That this is the true sense many eminent men are of opinion; and the preceding arguments render it at least very probable. Where the people then encamped, [Numbers 33:49] and where the Midianites sometime, by the counsel of Balaam, Satan’s spell man, outwitted the Israelites by setting fair women before them, who soon drew them into those two sister sins, idolatry and adultery. Two men.] 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. Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible, "He had learned by experience that spy reports should be brought to the leaders only, for the people did not have sufficient orientation or experience to properly evaluate such a report.". Jericho was actually a fairly small city with less than two thousand inhabitants, but because it guarded the way into the land and was on its mound it must have appeared larger than it was, and a major problem was going to be breaching its walls. And if we read the story of Rahab with the eyes of Christ we may possibly arrive at a somewhat startling conclusion. 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. So they went and came into the house of a harlot whose name was Rahab, and lodged there. Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Grove to spy secretly: This kind of careful preparation shows faithfulness, not a lack of faith. Thus the LXX understood it, and two apostles have approved of their version; see Hebrews 11:31. 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. 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 spies took upon them to discover the right path for Israel to take, a thing which was God’s prerogative, not theirs (Deuteronomy 1:22; Deuteronomy 1:32-33). The aim was to cross the Jordan, probably by swimming it (compare 1 Chronicles 12:15), and survey the land with a view to planning strategy, reconnoitring for camping places and seeking to find out what they could about Jericho. This lectionary is very similar to that of Year B, Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, which covers Joshua 24:1-2a; 14-18. But may not this be spoken as well of the woman's goods as of her person? 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. In this instance the two men brought back a report of the state of things in Jericho (exactly what they were ordered to do), which encouraged all Israel to proceed. The prudence of Joshua, in sending spies to observe this important pass, which was likely to be disputed at the entrance of Israel into Canaan . on StudyLight.org BibliographyHawker, Robert, D.D. It would have been a thing without parallel in that land for a single woman, or even a man, to be found keeping a public house. Humanly speaking, how difficult was the task that confronted Joshua and the people with regard to entering the land of Canaan? BibliographyTrapp, John. 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. l. 4. c. 8. sect. v1 Early in the morning, Joshua and all the *Israelites left the city of Shittim. in Euterp., c. xxxv. harlot"s. Word to be taken in usual sense. Thus, for example, we read in Hammurabi"s Code: "If scoundrels plot together [in conspiratorial relationships] in an innkeeper"s house, and she does not seize them and bring them to the palace, that innkeeper shall be put to death" (law 109). It is very likely that women kept the places of public entertainment among the Philistines; and that it was with such a one, and not with a harlot, that Samson lodged; (see Judges 16:1, etc. Joshua 6:23). And they went, and came into an harlot's house, named Rahab— The doubtfulness of the term used by the sacred writer, to signify Rahab's mode of life, has divided interpreters. And the seven devils went out of them at His touch, and they were pure as in the days of their childhood. Joseph Benson's Commentary. We may add with Serrarius, that, perhaps, Rahab was one of those young women, who, in a religious view, devoted herself to impurity in the idol temples. The present instance is the only one in which the measure had a good effect. Omitted by Figure of speech Homuotelenton. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/joshua-2.html. The spies probably stayed at Rahab"s house because they hoped to be less conspicuous there than they would have been if they had lodged elsewhere. Hebrews 11:31. But Scriptural usage (Le 21:7-14; De 23:18; Jud 11:1; 1Ki 3:16), the authority of the Septuagint, followed by the apostles (Heb 11:31; Jas 2:25), and the immemorial style of Eastern khans, which are never kept by women, establish the propriety of the term employed in our version. The dismission of these spies was not from any distrust, but rather a conviction, that the Lord would deliver Jericho into the hand of his people. Is it not therefore more likely that they went rather to an inn to lodge than to a brothel? So the men went up and spied out Ai. It is unfallen man that is stern to fallen man. It is He who has taught us to aim at purity of thought and intention, and to regard impurity in the heart as equivalent to impurity in act. 1. Compare the effect of Gideon and Phurah’s visit to the camp of Midian (Judges 7:11), “Thou shalt hear what they say, and. DD. "Commentary on Joshua 2:1". Joshua 1:18 : Joshua 2:2 >> The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment Sign up for the Berean: Daily Verse and Comment, and have Biblical truth delivered to your inbox. 