Babylon the Great

The Rise of Babylon
The Prostitute of Babylon
Temple Prostitutes Prohibited
History of the Prostitute in Israel
Bible's Most Famous Prostitute
Oholah and Oholibah Allegory
Balaam's Prostitute Army

The Rise of Babylon

After the judgment of the Tower of Babel, people scattered in all directions to populate the earth.  Some went to Egypt and resumed the culture like it was before the Flood.  The Hittites settled in Turkey.  Others went north into Europe and east to India.  But others remained behind and settled in the land of Sumer.  Wherever the people settled, they carried with them the religion of Babel and practiced idolatry.  Although each pantheon was tailored to the local culture, the similarity to the gods of Babel were obvious.  Each had a god of war like the Sun god and a goddess of love like the Moon god or Morning Star (Venus).  There was also usually a child, son, god.  The purpose of the pantheons was obviously the Satanic counterattack of Ecumenical Babylon upon the Word of God.
Abraham's Journey
There was constant fighting between the kings of the cities of Sumer and Assyria to the north (ref. map).  Nimrod was one of the kings who was a great conqueror (Genesis 10:8-10).  He became the first Evil King.  The city of Babylon became the capital of the Chaldean Empire under King Nebuchadnezzar.  Bel was worshipped in Babylon as the god of war until Nebuchadnezzar replaced him with Marduk (Jeremiah 50:2).

The Chaldean Empire was the world's first great empire.  Nebuchadnezzar effectively ruled the world.  During the rule of Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon became known as "Babylon the Great" (Daniel 4:30).  However, Babylon's legacy lived throughout history.  It became the symbol of Satan's Cosmic System.  It was called "Mother of prostitutes and abominations of the earth" (Revelation 17:5).  Babylon's spiritual symbolism surpassed it temporal greatness.

The Prostitute of Babylon

Every Spring the rites of fertility were celebrated in Babylon.  The New Year began at the Spring Equinox.  As the people looked forward to a prosperous growing season, the help of demon gods was invoked at the New Year's celebration.  Many of the details of the celebration can be pieced together from translations of pictorial writing on numerous clay tablets.2  The temples, or ziggurats, were full of wine, women, and song.  There were hymns of praise and rituals of worship to the gods.  The High Priestess symbolically married the King during the New Year's festival, which lasted around two weeks.

The marriage was supposed to celebrate the female as the symbol of fertility.  The High Priestess was viewed as the personification of the goddess Inanna or Ishtar.  The marriage consummation was supposed to symbolize the actual union of the King with the demon goddess.  But the High Priestess was in reality the house mother, or chief prostitute, of the temple prostitutes.  Thus, she was the Prostitute of Babylon, "Mother of prostitutes and abominations of the earth" (Revelation 17:5).  She was a human female and not a goddess.  This is how the Prostitute of Babylon differs from the goddess of love.  The Prostitute of Babylon is a real human; whereas, the goddess of love is Satan or a demon.

The Sumerians left written records on clay tablets about Inanna and the other gods and goddesses.2  There were stories, hymns, and poems to glorify and praise these mythological characters.  This was the fiction that followed the exploits of the antediluvian civilization and the cult mysteries of the Tower of Babel.  Inanna was the epitome of the young, beautiful, sexy, female who usurps all authority.  She sought all spiritual and temporal authority.  She wanted to be worshipped and to take the power of the King.  She used seduction, got others drunk, or ranted and raved to get her way.

The goddess, Ishtar, often replaced Inanna in the Babylonian rites.  Ishtar had her own city gate and temple.  The famous Ishtar Gate was blue and decorated with sacred lions and dragons.  Both Inanna and Ishtar could be considered the "Mother of Prostitutes" because they were the chief prostitutes of other women who prostituted themselves at the temples.  The Great Mother Goddess, the "Mother of Prostitutes" (Revelation 17:5), was worshipped under different names in different pantheons all over the world.  Regardless of the name, however, the women who served her in ritual prostitution represented the Prostitute of Babylon.

In Cyprus it appears that before marriage all women were formerly obliged by custom to prostitute  themselves to strangers at the sanctuary of the goddess, whether she went by the name of Aphrodite, Astarte, or what not. Similar customs prevailed in many parts of Western Asia. Whatever its motive, the practice was clearly regarded, not as an orgy of lust, but as a solemn religious duty performed in the service of that great Mother Goddess of Western Asia whose name varied, while her type remained constant, from place to place. Thus at Babylon every woman, whether rich or poor, had once in her life to submit to the embraces of a stranger at the temple of Mylitta, that is, of Ishtar or  Astarte, and to dedicate to the goddess the wages earned by this sanctified harlotry. The sacred precinct was crowded with women waiting to observe the custom. Some of them had to wait there for years. At Heliopolis or Baalbec in Syria, famous for the imposing grandeur of its ruined temples, the custom of the country required that every maiden should prostitute herself to a stranger at the temple of Astarte, and matrons as well as maids testified their devotion to the goddess in the same manner. The emperor Constantine abolished the custom, destroyed the temple, and built a church in its stead. In Phoenician temples women prostituted themselves for hire in the service of religion, believing that by this conduct they propitiated the goddess and won her favour. “It was a law of the Amorites, that she who was about to marry should sit in fornication seven days by the gate.” At Byblus the people shaved their heads in the annual mourning for Adonis. Women who refused to sacrifice their hair had to give themselves up to strangers on a certain day of the festival, and the money which they thus earned was devoted to the goddess.3


Tammuz, which comes from the Sumerian Dumu.Zi(d), is synonymous with Bacchus and the Greek Adonis.  He was worshipped as the child savior as the counterfeit of the Lord Jesus Christ.   The ancient Babylonians worshiped Tammuz to produce life in the womb.  However, Tammuz was denounced in the Bible as associated with idolatry (Ezekiel 8:14-15).  Tammuz was the embodiment of the apostasy that life begins at conception.  The Bible teaches that God gives soul-life to a body that can sustain life.  This may be in the womb, but it is certainly not at conception.  Tammuz was Satan's counterfeit for Creationism - that God gives soul-life (Gen 2:7; Job 27:3; 33:4; Isa 2:22).

