Lesson 11 | Sabbath, 12 September 2020
Rahab means “spacious, extensive, and vain.”
“By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.” Hebrews 11:31.
“A few miles beyond the [Jordan] river, just opposite the place where the Israelites were encamped, was the large and strongly fortified city of Jericho. This city was virtually the key to the whole country, and it would present a formidable obstacle to the success of Israel. Joshua therefore sent two young men as spies to visit this city and ascertain something as to its population, its resources, and the strength of its fortifications. The inhabitants of the city, terrified and suspicious, were constantly on the alert, and the messengers were in great danger. They were, however, preserved by Rahab, a woman of Jericho, at the peril of her own life. In return for her kindness they gave her a promise of protection when the city should be taken.” –Daughters of God, p. 35.
The stories of two harlots–Rahab and Babylon
- Where does Rahab appear prominently in the New Testament? What was her past lifestyle?
Matthew 1:1, 5 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham…. 5And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse.
Hebrews 11:31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
James 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?
“In wicked Jericho the testimony of a heathen woman was, ‘The Lord your God, He is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.’ Joshua 2:11. The knowledge of Jehovah that had thus come to her, proved her salvation. By faith ‘Rahab perished not with them that believed not.’ Hebrews 11:31. And her conversion was not an isolated case of God’s mercy toward idolaters who acknowledged His divine authority. In the midst of the land a numerous people, the Gibeonites renounced their heathenism and united with Israel, sharing in the blessings of the covenant.” –Prophets and Kings, p. 369.
- Where did Rahab live? What did she declare concerning her belief?
Joshua 2:1, 10, 11 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…. 2:10For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when you came out of Egypt; and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. 11And 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.
“Jericho was a city devoted to the most extravagant idolatry. The inhabitants were very wealthy. All the riches that God had given them they accredited to the gifts of their gods. Gold and silver were in abundance. Like the people before the Flood, they were corrupt and blasphemous. They insulted and provoked the God of heaven by their wicked works. God’s judgments awakened against Jericho. It was a stronghold. But the Captain of the Lord’s host came Himself from heaven to lead the armies of heaven in the attack upon the city. Angels of God laid hold of the massive walls and brought them to the ground. God had said that the city of Jericho should be accursed, and that all should perish except Rahab and her household. They should be saved because of the favor that Rahab showed the messengers of the Lord.” –Daughters of God, p. 36.
“The utter destruction of the people of Jericho was but a fulfillment of the commands previously given through Moses concerning the inhabitants of Canaan:
‘Thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them.’ Deuteronomy 7:2. ‘Of the cities of these people,… thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth.’ Deuteronomy 20:16. To many these commands seem to be contrary to the spirit of love and mercy enjoined in other portions of the Bible, but they were in truth the dictates of infinite wisdom and goodness…. The Canaanites had abandoned themselves to the foulest and most debasing heathenism, and it was necessary that the land should be cleared of what would so surely prevent the fulfillment of God’s gracious purposes.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 492.
- For whom did Rahab risk her own life? What is symbolized by the linen under which she hid the two messengers?
Joshua 2:4, first part, 6 And the woman took the two men, and hid them,… 6But 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 on the roof.
Revelation 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
“By the wedding garment in the parable is represented the pure, spotless character which Christ’s true followers will possess. To the church it is given ‘that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white,’ ‘not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.’ Revelation 19:8; Ephesians 5:27. The fine linen, says the Scripture,
‘is the righteousness of saints.’ Revelation 19:8. It is the righteousness of Christ, His own unblemished character, that through faith is imparted to all who receive Him as their personal Saviour.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 310.
- Compare the fall of Jericho with that of the spiritual fall that will occur at the time of the end. What is the command of heaven to those who live in the corrupt city?
Revelation 14:8; 18:2, 4 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication…. 18:2And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird…. 4And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
2 Corinthians 6:17, 18 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. 18And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
“All the inhabitants of the city [Jericho], with every living thing that it contained, ‘both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass,’ were put to the sword. Only faithful Rahab, with her household, was spared, in fulfillment of the promise of the spies. The city itself was burned.” –Daughters of God, p. 36.
“The term ‘Babylon’ is derived from ‘Babel,’ and signifies confusion. It is employed in Scripture to designate the various forms of false or apostate religion. In Revelation 17 Babylon is represented as a woman–a figure which is used in the Bible as the symbol of a church, a virtuous woman representing a pure church, a vile woman an apostate church.” –The Great Controversy, p. 381.
Symbolisms of Christ
- What did Rahab need to do to save her life and the lives of her loved ones? What did the scarlet cord in her window symbolize?
Joshua 2:17-21 And the men said unto her, We will be blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear. 18Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father’s household, home unto thee. 19And it shall be, that whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood shall be on his head, and we will be guiltless: and whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood shall be on our head, if any hand be upon him. 20And if thou utter this our business, then we will be quit of thine oath which thou hast made us to swear. 21And she said, According unto your words, so be it. And she sent them away, and they departed: and she bound the scarlet line in the window.
Isaiah 63:1-3 Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. 2Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? 3I have trodden the wine press alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled on my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.
Revelation 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
“I noticed red as a border on their garments; their crowns were brilliant; their robes were pure white. As we greeted them, I asked Jesus who they were. He said they were martyrs that had been slain for Him.” –Early Writings, p. 18.
- What plan did Rahab devise to save the two messengers? Who carried out a similar escape plan centuries later in Damascus?
Joshua 2:15; 6:25 Then she let them down by a cord through the window: for her house was on the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall. 6:25And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father’s household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even to this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
Acts 9:23-25 And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him: 24But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him. 25Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket.
“Paul now returned to Damascus and preached boldly in the name of Jesus. The Jews could not withstand the wisdom of his arguments, and they therefore counseled together to silence his voice by force, the only argument left to a sinking cause. They decided to assassinate him. The apostle was made acquainted with their purpose. The gates of the city were vigilantly guarded, day and night, to cut off his escape. The anxiety of the disciples drew them to God in prayer; there was little sleeping among them, as they were busy in devising ways and means for the escape of the chosen apostle. Finally they conceived a plan by which he was let down from a window and lowered over the wall in a basket at night. In this humiliating manner Paul made his escape from Damascus.” –The Story of Redemption, p. 276.
- Whom did Rahab symbolize when she interceded for her family and protected the Hebrew spies? What great mission has God given to His people today, similar to that of Rahab?
Hebrews 7:24, 25 But this man, because he continueth ever, has an unchangeable priesthood. 25Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
Joshua 6:23, 25 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…. 25And 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.
Mark 5:19 Howbeit, Jesus suffered him not, but said unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for you, and hath had compassion on thee.
“Parents, give your children, line upon line, precept upon precept, the instruction contained in God’s Holy Word. This is the work you pledged yourself to do when you were baptized. Let nothing of a worldly character keep you from doing this work. Do all in your power to save the souls of your children, whether they are bone of your bone and flesh of your flesh, or whether they have been received into your family by adoption.” –Child Guidance, p. 510.
“Let every man be wide awake for himself, and try to save his family. Let him gird himself for the work. God will reveal from point to point what to do next.” –Country Living, p. 6.