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Joshua 2:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men as spies secretly, saying, Go, view the land, and Jericho. And they went and came into the house of a harlot whose name was Rahab, and lay there.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And 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.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Then Joshua the son of Nun sent two men as spies secretly from Shittim, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went and came into the house of a harlot whose name was Rahab, and lodged there.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And Joshua the son of Nun sent from Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go, view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into the house of a harlot, named Rahab, and lodged there.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And Joshua the son of Nun sent from Shittim two spies secretly, saying, Go, see the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into a harlot's house, named Rahab, and they lay down there.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Then did Joshua son of Nun, send out from The Acacias, two men to spy out silently, saying, Go view the land, and Jericho. So they came, and entered the house of a harlot, whose name was Rahab, and lay there.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And Joshua son of Nun sendeth from Shittim, two men, spies, silently, saying, 'Go, see the land—and Jericho;' and they go and come into the house of a woman, a harlot, and her name [is] Rahab, and they lie down there.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And Josue, the son of Nun, sent from Setim two men, to spy secretly: and said to them: Go, and view the land, and the city of Jericho. They went, and entered into the house of a woman that was a harlot, named Rahab, and lodged with her.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And Ioshua the sonne of Nun sent out of Shittim two men, to spie secretly, saying, Go, view the land, euen Iericho: and they went, and came into an harlots house, named Rahab, and lodged there.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And Joshua{gr.Jesus} the son of Nun{gr.Naue} sent out of Sattin two young men to spy [the land], saying, Go up and view the land and Jericho: and the two young men went and entered into Jericho; and they entered into the house of a harlot, whose name [was] Rahab{gr.Raab}, and lodged there.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And Yehoshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Yericho. And they went, and came into an harlot's house, named Rachav, and lodged there.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And Yhu` יְהוֹשֻׁעַ 3091
{3091} Prime
From H3068 and H3467; Jehovah-saved; Jehoshua (that is, Joshua), the Jewish leader.
the son 1121
{1121} Prime
From H1129; a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc., (like H0001, H0251, etc.).
of Nn נוּן 5126
{5126} Prime
From H5125; perpetuity; Nun or Non, the father of Joshua.
sent 7971
{7971} Prime
A primitive root; to send away, for, or out (in a great variety of applications).
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
out of x4480
(4480) Complement
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
i++m שִׁטִּים 7851
{7851} Prime
The same as the plural of H7848; acacia trees; Shittim, a place East of the Jordan.
two 8147
{8147} Prime
(The first form being dual of H8145; the second form being feminine); two; also (as ordinal) twofold.
men y582
[0582] Standard
From H0605; properly a mortal (and thus differeing from the more dignified H0120); hence a man in general (singly or collectively). It is often unexpressed in the English Version, especially when used in apposition with another word.
(0376) Complement
Contracted for H0582 (or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant); a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.).
to spy 7270
{7270} Prime
A primitive root; to walk along; but only in specific applications, to reconnoitre, to be a tale bearer (that is, slander); also (as denominative from H7272) to lead about.
<8764> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 685
secretly, 2791
{2791} Prime
From H2790; magical craft; also silence.
saying, 559
{0559} Prime
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
Go y3212
[3212] Standard
A primitive root (compare H1980); to walk (literally or figuratively); causatively to carry (in various senses).
<8798> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 2847
(1980) Complement
Akin to H3212; a primitive root; to walk (in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively).
view 7200
{7200} Prime
A primitive root; to see, literally or figuratively (in numerous applications, direct and implied, transitively, intransitively and causatively).
<8798> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 2847
(0853) Complement
Apparently contracted from H0226 in the demonstrative sense of entity; properly self (but generally used to point out more definitely the object of a verb or preposition, even or namely).
the land, 776
{0776} Prime
From an unused root probably meaning to be firm; the earth (at large, or partitively a land).
even Yr יְרִיחוֹ. 3405
{3405} Prime
Perhaps from H3394; its month; or else from H7306; fragrant; Jericho or Jerecho, a place in Palestine.
And they went, y3212
[3212] Standard
A primitive root (compare H1980); to walk (literally or figuratively); causatively to carry (in various senses).
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
(1980) Complement
Akin to H3212; a primitive root; to walk (in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively).
and came y935
[0935] Standard
A primitive root; to go or come (in a wide variety of applications).
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
into x935
(0935) Complement
A primitive root; to go or come (in a wide variety of applications).
an harlot's 2181
{2181} Prime
A primitive root (highly fed and therefore wanton); to commit adultery (usually of the female, and less often of simple forniciation, rarely of involuntary ravishment); figuratively to commit idolatry (the Jewish people being regarded as the spouse of Jehovah).
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
(0802) Complement
The first form is the feminine of H0376 or H0582; the second form is an irregular plural; a woman (used in the same wide sense as H0582).
house, 1004
{1004} Prime
Probably from H1129 abbreviated; a house (in the greatest variation of applications, especially family, etc.).
[0802] Standard
The first form is the feminine of H0376 or H0582; the second form is an irregular plural; a woman (used in the same wide sense as H0582).
named 8034
{8034} Prime
A primitive word (perhaps rather from H7760 through the idea of definite and conspicuous position; compare H8064); an appellation, as a mark or memorial of individuality; by implication honor, authority, character.
Rv רָחָב, 7343
{7343} Prime
The same as H7342; proud; Rachab, a Canaanitess.
and lodged 7901
{7901} Prime
A primitive root; to lie down (for rest, sexual connection, decease or any other purpose).
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
there. x8033
(8033) Complement
A primitive particle (rather from the relative H0834); there (transfered to time) then; often thither, or thence.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Joshua 2:1

