Rahab: A Life of Grace

What ever happened to Rahab?

Have you ever wondered that? I have.

I’m reading through the Bible this year – one of the 12 books I’m attempting to read in 2011. A few weeks ago, I read the book of Joshua. Do you remember the story of when the Israelites spied out the Promised Land? Joshua sent 2 men to spy out Jericho. These men found residence in the house of a woman named Rahab. Obviously, the king of Jericho was not ecstatic when he heard there were 2 spies in his land…especially since these men happened to be Israelites. (You know, the people who crossed the Red Sea on dry land and the Egyptians were totally defeated when they tried to capture the Israelites back as their slaves? Yeah – those guys.)

So this king sent word to Rahab, “Bring out the men who have come to you … for they have come to search out all the land.” But Rahab said, “True, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. And … I do not know where the men went. Pursue them quickly, for you will overtake them.”

Secretly, though, Rahab had hidden the 2 spies up on her roof. Sneaky. Why did she do this? Thankfully, the passage continues:

“Before the men [the 2 spies] lay down, she came to them on the roof and said to the men, “I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, … and as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the Lord your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath. Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that, as I have dealt Kindly with you, you also will deal kindly with my father’s house, and give me a sure sign that you will save alive my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.”

The 2 spies told Rahab they would honor her wish as long as she didn’t tell anyone about what their spying out the land. Rahab tied a scarlet cord through her window and let the men down so they could escape. The men left, instructing Rahab to gather her family into her house and tie the same scarlet cord in her window to ensure the safety when the city of Jericho was captured.

Via Al Young Studios

Fast forward.

God gave a miraculous victory to Israel and they overtook Jericho. “They burned the city with fire, and everything in it. Only the silver and gold, and the vessels of bronze and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord. But Rahab the prostitute and her father’s household and all who belonged to her, Joshua saved alive. And she has lived in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.”

So, Rahab hid God’s people and He saved her life because of it. That’s awesome.

But I have wondered what ever happened to her after she was rescued.

Fast forward again. Only a lot longer this time. 🙂

Last week, I read the book of Ruth. (I really love that book. I love the story of Ruth and her faithfulness to her bitter mother-in-law. Really, imagine the long trip she had with Naomi, who I imagine was recounting her hardships the whole way.) When I finished, I was so excited! You know why? Because I learned who Boaz’s mom was…guess who?Rahab! At the end of Ruth, the genealogy of David is given. This excerpt from verse 21: “Salmon fathered Boaz.” and the study notes underneath: “Salmon fathered Boaz by Rahab (Matt. 1:5; see Josh. 6:25).”

Wow! I had read the genealogy in Matthew before, but I guess it never clicked with me before that Rahab was Boaz’s mother.

I guess this fact was especially cool to me because of reading the notes in my study Bible about Ruth 3:14. My study Bible explains that verse by saying that “Boaz is concerned for propriety and for his and Ruth’s good reputation.”

Hmmm…wonder who taught Boaz to be concerned for propriety?

Could it have been his mother, Rahab – the woman who was formerly a prostitute? Who better to teach about propriety than his mom – someone who knew quite the opposite?

It’s cool to me how God took someone – probably the last person you would ever expect to be rescued from Jericho – and not only saved her life, but transformed her as well. And then He used her to train up a godly son.


Who says my God can’t change a life?


All Scripture taken from Joshua 2-6 and Ruth 3-4. Study notes taken from ESV Study Bible.


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