Glossary: Harlotry/Fornication

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Turning away from the gospel.


  • Whoring is said to happen in the heart and with the eyes (another word for the mind – Eph 1:18).

Ezekiel 6:9 (KJV) And they that escape of you shall remember me among the nations whither they shall be carried captives, because I am broken with their whorish heart, which hath departed from me, and with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols: and they shall lothe themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations.

  • A false prophetess is called the “seductress,” and the fornication itself is called “this doctrine” and her “teaching.”

Revelation 2:20-24 (KJV) Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants [through false prophecy] to commit fornication [not sexual, doctrinally], and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. 

VERSE 24) But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine [referring to the fornication], and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.

VERSE 21) And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery [turning from the truth] with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins [inwards] and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works [these are works are clearly of the heart, not the body, that’s why God searches the heart to find these works].

  • Israel’s unbelief is called whoredoms.

Numbers 14:11, 33 (KJV) And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them? 

VERSE 33) And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness.

  • Israel serving other gods (in the high places, demonic) is called harlotry. The other gods are called lovers. 

Jeremiah 3:1 (KJV) They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD.

VERSE 6) …she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot.

  • Continuing in the true gospel is called being presented a virgin to one Husband, Jesus. But when the Corinthians began turning to other so-called “gospels,” Paul called that being corrupted from that one Husband.

2 Corinthians 11:2-3 (KJV) For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

  • Esau selling his birthright is a picture of how the Jews sold their rights to salvation (that they were offered by birth). They “sold” it to the gentiles. Esau’s act (representing the Jews) of selling his birthright and turning away from the gospel, is called “fornication/being a profane person.” Despite the fact that it is never recorded that Esau committed any sexual fornication in that account. 

Hebrews 12:16 says let there not be any fornicator or profane person like Esau who sold his birthright

  • Paul speaks about not committing fornication here. This is clearly speaking about turning away from the gospel.

1 Corinthians 10:8 (KJV) Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.

This is a quote from Numbers 25, in which Israel married a Moabite women. It may seem that this is speaking about Israel committing sexual immorality with the Moabite women. But if you look carefully at the wording of the next passage, the immorality is speaking about how the people were “joined to Baal Peor” (another god, an idol). And Israel served that idol ALONG WITH the Moabite women. Not that the immorality was towards the Moabite women, but toward Baal Peor, ALONG WITH the women.

Numbers 25:1-3 (KJV) And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with [along with] the daughters of Moab. 2 And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods [this is the fornication]: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. 3 And Israel joined himself [fornicated] unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.

Number 31 confirms that the trespass that Israel committed that day was being joined to Baal Peor, not committing sexual immorality toward the women, but committed whoredoms toward Baal poor, turning away from the Lord.

Numbers 31:16 (KJV) Behold, these [the women] caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor [the idol], and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.

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