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The Rundown of the Prevailing Themes in Each Book of the Old Testament

The Keywords and Key Messages Encased Throughout Each Book of the Old Testament


Genesis: God of Promises and Blessings

Keywords & Messages: Creation, Beginnings, Fall of Man, Punishment for Wickedness

Key Verse: 

“I will make you into a great nation,  and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse, and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” 
Genesis 12:2-3

Exodus: God of Power

Keywords & Messages: Deliverance, Plagues and Fleeing Egypt The Ten Commandments, Moses’ Life, Covenants, Miracles of God

Key Verse:

Leviticus: God of Purity

Keywords & Messages: Instruction for Living a Moral Life, Ceremonial Law, Offerings and Atonement, Holiness

Key Verse:

“Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.”

Leviticus 19:2

Numbers: God of Perseverance

Keywords & Messages: Journeys, Importance of Faith, Leadership, Divine Punishment,  Census of the People, Wandering into the wilderness, Fulfillment of Promises to Abraham

Key Verse:

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

Numbers 6:24-26

Deuteronomy: God of Preparation

Keywords & Messages: Obedience, Renewal of Covenant, 10 Commandments, Moses’ Death

Key Verse:

The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him.

Deuteronomy 28:9

Joshua: God of the Land

Keywords & Messages: Conquest, Settling the Promised Land, God Keeps His Promises, Joshua’s Farewells

Key Verse:

Judges: God of the Rebels

Keywords & Messages: Deterioration, Deliverance, History of the Nation from Joshua to Samson, Need for a King, Consequences of Not Following Him, Sin will be Punished, Samson and Delilah 

Key Verse:

 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.

Judges 21:25

Ruth: God of Redemption

Keywords & Messages: Account of the Ancestors of the Family of Judah, Overcoming Trials, David’s Lineage, Loyalty, Integrity, Righteousness

Key Verse:

But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.  Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”

Ruth 1:16-17 

1 Samuel: God of the Heart

Keywords & Messages: Transition, Leadership of Samuel, Dilemma Between David and Saul, David and Goliath, God Judges your Heart, Messianic King, Don’t be Prideful

Key Verse:

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7

2 Samuel: God of the Throne

Keywords & Messages: Account of Saul’s Death, Unification, Chronicle of the Reign of David, David’s Victories and Failures, Birth of Solomon, God’s Promise of David’s Royal Lineage

Key Verse:

1 Kings: God of Israel

Keywords & Messages: Disruption, History of the Nation from David's Death, Reign of Solomon, Division of the Kingdom, Conflict, Ministry of the Prophet Elijah

Key Verse:

The word of the Lord came to Solomon: “As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, observe my laws and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfill through you the promise I gave to David your father. And I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel.”

1 Kings 6:11-13

2 Kings: God of Israel

Keywords & Messages: Dispersion, Fall of the Two Nations, Wickedness, Babylonian Exile, Elisha 

Key Verse:

So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah was left,  and even Judah did not keep the commands of the Lord their God. They followed the practices Israel had introduced. Therefore the Lord rejected all the people of Israel; he afflicted them and gave them into the hands of plunderers until he thrust them from his presence.

2 Kings 17:18-20

1 Chronicles: God of Judah

Keywords & Messages: Recap of Israel’s Spiritual History, Official Recorded History, Genealogy of Abraham, Genealogy of David, Genealogy of Saul,  Exploits of King David

Key Verse:

2 Chronicles: God of Judah

Keywords & Messages: God Rewards Obedience, Israel’s Spiritual Heritage, History of David’s Heirs, Focus on the Jerusalem Temple, Solomon

Key Verse:

 The Lord appeared to him at night and said: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices. When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there. As for you, if you walk before me faithfully as David your father did, and do all I command, and observe my decrees and laws, I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor to rule over Israel.”

2 Chronicles 7:12-18

Ezra: God of the Temple

Keywords & Messages: Restoration, Return of the Jews from Babylonian Captivity, Rebuilding of the temple, Spiritual Reform, Accounts and Histories of Various Groups, Sin

Key Verse:

 “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them.”

Ezra 1:2-3

Nehemiah: God of the Wall

Keywords & Messages: Reconstruction, Obstacles Encountered and Overcome, Rebuilding of the Wall and City, Covenant-Renewal, Principles for Living, Faith

Key Verse:

Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.”

