Women of the Bible: Rahab

Women of the Bible ~ Rahab (Harlot Heroine)

We first meet Rahab at her home located literally within the wall of the city of Jericho. She is a prostitute and has offered lodging to two Hebrew men who are visiting the area.

When the King of Jericho realizes her guests are scoping out his city for a possible invasion, he sends his own men to Rahab’s home to apprehend them.

Rahab intuitively discerns the situation and chooses to ally herself with the Hebrews because she has heard about their powerful God. She takes them to her roof and has them hide under stalks of flax which she had previously laid out to dry.

When the king’s men arrive, she explains that her guests have left and sends them on a wild goose chase. The spies owe Rahab their lives, and she knows it.

After the king’s men have left the city and the gates have been shut, she returns to the rooftop where her guests are still hiding and makes her intentions known: She wants them to save her entire family when the day of battle arrives.

They strike a deal: Rahab will hang a scarlet rope out of her window in the city wall, and anyone within her home will be spared. She then helps the spies escape the city and avoid capture.

At Joshua’s battle of Jericho, Rahab and her family are spared. She is a hero to the Hebrew people, and not merely because she saved the spies. Rahab eventually married a Hebrew man and gave birth to a son named Boaz making her the great-great-grandmother of King David.

Rahab is one of four women mentioned in Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus; she is listed in the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews 11; and she is held up as an example of faith evidenced by works in James 2.

You can read Rahab’s story in Joshua 2-6.

Women of the Bible: Rahab

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Photo by Kyle Johnson on Unsplash

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About the author: Laura Zielke

Laura Zielke (ZELL-key) is a deep thinker and Bible scholar. She is not afraid to question tradition and challenges people to evaluate their beliefs according to the Scriptures. Laura earned her M-Div. from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with an emphasis on Biblical Studies, Archaeology, and Languages. She has been blessed to serve as a lay leader in local churches for more than thirty years. Having been recognized as an outstanding leader, teacher, and entrepreneur, Laura serves as the Community Manager for the Nonprofit Leadership Lab (an organization dedicated to helping nonprofit leaders worldwide accomplish their mission). She and her husband of 21 years have one son who is in the 10th grade and homeschooled. Laura is an INTJ on the Meyers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator, and enjoys helping people discover more about themselves, the Lord, and their purpose in life. Connect with her on social media: @thezwomann (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest).

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