On Herodotus’s “wholly shameful” Babylonian custom, Tikva Frymer-Kensky comments: “No cuneiform text supports the idea that the women of Assyria or Babylon did this.” She adds that Herodotus wanted to demonstrate “the superiority of Greeks” and, possibly, “to show the horrible results that could follow if proper women were not kept as guarded and secluded as they were in Greece”(Frymer-Kensky 1992:200). Significantly, late commentaries such as that of Herodotus are the “most explicit texts describing sacred prostitution in Mesopotamia” (Yamauchi 1973:216). For examples of q e deshah , see Gen.38:21-22, Dt.23:18; of q e deshot , see Hos.4:14; of q e desh , see Dt.23:18, 1K.22:46; of q e deshim , see 1K.14:24, 1K.15:12, 2K.23:7 The Jewish Publication Society translation of the Hebrew scriptures renders the female term “cult prostitute” and “prostitute,” the male term “cult prostitute” and “male prostitute”(Tanakh 1988). The King James Bible translates q e deshim as “sodomites.” Some scholars are even questioning the translation of term zonah as meaning “common prostitute, whore, harlot.” See Assante 2003:39, note 31.
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