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English Bible Dictionary

Rahab | Rachab the Harlot

 

(wide), a celebrated woman of Jericho who received the spies sent by Joshua to spy out the land, hid them in her house from the pursuit of her countrymen, was saved with all her family when the Israelites sacked the city, and became the wife of Salmon and the ancestress of the Messiah. (Joshua 2:1; Matthew 1:5) (B.C. 1450.) She was a "harlot", and probably combined the trade of lodging-keeper for wayfaring men. Her reception of the spies, the artifice by which she concealed them from the king: their escape, and the saving of Rahab and her family at the capture of the city in accordance with their promise, are fold in the narrative of (Joshua 2:1)... As regards Rahab herself, she probably repented, and we learn from (Matthew 1:5) that she became the wife of Salmon the son of Naasson, and the mother of Boaz, Jesse's grandfather, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews tells us that "by faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace," (Hebrews 11:31) and St. James fortifies his doctrine of justification by works by asking, "Was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?" (James 2:25)

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