Tammuz was the god of Mesopotamian myth who was worshipped as “The Quickener of the Child (in the mother’s womb).”15

Tammuz was a food or vegetation deity embodying four different aspects: a power in the sap that rises in trees and plants, a power in the date palm and its fruit, a power in the grain and beer, and a power in milk. This fourth aspect was his most characteristic one; since he represent the mysterious potential in the female sheep of giving birth to young and of producing milk with its life-giving powers, he became the patron saint of shepherds, the god of fertility and producer of new life who managed and cared for cattle pens and sheepfolds.

Of the three most important Sumerian ritual dramas (in which cultic concepts were acted out in a formal setting in order to coerce the gods to perform the desires and fulfill the needs of the actors), two related directly to Tammuz, cohabited with a priestess (representing the goddess Inanna/Ishtar, the lover of Tammuz) to insure that the power of fertility would pervade nature and guarantee prosperity and plenty. The second was based on the observable fact that the end of spring brought the end of new life in nature, the end of the milking and lambing season; the obvious conclusion was that Tammuz, the power who had produced all these blessings, had died! So a dramatic lament for the dead god was held annually at the beginning of the hot, dry summer, in the fourth month of the Mesopotamian calendar (our late June and early July), the month that was named “Tammuz” after him. In the rites he was mourned by women who represented his bereaved mother, sister, and young widow.15

Among the abominations observed by Ezekiel before the Fifth Cycle of Discipline was the women weeping and wailing for Tammuz outside the Temple in Jerusalem.  This was idolatry.  The worship of Tammuz was primarily a woman's cult.  Tammuz was represented as a handsome, attractive youth with no responsibilities (a philanderer).  His death was mourned in the month of Tammuz (June-July) as the end of the growth of vegetation, and his resurrection was celebrated on New Year's in the Spring when Ishtar emerged from Hell with the resurrected Tammuz.  Tammuz, thus, became associated with fire worship and the personification of the devil.

Tammuz was the demon-god with whom the Prostitute of Babylon (a real woman) copulated.  This happened before the Flood, and it continued to happen after the Flood, with the exception that no offspring of gods occurred after the Flood.  Copulation with demons is the fundamental tenet of the worship of Satan.  Many names have been given to the demons who impersonate Tammuz.  The Latin incubus and the German mar, or mare, which mean to leap upon, refer to demons that attack women in their sleep to copulate.  This is the origin of the nightmare.  The demon can induce a dream, from which the victim often awakes in terror.  The demon male counterpart, which seduces men, is called succubus.  However, since demons have no gender, the same demon can impersonate both men and women.  Case histories of such demons attacking people include:  The demon sent to terrorize Saul (1 Samuel 16:14-23); Lilith, the night hag who impersonates a female (Isaiah 34:14) (note:  Hebrew Lilith is translated "night monster" in the NAS Bible); and Paul's "thorn in the flesh" (2 Corinthians 12:7).

Temple Prostitutes Prohibited

Temple prostitutes were prohibited by the Mosaic Law.
Deuteronomy 23:17-18
17  “None of the daughters of Israel shall be a temple prostitute, nor shall any of the sons of Israel be a temple prostitute.  18  “You shall not bring the wages of a prostitute or the money of a dog into the house of the LORD your God because of any vow, for even both are an abomination to the LORD your God.
The word for the female "temple prostitute" is the Hebrew hv*d@q+ (qedeshah) and for the male is the Hebrew vd@q+ (qedesh).  The words clearly refer to male and female temple prostitutes.  The Hebrew root vdq (qdsh) means sacred, set apart, consecrated.  Temple prostitutes were not sacred, but they were set apart, or dedicated, to serve Satan.  The temple prostitutes claimed to practice sacred sex, but that was a lie.  Prostitution is not sacred.  It is evil and sinful.  It is Satan's attack on Marriage.  Even today, those who claim to practice sacred sex apart from the filling of the Holy Spirit are also liars.  Israelites were prohibited from being temple prostitutes.  The words, "daughters" and "sons", indicated the prohibition of the use of children for prostitution, which has occurred throughout history.

Temple prostitutes donated their earnings from prostitution to the temples of the gods, but Israelites were prohibited from donating the "wages of a prostitute or the money of a dog" to the Tabernacle, or Temple, of God.  The word "prostitute" in verse 18 is the Hebrew hn*oz (zonah), which is the normal word for prostitute, or harlot.  "Dog" was slang for a male homosexual prostitute.  They were called dogs because homosexuals copulate from the rear like animals.  Thus, the Prostitute of Babylon could also be a male.

During the reign of Solomon's son, Rehoboam, male and female temple prostitutes were widespread in the southern kingdom of Judah (1 Kings 14:21-24).  In verse 24, the Hebrew vd@q+ (qedesh) is singular but likely refers to both male and female temple prostitutes.  Another reference to the temple prostitutes is plural and can include male and female (1 Kings 15:12).  The male temple prostitutes during this time were very likely men who had emasculated themselves in honor of Astarte, the Canaanite nature goddess and counterpart of the Babylonian Ishtar.

History of the Prostitute in Israel

Israel was always surrounded and infiltrated by nations who practiced ritual prostitution.
and say, ‘Thus says the LORD God  to Jerusalem, “Your origin and your birth are from the land of the Canaanite, your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. (Ezekiel 16:3, NAS)
Jerusalem was the capital of Israel, and Israel was on land formerly occupied by Canaanites.  Canaan was the land of Palestine west of the Jordan (Numbers 34:2-12).  The Hebrew form of Canaan came from Hurrian, "belonging to the land of the red-purple,"4 which was the color of an expensive dye used for royal robes.  The Canaanites were evil and steeped in idolatry.  Associating Israel with the Canaanites was a way of attributing to the Jews evil abominations of idolatry.  The Amorites and Hittites were the two worst Canaanite tribes.

