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Tuesday, January 17 2017
Rahab's Penthouse In The Wall
"And they went, and came into an harlot's house, named Rahab, and lodged there ... Then she let them down by a cord through the window: for her house was upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall"
Rahab of Jericho is one of the most famous people of Bible history. Although the Scriptures describe her as a "harlot," some insist that it actually means innkeeper. That could be so, but inns were typically on the ground level, along with a stable to accommodate the traveler's animals (see also The King Who Was Born In A Barn and Did Mary Really Ride A Donkey Into Bethlehem?), whereas Rahab's house was a penthouse ("An apartment located on the top floors of a building") at the very top of the wall of Jericho.
The account of Rahab began when Joshua sent scouts to spy out Jericho before the Israelite attack (see also Joshua's Commission).
"2:1 And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot's house, named Rahab, and lodged there. 2:2 And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men in hither to night of the children of Israel to search out the country. 2:3 And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house: for they be come to search out all the country." (Joshua 2:1-3 KJV)
The spies were welcomed into Rahab's house. When men of the city came searching for them, Rahab hid the spies on the roof of her house, that was itself on the top of the wall.
"2:4 And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were: 2:5 And it came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out: whither the men went I wot not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them. 2:6 But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof. 2:7 And the men pursued after them the way to Jordan unto the fords: and as soon as they which pursued after them were gone out, they shut the gate.
Whatever Rahab was is irrelevant to the fact that she recognized the Israelites as the people of the LORD's Nation - they were a living prophecy of the coming Kingdom of God that will be freely open to all who repent and live according to the Way of the LORD (see the Fact Finder question below). Rahab survived, whereas those who refused (their warning was the marching of the Israelites around their besieged city for an entire week before it was destroyed) were annihilated..
"6:15 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times. 6:16 And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city. 6:17 And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. 6:18 And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. 6:19 But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.
This Day In History, January 17
38 BC: Octavian (who became the first emperor of the Roman empire; see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars) divorced Scribonia and married Livia Drusilla, thereby ending the political peace between the Second Triumvirate (see The Politics Of Rome) and Pompey. Augustus was Emperor at the time of the birth of Jesus Christ (Luke 2:1-7). An actual in-his-lifetime portrait of the man who called that famous Bethlehem census is shown below.
395: Upon the death of Emperor Theodosius I, the original Roman Empire was no longer ruled by a single leader. As a political and military entity, it thereafter began to be moved northward, where it became officially known as "The Holy Roman Empire of The German Nation" (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
683: The Battle of al-Harrah. A Syrian army supporting the Umayyad caliph Yazid I defeated the rebel forces of Medina.
1287: King Alfonso III of Aragon invaded the Spanish island Minorca.
1377: Pope Gregory XI restored the papacy to Rome from Avignon, France, where it had resided for 72 years. It had been moved there by French Pope Clement V in 1305, to escape the political turmoil in Italy at the time (see The Struggle For The Papacy).
1524: Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano sailed from Madeira in search of a route to the Pacific Ocean.
1562: The Edict of St. Germain took effect by which the Huguenots (French Protestants) were recognized in France. On the same day, the Duke of Guise and the Cardinal of Lorraine formed a union to block the edict.
1595: Henry IV of France declared war on Spain.
1601: The Treaty of Lyons was signed between France, Spain and Savoy under which Henry IV gained Bresse, Bugey, Gex and Valromey.
1648: England's "Long Parliament" passed the "Vote of No Addresses," ending negotiations with King Charles I and setting the stage for the second part of the English Civil War.
1773: The Resolution, under England's Captain James Cook, became the first ship to enter Antarctic waters. Cook and his crew explored and charted vast areas around the world.
1811: The Battle of Calderon Bridge during the Mexican War of Independence; a force of 6,000 Spanish troops defeated a Mexican revolutionist force of 100,000.
1852: The United Kingdom recognized the independence of the Boer colonies of the Transvaal.
1912: Robert Falcon Scott's expedition reached the South Pole, a month after Roald Amundsen of Norway.
1939: The Nazi government in Germany prohibited Jews from working as dentists, veterinarians and chemists (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1945: The Soviet Red Army liberated and occupied Warsaw, Poland, from German forces.
1946: The United Nations Security Council held its first session.
1957: Canada's last aircraft carrier (Canada had 3 aircraft carriers during the Second World War to Cold War era), HMCS Bonaventure (shown in the photograph), was commissioned. The ship was ordered scrapped in 1969 by the Liberal regime of Pierre Trudeau.
1961: Former Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba was murdered. He had been a leading proponent of the Congo's independence from Belgium.
1961: U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower delivered a national televised farewell address, warning of the self-destructive influence of the "military-industrial complex" i.e. arms manufacturers making billions in profits for "defense" by getting gullible or puppet politicians elected to start or provoke wars all around the world.
1966: A U.S. B-52 bomber collided in mid-air with a refueling tanker over Spain. 8 people were killed, and the bomber released its H-bomb into the Atlantic.
1977: Double-murderer Gary Gilmore became the first person to be executed in the U.S. since the reintroduction of the death penalty. He chose a firing squad.
1991: Operation Desert Storm began the Gulf War against Iraq.
1991: Harald V became King of Norway. He succeeded his father, King Olav V.
1994: A magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck Northridge, California. Damage was estimated to be over $20 billion, making it one of the most expensive disasters in U.S. history.
1995: More than 6,000 people were killed after a strong earthquake struck central Japan. Measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale, the earthquake, centered around the port of Kobe, was the biggest quake to hit Japan in half a century.
1996: The Czech Republic applied to become a European Union state.
1998: Matt Drudge broke the story of the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky affair on his website The Drudge Report.
2007: The "Doomsday Clock" was set to five minutes to midnight in response to nuclear testing by North Korea.