Rahab the Harlot

Powerful Essays
Topics: God, Monotheism
Focus Verse: Hebrews 11:31 (NKJ)
By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.

Chapter 2 of Joshua details the story of Rahab the harlot. When God sent Joshua and the children of Israel across the Jordan River and into the land of Canaan to take possession of the land, the first order of business was to destroy the city of Jericho. It was one of the largest, most prosperous, and most thoroughly fortified cities in the land. But the city was cursed of God and marked for destruction. The sentence of death had been passed upon it forty years earlier (Ex. 23:27-28). In the story of Rahab, two spies are sent to search out the city. These men would have to cross the Jordan river, get into the city, and assess it's strength. We could conclude that these men were the prototype of navy SEALS. Next we have the men of Israel coming to the house of the harlot, who is immediately identified (v.1). Dana Nolan Fewell makes the point that women do not feature in the conquest narrative, and the women who do appear are “visible only because they represent some kind of exception.” (Newsom & Ringe 1992:64) Rahab is an exception relative to the other players in the drama because she demonstrates a commitment to God superior to that even of Joshua. Many commentators try to change the meaning of the word harlot to hostess or innkeeper. But in the Greek it is the word porne (4204). It is always translated in the New Testament as: "harlot" or "whore". The designation "harlot" heightens the grace of God, verifying that He is no respecter of persons. Not only was Rahab a harlot, she was a Gentile. She didn't belong to the covenant people of God. She is an illustration of the truth of the promise that in the seed of Abraham all the nations of the earth would be blessed. (Genesis 22:18). Rahab’s first work of faith was letting the spies stay at her house, whose mission was to “view the land”

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