Joshua 2

Rahab helps two men of Israel

1 Then Joshua sent two men to go out from Shittim. He sent them in secret to see what the land was like. He told them, ‘Go! Look at all the land. Look very carefully at Jericho city.’

When they came to Jericho city, they arrived at the house of a prostitute. Her name was Rahab. They stayed there.

2:1Rahab probably had rooms in her home where visitors could sleep.

2 Some people told the king of Jericho, ‘Look! Some Israelite men have come here tonight to see what our land is like.’ 3 So the king of Jericho sent a message to Rahab. He said, ‘Bring out the men who are staying in your house. They have come secretly to see what all our land is like!’

4 But Rahab had hidden the two men. She replied, ‘Yes, some men did come to me. I did not know where they had come from. 5 When it was nearly time to close the gate of the city for the night, they left. I do not know where they went. If you chase after them quickly, you may catch them.’ 6 But she had taken the men up to the roof. She had hidden them under some plants that she was drying there.

7 So the king's officers went out of the city to try to find the two Israelite men. They went along the road to the Jordan river, to the place where the road crosses the river. As soon as they had left, people shut the city gate.

8 Rahab went up to the roof of her house. She spoke to the men as they prepared to sleep. 9 She said to them, ‘I know that the Lord has given this land to you. Everyone here is afraid of you Israelites. Everyone who lives in this land is very frightened. 10 We heard how the Lord caused the water of the Red Sea to become dry. In that way he brought you out of Egypt. We heard what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites. We heard how you destroyed them completely on the east side of the Jordan river. 11 When we heard what you had done, we felt very weak. We were very frightened. We realize that the Lord, your God, is God. He rules everything in heaven and on earth.

12 Now, please use the Lord's name to make a strong promise. I have been kind to you. So, promise me that you will be kind to my family. Show me that you will certainly do what you have promised. 13 When you attack this city, do not kill my family. Save the lives of my father, my mother, my brothers and sisters, and all their families.’

14 The men replied, ‘We promise to do that. If anyone kills you or your family, may we die too! Do not tell anyone about us. When the Lord gives us this land, we will be kind to you. We will save your lives.’

15 So Rahab put a rope out through the window of her house. (The house that she lived in was part of the city wall.) The men climbed down the rope. 16 Rahab told them, ‘Go to the hills. The men who are chasing you will not find you there. Hide there for three days until they return to this city. Then you can go back to your people.’

17 The men said to her, ‘If you do what we say, we will do what we have promised. 18 We will soon attack this land. So, tie this red string in the window that we came through. Bring your father, your mother, your brothers and sisters and all your family into your house. 19 If any of them leaves your house, they may die. If that happens, we will not be guilty. We will only be guilty if our soldiers hurt anybody who is in your house. 20 But if you tell anyone about us, we do not have to do what we have promised to you.’

2:18The men told Rahab to tie a red string in her window. This was the sign that the Israelites would not kill her or her family.

21 Rahab said, ‘I agree with what you have said.’ She sent the men away. When they had gone, she tied the red string in her window.

22 The two Israelite men went into the hills and they hid there. The king's officers looked along the road for them for three days. They did not find them, so they returned to Jericho. 23 Then the two men came down from the hills and they crossed the Jordan river. They went back to Joshua. They told him everything that had happened. 24 They said to him, ‘We are sure that the Lord has given us the whole land. All the people there are very frightened of us.’