Dave Burnette's Commentary

Joshua Chapter 2

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Joshua 
Date Penned: (1406-1370 BC)
Overview: A Record of Israel in the Promised Land (c 1-24)
Theme: Entering the Promised Land (c 1-5)
Message: Rahab Protects the Spies (v 1-24)

Joshua 2 Commentary

(2:1) Joshua Send Spies Secretly -  Why did Joshua send the spies secretly? As far as he knew, he would be attacking a heavily fortified city using conventional warfare tactics. He needed strategic information about the city for the upcoming battle. But he also knew that this move might draw criticism from the other leaders. After all, the last time spies were sent (by Moses), the report they brought back caused disastrous problems (see Numbers 13:1-14:4). While he did not want to move ahead without information, he also did not want to confuse the people and cause them to question his wisdom and ability to lead the nation.

(2:2) The Spies Stop at Rahab's - Why would the Israelite spies stop at the house of Rahab the harlot? (I) It was a good place to gather information and have no questions asked in return. (2) Rahab's house was in an ideal location for a quick escape because it was built into the city wall (2:15). (3) God directed the spies to Rahab's house because he knew that her heart was open to him and that she would be instrumental in the Israelite victory over Jericho. God can use anyone to accomplish his great purposes, no matter what kind of past they have had or how insignificant they seem to be. Rahab didn't allow her past to keep her from the new role God had for her. Regardless of your situation, God can restore and redirect your life to serve him.

(2:4-5) Rahab's Choice - Was Rahab justified in lying to save the lives of the Israelite spies? Although the Bible does not speak negatively about her lie, it clearly states that lying is a sin. In Hebrews 11:31, however, Rahab is commended for her faith in God. Her lie is not mentioned. Several explanations have been offered: (1) God forgave Rahab's lie because of her faith; (2) Rahab was simply deceiving the enemy, a normal and acceptable practice in wartime; (3) because Rahab was not an Israelite, she could not be held responsible for keeping the moral standards set forth in God's law; and (4) Rahab broke one principle (telling the truth) to uphold another one-protecting God's people. There may have been another way to save the lives of the Israelite spies. But under the pressure of the moment, Rahab had to make a choice. All of us will face dilemmas at one time or another. We may see no perfect solution to the problem before us. Fortunately, God does not demand that our judgment be perfect in all situations, and he offers grace when we repent for our mistakes and even for our outright sins. He simply asks us to put our trust in him and to do the best we know how. Rahab did that and was commended for her faith.

(2:6) The Spies Hide in Flax - Flax was harvested in the fields and piled high on rooftops to dry. It was then made into yarn, which was used to make linen cloth. Flax grows to a height of three or four feet. Stacked on the roof in bundles, it made an excellent hiding place for the spies.

(2:8-13) Rahab Risks it All - Many would assume that Rahab-a pagan, a Canaanite, and a prostitute-would never be interested in God. Yet Rahab was willing to risk everything she had for a God she barely knew. God was working in her life in a way most could not see. We must not gauge a person's potential interest in God based on background, lifestyle, or appearance. We should let nothing get in the way of our telling people the Good News.

(2:9-11) An All Powerful God - Rahab recognized something that many of the Israelites did not-the God of heaven is not an ordinary god! He is all-powerful. The people of Jericho were afraid because they had heard the news of God's extraordinary power in parting the Red Sea and defeating the armies across the Jordan River, Today, we can worship this same powerful, miracle-working God. He is powerful enough to destroy mighty, wicked armies, as he did in Jericho. He is also powerful enough to save us from certain death, as he did with Rahab.

(2:15) Rehab"s House - In Joshua's day, houses were often built into city walls. Many cities had two walls several feet apart, with houses built on wooden logs laid across the tops of the walls. In many cases houses inside a city simply borrowed a wall from the city wall at the ground level and then added rooms above to the top of the city wall. This created a strong home with a view to the outside while also strengthening the city wall. Rahab lived in a house with a window that looked out over the outside wall.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

How Will You Finish?

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we Continue in the book of Joshua with Chapter 2 and we see the story of the spies and Rahab with the amazing scarlet thread. Such faith has her mentioned in the the new testament as a hero of the faith - although she was a prostitute. In making application we see that no matter what your past has been your faith in Jesus-Christ will save you. Not only save you but God can use the most vial sinner to work in, and through, to accomplish many great things for the Lord. It is not how we start the race but how we finish. It reminds me of the Olympics and a bike race I watched. The leader was ahead of the pack and the announcers had already began telling of his victory until in one of the last turns he lost control of his bike and crashed allowing a 40 year old competitor to finish the race for the gold medal. It made me think of his faith to finish the race even though he did not look like he had a chance to win. Rahab could of rejected the God of Israel but her faith and actions put her in the hall of faith in Hebrews chapter 11. She started the race of life poorly but she finished it in victory. How about you? Do you feel like - because of your past - that the Lord cannot save or use you? Let us learn from today's text and follow the example of Rahab to have faith no matter how we started


Joshua 2

Joshua 2

 1And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot's house, named Rahab, and lodged there.

 2And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men in hither to night of the children of Israel to search out the country.

 3And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house: for they be come to search out all the country.

 4And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were:

 5And it came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out: whither the men went I wot not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them.

 6But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof.

 7And the men pursued after them the way to Jordan unto the fords: and as soon as they which pursued after them were gone out, they shut the gate.

 8And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof;

 9And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.

 10For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.

 11And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.

 12Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father's house, and give me a true token:

 13And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.

 14And the men answered her, Our life for yours, if ye utter not this our business. And it shall be, when the LORD hath given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee.

 15Then she let them down by a cord through the window: for her house was upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall.

 16And 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.

 17And the men said unto her, We will be blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear.

 18Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father's household, home unto thee.

 19And it shall be, that whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood shall be upon his head, and we will be guiltless: and whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood shall be on our head, if any hand be upon him.

 20And if thou utter this our business, then we will be quit of thine oath which thou hast made us to swear.

 21And she said, According unto your words, so be it. And she sent them away, and they departed: and she bound the scarlet line in the window.

 22And they went, and came unto the mountain, and abode there three days, until the pursuers were returned: and the pursuers sought them throughout all the way, but found them not.

 23So the two men returned, and descended from the mountain, and passed over, and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all things that befell them:

 24And they said unto Joshua, Truly the LORD hath delivered into our hands all the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us.