Joshua 2:8
And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof;
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Joshua 2:8-11. Before they were laid down — To sleep, as they intended. She came up unto them — Having got clear of the officers, to the roof of the house, where they lay hid. Here she informs them, 1st, That the report of the great things God had done for them had reached Jericho. Not only that they had had an account of their late victories, obtained over the Amorites in the neighbouring country, on the other side the river; but that their miraculous deliverance out of Egypt, and passage through the Red sea, which had taken place at a great distance, and forty years ago, were remembered and spoken of afresh in Jericho, to the amazement of every body. 2d, She tells them what impressions the tidings of these things had made upon the Canaanites; your terror is fallen, upon us, Joshua 2:9. Our hearts did melt, Joshua 2:11. If she kept a public house, that might have given her an opportunity of understanding the sense of various companies, and of travellers from other parts of the country; so that they could not have known this any way better than by her information; and it would greatly encourage Joshua and Israel to hear how their enemies were dispirited and cast down; especially as this was the accomplishment of a promise God had made them, that he would lay the fear and dread of them upon all this land, (Deuteronomy 9:25,) and so it would be an earnest of the accomplishment of all his other promises to them. 3d, She hereupon makes profession of her faith in God, and his promise; and perhaps there was not found so great faith, (all things considered,) no, not in Israel, as in this woman of Canaan. First, She believes God’s power and dominion over all the world, Joshua 2:11. Jehovah your God — Whom you worship and call upon, is so far above all gods that he is the only true God; for he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath, and is served by all the hosts of both. Secondly, She believes his promise to his people Israel, Joshua 2:9; I know that the Lord hath given you the land — The king of Jericho had heard as much as she had of the great things God had done for Israel, yet he cannot infer from thence that the Lord had given them this land; but resolves to hold it out against them to the last extremity. For the most powerful means of conviction will not avail when despite is done to the Spirit of grace, and his influences are quenched or resisted. But Rahab the harlot, who had only heard of the wonders God had wrought, speaks with more assurance of the truth of the promise made to the fathers than all the elders of Israel had done, who were eye-witnesses of those wonders, many of whom perished through unbelief of this promise. Blessed are they who have not seen and yet have believed: so Rahab did. O woman, great is thy faith! Let those who ask, “On what principle she could receive into her house the known enemies of her country, conceal them from the searchers, and dismiss them in safety?” consider this her faith, and the foundation on which it was built, and they will be at no loss for an answer.

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.The sense is, that "they pursued along the way which leads to Jordan and across the fords;" probably those described in Judges 3:28. Jos 2:8-21. The Covenant between Her and Them.

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.

Before they were laid down to rest or sleep, as they intended, being now, after the departure of their searchers, come from their hiding place to their resting-place.

And before they were laid down,.... Under the stalks of the flax; or rather, since they are said to be hid in them, before they were fallen asleep, so Kimchi and Abarbinel:

she came up unto them upon the roof; to acquaint them how things were, and to converse with them on the following subjects.

And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof;
Verse 8. - And before they were laid down, i.e., to sleep on the roof, a common practice in the East in summer. Joshua 2:8Notwithstanding these precautions, the men escaped. As soon as the officers had left Rahab's house, she went to the spies, who were concealed upon the roof, before they had lain down to sleep, which they were probably about to do upon the roof, - a thing of frequent occurrence in the East in summer time, - and confessed to them all that she believed and knew, namely, that God had given the land to the Israelites, and that the dread of them had fallen upon the Canaanites ("us," in contrast with "you," the Israelites, signifies the Canaanites generally, and not merely the inhabitants of Jericho), and despair had seized upon all the inhabitants of the land. The description of the despair of the Canaanites (Joshua 2:9) is connected, so far as the expressions are concerned, with Exodus 15:15 and Exodus 15:16, to show that what Moses and the Israelites had sung after crossing the Red Sea was now fulfilled, that the Lord had fulfilled His promise (Exodus 23:27 compared with Deuteronomy 2:25 and Deuteronomy 11:25), and had put fear and dread upon the Canaanites.
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