The foulest Babylonian custom is that which compels every woman of the land to sit in the temple of Aphrodite+ and have intercourse with some stranger once in her life. Many women who are rich and proud and disdain to mingle with the rest, drive to the temple in covered carriages drawn by teams, and stand there with a great retinue of attendants. But most sit down in the sacred plot of Aphrodite, with crowns of cord on their heads; there is a great multitude of women coming and going; passages marked by line run every way through the crowd, by which the men pass and make their choice. Once a woman has taken her place there, she does not go away to her home before some stranger has cast money into her lap, and had intercourse with her outside the temple; but while he casts the money, he must say, “I invite you in the name of Mylitta+” (that is the Assyrian name for Aphrodite). It does not matter what sum the money is; the woman will never refuse, for that would be a sin, the money being by this act made sacred. So she follows the first man who casts it and rejects no one. After their intercourse, having discharged her sacred duty to the goddess, she goes away to her home; and thereafter there is no bribe however great that will get her. So then the women that are fair and tall are soon free to depart, but the uncomely have long to wait because they cannot fulfil the law; for some of them remain for three years, or four. There is a custom like this in some parts of Cyprus.
None of the daughters of Israel shall be a ''kedeshah'', nor shall any of the sons of Israel be a ''kadesh''.
You shall not bring the hire of a prostitute (''zonah'') or the wages of a dog (''kelev'') into the house of the Lord your God to pay a vow, for both of these are an abomination to the Lord your God.
|Sacred prostitution+ Sacred prostitution, temple prostitution, or religious prostitution is a sexual ritual consisting of sexual intercourse or other sexual activity performed in the context of religious worship, perhaps as a form of fertility rite and divine marriage (hieros gamos).|