Joshua 2: Rahab’s Faith

This entry is part 122 of 142 in the series 365 Key Chapters of the Bible

Rahab—often known as “Rahab the harlot”—did not know much about the Lord God. But she took what little she knew and responded in faith to God.

Spying out the Promised Land

Having camped out in the Plains of Moab for Moses’s final sermons, the Israelites now began obeying God’s commands to enter the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua. In order to spy out the land, Joshua sent two men, instructing them to focus on Jericho (Joshua 2:1). These two men stayed with Rahab in the city of Jericho.

Now the king of Jericho heard that the men were there and sought after them, looking to kill them in order to prevent them from reporting back to Joshua. Rahab, however, hid the spies and misled the king’s men. She had heard of the Lord and knew that He had given the Israelites the land.

Rahab’s Faith

The people of Jericho had already heard of the Israelites and the wonders God had done in Egypt. Rahab told the spies, “When we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath” (Joshua 2:11 NASB95).

Even though the people of her city had heard the same news of the Israelites, Rahab was the only one we know of who made the choice to truly hope and believe in God.

Her faith not only led to her salvation, but this Gentile woman is also listed in the genealogy of Jesus—she was the great-great-grandmother of David (Matthew 1:5).

In addition, Rahab’s faith earned her a place in the so-called “hall of faith” in Hebrews 11: “By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.” (v. 30 NASB95). This is remarkable—a Gentile woman has a place among some of the most well-known Israelites.

Not only is she mentioned in Hebrews 11, James lists her along with Abraham. He shows how she transformed her belief in God into works, demonstrating her true faith (James 2:25).

Even though she did not know God well, she knew enough to make the choice to trust in Him, translating her faith into action.

This teaching is based on Ken’s Handbook to Scripture

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