Biblical People

Biblical People: Rahab

Rahab is a prostitute two spies stay with when they scope out Jericho. We don’t know if they seek her for her services or merely for a place to hide from public view. 

Hearing of their presence, the king of Jericho commands Rahab to turn over the two men. Instead, in an act of treason, she hides them and lies to the king, saying they already left, but she doesn’t know where they went.

Rahab knows God favors Israel and will give the city to them. In exchange for protecting the spies, she asks for her family’s safety. As she lists who’s included, she mentions parents and siblings, but no husband or children. 

Joshua confirms that Rahab and her family will be spared when the city is conquered. After the people of Jericho are all killed, Rahab lives with the Israelites.

In the New Testament, Matthew reveals that Rahab is one of Jesus’s direct ancestors and the great-great-grandmother of King David. She’s honored as only one of four women mentioned in Jesus’s family tree.

Further, she’s affirmed as a person of faith, one of only two women included in the Hebrews 11 “hall of fame.” Finally, James confirms Rahab is righteous because of her courageous actions in protecting the two spies.

While our reaction may be to judge Rahab for her profession, God sees her differently, as a righteous woman of faith, and he rewards her accordingly.

How can we avoid judging others and instead see people as God sees them?

[Discover more about Rahab in Joshua 2, Joshua 6, Matthew 1:5, Hebrews 11:31, and James 2:25.]

Learn about other biblical women in Women of the Bible, available in audiobook, e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.

By Peter DeHaan

Peter writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and make a faith that matters. Learn more at