In Hebrew the names of the woman Rahab in Joshua and the dragon Rahab from the Books of Job, Psalms and Isaiah are spelled differently and have no etymological connection.
Israelite law never criminalized prostitutes, but their low status is apparent in Deuteronomistic texts such as Judges 11:1 and 1 Kings 22:38. See Phyllis Bird, “Prostitution in the Social World and Religious Rhetoric of Ancient Israel,” in Christopher A. Faraone and Laura K. McClure, eds., Prostitutes and Courtesans in the Ancient World (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press: 2006), pp. 40–58.
For example, Alice L. Laffey, An Introduction to the Old Testament, A Feminist Perspective (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1988), p. 86, and Alice Ogden Bellis, Helpmates, Harlots, and Heroes (Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1994), pp. 113–115.
See Norman Gottwald, The Hebrew Bible: A Socio-Literary Introduction (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1985), pp. 258–259.
Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (London: Bantam, 2006).
See my review of John Collins’s The Bible After Babel on the Biblical Archaeology Society’s Web site: www.biblicalarchaeology.com.