Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Reflection - Rahab the Harlot (prostitute) of Jericho and the Two Spies

Source Website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rahab
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


A prostitute named Rahab began to believe in the God of Abraham.
PHOTO: A prostitute named Rahab began to believe in the God of Abraham. When she hid the spies sent from Joshua, she gained the salvation of her whole family.
"By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe [her faith in the coming Messiah saved her] when she had received the spies with grace."(Hebrews 11:31).
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Rahab, was, according to the Book of Joshua, a prostitute who lived in Jericho in the Promised Land and assisted the Israelites in capturing the city. She became a figure of fascination to the writers of the New Testament, where she is reckoned among the ancestors of Jesus,[2] and is lauded as an example of living by faith,[3] while being justified by her works. [4]



The Harlot of Jericho and the Two Spies
PHOTO: The Harlot of Jericho and the Two Spies
Painting by James Jacques Joseph Tissot (French, 1836-1902) or follower, c. 1896-1902
Gouache (painting using opaque pigments ground in water and thickened with a glue-like substance) on board, 9 1/16 x 6 5/8 in. (23.1 x 16.9 cm), at the Jewish Museum, New York

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https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/59/Tissot_The_Harlot_of_Jericho_and_the_Two_Spies.jpg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rahab



According to the book of Joshua (Joshua 2:1-7), when the Hebrews were encamped at Shittim, in the "Arabah" or Jordan valley opposite Jericho, ready to cross the river, Joshua, as a final preparation, sent out two spies to investigate the military strength of Jericho. The spies stayed in Rahab's house, which was built into the city wall. The soldiers sent to capture the spies asked Rahab to bring out the spies (Joshua 2:3).



Rahab Receiveth and Concealeth the Spies
PHOTO: Rahab Receiveth and Concealeth the Spies
Picture by Frederick Richard Pickersgill
 

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rahab



Instead, she hid them under bundles of flax on the roof. It was the time of the barley harvest, and flax and barley are ripe at the same time in the Jordan valley, so that "the bundles of flax stalks might have been expected to be drying just then".[11]



When word arrived that soldiers were hunting the two men, Rahab hid them on the roof of her house under bundles of flax.
PHOTO: When word arrived that soldiers were hunting the two men, Rahab hid them on the roof of her house under bundles of flax.
Posted by obrerofiel.com
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Rahab hiding the two spies on the roof of her house under bundles of flax.
PHOTO: Rahab hiding the two spies on the roof of her house under bundles of flax.
Painting by J M Kronheim
Self Interpreting Family Bible by John Brown (c 1880), Rahab and the spies

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Rahab told the spies (Joshua 2:9-13):
I know that the LORD has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone's courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below. Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and that you will save us from death.



Accompanied by the Ark of the Covenant, Joshua leads the Israelites across the Jordan towards Jericho (Joshua 3:17) and the conquest of Canaan.
PHOTO: Accompanied by the Ark of the Covenant, Joshua leads the Israelites across the Jordan towards Jericho (Joshua 3:17) and the conquest of Canaan. Scripture tells us that the waters miraculously parted to ensure that the Ark remained dry; wonders which Caesar had to make do without during his own conquest of Gaul.
Picture posted by the Hawkwood (Shadows in Eden) on Sunday, 6 October 2013 at 12:50 PM
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http://shadowsineden.blogspot.sg/2013/10/joshua-jericho-trumpets-and-wall.html



After escaping, the spies promised to spare Rahab and her family after taking the city, even if there should be a massacre, if she would mark her house by hanging a red cord out the window. Some have claimed that the symbol of the red cord is related to the practice of the "red-light district".[12]



Scripture relates (Joshua 2:1-24) how the woman Rahab gave aid to two Israelite spies
PHOTO: Scripture relates (Joshua 2:1-24) how the woman Rahab gave aid to two Israelite spies: a deed which prompted Joshua to spare her life and those of her family, so making them the sole survivors of the ensuing massacre. Subsequent translations describe her as a prostitute, although the original texts do not specify this.
Picture posted by the Hawkwood (Shadows in Eden) on Sunday, 6 October 2013 at 12:50 PM

