After wandering in the desert for 40 years for their disobedience and unbelief, the Israelites are ready to enter God's Promised Land of Canaan. Under Joshua's command, two spies are sent to Jericho to scout out the city. They visit the home of Rahab, whose profession keeps her fed, but a slave to sin. She chooses to hide the spies and protect them from the Jericho guards who seek their lives.

In return, she begs their protection for herself and her family. She acknowledges the power of the God of Israel, and in faith seeks refuge in Him. The spies tell Rahab to hang a scarlet cord from her window and pledge to protect anyone in her home when they conquer the city. And when God miraculously gives Jericho into their hands, the Israelites uphold their promise and rescue Rahab and her family from the crumbling city.

Rahab’s scarlet cord hangs from her window, a red reminder of the vow the Israelite spies have taken to protect her and her family when their army takes Jericho. Anyone inside her home will be spared.

It marks her home just as the crimson blood of the Passover lamb marked the doorways of the Israelites in Egypt just one generation before, when they saw God move in power and free them from slavery.

It provided protection for those inside each home, as long as its doorway was stained red. The final plague of God’s mighty hand against their oppressors, to break the bond of slavery once and for all.


The scarlet cord, a symbol of God’s mighty love breaking the bondage of Rahab’s slavery to sin, to set her free.

A foreshadowing of the Promised One to come, whose blood would wash clean all those who through faith believe, and set them free from sin and death.

Grafted into the Israelite family tree and the Bloodline of Christ, Rahab is the mother of Boaz, who redeems Ruth.

Continue to Ruth's Story