Why Israel was the Harlot of the Old Testament

In Exodus 34:10-17 (abbreviated version NASB) God said, “Behold, I am going to make a covenant…be sure to observe what I am commanding you this day: behold, I am going to drive out the [the peoples of the land]…watch yourself that you make no covenant with the inhabitants of the land into which you are going, or it will become a snare in your midst. But rather, you are to tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and cut down their Asherim…otherwise you might make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land and they would play the harlot with their gods and sacrifice to their gods, and someone might invite you to eat of his sacrifice, and you might take some of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters might play the harlot with their gods and cause your sons also to play the harlot with their gods. You shall make for yourself no molten gods.”

There are many things to see here and many points to make. At the outset, this occurred when Moses was leading the Israelites out from 400-years of bondage in Egypt to the Promised Land – Israel and the city of Jerusalem. It should also be pointed out that this occurred after Moses had to go back up on Mount Sinai because the people had already fallen into harlotry by becoming impatient while waiting for him to come down, actually fashioning a false god, the golden calf (Exodus 32:1-10).

God, talking to Moses, warned them not to make any covenants with the peoples of the land whom He was going to drive out before them, “or it will become a snare in your midst.” A snare is a pitfall, or a trap, something which catches you unawares or off-guard. Then He directed them in saying, “But rather, you are to tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars…” And why? Because they would invariably make a covenant with them. But more importantly, because the peoples of the land were idolaters and they would “play the harlot” with their gods, sacrificing to their gods, “and someone might invite you to eat of his sacrifice.”

They would, without fail, “take some of his daughters for your sons and his daughters might play the harlot with their gods and cause your sons also to play the harlot with their gods.” Playing the harlot was not a sexual matter but one of turning away from God to worship strange gods. It was always God’s plan to have a people for His own – to be their God, to be their king, to be as a husband to His bride.

The people were rebellious from the beginning and they would continually be rebellious throughout. Once this concept is grasped, it is easy to see that the identity of the Harlot of Revelation is Judea, epitomized by the city of Jerusalem, personified by the Temple, and that the beast she sits upon is Rome, epitomized by Nero, 666.

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