What is a Harlot?
The first mention of harlots is in the case of Tamar, Gen 38:15, but we frequently meet with them later in the books of the Bible. The Mosaic Hare of Mt. Sinai. Law forbade fathers to hire out their daughters as harlots, Lev 19:29, and the severe punishment by burning was ordained for the priest's daughter guilty of fornication, Lev 21:9. The harlot was regarded as unclean, and is mentioned in the same breath with the dog, Deut 23:18. The book of Proverbs compares the harlot to a deep ditch and a narrow pit, Prov 23:27, and represents in strong language the perils attending an association with her, Prov 7:10-27. The term is also used of wicked cities; as Nineveh, Nah 3:4, and Jerusalem, Isa 1:21; of Israel, to represent her alienation from God. The marriage relation is looked upon as subsisting between it and God, The nation became a harlot when she practised idolatry. Jer 2:20; Dan 3:1; Eze 16:15; Hos 2:2; Gal 4:15. In the N.T. harlots are classed with publicans. Matt 21:32, and Paul admonishes against the sin of fornication, especially in his Epistle to the Corinthians. 1 Cor 5:1; 2 Cor 12:21. In the book of Revelation, (heathen) Rome, under the mystic name of Babylon, is called "the mother of harlots," Rev 17:5.