Amorite means "western highlander."5  The Amorites lived on the west side of the Dead Sea around Hebron and on the east side of the Jordan from the Dead Sea to Mt. Hermon.  The Akkadians called the Amorites Amurru.  In the third millennium BC, Syria-Palestine was called the land of the Amorites.  The First Dynasty of Babylon (c. 1850-1550 BC), also called the Old Babylonian, was Amorite.5   Since the Amorites lived in Babylon, their religion is believed to be associated with the Prostitute of Babylon previously described.  However, they added the god, Marduk.6

Hittite, a descendant of Heth, could be translated terrorist.  The Hittite Empire was in the region that is now Turkey during the time of First Dynasty of Babylon (c. 1850-1550 BC).  The Hittite Empire was one of the three great empires of the ancient world and rivaled the Egyptians and Mesopotamians.  The Hittites discovered the secret of iron smelting, and with their superior weapons were much feared.  They conquered the Babylonian capital of Hammurabi about 1750 BC.  The Hittites were probably Aryan, Indo-Europeans.  It is believed that the Hittite religion was associated with the sacred Prostitute of Babylon and the god, Marduk, just as existed in Babylon.  Esau married Hittite wives, which gave his mother fits (Genesis 26:34-35; 27:46).  But Uriah the Hittite was a believer and one of David's best generals.

Ezekiel continues the allegory of Jerusalem and the Jews personified as an abandoned baby (Ezekiel 16:4-6).  The baby was described as "thrown into the open field" (Ezekiel 16:5), which refers to crossing the Red Sea in the Exodus.  The baby grew up and reached puberty.

"I made you numerous like plants of the field. Then you grew up, became tall, and reached the age for ornaments of cheeks; your breasts expanded and your (pubic) hair had grown. Yet you were naked and bare." (Ezekiel 16:7)
The LORD symbolically married Jerusalem, which refers to the giving of the Mosaic Law.
"Then I passed by you and saw you; and behold, it was your time:  A time for conjugal love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness.  I also swore to you and entered into a marriage covenant with you so that you became Mine," declares the Lord Jehovah. (Ezekiel 16:8)
"My wing" refers to the hem of the robe.  Spreading the wing over her is a metaphor referring to marriage, which covers the nakedness (Ruth 3:9).
“Then I bathed you with water, washed off your blood from you, and anointed you with oil. (Ezekiel 16:9)
She was "bathed in water," which refers to sanctification.  Her "blood" was washed off, which refers to expiation, purification from guilt.  And she was "anointed" "with oil," which refers to Spiritual rebirth.
"I also clothed you with embroidered cloth, and put sandals of dugong leather on your feet; and I wrapped you with byssus (a turban)  and covered you with a silk veil. (Ezekiel 16:10)
The LORD adorned her with fine clothing and jewelry, and she was very beautiful (Ezekiel 16:11-14)
"But you trusted in your beauty and committed prostitution (fornicated) because of your renown, and you poured out your prostitution (promiscuity) on every passer-by:  his it became." (Ezekiel 16:15)
The verb is the Hebrew hn^z* (zanah), which means to commit prostitution, play the harlot, fornicate.  The noun form of the word used by Ezekiel was tWnz+T^   (tazenuth), which means prostitution or promiscuity.  Here was Israel running to gods of the Canaanites, the former gods of Babylon.  Thus, the Jews of Jerusalem were in the habit of running to the temple prostitutes.
"And you took some of your clothes; made for yourself high places of patchwork and committed prostitution (fornicated) on them:  Things which should not come and should not take place." (Ezekiel 16:16)
She made high places (shrines) with patchwork bedding where she committed prostitution.
"You also took your adornment of jewelry of My gold and of My silver, which I had given you; and you made for yourselves male figurines and committed prostitution (fornicated) with them." (Ezekiel 16:17)
She used male idols to set the stage for acts of prostitution (Ezekiel 16:18-24).
"You built your high places at every cross road and prostituted your beauty; and you spread your legs for every passer-by and you multiplied your prostitution. (Ezekiel 16:25)
The Jewish women were heavily engaged in the sacred prostitution of Babylon, and the Jewish men frequented the temples of prostitution of the foreign tribes, such a Canaanites.

They practiced prostitution with the Egyptians.  This happened when they were in Egypt in slavery and later when they entered into military alliances with the Egyptians for protection against the Assyrians and Chaldeans.

“You also played the harlot with the Egyptians, your great of flesh neighbors, and multiplied your prostitution to make Me angry. (Ezekiel 16:26)
"Great of flesh" is the Hebrew ld@G* (gadel), meaning becoming great, or growing up; plus rc*b* (basar), which means flesh and refers to the phallus.  Thus, "great of flesh" refers to large, or erect, phalluses.  The influence of the Prostitute in Egypt was a little different than the other countries.  In Egypt, young girls joined roving bands of entertainers upon reaching puberty.  The entertainers traveled around like a carnival.  They would entertain villagers with song and dance, which would be followed by fornication.  When the young girls got pregnant, they went home with proof of their womanhood and later married.7

Israel's prostitution in Egypt was also mentioned in the allegory of Oholah and Oholibah, who symbolized the Northern and Southern Kingdoms of Israel, respectively, and the Prostitute of Babylon.

And they (Oholah and Oholibah) practiced prostitution in Egypt.  They practiced prostitution in their youth.  There their breasts were squeezed erotically; and there were fondled the teats of their virginity. (Ezekiel 23:3)

Ezekiel 23:19-21
19 Yet she (Oholibah) multiplied her prostitution (promiscuity) so that she remembered the days of her youth when she practiced prostitution in the land of Egypt. 20 She burned passionately with lust toward their paramours, whose phalluses were like the phalluses of donkeys and their semen like the semen of horses. 21 Thus, you longed for the lewdness of your youth when the Egyptians fondled your teats because of your youthful breasts.

