Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):

Was Rahab the Harlot in the Messiah's Bloodline?

The modern, so-called Christian religionists unequivocally REJECT the blood-heir Yeshua the Messiah in favor of a bastard Messiah -- a usurper -- little different from the Idumean Herods who usurped the throne in the first century. The "Rahab" in Matthew 1:5 is NOT the same as the "Rahab" in Hebrews 11:31 and James 2:25!

by HOIM Staff

We read in Matthew 1:5 that "Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab..." Who, then, was this female ancestor of the Messiah who is stated to have married Salmon the son of Naashon, a prince of the Royal line of Judah -- sometime either before or after the Israelites occupied the Promised Land?

Every Bible translator and commentator, without exception, associates her with -- or directly identifies her as -- "Rahab the harlot" who was saved alive from the massacre at Jericho. As a result of this understanding several attempts have been made to,

(a) identify Rahab as an Israelite descendant of Serah, the daughter of Ephraim, who went to Canaan about two centuries or so before the Exodus (1 Chronicles 7:24) and built the strongholds of Beth-horon and Uzzen-sherah some 25 miles west of Jericho.

(b) clear her name of the term "harlot" by describing her as a "widow" or an "innkeeper" -- or as a "trader in flax."

These attempts, however, fall short because the term "harlot" is not only employed by Joshua in the Old Testament, but also by Paul and James in the New Testament 1,500 years later! One would think that there had been ample opportunity since Joshua's day to clear her name from that obnoxious designation had there been no justification for it. Moreover, Joshua himself was a ninth generation descendant of Ephraim (1 Chronicles 7:24-27) and would have been related to Rahab if she was, in truth, a descendant of Ephraim's daughter Sherah.

If this were the case, not only would Joshua have given his two spies careful instructions for rescuing Rahab on the grounds of consanguinity, but he also would have cleared her name of any undeserved accusations of being a harlot had they not been true.

Joshua 6:25 states that Rahab was given land in the midst of Israel in return for risking her own life by hiding the two spies that were sent to Jericho. Flavius Josephus, in his Antiquities of the Jews (Book 5, chapter 1, sections 2 and 7), records the same story but neither he nor Joshua make any mention of a marriage taking place between this Rahab and Salmon. This deafening silence is, in itself, the strongest proof that no such marriage ever took place.

The Age Problem

Let us go a step further and assume for a moment that Salmon did indeed marry Rahab the harlot within a year or so of the fall of Jericho -- and that Boaz was born a year or so after that. If such were the case, then Boaz would have been about 115 years old when he married Ruth! On the other hand, if we assume that Rahab was about 30 years of age when Jericho fell (and that Salmon did not marry her until 30 years or more later) then not only would Rahab have been at least 60 years of age and no longer able to bear children, but Boaz -- even if born 30 years after the fall of Jericho -- would still have been 85 years of age when he married Ruth.

As a result, all the evidence indicates that Salmon did not, in fact, marry Rahab the Canaanite harlot. If you research this matter in the Bible, you will find that the Bible clearly states, in plain writing, that Salmon married a different woman altogether -- a woman with a different name and without any distinguishing appellation (obnoxious or otherwise) attached to her name. It is the religious translators and commentators -- through error or agenda -- who have made the mistake in translation and identified Salmon's wife as the harlot of Jericho.

Different Names

There are two completely different names Rahab in the Old Testament that are both usually transliterated into the same name Rahab. We'll call them Rahab I (רחב) and Rahab II (רהב):

The name Rahab I in the Bible (רחב):

The famous Rahab is really Rachab (with a ch as in Bach or Loch). This Rahab is a harlot in Jericho. When Joshua sends two unnamed spies to Jericho to check out the town, their area of reconnaissance is confined mostly to the house of Rahab, who, we shall assume, also ran a youth hostel. When the townsfolk of Jericho pursue the men, Rahab hides them safely under flax on the roof. When Israel destroys the walls of Jericho, Rahab's house, now marked with a scarlet cord, remains intact and Rahab and her household are incorporated into Israel.

This Rahab is referred to in the New Testament by Paul (Hebrews 11:31) and by James (2:25), and both call her Ρααβ, which shows that the Hebrew ch-sound became a guttural stop sound in Greek: Ra'ab. This Greek version of Rahab is also the one employed by the Septuagint's version of the book of Joshua. The Vulgate reads the Latinized Raab.

The name Rahab II in the Bible (רהב):

But the Rahab who Matthew famously mentions in the genealogy of the Messiah, as the mother of Boaz of Bethlehem (Matthew 1:5) is spelled Ραχαβ: Rachab. Most commentators will report that the Rahab in the Messiah's family line is the converted Rahab the harlot of Jericho, but that is not true because Matthew uses the other version of the name Rahab (what we call Rahab II: רהב). In English these names sound the same but in Hebrew and Greek they're as different as Johnny and Ronnie.

And if Rahab the harlot of Jericho had married someone important, such as Salmon, the great-grandfather of king David (Ruth 4:20), we would have surely heard about it at some point in the fifteen hundred years or so between Rahab of Jericho and Matthew. In Hebrews 11:31 Paul says that Rahab's faith kept her from perishing along with the rest of the disobedient townsfolk. If her survival would have given her the opportunity to become the ancestor of Yeshua the Messiah, Paul would have likely made a note of that too. It seems that Matthew isn't talking about Rahab of Jericho but of an other, unknown Rahab.

