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Rahab: Encountering the woman snatched from destruction

By Chris Hughes
February 2009 | Review by Ruth Burke

Synopsis

Can the short account of a brief incident from the life of a woman of dubious character say anything to us today — a woman who lived over 3000 years ago and whose city was doomed to destruction?

  • Publisher: Day One Publications
  • ISBN: 978-1846251351
  • Pages: 80
  • Price: £3.75
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Book Review

I’ve never come across a whole book on Rahab before. Often, when Rahab is included in a book about various Bible women, the focus is on whether or not she ought to have told the lie about the spies — and in fact, Chris Hughes does not tackle this question!

The narrative in Joshua about Rahab is fairly lengthy, and she is mentioned three times in the New Testament (in Matthew, James and Hebrews). In the light of this, and since she is an ancestor of Christ, Rahab is not an insignificant biblical character, and God’s dealings with her must have something worthwhile to teach us.

The author brings Rahab to life by encouraging us to look at events from her point of view.  What had she heard of the Israelites that had brought her to faith in their God? How did she feel as the Israelites marched around the walls of Jericho?  How easy was it for her to settle into a new culture after her rescue from the destruction of her home?  Even more importantly, we are directed to consider God’s appraisal of Rahab.

The book consists of eleven short and easily-read chapters, full of interesting contemporary illustrations. At the end of each chapter there are two sections — ‘For further study’ and ‘To think about and discuss’ — which look at such subjects as faith, grace, judgement, God’s faithfulness and ‘the glorious Rescuer’.

This additional material makes the book a useful tool for opening up discussion and, in my view, makes it of particular interest to a ladies’ Bible study group.

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