Study Guide

Rahab in Book of Joshua

Rahab

Oh Rahab you so fine, you so fine you blow our minds! Okay, we'll stop that. But you know just as well as we do that the Israelite spies sang exactly that song to her when she helped save them from the soldiers in Jericho. Okay, maybe they didn't. Regardless, Rahab was indeed a fine woman, and not just in the sultry way either. Rahab was a woman of conviction, faith, and love for her family. See? She's swell.

Here's what we can definitively say about Rahab:

  • She lived in Jericho with her family.
  • She saved the lives of Israelite spies. (2:1-21)
  • She helped the Israelite spies capture Jericho.
  • She survived the siege of Jericho. (6:22-27)

That's it! Unfortunately, not much else is known about Rahab.

Tradition states that she was a prostitute, but there is some scholarly conjecture that she was actually only an innkeeper. However, because brothels were the "it" place for knowledge in the ancient world, we're willing to bet our hypothetical donuts that Rahab was indeed a lady of the night.

We know you like debates—we sure do—so here's one more concept to throw around. Judaism and Islam say that Rahab married Joshua. The New Testament says that she married another man and became an ancestor of Jesus (Matthew 1:5). Who are we to believe? Don't answer that. It was rhetorical.