Joshua 2:8
And before they were laid down, she came up to them on the roof;
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
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. When the king of Jericho was informed of the fact that these strange men had entered the house of Rahab, and suspecting their reason for coming, summoned Rahab to give them up, she hid them (lit., hid him, i.e., each one of the spies: for this change from the plural to the singular see Ewald, 219), and said to the king's messengers: כּן, recte, "It is quite correct, the men came to me, but I do not know where they were from; and when in the darkness the gate was at the shutting (i.e., ought to be shut: for this construction, see 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).)

Joshua 2:8 Interlinear
Joshua 2:8 Parallel Texts

Joshua 2:8 NIV
Joshua 2:8 NLT
Joshua 2:8 ESV
Joshua 2:8 NASB
Joshua 2:8 KJV

Joshua 2:8 Bible Apps
Joshua 2:8 Parallel
Joshua 2:8 Biblia Paralela
Joshua 2:8 Chinese Bible
Joshua 2:8 French Bible
Joshua 2:8 German Bible

Bible Hub

Joshua 2:7
Top of Page
Top of Page