And the city shall be accursed
Or, be a "cherem", devoted to the Lord, as it follows:
[even] it and all that [are] therein, to the Lord;
the city and the inhabitants of it should be devoted to destruction, and the riches and spoil of it dedicated to sacred uses, and not become the property of the Israelites; for as this was the first city in the had of Canaan that was conquered, it was fit the firstfruits of the conquest should be the Lord's, as an acknowledgment of his gift of the land unto them, and that the conquest of it was owing to him; though it might be some mortification to the Israelites, and a trial of their faith and obedience, that the first and so fine a city should not become their habitation, but be utterly destroyed, and not to be built more; and all the riches of it either consumed, or converted to other uses, and not their own. This Joshua thought fit to declare to the Israelites, before the taking of the city, that they might know what they had to do. The Jewish doctors generally suppose that Joshua ordered this of himself, of his own accord and will; but Kimchi is of opinion that the Lord gave him this order, which is most probable, yea, certain from ( Joshua 7:11 ) ;
only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that [are] with her in
she and her father's family, as she requested, and the spies promised; here the Targum calls her, as elsewhere, Rahab the innkeeper or victualler; and so in ( Joshua 6:22 Joshua 6:25 ) ;
because she hid the messengers that we sent;
and so preserved them from being taken by the messengers of the king of Jericho, who were sent in pursuit of them. These though sent only by Joshua, without the knowledge of the people, yet it being on their account, and their good, and by him as their head and governor, is ascribed to them also. This fact of Rahab's is observed by him as a reason for sparing her, and those that were with her, when all the rest would be put to the sword; and is mentioned as an instance of her faith, and of the evidence of it, ( Hebrews 11:31 ) ( James 2:25 ) .