Rahab is one of my favorite women in the Bible. So much so that I am writing a book about her. After all she is mentioned in three books of the Bible and we will be looking at those places this week. However, I’m going to change up the reading a little and share some of what I have learned in my research about her and Jericho.
Monday — Joshua 2:1-7 Here we see Rahab in her old life, a prostitute, and a liar. Here is the thing some of the books I have read states that she was running a brothel. In my research on Jericho changed the way I saw thing. I will place a link to David Livingston’s article on Jericho at the bottom. Jericho was a two wall city. An outer wall then up the hill was another wall, where the wealthy, shops, and most of the city life happened. The area between the two walls was for the poor. This is where you would find the temple prosititues. Yes, Jericho was one of two cities that were the main centers of worship of the Moon god, Yearch, later named Baal. It the temple were partiotions for the force prostitution and in the certer a large basalt satue with his arms stretched out in front of him for child sacrafice. The gates to the cities faced East. Rahab’s house was discovered at the north end of the wall. There were certain temple prostitues that were give a one room house in the outer wall for special visitors during the festival times of worship. The Hebrew word here used for harlot/prostitute — zanah — can mean, to be a cult prostitute, to be unfaithful (to God) (fig.) More about this later.
Tuesday — Joshua 2:8-21 This is Rahab’s confession of faith. I have heard that the fact she hadenough flax on her roof to hide the spies, showed that she wanted out of the life she was in.
Wednesday — Joshua 6:1-21 This is Rahab’s “Exodus” story. Like in Egypt and the pleagues mocked the Egyptian gods, so does the march around Jericho mock Yearch. It was there New Year Celebration, which celebrated him finding a wife and son. It was six days of slience in the city and the seventh was a loud celebration that they were found. What about the red cord hanging down the wall from her window? Remember the Passover and the lamb’s blood that was painted over the door? Imagine what the rope that was able to support the weight of the grown men as they scaled the wall out Rahab’s window looked. It would be seen from a distance as a line of blood running down the wall.
Thursday — 6:22-25 It was import1ant that the spies kept there word to Rahab since they were at that time the only example of God she and her family had experienced.
Friday — Matthew 1:1-6 Rahab was important enough to God that He placed her into His Son’s family. Matthew is the only mention of her that the word prostitue was not after her name. Every woman mentioned in the genenology of Jesus was not the perfect Jewish wife. Starting with Tamar who tricked her father-in-law, Judah into getting her pregnant when all of his son’s had died. Next is Rahab “the prostitute” and a Cannanite. Ruth, a Moabite, a coutry that they were forbidden to have anything with, became Rahab’s daughter-in-law. Bathsheba, called in Matthew ” whose mother had been Uriah’s wife” who David had killed during battle. Then Mary, the virgin that became pregnant before her wedding. Can you imagine the gossip going around town about her?
Saturday — Hebrews 11:31 The “Great Hall of Faith includes Rahab being saved because of her faith. So why is she known as the prostitute? As you read you see those who died in Jericho were called disobedient. Rahab had made a confession of her faith in God not Yerach. Remember on Monday one of the uses of the Hewbrew word for was “to be unfaithful (to God) (fig.)” Since this is is figurtive, when you look that most of her life she spent serving a false god, and by her confession of faith in the One True God, she became unfaithful to Yerach. She became a prostitute for God. This last part is all a guess on my part as to why she was known through out the Bible as a prostitute.
(Photo by Drew Coffman on Unsplash)