Amplified Bible

Joshua 2

Rahab Shelters Spies

1Joshua the son of Nun sent two men as scouts secretly from Shittim, saying, “Go, view the land, especially [a]Jericho [the walled city].” So they went and came to the house of a prostitute named Rahab, and lodged there. Now the king of Jericho was told, “Behold, men from the sons of Israel have come here tonight to spy and search out the land.” So the king of Jericho sent word to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who entered your house, because they have come [as spies] to search out all the land.” But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them; so she said, “Yes, two men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. When it was time to close the [city] gate at dark, the men left; I do not know where they went. Pursue them quickly, for [if you do] you will overtake them.” But [in fact] she had brought the scouts up to the roof and had hidden them under the [b]stalks of flax which she had laid in order on the roof [to dry]. So the [king’s] men pursued them on the road to the Jordan as far as the [c]fords [east of Jericho]; as soon as the pursuers had gone out after them, the gate [of the city] was shut.

Now before the two men lay down [to sleep], Rahab came up to them on the roof, and she said to the men, “I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the terror and dread of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted [in despair] because of you. 10 For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the [d]Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan [on the east], to Sihon and Og, whom you [e]utterly destroyed. 11 When we heard it, our hearts melted [in despair], and a [fighting] spirit no longer remained in any man because of you; for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. 12 And now, please swear [an oath] to me by the Lord, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to my father’s household (family), and give me a pledge of truth and faithfulness, 13 and spare my father and my mother and my brothers and my sisters, along with everyone who belongs to them, and let us all live.” 14 So the men said to her, “Our lives for yours if you do not tell [anyone about] this business of ours; then when the Lord gives us the land we will show you kindness and faithfulness [and keep our agreement with you].”

The Promise to Rahab

15 Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was built [f]into the city wall, so that she was living on the wall. 16 And she said to them, “Go [west] to the hill country, so that the pursuers [who have headed east] will not encounter you; hide yourselves there for three days until the pursuers return. Then afterward you can go your way.” 17 The men said to her, “We shall be blameless and free from this oath which you have made us swear, 18 unless, when we come into the land, you tie this [g]cord of scarlet thread in the window through which you let us down, and bring into the house your father and your mother and your brothers and all your father’s household [so that they will be safe]. 19 But if anyone goes out the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head [that is, his own responsibility], and we shall be blameless and free [from our oath]; however, if a hand is laid on anyone who is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head. 20 But if you tell [anyone] this business of ours, we shall be blameless and free from the oath which you made us swear.” 21 She said, “According to your words, so be it.” Then Rahab sent them off, and they departed; and she tied the scarlet cord in the window.

22 They left and went [on their way] to the hill country [west of Jericho], and stayed there [hidden in the caves] three days until the pursuers returned. The pursuers had searched all along the road but had not found them. 23 Then the two men turned back and came down from the hill country and crossed over [the Jordan] and came to Joshua the son of Nun [at Shittim], and told him everything that had happened to them. 24 They said to Joshua, “Certainly the Lord has given all the land into our hands; for all the inhabitants of the land have melted [in despair] because of us.”

Footnotes

  1. Joshua 2:1 Jericho, an oasis near the Jordan River, is believed to be one of the world’s oldest inhabited sites. Its name is derived from the Hebrew word for “moon,” implying that it may have been a center of worship for various lunar gods.
  2. Joshua 2:6 Flax was used to make linen and the flat rooftop of a house was a convenient place to lay the stalks in the sun to dry.
  3. Joshua 2:7 I.e. narrow or shallow places where the river could be crossed by wading.
  4. Joshua 2:10 Lit Sea of Reeds.
  5. Joshua 2:10 The conquest of the land and the destruction of its inhabitants were acts of divine judgment decreed by God, and carried out through acts of obedience by Joshua and the sons of Israel.
  6. Joshua 2:15 Modern archaeology indicates that the house may have been built against the wall, so that the city wall also formed the back wall of the house. Otherwise, it may have been built partially or entirely in the wall. The Hebrew preposition (“into/in”) has too wide a range of meaning to be precise.
  7. Joshua 2:18 The scarlet cord in Rahab’s window may be considered analogous to the blood on the doorposts on the first Passover night in Egypt (Ex 12:13). God allowed her life to be saved and also changed. She became an ancestress, as did Ruth, of David and of Jesus Christ (Matt 1:1, 5, 6).

New International Version - UK

Joshua 2

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.

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: ‘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 men and hidden them. 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, they left. I don’t know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them.’ (But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof.) So 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.

Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof and said to them, ‘I know that the Lord has given this land to you 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. 10 We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea[a] 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.[b] 11 When we heard of it, our hearts sank[c] 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 13 that 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.’

15 So she let them down by a rope through the window, for the house she lived in was part of the city wall. 16 She said to them, ‘Go to the hills so that the pursuers will not find you. Hide yourselves there for three days until they return, and then go on your way.’

17 Now the men had said to her, ‘This oath you made us swear will not be binding on us 18 unless, 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. 19 If 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. 20 But 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.

22 When 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. 23 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. 24 They said to Joshua, ‘The Lord has surely given the whole land into our hands; all the people are melting in fear because of us.’

Footnotes

  1. Joshua 2:10 Or the Sea of Reeds
  2. Joshua 2:10 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
  3. Joshua 2:11 Hebrew melted in fear.