Rahab is a prophetic picture of you and me

Joshua 2:1, Rahab. Rahab, the non-Israelite innkeeper and inhabitant of Jericho, was a woman of faith who became a sincere convert to the Israelites’ religion, and ended up becoming an ancestor of David and Yeshua. Throughout Scripture, there are examples of righteous non-Israelites confessing their faith in the Elohim of Israel, choosing to leave behind their pagan cultures and being grafted into the nation of Israel. Who are some other examples of this in Scripture? (See Gen 41:45; Exod 12:38,48–49; Lev 18:26; Num 15:16; Deut 10:19; 31:12; Ruth 1:16.) Rahab was a stranger or alien seeking to be grafted into Israel. What does Scripture say about this class of people?

Stranger (Foreigner or Alien; Heb. nekar). Rahab was a stranger or foreigner to Israel. She is a prophetic picture of Gentiles who come to faith in the Elohim of Israel and are grafted into that nation.

Scripturally the Hebrew word nekar (Strong’s H5236/TWOT 1368b) is used in reference to anything or anyone that is foreign to the religion or people of Israel (Exod 12:43; Deut 31:16; 32:16; Judg 10:16; Neh 9:2; Isa 60:10; Ezek 44:7).

Nekar can also refer to people who forsake their foreign or alien ways and join themselves to the people and to Elohim, the God of Israel, and who take hold of the covenants of Israel (Isa 56:3–6; cp. Eph 2:11–14). In Exodus 12:43 and 48, the KJV uses the word stranger, though in each verse they are two different Hebrew words. In the former, the word nekar is used in reference to those who are not allowed to partake in Passover. In the latter verse, the Hebrew word for stranger is ger (Strong’s H1616/TWOT 330a) meaning “a temporary inhabitant, or a newcomer.”

This word is also translated in the KJV as stranger, or alien, but also carries with it the connotation of “a sojourner.” The TWOT defines a ger as follows: “The root means to live among people who are not blood relatives; thus, rather than enjoying native civil rights, the ger was dependent on the hospitality that played an important role in the ancient near east.… The ger in Israel was largely regarded as a proselyte. He was to be present for the solemn reading of the [Torah] Law (Deut 31:12) showing that he was exposed to its demands. The law concerning unleavened bread applied to him as well as the native (Exod 12:19) and a circumcised ger could keep Passover (Exod 12:48f.; Num 9:14).” He was also included in the celebration of the Day of Atonement (Lev 16:29), the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths (Deut 16:14), like the native he was forbidden from worshipping foreign gods (Lev 17:8), and was forbidden from eating blood (Lev 17:10, 12, 13). The laws of sexual chastity applied to him as well as to the native (Lev 18:26) along with the Sabbath laws (Exod 20:10; 23:12). He experienced the same legal and civil rights as a native Israelite (Deut 1:16; 24:17; 27:19) and Israel was to not oppress the ger (Exod 22:21; Deut 10:19) but to love him as themselves (Lev 19:34) (The TWOT, vol. 1, pp. 155–156)

In brief, Israel’s treatment of the ger was a means of evangelizing the world with the message of YHVH’s Torah-truth. All could come into a spiritual relationship with the Elohim of Israel without respect to ethnicity and there was one Torah (i.e., YHVH’s instructions, teachings or precepts in righteousness) for both Israelite and non-Israelite. Indeed, this was the driving force behind Paul’s passion for the Gentiles (or people of the nations).

Realizing the basis of evangelism from the Tanakh and the command to make proselytes by bringing aliens and strangers into the covenants and commonwealth of Israel and into a righteous relationship with the Elohim of Israel may help us to understand Paul’s statements in Ephesians 2:11–19 (cp. 1 Pet 2:8–11).

As we study the concept of the stranger’s relationship to Elohim, to the people and Torah covenants of Israel, it is interesting to note that Scripture nowhere indicates that YHVH would ever make a new or different covenant with the Gentiles or have different standards of righteousness for them than for Israel. Rather, the Gentiles were expected to assimilate into Israel, become Israel, follow the laws of Israel and be treated as Israel. This rule of law for the people of El never changed even through the apostolic age despite what most Christian biblicists teach to the contrary. Remember, YHVH stated clearly that he does not change (Mal 3:6), and Yeshua taught that any religious tradition of men that nullifies the Word of YHVH should be ignored (Mark 7:7–9).


4 thoughts on “Rahab is a prophetic picture of you and me

  1. Lovely words Natan. This is just so wonderful for my heart every time I hear it. I am grateful. Thankyou for all you share to encourage & lift up the body to a higher level of understanding and faithfulness. Shalom All. FJ

  2. Such a good explanation of how we are grafted into spiritual Israel …of course Rahab hid the spies( didn’t she) …must reread again , there is possibly a lot more to learn prophetically thru Rahab.