_ _ Joshua 2:1-7. Rahab receives and conceals the two spies.

_ _ Joshua ... sent ... two men to spy secretly — Faith is manifested by an active, persevering use of means (James 2:22); and accordingly Joshua, while confident in the accomplishment of the divine promise (Joshua 1:3), adopted every precaution which a skilful general could think of to render his first attempt in the invasion of Canaan successful. Two spies were dispatched to reconnoiter the country, particularly in the neighborhood of Jericho; for in the prospect of investing that place, it was desirable to obtain full information as to its site, its approaches, the character, and resources of its inhabitants. This mission required the strictest privacy, and it seems to have been studiously concealed from the knowledge of the Israelites themselves, test any unfavorable or exaggerated report, publicly circulated, might have dispirited the people, as that of the spies did in the days of Moses.

_ _ Jericho — Some derive this name from a word signifying “new moon,” in reference to the crescent-like plain in which it stood, formed by an amphitheater of hills; others from a word signifying “its scent,” on account of the fragrance of the balsam and palm trees in which it was embosomed. Its site was long supposed to be represented by the small mud-walled hamlet Er-Riha; but recent researches have fixed on a spot about half an hour’s journey westward, where large ruins exist about six or eight miles distant from the Jordan. It was for that age a strongly fortified town, the key of the eastern pass through the deep ravine, now called Wady-Kelt, into the interior of Palestine.

_ _ they ... came into an harlot’s house — Many expositors, desirous of removing the stigma of this name from an ancestress of the Saviour (Matthew 1:5), have called her a hostess or tavern keeper. But Scriptural usage (Leviticus 21:7-14; Deuteronomy 23:18; Judges 11:1; 1 Kings 3:16), the authority of the Septuagint, followed by the apostles (Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25), and the immemorial style of Eastern khans, which are never kept by women, establish the propriety of the term employed in our version. Her house was probably recommended to the spies by the convenience of its situation, without any knowledge of the character of the inmates. But a divine influence directed them in the choice of that lodging-place.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Joshua 2:1-7

_ _ In these verses we have,

_ _ I. The prudence of Joshua, in sending spies to observe this important pass, which was likely to be disputed at the entrance of Israel into Canaan (v. 1). Go view the land, even Jericho. Moses had sent spies (Num. 13) Joshua himself was one of them and it proved of ill consequence. Yet Joshua now sent spies, not, as the former were sent, to survey the whole land, but Jericho only; not to bring the account to the whole congregation, but to Joshua only, who, like a watchful general, was continually projecting for the public good, and, was particularly careful to take the first step well and not to stumble at the threshold. It was not fit that Joshua should venture over Jordan, to make his remarks incognitoin disguise; but he sends two men (two young men, says the Septuagint), to view the land, that from their report he might take his measures in attacking Jericho. Observe, 1. There is no remedy, but great men must see with other people's eyes, which makes it very necessary that they be cautious in the choice of those they employ, since so much often depends upon their fidelity. 2. Faith in God's promise ought not to supersede but encourage our diligence in the use of proper means. Joshua is sure he has God with him, and yet sends men before him. We do not trust God, but tempt him, if our expectations slacken our endeavours. 3. See how ready these men were to go upon this hazardous enterprise. Though they put their lives in their hands yet they ventured in obedience to Joshua their general, in zeal for the service of the camp, and in dependence upon the power of that God who, being the keeper of Israel in general, is the protector of every particular Israelite in the way of his duty.

