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Extra info for The Most Shameful Practice: Temple Prostitution in the Ancient Greek World (PhD Diss. UCLA)

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According to the pre-Deuteronomistic tradition regarding the implementation of a ban ritual, the deed was associated with a special vow, as demonstrated by the etiological legend on Hormah: Num 21:1–3. 45 Amalek had attacked the peaceful crowd of the Israelites on their way through the desert (Ex 17:8–14). This attack offended fundamental laws, because the people in the desert were under divine protection, as demonstrated in the warfare at Refidim (Ex 17:15). Therefore there were no limitations on the persecution of the offenders (Deut 25:17–19).

After taking the city of Ataroth he reports on the capture of Nebo: “And Kemosh said to me: ‘Go, seize Nebo and fight Israel’! I proceeded by night and fought with it from the crack of dawn until high noon. I captured it and I killed all of them ([‫)ואהרג כל]ם‬: 7000 men and boys, women and girls, and unmarried women, because I had dedicated it in a ban ritual to Ashtar Kemosh (‫)כי לעשתר כמש החרמתה‬. I took out from there the vessels of YHWH, and I dragged them before Kemosh (‫( ”)ואסחב הם לפני כמש‬ll.

This motif is expressed in the oracle of legitimization on the occasion of David’s eventual accession to the throne. The text functions as a ‘charter’ for the Davidic dynasty, cf. 2 Sam 7:8–11: “Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel. And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the greatest men that are in the earth.

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