Rahab (fl. 1100 BCE)
Rahab (fl. 1100 bce)
Biblical woman who harbored Hebrew spies sent by Joshua and helped them escape. Name variations: Rahab comes from Rehabiah (meaning wide or broad). Pronunciation: RAY-hab. Flourished around 1100 bce; married Salmon, a prince of the tribe of Judah; children: Boaz (who married Ruth).
Referred to in the Bible as a harlot, Rahab lived in a house attached to the city wall of Jericho, where she manufactured and dyed linen. Although raised in a pagan culture of Canaan, she came to believe in the Lord as the one true God. When Joshua was camped in the Jordan valley opposite Jericho, he sent two spies to "scout the city." The spies returned five days later, reporting that they had encountered great danger, but were saved by Rahab, who hid them in stalks of flax on her roof, then helped them escape by rope through a window in the house. When the Israelites later captured Jericho, they spared Rahab and her entire family, who were incorporated into the Jewish people.
Rahab later became the wife of Salmon, a prince of the tribe of Judah. Their son Boaz married Ruth , who became the mother of Obed, the grandmother of Jesse, and the great-grandmother of David. Thus, Rahab was part of the lineage of King David and an ancestor of Jesus Christ. For her declaration of faith, Rahab was cited in the Epistle to the Hebrews as one of the great heroes of the faith.