Yehoshua 2

1 And Yehoshua ben Nun sent out of Sheetim shnayim anashim (two men) to spy secretly, saying, Go view HaAretz, even Yericho. And they went, and entered into bais isha zonah, and her name was Rachav, and they lodged there.
2 And it was told Melech Yericho, saying, Hinei, anashim have come here halailah of the Bnei Yisroel to spy out HaAretz.
3 And the Melech Yericho sent unto Rachav, saying, Bring forth the anashim that are come to thee, who entered into thine bais; for they have come to spy out kol HaAretz.
4 And the isha took the two anashim, and hid them, and said thus, There came anashim unto me, but I knew not where they had come from;
5 And it came to pass about the time of the shutting of the sha’ar, when it was choshech, that the anashim went out; where the anashim went I know not; pursue after them quickly; for ye may overtake them.
6 But she had brought them up to the gag (roof), and hid them with the pishtei haetz (stalks of flax), which she had laid out upon the gag.
7 So the anashim pursued after them the derech (road) to Yarden unto the fords; and as soon as they which pursued after them were gone out, they closed the sha’ar.
8 And before they [the two spies] lay down, she went up unto them upon the gag;
9 And she said unto the anashim, I know that Hashem hath given you HaAretz, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of HaAretz faint because of you.
10 For we have heard how Hashem dried up the waters of the Yam Suf from before you, when ye came out of Mitzrayim; and what ye did unto the two melachim of the Emori, that were beyond the Yarden, Sichon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed [put under cherem ban].
11 And as soon as we had heard these things, levaveinu (our hearts) did melt, neither did there remain any more ruach in any ish, because of you; for Hashem Eloheichem hu Elohim baShomayim above, and on HaAretz beneath.
12 Therefore, now, swear unto me by Hashem, since I have showed you chesed, that ye will also show chesed unto Bais Avi, and give me an ot emes (sign of truth);
13 And that ye will save alive avi, and immi, and my ach and my achot, and all that they have, and deliver nafshoteinu (our lives, souls) from mavet (death).
14 And the anashim answered her, Nafsheinu (our soul) shall die for you, if ye utter not what we are doing. And it shall be, when Hashem hath given us HaAretz, that we will deal chesed v’emes with thee.
15 Then she let them down by a chevel (cord, rope) through the chalon (window); for her bais was in the city wall, and she dwelt in the chomah (wall).
16 And she said unto them, Get you to the hill country, lest the rodefim (pursuers) meet you; and hide yourselves there shloshet yamim, until the rodefim return; and afterward may ye go your way.
17 And the anashim said unto her, We will be nekiyyim (free ones) of this thine shevu’ah (oath) which thou hast made us swear,
18 Unless when we come into HaAretz, thou shalt tie this rope of scarlet cord in the chalon by which thou didst let us down; and thou shalt bring thy av, and thy em, and thy achim, and all thy bais avi, with thee inside the bais.
19 And it shall be, that whosoever shall go out of the delatot of thy bais into the chutzah (street, outside), his dahm shall be upon his rosh, and we will be nekiyyim (free ones); and whosoever shall be with thee in the bais, his dahm shall be on rosheinu (our head), if any yad be laid upon him.
20 And if thou utter what we are doing, then we will be nekiyyim (free ones) of thine shevu’ah (oath) which thou hast made us to swear.
21 And she said, According unto your devarim, so be it. And she sent them away, and they departed; and she tied the scarlet cord in the chalon.
22 And they went, and came unto the hill country, and abode there shloshet yamim, until the rodefim returned; and the rodefim sought them all along the derech, but found them not.
23 So the two anashim returned, and descended from the hill country, and passed over, and came to Yehoshua ben Nun, and told him all things that befell them;
24 And they said unto Yehoshua, Truly Hashem hath delivered into yadeinu kol HaAretz; for even all the inhabitants of HaAretz do faint because of us.

Yehoshua 2 Commentary

Chapter 2

Rahab receives and hides two Israelites. (1-7) Rahab and the spies. (8-21) The return of the spies. (22-24)

Verses 1-7 Faith in God's promises ought not to do away, but to encourage our diligence in the use of proper means. The providence of God directed the spies to the house of Rahab. God knew where there was one that would be true to them, though they did not. Rahab appears to have been an innkeeper; and if she had formerly been one of bad life, which is doubtful, she had left her evil courses. That which seems to us most accidental, is often overruled by the Divine providence to serve great ends. It was by faith that Rahab received those with peace, against whom her king and country had war. We are sure this was a good work; it is so spoken of by the apostle, ( James 2:25 ) ; and she did it by faith, such a faith as set her above the fear of man. Those only are true believers, who find in their hearts to venture for God; they take his people for their people, and cast in their lot among them. The spies were led by the special providence of God, and Rahab entertained them out of regard to Israel and Israel's God, and not for lucre or for any evil purpose. Though excuses may be offered for the guilt of Rahab's falsehood, it seems best to admit nothing which tends to explain it away. Her views of the Divine law must have been very dim: a falsehood like this, told by those who enjoy the light of revelation, whatever the motive, would deserve heavy censure.

Verses 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, ( Psalms 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.

Verses 22-24 The report the spies brought was encouraging. All the people of the country faint because of Israel; they have neither wisdom to yield, nor courage to fight. Those terrors of conscience, and that sense of Divine wrath, which dismay the ungodly, but bring not to repentance, are fearful forebodings of approaching destruction. But grace yet abounds to the chief of sinners. Let them, without delay, flee to Christ, and all shall be well.

Chapter Summary


This chapter gives an account of the spies sent by Joshua to Jericho, and of their entrance into the house of Rahab, who hid them from the king's messengers, Jos 2:1-7; of the relation she gave them of the fear and dread of Israel, which were fallen upon the Canaanites, Jos 2:8-11; and of the request she made to them, to save her and her father's house, when the city should be taken, and to have a sure sign of it given her, Jos 2:12,13; which the spies solemnly promised, and gave her a sign of it, with a charge not to discover the matter to any, Jos 2:14-20; and being let down by a cord through the window of her house, they made their escape to a mountain, where they lay three days, and then returned to Joshua, and made their report, Jos 2:21-24.

Yehoshua 2 Commentaries

The Orthodox Jewish Bible fourth edition, OJB. Copyright 2002,2003,2008,2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International. All rights reserved.