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Rahab and the Spies

Joshua 2:1-24
Joshua 2:1-24
Joshua 2:1-24
Joshua 2:1-24

Joshua 2

2:1 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. And it was told to the king of Jericho, “Behold, men of Israel have come here tonight to search out the land.” Then the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who entered your house, for they have come to search out all the land.” But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. And she said, “True, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. And when the gate was about to be closed at dark, the men went out. I do not know where the men went. Pursue them quickly, for you will overtake them.” But she had brought them up to the roof and hid them with the stalks of flax that she had laid in order on the roof. So the men pursued after them on the way to the Jordan as far as the fords. And the gate was shut as soon as the pursuers had gone out.

Before the men lay down, she came up to them on the roof and said to the men, “I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. 10 For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction. 11 And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the Lord your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath. 12 Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that, as I have dealt kindly with you, you also will deal kindly with my father's house, and give me a sure sign 13 that you will save alive my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.” 14 And the men said to her, “Our life for yours even to death! If you do not tell this business of ours, then when the Lord gives us the land we will deal kindly and faithfully with you.”

15 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. 16 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.” 17 The men said to her, “We will be guiltless with respect to this oath of yours that you have made us swear. 18 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. 19 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. 20 But if you tell this business of ours, then we shall be guiltless with respect to your oath that you have made us swear.” 21 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.

22 They departed and went into the hills and remained there three days until the pursuers returned, and the pursuers searched all along the way and found nothing. 23 Then the two men returned. They came down from the hills and passed over and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and they told him all that had happened to them. 24 And they said to Joshua, “Truly the Lord has given all the land into our hands. And also, all the inhabitants of the land melt away because of us.”

Rahab Helps the Israelite Spies

1 Joshua chose two men as spies and sent them from their camp at Acacia with these instructions: “Go across the river and find out as much as you can about the whole region, especially about the town of Jericho.”

The two spies left the Israelite camp at Acacia and went to Jericho, where they decided to spend the night at the house of a prostitute named Rahab.

2 But someone found out about them and told the king of Jericho, “Some Israelite men came here tonight, and they are spies.” 3-7 So the king sent soldiers to Rahab's house to arrest the spies.

Meanwhile, Rahab had taken the men up to the flat roof of her house and had hidden them under some piles of flax plants that she had put there to dry.

The soldiers came to her door and demanded, “Let us have the men who are staying at your house. They are spies.”

She answered, “Some men did come to my house, but I didn't know where they had come from. They left about sunset, just before it was time to close the town gate. I don't know where they were going, but if you hurry, maybe you can catch them.”

The guards at the town gate let the soldiers leave Jericho, but they closed the gate again as soon as the soldiers went through. Then the soldiers headed toward the Jordan River to look for the spies at the place where people cross the river.

8 Rahab went back up to her roof. The spies were still awake, so she told them:

9 I know that the Lord has given Israel this land. Everyone shakes with fear because of you. 10 We heard how the Lord dried up the Red Sea so you could leave Egypt. And we heard how you destroyed Sihon and Og, those two Amorite kings east of the Jordan River. 11 We know that the Lord your God rules heaven and earth, and we've lost our courage and our will to fight.

12 Please promise me in the Lord's name that you will be as kind to my family as I have been to you. Do something to show 13 that you won't let your people kill my father and mother and my brothers and sisters and their families.

14 “Rahab,” the spies answered, “if you keep quiet about what we're doing, we promise to be kind to you when the Lord gives us this land. We pray that the Lord will kill us if we don't keep our promise!”

15 Rahab's house was built into the town wall, and one of the windows in her house faced outside the wall. She gave the spies a rope, showed them the window, and said, “Use this rope to let yourselves down to the ground outside the wall. 16 Then hide in the hills. The men who are looking for you won't be able to find you there. They'll give up and come back after a few days, and you can be on your way.”

17-20 The spies said:

You made us promise to let you and your family live. We will keep our promise, but you can't tell anyone why we were here. You must tie this red rope on your window when we attack, and your father and mother, your brothers, and everyone else in your family must be here with you. We'll take the blame if anyone who stays in this house gets hurt. But anyone who leaves your house will be killed, and it won't be our fault.

21 “I'll do exactly what you said,” Rahab promised. Then she sent them on their way and tied the red rope to the window.

22 The spies hid in the hills for three days while the king's soldiers looked for them along the roads. As soon as the soldiers gave up and returned to Jericho, 23 the two spies went down into the Jordan valley and crossed the river. They reported to Joshua and told him everything that had happened. 24 “We're sure the Lord has given us the whole country,” they said. “The people there shake with fear every time they think of us.”

Joshua Sends Spies into Jericho

1 Then Joshua sent two spies from the camp at Acacia with orders to go and secretly explore the land of Canaan, especially the city of Jericho. When they came to the city, they went to spend the night in the house of a prostitute named Rahab. 2 The king of Jericho heard that some Israelites had come that night to spy out the country, 3 so he sent word to Rahab: “The men in your house have come to spy out the whole country! Bring them out!”

4-6 “Some men did come to my house,” she answered, “but I don't know where they were from. They left at sundown before the city gate was closed. I didn't find out where they were going, but if you start after them quickly, you can catch them.” (Now Rahab had taken the two spies up on the roof and hidden them under some stalks of flax that she had put there.) 7 The king's men left the city, and then the gate was shut. They went looking for the Israelite spies as far as the place where the road crosses the Jordan.

