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Dictionaries :: Rahab

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Easton's Bible Dictionary

Rahab:

insolence; pride, a poetical name applied to Egypt in Psa 87:4; 89:10; Isa 51:9, as "the proud one."

Rahab, (Heb. Rahab; i.e., "broad," "large"). 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 "spy the land." After five days they returned, having swum across the river, which at this season, the month Abib, overflowed its banks from the melting of the snow on Lebanon. The spies reported how it had fared with them (Jos 2:1-7). They had been exposed to danger in Jericho, and had been saved by the fidelity of Rahab the harlot, to whose house they had gone for protection. When the city of Jericho fell (6:17-25), Rahab and her whole family were preserved according to the promise of the spies, and were incorporated among the Jewish people. She afterwards became the wife of Salmon, a prince of the tribe of Judah (Rth 4:21; 1Ch 2:11; Mat 1:5). "Rahab's being asked to bring out the spies to the soldiers (Jos 2:3) sent for them, is in strict keeping with Eastern manners, which would not permit any man to enter a woman's house without her permission. The fact of her covering the spies with bundles of flax which lay on her house-roof (2:6) is an 'undesigned coincidence' which strictly corroborates the narrative. 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" (Geikie's Hours, etc., ii., 390).

Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary

Rahab:

proud; quarrelsome (applied to Egypt)

Rahab:

large; extended (name of a woman)

International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia

Rahab:

ra'-hab:

(1) (rachabh, "broad"; in Josephus, Ant, V, i, 2, 7, Rhachab; Heb 11:31 and Jas 2:25, Rhaab): A zonah, that is either a "harlot," or, according to some, an "innkeeper" in Jericho; the Septuagint porne, "harlot"). The two spies sent by Joshua from Shittim came into her house and lodged there (Jos 2:1). She refused to betray them to the king of Jericho, and when he demanded them, she hid them on the roof of her house with stalks of flax that she had laid in order to dry. She pretended that they had escaped before the shutting of the gate, and threw their pursuers off their track. She then told the spies of the fear that the coming of the Israelites had caused in the minds of the Canaanites-"Our hearts did melt.... for Yahweh your God, he is God in heaven above, and on earth beneath"-and asked that the men promise to spare her father, mother, brothers and sisters, and all that they had. They promised her to spare them provided they would remain in her house and provided she would keep their business secret. Thereupon she let them down by a cord through the window, her house being built upon the town wall, and gave them directions to make good their escape (Jos 2:1-24). True to their promise, the Israelites under Joshua spared Rahab and her family (Jos 6:16 the King James Version); "And," says the author of Josh, "she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day." Her story appealed strongly to the imagination of the people of later times. Heb 11:31 speaks of her as having been saved by faith; James, on the other hand, in demonstrating that a man is justified by works and not by faith only, curiously chooses the same example (Jas 2:25). Jewish tradition has been kindly disposed toward Rahab; one hypothesis goes so far as to make her the wife of Joshua himself (Jew Encyclopedia, under the word). Naturally then the other translation of zonah, deriving it from zun, "to feed," instead of zanah, "to be a harlot," has been preferred by some of the commentators.

(2) (@Rhachab): Josephus, Ant, V, 1, 2, 7, so spells the name of (1) Septuagint and New Testament contra). The wife of Salmon and mother of Booz (Boaz) according to the genealogy in Mt 1:5. Query, whether there was a tradition identifying (1) and (2); see Lightfoot, Horae Hob on Mt 1:5.

(3) (rahabh, literally, "storm," "arrogance"): A mythical sea-monster, probably referred to in several passages where the word is translated as a common noun "pride" (Job 9:13), "the proud" (Job 26:12; compare Ps 89:10). It is used in parallelism with tannin, "the dragon" (Isa 51:9). It is most familiar as an emblem of Egypt, ?the boaster that sitteth still' (Isa 30:7; Ps 87:4; compare Ps 89:10). The Talmud in Babha' Bathra' speaks of rahabh as sar ha-yam, "master of the sea."



Written by Nathan Isaacs

See ASTRONOMY

Smith's Bible Dictionary

Rahab:

a poetical name of Egypt (Psalm 89:10; Isaiah 51:9) signifying "fierceness, insolence, pride." Rahab, as a name of Egypt, occurs once only without reference to the exodus: this is in Psalm 87:4. In Isaiah 30:7 the name is alluded to.

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The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.