The Context Of The Hebrew Bible Essay

The Context Of The Hebrew Bible Essay

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When I think of sex in the context of the Hebrew Bible, I immediately reflect on how I was first taught about sex. Sex was synonymous with sin, especially premarital sex which was an abhorable. Further I also consider how sex within the institution of marriage is not sin, which implies sex as the act is not inherently immoral, but rather an act, which as the Hebrew Bible suggests, should be reserved for marriage. Husband and wife are permitted to have sex whenever they please as their privilege and duty. Sex is intended procreation. However, I am often puzzled by the contradictory messaging of gendered sexual agency and sexual identity written in the Hebrew Bible. Men are given sexual agency. They are allowed and at times expected to have polygamous sexual relationships: wives, concubines, and prostitutes. They are permitted to experiment with their sexuality; whereas, women’s sexual freedom is marginalized. In fact, women’s sexuality is controlled socially by men and women calling non-virgin women by whores and politically by stoning women who are found committing adultery. Moreover, Sex is also restricted to solely between men and women who are not sex workers in the Hebrew Bible. I also think of the important role sex workers play in society. Prostitutes or sex workers are at the bottom rung of the capitalist Israeli society and work to promote the ideals of gender equity and sexual agency. However, it is the work of the Hebrew Bible to villainize their bodies and work to police sexual freedom and economic power for all sexes. Sex work for both working-class men and women broadly is a means of self-empowerment and greater socioeconomic equality.
My thoughts about sex being a means of political and socioeconomic mobility were...


... middle of paper ...


...itical security? How much can we ascribe to the conditions of their society and how much can we ascertain was left to their choice? Furthermore, the idea of sex or sexuality being expressed through sex must also be analyzed through the a critical feminist lense.
Sex in the Hebrew bible is a much debated topic. My earlier thoughts about sex being forbidden and sinful were not altogether wrong but rather further reading and discussion has shown my stance to be unsupported by the totality of the Hebrew bible. Sex like many other topics has varied interpretations throughout the bible. What can be settled is that nothing is completely clear. Readings may have scholars and practitioners believing that right to enjoy sex is opaque but on the contrary things are quite clear. Sex should be an enjoyable experiences, why else would so many people write on how best to enjoy it?

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