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Bible Dictionaries

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary


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The memorable woman of the city of Jericho, of whose faith the Holy Ghost hath given such honourable testimony, Hebrews 11:31. Her name is derived from Raah, and signifies proud. And if there be aught upon earth to make sinful dust and ashes proud, surely the faith this woman possessed formed the strongest temptation to it; when we consider who she was, what she was; where she lived, and how she acted in the cause of the Lord. Her history is as great and striking, in the illustrious actings of her faith, as any in the records of truth.

She was one of the inhabitants of Canaan, a Gentile, an alien, and by nature an enemy to the commonwealth of Israel, "without hope, and without God in the world." Moreover, she was, as we say, a publican, and an harlot, not only kept an inn, exposed to numberless temptations, but a woman of notoriously known for such a character. She lived also in the accursed city of Jericho, a city devoted to destruction before the Lord, and of peculiar malignity of evil in the Lord's sight. And yet with all those disadvantages, this Rahab, this harlot, was a believer in the Lord God of Israel! Oh, the wonders of distinguishing grace! And what tends yet more to raise our views of the Lord's peculiar manifestation and love to this poor harlot, is the consideration that from the stock of this woman, after the flesh, the Lord appointed the future advent of his dear Son. By her marriage to Salmon; from whom sprang Boaz; and by the marriage of Boaz with Ruth, sprang Obed; and from Obed, Jesse; and from Jesse, David; and from David, after twice fourteen generations after the flesh, sprang Christ. (See Matthew 1:1-17) What subjects of wonder the glorious redemption by the Lord Jesus Christ involves in it! Here, as in a thousand instances beside, we learn that the Lord's ways are not our ways, nor his thoughts as our thoughts! I pray the reader to give a diligent attention to her history, Joshua 2:1-24 throughout.

We meet with the mention of another Rahab, Psalms 87:4. And in Psalms 89:10, Rahab is said to be broken in pieces: by which is meant most probably, Pharaoh and his host. We find, and not unfrequently, names figuratively used to denote the Lord's enemies. Thus the Psalmist elsewhere saith, "Thou brakest the heads of Leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness." (Psalms 74:13-14) Here is an evident allusion to the destruction of Pharaoh; and his host in the Red Sea; and afterwords causing the people, when at any time in their wilderness-state, to meet with difficulties, that the recollection of this mighty deliverance might become food to their faith, to help them through any present trouble.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Rahab'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. London. 1828.

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