Rahab, the prostitute helps the Israelites take Jericho

Jesus in the Old Testament 2: The Jericho Adventure Begins in a Scandalous Way

The Jericho adventure starts with the introduction of an unlikely hero, Rahab, the prostitute. God’s reputation preceded Him and the Israelites. Back then, news spread rather quickly considering they didn’t have social media. Stories spread by traveling family, friends and merchants. The residents, as well as the king of Jericho knew about the parting of the Red Sea and how they annihilated the Amorites. She had a healthy respect for God — a fear of the Lord — that led to grace. Let’s dig in…

Joshua 2 – Rahab Protects the Spies

Then Joshua secretly sent out two spies from the Israelite camp at Acacia Grove. He instructed them, “Scout out the land on the other side of the Jordan River, especially around Jericho.” So the two men set out and came to the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there that night.

But someone told the king of Jericho, “Some Israelites have come here tonight to spy out the land.” So the king of Jericho sent orders to Rahab: “Bring out the men who have come into your house, for they have come here to spy out the whole land.”

Rahab had hidden the two men, but she replied, “Yes, the men were here earlier, but I didn’t know where they were from. They left the town at dusk, as the gates were about to close. I don’t know where they went. If you hurry, you can probably catch up with them.” (Actually, she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them beneath bundles of flax she had laid out.) So the king’s men went looking for the spies along the road leading to the shallow crossings of the Jordan River. And as soon as the king’s men had left, the gate of Jericho was shut.

Before the spies went to sleep that night, Rahab went up on the roof to talk with them. “I know the Lord has given you this land,” she told them. “We are all afraid of you. Everyone in the land is living in terror. 10 For we have heard how the Lord made a dry path for you through the Red Sea when you left Egypt. And we know what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan River, whose people you completely destroyed. 11 No wonder our hearts have melted in fear! No one has the courage to fight after hearing such things. For the Lord your God is the supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below.

12 “Now swear to me by the Lord that you will be kind to me and my family since I have helped you. Give me some guarantee that 13 when Jericho is conquered, you will let me live, along with my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all their families.”

14 “We offer our own lives as a guarantee for your safety,” the men agreed. “If you don’t betray us, we will keep our promise and be kind to you when the Lord gives us the land.”

15 Then, since Rahab’s house was built into the town wall, she let them down by a rope through the window. 16 “Escape to the hill country,” she told them. “Hide there for three days from the men searching for you. Then, when they have returned, you can go on your way.”

17 Before they left, the men told her, “We will be bound by the oath we have taken only if you follow these instructions. 18 When we come into the land, you must leave this scarlet rope hanging from the window through which you let us down. And all your family members—your father, mother, brothers, and all your relatives—must be here inside the house. 19 If they go out into the street and are killed, it will not be our fault. But if anyone lays a hand on people inside this house, we will accept the responsibility for their death. 20 If you betray us, however, we are not bound by this oath in any way.”

21 “I accept your terms,” she replied. And she sent them on their way, leaving the scarlet rope hanging from the window.

22 The spies went up into the hill country and stayed there three days. The men who were chasing them searched everywhere along the road, but they finally returned without success.

23 Then the two spies came down from the hill country, crossed the Jordan River, and reported to Joshua all that had happened to them. 24 “The Lord has given us the whole land,” they said, “for all the people in the land are terrified of us.”

Joshua 2 NLT

Food for Thought

  • Why did the spies go to the house of a prostitute, of all people? Because it was discreet and hidden.
  • Rahab, with her fear of the Lord, trusted God more than the king. Just like we should put our trust in God, not earthly leaders, including presidents and priests.
  • She had faith that God would protect her and her family.
  • Faith delivered her, even though she was a sinner, from the judgement of Jericho.
  • Fear of the Lord leads to grace.
  • God’s grace and forgiveness is for ALL who place their faith in Him.
  • The scarlet rope represents the scarlet trail of atoning blood through the whole Bible. From the sacrifices in Leviticus to the Lamb of God who wins victory in the end.

A Prostitute in Jesus’ Lineage?

Rahab, a Canaanite prostitute, leaves her life of sin and marries a Hebrew named Salmon (yes, like the fish). They have a son named Boaz who married a Moabite woman, Ruth. (You can read their story in the Book of Ruth, yes, she got her own book!) They had a son called, Obed, who had a son, Jesse, who was the father of King David. It’s all there in Matthew 1. That’s why Jesus’ lineage is so important. There are 2 Gentile women who are critical to the history of Israel and to the future salvation of the world.

Rahab is even listed as a hero of the faith…

31 It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.

Hebrews 11:31 NLT

And James, the brother of Jesus wrote…

25 Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road.

James 2:25 NLT

Are YOU Right with God?

“Jesus is like an army that has ransacked death.”

Spoken Gospel

As you will see in the next few chapters, the Israelites, with God’s help, destroy Jericho — except Rahab’s house and family. God, through Jesus, saves anyone who believes in Him and repents.

You have a choice!

Resist the Good News of Jesus’ true salvation and spend eternity in hell. Or surrender and be adopted into the family and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven when you die — and you will die at some point. It doesn’t matter what your past looks like! If God could put Rahab, a prostitute, into the lineage of His Son, then He can forgive YOUR past and welcome you into the family as a Child of God.

Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart -- let Him in!

He’s knocking and calling YOU! What are you waiting for? Let Him in!

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift of Grace, Joy, Peace, and the Confident Hope of Eternal Life…

Jesus in All of Joshua 2

Who You Say I Am

Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!

Top image by Sweet Publishing from FreeBibleImages.org, (CC BY-SA 3.0)

3 thoughts on “Jesus in the Old Testament 2: The Jericho Adventure Begins in a Scandalous Way”

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  2. Pingback: Jesus in the Book of Ruth 2: Preparing the Way for Our Future Redeemer – Seek the Truth

  3. Pingback: 2 Kings 2: Elijah’s Rapture on Chariots of Fire and Elisha Takes Over – Seek the Truth

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