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VaYeshev

  
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 38:20
 38:21
38:21 [The friend] asked the local people, 'where is the religious prostitute? She was near Twin Wells (Eynayim), alongside the road.'

'There was no religious prostitute here,' they replied.
Vayish'al et-anshey mekomah lemor ayeh hakdeshah hi va'Eynayim al-hadarech vayomeru lo-hayetah vazeh kedeshah.




Commentary:

religious prostitute
  Kedeshah in Hebrew. See Deuteronomy 23:18 which seems to indicate that the pagan custom was to use the hire of such prostitutes for sacrifice. The kedeshah is also associated with sacrifice in Hosea 4:14. See Numbers 25:1,2. Ancient sources state that among the Amorites it was a custom that girls would have to sit seven days as prostitutes before being married (Tzava'ath Yehudah 12:2; cf. Herodotus 1:199; also see Kethuboth 3b). Judah had no interest in her as a sacred prostitute, and, therefore, above (Genesis 38:15), the word zonah denoting a simple prostitute, is used.





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