Let not God’s people be afraid of their most powerful enemies,
for their God can,
when He pleases make their worst enemies afraid of them.
1 And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot’s house, named Rahab, and lodged there.
2 And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men in hither to night of the children of Israel to search out the country.
3 And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house: for they be come to search out all the country.
4 And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were:
5 And it came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out: whither the men went I wot not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them.
6 But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof.
7 And the men pursued after them the way to Jordan unto the fords: and as soon as they which pursued after them were gone out, they shut the gate.
8 ¶ And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof;
9 And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.
10 For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.
11 And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.
12 Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father’s house, and give me a true token:
13 And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.
14 And the men answered her, Our life for your’s, if ye utter not this our business. And it shall be, when the LORD hath given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee.
15 Then she let them down by a cord through the window: for her house was upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall.
16 And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterward may ye go your way.
17 And the men said unto her, We will be blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear.
18 Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father’s household, home unto thee.
19 And it shall be, that whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood shall be upon his head, and we will be guiltless: and whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood shall be on our head, if any hand be upon him.
20 And if thou utter this our business, then we will be quit of thine oath which thou hast made us to swear.
21 And she said, According unto your words, so be it. And she sent them away, and they departed: and she bound the scarlet line in the window.
22 And they went, and came unto the mountain, and abode there three days, until the pursuers were returned: and the pursuers sought them throughout all the way, but found them not.
23 So the two men returned, and descended from the mountain, and passed over, and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all things that befell them:
24 And they said unto Joshua, Truly the LORD hath delivered into our hands all the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us.
Joshua 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Joshua 2:1-14 – A Heathen Woman’s Act of Faith
To “view the land” was a hazardous undertaking. The physiognomy of the Hebrews would certainly betray them, and it did. The sacred writer does not commend Rahab’s mode of life nor her lies. Her morality was faulty enough, but beneath it, slowly smoldering, was a spark of pure love and faith, and this would consume the rubbish and burn clear, Hebrews 11:31.
The stalks of flax were probably laid out on the roof to dry. She believed, on the ground of the wonders wrought in Egypt, that Jehovah was the true God, and that His word was sure. Her faith proved itself in her works—in her efforts to save others, and in the confidence with which she rested behind her scarlet cord. That she was sneered at and persecuted is quite likely, but she persisted and became an ancestress of Christ, Matthew 1:5. How faith greatens the soul! James 2:25. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Joshua 2:15-24 – The Escape and Report of the Spies
Rahab’s trust in the promise of the spies, and in the efficacy of the scarlet line around her window is a striking type of the faith that relies on the promise of God, that those who are united with Christ shall be saved in this world and the next. Her faith was not the result of impulse, but of a considerate review of the story of the Exodus. Would you have faith, soak your soul in the fact and teachings of Christ.
Note the strict conditions exacted by the spies as to the extent of their responsibility. Amid the general destruction, only those sheltered in the precincts of Rahab’s house would escape. To be outside, though related to her, would not avail. So the great salvation of Jesus is available only to those who are found “in him,” having upon them the divine righteousness, Philippians 3:9. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Joshua 2:18—This line of scarlet thread.
It speaks of the precious blood of Christ. Scarlet is the color of Calvary. Twine it round the window through which thou lookest out on thy foes, and away to the river of death. Nothing can hurt the soul which has put the precious blood of Christ between it and condemnation or alarm. Let every outlook to the future be associated with a remembrance that His blood was shed for thee, and be thou thankful.
Rahab is the type of Gentile sinners who are permitted to share in the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to sit with Him in the heavenlies. That scarlet thread had been the means of salvation to the spies. By it they had been let down to the ground and saved from death. It must have been strong. So the blood of Christ avails, not only for us, but for all who shelter with us in the household of faith, and for others who find it the means of life as they receive it from our hands.
Let us see to it that, like Rahab, we gather father and mother, brethren and friends, to share with us the shelter and safeguard of the precious blood.
But, after all, it was not the cord that saved—that was only the emblem and type. Behind it on the one hand was God’s oath, spoken through the spies, and on the other was Rahab’s faith. The true safety of that house on the wall stood in the moral attitude of one woman in it. Rehab believed God who had dried up the water of the Red Sea, and who was God in heaven above and in earth beneath. This faith raised her afterwards from her life of shame to become the ancestress of Christ. Such wonders does the blood of Christ work in outcasts from the commonwealth of Israel, bringing them nigh. —Our Daily Homily