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Was she likely to be sold into prostitution by her parents?
Was she likely to have been poor, with no other way to earn a living? Was it likely that her culture accepted prostitution as an acceptable, respectable profession?

I have heard several times about the symbolism of the scarlet ribbon in her story. And I see that she refers to "the Lord" rather than "your Lord".

But was she scorned by her community? Was she in a position of power and influence? I'm curious whether she was a victim and powerless, but don't want to assume that was the case.

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I thought Rahab lived in Jericho? Facilitating escape down the wall and all that... The title appears to state that she lived in (at?) Shittim. – Susan Mar 3 '15 at 4:52

I agree that there is little in the text to answer your question. There are some clues however. The name Rahab is not Canaanite but Hebrew and is possibly a nickname meaning 'wide' or 'broad'. Salmon means 'he kept his clothes on'. Possibly another nickname. That tells its own story. Rahab ran what was a common facility in Canaan and across the Middle East. It was similar to the truck-stops we have today offering food, accomodation, and prostitutes. If she owned her own house on a prime site like near the wall, she was exceedingly wealthy for a woman. 'Innkeepers' like Rahab routinely reported the arrival of strangers to the king for security reasons so she might have reported them and then had second thoughts. (For romantic reasons?)

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I'm puzzled about your comments about "Salmon." Seems like a non-sequitur to me. Who is Salmon? – rhetorician Oct 12 '13 at 18:49
Salmon or Salma the father of Boaz. 1 Chronicles 2: 11. Romantic story. Salmon and Rahab. Don't have any idea if it is true. – gideon marx Oct 12 '13 at 23:21
thanks Gideon Marx and Rhetorician for the conversation and thoughts. I'm new to this site, so thanks for going easy on me. Sounds like there's not much about Rahab or her husband Salmon in the Bible itself. I'm making notes. It mentions "her house" but she may or may not be the owner. Thanks for the insight into the names--very interesting. Do you know anything else about the culture, economics, society? I read that Rahab might have been a temple prostitute. Could that fit with the idea of the truck-stop whorehouse? Interesting she's mentioned in James as well as Hebrews. – Kevin Cade Oct 14 '13 at 20:16
What an interesting controversy I've stumbled upon. Are we culturally ignorant of eastern ways when we assume one called a "harlot" is a prostitute? See Appreciating Oriental Insights Into the Bible: Are we watering down the sin and compromising the beautiful forgiveness portrayed in Jesus' lineage? – Kevin Cade Oct 14 '13 at 20:56
There are big books on Canaanite culture and the subject is simply too big. I have read the alternate meanings for harlot and they are as valid as prostitute – gideon marx Oct 15 '13 at 19:44

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