Rahab Helps the Spies
1Joshua, the son of Nun, sent two spies from Shittim. He sent them in secret. He said to them, “Go and look over the land. Most of all, check out Jericho.” So they went to Jericho. They stayed at the house of a prostitute. Her name was Rahab.
2The king of Jericho was told, “Look! Some of the Israelites have come here tonight. They’ve come to check out the land.” 3So the king sent a message to Rahab. It said, “Bring out the men who came into your house. They’ve come to check out the whole land.”
4But the woman had hidden the two men. She said, “It’s true that the men came here. But I didn’t know where they had come from. 5They left at sunset, when it was time to close the city gate. I don’t know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You might catch up with them.” 6But in fact she had taken them up on the roof. There she had hidden them under some flax she had piled up. 7The king’s men left to hunt down the spies. They took the road that leads to where the Jordan River can be crossed. As soon as they had gone out of the city, the gate was shut.
8Rahab went up on the roof before the spies settled down for the night. 9She said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land. We are very much afraid of you. Everyone who lives in this country is weak with fear because of you. 10We’ve heard how the Lord dried up the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt. We’ve heard what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings. They ruled east of the Jordan River. You completely destroyed them. 11When we heard about it, we were terrified. Because of you, we aren’t brave anymore. The Lord your God is the God who rules in heaven above and on the earth below.
12“Now then, please give me your word. Promise me in the name of the Lord that you will be kind to my family. I’ve been kind to you. Promise me 13that you will spare the lives of my father and mother. Spare my brothers and sisters. Also spare everyone in their families. Promise that you won’t put any of us to death.”
14So the men made a promise to her. “If you save our lives, we’ll save yours,” they said. “Just don’t tell anyone what we’re doing. Then we’ll be kind and faithful to you when the Lord gives us the land.”
15The house Rahab lived in was part of the city wall. So she let the spies down by a rope through the window. 16She said to them, “Go up into the hills. The men chasing you won’t be able to find you. Hide yourselves there for three days until they return. Then you can go on your way.”
17The spies had said to her, “You made us give our word. But we won’t keep our promise 18unless you do what we say. When we enter the land, you must tie this bright red rope in the window. Tie it in the window you let us down through. Bring your father and mother into your house. Also bring in your brothers and everyone else in your family. 19None of you must go out into the street. If you do, anything that happens to you will be your own fault. We won’t be responsible. But if anyone hurts someone who is inside the house with you, it will be our fault. We will be responsible. 20Don’t tell anyone what we’re doing. If you do, we won’t have to keep the promise you asked us to make.”
21“I agree,” Rahab replied. “I’ll do as you say.”
So she sent them away, and they left. Then she tied the bright red rope in the window.
22When the spies left, they went up into the hills. They stayed there for three days. By that time the men chasing them had searched all along the road. They couldn’t find them. So they returned. 23Then the two spies started back. They went down out of the hills. They went across the Jordan River. They came to Joshua, the son of Nun. They told him everything that had happened to them. 24They said, “We’re sure the Lord has given the whole land over to us. All the people there are weak with fear because of us.”
Rahab and the Spies
1Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.
2The king of Jericho was told, “Look, some of the Israelites have come here tonight to spy out the land.” 3So the king of Jericho sent this message to Rahab: “Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, because they have come to spy out the whole land.”
4But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. She said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from. 5At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, they left. I don’t know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them.” 6(But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof.) 7So the men set out in pursuit of the spies on the road that leads to the fords of the Jordan, and as soon as the pursuers had gone out, the gate was shut.
8Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof 9and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. 10We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea2:10 Or the Sea of Reeds for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed.2:10 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them. 11When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.
12“Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign 13that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them—and that you will save us from death.”
14“Our lives for your lives!” the men assured her. “If you don’t tell what we are doing, we will treat you kindly and faithfully when the Lord gives us the land.”
15So she let them down by a rope through the window, for the house she lived in was part of the city wall. 16She said to them, “Go to the hills so the pursuers will not find you. Hide yourselves there three days until they return, and then go on your way.”
17Now the men had said to her, “This oath you made us swear will not be binding on us 18unless, when we enter the land, you have tied this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you have brought your father and mother, your brothers and all your family into your house. 19If any of them go outside your house into the street, their blood will be on their own heads; we will not be responsible. As for those who are in the house with you, their blood will be on our head if a hand is laid on them. 20But if you tell what we are doing, we will be released from the oath you made us swear.”
21“Agreed,” she replied. “Let it be as you say.”
So she sent them away, and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord in the window.
22When they left, they went into the hills and stayed there three days, until the pursuers had searched all along the road and returned without finding them. 23Then 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. 24They said to Joshua, “The Lord has surely given the whole land into our hands; all the people are melting in fear because of us.”