Israel was later punished by the Philistines, who were ashamed of the lewd conduct of the Jews (Ezekiel 16:27), even though the Philistines were no angels.  The Northern Kingdom of Israel committed prostitution with the Assyrians and tried to enter into peace treaties with them before the Assyrians destroyed them (Ezekiel 16:28).  And the Southern Kingdom of Judah committed prostitution with the Chaldeans.  This was the Prostitute of Babylon because Babylon was the capital of the Chaldean Empire.
“You also multiplied your prostitution with the land of merchants, Chaldea, yet even with this you were not satisfied.”’” (Ezekiel 16:29)
Israel was a "a domineering woman prostitute."
“How languishing is your heart,” declares the Lord God, “while you do all these things, the actions of a domineering woman prostitute. (Ezekiel 16:30)
"Domineering" is the Hebrew fyL!v^ (shallith), which means to have one's way with, domineering, bold, shamelessly refusing to change one's behavior.  "Prostitute is the Hebrew hn*oz (zonah), and "woman" is the Hebrew hV*a! ('ishah).

Israel was described as worse than a prostitute because unlike a prostitute, who is paid, Israel was a prostitute who paid its lovers (Ezekiel 16:31-34).  Israel had a history of committing prostitution with the Prostitute of Babylon, not only in Babylon, but in all the surrounding countries.

Bible's Most Famous Prostitute

The most famous prostitute in the Bible was Tamar, who committed prostitution with Judah.  Tamar and another famous prostitute, Rahab, are in the genealogy of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:3-5).  Rahab's son, Boaz, was born after she became a believer and gave up prostitution.  However, Tamar's twins in the genealogy of Christ were conceived during prostitution.

About the time Judah and his brothers sold Joseph into slavery in Egypt, Judah separated from his brothers and settled in Chezib or Achzib, in the southern Judah.  There he married a Canaanite woman by whom he had three sons, Er, Onan, and Shelah (Genesis 38:1-5).  Er, or Ger, is the Hebrew ru@ (`er) from the Arabic, meaning rabble rouser, to stir up strife, jealousy.  Judah took a wife for the firstborn, Er, by the name of Tamar.  Tamar is the Hebrew rm*T* (thamar), meaning palm tree, which was a sign of a physically attractive, or sexy, female.  Tamar was probably a Canaanite also.  However, Er was evil and died the sin unto death (Genesis 38:6-7).  Being a believer is required for being a Jew (Romans 9:6-13), and Er was not a believer.  Tamar, however, was a believer and an obedient wife.  The death of Er illustrates the principle that marriage failure to pass Eclipse Testing can result in the sin unto death (reference Eclipse Testing, August 11, 1999).

According to the custom, Judah then sent Onan to be the husband of Tamar in order to raise up a descendant to receive the family inheritance.  Since the firstborn son was dead, the family inheritance would be passed down through a son of the widow fathered by the brother of the deceased.  Onan is the Hebrew /n*oa ('onan), meaning vigorous.  Tamar was young and beautiful, and Onan liked the idea of having sex with her, but he didn't want to father a child which would not be his.  So he came up with a duplicitous scheme.  He had sex with Tamar, but he dumped his semen on the ground.  For that, he died the sin unto death also (Genesis 38:8-10).  Thus, the principle arises that violating the Laws of Marriage can lead to death.

Violation of the Laws of Marriage can kill you.
Judah saw that something was wrong, but he wasn't sure what.  He was beginning to suspect that Tamar was a black widow even through Tamar was righteous and his sons were not.  So Judah told Tamar to go back home and live with her father until his youngest son, Shelah, grew up (Genesis 38:11).  This was more duplicity.  Judah was simply putting Tamar off to get rid of her.  The name Shelah is the Hebrew hl*v@ (shelah), which means quiet, private, at ease, i.e. "hold your horses."  The request for Tamar to wait for Shelah meant "hold your horses."

After a time, Judah's wife died.  After a period of mourning, Judah took his sheep to be sheared at Timnah, which is in the mountains of Judah (Joshua 15:57).  Since Shelah was now grown and Judah had not fulfilled his promise to her, Tamar came up with a scheme of her own.  She took off her widow's clothes, disguised herself as a temple prostitute (Genesis 38:12-14).  She sat in the gate of Enaim (same as Enam, Joshua 15:34) where Judah was sure to pass upon his return from Timnah.

Judah saw Tamar at Enaim and thought she was a temple "prostitute," which is the Qal active participle of the Hebrew hn*z* (zanah) (Genesis 38:15).  He didn't recognize her because she had covered her face with a veil.  From this, it can be deduced that the prostitutes were identifiable by some external marking.  Judah turned aside from the road and propositioned her saying, "Come on now, please; let me come in to (have sex with) you," to which she replied, "What will you give me, that you may come in to me?" (Genesis 38:16).  The word in the Hebrew aoB (bo') means simply to come in, but the implication is to have sex with.

Judah offered Tamar a kid (young goat) from the flock as payment.  Of course, the flock was nowhere near Judah; so she asked for a pledge, or deposit.  He asked what she would take as a pledge, to which she replied, "Your seal and your cord, and your staff that is in your hand" (Genesis 38:17-19).  When he forked over the items, she had sex with him and got pregnant by him.  Then she returned home.

Judah sent the kid that he had promised back to Enaim with his traveling companion, the Adullamite, in order to get back the pledge.  The Adullamite asked the men of the city where he could find the "temple prostitute," which is the Hebrew  hv*d@q+ (qedeshah), meaning consecrated.  A "temple prostitute" was a priestess sacred to Astarte, the Canaanite goddess of fertility.  Thus, Tamar had pretended to be the Prostitute of Babylon in order to lure Judah into sex.

