Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies1 from Shittim.2 "Go, look over3 the land," he said, "especially Jericho.4" So they went and entered the house of a prostitutea named Rahab5 and stayed there.
The king of Jericho was told, "Look! Some of the Israelites have come here tonight to spy out the land."
So the king of Jericho sent this message to Rahab:6 "Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, because they have come to spy out the whole land."
But the woman had taken the two men7 and hidden them.8 She said, "Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from.
At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate,9 the men left. I don't know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them."106
(But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax11 she had laid out on the roof.)127
So the men set out in pursuit of the spies on the road that leads to the fords of the Jordan,13 and as soon as the pursuers14 had gone out, the gate was shut.
Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof159
and said to them, "I know that the LORD has given this land to you and that a great fear16 of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you.
We have heard how the LORD dried up17 the water of the Red Seab for you when you came out of Egypt,18 and what you did to Sihon and Og,19 the two kings of the Amorites20 east of the Jordan,21 whom you completely destroyed.c2211
When we heard of it, our hearts melted23 and everyone's courage failed24 because of you,25 for the LORD your God26 is God in heaven above and on the earth27 below.
Now then, please swear to me28 by the LORD that you will show kindness29 to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign3013
that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them,31 and that you will save us from death."
"Our lives for your lives!"32 the men assured her. "If you don't tell what we are doing, we will treat you kindly and faithfully33 when the LORD gives us the land."
So she let them down by a rope34 through the window,35 for the house she lived in was part of the city wall.
Now she had said to them, "Go to the hills36 so the pursuers37 will not find you. Hide yourselves there three days38 until they return, and then go on your way."3917
The men said to her, "This oath40 you made us swear will not be binding on us
unless, when we enter the land, you have tied this scarlet cord41 in the window42 through which you let us down, and unless you have brought your father and mother, your brothers and all your family43 into your house.
If anyone goes outside your house into the street, his blood will be on his own head;44 we will not be responsible. As for anyone who is in the house with you, his blood will be on our head45 if a hand is laid on him.
But if you tell what we are doing, we will be released from the oath you made us swear.46"
"Agreed," she replied. "Let it be as you say." So she sent them away and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord47 in the window.4822
When they left, they went into the hills and stayed there three days,49 until the pursuers50 had searched all along the road and returned without finding them.
Then the two men started back. They went down out of the hills, forded the river and came to Joshua son of Nun and told him everything that had happened to them.
They said to Joshua, "The LORD has surely given the whole land into our hands;51 all the people are melting in fear52 because of us."