My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“This Scarlet Cord” by Joan Wolf is a fictional account of the story of “Rahab the Harlot,” as is outlined in the book of Joshua. While I found a small number of inconsistencies with what is actually taught in the Bible, I still enjoyed this story and kept in mind that this was a fictional retelling.
In this story, Rahab is a young Canaanite woman. Very beautiful and enticing, desired by most who meet her. She is taken to Jericho by her family for a yearly pagan celebration in the hopes that her father will find a wealthy man for her to marry. There she is reunited with Sala, a young Israalite man. In years past Sala had saved Rahab from bandits who planned to sell her as a sex slave to the Egyptians. During the time of her rescue, Sala had talked freely with Rahab about the difference in her gods and Elohim, the God of Israel. As an adult, those early conversations play in Rahab’s mind and she is continually questioning if it is Baal who is the true God, or if it is the God of Israel. She shares her concerns and thoughts with her sister-in-law, Atene, and together they begin to pray to the God of Israel.
Rahab’s story has always been intriguing to me. How does a harlot end up in the genealogy of Christ? How did this woman with the reputation of being a prostitute find herself being one of the most important women in the Bible? How did this Canaanite woman come to turning her back on her faith to help Israelite spies escape from Jericho? It is because of her help that the eventual fall of Jericho happened – and through her actions, she and her entire family were saved from destruction. How did this woman become the wife of a prince? She holds the honor of being named the mother of Boaz, an Old Testament analogy and symbol of Christ. Pretty astounding for a woman labeled “the harlot”!
This fictionalized tale takes us on a journey through the pagan rituals of their religion and the circumstances that Rahab may have faced that earned her the title of “Rahab the Harlot,” as well as the situations that lead to her conversion. The story of Rahab is one love and the remarkable change that happens in the life of one who has accepted God.
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