Matthew 1:5 simply tells us that “Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab.” The Old Testament is silent regarding Rahab being married to Salmon and bearing a child named Boaz, yet the “circumstantial evidence” that she is indeed the same Rahab that is found in Joshua chapters 2 and 6 is overwhelming. Here are my reasons for believing they are one and the same woman:

1) Rahab acted in faith by receiving the two Jewish spies (see Joshua 2:1-4 with Hebrews 11:31 and James 2:25). Her faith resulted in her and her family being spared (see Joshua 2:8-14 with 6:17, 25). Because of her “conversion to God” and her being honored by the Jews who were inspired to write of her in Hebrews and James, it is easy to believe that she was received by the Jewish nation as a Jewish proselyte and that one day she married a Jewish man.

2) The references listed above are the only ones that speak of a woman named Rahab. We know that the passages in Joshua, Hebrews and James are speaking of the same woman, so it is very reasonable to assume that the Rahab in Matthew is the same woman.

3) One of the strongest proofs is seen as we compare the book of Ruth with the other three women mentioned in the genealogy of Christ in Matthew 1:3, 4-6. I will quote that passage and highlight all FOUR WOMEN:

“Judah begot Perez and Zerah by TAMAR….Salmon begot Boaz by RAHAB….Boaz begot Obed by RUTH…and David the king begot Solomon by HER WHO HAD BEEN THE WIFE OF URIAH.”

What did Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba (the wife of Uriah) have in common? They were all “questionable women” who were unlikely candidates for marriage and bearing children to Jewish men. Tamar played the harlot with her father-in-law and gave birth to two illegitimate sons (see Genesis chapter 38). Rahab was a harlot and a Gentile (see Joshua 2:2). Ruth was a Moabite (another “Gentile”) and that nation had been banned from the congregation of Israel for ten generations (see Deuteronomy 23:3). Bathsheba committed adultery with David (see 2nd Samuel 11:1-5). The fact that God allowed these women to be included in the genealogy of Jesus Christ is a miracle of His wonderful grace! I have often thought that if men (in this case, Matthew) had not been inspired to write the Bible there is no way a godly Jew would have included them. It was rare for women to be mentioned at all in genealogies, and then to write of women with such shameful pasts was proof that God’s hand was upon Matthew as he penned these words. Again, this but manifests the matchless grace of God that turned these women into “trophies of His grace” and allowed them to be in the “Royal Line” (of the “tribe of Judah”) that eventually gave birth to Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world.  (369.1)  (DO)