Applying The Story of Rahab

I’ve said it many times…the Bible is the greatest collection of adventure stories ever known.

In Joshua 2, we are told the story of two spies sent by Joshua to conduct recon in the area of Jericho.  While they are conducting their mission, they are found out and government agents traced them to the inn of Rahab, where they were staying.  She hid them, and sent the agents on a wild goose chase into the hills, in exchange for the promise of safe conduct later from the spies.

While it’s already a cool action story, complete with spies hiding in the attic under supplies while the police search the building for them, I wondered, what tactical lessons from Rahab’s story are equally applicable today?

The answer:  ALL OF THEM.


The first lesson is of course that before taking any action, conduct reconnaissance first.  Joshua was no dummy, and he knew that intelligence won battles, and conducting an operation on ground you don’t know is a sure path to disaster.

Coincidentally, it’s telling that Sun Tzu, in The Art of War, explains the same truth that Joshua knew, and he wrote an entire chapter (Chapter 10), on knowing the terrain.


The men made an agreement with Rahab, that she would hide them in return for their protection when the Israelites took the fort.

Establishing agreements among like minded people to provide refuge for each other in an emergency is an excellent tactic and everyone should have these agreements in place now.

As an example, some of my students have a ranch on the way from my suburban home to my bug out location in the north woods.  We have an agreement that in an emergency, I can stop at their place and stay as long as I need, as long as I assist in protecting their ranch.

Additionally, we have “mutual aid” agreements with surrounding properties to assist each other in an emergency and to be able field a quick reaction force to anyone needing rescue or protection in the area.

In an emergency, you are your own first responder.


In the story, the spies agreed that if Rahab had a scarlet cord in the window, the Israelite forces would bypass her inn, as long as everyone stayed inside during the fighting.

It’s overly simplistic, but it gives rise to the entire idea of having pre-arranged signals.

The AmRron Radio Network has an established “Signal Operating Instructions” set for everyone who belongs to their radio network and have established Channel 3 on any radio system, whether it be CB, FRS, GMRS, or MURS as a national “mutual aid” radio channel during emergencies, with instructions to all members to monitor channel 3 for 3 minutes, every third hour.

You can establish various signals and contact methods with your friends and associates, but KEEP THEM SECRET.


Because her inn was part of the city wall, Rahab was able to assist the men in escaping the fort, despite the authorities sealing the city gates by lowering them out a window.

I’m pretty sure, given her chosen profession, that this wasn’t the first time Rahab let a man sneak out the window.

How does that apply to today?  Do you have a plan to get out of your immediate area without using major roads or highways, where checkpoints could be established?

Most people say that their “bug out plan” involves “getting out of town” and then the plan starts.  If you can’t make it out of town, the rest of your plan is irrelevant.  

During our training classes, we frequently hear this and then ask someone how they plan to get out town.  The answer is usually the highway.  At that point, I ask if them know what the ACTUAL STATED PURPOSE of the highway system is.  It’s purpose is to allow unobstructed military and emergency traffic in an emergency.  In other words, the highway won’t be open to civilian traffic.

As you enter the highway, you’ll see a sign about “entering a limited access highway”.  The fine print explains that they can be closed at any time.

Have routes out from your home and work locations that don’t rely on highways.  Ideally, they should also avoid any highway entrance or exit points, as those will be natural checkpoint locations.


I know I’ll get some push back on this, but any time that government agents show up at your home or business, it’s perfectly OK to not let them in.  That’s what Rahab did, and while she actively lied, telling them that the men had fled the city, I don’t advocate lying to the police.  

What I do advocate is that if you didn’t call them, you are under exactly ZERO obligation to answer any questions or provide any information.  In most sates, unless you are the driver in a vehicle stopped for a motor vehicle violation, you are under no obligation to even identify yourself.

Some people feel that out of civic duty, you should cooperate.  I have one response:  That’s how General Michael Flynn felt when Supervisory Special Agent Peter Strzok walked into his office.

The Constitution exists to limit government action and ensure your freedom.  Use it, don’t ever waive it.

I have a good friend who, while in the line of our work, was involved in a struggle that led to a man’s death.  My friend and the rest of the staff that day gave statements to the police, in good faith, and while the police agreed with our action in the situation, the politically active prosecutor needed to score some community points, so those statements were used to charge everyone with a crime.  All charges were dropped as soon as they were reviewed by a court, but the names and charges were already in the national media at that point, and no media outlet has ever apologized.

Don’t make statements unless guided by counsel, who will tell you not to make one at all.

I hope this review of Joshua 2 and the story of Rahab has led to some critical thinking on your part.  The time to put these ideas into action is NOW, before an emergency occurs.


Published by JD

I am the author of the Tactical Wisdom Series. I am a personal protection specialist and a veteran of the US Marine Corps. I conduct preparedness and self-defense training.

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