The men of Enaim told the Adullamite that there had been no "temple prostitute" there.  When he returned and told Judah, Judah said, Let her keep them (the pledge), lest we become a laughingstock" (Genesis 38:20-23).  After about 3 months, Judah received news that Tamar had committed prostitution and become pregnant; and Judah was ready to have her burned (Genesis 38:24).  The Hebrew for committing prostitution ("played the harlotry") is hn*z* (zanah).  She had become "pregnant by prostitution," where "prostitution" is the Hebrew <yn!Wnz+ (zenunim).  As the head of the family, Judah ordered that Tamar should be burned, which was an unusually harsh penalty.  Although the Mosaic Law had not yet been given, it required stoning for marriage violation (Deuteronomy 22:20-24).  Burning was required for fornication (or prostitution) of a priest's daughter or carnal intercourse of a man with mother and daughter (Leviticus 21:9; 20:14).

As Tamar was being brought out to be burned, she sent Judah's signet ring, cords, and staff to him with a message that she was pregnant from the owner of those things (Genesis 38:25).

Judah recognized them, and said, "She is more in the right than I; inasmuch as I did not give her to my son Shelah."  And he did not have intimate sexual relations with her again. (Genesis 38:26)
Judah was exposed for the arrogant ass that he was.  Tamar had been quietly obedient, but when it became obvious that she was dealing with an authority counterattack, she devised a brilliant legal plan and executed it meticulously.  She made sure she had the goods on Judah, so the four-flusher could not weasel out of his obligation.  Exposed red handed, Judah acknowledged his failure to keep his promise and Tamar's reason for such audacious action.

Tamar gave birth to twins, Perez and Zerah.  The family of Perez was richly blessed.  Both Tamar and Perez are in the genealogy of Christ (Genesis 38:27-30; Ruth 4:12; Matthew 1:3-5).  Twins are the sign of a witness, as in court.  They are also the sign of a challenger.

Oholah and Oholibah Allegory

The influence of the Prostitute of Babylon on Israel was portrayed by Ezekiel in the allegory of Oholah and Oholibah.  Oholah and Oholibah were sisters who represented the Northern and Southern Kingdoms of Israel, respectively.
Ezekiel 23:1-4
1 Then the mandate of Jehovah (the LORD) came to me communicating,  2 "Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother; 3 And they practiced prostitution in Egypt.  They practiced prostitution in their youth.  There their breasts were squeezed erotically; and there were fondled the teats of their virginity.  4 And their names were 'Aholah, the greater (elder), and 'Aholibah, her sister. And they became Mine, and they bore sons and daughters. And their names:  Samaria is 'Aholah, and Jerusalem is 'Aholibah.
The teen girls of Israel engaged in prostitution with their Egyptian slave masters.  It was common for slave owners to practice prostitution with their slaves.  The Hebrew prostitutes in Egypt were the Prostitute of Babylon.  In the allegory, the names of two sisters were 'Aholah (usually transliterated Oholah) and 'Aholibah (Oholibah).  "'Aholah" means her tent.  Literally, her tent refers to where she lives.  Symbolically, her tent refers to the Tabernacle.  'Aholah refers to Samaria, the Northern Kingdom of Israel.  "'Aholibah" means her tent in her.  Literally, this means she carried her tent with her, or she had her own tent.  Symbolically, this refers to the Temple in Jerusalem.  'Aholibah (Oholibah) refers to the Southern Kingdom (Judah) with the capital Jerusalem.
Ezekiel 23:5-10
5 'Aholah practiced prostitution under Me; and she lusted toward her lovers, even as far as Assyria nearby.  6 who were clothed in purple, governors and officials, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding on horses. 7 She bestowed her prostitution upon them, the choicest men of Assyria, all of them, and with all toward whom she lusted.  8 And she did not leave behind her prostitution since coming out from Egypt because in her youth men had sexual relations with her; and they squeezed her virgin teats; and they poured out their fornication upon her.  9 Therefore, I gave her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, after whom she lusted. 10 They uncovered her nakedness (rape of 5th Cycle of Discipline).  They seized her sons and her daughters, but they slew her with the sword.  Thus, she became a legend among the women.  They executed judgments on her.
The women of the Northern Kingdom of Israel became the prostitutes of Assyria.  These women were the Prostitute of Babylon.  Assyria was an evil empire with some of the meanest soldiers in history.  Assyria conquered the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 721 BC.  They killed the men, raped the women, and carried off the teens into captivity.
Ezekiel 16:11-18
11 Now her sister 'Aholibah saw this and carried on her coquetry still more wantonly than she had done and her prostitution more than the prostitution of her sister.  12 She lusted after the Assyrians, governors and officials, the ones near, magnificently dressed, horsemen riding on horses, all of them desirable young men. 13 And I saw that she had defiled herself; they both took the same way. 14 So she increased her prostitution.  She saw men engraved (painted) on the wall, pictures of the Chaldeans painted in bright-red (red ochre), 15 Girded with a waist cloth on their loins (hips), with flowing turbans on their heads, all of them looking like officers, like the Babylonians in Chaldea, the land of their birth. 16 She burned passionately with lust towards the them from their appearance to her eyes. 17 And the Babylonians came to her to the bed of erotic lovemaking, and they defiled her with their fornication.  When she had been polluted by them, her soul was estranged from them.  18 She wantonly exposed her promiscuity and flaunted her sexuality.  Then My soul was alienated from her as My soul had been alienated from her sister.
The women of the Southern Kingdom of Israel also became the Prostitute of Babylon.  They were the prostitutes of the Chaldean soldiers from Babylon.  They thought the Chaldean soldiers were attractive, and they lusted after pornographic pictures of them painted on the wall in bright red.  This destroyed Marriage Culture in the Southern Kingdom.  Consequently, the nation would be destroyed by the Chaldean Army in 586 BC (Ezekiel 23:22-35).

