Rahab is a prostitute who two spies stay with when they scope out Jericho. We don’t know if they seek her for her services or merely want to get out of public view.
When the king of Jericho commands Rahab to turn the men over to him, she commits treason. She hides the men and lies to the king that they already left, but she doesn’t know where they went.
Rahab knows God favors Israel and will give the city to them. So in exchange for her protecting the spies, she asks for the safety of her family when they raze the city. In her list of who’s included as family, she mentions parents and siblings, but not a husband or any children. After securing their promise of protection, she helps the spies escape.
Later, Joshua confirms Rahab and her family will be spared, while the rest of the city will be destroyed. She then lives with the Israelites.
In the New Testament, Matthew reveals Rahab is one of Jesus’ direct ancestors and the great-great grandmother of King David. She is honored as only one of four women mentioned in Jesus’ family tree. Further, the book of Hebrews affirms Rahab as a person of faith, one of only two women included in its impressive list. Finally, James confirms Rahab is righteous because of her actions in hiding and protecting the two spies.
While our reaction may be to judge Rahab for her profession, God sees her differently, as a righteous woman of faith, rewarding her accordingly.