Behold, when we come into the land, you shall bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which you did let us down by: and you shall bring your father, and your mother, and your brothers, and all your father's household, home to you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The window which thou didst let us down by.—It seems almost needless to observe that the scarlet line and the cord by which the men were lowered are not the same thing, but described by different words in the original. It would have been preposterous to require Rahab to display in her window the means by which the spies had escaped. It would at once have declared the tale to all beholders—the very thing Rahab was pledged not to do. The “line of scarlet thread” and the “stalks of flax” on the roof were probably parts of the same business, and thus there would be nothing unusual in what was exhibited at the window, although it would be a sufficient token to those who were in the secret, to enable them to identify the house.Joshua 2:18. When we come into the land — That is, over Jordan, and near the city. This line of scarlet — The Hebrew word, תקות, tickvath, more properly means, rope, riband, or web. Probably the same with which she was about to let them down. Window — That it may be easily discerned by our soldiers.Leviticus 14:4, Leviticus 14:6,Leviticus 14:51; Numbers 19:6), naturally led the fathers, from Clement of Rome onward, to see in this scarlet thread, no less than in the blood of the Passover (Exodus 12:7, Exodus 12:13, etc.), an emblem of salvation by the Blood of Christ; a salvation common alike to Christ's messengers and to those whom they visit.
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.Into the land, i.e. over Jordan, and near the city.
Bind this line of scarlet thread in the window, that it may be easily discerned by our soldiers.
thou shall bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by; the word by refers either to the scarlet thread they were let down by, said to be a cord, Joshua 2:15; and therefore must be a line twisted with various scarlet threads, as Kimchi; who observes, that according to the Targum, it was the border of a red garment; or to the window through which they were let down, as the Septuagint version; it may refer to both, and the sense be, that the same twisted cord of scarlet thread they were let down by should be bound to the same window they were let down through; only this objection there is to the same window, that it was not towards the city, and so not to be seen when they came into it, but looked over the wall without the city: now as Rahab was an instance of the salvation of sinners by the grace of God, for she was a sinner by birth, by practice, and a notorious one; she was an instance of distinguishing grace, of free and efficacious grace, a singular instance of it; and became a true penitent, a real believer, was a justified person, and saved: so the scarlet thread was an emblem of the blood of Christ, by which salvation is; redemption and all the blessings of grace are through it; justification, remission of sin, reconciliation, and atonement, and safety, and protection from avenging justice, and wrath to come, are only by it: likewise the spies, who are also called "messengers", James 2:25; may represent the ministers of the Gospel, who are the messengers of Christ, and the churches, are sent out by him the antitypical Joshua, men of wisdom, courage, and valour, and are sent as spies to bring to light men and things, who direct to the way of salvation and give the same token of it, Mark 16:16,
and thou shall bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father's household home unto thee; into her house, where the scarlet thread was bound, and where only they would be safe, as the Israelites were in the houses where the blood of the paschal lamb was sprinkled, Exodus 12:23; and so they are safe, and they only, who are under the blood of sprinkling, and partake of the virtue of it.Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father's household, home unto thee.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)18. this line of scarlet thread] The line was spun out of crimson thread, the crimson colour produced by the coccus ilicis, Linn., a cochineal insect, living on the holm oak, the larvæ of which yield the crimson dye.Verse 18. - This line of scarlet thread. Rather, this rope, from קוָה to twist. It is described as made of sewing thread (הוּט), because no doubt it was formed of several such threads twisted into a rope. The scarlet (ָשנִי), or rather crimson, was produced from the dried bodies as well as the eggs of the cochineal insect, called in Arabic, kermes (whence our word crimson, and the German karmesin). This line of scarlet thread is regarded by the Fathers generally, and by our own divines, as Bishop Hall and Bishop Wordsworth, as symbolical of the blood of Christ (see Clement of Rome, 'Epistle to Corinthians,' 12; Justin Martyr, 'Dial. Tryph.' 111; Iren., 'Adv. Haer.,' 4:37; Orig., 'Hom. 2 on Joshua.' "Coccineum, quod sanguinis formam gerebat." See also Bp. Hall, 'Contemplations,' Book 8; and Leviticus 14:4, 6, 42, 51), Joshua 6:23, the children and families of her brothers and sisters), and not put them to death; all of which they promised her on oath. "A true token," lit. a sign of truth, i.e., a sign by which they guaranteed the truth of the kindness for which she asked. This sign consisted in nothing but the solemn oath with which they were to confirm their assurance, and, according to Joshua 2:14, actually did confirm it. The oath itself was taken in these words, "our soul shall die for you," by which they pledged their life for the life of Rahab and her family in this sense: God shall punish us with death if we are faithless, and do not spare thy life and the lives of thy relations. Though the name of God is not really expressed, it was implied in the fact that the words are described as swearing by Jehovah. But the spies couple their assurance with this condition, "if ye utter not this our business," do not betray us, sc., so that we should be pursued, and our life endangered; "then will we show thee mercy and truth" (cf. Genesis 24:27).
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