8 Before the spies settled down for the night, Rahab went up on the roof 9 and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land. Everyone in the country is terrified of you. 10 We have heard how the Lord dried up the Red Sea in front of you when you were leaving Egypt. We have also heard how you killed Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan. 11 We were afraid as soon as we heard about it; we have all lost our courage because of you. The Lord your God is God in heaven above and here on earth. 12 Now swear by him that you will treat my family as kindly as I have treated you, and give me some sign that I can trust you. 13 Promise me that you will save my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all their families! Don't let us be killed!”

14 The men said to her, “May God take our lives if we don't do as we say! If you do not tell anyone what we have been doing, we promise you that when the Lord gives us this land, we will treat you well.”

15 Rahab lived in a house built into the city wall, so she let the men down from the window by a rope. 16 “Go into the hill country,” she said, “or the king's men will find you. Hide there for three days until they come back. After that, you can go on your way.”

17 The men said to her, “We will keep the promise that you have made us give. 18 This is what you must do. When we invade your land, tie this red cord to the window you let us down from. Get your father and mother, your brothers, and all your father's family together in your house. 19 If anyone goes out of the house, his death will be his own fault, and we will not be responsible; but if anyone in the house with you is harmed, then we will be responsible. 20 However, if you tell anyone what we have been doing, then we will not have to keep our promise which you have made us give you.” 21 She agreed and sent them away. When they had gone, she tied the red cord to the window.

22 The spies went into the hills and hid. The king's men looked for them all over the countryside for three days, but they did not find them, so they returned to Jericho. 23 Then the two spies came down from the hills, crossed the river, and went back to Joshua. They told him everything that had happened, 24 and then said, “We are sure that the Lord has given us the whole country. All the people there are terrified of us.”

Joshua Sends Spies into the Land

2:1 Joshua son of Nun sent two spies out from Shittim secretly and instructed them: “Find out what you can about the land, especially Jericho.” They stopped at the house of a prostitute named Rahab and spent the night there. 2 The king of Jericho received this report: “Note well! Israelite men have come here tonight to spy on the land.” 3 So the king of Jericho sent this order to Rahab: “Turn over the men who came to you – the ones who came to your house – for they have come to spy on the whole land!” 4 But the woman hid the two men and replied, “Yes, these men were clients of mine, but I didn’t know where they came from. 5 When it was time to shut the city gate for the night, the men left. I don’t know where they were heading. Chase after them quickly, for you have time to catch them!” 6 (Now she had taken them up to the roof and had hidden them in the stalks of flax she had spread out on the roof.) 7 Meanwhile the king’s men tried to find them on the road to the Jordan River near the fords. The city gate was shut as soon as they set out in pursuit of them.

8 Now before the spies went to sleep, Rahab went up to the roof. 9 She said to the men, “I know the Lord is handing this land over to you. We are absolutely terrified of you, and all who live in the land are cringing before you. 10 For we heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you left Egypt and how you annihilated the two Amorite kings, Sihon and Og, on the other side of the Jordan. 11 When we heard the news we lost our courage and no one could even breathe for fear of you. For the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on earth below! 12 So now, promise me this with an oath sworn in the Lord’s name. Because I have shown allegiance to you, show allegiance to my family. Give me a solemn pledge 13 that you will spare the lives of my father, mother, brothers, sisters, and all who belong to them, and rescue us from death.” 14 The men said to her, “If you die, may we die too! If you do not report what we’ve been up to, then, when the Lord hands the land over to us, we will show unswerving allegiance to you.”

15 Then Rahab let them down by a rope through the window. (Her house was built as part of the city wall; she lived in the wall.) 16 She told them, “Head to the hill country, so the ones chasing you don’t find you. Hide from them there for three days, long enough for those chasing you to return. Then you can be on your way.” 17 The men said to her, “We are not bound by this oath you made us swear unless the following conditions are met: 18 When we invade the land, tie this red rope in the window through which you let us down, and gather together in your house your father, mother, brothers, and all who live in your father’s house. 19 Anyone who leaves your house will be responsible for his own death – we are innocent in that case! But if anyone with you in the house is harmed, we will be responsible. 20 If you should report what we’ve been up to, we are not bound by this oath you made us swear.” 21 She said, “I agree to these conditions.” She sent them on their way and then tied the red rope in the window. 22 They went to the hill country and stayed there for three days, long enough for those chasing them to return. Their pursuers looked all along the way but did not find them. 23 Then the two men returned – they came down from the hills, crossed the river, came to Joshua son of Nun, and reported to him all they had discovered. 24 They told Joshua, “Surely the Lord is handing over all the land to us! All who live in the land are cringing before us!”

The Creation
Adam and Eve
Cain and Abel
The Great Flood
The Tower of Babel
God Calls Abraham
Sodom and Gomorrah
Abraham's Obedience
Isaac Marries Rebekah
Esau's Birthright
Isaac Blesses Jacob
Jacob and Laban
Jacob Wrestles
Revenge against Shechem
Joseph in Prison
Joseph as a Ruler
Family Reunion
Moses' Birth
The Burning Bush
The Ten Plagues
The Exodus
The Red Sea
The Gold Calf
Exploring the Land
Rebellion in the Ranks
Balak and Balaam
Rahab and the Spies
Jericho Falls
Gibeon's Con Artists
Deborah and Barak
Gideon as Judge
Abimelech's Ambition
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Ruth, Naomi and Boaz
Samuel is Born
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God Speaks to Elijah
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Famine and Unbelief
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Hezekiah Trusts God
Josiah's Reign
Fall of Jerusalem
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Jehoshaphat and Ahab
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Paul Goes to Rome