Word Study: Whore and Harlot (Part 2)

I think it is good to examine some of the passages the word “zanah” is present in the OT. As was stated it is used 93 total times in the OT. About 65 times when “zanah” is used it is in direct reference to idolatry. 24 times it speaks of a woman. 3 times it speaks of male and female and once just male (Jer 3:1). But zanah is a spiritual word. The letter killeth but the Spirit gives life. In letter Hosea is commanded by God to marry a “zanah” woman, but in Spirit it speaks of God who is married to Yisrael, the idolater, and of course it speaks of He who knew became sin, that we might be the righteousness of God in Him. There are the spiritual words of the book of Proverbs as this also. The point being that the use of “zanah” is first and foremost related to idolatry in the OT. From idolatry comes all manner of partaking fully in the flesh. From worshipping gods that are no gods all manner of unrighteousness proceeds.

The first time “zanah” is used in the OT is in Gen 34:31. In this passage, Shechem, the son of Hamor (the leader of the Hivites), raped Dinah (against her will) and defiled her. She was the daughter of Yacob (Gen 34:2). Yacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, took it upon themselves to defend the honor of their sister, deceived the Hivites, slayed Hamor, Shechem and the Hivite men and plundered all the city. Yacob was troubled by the actions of his sons, and their response to him was, “Should he (Shechem) deal with our sister as with a “zanah”, as a woman, a person, known to living according to the flesh.” Thus, the first use of the “zanah” in the OT is used in the context of a woman who is raped and how this act affected what other’s thought of her – a person of “zanah”, though Dianh herself  was innocent. Thus, “zanah” used in this passage had no connection to the real character of the woman. And the law does declare, “But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her, then the man only that lay with her shall die. But unto the damsel you shall do nothing. There is in the damsel no sin worthy of death. For as when a man riseth against his neighbor, and slayeth him, even so is this matter. For he found her in the field, and the damsel to be betrothed cried, and there was none to save her?” (Deut 22:25ff) Yes, the Law does say it! The Lord equates murder to rape, for both have the same consequences under the Law. The Mashiach was condemned in the flesh by the letter of the Law, and justified in the Spirit! The purpose of God is fulfilled through betrayal. Was not the Mashaich betrayed? Yes, of course, as it was prophecied.

The second passage “zanah” is found in the OT is in Gen 38. In this passage Yudah, the son of Yacob, went to the people round about, the Adullamites, and took a Canaanite woman, a Gentile, for a wife. Her name was Shuah (Gen 38:2). She conceived two sons, Er and Onan. Yudah chose a wife for Er, Tamar. But Er did evil in the sight of the Lord and he was slain. Yudah then gave Oman, Er’s brother, to Tamar, but he displeased the Lord and was slain. Yudah then said that Tamar should remain in his house as a widow until his other son, Shelah, should be grown and then he would be given to her for a husband.  Yudah forgot this word that he gave to Tamar over time. She sat in the way one day covered in a veil and Yudah came by and thought her a woman who commits acts of “zanah” because she was covered. Yudah asked her what he could give her so he could come into her, have pleasure with her. She asked him what would he give her. He said a kid from the flock. She then asked for a pledge of his signet, bracelet and staff until he sent the kid. Yudah went in unto her, knew her and she conceived unbeknownest to him. Yudah sent the kid to the place Tamar had relations with him, but she could not be found. Three months later it was told Yudah that Tamar acted  as zanah and was with a child of zanah. Yudah said, Let her be brought forth and burnt.” Tamar when brought to her father-in-law said, “Discern, I pray thee, whose are these, the signet, and bracelet, and staff?” Yudah acknowledge that the items were his, and said, “She hath been more righteous that I. Because that I gave her not to Shelah, my son.”

Thus, the first two occasions in the OT prophecies that “zanah” is found, first, the woman is innocent and in the second she is more righteous than the man. Is God partial? And even more so, dear saints, Tamar, this woman of the Canaanites, bore twins of her father-in-law, Yudah. They are Pharez and Zerah. Pharez is of the seed of promise, of the lineage according to the flesh of the Mashiach, Yeshua of Nazareth. God is not partial! He loves all people with an everlasting love without partiality.

These past two word studies on “whore” and “harlot” were made that we might have understanding of the Spirit concerning women. Whether it be a man and his understanding of woman, or a woman and her understanding of herself. We have locked into our thoughts words that are partial and contrary to the Mashiach. Why will we not condemn idolatry among the people of God more so than fornication. Worshipping gods that are no gods, jesus’s that our no jesus’s, spirits that our not the Spirit of our God. Does not the writings of the apostolos say both “flee idolatry” and “flee fornication (zanah)”. Spiritually “zanah” means acting in such a way as that there are no restrictions upon the flesh. To the saints of the most high God, “the love of the Mashiach constraineth us.” The flesh is full of desire, and there is no limit to this desire. Rather than having one wife, the flesh desires all women. Rather than being content with what it has, the flesh desires our neighbors’s good and everything that our neighbor has, and not only our neighbor, but all neighbors. Do you not know the Law says, “thou shalt not lust” – “thou shalt not covet” – “thou shalt not desire”. Within the flesh is desire without limitation. Within the flesh is thoughts only of the person excluding any other person. “I know in this flesh dwelleth no good thing.” Idolatry is the worship of gods that are no gods. Worshipping the things that are created by man’s hands which he or she greatly desires in the flesh. And from this worship of an idol comes all manner of evil, even the sacrifice of the unborn, infants, children and people to gods that are no gods. For God gave His life for all people, and does not ask and rejects all offerings made to Him other than the Mashiach, Yeshua of Nazareth. “Sacrifice and burnt offering I have not desired, but a broken and contrite heart”, sayeth God.

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4 Responses to Word Study: Whore and Harlot (Part 2)

  1. Gwen Duckworth says:

    God is amazing!

  2. habasar says:

    Here is the etymology (where the word derives from) of “whore” and “harlot”.

    WHORE: In Old English “hore” was prostitute or harlot. In the Proto-Germanic language (an earlier German) *khoraz (fem. *khoron-) was “one who desires” (close to Old Norse, “hora” (adulteress),” Danish “hore”, Swedish “hora”, Dutch “hoer”, Old High German “huora” which means “whore. In Gothic only in the masculine, “hors” is an adulterer or fornicator, also as a verb, “horinon” whihc means “to commit adultery”).

    HARLOT: circa (about)1200 (late 12th century in surnames), harlot was a “vagabond, man of no fixed occupation, idle rogue”; from Old French “herlot” or “arlot” meaning vagabond or tramp (usually MALE in Middle English and Old French), with forms in Old Provençal (region of France) “arlot”, Old Spanish “arlote”, and Italian “arlotto”. Used in both positive and negative sense by Chaucer (English poet); applied in Middle English to jesters, buffoons, jugglers, later to actors. Sense of prostitute or unchaste woman probably had developed by 14th century., certainly by early 15th century, but this was reinforced by use as euphemism (word to make nice) for “strumpet, whore” in 16c. translations of the Bible. The word (harlot) may be Germanic, with an original sense of “camp follower,” if the first element of the word “harlot” is “hari” as in army,” as some suspect. Thus, those who follow the army could be an assortment of all type of people, including vagbonds, jesters, and unchaste women in particular.

  3. Leann says:

    God puts rape and murder in the same verse (deut 22:26) as the same matter. That really shows the atrocity of rape! GOD is . GOD is wise!

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