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Icons of the Bible: Rahab - Prostitute to Saint

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

Icons of the Bible: Rahab - Prostitute to Saint
Icons of the Bible: Rahab - Prostitute to Saint

Images from Icons of the Bible James Lewis

The Icons of The Bible Series will go through all the people of the Bible in chronological order. I will attempt to provide you focused article and videos that will help you become more familiar with those whom God chose to tell us about in His Holy Scripture. - Andy

Icons of the Bible: Rahab - Prostitute to Saint

Rahab was a resident of Jericho, who sheltered two spies whom Joshua had sent to scout out the city. She was rewarded for her kindness and ultimately married Joshua, taking her place in the ranks of righteous converts.

Who Was Rahab?

It was a month after Moses’ death, and the Jews prepared themselves for the invasion of Canaan. True, it was the “Promised Land,” which G‑d Himself had promised to the children of Israel as “an everlasting inheritance.” They believed this, but not so the inhabitants of Canaan, and so the Israelites knew they would have to fight for it.

Joshua, the 82-year-old leader of the Israelites, had all the fine qualities required for his heavy task. But he remembered how great was his predecessor, Moses, who had failed once in his task, and had forfeited his right to lead the Jews into the Promised Land.

Joshua now sent an ultimatum to the inhabitants, giving them a choice of the following three things: 1) to leave the land, 2) to surrender and declare peace, or 3) to stand up and fight.

Rahab Meets the Spies.." from the article: Rahab

Many of us like Rahab are the worst of sinners. We have rebelled against God and have lived or are living in sin. Yet when Christ said go and sin no more he was not only referring to Rahab and others but to all of us.

You may also go and sin no more. How? By first being real and honest with God and telling with what your sins are nd then ask for his strength to repent. You will never do it by your own will power. So today stop, reflect, pray and confess, then begin a daily habit of talking with your Lord. Change your behavior. God has much planned for you. Seek the help of a friend or counselor if needed. never give up! - Andy

Redefining the Story of Rahab - Jen Wilkin

"Most people know the story of Rahab and know the fact that she was a prostitute. But has history mistaken how we view her story? In this video from Abundance conference, Jen Wilkin seeks to redefine the story of Rahab and view her in a different light than the commentators who have come before her. Jen Wilkin is an author, speaker, and Bible teacher.' from video introduction.

Redefining Rahab

"A pertinent part of the 2018 talk is transcribed for you here. Wilkin said much the same things in her 2014 podbay lesson and the June 2018 Lifeway talk. One difference is that in the 2014 talk Wilkin said the names of the commenters with whom she disagreed. But in both talks Wilkin twisted the exposition to meet her own agenda, which was to elevate and redefine Rahab's reputation away from the biblical characterization, downplay her prostitution as a sin, add a mythical backstory, and tarnish the men who dared to speak of her in a way Wilkin didn't like.

Jen opens her lesson this way-

Quote: Rahab has been handed down to us thru the centuries characterized with 2 words- she is liar and a whore. That is the way she has come to us through the centuries. Even to today I was hard pressed to find commentaries that did not view her in that light. Listen to some of the things I read as I prepared to teach. (from 2014 podbay lesson).
Quote: How has [Rahab] come down to us through history? She's a woman and a Canaanite and a prostitute. She would have been a social outcast even among her own people. Here's the way she is often referred to in commentaries. I'm not going to name the names of the commentators. ... You know why she was a prostitute? Because she wanted to be one.(from 2018 Lifeway lesson)

Wilkin refers to Rahab several time as a 'whore':

History has judged Rahab as a liar and a whore. Is that how we should read her?

In the 30 or so Bible translations I looked at, the word prostitute or harlot was used almost equally. Not one used the word whore. Only Jen Wilkin called Rahab a whore. That was Wilkin's choice, and of course, we know that it is a worse word, an inflammatory word.

The reason Rahab has 'come down to us in history' as a prostitute is because God in His wisdom inspired the writer to write it that way. It is a fact. She was a prostitute. That was her profession. Lydia was a dyer of purple, Moses was a shepherd. Rahab was a prostitute. It's a plain fact, but Wilkin spends a good deal of time in her lesson on this topic, as we will see.

Quote: Here's the way that she's often referred to in commentaries. I'm not going to name the names of the commentators, but can I just be honest with you? Male commentators can be super hard on female Bible characters. Abraham can take his wife over to Pharaoh's house and leave her there for several weeks twice basically. Abimelech and Pharaoh. And we're like, "But you know what? It's cool." And then the women, it's like, "Mmm. No. You know why she's a prostitute? Because she wanted to be one."

It is a massive generalization to claim that 'male commentators' are 'super hard' on female characters. Her gender bias is showing here. In addition, Wilkin is claiming that the male commentators are biased in how they write their commentaries, that they see male vs. female and write about the females in a less than honest way. It may or may not be so. If one finds bias in a commentary then a teacher should just move on and not disdain their work by publicly mocking it, which was the tone of Wilkin's voice as she made the statements. So far she hasn't taught the text yet.." from the article: Redefining Rahab

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