Hebrews – Chapter Eleven LII

by Ed Urzi

While Hebrews 11:30 describes the faith displayed by those who conquered the ancient city of Jericho, there was one group of residents who were spared from death when the walls of that great metropolis went down. The Old Testament book of Joshua provides us with that account…

“Joshua spoke to the two men who had scouted out the land. ‘Go to the prostitute’s house. Bring out the woman from there, along with everyone related to her, exactly as you pledged to her'” (Joshua 6:22 CEB).

Hebrews chapter eleven references that portion of Israel’s history, along with an emphasis on the faith displayed by this prostitute named Rahab…

“By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace” (Hebrews 11:31).

So how did Rahab the harlot find a place among these members of the Hebrews 11 “Faith Hall Of Fame”? To answer that question, we must return to the period when Joshua dispatched a two-man reconnaissance team to explore the city of Jericho along with its surrounding areas. We find that account in Joshua chapter two…

“Joshua chose two men as spies and sent them from their camp at Acacia with these instructions: ‘Go across the river and find out as much as you can about the whole region, especially about the town of Jericho.’ The two spies left the Israelite camp at Acacia and went to Jericho, where they decided to spend the night at the house of a prostitute named Rahab.

But someone found out about them and told the king of Jericho, ‘Some Israelite men came here tonight, and they are spies.’ So the king sent soldiers to Rahab’s house to arrest the spies. Meanwhile, Rahab had taken the men up to the flat roof of her house and had hidden them under some piles of flax plants that she had put there to dry.

The soldiers came to her door and demanded, ‘Let us have the men who are staying at your house. They are spies.’ She answered, ‘Some men did come to my house, but I didn’t know where they had come from. They left about sunset, just before it was time to close the town gate. I don’t know where they were going, but if you hurry, maybe you can catch them” (Joshua 2:1-7 CEV).

We’ll continue our look at this passage and examine Rahab’s justification for this taking this action next.