For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when you came out of Egypt; and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Judges 3:28.
8-13. she came up unto them upon the roof and said—Rahab's dialogue is full of interest, as showing the universal panic and consternation of the Canaanites on the one hand (Jos 24:11; De 2:25), and her strong convictions on the other, founded on a knowledge of the divine promise, and the stupendous miracles that had opened the way of the Israelites to the confines of the promised land. She was convinced of the supremacy of Jehovah, and her earnest stipulations for the preservation of her relatives amid the perils of the approaching invasion, attest the sincerity and strength of her faith.
and what you did unto the kings of the Amorites that were on the other side Jordan: which were things more recent, done but a few months ago:
Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed; the history of which see in Numbers 21:21; who were destroyed by them under Moses and Joshua their commanders; and Hercules, who is thought to be the same with Joshua, is by Lucian (g) called Ogmius, from slaying Og, as is supposed (h).For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)10. dried up the water] The inhabitants of the land had heard of two important events, which filled them with alarm; (a) the drying up of the Red Sea before the Israelites (cp. Psalm 106:7; Psalm 106:9; Psalm 106:22; Psalm 136:13); (b) the defeat at Jahaz of Sihon king of the Amorites, who refused the Israelites a passage through the territory between the Arnon and the Jabbok (Numbers 21:21-31; Deuteronomy 2:30-37), and at Edrei of Og, the giant king of the district which, under the name of “Bashan,” extended from the Jabbok up to the base of Hermon (Numbers 21:33-35; Deuteronomy 3:1-7).
whom ye utterly destroyed] Or, devoted. The word here used denotes (i) to separate for God, devote to Him (Leviticus 27:21; Leviticus 27:28; Joshua 6:17-18; 1 Samuel 15:21), (ii) to devote to utter destruction, utterly destroy (Deuteronomy 4:26). The objects of such a doom might be (a) persons, as here (and comp. 1 Kings 20:42; Romans 9:3; Galatians 1:8-9; Galatians 3:13), or (b) things (Joshua 6:17-18; Joshua 7:1).Verse 10. - For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you. Rahab uses the word יְהֹוָה. Whether this name were known to her or not, she knew what was signified by it, the one only self-existent God (since יהוה is clearly derived from הָיָה or הָוָה to be), the Author of all things, visible and invisible (see ver. 11). The Red Sea. Brugsch, in his 'History of Egypt,' denies that יַם־סוּפ should be rendered 'Red Sea,' and affirms that this error of the LXX. interpreters has been the source of endless misapprehensions. יַם־סוּפ is an Egyptian word signifying flags or rushes, which abound not only in the Red Sea, but in the marshes on the shores of the Mediterranean, as, in fact, in all low-lying lands. It is here, according to Brugsch, in a treacherous and well-nigh impassable country, near that Serbonian bog, "where armies whole have sunk" (Milton, 'Paradise Lost,' Book H., line 594), that we are to look for the victorious passage of Moses, and the destruction of Pharaoh and his host. The סוּפ or rushes were to be found in the Nile, as Exodus 2:9, 5 shows (cf. Isaiah 19:6). So that יַם־סוּפ by no means necessarily implies the Red Sea. Yet on the other hand we may remember, with the Edinburgh Reviewer (July, 1879), that the coastline of Palestine and of the delta of the Nile has undergone considerable changes during the historic period, and that the land has, during that period, largely encroached on the sea. Sihon and Og. As we read in Numbers 21. and Deuteronomy 2, 3. Whom ye utterly destroyed. Rather, devoted to utter destruction (see Joshua 6:21). Rahab seems to be aware that the extermination of these nations was in fulfilment of a Divine sentence. Genesis 15:12), they went out again, I know not whither. Pursue them quickly, you will certainly overtake them." The writer then adds this explanation in Joshua 2:6 : she had hidden them upon the roof of her house among stalks of flax. The expression "to-night" (lit., the night) in Joshua 2:2 is more precisely defined in Joshua 2:5, viz., as night was coming on, before the town-gate was shut, after which it would have been in vain for them to attempt to leave the town. "Stalks of flax," not "cotton pods" (Arab., J. D. Mich. ), or "tree-flax, i.e., cotton," as Thenius explains it, but flax stalks or stalk-flax, as distinguished from carded flax, in which there is no wood left, λινοκαλάμη, stipula lini (lxx, Vulg.). Flax stalks, which grow to the height of three or four feet in Egypt, and attain the thickness of a reed, and would probably be quite as large in the plain of Jericho, the climate of which resembles that of Egypt, would form a very good hiding-place for the spies if they were piled up upon the roof to dry in the sun. The falsehood by which Rahab sought not only to avert all suspicion from herself of any conspiracy with the Israelitish men who had entered her house, but to prevent any further search for them in her house, and to frustrate the attempt to arrest them, is not to be justified as a lie of necessity told for a good purpose, nor, as Grotius maintains, by the unfounded assertion that, "before the preaching of the gospel, a salutary lie was not regarded as a fault even by good men." Nor can it be shown that it was thought "allowable," or even "praiseworthy," simply because the writer mentions the fact without expressing any subjective opinion, or because, as we learn from what follows (Joshua 2:9.), Rahab was convinced of the truth of the miracles which God had wrought for His people, and acted in firm faith that the true God would give the land of Canaan to the Israelites, and that all opposition made to them would be vain, and would be, in fact, rebellion against the Almighty God himself. For a lie is always a sin. Therefore even if Rahab was not actuated at all by the desire to save herself and her family from destruction, and the motive from which she acted had its roots in her faith in the living God (Hebrews 11:31), so that what she did for the spies, and thereby for the cause of the Lord, was counted to her for righteousness ("justified by works," James 2:25), yet the course which she adopted was a sin of weakness, which was forgiven her in mercy because of her faith.
(Note: Calvin's estimate is also a correct one: "It has often happened, that even when good men have endeavoured to keep a straight course, they have turned aside into circuitous paths. Rahab acted wrongly when she told a lie and said that the spies had gone; and the action was acceptable to God only because the evil that was mixed with the good was not imputed to her. Yet, although God wished the spies to be delivered, He did not sanction their being protected by a lie." Augustine also pronounces the same opinion concerning Rahab as that which he expressed concerning the Hebrew midwives (see the comm. on Exodus 1:21).)
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