31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.
31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish
We find the account of Rahab the prostitute in Joshua 2:1–21. As a pagan Gentile she had heard of the crossing of the Red Sea by Israel and believed. We find her “faith” expressed in Joshua 2:9–11.
with those who did not believe,
Those who did “not believe” were the residents of Jericho (Josh 2:17, 21). The same word for “not believe” was used of the Israelites in Hebrews 3:18.
when she had received the spies with peace.
Joshua sent out spies to gather intelligence on the city and fortress of Jericho (Josh 2:1–15). Rahab hid these spies in her house from the king of Jericho. The spies honored her with safety (Josh 2:14). See James’s account of this situation here and the following studies: https://versebyversecommentary.com/james/james-225/
Faith produces works.
Three surprising facts about Rahab in the Old Testament were that she was a woman in a culture that did not place women on top of the totem pole, she was a Canaanite Gentile, and she was a prostitute. The New Testament mentioned this woman in the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah (Mt 1:5), in James 2, and here. God does not concern Himself with what we were but with what we are and will be.
Unbelief produces disobedience; faith results in obedience. Rahab’s faith welcomed the spies into her house, and God spared her family (Josh 6:23). Eventually, she married Salmon and became the mother of Boaz, who married Ruth, who was the great-grandfather of David. Jesus was in the lineage of David (Ru 4:21; Mt 1:5–6). Rahab was physically related to both David and Jesus.