The name (Hebr. rāḥāb) of the Canaanite prostitute who saved the spies sent by Joshua to Jericho, and who, along with her extended family, was subsequently incorporated into Israel (Josh. 2; 6.22–25; Heb. 11.31; James 2.25). According to Matthew's genealogy of Jesus, she was the mother of Boaz, who married Ruth, and thus the ancestor of David (Matt. 1.5).


A name (Hebr. rahab) for the primeval adversary of Yahweh in the battle prior to creation (Isa. 51.9; Ps. 89.10; Job 9.13; 26.12; Sir. 43.23–25; see Israel, Religion of; Myth), also known as the sea, the deep, the dragon, the serpent, and Leviathan; this name, unlike the others, is not found in ancient Near Eastern sources outside the Bible. It is applied by extension to Egypt as the deity's quintessential historical enemy (Ps. 87.4; Isa. 30.7).

Michael D. Coogan