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http://shadowsineden.blogspot.sg/2013/10/joshua-jericho-trumpets-and-wall.html



As a prostitute, Rahab was lost in the trees of her life, yet God granted her faith, a faith unsubstantiated by orthodoxy, nor validated by tradition or theology. A faith made real by deliverance, she believed just enough. She believed enough to be delivered, she believed enough to be seen as faithful and justified by God. She believed enough to be awarded the privilege of being an ancestor of our Christ. [1]



Rahab mark her house by hanging a red cord out the window.
PHOTO: Rahab mark her house by hanging a red cord out the window.
After escaping, the spies promised to spare Rahab and her family after taking the city, even if there should be a massacre, but she had to mark her house by hanging a red cord out the window.
Picture posted by Brandon Green (bmdevoted) on 8 March 2015
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https://bmcdevotional.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/rahabs-scarlet-cord.jpg
http://bmcdevotional.com/2015/03/08/arrive/



When the city of Jericho fell (Joshua 6:17-25), Rahab and her whole family were preserved according to the promise of the spies, and were incorporated among the Jewish people. (In siege warfare of antiquity, a city that fell after a prolonged siege was commonly subjected to a massacre and sack.)



Accompanied by the Ark of the Covenant, the trumpets sounded, the Israelites shouted, and the walls of Jericho came tumbling down.
PHOTO: Accompanied by the Ark of the Covenant, the trumpets sounded, the Israelites shouted, and the walls of Jericho came tumbling down.
Picture posted by the Hawkwood (Shadows in Eden) on Sunday, 6 October 2013 at 12:50 PM
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http://shadowsineden.blogspot.sg/2013/10/joshua-jericho-trumpets-and-wall.html



Michael Coogan claims the book of Joshua, more than any other book of the Bible, contains short etiological narratives that explain the origins of religious rituals, topographical features, genealogical relationships, and other aspects of ancient Israelite life, and that the legend of Rahab is such an example. The story of Rahab would therefore provide an answer as to how a Canaanite group became part of Israel in spite of the Deuteronomistic injunction to kill all Canaanites and not to intermarry with them (Deut 20:16-18)(Deut 7:1-4)[13].



One Woman's Faith And Her Use Of A Scarlet Cord Becomes a Symbol of Salvation Remembered in Song and a Link To The Messiah
PHOTO: One Woman's Faith And Her Use Of A Scarlet Cord Becomes a Symbol of Salvation Remembered in Song and a Link To The Messiah
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http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Gods-Gift-Of-Music-Part-2-PoetryMusic-Connecting-The-Old-Testament-With-The-New



Prayer posted by HubPages Inc.
PHOTO: "Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and if I die in my sins I can't pay the price to come into heaven. I need a Savior. I ask You to forgive me of my sin and save me right now. I believe You died for me and that You were buried for me and that You raised on the third day for me. Thank You for loving me so much, that You gave so much for me. I pray this in your precious name, Jesus. Amen."
Prayer posted by HubPages Inc. on 11 September 2015, http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Gods-Gift-Of-Music-Part-2-PoetryMusic-Connecting-The-Old-Testament-With-The-New
Picture posted by Dora Isaac Weithers on 30 March 2012
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http://hubpages.com/relationships/Wisdom-From-Women-In-The-Life-Of-Moses


Reflection - Rahab the Harlot (prostitute) of Jericho and the Two Spies
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



Reference
[1] ARRIVE, posted by Brandon Green, http://bmcdevotional.com/2015/03/08/arrive/

[2] The Gospel According to Matthew, 1:5, "Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse,"

[3] The Epistle to the Hebrews, 11:31,  "By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient."

[4] The Book of James, 2:25, "In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?"

[11] Geikie's Hours with the Bible, ii., 390.

[12] Mobley, Gregory (2012). The Return of the Chaos Monsters: And Other Backstories of the Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-8028-3746-2.

[13] Coogan, A Brief Introduction To The Old Testament, Pg 162-164

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