Precise Identification

It has been shown time and time again that YEHOVAH God never uses two different words, or two different names in the same verse or context to refer to the same thing or person. The different words or names are always put there to draw our attention to the fact that He is referring to different things or persons. With this in mind Matthew 1:5, Hebrews 11:31 and James 2:25 obviously cannot be classified as being "in the same context." Therefore, more positive and definitive methods must be used in these passages to identify the person mentioned precisely and exactly -- and to distinguish between one person and another. Thus, in Hebrews 11:31 and James 2:25, the reader is told explicitly that these passages refer to Ra'ab the harlot of Jericho by,

(a) stating her name.

(b) repeating her designation as a harlot.

(c) mentioning the action which she took to help the two spies.

These are all positive marks of identification.

On the other hand, however, in Matthew 1:5 Rachab the wife of Salmon is clearly distinguished from ANY identification or association in any way with the harlot of Jericho, as follows:

(1) By the different spelling of her name in the "original" Greek,

(2) by the different pronunciation of her name,

(3) by the absence of any offensive designation attached to her name and,

(4) by the absence of any reference to Jericho or any activity that took place there.

Nor is the absence of any such additional information about Rachab designed to "cover up" possible unfavorable personal references to individual members of Israel's Royal Line and of the human ancestors of the Messiah in this genealogy. Anyone with any knowledge of the Bible knows that it does not shrink from stating unsavory "incidents" in the lives of Israel's famous people. This is ably demonstrated in the very next verse (Matthew 1:6) by the cutting reference to Bathsheba -- not by recording her name, but by bringing her name to mind only through her degrading act of adultery with King David. Again, there is the story of Judah's seduction by Tamar as related in Genesis 38:11-30.

This shows that the "Rahab" of Matthew 1:5 is definitely NOT the same person as the "Rahab" of Joshua 2 and 6, Hebrews 11:31 and James 2:25. Rahab the harlot of Jericho was NOT the person who married Salmon and was NOT the great-great-grandmother of David and was NOT in the line of the Messiah.

The Bastard Factor

Besides specifying Canaanites in particular as ineligible ancestors for the Messiah -- thereby linking any Canaanite ancestry in Rahab the harlot to a complete nullification of the Messiah's kingly claims -- we find that Ezra's and Nehemiah's Godly expulsions were applications of an even broader principle grounded in the Book of Deuteronomy. The principle by which Canaanite ancestry could not enter the Messiah's bloodline is a broader one set against ANY tainting of the bloodline whatsoever.

Nehemiah directly cites Deuteronomy 23:3-6 in separating all Ammonites and Moabites from Israel (Nehemiah 13:1-3), but the more fundamental law of YEHOVAH God around which this entire exchange principally revolves is Deuteronomy 23:2: "A BASTARD shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he NOT enter into the congregation of the LORD."

The word "bastard" is, in the Hebrew (Masoretic) text, the word mamzer, which is a compound of mum (defect) and zar (strange/alien). It is the same word which appears in Zechariah 9:6, where our modern Bible translators routinely render the term "mixed people," "mongrel people," "mongrel race," "mixed race," etc. The standard works of the lexicographers affirm the same: namely, Strong's Exhaustive Concordance lists this Hebrew term as coming from "a root meaning to alienate; a mongrel." The Brown-Driver-Briggs Lexicon confirms it as a reference to a "mixed population."

But the common translation of mamzer in Zechariah 9:6 as "mongrel" proves that the translators know its foremost definition has to do with RACIAL ADMIXTURE because, all other things being equal, they could just as easily have rendered it "an inbred people," "an incestuous people," "an illegitimate people," or some other category of dubious heritage. But no translator has yet rendered it as such. Plainly, they accept the connotation of "mongrel" over "inbred" or "illegitimate" because the word "mongrel" is a stronger synonym for mamzer than is any other term. Thesaurus.com even treats "bastard" as a top synonym for "mongrel"!

We see, therefore, the correct interpretation of the insulary law conclusively settled by Ezra and Nehemiah. When this law of Deuteronomy 23 was announced by Nehemiah, the entirety of the mixed multitude -- children included -- was separated from Israel (Nehemiah 13:1-3). These reformers -- with a mandate from YEHOVAH God -- understood this mamzer-prohibition, including its qualifications concerning Moabites and Ammonites, to require the annulment of all mixed families. Neither were permitted in the "congregation of the LORD"; mongrels (bastards) had no right or inheritance in Israel.

Furthermore, the overarching narrative of the Israelite administration of the Canaanite ban shows Israel repeatedly chastised by YEHOVAH God for their alliances, covenants and integration with Canaanites -- as well as other non-Semitic peoples. This was irrespective of religious differences, for it occurred even when Ashdodites, Arabs and Ammonites professed faith in the God of Israel.

Now since the Messiah upheld the rulings of Ezra and Nehemiah, it is frankly IMPOSSIBLE that he -- as the heir apparent -- could have been mixed with foreign blood, much less the SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDED blood of Canaanites. The bastard-prohibition vividly forbids ANY Canaanite ancestry on his part. It undoubtedly requires the Rahab that married Salmon to be a Hebrew; and this is no mere appeal to one simple anti-Canaanite marital prohibition (which would be sufficient), but is grounded in an even larger ethno-nationalist framework barring ALL mongrels from an inheritance in Israel.

The modern, so-called Christian religionists unequivocally REJECT the blood-heir Yeshua the Messiah in favor of a bastard Messiah -- a usurper -- little different from the Idumean Herods who usurped the throne in the first century. They have little else to say of the biblical Messiah, it seems, but "Crucify him!"


Hope of Israel Ministries -- Proclaiming the Good News of the Soon-Coming Kingdom of YEHOVAH God Here On This Earth!

Hope of Israel Ministries
P.O. Box 853
Azusa, CA 91702, U.S.A.

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