|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:8-21 Rahab had heard of the miracles the Lord wrought for Israel. She believed that his promises would certainly be fulfilled, and his threatenings take effect; and that there was no way of escape but by submitting to him, and joining with his people. The conduct of Rahab proved that she had the real principle of Divine faith. Observe the promises the spies made to her. The goodness of God is often expressed by his kindness and truth, Ps 117:2; in both these we must be followers of him. Those who will be conscientious in keeping promises, are cautious in making them. The spies make needful conditions. The scarlet cord, like the blood upon the doorpost at the passover, recalls to remembrance the sinner's security under the atoning blood of Christ; and that we are to flee thereto for refuge from the wrath of a justly offended God. The same cord Rahab used for the saving of these Israelites, was to be used for her own safety. What we serve and honour God with, we may expect he will bless, and make useful to us.
Verse 15. - Then she let them down. The conversation which is related afterwards, no doubt occurred afterwards, as is proved by the use of the perfect הורַדְתֵּנוּ in ver. 18. There is no reason to suppose the window by which she let them down. to have been so distant from the ground as to preclude a conversation, and it is quite possible that Rahab's house may have been in a situation in which such a conversation could be carried on without interruption. There are continental cities now surrounded by walls, in which such a conversation would involve no difficulty whatever, especially if the house from which such a conversation was carried on happened to stand a little apart from other houses. And though the spies sent by Moses described the walls of the Phoenician cities in hyperbolical language, it is highly improbable that their fortifications were stronger than those of mediaeval times. The little town of Ahrweiler, in the valley of the Ahr, near Remagen, may serve as an instance in point. It would once have been called a strongly fortified town, but the walls are of no great height, and the houses are built upon them. The same may be seen at Bacharach and Oberwesel, and other well known places where the fortifications have not been modernised. With the escape of the spies we may compare the escape of St. Paul from Damascus, as recorded in Acts 9:25, and 2 Corinthians 11:32, 33.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then she let them down by a cord through the window,.... Which must be large, and the cord strong, as well as she herself a masculine woman, to let down two men by it, unless she employed any of her servants in the affair; though this being so great a secrecy, it is probable she trusted none of her domestics with it as little as possible: in like manner the Apostle Paul was let down by the wall of Damascus in a basket, Acts 9:25; Jarchi supposes it was the same cord and window, by means of and in at which her gallants used to come and go:
for her house was upon the town wall; in a suitable and convenient place to receive her guests and gallants: and it is observed, that harlots have had their houses on or under walls: Martial speaks of harlots whom he calls (l) Summoenianae, whores that plied under the walls and in the suburbs of cities:
and she dwelt upon the wall; that part of the house in which she particularly dwelt was built on or over the wall, and the rest towards the city was for the entertainment of persons that resorted to her house.
(l) Epigram. l. 3. Ep. 62.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. her house was upon the town wall—In many Oriental cities houses are built on the walls with overhanging windows; in others the town wall forms the back wall of the house, so that the window opens into the country. Rahab's was probably of this latter description, and the cord or rope sufficiently strong to bear the weight of a man.
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