What Does Tiqvah Mean?

What is Tiqvah anyway? You will find in the bible, in Joshua Chapters 2-6, the story of Rahab and her family.

The word “tiqvah” is used in Joshua 2:18 and is translated as “cord” as in “an attachment”.

It is also translated to mean the following:

  • to hope
  • to expect
  • to think
  • to live
  • to be something that one longs or desires for
  • it is an attitude of anticipation or expectation

This passage describes the conquest of the fortified city of Jericho by the Israelites. In its day, Jericho was the most important Canaanite fortress city in the Jordan Valley. It was a stronghold directly in the path of the advancing Israelites, who had just crossed the Jordan River (Joshua 3:1-17). Before entering the land west of the Jordan, Joshua sent two spies to look over the land. The king of Jericho heard that two Israelite spies were within his city and ordered them to be brought out to him.

Rahab, the woman with whom the spies were staying, protected them by hiding them on her roof. She told them how the citizens of Jericho had been fearful of the Israelites ever since they defeated the Egyptians via the Red Sea miracle (some 40 years prior). She agreed to help them escape, provided that she and her family were spared in the upcoming battle.

The spies agreed to her request, giving her three conditions to be met:

1) she must distinguish her house from the others by hanging a scarlet rope out of the window so the Israelites would know which home to spare

2) her family must be inside the house during the battle

3) she must not later turn on the spies.

The city was completely destroyed, and every man, woman, and child in it was killed.

Only Rahab and her family were spared. Ultimately, Rahab married Salmon, from the tribe of Judah. Her son was Boaz, the husband of Ruth. Joseph, the legal father of Jesus, is her direct descendant. God had, and will always have a plan for us no matter what we do, who we are, or where we have been. He is concerned with where we are headed.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).

Rahab and Christians are saved by an act of grace through faith, true faith requires and is exemplified by action (James 2). Rahab was told to put the scarlet cord (rope) out of the window as representation to the agreement that her household would be spared from consequences of attack.  Rahab’s faith enabled her to turn away from her culture, her people, her religion and to the Lord.  She feared God and obeyed her instructions, which brought deliverance from destruction and paved the way for rescue.

She embraced God in a time of despair and through opportunity to be rescued, displayed that cord of hope outside her window and put her faith in God.  Hope proceeded down the lineage through David and ultimately paved the way for the Messiah.

Hope is faith in our deliverance, and it is available today for all who need rescue. The hope (cord) for us is found in the blood of Jesus Christ which is our life line through salvation.

Tiqvah (the cord or rope which symbolizes the promise that anchors us to the character and promises of God) are found in Scripture:

  • Promise of Presence – Matthew 28:20 – “Surely, I am with you always”
  • Promise of Purpose – Philippians 2:13 – “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose”
  • Promise of Grace – 2 Corinthians 9:8 – “God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work”
  • Promise of Answered Prayer – Matthew 21:22 – “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

Once we come to Christ, our past no longer defines who we become. The slate is wiped clean for all who believe and accept the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross on our behalf.

Rahab was no longer viewed as an unclean prostitute, but as one worthy by grace to be part of the lineage of  Jesus Christ. Even though we travel through challenging life circumstances, God is able to use everything for His good, when we submit our lives to Him.

Rahab’s story is one of Grace and of the Hope that is found in trusting God with all that we have. No matter what walk of life you experience along the way, God can heal, He can restore, and He can use you as a brand new creation in Him for bringing about joy and goodness for all who will hear your story.