Who is Rahab in the book of Job?
Rahab is a figure in the Biblical book of Job. She is described as a mythic monster of chaos, which God conquers. She is generally considered to be the personification of the ever-present forces of chaos that threaten God’s created order.
Biblical Description of Rahab
In Job 26:12-13, God boasts to Job of his victory over Rahab:
“By his power he stilled the sea; by his understanding he shattered Rahab. By his wind the heavens were made fair; his hand pierced the fleeing serpent.”
The imagery indicates that God casts down Rahab, the monster of the sea. She is described as a fleeing serpent, indicating her dangerous, chaotic nature.
Interpretations of Rahab
In Jewish tradition, Rahab was interpreted as:
- Lilith: an ancient demon who was said to be Adam’s first wife
- Egypt: a metaphor for the enslavement of the Israelites in the Book of Exodus
- Satan: a personification of evil in the world
In Christian interpretations, Rahab is seen as a symbol of the cosmic powers that threaten the created order. In some cases, it is associated with Leviathan, a sea monster from Canaanite mythology.
Relevance for Us Today
The story of Rahab is still relevant for us today. We still face forces of chaos and evil that threaten to disrupt the created order. The story is a reminder that God can and will conquer these forces in the end. We can find hope in this reminder as we face whatever comes our way.