© 2004 by Jerry L. Croasmun
Read -- Matthew 1:1-17
Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse."
-- Matthew 1:5 (NIV)
The genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, is recorded in Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38. In Matthew 1:4-5 and Luke 3:32 we find the name, "Salmon." From both gospel accounts we learn that Salmon was the father of Boaz. This fact is also confirmed in Ruth 4:21 where we read, "Salmon the father of Boaz, Boaz the father of Obed." And in 1 Chronicles 2:11-12 where we read, "Nahshon was the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, Boaz the father of Obed and Obed the father of Jesse."
So we have established that Jesus had an ancestor named, "Salmon," somewhere in His family tree. However, it is only in Matthew where we learn of Salmon's wife. In Matthew 1:5 we read, "Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse." Hidden between the lines in Matthew 1:5 we find the puzzle piece, which gives us the clue that Rahab was married to Salmon. Yes, this is the same Rahab who hid the spies in her home in Jericho. To learn more about Rahab, read "The Scarlet Rope" devotional article.
Rahab is mentioned seven times by name in the Bible and five of these she is referred to as, "Rahab the prostitute or harlot." The Bible does not specifically state when Rahab turned from her former occupation and sinful lifestyle to follow God; however, we do know from the text in Matthew that she married Salmon and had a son named, "Boaz."
I believe Rahab's confession of faith can be found in Joshua 2:9-11 where we read, "I know that the LORD has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone's courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below." Rahab made a public confession regarding the true God of Israel and I believe this was a turning point in her life.
She had to turn her back on the king of Jericho, her gods, and the people of Jericho. She took a major chance with her life by hiding the two spies. Yes, she was willing to risk her very life to follow the spies and the children of Israel. In Joshua 6:25 we read, "But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho." Rahab and the lives of her family were spared because of her obedience to God and by her faith. In Hebrews 11:31 we read, "By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient."
God spared the life of Rahab, a woman who had been a prostitute in Jericho. He took a Gentile woman and her sinful life and gave her a Godly husband and a son whom they named, "Boaz." Boaz is identified as being the kinsman-redeemer in the book of Ruth. Boaz married Ruth and they too had a son, "Obed." Obed was King David's grandfather. Read devotional articles "Naomi's Sojourn," "Mahlon's Widow," and "Boaz--A Kinsman Redeemer" to learn more about Ruth and Boaz.
Did you notice that Matthew mentions two Gentile women in Christ's genealogy? These being Ruth, the Moabitess, and Rahab, the harlot. God's grace is so beautiful. He spared the life of Rahab, a former harlot or prostitute, and included her in the ancestral lineage of Jesus Christ. His grace is truly amazing and He has a plan for each one of our lives.
May we find comfort in the words of Ephesians 2:8-9, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast." Amen.