By Wendell Tenison


The KJV uses the word fornication three times in the O.T. Prophets: 2Chr.21:11; Isa.23:17; Ez.16:26. The word fornications is used only twice in Ez.16:15, 29. The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew-English Lexicon gives the following definition of fornication and fornications. However, there are a great many scriptures of which we will not quote that deal with whoredoms and harlotry of which this Lexicon gives the same meaning as fornication.


B-D-B-G page 275b:

Commit fornication; (1) be or act as an harlot; a man's act; a woman's act; of a land given to harlotry. (2) Fig. of improper intercourse with foreign nations (religious reference sometimes involved.) (3) of intercourse with other deities, considered as harlotry, sts. involving actual prostitution: ones own heart and eyes; Juda and Jerus. under fig. of lewd woman; their whorish heart. (4) of moral defection 1. cause to commit fornication; a. sexual; b. religious 2. commit fornication; a. sexual; b. religious.


B-D-B-G page 276a:

These are all international mingled with religious references.

What we have found that these definitions are the same as we have studied to this point in this discussion of fornication.

The only time the word prostitute is found in the bible and has reference to a man making his daughter a whore.

Lev 19:29 "Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness."

Spiritual fornication and idolatry are kissing cousins; where you find one the other is close by. What we are about to discover is not the most popular thing among the brethren. If a preacher wants his paycheck yanked, then just preach on this subject.

Under the spiritual law of Christ, our Lord takes idolatry to another level in that it now goes beyond the worship of the things of Godís creation and those made with menís hands.

Ephesians 5:5 "For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God."

Colossians 3:5 "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:"

Make no mistake about it, coveteousness is idolatry. Of course, we had not rather know about it and by all means preach it, lest we be branded as a troublemaker. Now we are about to get the connection between spiritual fornication and idolatry, seeing that being a coveteous person leads one into spiritual darkness and the worship of unholy things.

Colossians 2:18 "Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,"

The Greek rendering of "voluntary humility" is "outright showiness." Whether the worship of angels, graven images, or man himself, all equate to the same thing.

2 Chronicles 21:11 "Moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah, and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and compelled Judah thereto."

The worship of idols and fornication are always linked together.The high places where there were trees and groves were their favorite places for worshipping idols.

Revelation 2:14 "But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication."

Revelation 2:20-23 "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 to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols......And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not......Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds......And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works."

Here again the eating of things offered to idols and spiritual fornication walk hand in hand. Jezebel committed a serious offence against our Lord and was not without penalty.

Acts 15:20 "But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood."

Acts 15:29 "That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well."

Idolatry was rampant among the Gentiles and we have already learned that the Jews of old learned the works of the heathen soon after Abraham started this great nation, after which they ventured into the land of Egypt.


The words idol, idols and idolatry, are not found in any of the four gospels. That strongly implies that the Jews were not worshipping idols at the time of Jesus' presence upon the earth. Due to the lack of teaching by our Lord against idolatry and the closely connected fornication, the different descriptions of fornication as found in the prophets will not apply to the teachings of Jesus in the gospels regarding fornication. In the gospels the word fornication is found only three times and fornications two times.

One of the key ingredients in spiritual fornication is the act of "selling." Selling oneís soul to Satan by way of worshipping idols, being born of the seed of falsehood to oppose the true seed of God, begetting others with the same reproduction process and selling oneís birthright for the lust of the flesh.

The fruit of spiritual fornication is always the fatherless bastard children. Satan had his children, Esauís seed was spoiled, Jezebel with hers and Balaam and Balac caused the children to eat things sacrificed to idols and commit fornication. The list goes on and on.

We shall see in the last segment of this discussion the ongoing list of things that God attributes to fornication whether literal or spirutual.

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© 2002 by Wendell Tenison