Joshua 2
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1  Yehoshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim, saying, “Go, reconnoiter the region of Yericho.” So they set out, and they came to the house of a harlot named Rahab and lodged there.

א  וַיִּשְׁלַח יְהוֹשֻׁעַ־בִּן־נוּן מִן־הַשִּׁטִּים שְׁנַיִם־אֲנָשִׁים מְרַגְּלִים חֶרֶשׁ לֵאמֹר לְכוּ רְאוּ אֶת־הָאָרֶץ וְאֶת־יְרִיחוֹ וַיֵּלְכוּ וַיָּבֹאוּ בֵּית־אִשָּׁה זוֹנָה וּשְׁמָהּ רָחָב וַיִּשְׁכְּבוּ־שָׁמָּה׃

2  The king of Yericho was told, “Some men have come here tonight, Israelites, to spy out the country.”

ב  וַיֵּאָמַר לְמֶלֶךְ יְרִיחוֹ לֵאמֹר הִנֵּה אֲנָשִׁים בָּאוּ הֵנָּה הַלַּיְלָה מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לַחְפֹּר אֶת־הָאָרֶץ׃

3  The king of Yericho thereupon sent orders to Rahab: “Produce the men who came to you and entered your house, for they have come to spy out the whole country.”

ג  וַיִּשְׁלַח מֶלֶךְ יְרִיחוֹ אֶל־רָחָב לֵאמֹר הוֹצִיאִי הָאֲנָשִׁים הַבָּאִים אֵלַיִךְ אֲשֶׁר־בָּאוּ לְבֵיתֵךְ כִּי לַחְפֹּר אֶת־כָּל־הָאָרֶץ בָּאוּ׃

4  The woman, however, had taken the two men and hidden them. “It is true,” she said, “the men did come to me, but I didn’t know where they were from.

ד  וַתִּקַּח הָאִשָּׁה אֶת־שְׁנֵי הָאֲנָשִׁים וַתִּצְפְּנוֹ וַתֹּאמֶר כֵּן בָּאוּ אֵלַי הָאֲנָשִׁים וְלֹא יָדַעְתִּי מֵאַיִן הֵמָּה׃

5  And at dark, when the gate was about to be closed, the men left; and I don’t know where the men went. Quick, go after them, for you can overtake them.”

ה  וַיְהִי הַשַּׁעַר לִסְגּוֹר בַּחֹשֶׁךְ וְהָאֲנָשִׁים יָצָאוּ לֹא יָדַעְתִּי אָנָה הָלְכוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים רִדְפוּ מַהֵר אַחֲרֵיהֶם כִּי תַשִּׂיגוּם׃

6  Now she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under some stalks of flax which she had lying on the roof.

ו  וְהִיא הֶעֱלָתַם הַגָּגָה וַתִּטְמְנֵם בְּפִשְׁתֵּי הָעֵץ הָעֲרֻכוֹת לָהּ עַל־הַגָּג׃

7  So the men pursued them in the direction of the Yarden down to the fords; and no sooner had the pursuers gone out than the gate was shut behind them.

ז  וְהָאֲנָשִׁים רָדְפוּ אַחֲרֵיהֶם דֶּרֶךְ הַיַּרְדֵּן עַל הַמַּעְבְּרוֹת וְהַשַּׁעַר סָגָרוּ אַחֲרֵי כַּאֲשֶׁר יָצְאוּ הָרֹדְפִים אַחֲרֵיהֶם׃

8  The spies had not yet gone to sleep when she came up to them on the roof.

ח  וְהֵמָּה טֶרֶם יִשְׁכָּבוּן וְהִיא עָלְתָה עֲלֵיהֶם עַל־הַגָּג׃

9  She said to the men, “I know that Hashem has given the country to you, because dread of you has fallen upon us, and all the inhabitants of the land are quaking before you.

va-TO-mer el ha-a-na-SHEEM ya-DA-tee kee na-TAN a-do-NAI la-KHEM et ha-A-retz v’-khee na-f’-LAH ay-mat-KHEM a-LAY-nu v’-KHEE na-MO-gu kol yo-sh’-VAY ha-A-retz mi-p’-nay-KHEM

ט  וַתֹּאמֶר אֶל־הָאֲנָשִׁים יָדַעְתִּי כִּי־נָתַן יְהֹוָה לָכֶם אֶת־הָאָרֶץ וְכִי־נָפְלָה אֵימַתְכֶם עָלֵינוּ וְכִי נָמֹגוּ כָּל־יֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ מִפְּנֵיכֶם׃