Balaam's Prostitute Army

Link:  Balaam
When the nation of Israel was camped in Moab at the door of the Promised Land, an army of prostitutes invaded.  Balaam, who had failed earlier to get rich by cursing Israel, had devised the plan (2 Peter 2:15, Revelation 2:14, and Numbers 31:16).  Since no nation could stand up to Israel on the battlefield, Balaam advised the King of Moab to bring Israel down with prostitutes.  Young Moabite and Midianite virgins and prostitutes were sent into the camp of Israel.  Midian was the ally of Moab.  Of course, Satan, who was behind all this had a bigger purpose:  to prevent Israel from entering the Promised Land.  And God had a bigger purpose:  to destroy apostate believers in Israel with the sin unto death.  God often prunes the flock before a major victory just as he did with the army of Gideon.
Numbers 25:1-3
1 While Israel remained at Shittim, the people began to practice prostitution with the daughters of Moab. 2 They invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. 3 So Israel yoked themselves to Baal of Peor, and the Lord was angry against Israel.
Baal of Peor was the Baal who was worshipped in the city of Beth-Peor (Deuteronomy 3:29; 4:46) as the goddess of love in whose honor the women and virgins prostituted themselves.  Thus, the women so empowered were the Prostitute of Babylon.  As the god of war, this Baal was known as Chemosh (Numbers 21:29).  Chemosh was also worshipped as the Sun god and the king of the nation of Moab.  Peor was the name of a mountain near Mt. Nebo.  The name, Peor, literally means open wide, which could have a connotation associated with the female.  Baal of Peor was the female counterpart of Chemosh.  She was known as Ashtar, which is the same as the Babylonian Ishtar.8  Thus, Baal of Peor empowered Moabite and Midianite women to be the Prostitute of Babylon.  They practiced prostitution with the men of the Army of Israel.  Here the Hebrew is hn*z* (zanah), which means to practice prostitution.

Because of the prostitution in the Camp of Israel, God sent a plague that killed 24,000.  This was capital punishment for violating Marriage Culture.  Israel later destroyed the Midianites and Balaam for their part (Numbers 31:1-20).

David and Solomon

David and Bathsheba
Solomon Learns Proverbs

David and Bathsheba

Links:  David's Wives
David was a true believer who followed the path of Spiritual growth (ref. Marriage Grace).  When he had separated from the world in the Intermediate Stage, he was anointed King of Israel.  When he killed Goliath, and, later, fought the Philistines, he was in Spiritual Warfare.  When he ran for his life from Saul, he was in Suffering for maturity.  When he became King of Israel, he was in Spiritual Maturity.  When he conquered Jerusalem and moved there with his 7 wives and his concubines, David was secure in his prosperity and living the adult Spiritual Life with the enduement of the Holy Spirit.  However, God was not finished with David.  David had not reached Spiritual Rapport.  He must undergo Evidence Testing to qualify for the greatest blessing of glorification of God to the maximum.

In Jerusalem, Satan was allowed to attack David, just as he had attacked Job and the woman in the Garden.  David never knew what hit him.  When it all began, it appears from the outside that David failed the prosperity test and had entered Reversionism.  He was not using Rebound, and he could not even resist the temptation of adultery.  However, this was not just a trip into reversionism.  Scar tissue of the soul plus Satan can make any saint look like a reversionist.  David had previously passed the testing of temptation to commit adultery, or he would never have gotten to Spiritual Maturity.  David may have been neglecting his Spiritual Life, but reversionism was not the reason for this mess.

God had not forsaken David.  He had not lost the enduement of the Holy Spirit.  David had not reached Spiritual Rapport; so God ordered the punishment that would set the stage for Evidence Testing later in life.  Passing Evidence Testing would qualify David for promotion to Spiritual Rapport with glorification of God to the maximum.

Satan was permitted to administer the punishment, which was tantamount to cross examining the witness in the Appeal Trial.  Satan secured the services of a good-looking Jewish girl, who was herself very religious.  She was every bit of 15 or 16 years old, and her husband, who was one of David's best generals, was away in the war.

It came to pass in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his general staff with him and the entire Army, and they destroyed the citizens of Ammon and besieged Rabbah.  But David stayed at Jerusalem. (2 Samuel 11:1)
David's absence from the battlefield, whether or not a sign of reversionism, played into Satan's trap.  David's weakness was not defeating the Evil King, it was resisting the Prostitute of Babylon.  Satan capitalized on David's weakness.
It came to pass toward evening that David got up out of bed and walked around the battlements of the king's castle; and from the battlements he saw a woman taking a bath; and the woman was very good-looking. (2 Samuel 11:2)
David was aroused from the slumber of his afternoon nap "toward evening."  Evening began at Sundown.  The Sun had not yet set, and there was plenty of light.  As David was walking around the battlements on top of his castle, he looked over the fence into the courtyard of a nearby home and saw a woman bathing.  She was "very good-looking," which is the Hebrew bof (tobh, good) + ha#r=m^ (mare'eh, looking, vision).  The Hebrew does not mean beautiful.  She was "good-looking," which indicates pulchritudinous.  David's lust was highly aroused by the private sight of the woman, who was young, naive, naked, and very much married.  If David had been in Spiritual Rapport, he could have handled this test, but with scar tissue and Satan, he was doomed.
So David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, "Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" (2 Samuel 11:3)
David found out she was married, which should have stopped him.  He did not get to Spiritual Maturity by succumbing to adultery.  He had undoubtedly said no to such temptations many times before.  What made this one different?  The answer is Satan.  Satan was running this show.  Although David and Bathsheba could have said no at any time, they didn't want to.  This was just too intriguing.  Satan empowered Bathsheba to play the staring role of the Prostitute of Babylon.  Bathsheba was never able to resist the limelight, and she was not about to reject the king's attention.
And David sent the messengers and took her; and when she was brought to him, he had sex with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house (officer's quarters). (2 Samuel 11:4)
David sent messengers, who brought Bathsheba to him.  This was not the same day that he first saw her.  Even though the Hebrew word for "took" is jq^l* (laqach), there is no indication that Bathsheba ever resisted David's advances.  They had sex, which is the Qal imperfect of the Hebrew bk^v* (shakabh), meaning to lie down to copulate.  After sex, she followed the Mosaic Law for purification, which demanded that she wash and wait until evening before being considered ceremonially pure (Leviticus 15:18) when she could return to her house in the Officer's Quarters.
And the woman became pregnant; consequently, she sent a message and advised David, and said, "I have become pregnant." (2 Samuel 11:5)
Bathsheba became pregnant from the adultery with David.  So, her purification rites had not worked.  She sent a message to David with the bad news.  It was the first time that Bathsheba had ever become pregnant.  She was young and hadn't been married very long.  Nathan referred to her as a "little ewe lamb" (2 Samuel 12:3-4).  She was perhaps 15 or 16 years old.