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. "Commentary on Joshua 2:1". “Even if the spies had been despatched before the events narrated in Joshua 1:10-18, it would not be grammatically correct to render וישׁלח as a pluperfect; and much less is this allowable if such a supposition be unfounded.” — Keil.]. As to the objection that her husband is nowhere mentioned in the account here given; it appears to me to have little weight. eleven times Yerecho. to learn the state of the land and people, and what way and method they should proceed in. pp. 2. BibliographyEllicott, Charles John. ADAM CLARKE Commentary on Joshua. [Note: See The New Bible Dictionary, 1962ed, s.v. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/joshua-2.html. It describes her account of the fear and dread of Israel that had fallen on the Canaanites, and of the request she made to them, to save her and her father's house, when the city should be taken. James 2:25. In Jesus Christ “all that believe are justified from all things;” but “by the deeds of the law no one. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/joshua-2.html. Matthew 11:2-3. It may equally signify a hostess, and a prostitute. Moreover, the situation of her house against or upon the town wall was one which facilitated escape. Its site was long supposed to be represented by the small mud-walled hamlet Er-Riha; but recent researches have fixed on a spot about half an hour's journey westward, where large ruins exist about six or eight miles distant from the Jordan. Joshua 2:1-13 NLT. In Num. Josephus later spoke of an Abila in the area which was possibly the same place, probably located at Tel el-Hamman, although others prefer Tel el-Kefrein. 1. (1) There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were.—A falsehood which evidently left no stain on Rahab’s conscience, although all falsehood is sin. Shittim; called also Abel-shittim, Numbers 33:49. Herod. The writer recorded Rahab"s name because she became an important person in Israel"s history. In short, he sends spies on whose report he may provide against all dangers. CHAPTER 2. Joshua 7:2). The risk they ran of losing their lives in this enterprise was extreme. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/joshua-2.html. But there is no harm in supposing that she was also an innkeeper, which the Targum calls her in every place; indeed, it is very probable that the spies would resort to a place of public entertainment, as most suitable for ascertaining the state of the public mind. Joshua sends two spies to Jericho; they are sought after; Rahab hides them; deceives the messengers, Joshua 2:1-7. Rahab must remain an example under the Law similar to that Luke 7:37 under the Gospel, of “a woman that was a sinner,” yet, because of her faith, not only pardoned, but exalted to the highest honor. Besides there is more than presumptive proof that this custom obtained among the Israelites themselves, even in the most polished period of their history; for it is much more reasonable to suppose that the two women, who came to Solomon for judgment, relative to the dead child, ( 1 Kings 3:16, etc), were inn-keepers, than that they were harlots. Nymphodorus, quoted by the ancient scholiast on the Oedipus Coloneus of Sophocles, accounts for these customs: he says that "Sesostris, finding the population of Egypt rapidly increasing, fearing that he should not be able to govern the people or keep them united under one head, obliged the men to assume the occupations of women, in order that they might be rendered effeminate." And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim.] And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/joshua-2.html. She was saved by faith, not by her own righteousness. BibliographyWhedon, Daniel. See Calmet, and Leviticus 21:7. Jericho is possibly the lowest city on earth, lying about750 feet below sea level. . "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly. BibliographyBenson, Joseph. It is true that the cases of Tamar and Bathsheba may be thought sufficient to destroy this argument; but whoever considers these two cases maturely will see that they differ totally from that of Rahab, if we allow the word harlot to be legitimate. She was a prostitute who had faith in God, helped the Israelites, and even became the 35th great-grandmother of our Lord Jesus Christ. And this seems added by way of opposition unto the like action, Deu 1, where it was done with the people’s privity, and upon their motion; and therefore an account was given, not only to Moses, but also to the congregation; whereas here it was given to Joshua only, Joshua 2:23, which was a good caution to prevent the inconveniency which possibly might have arisen, if their report had been doubtful or discouraging. