About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Rahab And The Spies
(ch. 2:1 - 24)
In verse 1 Joshua
sends "two spies", (NIV) or, "two men to spy",
(KJV). We need to look at the word "spy".
In our day we think of a spy as being an undercover, a covert,
CIA agent. In one sense of
the word these men might well be spies, but I think there is more to it
than simply spying. James
2:25 in the NIV calls these two men spies, but in the KJV they are
called messengers, which according to the Greek word it is translated
form, is actually a better translation.
I believe these
two men were sent by Joshua as messengers.
They were to spy, or check out the
In verse 1 Joshua
wants these two men to look over and report back about the city of Jericho. He specifically wanted to
know about this city. The
name "Jericho" means "the house of the moon god".
Worship of the moon god was part of the Canaanite religion of the
day. The symbol associated
with the moon god is the same symbol used by Islam.
Mohammad grew up in a pagan religion very much influenced by the
Canaanite religion that was the practice of the day here in Joshua.
appears to be the center of
things in this area of the world. This
is why it was important in the mind of Joshua.
It was a well fortified city that needed to be dealt with before
anything else could be done in
Verse 1 tells us
that the first thing these two men did when they got to Jericho
was to go into the house of a prostitute named Rahab, the great
grandmother of King David.
This sounds strange, and we don't know why they approached a
prostitute first, but that is what they did.
Maybe they didn't know she was a prostitute at first, or, maybe
there is prophetic significance to this, which I tend to believe.
The Hebrew word translated as "prostitute" in the NIV
can also be translated as "innkeeper".
The general consensus among Bible teacher is that Rahab ran a
brothel, a house of prostitution.
If you question
that Rahab wasn’t a prostitute because the Hebrew word can be
translated as "innkeeper", the New Testament calls her a
prostitute. Hebrews 11:25 is one such example.
In verse 2 we see
that some people saw these two men at Rahab's house and they told the
King of Jericho of their presence in the city. The King grew very
concerned about this and so he sent messengers to Rahab as seen in verse
3. They king wanted Rahab to
release these two men to the messengers of the king.
In verses 4 to 7
we see Rahab's response to the king's messengers.
She lied. She said
that the two men were there but they had since left.
The truth is that she hid the men on her roof under some flax.
Houses in those days and in that part of the world had flat
roofs. They would used the
flat roofs for such things as drying flax
and grain. They would
also use their roof for entertaining, as we would use a patio.
Bible students have discussed this lie of Rahab.
If you notice, her lie was actually a number of lies combined.
The question is asked, "is there any time when a lie is not
considered a sin"? From
this passage, I certainly will not end the debate. I will say this.
Rahab's lie was based on faith.
The reason why she lied was that she acknowledged the God of
Israel to be the only true God, and for that reason, her lie was meant
to protect the servants of the only true God.
Simply put, her lie was founded in faith.
Another thought might well be that her telling a lie was simply
part of the culture she grew up in.
Telling a lie was common place and not considered wrong.
This would have been the only possible way in her thinking to
protect these two men of God.
Verses 8 and 9
tell us a lot about how the Canaanites feel about Israel
being on their doorstep. They
are in great fear of Israel. Rahab acknowledges that
the God of these two men is with
Verse 10 tells us
that the Canaanites had heard of Israel's miraculous escape from Egypt, even though that was about 40 years earlier.
They also heard of
Verse 11 states
Rahab's very words of confession. She
told the two men that their God was the only true God of heaven and
earth. This is the
confession of faith that gets her in the Hebrews 11 "Hall of
In verses 12 and
13 Rahab pleads for mercy. She
asks the 2 men to swear by God that they will save her and her family
when they attack
In verse 14 the
men replied by saying, "our lives for your lives".
Simply put, since you saved us, we'll save you.
This is the Abrahamic Covenant in action.
He that blesses Israel
will be blessed. Rahab will
be blessed because she has blessed Israel. She will also be blessed
because she trusts in the God of Israel.
Notice also the
confession of the 2 men in verse 14.
They acknowledge and confess that it is their God who will indeed
give them this land. This is
what needs to be the confession of present day Israel. It's not right now, but it
will be when the Lord brings Israel
to her knees in the tribulation period of these last days.
In verses 15 and
16 Rahab puts her faith into action.
After hiding the 2 men, she lets them down the city wall with a
scarlet rope. Her house was
on the edge of the wall around the city.
She told the two men to hide in the hills, which was the opposite
direction she told the king's messengers these two men were.
She told them to wait for three days and then return home.
Many people make something out of these three days, and possibly
for good reason.
In verses 17
through 20 the 2 men lay out the conditions of the covenant they make
with Rahab. If she ties the
scarlet rope to the window by which they let them go, everyone inside
the house will be saved. No
matter who is in the house. The
scarlet rope will be the token of their salvation.
There is great significance to this.
It reminds us about the blood on the doorpost when
Note that in both
Rahab simply says,
"agreed", inverse 21. This
truly made her happy. Thus
her faith has come full circle. She
hears of the one true God. She
believes and puts her trust in Him.
She puts her faith into action, and now she is blessed.
That's the way salvation works.
The chapter closes
with the 2 men returning to Joshua.
They tell Joshua in verse 24 that the Lord really has given them
of Canaan. We find out hear how this
will happen. The Lord has
brought great fear into the hearts of the Canaanites.
They have no other choice but to surrender.
there are a few things we should note.
In the gospel of Matthew, in chapter 1 where we see the lineage
from which Jesus was born, we note that Rahab, the Gentile prostitute
was an ancestor of Jesus. She
ended up marrying a man named Solomon and they had a son named Boaz who
married Ruth. So, in the
lineage of Jesus there is a prostitute.