|ra'-hab (proud; quarrelsome, broad, insolence, pride)
RELATED: Boaz, Jericho, Joshua
Easton's Bible Dictionary
insolence; pride, a poetical name applied to Egypt in
Psalms 87:4 ; 89:10 ; Isaiah 51:9 , as "the proud one."
Rahab, (Hebrew 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 ( Joshua 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 ( Joshua 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 ( Ruth 4:21
; 1 Chronicles 2:11 ; Matthew 1:5 ). "Rahab's being asked to bring out the spies
to the soldiers ( Joshua 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
( Joshua 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 Dictionary of Bible Names
proud; quarrelsome (applied to Egypt)
Smith's Bible Dictionary
a poetical name of Egypt, ( Psalms 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 ( Psalms 87:4 ) In ( Isaiah
30:7 ) the name is alluded to.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
(1) (rachabh, "broad"; in Josephus, Ant, V, i, 2, 7, Rhachab; Hebrews 11:31 and
James 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 (Joshua 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 (Joshua 2:1 - 24). True
to their promise, the Israelites under Joshua spared Rahab and her family (Joshua
6:16 the King James Version); "And," says the author of Joshua, "she dwelleth
in Israel even unto this day." Her story appealed strongly to the imagination
of the people of later times. Hebrews 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 (James 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 Matthew 1:5. Query, whether there was a tradition identifying
(1) and (2); see Lightfoot, Horae Hob on Matthew 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 Psalms 89:10). It is used
in parallelism with tannin, "the dragon" (Isaiah 51:9). It is most familiar as
an emblem of Egypt, `the boaster that sitteth still' (Isaiah 30:7 ; Psalms 87:4
; compare Psalms 89:10). The Talmud in Babha' Bathra' speaks of rahabh as sar
ha-yam, "master of the sea."
See also ASTRONOMY.
bible commentary, bible history, bible reference, bible study, hid two spies in jericho, mother of boaz, rachabh, rahab, sea-monster, spared (rahab and family), spies from shittim