Rahab Lied, Joshua 2

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Hard Verses Episode 8: Rahab Lied (Joshua 3, Hebrews 11:31, James 2:25).

Wanted to thank Derek Crump for the suggestion for this episode.


The Problem.

Let me take you back.  The children are about to go into the Promised Land in the book of Joshua.  This time they will make it.  The spies went into Jericho and this woman, Rahab the harlot, lied and hid the spies to have them escape.  She is heralded as a woman of faith and acclaim by God’s inspired word (Heb. 11:31, James 2:25).  This means that God is tolerant of lying as long as it is for a greater good.  This is called “situational ethics.”  Could this be the case?  I thought that all liars have their place in the lake of fire (Rev. 21:8).  This sounds like a problem.

The Solution.

What exactly does it say?

Jos_2:1  And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot’s house, named Rahab, and lodged there.

Jos 2:2  And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men in hither to night of the children of Israel to search out the country.

Jos_2:3  And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house: for they be come to search out all the country.

Jos 2:4  And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were:

Jos 2:5  And it came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out: whither the men went I wot not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them.

Jos 2:6  But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof.

Jos 2:7  And the men pursued after them the way to Jordan unto the fords: and as soon as they which pursued after them were gone out, they shut the gate.

Jos 2:8  And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof;

Jos 2:9  And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.

Jos 2:10  For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.

Jos 2:11  And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.

Jos 2:12  Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father’s house, and give me a true token:

Jos 2:13  And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.

Jos 2:14  And the men answered her, Our life for yours, if ye utter not this our business. And it shall be, when the LORD hath given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee.

Jos 2:15  Then she let them down by a cord through the window: for her house was upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall.

Jos 2:16  And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterward may ye go your way.

Jos 2:17  And the men said unto her, We will be blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear.

Jos_6:17  And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.

Jos_6:23  And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel.

Jos_6:25  And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father’s household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

  • What all did she do that was so notable?
    • She hid the spies (against the king’s orders).
    • She bold-faced lied about their whereabouts and fabricated a story.
    • She proclaimed her belief in their Lord (He is God in heaven above and in earth beneath, Joshua 2:11).
    • She helped the spies out of the city.
    • She made them promise to remember her and her family when they came back.

Heb_11:31  By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

  • Her faith saved her.
  • When she received the spies.


Jas_2:25  Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

  • She was justified by works.
  • When she received the spies and helped them escape.

What is missing is a commendation for lying.

Lying is a direct violation of God’s law, Old and New Testament (Ex. 20:16Lev. 19:11; Prov. 6:6-19, Eph. 4:25, Col. 3:9).[1]

The spies never asked her to lie.  The spies probably did not even know that she had lied.[2]

Consider her position in life as well.  Wayne Jackson states the following”

The case of Rahab is an example of where God honored a person due to their obedient faith in spite of a personal character flaw. Consider the following facts about this incident. Rahab was from a pagan environment. Her concept of morality and her personal lifestyle (she was a harlot) needed considerable refining. In spite of this sordid background, she had developed a genuine faith in Jehovah (Josh. 2:9ff.). She referred to Him as “God in heaven above, and on earth beneath….” Accordingly, when the spies approached her, she was not “disobedient” as were the others of Jericho, who perished in the destruction of the city, for she, through faith in God and His promises, received the spies in peace (Heb. 11:31), hid them, and sent them out another way (Jas. 2:25) [1986, 22:23].[3]

It is apparent that Rahab did not continue to lie nor was she continuing her profession.

What ever happened to Rahab?

Mat 1:4  And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon;

Mat 1:5  And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;

Mat 1:6  And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;


Rth 4:18  Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron,

Rth 4:19  And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab,

Rth 4:20  And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon,

Rth 4:21  And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed,

Rth 4:22  And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.

The lesson for us today.

If we are looking in the Bible to find ways to sin, we need to stop.

We can never be wrong by respecting the living God.

We may not know everything the Bible says to do, but what we do know we need to do to the best of our ability.

Tools I Used

E-sword module “Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge” or TSK (it is free for download).

Article used below (“Does the Story of Rahab Mean that God Condones Lying?” by Bert Thompson,Ph.D.:



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[1] List of scriptures taken from Apologetics Press, “Does the Story of Rahab Mean that God Condones Lying?” by Bert Thompson, Ph.D.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

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