For most of us, performing sexual favors in some dark alley for grocery money is about as low as life can get. But history is full of stories of prostitutes who parlayed their skills into positions of prestige and power.
And some of them changed the world.
5Rahab the Harlot
How She Got Her Start?
Rahab probably came from a middle-class family in Jericho. She was an intelligent, independent-minded woman, and in those days there was only one profession for a girl like her to go into. A married woman was a slave to her husband, but a prostitute lived her own life and made her own decisions. As a scarlet woman, Rahab had freedom.
The cost of freedom, circa 1400 BC.
By all accounts, she was good at it, too. By the time she comes up in the Bible, she had her own house and made a comfortable income. Comfortable enough that she began to long for a career that didn't involve, at best, being fisted by middle-aged men who bathed once a year.
What Made Her Great?
Back in 1422 B.C., the Israelites were living on a barren tract of land appropriately named, Shittim. Joshua, king of the Jews, didn't really like living in a place that reminded him of his own bowel movements, so he set his sights on the city of Jericho.
Better than Shittim.
Joshua sent out two spies to scout out the defenses. The young Jews did their job and then sought "refuge" at Rahab's place. The Bible doesn't state why they chose to stay there, but it's pretty obvious Joshua's spies were "scouting out the defenses" for a "full frontal assault."
Their sweaty reconnaissance was cut short, however, when the king of Jericho sent his men out to look for the two Jewish spies skulking around his city. Rahab hid the young men, and convinced the king's soldiers that the spies were hiding elsewhere. Because of Rahab's kindness, Joshua's spies survived and were able to bring back crucial information that lead to the conquest of Jericho by the armies of Israel.
That's right; believe what you want about the Bible, but it's right there in the Old Testament that the course of world history was turned by a hooker with a heart of gold.