It is said that Rahab had been crushed

Psalm 89:10 NIV

You crushed Rahab like one of the slain; with your strong arm you scattered your enemies.

Again Isaiah seems to say the same thing about Rahab was cut to piecies

Isaiah 51:9 NIV

Awake, awake, arm of the Lord, clothe yourself with strength! Awake, as in days gone by, as in generations of old. Was it not you who cut Rahab to pieces, who pierced that monster through?

But Rahab and her family were the only ones who survived when Joshua destroyed Jericho

Joshua 6:22 NIV

22 Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the prostitute’s house and bring her out and all who belong to her, in accordance with your oath to her.” 23 So the young men who had done the spying went in and brought out Rahab, her father and mother, her brothers and sisters and all who belonged to her. They brought out her entire family and put them in a place outside the camp of Israel

So how was Rahab crushed?.

  • Proper names refer not only to the actual person bearing them, but also to their descendants; e.g., Israel was the name Jacob got after fighting with the angel, but also the name of his descendants, the people of Israel. Don't worry about the down-votes; you'll get your reputation back once I leave the site.
    – Lucian
    Commented Jul 12, 2021 at 8:56
  • @Lucian,is it personal? Commented Jul 12, 2021 at 9:03
  • Doubtful, since Isaiah lived centuries after the biblical character (from the book of Joshua). Most likely, it speaks of the tribe called after her, which apparently suffered a tragedy around the prophet's own time.
    – Lucian
    Commented Jul 12, 2021 at 9:06

3 Answers 3


Isiah 51:9 & Psalm 89:10 is a symbolical expression for Egypt.

Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab (H7294 - rahaḇ), and wounded the dragon? (Isaiah 51:9 KJV)

Thou hast broken Rahab in pieces (H7294 - rahaḇ), as one that is slain; thou hast scattered thine enemies with thy strong arm. (Psalm 89:10 KJV)


I will make mention of Rahab (H7294 - rahaḇ) and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there. (Psalm 87:4 KJV)

Rahab m.n. (Hebrew: רַהַב‎, strong's H7293 Modern: Rahav, Tiberian: Rahaḇ, "blusterer" one that is arrogant and prideful, referering to Egypt, Rahav so called either from the pride and haughtiness of its inhabitants; or from the large extent of the country; or from the form of it, being in the likeness of a pear, as some have thought

Person; Rachav רחב - H7243 strong's resh, chet, beit. Greek strong's Ῥαάβ G4460
Attribute; Rahab רהב - H7293 strong's resh, hey, beit.
Location; Rahab רהב - H7294 strong's resh, hey, beit.

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The first thing to observe is that the OP is confusing two different nouns - names for different things that in Hebrew are different words:

  • In Ps 89:10, Isa 51:9 has, רַהַב (Rahab) = storm, sea monster, or emblematic name of Egypt (BDB), eg, Job 9:13, 26:12, Ps 87:4, 89:10, Isa 30:7, etc.
  • In Josh 6:23 has רָחָב (Rachab), the harlot of Jericho, eg, Josh 2:1, 3, 6:17, 23, 25.

Thus, while similar in English, they are different words with different spellings in Hebrew and should not be confused with one another.

Note Matthew Poole's comment on Ps 89:10 -

Rahab; Egypt, as Psalm 87:4. As one that is slain; thou didst wound them not slightly, but unto death. See Exodus 14:15.


As has been pointed out, the Hebrew name for the prostitute in Jericho is spelled with a het, or aspirated "ch" which is a different letter than the sea monster which is spelled with a "he", or "h" sound. They are merely transliterated to the same letters in the latin alphabet, which does not have a "ch" sound.

Rahab the monster is one of the many sea monsters in the Old Testament. She was symbolically "cut" when the sea was parted in Exodus, and thus defeated in order to allow Israel to escape from Egypt. In this way, she is identified with Egypt. In Isaiah 51.9 we have the idea of "cutting" Rahab. In Psalm 89.10, the word "crushed" should be interpreted to mean "overcome", "overthrown", "defeated", etc.

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