Nehemiah 1:11

Esther: God of the Gallows

Keywords & Messages: Preservation, Recounts Experiences of Jews who Remained Dispersed Outside the Land of Judah, Rebirth of a Nation in its Homeland, Account of Future Queen of Persia, Liberation of the Jews

Key Verse:

“Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”

Ester 4:16

Job: God of Pain

Keywords & Messages: Blessings Through Sufferings, Trials, Patience, Internal Conflict

Key Verse:

Psalms: God of Praise

Keywords & Messages: Praise, Worship of Jehovah, Lyrical Poems,  Instruction for Prayer, Instruction for Praise, 

Key Verse:

Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy; let them sing before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.

Psalm 98:7-9

Proverbs: God of Prudence

Keywords & Messages: Practical Wisdom, Love of God, Love of Man, Blessings for those who Revere the Lord, 

Key Verse:

To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.

Proverbs 8:13

Ecclesiastes: God of Purpose

Keywords & Messages: All is Vanity Apart from God, Folly of Man, Meaninglessness in Material Goods, God Satisfies

Key Verse:

Song of Solomon: God of Passion

Keywords & Messages: Love, Joys of the Marriage Covenant, God’s Wisdom in Procreation

Key Verse:

My beloved is mine and I am his; he browses among the lilies.

Song of Solomon 2:16

Isaiah: God of Glory

Keywords & Messages: Predicts Exile in Babylon, God will Bless Israel, God will Bless the Nations, Prophecies of Jesus Christ, Salvation, Judgment Day

Key Verse:

Jeremiah: God of Weeping

Keywords & Messages: Judgment, Captivity of Judah, Punishment for Sins, False Gods, Emotional Struggles, Prophecies of Jesus Christ

Key Verse:

This is what the Lord says: “As for all my wicked neighbors who seize the inheritance I gave my people Israel, I will uproot them from their lands and I will uproot the people of Judah from among them.  But after I uproot them, I will again have compassion and will bring each of them back to their own inheritance and their own country.”

Jeremiah 12:14-15

Lamentations: God of Faithfulness

Keywords & Messages: Lament,  Jeremiah's sorrow, Capture of Jerusalem,  Destruction of the temple, Path of Suffering, Murmuring

Key Verse:

Ezekiel: God of Visions

Keywords & Messages: The Glory of the Lord, Messages of Warning, Messages of Comfort, Visions of the Lord’s Glory Departure from the Temple, Israel’s Restoration, Oracles of Future Blessings, The Shepherd

Key Verse:

You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign Lord.

Ezekiel 34:31

Daniel: God of History

Keywords & Messages: The Sovereignty of God, Prophecies Concerning Christ, God’s Future Plans for Israel, Beast of Precious Metals, Lion’s Den, Faith, Power of the Almighty

Key Verse:

 “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”

Daniel 6:26-27

Hosea: God of the Unfaithful

Keywords & Messages: Unfaithfulness, Prophecies Relating to Christ, Latter Days, Metaphor of a Wayward Wife, God’s Compassion

Key Verse:

Joel: God of the Locusts

Keywords & Messages: The Day of the Lord, Prediction of Woes Upon Judah, God's Judgment, Apostate nation, Day of Judgment, Christ will Restore

Key Verse:

Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming. It is close at hand—

Joel 2:1

Amos: God of the Oppressed

Keywords & Messages: Judgment, Judgment on Israel, Judgment on Israel’s Neighbors, Restoration to the House of David

Key Verse:

Obadiah: God of the Mountain

Keywords & Messages: Righteous Judgment, Desolation of Edom, Christ’s Kingdom, Victory of Israel

Key Verse:

“The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself, ‘Who can bring me down to the ground?’ Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down,” declares the Lord.

Obadiah 1:3-4

Jonah: God of Compassion

Keywords & Messages: God’s Grace to All People,  Account of the Prophet Jonah, Resurrection of Life, Faith, Salvation

Key Verse:

“Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’”

Jonah 2:8-9

Micah: God of Justice

Keywords & Messages: Divine Judgment, Predictions relating to Invasions, Revelation of the Birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem,  Corruption Among Leaders, God Promises Restoration, Deliverance and Punishment

Key Verse:

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8

Nahum: God of Wrath

Keywords & Messages: Consolation,  Destruction of Nineveh, God is a Jealous God, Prediction of the Downfall of Assyria, Christ is our Stronghold

Key Verse:

Habakkuk: God of Sovereignty

Keywords & Messages: Trusting a Sovereign God, Prophet Habakkuk and God Converse, Christ is God of Salvation, Faith, Righteousness 

Key Verse:

The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.

Habakkuk 3:19

Zephaniah: God of Judgment

Keywords & Messages: The “Great Day of the Lord”, Prediction of Overthrow of Judah, Certainty of Coming Judgment, Israel's Restoration

Key Verse:

Haggai: God of Renewal

Keywords & Messages: Rebuilding the Temple, Spiritual Health needs Priority, Christ is the Desire of all Nations

Key Verse:

Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave this message of the Lord to the people: “I am with you,” declares the Lord. 

