Bustard, Ned - VM - Ned Bustard
Ned Bustard: Rahab
by Ned Bustard
And Joshua the son of Nun sent two men secretly from Shittim as spies, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” And they went and came into the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab and lodged there . . .
Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was built into the city wall, so that she lived in the wall. And she said to them, “Go into the hills, or the pursuers will encounter you, and hide there three days until the pursuers have returned. Then afterward you may go your way.” The men said to her, “We will be guiltless with respect to this oath of yours that you have made us swear. Behold, when we come into the land, you shall tie this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and you shall gather into your house your father and mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household. Then if anyone goes out of the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we shall be guiltless. But if a hand is laid on anyone who is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head. But if you tell this business of ours, then we shall be guiltless with respect to your oath that you have made us swear.” And she said, “According to your words, so be it.” Then she sent them away, and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord in the window. Joshua 2:1, 15–21
Denis Haack of Critique magazine writes that Rahab is “usually depicted as the scandalously promiscuous woman who was saved by grace, always with the impression given that since someone much more low class and tasteless than I can be saved, there is hope for the likes of me, who is a sinner, but not really all that bad compared to her . . .” But the composition of this print forces the viewer to look up to Rahab, asking the question: are you going to humble yourself and take the salvation offered by this holy hooker?
Hebrews 11:31 states that “By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.” She ended up marrying one of the spies and her son was Boaz, the husband of Ruth—placing her in the genealogical line of Jesus Christ.
Ned Bustard: Rahab, linocut, 18 x 21 cm, from Revealed: A Storybook Bible for Grown-Ups (Square Halo Books, Baltimore MD, USA). This print is also part of the new Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA) Traveling Exhibit, “Revealed: The Ancient Story of Redemption Depicted in Contemporary Prints.”
ArtWay Visual Meditation June 26, 2016