The Berean Expositor
Volume 19 - Page 54 of 154
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The faith of Rahab.
We saw in an earlier analysis that the seventh in the double list of witnesses in each
instance is a woman. Sarah's faith is positive. Rahab's faith is rather negative: "Rahab
perished not with them that believed not" (Heb. 11: 31).
A great deal of unprofitable discussion has taken place over Rahab. Some contend
that the Hebrew word zanah may mean just an innkeeper.  Schleusner, with many
commentators, would derive zanah from zun, "be fed", but the laws of language will not
permit this derivation. There is no necessity to soften down the language of Scripture.
The grace that can save Saul the Pharisee, Matthew the publican, and the like, can save
Rahab the harlot.
"His mercy is free,
'Twas given to Mary, Manasseh and Me."
Another difficulty that some have is the fact that Rahab told lies in defending the
spies. Of this the N.T. record takes no notice. It neither minimizes her condition as a
harlot, or enters into any justification of her words and deeds. What it does fix upon is
that, sinful, erring, ignorant and immoral as she was, she believed God and His Word.
"I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us
. . . . . we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you . . . . . the
Lord your God He is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath" (Josh. 2: 9-11).
The more complete consideration of the witness of Rahab must be deferred until
Joshua is under review. We can well leave Rahab's morals to grow and expand under the
illumination of the law of God. Harlot though she was, and untruthful as she was, she
believed God, which is the beginning of all morals and all truth. There is one thing to be
said of Rahab's false statements concerning the spies. She did not bear false witness
against them. She did not save herself from the charge of lying at the expense of the life
of the spies who had put themselves into her hands.
Josh. 2: and Heb. 11: 31 are not written to justify Rahab's morals, but to bear witness
to Rahab's faith. She is included to emphasize the many-sidedness of faith, the way in
which it is exhibited by those who differ widely in other ways. Sarah and Rahab are in
many points at extremes. Moses and Jacob have few points in common, yet each is
bound to each by the common bond of faith.
The sevenfold witness.
We believe it will be of service at the close of this study to repeat the structure already
given in Volume XVII, page 14, and the diagram of page 12 of the same Volume.