_ _ II. The providence of God directing the spies to the house of Rahab. How they got over Jordan we are not told; but into Jericho they came, which was about seven or eight miles from the river, and there seeking for a convenient inn were directed to the house of Rahab, here called a harlot, a woman that had formerly been of ill fame, the reproach of which stuck to her name, though of late she had repented and reformed. Simon the leper (Matthew 26:6), though cleansed from his leprosy, wore the reproach of it in his name at long as he lived; so Rahab the harlot; and she is so called in the New Testament, where both her faith and her good works are praised, to teach us, 1. That the greatness of sin is no bar to pardoning mercy if it be truly repented of in time. We read of publicans and harlots entering into the kingdom of the Messiah, and being welcomed to all the privileged of that kingdom, Matthew 21:31. 2. That there are many who before their conversion were very wicked and vile, and yet afterwards come to great eminence in faith and holiness. 3. Even those that through grace have repented of the sins of their youth must expect to bear the reproach of them, and when they hear of their old faults must renew their repentance, and, as an evidence of that, hear of them patiently. God's Israel, for aught that appears, had but one friend, but one well-wisher in all Jericho, and that was Rahab a harlot. God has often served his own purposes and his church's interests by men of different morals. Had these scouts gone to any other house than this they would certainly have been betrayed and put to death without mercy. But God knew where they had a friend that would be true to them, though they did not, and directed them thither. Thus that which seems to us most contingent and accidental is often over-ruled by the divine providence to serve its great ends. And those that faithfully acknowledge God in their ways he will guide with his eye. See Jeremiah 36:19, Jeremiah 36:26.

_ _ III. The piety of Rahab in receiving and protecting these Israelites. Those that keep public-houses entertain all comers, and think themselves obliged to be civil to their guests. But Rahab showed her guests more than common civility, and went upon an uncommon principle in what she did; it was by faith that she received those with peace against whom her king and country had denounced war, Hebrews 11:31. 1. She bade them welcome to her house; they lodged there, though it appears by what she said to them (Joshua 2:9) she knew both whence they came and what their business was. 2. Perceiving that they were observed coming into the city, and that umbrage was taken at it, she hid them upon the roof of the house, which was flat, and covered them with stalks of flax (Joshua 2:6), so that, if the officers should come thither to search for them, there they might lie undiscovered. By these stalks of flax, which she herself had lain in order upon the roof to dry in the sun, in order to the beating of it and making it ready for the wheel, it appears she had one of the good characters of the virtuous woman, however in others of them she might be deficient, that she sought wool and flax, and wrought willingly with her hands, Proverbs 31:13. From this instance of her honest industry one would hope that, whatever she had been formerly, she was not now a harlot. 3. When she was examined concerning them, she denied they were in her house, turned off the officers that had a warrant to search for them with a sham, and so secured them. No marvel that the king of Jericho sent to enquire after them (Joshua 2:2, Joshua 2:3); he had cause to fear when the enemy was at his door, and his fear made him suspicious and jealous of all strangers. He had reason to demand from Rahab that she should bring forth the men to be dealt with as spies; but Rahab not only disowned that she knew them, or knew where they were, but, that no further search might be made for them in the city, told the pursuers they had gone away again and in all probability might be overtaken, Joshua 2:4, Joshua 2:5. Now, (1.) We are sure this was a good work: it is canonized by the apostle (James 2:25), where she is said to be justified by works, and this is specified, that she received the messengers, and sent them out another way, and she did it by faith, such a faith as set her above the fear of man, even of the wrath of the king. She believed, upon the report she had heard of the wonders wrought for Israel, that their God was the only true God, and that therefore their declared design upon Canaan would undoubtedly take effect and in this faith she sided with them, protected them, and courted their favour. Had she said, “I believe God is yours and Canaan yours, but I dare not show you any kindness,” her faith had been dead and inactive, and would not have justified her. But by this it appeared to be both alive and lively, that she exposed herself to the utmost peril, even of life, in obedience to her faith. Note, Those only are true believers that can find in their hearts to venture for God; and those that by faith take the Lord for their God take his people for their people, and cast in their lot among them. Those that have God for their refuge and hiding-place must testify their gratitude by their readiness to shelter his people when there is occasion. Let my outcasts dwell with thee, Isaiah 16:3, Isaiah 16:4. And we must be glad of an opportunity of testifying the sincerity and zeal of our love to God by hazardous services to his church and kingdom among men. But, (2.) There is that in it which it is not easy to justify, and yet it must be justified, or else it could not be so good a work as to justify her. [1.] It is plain that she betrayed her country by harbouring the enemies of it, and aiding those that were designing its destruction, which could not consist with her allegiance to her prince and her affection and duty to the community she was a member of. But that which justifies her in this is that she knew the Lord had given Israel this land (Joshua 2:9), knew it by the incontestable miracles God had wrought for them, which confirmed that grant; and her obligations to God were higher than her obligations to any other. If she knew God had given them this land, it would have been a sin to join with those that hindered them from possessing it. But, since no such grant of any land to any people can now be proved, this will by no means justify any such treacherous practices against the public welfare. [2.] It is plain that she deceived the officers that examined her with an untruth — That she knew not whence the men were, that they had gone out, that she knew not whither they had gone. What shall we say to this? If she had either told the truth or been silent, she would have betrayed the spies, and this would certainly have been a great sin; and it does not appear that she had any other way of concealing them that by this ironical direction to the officers to pursue them another way, which if they would suffer themselves to be deceived by, let them be deceived. None are bound to accuse themselves, or their friends, of that which, though enquired after as a crime, they know to be a virtue. This case was altogether extraordinary, and therefore cannot be drawn into a precedent; and that my be justified here which would be by no means lawful in a common case. Rahab knew, by what was already done on the other side Jordan, that no mercy was to be shown to the Canaanites, and thence inferred that, if mercy was not owing them, truth was not; those that might be destroyed might be deceived. Yet divines generally conceive that it was a sin, which however admitted of this extenuation, that being a Canaanite she was not better taught the evil of lying; but God accepted her faith and pardoned her infirmity. However it was in this case, we are sure it is our duty to speak every man the truth to his neighbour, to dread and detest lying, and never to do evil, that evil, that good may come of it, Romans 3:8. But God accepts what is sincerely and honestly intended, though there be a mixture of frailty and folly in it, and is not extreme to mark what we do amiss. Some suggest that what she said might possibly be true of some other men.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Joshua 2:1

