Joshua 2:3
And the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to you, which are entered into your house: for they be come to search out all the country.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
2:1-7 Faith in God's promises ought not to do away, but to encourage our diligence in the use of proper means. The providence of God directed the spies to the house of Rahab. God knew where there was one that would be true to them, though they did not. Rahab appears to have been an innkeeper; and if she had formerly been one of bad life, which is doubtful, she had left her evil courses. That which seems to us most accidental, is often overruled by the Divine providence to serve great ends. It was by faith that Rahab received those with peace, against whom her king and country had war. We are sure this was a good work; it is so spoken of by the apostle, Jas 2:25; and she did it by faith, such a faith as set her above the fear of man. Those only are true believers, who find in their hearts to venture for God; they take his people for their people, and cast in their lot among them. The spies were led by the special providence of God, and Rahab entertained them out of regard to Israel and Israel's God, and not for lucre or for any evil purpose. Though excuses may be offered for the guilt of Rahab's falsehood, it seems best to admit nothing which tends to explain it away. Her views of the Divine law must have been very dim: a falsehood like this, told by those who enjoy the light of revelation, whatever the motive, would deserve heavy censure.An harlot's house - In the face of the parallel passages (e. g. Leviticus 21:7 : Jeremiah 5:7) the rendering advocated for obvious reasons, namely, "the house of a woman, an innkeeper," cannot be maintained. Rahab must remain an example under the Law similar to that Luke 7:37 under the Gospel, of "a woman that was a sinner," yet, because of her faith, not only pardoned, but exalted to the highest honor. Rahab was admitted among the people of God; she intermarried into a chief family of a chief tribe, and found a place among the best remembered ancestors of King David and of Christ; thus receiving the temporal blessings of the covenant in largest measure. The spies would of course betake themselves to such a house in Jericho as they could visit without exciting suspicion; and the situation of Rahab's, upon the wall Joshua 2:15, rendered it especially suitable. It appears from Joshua 2:4 that Rahab hid them before the King's messengers reached her house, and probably as soon as the spies had come to her house. It is therefore most likely that they met with Rahab outside of Jericho (compare Genesis 38:14), and ascertained where in the city she dwelt, and that they might entrust themselves to her care. Rahab (i. e. "spacious," "wide." Compare the name "Japheth" and Genesis 9:27, note) is regarded by the fathers as a type of the Christian Church, which was gathered out of converts from the whole vast circle of pagan nations. 2, 3. it was told the king—by the sentinels who at such a time of threatened invasion would be posted on the eastern frontier and whose duty required them to make a strict report to headquarters of the arrival of all strangers. No text from Poole on this verse. And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab,.... Not merely because she kept a public house, or being a prostitute had often strangers in it, and so conjectured that the men he had notice of might be there; but he sent upon certain information that they were seen to go in there, as it follows:

saying, bring forth the men that are come to thee; not to commit lewdness with her, though this is the sense some Jewish commentators give; but this neither agrees with the character of the men Joshua had chosen for this purpose, nor answers any end of the king to suggest; nor can it be thought that Rahab would so openly and freely own this, as in Joshua 2:4, but what is meant by the phrase is explained in the following clause:

which are entered into thine house: in order to lodge there that night:

for they be come to search out all the country; so it was suspected, nor was the suspicion groundless.

And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, {b} Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house: for they be come to search out all the country.

(b) Though the wicked see the hand of God on them, they do not repent, but seek how they may by their power and policy resist his working.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. sent unto Rahab] “In modern Europe the officers of the government would have entered the house without wasting the previous time in parley. But formerly, as now, in the East, the privacy of a woman was respected, even to a degree that might be called superstitious, and no one will enter the house in which she lives, or the part of the house she occupies, until her consent has been obtained, if, indeed, such consent be ever demanded. In this case it was not asked. Rahab was required not to let the messengers in, but to bring out the foreigners she harboured.” Kitto’s Bible Illustrations, ii. 243.Joshua's appeal to the two tribes and a half, to remember the condition on which Moses gave them the land on the east of the Jordan for an inheritance, and to fulfil it, met with a ready response; to that these tribes not only promised to obey his commandments in every respect, but threatened every one with death who should refuse obedience. In recalling this condition to the recollection of the tribes referred to, Joshua follows the expressions in Deuteronomy 3:18-20, where Moses himself recapitulates his former command, rather than the original passage in Numbers 32. The expression "this land" shows that the speaker was still on the other side of the Jordan. חמשׁים, with the loins girded, i.e., prepared for war, synonymous with חלצים in Deuteronomy 3:18 and Numbers 32:32 (see at Exodus 13:18). חיל כּל־גּבּורי, all the mighty men of valour, i.e., the grave warriors (as in Joshua 6:2; Joshua 8:3; Joshua 10:7, and very frequently in the later books), is not common to this book and Deuteronomy, as Knobel maintains, but is altogether strange to the Pentateuch. The word "all" (v. 14, like Numbers 32:21, Numbers 32:27) must not be pressed. According to Joshua 4:13, there were only about 40,000 men belonging to the two tribes and a half who crossed the Jordan to take part in the war; whereas, according to Numbers 26:7, Numbers 26:18, Numbers 26:34, there were 110,000 men in these tribes who were capable of bearing arms, so that 70,000 must have remained behind for the protection of the women and children and of the flocks and herds, and to defend the land of which they had taken possession. On Joshua 1:15 see Deuteronomy 3:18; and on the more minute definition of "on this side (lit. beyond) Jordan" by "toward the sun-rising," compare the remarks on Numbers 32:19. The answer of the two tribes and a half, in which they not only most cheerfully promise their help in the conquest of Canaan, but also express the wish that Joshua may have the help of the Lord (Joshua 1:17 compared with Joshua 1:4), and after threatening all who refuse obedience with death, close with the divine admonition, "only be strong and of a good courage" (Joshua 1:18, cf. Joshua 1:6), furnishes a proof of the wish that inspired them to help their brethren, that all the tribes might speedily enter into the peaceable possession of the promised inheritance. The expression "rebel against the commandment" is used in Deuteronomy 1:26, Deuteronomy 1:43; Deuteronomy 9:23; 1 Samuel 12:14, to denote resistance to the commandments of the Lord; here it denotes opposition to His representative, the commander chosen by the Lord, which was to be punished with death, according to the law in Deuteronomy 17:12.
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