Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 2:16

She said to them, "Go to the hill country, so that the pursuers will not happen upon you, and hide yourselves there for three days until the pursuers return. Then afterward you may go on your way."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Armies;   Hospitality;   Kindness;   Reconnoissance;   Treaty;   Thompson Chain Reference - Bible Stories for Children;   Children;   Home;   Pleasant Sunday Afternoons;   Religion;   Stories for Children;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Rahab;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Joshua, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Hoshea;   Jericho;   Joshua;   Rahab;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Jericho;   Rahab, Rachab ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Jericho;   Rahab;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Handicraft;   Rahab;   Shittim;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Handicraft;   Jer'icho;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Cord;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Palestine;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Holy Spirit;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Hide yourselves there three days - They were to travel by night, and hide themselves in the day-time; otherwise they might have been discovered by the pursuers who were in search of them.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 2:16". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-2.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And she said unto them, get ye unto the mountain,.... Which was near to the city, and is supposed to be the same which is now called Quarantania: Dr. Shaw, a late traveller in those parts, saysF13Travels, p. 276. Ed. 2. , from the mountain Quarantania, the very same perhaps where the two spies concealed themselves, Joshua 2:16, we have a distinct view of the land of the Amorites, of Gilead, and of Bashan, the inheritance of the tribes of Reuben and Gad, and of the half tribe of Manasseh--to it joins the mountain of Adummim, and through it the road is cut that leads from Jerusalem to Jericho, where probably it was from the very nature of the situation that the man fell among thieves, Luke 10:30; which very probably is the same mountain which JosephusF14De Bello Jud. l. 4. c. 8. sect. 2. says hung over the city, and was a very barren one; though the singular may be put for the plural, since, as Strabo saysF15Geograph. l. 16. p. 525. , it was surrounded with mountains:

lest the pursuers meet you; on their return from the fords of Jordan, being disappointed:

and hide yourselves there three days: some of the Jewish Rabbins, as Jarchi and Kimchi, observe that she had this by the revelation of the Holy Ghost, that the pursuers would return at the end of three days; but the latter more truly remarks, that this was said by conjecture; that Jericho being, as he says, one day from Jordan, and a little more, by going, returning, and searching for the spies, they would be three days in doing it:

until the pursuers be returned; into the city; for until they were they could not be in safety, but must be in danger of being met by them and taken up:

and afterward may ye go your way: to Jordan, and so to the camp of Israel, and that without fear.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights 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
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Joshua 2:16". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-2.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And she said unto them, Get you to the g mountain, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterward may ye go your way.

(g) which was near to the city.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Joshua 2:16". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/joshua-2.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterward may ye go your way.

The mountain — That is, to some of the mountains wherewith Jericho was encompassed, in which also there were many caves where they might lurk.

Three days — Not three whole days, but one whole day, and part of two days.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Joshua 2:16". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-2.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 2:16 And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterward may ye go your way.

Ver. 16. Get you to the mountain.] This, say some, was spoken after the men were down, in the still of the night, without the wall. [Joshua 2:18] But what a fool was he who said, Mισω σοφην γυναικα, I hate a discreet woman!

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 2:16". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-2.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ver. 16. And she said unto them, &c.— It is not probable that the conversation which begins at this, and ends at the 22nd verse, was held under Rahab's window. Nothing could have been more imprudent. She certainly gave them this excellent advice on dismissing them, immediately before she let them down. We should therefore translate, and she had said unto them, Get you, &c. that is, "Take care not to keep the road to Jordan, for you will be discovered: first, retire to the mountains on the borders of this territory; conceal yourselves in some cave, and do not make your appearance till after three days; at the end of that time, the king's people will certainly not think of any further search for you, and you will easily escape." But why (it may be asked) does Rahab suppose that three days will be spent in searching for the spies, since it is but two leagues, or two and a half, from Jericho to Jordan? To which it may be answered, that by three days she meant, properly speaking, but one day and two nights, apprehending that the officers of the court, who went out by night, would spend all the next day in looking for them, and return early on the third day. Or, perhaps, she had learned that they would go about on all sides for three days together, in order to discover the spies; and, reasoning from this conjecture, she counsels the spies to hide themselves closely for three days; because that, after so long a time, it was evident the king's people, being tired with their fruitless search, would think no more about them.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Joshua 2:16". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/joshua-2.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

To the mountain, i.e. to some of the mountains wherewith Jericho was encompassed, in which also there were many caves where they might lurk.

Three days; not three whole days, but one whole day, and parts of two days: See Poole "Joshua 1:11".

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 2:16". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/joshua-2.html. 1685.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

And she said to them, “You get to the mountain, lest the pursuers fall in with you, and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers have returned, and afterwards you may go your way.” ’

The pluperfect might be intended to be used, ‘she had said to them’, in order to demonstrate that this is going back to what they had discussed before being let down by the rope, with the facts being stated so that the hearers gathered the gist of the story, then the details being filled in later. This view gains support from the repetition in verse 20 of ‘telling about this our business’ in Joshua 2:14, which may be intended to indicate where the more detailed account ties in with the earlier summary account. There is no pluperfect in Hebrew because they were not so consumed with the idea of being chronological. They were more interested in what happened than when it happened. Time did not control them (they had no word for the philosophical idea of time).

Alternatively she may have spoken to them through the window once they were safely on the ground. The walls would not be very high and the window, small for security reasons, even lower, especially in a small house. It would not necessarily be more than three metres (ten feet) from the ground. Neighbours were probably used to hearing whispers from her window and would ignore it.

Her advice was sound. The mountain crag was to the west, the fords to the east. Thus they would not accidentally meet up with the search party. No one would expect them to go west. And there were plenty of caves to hide in.

“Hide yourselves three days.” That is, do not return until at least the day after tomorrow, giving a day’s breathing space for the search party to get back. Then they could safely go on their way. ‘Three days’ generally meant ‘a few days’ and when exactly calculated regularly meant a part of a day, a full day and then a part of a day. That was the way in which they thought.

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Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Joshua 2:16". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/joshua-2.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

16.Get you to the mountain — Hebrews Mountainwards go ye. By the device of going westward to the mountains behind the city, instead of eastward toward the Jordan, they would avoid pursuit, and secure a hiding place in some of their caverns till the pursuers had returned.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 2:16". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-2.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Days; the remainder of this night, and the day and night following. It is probable that they would travel only in the night time. (Calmet) --- If they had gone by the high road, they might easily have been discovered by the messengers, who would be on their return. (Haydock) --- But retiring to the mountains south of Jericho, till they had re-entered the city, the spies made their escape. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Joshua 2:16". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/joshua-2.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterward may ye go your way.

She said - rather, 'she had said;' for what follows must have been part of the previous conversation.

Get you to the mountain. A range of white limestone hills extends on the north, called Quarantania (now Jebel-Karantul), rising to a height of from 1,200 to 1,500 feet, and the sides of which are perforated with caves. Some one peak adjoining was familiarly known to the inhabitants as "the mountain." The prudence and propriety of the advice to flee in that direction, rather than to the ford, were made apparent by the sequel.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 2:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/joshua-2.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(16) Get you to the mountain.—The mountains between Jerusalem and Jericho have often been a refuge for worse characters than Joshua’s two spies (Luke 10:30).

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Joshua 2:16". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/joshua-2.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterward may ye go your way.
Get you
22; 1 Samuel 23:14,29; Psalms 11:1
Reciprocal: Acts 17:10 - the brethren;  Acts 17:14 - as it

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 2:16". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-2.html.