Haggai 1:13

Zechariah: God of Restoration

Keywords & Messages: God’s Deliverance, Trust and Obey the Lord, Foretelling of Christ, Plea for Repentance

Key Verse:

“Woe to the worthless shepherd, who deserts the flock! May the sword strike his arm and his right eye! May his arm be completely withered, his right eye totally blinded!”

Zechariah 11:17

Malachi: God of Worship

Keywords & Messages: Formalism Rebuked, Coming of Christ, Righteous Remnant will be Rewarded, Warning of Judgment Day, Convent Renewal

Key Verse:

-Torrance Church of Christ


Posted by Erica Nielsen

What Are All The Mentions Of Trees, Fruits, and Plants In The Bible About Anyway?

There are A LOT of Trees in the Bible

Have you ever noticed that the Bible mentions trees regularly? It seems to be a recurring theme throughout the Bible. In fact, the word “tree” is mentioned 257 times throughout the whole Bible. 213 of those times are in the Old Testament alone! With the exception of God and people, trees are the most mentioned living creature in the Bible. 

Trees Mentioned in the Bible

But Let Us Not Forget About Fruit

The word fruit pops up a total of 198 times throughout the Bible! 

Fruits Mentioned in the Bible

So, What Significance Do Trees and Plants and Fruit Hold?

Every major character in the Bible has an association with a tree or a plant. Every major Biblical event has an association with a tree or plant. The Bible starts with a tree and ends with a tree. 

God Provides:  Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1: 11-12)

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. (Genesis 1:29-30)

Noah Knew the Flood had Ended: When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. (Genesis 8:11)

Abraham Sitting: The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. (Genesis 18:1)

Moses Talks to God: There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” (Exodus 3:2-4)

Joseph is a Vine: Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall. (Genesis 49:22)

Zacchaeus and the Sycamore: So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. (Luke 19:4)

The Blind Man: He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” (Mark 8:24)

Job Wishes he was a Tree: At least there is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail. Its roots may grow old in the ground and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant. (Job 14:7-9)

The Disciples Gathered on the Mount of Olives:  Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.  (Luke 22:39)

Paul Suggested Christians are Branches Grafted into Trees: If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches. If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. (Romans 11:16-20)

After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree! (Romans 11:24)

Micah Refers to the Second Coming of Christ: Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree and no one will make them afraid, for the Lord Almighty has spoken. (Micah 4:4)

Jesus Tells the Parable of the Mustard Seed: He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” (Matthew 13:31-32)

Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.” (Luke 13:18-19)

Pay your Tithing: Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops. (Proverbs 3:9)

Jesus Curses a Fig Tree: Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it. (Mark 11:13-14)

In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!” (Mark 11:20-21)

Following Him will Lead to Blessings: The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. (Deuteronomy 28:4)

Heed the Warning of Not Following Him: The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. (Deuteronomy 28: 18)

….. You will plant a vineyard, but you will not even begin to enjoy its fruit. (Deuteronomy 18:30)

Mary Magdalene Confuses Jesus for a Gardner:  He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” (John 20:15)

Eden Becomes Restored: Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22: 1-2)

Jesus is referred to as a tree: “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” (Revelation 22:16)

He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. (Isaiah 53:2)

Jesus Tells the Parable of the Fig Tree:  Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ ”Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.” (Luke 13:6-9)

Remain in Christ and LOVE: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other. (John 15:1-17)

 Jesus wants us to help others: “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.” (John 4:34-38)

The Righteous will Flourish: The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;  he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him (Psalms 92:12-15)

Ancestors of the Israelites: When I found Israel,  it was like finding grapes in the desert; when I saw your ancestors, it was like seeing the early fruit on the fig tree. But when they came to Baal Peor, they consecrated themselves to that shameful idol and became as vile as the thing they loved. (Hosea 9:10)

Stay True to your Values: The one who guards a fig tree will eat its fruit, and whoever protects their master will be honored. (Proverbs 27:18)

God Knows What Path we are Taking: Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. (Matthew 12:33)

You Must Repent for your Wrongdoing:  Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. (Matthew 3:8-10)

Jesus Died for us on a Tree: Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” (Galatians 3:13)

The Faithful get to Eat from the Tree of Life: Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. (Revelation 2:7)

Even Though Some Mentions are Literal, Most Mentions are Metaphors

What does the myriad of metaphors about trees, fruit, and plants represent? 

