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Battle for Jericho

Rahab ( Hebrew רָחָב, rāḥāb ) is the name of the woman in the Old Testament who, according to the report of the capture and destruction of Jericho by the Israelites ( JosEU ), hid and saved two spies sent by Joshua in her house. As a result, after JosEU, she and her family were able to survive the massacre of all other residents and the complete destruction of the city.


According to Mt 1.5  EU , Rahab was the wife of Salma or Salmon and mother of the Boas . The other genealogies and tribal lists do not mention Rahab's name (cf. Ruth 4.21  EU ; 1 Chr 2.11  EU ; Lk 3.32  EU ).

In the book of Joshua (2.1 EU ; 6.17.25 EU ) and in the New Testament ( Heb 11.31  EU ; Jak 2.25  EU ) Rahab is referred to as a whore . In the corresponding report of the capture of Jericho by the Jewish historian Flavius ​​Josephus , this name is not used for Rahab. According to Josephus, Rahab was a landlady and housed the two spies in her inn ( Ant. 5,7f). The tradition that Rahab was a landlady is also followed by the Targum Jonathan (to Jos 2,1).


The origin of the name Rahab is not clear. It has been suggested that the name was an eponym of the Kenites or with other non-Israelite tribal or clan names of the formבֵית רָחָב( bēt rāḥāb , "dirnenhaus") or (Martin Noth) with the place name Bet-Rehob (בֵית־רְחֹב, "House on the public square", see: Ri 18.28  EU , 2 Sam 10.6  EU u. a.) are related. In the Talmud , the name Rahab is explained through a derivation with the Hebrew verbal root rḥb , “to spread, to open up wide”. An interpretation of the name from the Hebrew verbal root rḥb has also been suggested by more recent interpreters. On these hypotheses about the origin of the name Rahab, isolated further interpretations are based, which want to see a nickname alluding to the profession of prostitute. The name is primarily understood as a real feminine personal name, which was not brought about after a subsequent interpretation or etiology , and the tradition associated with it is considered to be of great age.

Other forms

The name Rahab is also found as a rendering of the Hebrew רַהַב( rahab ; Jewish-Aramaic:רַהֲבָא, rah a , "impetuously, raging") in the translations of Isa 51,9  EU , Ps 89,11  EU , Hi 9,13  EU and 26,12 EU , where this is understood as the name of a mythical monster, and in Isa 30,7  EU and Ps 87,4  EU as symbolic names for Egypt. Another occurrence of this word can be found in Ps 40 :ELB , where it says “urgeon, enemy” and the like. Ä. Is translated. This name comes from the Hebrew rootרהב( rhb , "to storm, to add, to press"), which has equivalents in many other Semitic languages.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. English version by W. Winston for the Perseus project: Ant. 5,1-119 .
  2. See Rahab. in: Jewish Encyclopedia. 1901-1906. (on-line)
  3. See Rahab. in: Encyclopaedia Biblica. 1899-1903. (on-line).
  4. HAL , 1130f. Quoted there: Martin Noth : Das Buch Josua (= Handbook for the Old Testament. Vol. I / 7). 1953.
  5. Rabbi Eliezer ben Jacob said: “Why was your name called Rahab? Because she was made greater (rehubah) in / by her merit / privilege. Through her repentance she became great, and from her came seven kings and eight prophets ”(Seder Eliahu Zuta, ms Vat, 22).
  6. ^ So M. Görg, New Real Bible 26, 1991 and a. (quoted in: JP Floß, Rahab (PN) ).
  7. As an example of this interpretation, see the article Rahab (PN) by JP Floß in the Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament and Hans M. Barstad: Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok , 54, 1989, pp. 43–49.
  8. See JP Floß: Rahab (PN) , p. 276.
  9. See: HAL , 1113.
  10. See: HAL , 1112f.