and inherit eternal life conditions. Because of our faith in Messiah that he was raised from the grave, that he will come and transform our bodies to immortal ones, so too we should commit our bodies in a manner that merits such an eternal reward to those who have this hope. Besides, many incurable diseases do run rampant among such people.

          To conclude, it’s really necessary for Bible enthusiasts to search Scriptures, learn as much as they can and consider how to behave towards those who are truly desperate for the Heavenly Father’s love. By knowing what the Scriptures say, our attitude will be reflected in the manner of how we treat such spiritually needy people and help them return wholeheartedly to Elohim, regardless of how repudiated their actions may be. Lastly, we should neither encourage nor allow ourselves to be encouraged in to entering into such places that can only be utilized as a fierce weapon by the very ones who invited us in. Trust you me, it's not worth the arguments and slander.
© 2014 by Nehr HaOlam Publications.
Winslow, New Jersey, USA
All Rights Reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scriptures were taken from the New Living Translation of the Bible.

For more information, contact NehrHaOlam@gmail.com.

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