If she were a married woman her husband might be included in the general terms, all that she had, and all her kindred, Joshua 6:23. 'Go, look over the land,' he said, 'especially Jericho.' Be this as it may, while Joshua commands his messengers to spy out Jericho, he is preparing to besiege it, and accordingly is desirous to ascertain in what direction it may be most easily and safely approached. The city of Jericho, situated in a wide plain according to Josephus, was but about seven miles and a half distant from Jordan. Knobel supposes that, as it was evening twilight when the spies reached Jericho, the time when harlots were wont to walk the streets, (Job 24:15; Proverbs 7:9; Isaiah xxiii, 16,) they met with Rahab at some corner and followed her to her house.] The Divine standard of sin and holiness never varies; but the standard of man’s conscience, even when faith is a dominant principle in the character, may vary to a very considerable degree. Yes. Jericho — Some derive this name from a word signifying “new moon,” in reference to the crescent-like plain in which it stood, formed by an amphitheater of hills; others from a word signifying “its scent,” on account of the fragrance of the balsam and palm trees in which it was embosomed. Two men.] And is it probable that a prince of Judah would have taken to wife such a person as our text represents Rahab to be? See Calmet, and Leviticus 21:7. This supposition removes every difficulty that can arise in this history with respect to the order of time, and clears up the 22nd verse of the present chapter. 2. , that they were Caleb and Phinehas; but they were not young men, as in Joshua 6:23; especially the former; nor is it probable that men of such rank and figure should be sent, but rather meaner persons; yet such as were men of good sense and abilities, and capable of conducting such an affair they were sent about, as well as men of probity and faithfulness; two good men, Kimchi says they were, and not as they that went on the mission of Moses; these were sent from Shittim, the same with Abelshittim, in the plains of Moab, where Israel now lay encamped, Numbers 33:49, which JosephusF18Antiqu. And though it appears from the first chapter of Deuteronomy, (Deuteronomy 1:22,) that Moses, at the request of the people, sent chosen men to spy out the land, he elsewhere relates (Numbers 13:4) that he did it by command from God. Two men; not twelve, as Moses did, partly because the people of Canaan were now more alarmed than in Mosesâs time, and more suspicious of all strangers; and partly because those were to view the whole land, these but a small parcel of it. This was done partly in order that the Canaanites might not hear of it, and partly in order that, if the report should prove unfavourable, the people might not be thrown into despair, as they had been before in the time of Moses. The heathen may be turned unto Him, for even in such polluted hearts the cry after Him is not silenced, the possibility of faith and love is not quenched. Denomination: *other Such places were always a source of vital information. Joshua 2:1 Chapter two of Joshua actually begins the exciting story of how Israel conquered Canaan. Harlot's — So the Hebrew word is used, Judges 11:1, and so it is rendered by two apostles, Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25, such she either now was, or rather, had been formerly. Rahab. Ben Gersom thinks it was to spy or pick out the thoughts of the inhabitants of the land, what apprehensions they had of the people of Israel, whether disheartened and dispirited at their near approach, and what were their intentions, resolutions, and preparations to act against them, offensively, or defensively; and which seems not amiss, since this was the chief information they got, and which they reported to Joshua upon their return; though Abarbinel objects to it as a thing impossible: and they went, and came into a harlot's house, named Rahab; they went from Shittim, and crossed the river Jordan, by swimming or fording, and came to Jericho; which, as Josephus (w) says, was fifty furlongs, or seven miles and a half, from Jordan; and they went into a harlot's house, not purposely for that reason, because it was such an one, but so it proved eventually; though the Targum of Jonathan says it was the house of a woman, an innkeeper or victualler; for Jarchi, Kimchi, and Ben Melech, interpret the word it uses of a seller of food (x); and if so, it furnishes out a reason why they turned in thither, where they might expect to have food and lodging; though the Jews commonly take her to be a harlot; and generally speaking, in those times and countries, such as kept public houses were prostitutes; and there are some circumstances which seem to confirm this in the context; and so the Greek version calls her, and is the character given of her in the New Testament: her name was Rahab, of whom the Jews have this tradition (y), that she was ten years of age when Israel came out of Egypt; that she played the harlot the forty years they were in the wilderness, became the wife of Joshua, who had daughters by her, from whom came eight prophets, Jeremiah, Hilkiah, Maasia, Hanameel, Shallum, Baruch, the son of Neriah, Ezekiel, the son of Buzi, and some say Huldah the prophetess; but the truth is, she married Salmon, a prince of the tribe of Judah; see Gill on Matthew 1:5. and lodged there; that is, they went thither in order to lodge. Their mission was to explore the area Israel would enter, especially Jericho. Copyright StatementThese files are public domain. They were not sent to spy the land, as the spies in the times of Moses, to see what sort of land it was, and what sort of people dwelt in it; but to reconnoitre it, to know where it was best to lead the people at first, and encamp; and particularly to observe the passes and avenues leading to Jericho, the first city in it, nearest to them, of importance. Two spies were despatched to reconnoitre the country, particularly in the neighbourhood of Jericho; for, in the prospect of investing that place, it was desirable to obtain full information as to its site, its approaches, the weak and assailable parts of its walls, the character and resources of its inhabitants. Faith always uses means. Their entrance into such a house would