24 Apr. Joshua 2:1-24

24 Apr. Joshua sends spies to reconnoitre Jericho’s defences

“Joshua son of Nun secretly sent out two spies from Acacia [Abel Shittim] and said to them, ‘Go and look at the land, particularly at the city of Jericho.’ So the men went to Jericho and stayed at the house of a prostitute named Rahab.”

“Someone told the king of Jericho, ‘Some men from Israel 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. They have come to spy out our whole land.’”

“But the woman had hidden the two men. She said, ‘They did come here, but I didn’t know where they came from. In the evening, when it was time to close the city gate, they left. I don’t know where they went, but if you go quickly, maybe you can catch them.’ (The woman had taken the men up to the roof and had hidden them there under stalks of flax that she had spread out.)”

“So the king’s men went out looking for the spies on the road that leads to the crossings of the Jordan River. The city gate was closed just after the king’s men left the city.”

“Before the spies went to sleep for the night, Rahab went up to the roof. She said to them, ‘I know the LORD has given this land to your people. You frighten us very much. Everyone living in this land is terribly afraid of you because we have heard how the LORD dried up the Red Sea [the Reed Sea] when you came out of Egypt. We have heard how you destroyed Sihon and Og, two Amorite kings who lived east of the Jordan…’”

“Now our men are afraid to fight you because the LORD your God rules the heavens above and the earth below! So now, promise me before the LORD that you will show kindness to my family just as I showed kindness to you…’”

“The men agreed and said, ‘It will be our lives for your lives if you don’t tell anyone what we are doing. When the LORD gives us the land, we will be kind and true to you.’”

“The house Rahab lived in was built on the city wall, so she used a rope to let the men down through a window. She said to them, ‘Go into the hills so the king’s men will not find you. Hide there for three days. After the king’s men return, you may go on your way.’”

“The men said to her, ‘You must do as we say. If not, we cannot be responsible for keeping this oath you have made us swear. When we return to this land, you must tie this red rope in the window through which you let us down. Bring your father, mother, brothers and all your family into your house… If anyone in your house is hurt, we will be responsible. But if you tell anyone about this, we will be free from the oath you made us swear.’…”

“The men left and went into the hills where they stayed for three days… Then the two men started back. They left the hills and crossed the river and came to Joshua son of Nun and told him everything that had happened to them. They said, ‘The LORD surely has given us all of the land. All the people in that land are terribly afraid of us.’”

          (Joshua 2:1-24)

 


 

After God commanded him to get ready for the invasion of Canaan, Joshua sent two spies from the camp at Abel Shittim (the ‘Valley of the Acacia trees’) in the Plains of Moab to explore the land of Canaan (see 1 on the map on 23 April). In particular, he asked them to reconnoitre the defences that the Israelites would need to overcome at the city of Jericho.

Like many foreigners before them, the two spies spent the night in Jericho at the home of a prostitute, Rahab, before she hid them on the flat roof where she stored her flax for spinning. Having made the spies promise that they would ensure the safety of her family when the Israelites attacked Jericho, she helped them escape down a rope from her window to the outside of the city wall. (It was agreed that a piece of red rope in the window would identify the prostitute's house when the Israelites returned to destroy Jericho.)

The spies then hid from the soldiers who’d been sent to capture them for three days in the hill country beyond Jericho, before crossing the valley floor back to the fords across the River Jordan.

They returned to Joshua full of hope, and confident that the Israelites would defeat the inhabitants of Jericho as, ‘All the people in that land are terribly afraid of us.'” (Joshua 2:24)

The photo (by Beivushtang) of the Jordan River at Kfar Hanasi shows the site of an ancient ford across the river.

You can read more about the preparations to cross the Jordan @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/27-the-israelites-move-into-canaan/the-israelites-cross-the-river-jordan/


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