2:9   I know that Hashem has given the country to you

When Rahab speaks to the spies, she reports that the Canaanites are afraid of the Children of Israel.  They are well aware of the miracles Hashem has done for the Israelites — both forty years earlier during the time of the exodus, and more recently in the battles against the Amorite kings Sihon and Og (Numbers 21). They know that God has given the land to the Children of Israel and therefore, they are afraid. Not only does Rahab report this to the spies, but she even casts her lot with the Israelites.  Rahab is a prime example of a righteous gentile.  Understanding that these men are representatives of Hashem’s chosen people who will receive the chosen land, she singlehandedly undertakes to protect the spies.   The Children of Israel are not the only ones who understand  that God is giving them the Promised Land; the righteous among the nations also recognize that this is the will of Hashem.  God gave the Children of Israel the Land of Israel then, and He gives it to them now as well.1 comment

10  For we have heard how Hashem dried up the waters of the Sea of Reeds for you when you left Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings across the Yarden, whom you doomed.

י  כִּי שָׁמַעְנוּ אֵת אֲשֶׁר־הוֹבִישׁ יְהֹוָה אֶת־מֵי יַם־סוּף מִפְּנֵיכֶם בְּצֵאתְכֶם מִמִּצְרָיִם וַאֲשֶׁר עֲשִׂיתֶם לִשְׁנֵי מַלְכֵי הָאֱמֹרִי אֲשֶׁר בְּעֵבֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן לְסִיחֹן וּלְעוֹג אֲשֶׁר הֶחֱרַמְתֶּם אוֹתָם׃

11  When we heard about it, we lost heart, and no man had any more spirit left because of you; for Hashem your God is the only Hashem in heaven above and on earth below.

יא  וַנִּשְׁמַע וַיִּמַּס לְבָבֵנוּ וְלֹא־קָמָה עוֹד רוּחַ בְּאִישׁ מִפְּנֵיכֶם כִּי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם הוּא אֱלֹהִים בַּשָּׁמַיִם מִמַּעַל וְעַל־הָאָרֶץ מִתָּחַת׃

12  Now, since I have shown loyalty to you, swear to me by Hashem that you in turn will show loyalty to my family. Provide me with a reliable sign

יב  וְעַתָּה הִשָּׁבְעוּ־נָא לִי בַּיהֹוָה כִּי־עָשִׂיתִי עִמָּכֶם חָסֶד וַעֲשִׂיתֶם גַּם־אַתֶּם עִם־בֵּית אָבִי חֶסֶד וּנְתַתֶּם לִי אוֹת אֱמֶת׃

13  that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and save us from death.”

יג  וְהַחֲיִתֶם אֶת־אָבִי וְאֶת־אִמִּי וְאֶת־אַחַי וְאֶת־אחותי [אַחְיוֹתַי] וְאֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר לָהֶם וְהִצַּלְתֶּם אֶת־נַפְשֹׁתֵינוּ מִמָּוֶת׃

14  The men answered her, “Our persons are pledged for yours, even to death! If you do not disclose this mission of ours, we will show you true loyalty when Hashem gives us the land.”

va-YO-m’-ru LAH ha-a-na-SHEEM naf-SHAY-nu takh-tay-KHEM la-MUT IM LO ta-GEE-du et d’-va-RAY-nu ZEH v’-ha-YAH b’-tayt a-do-NAI LA-nu et ha-A-retz v’-a-SEE-nu i-MAKH KHE-sed ve-e-MET

יד  וַיֹּאמְרוּ לָהּ הָאֲנָשִׁים נַפְשֵׁנוּ תַחְתֵּיכֶם לָמוּת אִם לֹא תַגִּידוּ אֶת־דְּבָרֵנוּ זֶה וְהָיָה בְּתֵת־יְהֹוָה לָנוּ אֶת־הָאָרֶץ וְעָשִׂינוּ עִמָּךְ חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת׃

 2:14   We will show you true loyalty

The spies promise that they will repay Rahab with ‘true loyalty,’ chesed v’emet (חסד ואמת). Rabbi Benjamin Blech, in his book The Secrets of Hebrew Words, teaches that emet (אמת), the Hebrew word for ‘truth,’ contains a deep lesson. The word is comprised of three letters and “requires for its essence the first letter alef (א), the “One” standing for the Almighty. Remove the initial letter alef and all that remains is met (מת), meaning death. Without Hashem there can be no truth. In its place only death and destruction remain.”Comment

15  She let them down by a rope through the window—for her dwelling was at the outer side of the city wall and she lived in the actual wall.

