How Rahab helped the Israeli spies
1 Then Joshua chose two men from their camp at Acacia. He told them, “Go across the Jordan River and secretly find out all that you can about the land on that side of the river, especially about Jericho city.” So the two men crossed the river and entered Jericho. They entered the house of a prostitute, whose name was Rahab. They stayed in her house that night. 2 But someone saw them and told the king of Jericho, “Some Israeli men have come here tonight to spy out the land!” 3 So the king sent some messengers to tell Rahab, “Bring out the men who came and entered your house, so that we can kill them, because they have come here to ◄spy out/find out all they can about► this land!” 4 She told them that the two men had gone to her house. But she had hidden the two men there. So when the messengers came to her house, she told them, “Two men came here, but I did not know where they had come from. 5 At dusk, just before ◄guards closed the city gate/the city gates were closed►, the two men left. I do not know where they went. So, go quickly and search for them! Perhaps you may catch them!” 6 But she was lying; she had taken the two men up to the flat roof of her house and had hidden them under the piles of flax that she had laid on the roof. 7 The messengers went out of the city to search for the two men. Immediately, the guards shut the city gate. The messengers went along the road that leads down to the place where people can walk across the Jordan River, but they did not find the two men.
8 Before the two men lay down to sleep that night, Rahab went up to the roof 9 and said to them, “We know that Yahweh is about to give this land to you Israelis, and as a result all the people living in this land are terrified because of you. 10 We have heard about how Yahweh dried up the water of the Red Sea for you to cross it when you left Egypt. And we have heard how you killed Sihon and Og, the two kings of the tribe of Amor who lived east of the Jordan River. You Israelis totally destroyed everyone and everything in their kingdom. 11 When we heard about those things, we were very dismayed. We no longer have enough courage to fight against you, because we know that Yahweh, the God whom you worship, is helping you. And we know that he rules everything in heaven and here on earth. 12 So now I want you to solemnly promise me, and ask Yahweh to punish you if you do not do what you promise. Solemnly promise me that you will act kindly to me and my family, because I have acted kindly to you. 13 Do something to prove that you will ◄spare the lives of/not kill► my father and my mother, my brothers and sisters, and all of their families. Promise me that you Israelis will not kill us when you destroy this city.” 14 The two men replied, “We desire that God will cause us to die if we do not do as we say! If you do not tell others what we are planning to do, we will act kindly toward you all when Yahweh enables us to possess the land.” 15 One of the outside walls of the house where Rahab lived was part of the wall that was around the city. So she fastened a rope outside the window that was in that wall, by which the men could climb down the wall. 16 Then she said to them, “When you leave the city, go up into the hills so that the men who are searching for you will not find you. Hide in caves in the hills for three days, until the men who are searching for you return to the city. Then you can return safely to your camp.” 17 The two men gave her a red cord, and said to her, “This is what you must do; if you do not do this, we will not be required to do what we have vowed to do. 18 You must tie this red cord in the window that has the rope by which we will climb down. You must let the cord hang there. And you must bring your father and your mother and your brothers and all the others in your family inside the house. Then, when our army enters your land, we will see the cord, and we will not kill the people in your house. 19 If anyone in your family goes outside this house into the street, our soldiers will kill them, and we will not be guilty [MTY] for doing that. But if anyone who is in this house with you is injured, we will be guilty for causing that. 20 But if you tell anyone what we are planning to do, we are not required to do what we have vowed to do.” 21 Rahab said, “I agree to do what you say.” So they climbed down the rope and left. And she left the red cord tied in the window. 22 When the two men left the city, they went up into the hills. They stayed there for three days, while the men who had been sent by the king continued to search for them. They searched all along the road, but they did not find the two men. So they returned to the city. 23 Then the two men started back toward their camp. They went down from the hills, went down to the river, crossed it at the place where people can walk across it, and returned to their camp. They told Joshua everything that had happened to them. 24 They said to Joshua, “We are sure that Yahweh is going to enable us to possess everything that is in that land. The people there are terrified [IDM] because of us.”