Sexual Hospitality in the Hebrew Bible [book]

Thalia Gur-Klein
Aus ethnologischen und historischen Quellen gibt es verschiedentlich Hinweise, dass im vorderen Orient sexuelle Kontakte unter bestimmten Umständen auch ausserhalb einer Ehe statthaft sein konnten, namentlich im Zusammenhang mit den Anforderungen der Gastfreundschaft. Die Autorin vergleicht die Muster und Rahmenbedingungen für solche Kontakte mit verschiedenen biblischen Erzählungen, in denen Sexualität ausserhalb der Normen der patriarchalen Ehe erwähnt wird. Sie stellt die These auf, dass
more » ... These auf, dass sich in diesen Texten Spuren solcher Praktiken erhalten haben, wenn auch oft in einer verzerrenden Wiedergabe. My purpose in this article is to present an analysis proving that sexual hospitality constitutes a cultural template, practised in the Arabian peninsula and around the ancient Mediterranean. If it was practised, residuals could surface in some transposition or other in biblical texts. Little discussed and little known, the custom of sexual hospitality sounds obscure and outlandish. However, since the early Middle Ages throughout 19 th and 20 th centuries, travellers' reports on the Middle East, North Africa and Asia have recorded a kind of tribal hospitality that includes sexual gratification as part of the hospice. This social world is divided between affiliated brothers and foes; and if a stranger is accepted he will share the privileges of brotherhood. Moreover the stranger could embody a god in disguise who would bestow blessing and fertility on the tribe. Fear of virginal hemorrhage forms another motivation for handing daughters into the strangers' arms. Frequency of occurrences of sexual hospitality show the custom to be a consistent template and not a series of isolated events. In such societies the host's honour depends on the satisfaction of the male guest, and likewise his neglect would be the host's liability, (Briffault, 1927: II, 635-640). The question to be raised cautiously is whether our anthropological evidence of tribal life can be set up as a model for ancient times, the biblical time or the Hebrew people.
doi:10.4324/9781315729350 fatcat:h2g7femj7nceholtsstwpipyvi