Joshua 2
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Rahab Welcomes the Spies
(Hebrews 11:31-40)

1Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Acacia Grove,a saying, “Go, inspect the land, especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.

2And it was reported to the king of Jericho: “Behold, some men of Israel have come here tonight to spy out the land.”

3So the king of Jericho sent to Rahab and said, “Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, for they have come to spy out the whole land.”

4But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. So she said, “Yes, the men did come to me, but I did not know where they had come from. 5At dusk, when the gate was about to close, the men went out, and I do not know which way they went. Pursue them quickly, and you may catch them!” 6(But Rahab had taken them up to the roof and hidden them among the stalks of flax that she had laid out there.)

7So the king's men set out in pursuit of the spies along the road to the fords of the Jordan, and as soon as they had gone out, the gate was shut.

The Promise to Rahab

8Before the spies lay down for the night, Rahab went up on the roof 9and said to them, “I know that the LORD has given you this land and that the fear of you has fallen on us, so that all the inhabitants of the land are melting in fear of you. 10For we have heard how the LORD dried up the waters of the Red Seab before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites across the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed.c 11When we heard this, our hearts melted and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in the heavens above and on the earth below.

12Now therefore, please swear to me by the LORD that you will indeed show kindness to my family because I showed kindness to you. Give me a sure sign 13that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and that you will deliver us from death.”

14“Our lives for your lives!” the men agreed. “If you do not report our mission, we will show you kindness and faithfulness when the LORD gives us the land.”

15Then Rahab let them down by a rope through the window, since the house where she lived was built into the wall of the city. 16“Go to the hill country,” she said, “so that your pursuers will not find you. Hide yourselves there for three days until they have returned; then go on your way.”

17The men said to her, “We will not be bound by this oath you made us swear 18unless, when we enter the land, you have tied this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you have brought your father and mother and brothers and all your family into your house. 19If anyone goes out the doors of your house into the street, his blood will be on his own head, and we will be innocent. But if a hand is laid on anyone with you in the house, his blood will be on our heads. 20And if you report our mission, we will be released from the oath you made us swear.”

21“Let it be as you say,” she replied, and sent them away. And when they had gone, she tied the scarlet cord in the window.

22So the spies went out into the hill country and stayed there three days, until their pursuers had returned without finding them, having searched all along the road. 23Then the two men started back, came down from the hill country and crossed the river. So they came to Joshua son of Nun and reported all that had happened to them.

24“The LORD has surely delivered the entire land into our hands,” they said to Joshua. “Indeed, all the inhabitants of the land are melting in fear of us.”

Footnotes:

1 a Hebrew Shittim
10 b Or the Sea of Reeds
10 c The Hebrew term refers to giving over things or persons to the LORD, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering

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