Rahab – An ancestor of David and Jesus


Rahab was a prostitute in the city of Jericho. As a prostitute, she lived on the edge of society, one stop short of rejection. Her house, built right into the city wall, provided both lodging and favors to travelers. It was a natural place for the Israelite spies to stay, as they would be mistaken for Rahab’s customers.

Stories about the Israelites had been circulating for some time, but now it was evident that the Israelites were about to invade. Living on the wall, Rahab felt especially vulnerable. Yet while she shared the general mood of fear with the rest of Jericho’s population, she alone turned to the Lord for her salvation. Her faith gave her the courage to hide the spies and lie to the authorities. Rahab knew her position was dangerous; she could have been killed if she were caught harboring the Israelites. Rahab took the risk, however, because she sensed that the Israelites relied on a God worth trusting. And God rewarded her by promising safety for her and her family.

God works through people like Rahab whom we are inclined to reject. God remembers her because of her faith, not her profession. If at times you feel like a failure, remember that Rahab rose above her situation through her trust in God. You can do the same!

Strengths and Accomplishments

  • Relative of Boaz. and thus an ancestor of David and Jesus
  • One of the only two women listed in the Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11
  • Resourceful, willing to help others at great cost to herself

Weakness and Mistake

  • She was a prostitute

Lesson From Her Life

  • She did not let fear affect her faith in God’s ability to deliver

Vital Statistics for Rahab

  • Where: Jericho
  • Occupations: Prostitute/innkeeper, later became a wife
  • Relatives: Ancestor of David and Jesus
  • Contemporary: Joshua

Key Verse for Rahab

By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient” (Hebrews 11:31)

The ESV Study Bible, Large Print edition features the content of the award-winning ESV Study Bible with a highly readable, large-print type. Extensive study notes, charts, maps, and articles make this study Bible a valuable resource for serious readers, students, and teachers of God’s Word.

Rahab’s story is told in Joshua 2 and 6:22, 23. She is also mentioned in Matthew 1:5; Hebrews 11:31; and James 2:25.

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