“Yet she multiplied her harlotries, remembering the days of her youth, wherein she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt. And she doted upon concubinage with them, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses.”
-Ezekiel, Chapter 23, Verses 19 20
Oh man, I cannot tell you how excited I was about the prospect of explaining this passage. A woman thinking about her past as a prostitute, when her Johns were hung like donkeys and came like a horse? That sounds amazing and hilarious. Alas, it is not. I was hoping for a really juicy story involving political intrigue and adultery. Unfortunately, we’re not talking about an actual prostitute, it’s all a metaphor about the people of Jerusalem being sinful. You know God, he always thinks anyone doing anything fun is bad for you. It’s just that Ezekiel apparently really enjoyed descriptive genital metaphors, and frankly, I can’t hold a man’s fetish against him. So, I’m not going to tell the tale of Oholah and Oholibah after all today. Nope, that allegory is too on the nose.
But I still want to talk about biblical prostitutes, because that’s hilarious. Here’s a story about prostitutes, the importance of family planning, and the religious imperative of never performing bukkake.
So, there’s this dude, named Judah. He had a younger brother who was gayer than Liberace and Freddy Mercury combined, and so his bothers sold him to slavers or something. I don’t know, they made a shitty musical about it. Whatever, that’s all going on in the background of this story, but it has nothing to do with it. ANYWAY, Judah comes from a large family, and as soon as he met an attractive lady, he decided to marry her and have a large family of his own. Her name isn’t very important though, because the damn Bible is sexist, so let’s just call her Susan. Yes. She’s named after the Invisible Woman now. (Ha! I’m clever.)
So, Judah and Susan have three sons, Er, Onan, and Shelah. At some point, the family moves to Egypt, which actually happens after this story in the actual damn Bible, but that doesn’t make any sense, because the Joseph story takes place over a dozen years, and this happens over like 30, so we’ll say they moved now. Whatever, still unimportant. When Er gets old enough, he marries a girl named Tamar. Tamar’s only defining trait is that she is a woman, but hey, she actually gets a name, so she’s doing better than Susan in any case. But then Er has to go and do something wicked. It’s not explained what, he probably stole something valuable or humped a goat or something, no one knows. But fuck it, God smote that bastard straight down to pre-Jesus Hell for doing it.
People only have kids to have grandkids, right? Well, Judah didn’t have any time to wait for grandchildren, so he made Onan marry his brother’s widow straight away. Now, I don’t know how your family works, but I’m kind of creeped out by this. I mean, my sister and I have strict rules about not boning someone the other has already schaboingalled, but maybe we’re being prudes. And even Onan was a little uncomfortable with it! Maybe he just didn’t want to have kids already? Maybe he had first time stage fright? Maybe he was just feeling awkward about the concept of HAVING SEX WITH HIS RECENTLY DEAD BROTHER’S WIFE? The story doesn’t say. But just as he was about to finish, Onan pulled out at the last second and squirted man-goo all over her body. Which is… slightly less creepy than all up in her body? I guess?
Of course, God was creeping and watched the whole perverse act (he’s a notorious voyeur), and is just INFURIATED that Onan didn’t cum in her. So, of course, SMOTE THAT BITCH! Onan dies, like, right on top of her, post-coitus. She probably is freaked right the hell out about this, but no one cares about her feelings, because she’s a woman (that will cause problems down the line a bit). At this point, Judah is getting a mite bit suspicious that Tamar is a witch or something, because clearly blaming the woman makes more sense than God’s general acts of jackassary (which, remember, are the actual cause of death). So, rather than immediately tell youngest brother Shelah to marry her, he decides to stall. Oh, and also Shelah might be, like, ten at this point, so there’s that.
Then one day, Susan (remember her?) died. What she died of doesn’t matter, but let’s assume it was neglect. Judah decides he needs to move away, because his old house just keeps reminding him of his dead wife, whatever her name was. Tamar, meanwhile, has been feeling desperate and randy and all weepy about not having a baby yet, because remember how I said her defining characteristic is she is a woman? Well, turns out now she’s baby crazy. So baby crazy that she decides to use a woman’s greatest assets to get one, no matter what. Those assets? Breasts. Breasts, and deceit.
But she doesn’t want just any baby, on no. That whole “sex with two brothers who both died immediately after the genital joining” thing has led to some pretty significant psychological scaring, and she decides if she can’t play hide the pickle with brother number 3, she’ll play it with father-in-law Judah. This is never properly explained, but I’m assuming its some variation on Stockholm syndrome. Or maybe she secretly wanted Judah all along? Who knows? She’s a girl in the goddamn Bible, her ways are mysterious.
One evening as Judah is making his trip from Egypt (or wherever) to his new home in Timnath, he stopped in a town to pick up travel supplies. You know, dinner, a hotel room, and a nice, pleasant prostitute. After eating his dinner and banging his hooker, he goes to bed, and resumes his travel plans the next morning. Hey, we’ve all been there, right?
"I couldn't help but notice you staring at my nipple."
A few months later, while visiting with his daughter in law, Judah couldn’t help but notice the baby bump. Infuriated, and now absolutely convinced she IS a witch, Judah orders her to be burned at the stake. Guys, that’s not a joke. That’s in the friggin’ story. It’s only then that she tells him that she was that prostitute that one time, and she was wearing a veil to hide her identity because she really, really wanted some father-in-law boners up in her lady parts. Judah immediately admits that she’s a better person than him, because all of this could have been avoided if he had just let her fuck his youngest son. She gives birth to twins, and names them Pharez and Zerah, because everyone in Biblical times had silly names.
Pharez would go on to be an ancestor of King David, and therefore of Jesus, because everybody in the damn Bible is related to each other. And when everyone is related to each other, I guess it’s inevitable your prostitute is going to be someone you see at the family reunion. The end.