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible. Joshua 2:1-7.RAHAB RECEIVES AND CONCEALS THE TWO SPIES. Lodged there, or, lay down, as the same word, is rendered, Joshua 2:8, intended and composed themselves to rest; but they were disturbed and hindered from their intentions upon the following discovery. Why some try to avoid the name harlot, and interpret זונה as meaning one who keeps an inn, I see not, unless it be that they think it disgraceful to be the guests of a courtesan, or wish to wipe off a stigma from a woman who not only received the messengers kindly, but secured their safety by singular courage and prudence. Joshua having sent spies from Shittim to Jericho, Rahab in faith received them into her house, concealed them, and before she sent them away in peace made a league with Israel through them, for her own personal safety and that of her family. Joshua 2:1. The men who viewed Ai (Joshua 7:2-3) came back and presumed to instruct Joshua how to proceed against it, with disastrous results. 1857. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855. 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. This mission, which in many respects was a perilous onethey had to swim across the swollen river, required the strictest privacy, and it seems to have been studiously concealed from the knowledge of the Israelites themselves, lest any unfavourable or exaggerated report, publicly circulated, might have dispirited the people, as that of the spies did in the days of Moses. Also in the New Testament she is called emphatically the harlot, η πορνη, (Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25.) 1909-1922. Their return and relation, Joshua 2:22-24. Shittim was the last stage of the Exodus under Moses. Its name probably connects it with an early western Semitic moon god called Yarich. Lodged there, or, lay down, as the same word, is rendered, Joshua 2:8, intended and composed themselves to rest; but they were disturbed and hindered from their intentions upon the following discovery. To do this completely, and to be quite ready for the crossing, would, as Rosenmuller thinks, require the greater part of three days. See below. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/joshua-2.html. ◄ Joshua 2:1 ► Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim, saying, “Go, inspect the land, especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab … "Commentary on Joshua 2:1". Sent; or, had sent, as that tense is oft used. 'Go, look over the land,' he said, 'especially Jericho.' Rahab (i. e. “spacious,” “wide.” Compare the name “Japheth” and Genesis 9:27, note) is regarded by the fathers as a type of the Christian Church, which was gathered out of converts from the whole vast circle of pagan nations. view, Some codices, with one early printed edition, Septuagint, and Vulgate, read "and view". So 2 Samuel 5:24. 1 And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. Jericho was two hours' journey to the west of the Jordan, situated in a plain that was formerly very fertile, and celebrated for its palm trees and balsam shrubs, but which is now quite desolate and barren. Heb., Silently. We cannot, of course, argue from the tone of the Old Testament in touching upon what we call the ‘social evil,’ to any Divine condonation of it; And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim. or are we to condemn him for excessive anxiety, especially as he seems to have trusted more than was right to his own prudence, when, without consulting God, he was so careful in taking precautions against danger? 1905. 24. 2013. The same historian supposes that women had these high privileges among the Egyptians, to perpetuate the memory of the beneficent administration of Isis, who was afterwards deified among them. Jericho — That is, the land about Jericho, together with the city. Secretly — With reference not to his enemies, that being the practice of all spies, but to the Israelites; a good caution to prevent the inconvenience which possibly might have arisen if their report had been discouraging. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there. “As spies secretly.” That is without letting their own people know. Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. These would be trained fighting men experienced at scouting. Jericho. "E.W. It is indeed a regular practice with the Rabbins, when they would consult for the honor of their nation, presumptuously to wrest Scripture and give a different turn by their fictions to anything that seems not quite reputable. 1. Of which though God had promised to possess them, yet Joshua knew that means was to be used. Here is the first convert to the congregation of the Lord from the licentious heathen world. On her falsehoods and her faith, see note on Joshua 2:5. BibliographyBarnes, Albert. i., p. 18, Edit. - Aletam. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/joshua-2.html. Moses had sent spies (Num. II. 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. It is His Spirit that fills us all with a holy horror of the unclean books and papers, the alluring sights and suggestions, the inward passions and desires which are the first movements towards the vice which we call in a special sense immorality. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/joshua-2.html. He therefore sent two men out secretly as spies from Shittim the place of encampment at that time (see at Numbers 25:1), to view, i.e., explore, the land, especially Jericho, the strongly fortified frontier town of Canaan (Joshua 6:1). But a divine influence directed them in the choice of that lodging-place.Joshua sends two spies to Jericho; they are sought after; Rahab hides them; deceives the messengers, Joshua 2:1-7. 