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A harlot who lived in Jericho. When Joshua was planning his conquest of Jericho, two of his spies took lodging in her home. They were suspected of being Joshua's men, but Rahab risked death by hiding them on her roof and helping them escape. In gratitude the spies promised her that when Joshua had captured Jericho she and her family would be spared. Joshua abided by the promise (Joshua 2:1-24). Before the town was burned down, the two spies escorted Rahab and her family to safety (Joshua 6:22-25). Twice her name appears in the New Testmaent. In Matthew's genealogy of Jesus she is named as the mother of Boaz (Matthew 1:5). In the Letter to the Hebrews the writer pays tribute to her faith in protecting Joshua's spies (Hebrews 11:31).
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.