טו  וַתּוֹרִדֵם בַּחֶבֶל בְּעַד הַחַלּוֹן כִּי בֵיתָהּ בְּקִיר הַחוֹמָה וּבַחוֹמָה הִיא יוֹשָׁבֶת׃

16  She said to them, “Make for the hills, so that the pursuers may not come upon you. Stay there in hiding three days, until the pursuers return; then go your way.”

טז  וַתֹּאמֶר לָהֶם הָהָרָה לֵּכוּ פֶּן־יִפְגְּעוּ בָכֶם הָרֹדְפִים וְנַחְבֵּתֶם שָׁמָּה שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים עַד שׁוֹב הָרֹדְפִים וְאַחַר תֵּלְכוּ לְדַרְכְּכֶם׃

17  But the men warned her, “We will be released from this oath which you have made us take

יז  וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלֶיהָ הָאֲנָשִׁים נְקִיִּם אֲנַחְנוּ מִשְּׁבֻעָתֵךְ הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר הִשְׁבַּעְתָּנוּ׃

18  [unless,] when we invade the country, you tie this length of crimson cord to the window through which you let us down. Bring your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your family together in your house;

יח  הִנֵּה אֲנַחְנוּ בָאִים בָּאָרֶץ אֶת־תִּקְוַת חוּט הַשָּׁנִי הַזֶּה תִּקְשְׁרִי בַּחַלּוֹן אֲשֶׁר הוֹרַדְתֵּנוּ בוֹ וְאֶת־אָבִיךְ וְאֶת־אִמֵּךְ וְאֶת־אַחַיִךְ וְאֵת כָּל־בֵּית אָבִיךְ תַּאַסְפִי אֵלַיִךְ הַבָּיְתָה׃

19  and if anyone ventures outside the doors of your house, his blood will be on his head, and we shall be clear. But if a hand is laid on anyone who remains in the house with you, his blood shall be on our heads.

יט  וְהָיָה כֹּל אֲשֶׁר־יֵצֵא מִדַּלְתֵי בֵיתֵךְ הַחוּצָה דָּמוֹ בְרֹאשׁוֹ וַאֲנַחְנוּ נְקִיִּם וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה אִתָּךְ בַּבַּיִת דָּמוֹ בְרֹאשֵׁנוּ אִם־יָד תִּהְיֶה־בּוֹ׃

20  And if you disclose this mission of ours, we shall likewise be released from the oath which you made us take.”

כ  וְאִם־תַּגִּידִי אֶת־דְּבָרֵנוּ זֶה וְהָיִינוּ נְקִיִּם מִשְּׁבֻעָתֵךְ אֲשֶׁר הִשְׁבַּעְתָּנוּ׃

21  She replied, “Let it be as you say.” She sent them on their way, and they left; and she tied the crimson cord to the window.

כא  וַתֹּאמֶר כְּדִבְרֵיכֶם כֶּן־הוּא וַתְּשַׁלְּחֵם וַיֵּלֵכוּ וַתִּקְשֹׁר אֶת־תִּקְוַת הַשָּׁנִי בַּחַלּוֹן׃

22  They went straight to the hills and stayed there three days, until the pursuers turned back. And so the pursuers, searching all along the road, did not find them.

כב  וַיֵּלְכוּ וַיָּבֹאוּ הָהָרָה וַיֵּשְׁבוּ שָׁם שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים עַד־שָׁבוּ הָרֹדְפִים וַיְבַקְשׁוּ הָרֹדְפִים בְּכָל־הַדֶּרֶךְ וְלֹא מָצָאוּ׃

23  Then the two men came down again from the hills and crossed over. They came to Yehoshua son of Nun and reported to him all that had happened to them.

כג  וַיָּשֻׁבוּ שְׁנֵי הָאֲנָשִׁים וַיֵּרְדוּ מֵהָהָר וַיַּעַבְרוּ וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל־יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בִּן־נוּן וַיְסַפְּרוּ־לוֹ אֵת כָּל־הַמֹּצְאוֹת אוֹתָם׃

24  They said to Yehoshua, “Hashem has delivered the whole land into our power; in fact, all the inhabitants of the land are quaking before us.”

כד  וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶל־יְהוֹשֻׁעַ כִּי־נָתַן יְהֹוָה בְּיָדֵנוּ אֶת־כָּל־הָאָרֶץ וְגַם־נָמֹגוּ כָּל־יֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ מִפָּנֵינוּ׃

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