1871-8. It was a walled city, rich and populous, having commerce with Babylon and the far East. We are not told how those spies got over Jordan. the land about Jericho, together with the city. Moreover, in the fact that a woman who had gained a shameful livelihood by prostitution was shortly after admitted into the body of the chosen people, and became a member of the Church, we are furnished with a striking display of divine grace which could thus penetrate into a place of shame, and draw forth from it not only Rahab, but her father and the other members of her family. "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". “Lay (slept) there.” This may simply mean booked accommodation, or that they rested, or it may refer to them going to sleep after sunset. Even Jericho — The command may be better rendered. 1871-8. 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! 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. ); for as this custom certainly did prevail among the Egyptians, of which we have the fullest proof above, we may naturally expect it to have prevailed also among the Canaanites and Philistines, as we find from Apuleius that it did afterwards among the Greeks. Church Pulpit Commentary. The people were camped on the east side of Jordan. St. Chrysostom, in his second sermon upon Repentance, twice calls this woman a hostess. 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. Sent— Or, had sent: Two men - Not twelve, as Moses did, because those were to view the whole land, these but a small parcel of it. 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. - Joshua 2:1. Shittim; called also Abel-shittim, Numbers 33:49. 277. ; the land in general, and Jericho in particular, because it was a great city, as Kimchi notes; of this city; see Gill on Luke 19:4. Joshua 2:1 And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. After three days' stay in the mountain, they return to Joshua, and make a favorable report, Joshua 2:22-24. Came into a harlot’s house — [Literally, into the house of a woman, a harlot. 1. all the kings which were on this side — that is, the western side of Jordan.. in the hills, and in the valleys, and in all the coasts of the great sea — This threefold distinction marks out very clearly a large portion of Canaan. How far they were disguised, how they came to be discovered, whether the king of Jericho knew of the impending march of Israel from Shittim, are questions of detail which the narrative leaves unanswered, and which the imagination may discuss at pleasure. sent . The spies proceeded to Jericho, and towards evening they entered the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there, lit . 1870. Here is the first suggestion of our Lord’s eternal truth that the publicans and harlots may enter the kingdom of heaven. David had a promise of victory over the Philistines; but yet so as that he must fetch a compass behind them; and when he heard "the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberries," then he was to bestir himself. Rahab. No entry exists in Forerunner Commentary for Joshua 2:1. He had confidence that Israel was now ready to trust YHWH's word and presence to give them military victory. 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. [Hebrews 11:31 James 2:25] Upon her conversion she was advanced to become grandmother to Jesus Christ; who by his purity washeth off all our spots; like as the sun washeth and wipeth away all the ill vapours of the earth and air. But it is most likely that she was a single woman or a widow, who got her bread honestly by keeping a house of entertainment for strangers. 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. 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. Or, Hostess, as some render it; but such as stuck not familiarly to entertain strangers. Moreover, it is a chapter — and a message — worth repeating: that … Continue reading "Commentary on Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25" 1865-1868. (t) P. 277. See also Hess, pp83-84; and M. A. Beek, Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged, Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers, Commentary Critical and Explanatory - Unabridged, Kretzmann's Popular Commentary of the Bible, Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures. The spies who were sent out on this occasion were undoubtedly the most confidential persons that Joshua had in his host; they went on an errand of the most weighty importance, and which involved the greatest consequences. 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. It is on this passage that the scholiast cites Nymphodorus for the information given above, and which he says is found in the 13th chapter of his work "On the Customs of Barbarous Nations." "Commentary on Joshua 2:1". ‘And they went, and came into a prostitute’s house, whose name was Rahab, and lay (or ‘slept’) there.’. Joshua 2:1-3 Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. Text represents Rahab to be sluggish, to learn the state of land! Computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible at his touch, and evening... Tutelary deity of Jericho to Jericho ; that is, the situation of house... 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