- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Bible Questions and Answers - other
- Published on Wednesday, 16 February 2011 21:58
Is Rahab of Jericho the same person as is mentioned in “Ruth” and Matthew 1:5?
Comparing the dates, this would seem impossible.
We certainly believe in their identity. Only one person of the name is known in the Old Testament (the “Rahab” of Psalm 87:4, etc., being a poetical designation for Egypt); and Matthew mentions a person of that name, living at the same epoch, as the well-known woman, without further description, as though everyone would know who was meant. This seems to point clearly to Rahab of Jericho. In the book of Ruth only three generations are given—Boaz, Obed and Jesse—between Salmon, the prince of Judah, who married Rahab, and David. The story of Ruth does not come chronologically after “Judges,” but as v. i of chap. i. tells us, is embedded in its history—”in the days when the judges ruled.” Salmon may have married Rahab many years after the taking of Jericho. The 450 years of the judges begin at the partition of the land and go on to Saul (Acts 13:20). Possibly Boaz was the son of the old age of Salmon and we know he was himself elderly when he married Ruth. There are still serious difficulties, but no doubt if we knew all, all would be plain. Perhaps the desire to find a second Rahab is due to a feeling as to her antecedents. The other women mentioned along with her in our Lord’s genealogy had all some disability. At least Rahab and Ruth were trophies of divine grace; and what are we to say of the wicked men in the genealogy, Rehoboam, Ahaz, Joram, Jehoiakim, etc.? Indeed, of the best of the links in the chain we must say, “All these once were sinners defiled in His sight.” Not one was worthy to be an ancestor of our Lord. But our Lord, though truly man by virgin birth, was completely detached from any inherited taint of the sin of Adam, by the fact of His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit. He was “that Holy Thing” from His mother’s womb. He knew no sin, neither was sin in Him. Let go that, and Christianity must go at once, as far as we are concerned.