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Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature
In Scripture this word occurs more frequently in its symbolical than in its ordinary sense.
In the Prophets woman is often made the symbol of the church or nation of the Jews, which is regarded as affianced to Jehovah by the covenant on Mount Sinai. Therefore when the Israelites acted contrary to that covenant, by forsaking God and following idols, they were very properly represented by the symbol of a harlot or adulteress, offering herself to all comers (;; Ezekiel 16;; ). And thus fornication, or adultery (which is fornication in a married state), became, and is used as, the symbol of idolatry itself (;;; ).
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Fornication'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature". https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/kbe/f/fornication.html.