    Comment re Passover; re a circumcised ger could keep Passover.[Exodus 12:48 Numbers 9:14 ] …Natan what about now?? Re an uncircumcised male, can they keep Passover; ? my understanding is that from a medical point of view as I’m a trained nurse : in my country they do not circumcise baby boys any more.In the late 70’s possibly they stopped circumcising baby boys as they medically deemed it unnecessary & posing health risks..( that was their argument) ? Money also cost of that is.. I assisted Drs who did a circumcision holding the little ones in a blanket and looking after them when Dr had completed the circumcision : it was a relatively easy procedure when done by a skilled clinician & I had never seen one side effect of circumcision in my 3 years of training ..I worked for a time in theatre & recovery room where the Dr did the circumcision.. So I saw them first hand…..no haemorrhaging from them as that was the first thing we had to observe for after the procedure. I can tell anyone from 1 st hand experience it is kinder to do a circumcision on a new born babe than on an older male say 7-8 yrs or teens or adulthood. …..more risks involved & would need a general anaesthetic as very painful without.

    Back to the matter at hand my eldest son was born in 1986 in a public hospital & by this stage the hospital would not even contemplate circumcision unless maybe I had demanded it ( they stopped doing them) …secondly the parents were discouraged from asking for the babe to be circumcised and would have to go outside of the hospital system to find a Dr who would perform one.

    After many years I found out
    A parent would have to seek a Jewish Dr who performed them on the 8 th day. And go
    Privately to seek one out.( more money involved that @ the time we did not have. ) This did not help us as parents @ the time we were not familiar with the Jewish thing @ that time ..my heart was grieved as a mother at the time because I felt it was an option the health profession should have given us but it was taken away .by the health system. So hard @ the time: my husband was of the era it was done automatically for so called health & hygiene reasons, they then changed their tune.

    So re Passover …the males had to present themselves in Jerusalem for Passover( 1 of the pilgrimage festivals) we can’t physically do that now either.

    • To answer your question about circumcision being a requirement for Passover in our day, I have a simple answer: Context, context, context! We must understand every command in the Bible in its cultural context. Some commands are of an eternal nature and transcend all cultural contexts down through the ages, since the factors have remained the same from then till now. For example, the seventh day Sabbath. The weekly cycle is still in effect, and so the Sabbath is still in effect. Nothing has changed. Another example is homosexuality, which is still a sin, since men and woman and sex hasn’t changed from then till now.

      Now let’s look at circumcision. Abraham was “saved” 24 years before he was circumcised. Obviously, this rite is not a precondition for salvation. This point is clearly reinforced by Paul the apostle in Galatians, for example, and by the other apostles at the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15.

      Circumcision as a requirement for the male Israelites was a way to perserve the spiritual integrity of that physical nation, so that foreigners wouldn’t come in with their idolatrous practices and destroy the nation spiritually from within. Having to be circumcised in order to become a citizen was a huge deterrent to spiritual wolves who wanted to join themselves to the nation of Israel. Only those who truly had a heart to join would go through this procedure.

      We are now a spiritual nation, so physical circumcision doesn’t hold the same import as with ancient Israel. To Paul and the other apostles, they didn’t care if you were or not. It’s a heart thing now. In reality, it was a heart thing then too, since three times in the Torah Moses talks about heart circumcision being the highest goal to shoot for. So Paul didn’t originate the idea.

      Since in Ezekiel 44:9, if we are to take this as a future millennial prophecy, physical and heart circumcision will be required to enter the temple, I take from this that YHVH still desires both physical and heart circumcision, though only the latter is required for salvation. The former, when done, shows great devotion and commitment to YHVH even as does baptism for the remission of sins, although it’s not a precondition for salvation. It’s an act of loving obedience. The same is true true of physical circumcision.

      Moreover, do you know anyone who wants to volunteer to be the circumcision inspector at your next Passover seder? to check all the men at the door to see if…? Didn’t think so.

      I know of several men who have been circumcised as adults. It’s an easy in and out procedure that takes an hour or two from check in to check out. They’re sore for a couple of weeks, but they can still drive and walk and shop. I was with one man who had it done. I know what I’m talking about. An urologist did it for about $400 USD a few years back. Probably a little more expensive now.

      The bottom line is this: If you have the circumcised heart, then the physical circumcision will follow as a result of desiring to be sold out to YHVH.

      Hope this answers the question.

      • Thanks Natan I appreciate your time & input & thanks for answering this question, so much appreciated.

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