excite less suspicion, and, her house being upon the wall, (Joshua 2:15,) their escape from the city in case of necessity would be more easy. The land and Jericho, that is, especially Jericho. It does not appear by the text, say some, that she followed any other trade; and it is improbable, that Salmon, who was one of the chief heads of the house of Judah, and was one of the ancestors of the Messiah, would have married her had she been a prostitute. But, inasmuch as it is not expressly said that he received a message from heaven to order the people to collect their vessels and to publish his proclamation concerning the passage of the Jordan, although it is perfectly obvious that he never would have thought of moving the camp unless God had ordered it, it is also probable that in sending the spies he consulted God as to his pleasure in the matter, or that God himself, knowing how much need there was of this additional confirmation, had spontaneously suggested it to the mind of his servant. It is not to be supposed from Hebrews 11:31 and James 2:25 that God commended Rahab’s falsehood any more than he commends her other sins. "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible. Church Pulpit Commentary. This chapter gives an account of the spies sent by Joshua to Jericho, and of their entrance into the house of Rahab, who hid them from the king's messengers. Joshua 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. ((r) Antiqu. Sent; or, had sent, as that tense is oft used. BibliographyGill, John. meant by Rahab the same woman whom the Epistle to the Hebrews celebrates in its roll of the martyrs of faith, how appropriate and beautiful it would be! they
came into an harlot‘s house — Many expositors, desirous of removing the stigma of this name from an ancestress of the Saviour (Matthew 1:5), have called her a hostess or tavern keeper. Hebrew, the land and Jericho; that is, especially Jericho. Joshua had certainly sent the spies to Jericho before he issued in the camp the order mentioned ver. 1. They obeyed Joshua’s command, even with the hazard of their own lives, considering that they were under the protection of Divine Providence, which could very easily many ways secure them; or being willing to sacrifice their lives in their country’s service. BibliographyClarke, Adam. Joshua wanted the spies to then report back directly to him. The spies proceeded to Jericho, and towards evening they entered the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there, lit . Jericho—Some derive this name from a word signifying "new moon," in reference to the crescent-like plain in which it stood, formed by an amphitheater of hills; others from a word signifying "its scent," on account of the fragrance of the balsam and palm trees in which it was embosomed. We would, therefore, translate the beginning of the verse in this manner: And Joshua, the son of Nun, had secretly sent out of Shittim two men to espy, and had said, &c. See Houbigant. St. Chrysostom, in his second sermon upon Repentance, twice calls this woman a hostess. Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly. She is the pivot on which the Canaan of unnameable abominations, the Canaan exposed to the curse, and blotted from the face of the earth, becomes the Canaan of the promise, the land of the world’s desire, the symbol of the heavens. "Having entered into the first inn I met with, and there seeing a certain Old Woman, the Inn-Keeper, I inquired of her.". Sophocles confirms the account given by Herodotus; speaking of Egypt he says: -, "There the men stay in their houses weaving cloth, while the women transact all business out of doors, provide food for the family," etc. As to the objection that her husband is nowhere mentioned in the account here given; it appears to me to have little weight. Whatever were her modes of life, her house was the most favourable place for the execution of their design. 2 Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. On her falsehoods and her faith, see note on Joshua 2:5. "Commentary on Joshua 2:1". They may have met her in the square by the gate, or she may have had a sign of some kind on her house. v1 Early in the morning, Joshua and all the *Israelites left the city of Shittim. It is evident Joshua did not this out of distrust; it is probable, he had God's command and direction in it for the encouragement of himself and his army. Joshua 2:1-7. The spies solemnly promised to honour her request, and gave her a sign by which she could ensure her safety, and with a charge for her not to tell anyone, were let down by a rope from the window of her house, which was on the outer wall, from where they made their escape to a mountain, where they waited a day or so, and then returned to Joshua, and made their report. [Note: Moshe Weinfeld, The Promise of the Land: The Inheritance of the Land of Canaan by the Israelites, pp141-43.]. ; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. Also, the pattern of a three-day stay in an area when pursuing escapees has support in ancient eastern sources; for example the instructions to the Hittite tower commanders specify that if an enemy invades a place he must be pursued for three days. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/joshua-2.html. An harlot‘s house - In the face of the parallel passages (e. g. Leviticus 21:7: Jeremiah 5:7) the rendering advocated for obvious reasons, namely, “the house of a woman, an innkeeper,” cannot be maintained. Two spies were dispatched to reconnoiter the country, particularly in the neighborhood of Jericho; for in the prospect of investing that place, it was desirable to obtain full information as to its site, its approaches, the character, and resources of its inhabitants. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/joshua-2.html. - Aletam. These would be trained fighting men experienced at scouting. afterwards shall thine hands be strengthened.â. I. A similar law may well have applied here. From this we may infer that it was some obscure corner remote from the public thoroughfare; just as persons of her description usually live in narrow lanes and secret places. Miles ) from the licentious heathen world out men for reconnaissance was a widespread phenomenon the! 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