Who is…
Rahab

This is the name of a biblical woman and a poetic name for Egypt.

  1. Rahab, a Canaanite woman and legal ancestor of Jesus Christ

    This is the name of a Canaanite harlot (prostitute woman) who saved to Hebrew men and who became a follower of Jehovah. She was hospitable, merciful, and repentant—leaving a world of idolatry and uniting with the Israelites as a follower of Jehovah God (a proselyte).

    Hebrew: רָחָב —transliteration: Rachab / modern Hebrew: Raẖav —occurrences: 5

    Greek: Ῥαάβ —transliteration: Rhaab —occurrences: 2 (Hebrews 11:31 and James 2:25)

    Greek: Ῥαχάβ —transliteration: Rhachab —meaning: Rachabthe same woman, Rahab —occurrences: 1 (Matthew 1:5)

    Rahab’ story

    When the Hebrews were encamped at Shittim, in the “Arabah” or Jordan valley opposite Jericho, ready to cross the river, Joshua, as a final preparation, sent out 2 spies to gain intelligence on the the city.

    After five days they returned, having swum across the river, which at this season, the month Abib, overflowed its banks from the melting of the snow on Lebanon.

    The spies reported how it had fared with them (Joshua 2:1-7). They had been exposed to danger in Jericho, and had been saved by the fidelity of Rahab the harlot, to whose house they had gone for protection.

    When the city of Jericho fell (6:17-25), Rahab and her whole family were preserved according to the promise of the spies, and were incorporated among the Jewish people. She afterwards became the wife of Salmon, a prince of the tribe of Judah (Ruth 4:21; 1 Chronicles 2:11; Matthew 1:5).

    “Rahab's being asked to bring out the spies to the soldiers (Joshua 2:3) sent for them, is in strict keeping with Eastern manners, which would not permit any man to enter a woman's house without her permission.

    The fact of her covering the spies with bundles of flax which lay on her house-roof (Joshua 2:6) is an ‘undesigned coincidence’ which strictly corroborates the narrative. It was the time of the barley harvest, and flax and barley are ripe at the same time in the Jordan valley, so that the bundles of flax stalks might have been expected to be drying just then” —John Cunningham Geikie, Hours with the Bible, or, the Scriptures in the Light of Modern Discovery and Knowledge (1896-97), ii., 390.

    Archaeology

    What does archaeology show about the existence and destruction of the walls of Jericho? Answer

    As the wife Salmon, Rahab became a legal ancestor of our Lord Jesus Christ through BOTH Mary and Joseph.

    Her name is found in the genealogy of our Lord in Matthew 1:5.

    and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of JesseMatthew 1:5 ESV

    Note that the point of divergence between the royal lineage of Mary and Joseph is that they descended from two different sons of King David—King Solomon, and Mary from Prince Nathan.

    Ancestor of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ

    Salmon and Rahab (Rachab) → Boaz (Booz)ObedJesseKING DAVIDNathan → Mattathah → Menan (Menna) → MeleaEliakim → Jonan → JosephJudahSimeonLeviMatthat → Jorim → EliezerJose (Joshua, Jesus)ErElmodamCosamAddiMelchiNeriShealtielZerubbabelRhesaJoannas (Joanna)JudahJosephSemeiMattathiah (Mattathias)Maath → Naggai → Esli → NahumAmosMattathiah (Mattathias)JosephJannaMelchiLeviMatthatHeliMARY, mother of Jesus Jesus Christ

    Ancestor of Joseph, the legal father of Jesus Christ

    Salmon (and Rahab) → BoazObedJesseKING DAVIDKing SolomonKing RehoboamKing Abijah (Abijam) → King AsaKing JehoshaphatKing Jehoram (Joram) → King Ahaziah (Uzziah) → King JothamKing AhazKing HezekiahKing ManassehKing AmonKing Josiah → Jeconiah (Jechonias, Jehoiachin, Jekonjah, Coniah, Neri) → Prince ShealtielPrince Zerubbabel (Zorobabel) → Prince Abiud (Abihud) → Governor Eliakim → Azor → Zadok → Achim → Eliud → EleazarMatthanJacob → JOSEPH, the adoptive, legal father of of Jesus Christ

    Other descendants?

    The Jewish Talmud and Midrash claim that her descendants also include 8 prophets, such as Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hilkiah, Seraiah, Mahseiah, Baruch, and Huldah, a prophetess. Rabbinic tradition also claims that Rahab was exceptionally pretty, one of the world’s 4 most beautiful women. However, the truth of these traditions cannot be confirmed.

  2. Rahab, a sea monster

    Hebrew: רַהַב —transliteration: Rahab —meaning: a sea monster, strong, proud, arrogance

    This is a name of a sea monster that is also symbolic of power, pride, chaotic forces and evil.

    “He quieted the sea with His power,
    And by His understanding He shattered Rahab. —Job 26:12

    In the Book of Job it is used as a symbol of prideful people (lacking in humility).

    “God will not turn back His anger;
    Beneath Him crouch the helpers of Rahab [the proud]. —Job 9:13

  3. Rahab, the land

    Hebrew: רַהַב —transliteration: Rahab —meaning: storm; a blusterer (prideful insolence in strength)

    This is a poetical name used for Egypt in the following verses.

    “I shall mention Rahab and Babylon among those who know Me; … —Psalm 87:4 NASB excerpt

    Even Egypt, whose help is vain and empty.
    Therefore, I have called her
    Rahab who has been exterminated.” —Isaiah 30:7

    Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord;
    Awake as in the days of old, the generations of long ago.
    Was it not You who cut Rahab in pieces,
    Who pierced the dragon? —Isaiah 51:9 NASB

    You Yourself crushed Rahab like one who is slain;
    You scattered Your enemies with Your mighty arm. —Psalm 89:11 NASB

Article Version: August 4, 2021