Joshua 2:17
And the men said to her, We will be blameless of this your oath which you have made us swear.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Joshua 2:17. The men said — Or, had said; namely, before she let them down; it being very improbable either that she would dismiss them before the condition was agreed on, or that she would discourse with them, or they with her, about such secret and weighty things after they were let down, when others might overhear them. Blameless — That is, free from guilt or reproach if it be violated; namely, if the following condition be not observed.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.Upon the town wall - The town wall probably formed the back wall of the house, and the window opened therefore into the country. (Compare Paul's escape, 2 Corinthians 11:33). 16-21. she said—rather "she had said," for what follows must have been part of the previous conversation.

Get you to the mountain—A range of white limestone hills extends on the north, called Quarantania (now Jebel Karantu), rising to a height of from twelve hundred to fifteen hundred feet, and the sides of which are perforated with caves. Some one peak adjoining was familiarly known to the inhabitants as "the mountain." The prudence and propriety of the advice to flee in that direction rather than to the ford, were made apparent by the sequel.

The men said, or, had said; namely, before she let them down; it being very improbable, either that she would dismiss them before the condition was expressed and agreed; or that she would discourse with them, or they with her, about such secret and weighty things after they were let down, when others might overhear them; or that she should begin her discourse in her chamber, and not finish it till they were gone out of her house.

Object. They spoke this after they were let down; for it follows, Joshua 2:18, this-thread which thou didst let us down by.

Answ. Those words may be thus rendered, which thou dost let us down by, i.e. art about to do it; it being frequent for the pretertense to be used of a thing about to be done, by an enallage of tenses, as Joshua 10:15.

Blameless of this thine oath, i.e. free from guilt or reproach if it be violated, namely, if the following condition be not observed. And the men said unto her,.... Some think that this discourse, which passed between the spies and her, was while in the house before she let them down, or otherwise they would have been in danger of being overheard, and so the whole affair discovered; but as it was on the other side of the house, and under the wall of the city, and without it, they might with the greater safety converse together:

we will be blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear; that is, they would most faithfully and punctually keep it, it should be sacred to them, and she should have no occasion to lay any blame upon them in the least.

And the men said unto her, {h} We will be blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear.

(h) We will be released from our oath if you perform this condition that follows for so shall you and yours be delivered.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
17. We will be blameless] Or, “We are blameless.” We must supply “unless you do what we shall now say unto you.” Comp. Genesis 24:41, “Then shalt thou be clear from this my oath, when thou comest to my kindred; and if they give not thee one, thou shalt be clear from my oath.” Wyclif renders it “we schulen be giltles of this oath.”Verse 17. - We will be blameless. Perhaps "we would be blameless," and therefore we make the conditions which follow. Something must be supplied to fill up the sense. The most ordinary rule would be to translate "we are blameless," i.e., by making these conditions. But the former yields a better sense. "When we heard this" - Rahab proceeded to tell them, transferring the feelings of her own heart to her countrymen - "our heart did melt" (it was thus that the Hebrew depicted utter despair; "the hearts of the people melted, and became as water," Joshua 7:5), "and there did not remain any more spirit in any one:" i.e., they lost all strength of mind for acting, in consequence of their fear and dread (vid., Joshua 5:1, though in 1 Kings 10:5 this phrase is used to signify being out of one's-self from mere astonishment). "For Jehovah your God is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath." To this confession of faith, to which the Israelites were to be brought through the miraculous help of the Lord (Deuteronomy 4:39), Rahab also attained; although her confession of faith remained so far behind the faith which Moses at that time demanded of Israel, that she only discerned in Jehovah a Deity (Elohim) in heaven and upon earth, and therefore had not yet got rid of her polytheism altogether, however close she had come to a true and full confession of the Lord. But these miracles of divine omnipotence which led the heart of this sinner with its susceptibility for religious truth to true faith, and thus became to her a savour of life unto life, produced nothing but hardness in the unbelieving hearts of the rest of the Canaanites, so that they could not escape the judgment of death.
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