Jericho was a town in decay. The inner and outer walls of the city were in such vast need of repair, they could no longer be considered adequate to protect the people who lived behind them. The richest of the folk lived near the center of the town surrounded by the inner wall. The poorest of the poor, the criminals, the sick, lived between the inner wall and the outer wall. This is where Rahab, a prostitute lived with her family and ran a decrepit little tavern, a rowdy inn patronized by rowdy, unscrupulous men. Such were the men who purchased Rahab's attention.
One night, she noticed two strangers in her tavern. She suspected they were spies because they were asking a lot of odd questions about the city, its inhabitants, its layout. She guessed they were Hebrew tribesmen, spies sent into the town to gather information before an imminent attack.
When word arrived that soldiers were hunting the two men, Rahab hid them on the roof of her house under bundles of flax. Although Rahab told the soldiers she had seen the two men run into the darkness after leaving her tavern, the soldiers searched, but failed to find the two hidden men.
As soon as they were gone, Rahab went up to the roof and spoke with the two men. She revealed her interest in learning more about their God and their Hebrew leader, Joshua. She made it clear that by saving their lives, she had put her life and that of her family at great risk. "You owe me and my family a great debt," she said. This, the men could not deny. She made them promise that when the Hebrew attack began, their army would not harm her or her family and would give them safe passage out of the city. They agreed - all she had to do was leave a red cord hanging from the window she helped the two men escape from. In this way, all the Hebrew soldiers would know to spare them from the slaughter. The two men returned to their camp and relayed all that had transpired to Joshua, who agreed to Rahab's terms.
Several days later the brutal attack upon the city of Jericho began, and it was everything that Rahab feared it would be.
The decrepit city walls tumbled, people scurried about in terror, and the slaughter began. No human or animal escaped the blood lust, except for Rahab and her family. The red cord that hung from her window saved their lives. Rahab and her family safely entered the Hebrew camp. Rahab remained, living among them, and converted to the Hebrew religion and became a loyal follower of God.
Author Jill Eileen Smith has written a novel of Rahab's remarkable survival and faith entitled The Crimson Cord. Well written, evocative, and heart-wrenching, she portrays Rahab as remarkably resourceful, savvy, and kind-hearted. If you love ancient history, Jill Eileen Smith has added to her repretoire of biblical women with this fascinating new addition. Highly recommended.
The breathtaking story of the prostitute who risked everything to protect two Israelite spies before the battle of Jericho.
Wife to a gambler who took one too many risks, Rahab finds herself sold as a slave to cover her husband's debt. Forced into prostitution, she despairs of ever regaining her freedom and her self-respect. But when Israelite spies enter Jericho and come to lodge at her house, Rahab sees a glimmer of hope and the opportunity of a lifetime.
In one risky moment, she takes a leap of faith, puts her trust in a God she does not know, and vows to protect the spies from the authorities. When the armies of Israel arrive weeks later, Rahab hopes they will keep their promise, but she has no idea what kind of challenges await her outside Jericho's walls--or if she will ever know the meaning of love.
Under Jill Eileen Smith's talented hand, the familiar story of Rahab bursts forth in high definition. Immerse yourself in a world of dark and dusty streets, clandestine meetings, and daring escapes as a mysterious biblical figure claims her full humanity--and a permanent place in your heart.
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