5 minutes to discover Who is Rahab in the Bible?

There are some wonderful reasons why we remember the story of Rahab. One of my favorites is that we see God change Rahab’s identity. Click to read all about it.

a picture of a women's chin on ther folded hands. Besides the picture are the words who is Rahab in the bible?

I have been a Christian for a long time. One thing I love doing is learning more about the people in the bible. That is why I wanted to share how some people in the bible changed when they met God as part of my Blog series. Today, I am happy to share with you another guest post. Megan Dickerson writes this one. To learn more about her in her bio at the end of this post. You can also find Megan online at her blog: TheWinsomeHome.com. Today, she answers the question: who is Rahab in the Bible?

a picture of a women's chin on her folded hands. Beside the picture are the words who is Rahab in the bible?

One of my favourite women in the Bible is Rahab. She hears the stories of Israel and believes there is something about them she wants to be part of. We read her story in Joshua chapters 2 and 6. The story of Rahab gives a glimpse into God’s plan to bring men and women from all nations into his chosen people by changing Rahab’s identity.

Who is Rahab in The Bible?

In Joshua 2, Israelite spies are sent to Jerico to see the land. Once there, they meet Rahab. She offers to hide them and even lies to her king’s men in order to protect these strangers.

Rahab was a low-class woman who was not in a reputable profession. She was not someone who anyone would have thought would change the world.

Some have compared this story to the story of the lost sheep told in Matthew 18. In this story, a man has 100 sheep and loses just one. That man searches for the one that he lost until he finds it! Then he rejoices because what was lost has been brought home.

The same is true of Rahab. She was lost, but God sought her, brought her into his family, and rejoiced over her. God sought out this unlikely Gentile to fulfil His purposes and, big surprise, He chose well!

Rahab Fears the Lord

After the king’s men leave, Rahab goes to the Israelite spies where she had hidden them on the roof. She and her whole city know that the Lord has given this land into the hands of the Israelites. They were scared because they had heard what God had done.

God had dried up the Red Sea for the nation of Israel but cause it to crash back down on the Egyptian army. They knew how the Lord had destroyed the Amorite Kings. 

These stories had crossed the Jordan before these spies and Rahab says that they are all terrified because “the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on earth below.” (Joshua 2:11) Rahab heard what the Lord had done and knew it was God. She then responds in faithful obedience.

Many say this is the sign of her conversion. At this point, she has transferred her allegiance to the God of Abraham, the God who has done these mighty deeds.

She wants the spies to show her family the kindness that she showed to them. They promise that they will spare anyone in her house when they enter the land. Her identity has been changed.

If you are a Christian, think about how you came to place your faith in the Lord. You probably heard some of the stories recorded in the pages of Scripture. Maybe you heard of the crossing of the Red Sea and how God favoured his people in battle. You probably also heard stories of friends and family whose lives had been changed. You heard of the great deeds that the Lord has done, just like Rahab, and with her, you were able to say “the Lord is God in heaven above and on earth below.”

Our response to the gospel will look differently than Rahab’s because we have a more complete understanding of redemption through Christ. But it is always because we have heard the great things that the Lord has done. Our identity will change the same way that Rahab did.

God Saves Rahab to Live with His Chosen People

The Israelites cross the Jordan River and enter the land. They have a weird battle plan for defeating the city of Jericho that is a story for another day. Then we come to chapter 6 and we see that Joshua will keep the promise of the spies and save Rahab and her family, even though everything else in the city is to be destroyed.

After the walls of the city collapsed, the spies go to Rahab’s house and bring her whole family to live outside the camp of Israel.

Before Israel went to conquer Jericho, the people had just cleansed themselves and Rahab’s family were not clean according to the law so they had to live outside the camp. Then we read in verse 25 that “she lives in Israel today.” At some point, Rahab was cleansed and no longer an outcast but fully included in God’s people. And I think that’s beautiful.

I think it’s beautiful because Rahab’s story does not end there. While this is the last we hear of Rahab in the Old Testament, her faithful obedience is praised in Hebrews 11.

  • Hebrews 11:31  By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who [a]did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.

The book of James also tells us that she was justified before God because of her actions.

  • James 2:25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

We even see her name in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew!

Who Did Rahab Marry?

Rahab not only became a citizen of Israel, but God chose her to be the mother of Boaz who married the Moabite Ruth who was the great-grandmother of King David! God chose this prostitute to be in the genealogy of the Messiah.

She is not only adopted into God’s people but God also used her to bring about his redemption.

God took her from a prostitute and completely changed her identity. She is now among God’s people and the grandmother of the Messiah!

Rahab’s Adoption

I don’t know if you’ve adopted or were adopted yourself, or maybe you know someone who has. But the amazing thing about adoption is that even though that child was not physically born into that family, this child has every right a biological child would have.

I have a friend who adopted their first daughter and went on to birth two more. Do you think she thinks of her adopted daughter any differently than those she physically carried? Absolutely not! She is a member of their family!

When Rahab declared the Lord is God, she was adopted.

When you or I were changed so that we might follow Christ, we were also adopted into God’s family.

Rahab was not just saved to live alone. They could have left her family in the wilderness to fend for themselves. Instead, she was brought into God’s people. We can extend this opportunity to others.

Rahab’s New Identity

Rahab is no longer who she was. God saved her and made her new.

He offers this to us as and we can extend the same offer to those around us. You can find amazing tools to learn to share the gospel or tips for sharing your testimony. Her new identity has changed the entire world. What will God do through you?

In the comments, let me know who is Rahab in the Bible

Let’s pray

            Father, thank you for the story of your people. Thank you for the mighty works you have done throughout history that have made your name known around the world. Lord, I pray that we would be faithful to continue to share these stories and bring others into your family. Amen.

Author: Anne Markey

Anne is a stay at home mother of 3 who has been married for more then 10 years. She loves the Lord and is passionate about helping women learn who they are in Christ and how to live a life that glorifies Him.

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