Well, for one, many references are about God providing the nourishment and strength we need in order to be with Him again. But there are so many meanings wrapped up in this. They are:

  • Christ
  • Our Faith
  • Our Choices
  • Our Tithes
  • Our Relationship with Christ
  • Blessings and Curses
  • Redemption
  • Abundance
  • The Holy Spirit
  • The Creation of Man
  • The Fall of Man

The Takeaway?

We need to root ourselves in the words and actions of the Lord. We must Follow him without ceasing. If we do so, He will bless us and we will partake in the fruit of the Tree of Life. 

-Torrance Church of Christ


Discovering Faith: The Story of Rahab

Who is Rahab?

Rahab is a Canaanite woman. She lived in Jericho and was a prostitute. We are introduced to her in The Book of Joshua Chapter 2. 

What is Rahab’s Story?

Joshua and the Israelites planned to storm the city of Jericho, the gateway city to The Promised Land. Jericho was a fortress, the city hidden behind walls. Even so, those who were less fortunate lived in homes that were not permitted to be inside the city walls. Due to Rahab’s financial circumstances coupled with her occupation, it is here that she lived. Joshua sent out two Israelite spies whose mission was to get a lay of the land. 

The spies ended up going to Rahab’s house. The king of Jericho caught wind of the spies. 

So the king of Jericho sent this message to Rahab: “Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house because they have come to spy out the whole land.” (Joshua 2:3)

Instead of telling the king where the two men were, she responded, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from.  At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, they left. I don’t know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them.” (Joshua 2:4-5)

As the Canaanites went hunting the two men, Rahab went to the rooftop. She had been harboring a secret all along. What she didn’t tell the king was that she had hidden the two men under stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof. 

She spoke to the two spies. and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you.  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 Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear, and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.

“Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that you will show kindness to my family because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them—and that you will save us from death.” (Joshua 2: 9-13)

The Israelite spies promised Rahab that her life and the lives of her family would be spared. They instructed her to tie a scarlet cord to a window and to ensure that her family members would be inside of her house when the invasion took place. Rahab let the men climb out her window and informed the men to hide in the hills for three days and they would not be caught. After 3 days, the men started their journey back to report to Joshua. In Joshua 6:17 we see that Joshua showed mercy to Rahab and her family. During the invasion, Joshua tells his army, “the city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the Lord. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent.”

The entire city of Jericho was destroyed. All of the men, women, young and old, cattle and donkeys. 

Joshua 6:25 continues to tell us that not only was Rahab and her family spared, they were welcomed with open arms to join the Isrealites:

But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho—and she lives among the Israelites to this day.

What Significance is in Rahab’s Story?

Rahab was a known lady of the night. She was a Canaanite and an enemy of the Israelites. Yet, Rahab had enough insight and sudden faith to recognize that the Israelites were following the promise of God. She acknowledged that it was her responsibility to save these men. 

She, who was once a sinner, chose to follow God. 

Hebrews 11:31 reads:

By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.

James 2:25-26 reads:

In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

Rahab became a woman of faith. 

We are not perfect, we have all sinned, and we will continue to do so throughout our lives. But we do not have to be defined by our sins. We can learn from them, we can grow from them. We can choose to do better next time. We can have the faith that God will forgive us for our sins and continue to help us. 

A Cool Note

Matthew 1:1-6 tells us the lineage of Jesus:

 This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:

Abraham was the father of Isaac,

Isaac the father of Jacob,

Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,

Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,

Perez the father of Hezron,

Hezron the father of Ram,

Ram the father of Amminadab,

Amminadab the father of Nahshon,

Nahshon the father of Salmon,

Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,

Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,

Obed the father of Jesse,

and Jesse the father of King David.

This means that Jesus is a direct descendant of Rahab. 

To Sum it All Up

Granted, Rehab was an unlikely candidate to become a tool in God’s plan. But she put her trust in the Lord, and because of her faith and the actions she took, the Israelites were one step closer to The Promised Land. She became righteous and her sins were forgiven. As mentioned above in James 2:26, faith without deeds is dead. 

-Torrance Church of Christ

Just to clear up some confusion:

Psalm 87:4 and Psalm 89:10 refer to Rahab as well as Isaiah 30:7 and Isaiah 51:9, and then again in Job 9:13 and Job 26:12. If you go and read the verses, you might experience some confusion. 

Rahab is a Hebrew term. It is a more poetic way of referring to Egypt.  In the mentioned scriptures above, they are referring to Rahab as Egypt. 

Rachab is the name for Rahab of Jericho. This change is because of translation. In Hebrew, the correct spelling of her name is Rachab, however, the spellings are the same once translated into English. 


Posted by Erica Nielsen