Monday, January 12, 2009


I love it when writers help us discover Old Testament symbolism that points to Christ. Karen Boren is a fine LDS author and her book is full of fascinating insights. Here is one that especially appealed to me.

Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father's household, home unto thee. And it shall be, that whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood shall be upon his head, and we will be guiltless: and whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood shall be on our head, if any hand be upon him. Joshua 2:18-19

And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father's household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho. Joshua 6:25

In a sweet book called Color in Scripture by D.L. Higginbotham, there is a surprising connection with the tale of Rahab of Jericho. Rahab hid the Israelite spies and for her kindness, her family was saved by her putting a “scarlet line” in her window. Higginbotham makes a connection with the red blood of the Passover lamb smeared on the doorways of the Israelites in Egypt saying, “Both were a shadow of the blood ultimately shed by Christ for the human race.” Then she writes this:

The Hebrew word for “line” here is tiqvah [pronounced teek-vuh]. Every other occurrence of the word is translated “hope” or “expectation.” The word “hope” is given further illumination in Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for.” Apparently, faith is associated with hope. So here we have this line as a picture of the faith that saved Rahab, as well as the first-born of the children of Israel. Their all-important faith in these red symbols were but shadows of the ultimate faith in the precious blood of Christ which “saves” us today. In addition, the scarlet line is a picture of a blood line because Rahab is an ancestor of Christ Himself (Matthew 1:5).

(Boren, Karen, Messiah of the Winepress: Christ and the Red Heifer, Beit Parah Publishing, Provo, UT, 2002, pg 39)

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