During the adultery with Bathsheba, David's sexual arrogance probably peaked.  Whereas, he was a polygamist, who brought 7 wives and some concubines with him to Jerusalem, he added more concubines in Jerusalem (2 Samuel 5:13).  After his adultery with Bathsheba, the Satanic counterattack on David continued.

David called Bathsheba's husband, Uriah the Hittite, back from the war and tried to get him drunk and send him home to be with his wife.  However, there was an honor code among the soldiers of Israel.  They would not go home to be with their wives until the enemy was defeated (2 Samuel 11:6-13).  Uriah would not go home to Bathsheba.  He would not violate the Officer's Honor Code.  He stuck to his integrity as a believer and resisted the authority counterattack from David, who had become the Evil King under Satan's power.  So David devised a plot that got him killed on the battlefield (2 Samuel 11:14-25).

Uriah means my light is the Lord.  He had light and appears to have seen through David's scheme to get him to go to his wife (2 Samuel 11:11).  He was number 37, the last, in David's list of men of valor, like our Congressional Medal of Honor.  "The last shall be first" (Matthew 20:16).  Uriah was Bathsheba's Right Man.  He died an honorable death without a blemish on his record.  He was the only blemish on David's record (1 Kings 15:5).  He was faithful to death and died as a martyr of the faith.  He would not violate his integrity.  He died a hero, but he was also a victim of an evil plot.  His life was abruptly cut short by the will of God.  Death is God's victory.

Death spared Uriah the problem of living with an unfaithful adulteress.  Uriah had light in his love relationship with Bathsheba, but that light would have been compromised if he had to return to an adulteress.  He was in Eclipse Testing.  He worked for Joab, the evil commander of an Evil King.  He had no future under Joab.  His reason for living was his Marriage to Bathsheba.  Once his love relationship with Bathsheba had been compromised by her unfaithfulness, he had lost his purpose for living (2 Samuel 12:3-4).  He was likely twice Bathsheba's age.  God would have to decide who to punish.  In this case, the wisdom of God chose to let Uriah die a martyr, and let David and Bathsheba have a long and miserable life to finish what they had started.  Uriah wound up in the genealogy of Christ as the light that exposed the darkness of the Evil King (Matthew 1:6).  He had a greater Spiritual calling than he could have ever achieved as a soldier.

When Bathsheba had finished mourning for her husband, David took her to be his wife, and she gave birth to a son (2 Samuel 11:26-27).  Thus, David had committed adultery, which was punishable by death (Leviticus 20:10); and he had committed murder.  Yet, he had not Rebounded for around a year or more.  He did not Rebound until Nathan came to him and told him about his Judgment from God (2 Samuel 12:1-15).  One of the judgments was that the child should die.  The word for child is for one at least 3 months old (2 Samuel 12:15-16).  The 9 months of pregnancy plus 3 months would have been a year for David to be out of fellowship with God.  During this time, David was under the power of Satan.  Satan had hooked him with the Prostitute of Babylon and pressured him from the god of war to become a murderer, liar, and an evil conspirator.

Bathsheba did not escape punishment either.  She got pregnant and had a son who later died.  And her husband was killed.
Spiritual Death
Through all this, the master design of God was not to demonstrate evil and Reversionism, but to punish David so that he would turn around and pass Evidence Testing to glorify God to the maximum.  One of David's Judgments was that the sword would never depart from his house.  Another Judgment was that his wives would be given to his companion, who would have sex with them in broad daylight before all Israel.  This was fulfilled during the Absalom Revolution, which was David's Evidence Testing.  Absalom set up a tent on top of the castle and raped the ten concubines that David had left behind (2 Samuel 16:22).  Rape comes from the morbid desires of a person in sexual darkness.  A person with the Light of sexual love does not have this evil desire.  Absalom was in the darkness of the Cosmic System under the power of Satan in the form of the Prostitute of Babylon when he decided to rape the concubines of David.  This was the sign that a new king was in power in Israel.  David lost his kingdom to Absalom during the Evidence Testing, but David passed the test and took his kingdom back.

Solomon Learns Proverbs

The Book of Proverbs is a summary of the principles of Bible Doctrine and its application that David taught Solomon.  Solomon was a teenager at the time and inclined to repeat the mistakes of his father.  Solomon understood the principles academically, but he failed to apply them Spiritually.
Make your ear to concentrate on wisdom,
Apply your heart to understanding; (Proverbs 2:2)

Proverbs 2:9-11
9 Then you will understand Righteousness and Justice
And uprightness, every good course of  divine good.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart,
And knowledge will be pleasant (a source of Happiness) to your soul;
11 Principle will keep watch over you;
Understanding will guard you.

Bible Doctrine would guard Solomon's soul if he would apply it.  It would protect him from the Prostitute of Babylon.
To deliver you from the strange woman,
From the smooth-talking foreign prostitute; (Proverbs 2:16)
The Bible must be interpreted from the original languages of scripture, and it must be interpreted according to the time and place and customs of the period in which it was written.  Those who attempt to interpret Proverbs in terms of modern times will never understand what it means.  Those who do not understand the role of the prostitute in Solomon's day will be hopelessly confused.

In Proverbs 2:16, the word, "strange" is the Hebrew rWz (zur), which means strange or alien.  The "strange woman" is further described in the next line with the Hebrew yr!k=]n* (nakeri), which means foreign woman as a technical term for prostitute because prostitutes were originally chiefly foreigners.9   The Syrians, Midianites, and other nations surrounding Israel had prostitutes who followed the pattern of the Prostitute of Babylon.  Prostitution in Israel was outlawed by the Mosaic Law (Deuteronomy 23:17-18).  The prostitutes were almost always foreign, and the foreign prostitutes did not worship the God of Israel.  Thus, David was teaching Solomon that Bible Doctrine would deliver him from the "foreign prostitute," the Prostitute of Babylon.

