And it was told the king of Jericho, saying
Who being alarmed at the near approach of the Israelites, and knowing their claim to the land of Canaan, and their design upon it, employed men to watch and observe what passed in the city, and parts adjacent, and inform him of it; or some persons of themselves, and for their own safety, and the good of their fellow citizens, gave notice to the king of it:
behold, there came men hither tonight of the children of Israel;
who were known by their habit and language; or at least, being strangers, were suspected to be of that people, the terror of whom had fallen on all the inhabitants, so that every strange man they took for an Israelite; from hence it appears, that the spies came to Jericho at night, that they might not be observed: but with all their precaution they were taken notice of, and their design suspected, namely,
to search out the country;
which were the proper places to attack first, and where there was the greatest probability of succeeding, as well as to find out the disposition of the inhabitants, whether fearful or fearless of them.