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Rahab The Harlot


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So I've started re-reading the Bible again, bit by bit.

 

Last night I started in on Joshua, a book I hadn't read for years. I read the first few chapters, maybe up to chapter 4 or 5, something like that... in, of course, a completely different frame of mind than when I read them all the first time, when I was Xian.

 

I was reading chapter 2, about the exchange with Rahab the harlot. Who was always held up as an example of how "even a hooker can serve da Lawd!" back in the churches I went to - praised for saving the lives of Joshua and his men, by hiding them on the roof of her brothel, amongst the bundles of drying flax fiber. Praised for doing the Lard's work by protecting the man he'd chosen to actually conquer the land he'd supposedly promised to the Hebrews, after their 4-decade wanderings under Moses...

 

Yeah. Rahab the Harlot.

 

What a fucking cowardly BITCH.

 

She was so fucking concerned about saving her own traitorous hide that she sold out her entire town to protect herself and her own family. She saved the life of a man who later went on to conquer and genocide countless other nations in the name of religious fanaticism. Fuck, the bitch sheltered a Bronze Age version of Pol Pot, for chrissakes. How exactly does this make her a fucking hero?

 

It's interesting to read all of this with a different viewpoint, and watch myself reacting in such a different way now than I did back in the day.

 

Edit: Hm, a closer read indicates that it wasn't Joshua himself she protected, but two of his spies, sent in to scope out Jericho.

 

My opinion of her doesn't change. She still helped Joshua out, by helping his men. Traitorous bitch.

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Wow! I never saw it from that point of view. I couldn't agree more.

 

But I always thought it was bullshit that she didn't have sex with at least one of them. That one I never did buy. She did end up marrying Caleb, right? According to the legend anyway.

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Wow! I never saw it from that point of view. I couldn't agree more.

 

But I always thought it was bullshit that she didn't have sex with at least one of them. That one I never did buy. She did end up marrying Caleb, right? According to the legend anyway.

 

Hm, Wikipedia says she ended up marrying Salmon, a prince of Judah. (Why anybody'd marry a guy named after a fish is beyond me.)

 

I don't buy that Joshua's spies didn't sleep with her, either. I mean they went to a frickin' prostitute's house, and no reason is given for it. It just says that they "stayed with" her - which suggests that they were there for awhile, not that they just ducked in when they found out the local militia was after them.

 

Why? Did they know her previously? Or were they just lookin' to get some action after a long, hot, dusty day scoping out the defenses of Jericho? Or did they figure that a woman willing to sell her body would probably also be willing to sell her city too?

 

Since she ended up marrying a prince, the whole thing sounds a lot ike a case of Rahab getting in on the good side of the enemy and getting rewarded for it later, at the expense of the entire city-state of Jericho.

 

Hooker with a heart of gold, my ass. What a bitch.

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"Rahab" is also the name of a biblical sea monster and a "demon" of Jewish folklore.

 

since the book of Joshua is completely a nationalistic epic to which archaelogical evidence contradicts just about at every turn, alot of biblical scholars think that the story of Rahab the prostitute is a literary device...

 

on the other hand though, one argument describing the conquest of Canaan by "the Israelites" is that they infiltrated the cities from the inside.

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