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Rahab and Joshua: A Bibilical Love Story By Rivka Gonen

Rahab and Joshua: A Biblical Love Story is a historical fiction book based on the prostitute Rahab and how she helped the Israelites to overthrow Jericho.  This book, while fiction, draws from sources to accurately reflect the period details and will probably give those in theology a good head scratching after reading this as whether or not Rahab married Joshua is a topic of debate for those in the field.  Rahab is listed as being the mother of Boaz, who eventually married Ruth, and is therefore listed in the lineage of Jesus.  However, Rahab is supposed to have conceived this child with a man named Salmon.  Yet there is also some Biblical evidence that Rahab did first marry Joshua.  This book gives the theories a whole new spin and was very interesting and creative.  While this is certainly fiction, the author gives an account for this Biblical story that I haven’t seen among many theologists.

Rahab has always been a character of interest for me just because I think God was so bold for putting a prostitute in the birth line of Jesus showing that He indeed had a purpose for everyone and can use anyone for His purposes.  I’ve never heard much about a back story on Ruth or why she chose to help the spies infiltrate Jericho.  Jericho is also one of my favorite battles to read about in the Bible, God really showed off there too, because I can only imagine how confused Jericho soldiers would have been watching the Israelites do nothing more than quietly circle their city.  It is really a story of faith.  This book did not disappoint.  The story of how the shepherds that Rahab descended from was really eye opening and the author provided a real example of how she likely ended up a prostitute and then later a concubine.  It really hit home for me as an abuse survivor myself and someone that ministers to those in the sex club industry.  The story was not only brilliant in giving color and life to things we have learned reading documents from this time period it was hard to put down and Rahab’s life story really captured my heart.

The book was a little slow in the beginning and could use some editing there to make it tighter and get it to the part where I didn’t want to put it down.  The ending was abrupt and made me feel let down though.  It looks like there was supposed to be an epilogue but it wasn’t in my digital copy so that may have helped bring closure to it that I just didn’t get.  If there is an epilogue please include it as I’m sure it brings the much needed closure of this book.

This historical fiction is truly a page turner and I really appreciate the creativity behind the theory the author is putting forth.  This would be great for a book club group also and has the potential to lead to great discussions.  Rahab’s story is one of faith albeit sadness for how so much of her life was full of sorrow.  This book really brought that story to light and made her shine.

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