Joshua Chapter Two, Wide Open...

In our study of Joshua chapter two, we will look at the story of Rahab the prostitute and see a demonstration of the fact that salvation is for all who believe in Jesus Christ.

Joshua 2:1

"Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. 'Go. look over the land,' he said, 'especially Jericho.' So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there." NIV translation

In Hebrew, shittim means "acacia trees" and this was the sight of the headquarters for the Israelite people. Jericho was an early center of worship for lunar dieties. The Israelites were preparing to take the promised land and to remove all the false gods from the land. We see that, prior to attacking Jericho, Joshua sent two spies to check out the land.

Joshua was quite familiar with the land as he had been a part of the team that was sent to check out the land at the direction of God through Moses (see Numbers 13). The spies went to the house of Rahab who was a prostitute. In Hebrew, Rahab means "wide" or "broad". She basically ran a brothel and an inn for travelers (it was common at that time for an inn and brothel to be combined).

Joshua 2:2 & 3

"The king of Jericho was told, 'Look, some of the Israelites have come here tonight to spy out the land.' So the king of Jericho sent this message to Rahab: 'Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, because they have come to spy out the whole land.'" NIV translation

It was noted that the men had entered Jericho and went into Rahab's inn. The king sent men to arrest them for being spies.

Joshua 2:4 - 7

"But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. She said, 'Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from. At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, they left. I don't know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them.'(But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof.) So the men set out in pursuit of the spies on the road that leads to the fords of the Jordan, and as soon as the pursuers had gone out, the gate was shut." NIV translation

When confronted by the authorities, she lied to them in order to save the lives of the two spies. She had already hidden them in flax that was laid out to dry on the roof.

We might ask ourselves why she would put herself in such danger to protect these men. If caught, she would probably be killed along with them.