Who forsakes the friend of her youth
And forgets the covenant of her God. (Proverbs 2:17)
The next verse strikes at the very heart of the Satanic counterattack from the Prostitute of Babylon.  She "forsakes the friend of her youth."  The almost identical phrase, "friend of my youth," refers to God the Father (Jeremiah 3:4).  The prostitute forsakes God in her apostasy just as she forgets Marriage Culture.  The "covenant of her God" can apply to the Mosaic Law and to Marriage vows, which are a sacred covenant.  The prostitute rejects God and the divine institution of Marriage.

In Proverbs, David explains to Solomon the importance of using Bible Doctrine to guard against foreign women, prostitutes, and adulteresses.  He paints a picture of the evils of illicit relationships of his day when the surrounding nations were under the power of the Prostitute of Babylon.  Yet, David himself was a polygamist, who never had his Right Woman.  Consequently, it may have been inferred by Solomon that whereas sex with strange women was bad, if he married the women, it wouldn't be bad.  Nevertheless, Solomon went ahead and married foreign women and served their gods (1 Kings 11:1-8).  Thus, he fell for the Prostitute of Babylon and worshipped her idols.

Other references to the foreign prostitute, i.e. the Prostitute of Babylon, in Proverbs include:

Proverbs 7:4-5
4 Say to wisdom, "You are my sister,"
And call understanding, "friend";
5 That they may guard you from the strange woman,
From the foreign prostitute who flatters with her words.
In verse 5, "strange" is the Hebrew rWz (zur), and "foreign prostitute" is the Hebrew yr!k=]n* (nakeri) as in Proverbs 2:16.
To keep you from the evil woman,
From the smooth tongue of the foreign prostitute. (Proverbs 6:24)
In verse 24, "foreign prostitute" is again the Hebrew yr!k=]n* (nakeri).
For because of a prostitute one is brought down to a roll (of bread),
But another man's wife lies in wait (stalks) a precious soul. (Proverbs 6:26)
In verse 26, "prostitute" is the Hebrew hn*z* (zanah).  A prostitute reduces a man to a roll (small piece of bread).  Illicit sex brings Intensified Divine Discipline, which is the second phase of discipline - Warning, Intensified, Sin Unto Death.  An adulterous wife stalks for precious soul life.  Adultery reduces the soul's capacity for life by delivering it into Intensified Discipline.
For the prostitute is a deep pit,
And the foreign prostitute is a narrow well. (Proverbs 23:27)
In verse 27, "prostitute" is the Hebrew hn*z* (zanah), and "foreign prostitute" is the Hebrew yr!k=]n* (nakeri).  "A deep pit" is a trap used to catch animals, and a narrow well is a metaphor for the young female.  Temple prostitutes were usually young females.

The English translations of Proverbs typically erroneously have "adulteress" instead of strange woman or foreign prostitute.  Committing adultery is the Hebrew [a*n* (na'aph) (Leviticus 20:10).  Solomon was also solemnly warned against adultery in Proverbs 5, although the word, "adulteress" does not appear in the chapter in the original Hebrew.   Other references to adultery include Proverbs 6:32; 30:20.

Solomon's Harem

The warnings of Proverbs went unheeded by Solomon, who had a thousand women in his harem.  David was a polygamist with at least 8 wives and at least 10 concubines, but Solomon had one of the largest harems in history.  Polygamy is a violation of Marriage Culture.  God creates one Right Woman for a Right Man.  Although polygamy was allowed in the permissive will of God, it was never the directive will.  Solemn, like his father David, never found his Right Woman.  Song of Solomon is about Solomon's quest for the Right Woman, whom he never had.10

Solomon pursued a foreign policy of state marriage.  Instead of negotiating peace treaties, Solomon simply married the daughters of foreign kings and made the kings his in-laws.  It worked, but many of these women kept their idolatry, and they were the Prostitute of Babylon.  He married Egyptian (1 Kings 3:1), Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women.  The power of the Prostitute of Babylon in these foreign wives lured Solomon into idolatry.  He worshipped Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, and Milcom the detestable idol of the Ammonites.  He built altars for his foreign wives and began to worship their idols.  He built altars for Chemosh, the detestable idol of Moab, on the mountain east of Jerusalem, and for Molech, the detestable idol of the Ammonites (1 Kings 11:1-8).

Thus, Solomon was a slave to the Prostitute of Babylon.


1.  "Mesopotamia,"  The British Museum,
2.  "The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature," University of Oxford,
3.  Sir James George Frazer.  The Golden Bough, pp. 330-331, New York: The Macmillan Co., 1922;, 2000.
4.   Merrill Unger, R. K. Harrison ed.  The New Unger's Bible Dictionary, (Chicago:  Moody Press, Chicago, IL 60610), 1988, p. 202.
5.  Op. Cit., p. 54.
6.  Richard Hooker.  "The Amorites,"  1996.
7.   Caroline Seawright.  "Ancient Egyptian Sexuality," April 9, 2001.
8.  Joseph Jacobs and Louis H. Gray.  The Jewish Encyclopedia, "Moab", 2002.
9.  Brown, Francis, Samuel Rolles Driver, and Charles Augustus Briggs. Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon.
10.  Larry Wood.  "The Shulamite Woman," September 2002.
11.  George B. Eager.  International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, "HARLOT," 2003.
14.  David Hulme.  "The Ishtar Gate," Vision Journal, video.
15.  Harris, R. Laird, Robert Laird Harris, Gleason Leonard Archer, and Bruce K. Waltke. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. electronic ed., Page 972. Chicago: Moody Press, 1999, c1980.

Released March 30, 2004 - Revised Sept. 15, 2013

Author: Larry Wood
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