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Bible Commentaries
Joshua 2

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-7

Joshua - Chapter 2

Spies to Jericho, vs. 1-7

In sending the two spies to Jericho, Joshua is seen taking the initiative in preparing for conquest of Canaan, though the Lord has yet given him no specific instructions, and Israel is still east of the Jordan The information gained by the spying expedition would serve to encourage and embolden Israel. It was intended to be a secret mission, but it appears that the king of Jericho soon learned of their presence and took steps to apprehend them.

The Lord had guided them to the house of Rahab the harlot, who had already been convicted of the truth concerning these invading people. In this is seen the overruling hand of God with His people. When the king sent to Rahab to get the spies she had hid them on top of her house under the drying flax and had a story prepared to throw the pursuers off the trail of the Israelite spies.

Consequently they were not found, the king’s men being sent on a fruitless pursuit, all the way to the fords of the Jordan Rahab cannot be exonerated for her falsehood concerning the men, but her action may be explained due to her pagan background and immaturity in the Lord. The Lord’s will was accomplished, nevertheless, although He would doubtless have protected them had she told the truth about them.

Verses 8-13

Rehab’s confession, vs. 8-13

It was night when Rahab came back to the spies. It is very interesting to examine the words of this woman as she approaches the men of Israel. It may be noted, first, that she had acquired a knowledge of the Lord and had been convinced that He would give Canaan to the Israelites.

Secondly, she had observed the terror of the Lord on those not prepared to face Him. She had seen it in the fear of the people, and it had come about by their learning how the Lord had already dealt in behalf of Israel. She may have known of several things the Lord had done of miraculous nature in behalf of His people.

But the most astounding and unbelievable was His drying up the waters of the Red Sea, forty years earlier, so that they had escaped from Pharaoh’s army by a dry path through the sea.

Equally amazing to her was the ease with which these roving Israelites had obliterated the Amorite kings, Sihon and Og, and their mighty kingdoms. These had stood as a protective buffer to Canaan, but the Lord had given Israel a speedy victory over them. As Rahab further observed her people she saw that they were giving in to great fear and dread of Israel.

They felt helpless and hopeless before Israel. On the basis of these things Rahab had surrendered herself to the God of Israel and determined to seek His mercy. She was convinced that Israel’s Lord God was God in heaven above and in earth beneath.

Of all the Canaanite people at the time of Israel’s conquest of the land, Rahab is the only one known to have genuinely converted to Israel’s God. On her confession she pleads for mercy for herself and her family.

The New Testament attests the faith of Rahab in Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25. All of this, taken together shows that God’s method of salvation has not changed. The sinner hears, is convicted, repents, trusts the Lord, and is saved. (Romans 10:10-11)

Verses 14-24

Spies Escape, vs. 14-24

The two spies stood in analogy in the place of the Lord, and they agreed to Rahab’s request. If her confession proved genuine she would be saved from the destruction of Jericho.

She could also guide her parents and family to salvation, but they must also prove their sincerity by not divulging what had passed between the spies and Rahab In fact, they would also prove their faith in so doing. Rahab let the spies down through a window of her house situated in the wall of Jericho, by a scarlet cord.

This cord was to be left hanging in the window as the token of their agreement. Some have been reminded of the blood of Christ by this cord. By His blood men escape destruction, and that blood is the token of their deliverance before God. (1 John 1:7)

The king’s search for the spies must have been very diligent and seems to have taken about three days. During this time the two spies hid in the mountain just outside Jericho.

Those who tour Israel and come to Jericho today have this mountain pointed out to them as the mount of temptation, where Jesus was tempted of the Devil for forty days following His baptism.

After expiration of the three days the spies recrossed the Jordan and came to Joshua. They told him all that had happened to them and expressed their opinion, on the basis of their experiences, "Truly the Lord hath delivered into our hands all the land." Immediately, Joshua set in motion plans which God had given him to move the people across the river into Canaan.

From the things of Joshua 2, let us learn 1) the Lord allows us to prove Him and learn for ourselves that He can make us overcome in all situations; 2) the mighty deeds of the Lord on behalf of His people ought to convict the world today of His greatness; 3) comparatively, there are still very few who respond and turn to the Lord from the world; 4) once convicted of the Lord’s leadership and will in us we may then encourage others by our own willingness to trust Him and take a stand.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Joshua 2". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/joshua-2.html. 1985.
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