Rahab is portrayed in such a “good light” in Joshua that commentators for years have tried to make her (her occupation) anything but a “prostitute,” a common “harlot.”
A merchant, maybe?
Anything but a prostitute!
In coming lessons I want to show you more about how the Holy Spirit pictures Rahab. It is amazing! (Both in what is said about her and by means of what is implied.)
“And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an HARLOT’S HOUSE, named RAHAB, and lodged there.” Joshua 2:1
In Hebrew the noun “harlot” used here is “zanah.” It comes from a root verb that means “highly fed, well paid,” therefore “wanton, sensual, sexual, prodigal.” Without exception in the Old Testament the word is used of illegal (in God’s Eyes, not allowed in Mosaic Law) sexual activity!
And yet by the time Joshua ends … Rahab is virtually a “heroine,” for her bravery and faith and character! Her leadership skills are not bad either!
But I remind you that in the Bible, especially in Proverbs, such a woman (there most often called a “strange woman”) is vilified, and rightfully so I might add.
Rahab is even mentioned in the New Testament, folks! In Jesus’ genealogy! Then in Hebrews 11, the Bible’s great “faith” chapter! And again in James, the “strictest” Epistle in the whole Canon!
What turns a “vile woman” into a “godly woman?”
There’s only one answer … the Grace of God!
Forgiveness through the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Faith, faith, faith!
Aren’t you glad today that God does not look at our past … with all its sin?
That God now looks at us as “justified” children of faith!
Sin … GONE!
More about her tomorrow, Rahab, the Lord willing.
— Dr. Mike Bagwell
Meanwhile, let’s all rejoice and delight today in the marvelous Grace of God!