Saturday, December 6, 2014


Rahab- Michael Dudosh
We continue our journey through Advent with the five women mentioned in Jesus' genealogy. We can ponder why some of the more "famous" gallant women, such as Esther, Deborah and Judith are not mentioned in that direct lineage to Christ, but God has His ways, as we shall see. "The genealogy with its light and dark figures, its successes and failures, shows us that God can write straight even on the crooked lines of our history." (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI)

The next woman mentioned is RAHAB, (better known by her occupation: Rahab the Harlot) the wife of Salmon, who was a Gentile living in Jericho. Her story is found in Joshua 2 and 6. She  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, and is lauded as an example of living by faith, while being justified by her works.

She gave hospitality to the Jewish spies who came to Jericho and hid them from the king of Jericho when he wanted to kill them. Her confession of faith is one of the great ones in the Old Testament: "the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below."

According to the book of Joshua , when the Hebrews were encamped at Shittim, in the  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. 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.
Rahab & the Spies- F.R. Pickersgill

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.
When the city of Jericho fell , Rahab and her whole family were spared according to the promise of the spies, and were incorporated among the Jewish people

Rahab turns her life around, joins Israel and has a son by an Israelite man. That son grows up and becomes very important  to the family of Jesus.

What a transformation must have taken place in her life for her to be listed in this lineage. Since Salmon was considered noble among the children of Israel and was of the tribe of Judah and the son of the prince, he saw the faithful Rahab thus converted to goodness and beloved by God and led from Jericho at God's command and counted among the daughters of Israel. Her story certainly affirmed the power of God to transform a life from both ignorance of God and a sinful lifestyle to a woman who was beloved by God and praised for her goodness.

Rahab- Catherine Mcintyre
Rahab is seen as a model of hospitality, mercy, faith, patience, and repentance in her interaction with Joshua's spies. Thus the harlot of Jericho became a paragon of virtue.

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