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 country. Look very carefully at the city of Jericho’.

When they came to Jericho city, they went into the house of Rahab. They stayed there. She was a prostitute.

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. ‘Bring out the men who are staying in your house. They have come to see what all our land is like!’ he said.

4 But the woman had hidden the two men. ‘Yes, some men did come to me. I did not know where they had come from,’ she said. 5 ‘When it was getting near the time to close the gate of the city, they left. I do not know where they went. If you go after them quickly, you may catch them.’ 6 (But she had taken them up to the roof. She had hidden them under some plants that she was drying there.) 7 So the king's men went out to try to find the two Israelites. They went towards the place where people could cross the river Jordan. As soon as they had gone out, people shut the gate.

8 Rahab went up to the roof. She spoke to the men as they prepared to sleep. 9 ‘I know that the Lord has given this land to you,’ she said to them. ‘I know that we are all very frightened of you. Everyone living in this part of the world is very afraid. 10 We heard how the Lord dried up the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt. And 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 all this, we felt very weak. We were very frightened. This is because the Lord, your God, is God. He rules the heaven (the place where God lives) above and the earth beneath.

12 Now, please make me a strong promise, because you believe in the Lord. I have been kind to you. So, promise that you will be kind to my family. Give me something to show that you will keep your promise. 13 Show me that you will save the lives of my family. Save my mother, father, brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them. Please do not let anyone kill us.’

14 ‘We will give you your life if you save ours. Do not tell the king about us. When the Lord gives us this land we will keep our promise. We will be kind to you,’ the men said to her.

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

17 ‘We will keep the promise that we have given to you,’ the men said to her. 18 ‘This is what you must do. Tie this red string in the window that we came through. Do this when we come to take your city. Get your father, mother, brothers and sisters and all your family into your house. 19 If anyone goes out into the street, he may die. That will be his own bad mistake. And you will know that we kept our promise. But if anyone in the house with you dies, then we should be punished. 20 It would be different if you told anyone about this. Then we would not have to keep the promise that we have given you.’ 21 Rahab agreed with the men and she sent them away. When they had gone, she tied the red string in her window.

2:21The 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.

22 The two Israelites went into the hills and hid there. The king's men looked everywhere 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 crossed the river Jordan. They went to Joshua. They told him everything that had happened. 24 ‘We are sure that the Lord has given us the whole country. All the people there are very frightened of us,’ they said.