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Wednesday, January 29 2014

Joshua 2: Rahab Of Jericho

"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"

Joshua was a fine battle commander (see also Deuteronomy 7: The Canaan Battle Plan, Numbers 2: Israel's Battle Formation, Numbers 21: The Sinai Battles and Numbers 31: The Last Battle Of Moses). As such, he knew the vital importance of military intelligence - to know the enemy. He had learned that, not only as the later supreme commander of Israel, but as one of the scouts that had been sent by Moses to explore the land forty years earlier (see Numbers 13: The Exploration Of The Promised Land) - of whom only Joshua and Caleb proved themselves to be truthful and courageous (see Numbers 14: Why 40 Years In The Sinai?).

Just prior to the crossing of the Jordan River, Joshua sent scouts into the land of Canaan. "And they went, and came into an harlot's house, named Rahab, and lodged there."


"2:1 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." (Joshua 2:1 KJV)

Some disagree with the translated word "harlot" for Rahab. Despite that translation (and illustrations that often portray Rhab as a harlot), many others believe that the Canaanite woman of Jericho was actually an "innkeeper," or the manager of the inn that was owned by her family - all of whom lived there i.e. "my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters." Military scouts in the midst of a very dangerous mission don't go to a whorehouse, but they do go to public inns or hotels where strangers or travelers are not regarded as something suspicious.

Nevertheless, by whatever means, the king of Jericho was informed that Israelites had entered Rahab's premises.

"2:2 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. 2:3 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." (Joshua 2:2-3 KJV)

Rahab, rather than turning them in, as she could very easily have done, hid the Israelite scouts.

"2:4 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: 2:5 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. 2:6 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. 2:7 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." (Joshua 2:4-7 KJV)

Why did Rahab do it? She did it because she was a believer in the existence and the power of the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God). Rahab made an agreement with them that would not only save the lives of Rahab and her family from the imminent Israelite onslaught, it would make them citizens of Israel: "6:25 And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father's household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho." (Joshua 6:25 KJV).

"2:8 And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof; 2:9 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. 2:10 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. 2:11 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. 2:12 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: 2:13 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.

2:14 And the men answered her, Our life for yours, 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." (Joshua 2:8-14 KJV)

The scouts then made their escape and returned to report to Joshua.

"2:15 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. 2:16 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.

2:17 And the men said unto her, We will be blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear. 2:18 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. 2:19 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. 2:20 And if thou utter this our business, then we will be quit of thine oath which thou hast made us to swear.

2:21 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.

2:22 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. 2:23 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: 2:24 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 2:1524 KJV)

Fact Finder: Rahab was a Canaanite who became an Israelite. Was the mother of the first Jews a Canaanite? What does the Bible actually say about Canaanites?
See Genesis 38: The First Jews and What Does The Bible Really Say About Canaanites?

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This Day In History, January 29

757: An Lushan, the rebel leader of a revolt against the Tang Dynasty and Emperor of Yan, was murdered by his own son, An Qingxu (see also Gog and Magog).

King George III 904: Sergius III returned from retirement to resume the papacy from the deposed antipope Christopher (see The Struggle For The Papacy; also Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy and Why Call Me, Lord, Lord, and Do Not The Things Which I Say?).

1613: Italian scientist Galileo Galiei observed the planet, later to be called "Neptune" (many scientists who reject "religion" nevertheless hypocritically name many discoveries and space exploration programs of the heavens after pagan "gods") without realizing that it was an "undiscovered" planet. A German, Johann Galle, is credited with the planet's discovery in 1846, over 2 centuries after Galileo (see also Parabolic Prophecies).

1635: The Academie Francaise was founded. It became one of the most famous European literary societies.

1676: Feodor III became Tsar of Russia.

1730: Peter II, Czar of Russia (czar is the Russian form of Caesar, as is the German Kaiser), died of smallpox on the day set for his wedding.

1820: King George III of England died at age 81. It was during his reign (1760-1820) that the revolution of the New England colonies, that were created by English investment and pioneers out of the uninhabited and undeveloped wilderness over the previous two centuries, occurred. Not all of the people of New England were revolutionaries. Those who did not participate in the insurrection, about 1/4 of the New England population (most born in New England), thereafter known as Loyalists, immigrated to England or Canada. Most of the Loyalists were successful businessmen, conservative working men and tradesmen, educators, or members of local Militias who did not desert or mutiny at the start of the rebellion.

1829: Montreal's McGill University was established.

1856: Britain's highest military honor, the Victoria Cross, named after Queen Victoria, was established.

1886: In Germany, Karl Benz received a patent for the first gasoline-powered automobile.

1891: Liliuokalani was proclaimed Queen of the Kingdom of Hawaii.

1916: During the First World War (listen to our Sermons The Ottoman Empire and The European World Wars), German Zeppelins began bombing Paris.

1916: Military tanks entered battle for first time, by the British, during the First World War.

1922: The political union of Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Honduras ended.

1968: The ice cap of Antarctic was penetrated for the first time. Rock was encountered at a depth of about 2 kilometers.

1991: Iraqi forces attacked the Saudi Arabian town of Kafji.

1996: Venice's opera house, fatefully named La Fenice or "The Phoenix," was destroyed by fire.

1996: President Jacques Chirac announced a "definitive end" to French nuclear weapons testing.


Copyright © Wayne Blank