Sent — Or, had sent: See note ... "Joshua 1:11" Two men — Not twelve, as Moses did, because those were to view the whole land, these but a small parcel of it. To spy — That is, to learn the state of the land and people. It is evident Joshua did not this out of distrust; it is probable, he had God's command and direction in it for the encouragement of himself and his army. Secretly — With reference not to his enemies, that being the practice of all spies, but to the Israelites; a good caution to prevent the inconveniency which possibly might have arisen, if their report had been discouraging. Jericho — That is, the land about Jericho, together with the city. Heb. The land and Jericho, that is, especially Jericho. Harlot's — So the Hebrew word is used, Judges 11:1, and so it is rendered by two apostles, Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25, such she either now was, or rather, had been formerly. Lodged — Or, lay down; as the same word is rendered, Joshua 2:8, composed themselves to rest; but they were hindered from that intention.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Joshua 2:1

And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of (a) 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.

(a) Which was in the plain of Moab near Jordan.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
or, had sent


Numbers 25:1 And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.
Numbers 33:49 And they pitched by Jordan, from Bethjesimoth [even] unto Abelshittim in the plains of Moab.

to spy secretly:

Numbers 13:2 Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them.
Numbers 13:17-21 And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this [way] southward, and go up into the mountain: ... So they went up, and searched the land from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehob, as men come to Hamath.
Judges 18:2 And the children of Dan sent of their family five men from their coasts, men of valour, from Zorah, and from Eshtaol, to spy out the land, and to search it; and they said unto them, Go, search the land: who when they came to mount Ephraim, to the house of Micah, they lodged there.
Judges 18:14 Then answered the five men that went to spy out the country of Laish, and said unto their brethren, Do ye know that there is in these houses an ephod, and teraphim, and a graven image, and a molten image? now therefore consider what ye have to do.
Judges 18:17 And the five men that went to spy out the land went up, [and] came in thither, [and] took the graven image, and the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image: and the priest stood in the entering of the gate with the six hundred men [that were] appointed with weapons of war.
Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
Ephesians 5:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

even Jericho:

Joshua 5:10 And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho.
Joshua 6:1-24 Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in. ... And they burnt the city with fire, and all that [was] therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD.

harlot's house:
Though the word zonah generally denotes a prostitute, yet many very learned men are of opinion that it should be here rendered an innkeeper or hostess, from zoon, to furnish or provide food. In this sense it was understood by the Targumist, who renders it, ittetha pundekeetha, "a woman, a tavern-keeper," and so St. Chrysostome, in his second sermon on Repentance, calls her πανδοκευτρια. The Greek πορνη, by which the LXX render it, and which is adopted by the Apostles, is derived from περναω, to sell, and is also supposed to denote a tavern keeper. Among the ancients, women generally kept houses of entertainment. Herodotus says, "Among the Egyptians, the women carry on all commercial concerns, and keep taverns, while the men continue at home and weave." The same custom prevailed among the Greeks.
Joshua 6:17 And the city shall be accursed, [even] it, and all that [are] therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that [are] with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.
Joshua 6:25 And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father's household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel [even] unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
Matthew 1:5 And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;
, Rachab,
Joshua 21:31 Helkath with her suburbs, and Rehob with her suburbs; four cities.
Hebrews 11:31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
James 2:25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent [them] out another way?

Heb. lay
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Nu 13:2, 17; 25:1; 33:49. Jsh 5:10; 6:1, 17, 25; 21:31. Jg 18:2, 14, 17. Mt 1:5; 10:16. Ep 5:5. He 11:31. Jm 2:25.

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