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The relatively few verses devoted to Rahab in the HB stimulated an amazingly rich exegetical tradition in both Judaism and Christianity. She was widely depicted as a proselyte or convert to the monotheistic faith of Israel. In Judaism, she could then be portrayed as one of the most pious converts—a worthy wife of Joshua and the ancestor of prophets.
A parallel, but distinctly Christian development, is found in Matt 1:5 where a Rahab is identified as the wife of Salmon and the mother of Boaz. This accords to Rahab a prominent position in the genealogy of “Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” Inasmuch as Matthew does not specifically link “his” Rahab with the harlot of the book of Joshua, and while the Greek text of Matthew preserves a distinctive spelling of the proper name (rachab, raab elsewhere), it is possible that this is another Rahab. However, the appearance and identity of three other women from the HB (Tamar, Ruth, and the wife of Uriah [i.e., Bath-sheba]) in the genealogy of Jesus make it virtually certain that we are dealing with only one Rahab in both Testaments. This is clearly the case in the other two NT references to “Rahab the harlot”: Heb 11:31, and Jas 2:24-25.
QUESTION: The role Rahab plays in Jewish and Christian exegetical traditions (many other examples could be cited) is larger than that attributed to her in the HB itself. Why in your opinion did Rahab spur such rich tradition both in Jewish and Christian literature?
2 RESPONSES DIRECTIONS:
AGREEMENT OR DISAGREEMENTS RESPONSES TO OTHERS WILL NOT BE COUNTED:
You should contribute to the discussion of each unit by posting your own thread. In addition
you should respond to at least 2-3 postings of class members. You should try to build on previous
responses in an analytical and critical way whenever relevant. It is the responsibility of each student
to read all the postings on the DB. Some important teaching moments occur only on the DB not to be
repeated in any other module of the class.
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