Yahoo! Answers, not a particularly great place to get answers, will both confirm prostitution is the oldest profession, here, and suggest another alternative, here. Ironically, Yahoo’s preferred answer for “Is prostitution really the world’s oldest profession?” cites Biblical scripture.
According to religion, YES. Scripture makes all kinds of references to prostitutes. In a sense, scripture of religion is the oldest recorded history, except for any reference to god, which is all hearsay. (continued here)
Is this guy right? I don’t think so. Consider what the Book of Genesis has to say in chapter 2. The key verse is number 15.
Genesis 2:8-15 Amplified Bible (AMP)
8And the Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden [delight]; and there He put the man whom He had formed (framed, constituted).
9And out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight or to be desired–good (suitable, pleasant) for food; the tree of life also in the center of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of [the difference between] good and evil and blessing and calamity.
10Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four [river] heads.
11The first is named Pishon; it is the one flowing around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.
12The gold of that land is of high quality; bdellium (pearl?) and onyx stone are there.
13The second river is named Gihon; it is the one flowing around the whole land of Cush.
14The third river is named Hiddekel [the Tigris]; it is the one flowing east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
15And the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and guard and keep it.
At this point Adam is alone with God. There are plants, but no animals, and God will not create woman until after he has created everything else. It is perhaps as some say. God saved the best for last. Yet even after God created woman, prostitution did not exist. You see, the Bible tells the story of creation twice. Chapter 1 of Genesis provides an abbreviated version. This version notes that God created man and woman on the sixth day, ending the day with this observation.
Genesis 1:31 Amplified Bible (AMP)
And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good (suitable, pleasant) and He approved it completely. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day.
And “it was very good”. Is prostitution good? No. Of course not.
What Chapter 2 of Genesis does is elaborate upon the creation of man, ending with a description of marriage.
Genesis 2:23-25 Amplified Bible (AMP)
23Then Adam said, This [creature] is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of a man.
24Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
25And the man and his wife were both naked and were not embarrassed or ashamed in each other’s presence.
Marriage is good. There is no shame in it.
Therefore, the profession of gardening and the institution of marriage predate prostitution. Before the first prostitutes (male or female) knew the sinfulness of selling their bodies for sex, Adam knew Eve as wife, homemaker and the mother of his children.
So why do some claim prostitution as the world’s oldest profession. I suspect the answer is as old as sin. Consider how Satan convinced Eve to take a bite out of that apple. He lied. Satan led Eve to believe She would be like God. When we lead others into sin, we lie too. We lie to lend glamor to our sinful behavior, a glamor it never deserves.