Joshua 2:10, 11: Rahab’s Faith, Part 3

Verse 10:[1]  For we have heard how the LORD (Ex. 14:21; Josh. 4:23) dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and (Num. 21:24, 34, 35) what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.

[For we have heard, etc.]  Then why did they not put an obstacle in the way of those passing over Jordan?  They certainly appear to have despised them as wretched renaways, not suited for war.  At the same time, their minds were agitated by some heavenly impulse, etc. (Masius).

[That He dried up[2] (similarly Montanus)]  That God dried, or, how He dried (Junius and Tremellius).

[Ye destroyed, הֶחֱרַמְתֶּם]  Concerning which word see Leviticus 27:28[3] (Lapide).


Verse 11:[4]  And as soon as we had (Ex. 15:14, 15) heard these things, (Josh. 5:1; 7:5; Is. 13:7) our hearts did melt, neither did there remain (Heb. rose up[5]) any more courage in any man, because of you:  for (Deut. 4:39) the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.

[And out heart drooped, וַיִּמַּס]  And it melted (Montanus, Jonathan, Masius, Junius and Tremellius, Drusius, similarly the Arabic), was troubled (Syriac).  A Hebraism, in the place of, we were exceedingly frightened (Vatablus).  We are shaken in our mind (the Septuagint in Masius).  It is a Metaphor derived from wax (Masius, Menochius), or from melting snow (Menochius).

Did melt, that is, were dissolved, lost all consistency and courage.  This phrase is oft used, as Deuteronomy 1:28;[6] 20:8;[7] Joshua 5:1; 7:5.

[Neither remained a spirit (thus the Chaldean in Vatablus, Syriac, similarly Jonathan, Arabic), וְלֹא־קָמָה]  It did not rise (Montanus, Malvenda).  But this is incorrect:  קוּם here signifies to stand, not to rise (Drusius).  It did not stand fast (Vatablus, Drusius); the spirit no longer stands firm (Junius); no man stands firm in soul (Junius and Tremellius); it did not persist (Drusius).  קוּם sometimes signifies to remain, or, to live on (Glassius’ “Grammar” 225).  To stand sometimes signifies to remain.  The heart or spirit is said to depart in consummate fear, 1 Samuel 17:32 (Drusius).  In a man follows; emphatically:  that is to say, Those that were previously men, in them courage/spirit completely fails (Drusius).

[At your invasion, מִפְּנֵיכֶם]  From your sight (Targum in Drusius); because of your presence, or, for your sake (Masius), because of you (Vatablus), in fear of you (Junius and Tremellius).  Thus elsewhere, he fled from the face (that is, in fear) of Absalom[8] (Drusius).

[In heaven, etc.]  As One that governs the heavenly souls of men according to His will, by confounding some with fear, and strengthening others with courage.  But in the earth, as One that dispenses all earthly things according to His will, He takes from some, and assigns to others (Masius).  Your God works wherever He pleases whatever He wills; therefore, the Canaanites are not able to resist (Lapide).  He alone is immense and omnipotent (Bonfrerius).  She sets Jehovah as one over against all feigned gods.  This is the faith and profession of Rahab, so celebrated, by which (say the Hebrews) she merited this, that eight Prophets and Priests were born of her line, Jeremiah, Baruch, Hanameel, etc.  And they say that she gave her name to Judaism in the fiftieth year of her life, and that she entreated pardon from God, etc. (Masius).

He is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath; he can do whatsoever he pleaseth in heaven and earth; whereas our gods are enclosed in heaven, and can do nothing to us upon earth.

[1] Hebrew: כִּ֣י שָׁמַ֗עְנוּ אֵ֠ת אֲשֶׁר־הוֹבִ֙ישׁ יְהוָ֜ה אֶת־מֵ֤י יַם־סוּף֙ מִפְּנֵיכֶ֔ם בְּצֵאתְכֶ֖ם מִמִּצְרָ֑יִם וַאֲשֶׁ֣ר עֲשִׂיתֶ֡ם לִשְׁנֵי֩ מַלְכֵ֙י הָאֱמֹרִ֜י אֲשֶׁ֙ר בְּעֵ֤בֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן֙ לְסִיחֹ֣ן וּלְע֔וֹג אֲשֶׁ֥ר הֶחֱרַמְתֶּ֖ם אוֹתָֽם׃

[2] Hebrew:  אֵ֠ת אֲשֶׁר־הוֹבִ֙ישׁ יְהוָ֜ה.

[3] Leviticus 27:28:  “Notwithstanding no devoted thing (חֵרֶם), that a man shall devote (יַחֲרִם) unto the Lord of all that he hath, both of man and beast, and of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed: every devoted thing (חֵרֶם) is most holy unto the Lord.”

[4] Hebrew: וַנִּשְׁמַע֙ וַיִּמַּ֣ס לְבָבֵ֔נוּ וְלֹא־קָ֙מָה ע֥וֹד ר֛וּחַ בְּאִ֖ישׁ מִפְּנֵיכֶ֑ם כִּ֚י יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֔ם ה֤וּא אֱלֹהִים֙ בַּשָּׁמַ֣יִם מִמַּ֔עַל וְעַל־הָאָ֖רֶץ מִתָּֽחַת׃

[5] Hebrew:  קָמָה.

[6] Deuteronomy 1:28a:  “Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart (הֵמַ֙סּוּ אֶת־לְבָבֵ֜נוּ, have melted our heart)…”

[7] Deuteronomy 20:8b:  “What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren’s heart faint (יִמַּס/melt) as well as his heart.”

[8] Psalm 3 (title):  “A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom (מִפְּנֵ֤י׀ אַבְשָׁל֬וֹם) his son.”  2 Samuel 15:14:  “And David said unto all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for we shall not else escape from Absalomמִפְּנֵ֣י) אַבְשָׁל֑וֹם):  make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword.”

Joshua 2:9: Rahab’s Faith, Part 2


Republishing Matthew Henry’s Matthew Henry


Verse 9:[1]  And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that (Gen. 35:5; Ex. 23:27; Deut. 2:25; 11:25) your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint (Heb. melt;[2] Ex. 15:15[3]) because of you.

[And she said, or, had said, unto the men]  Question:  In what tongue did the spies converse with Rahab?  Response:  In their own, that is, the Canaanite (Lapide).  Either Rahab had learned the Hebrew tongue (for, that some harlots learned philosophy, etc., so that they might be better equipped for seducation, Athenæus relates in Banquet of the Learned[4] 13), or the spies had learned the Canaanite tongue.  There were able to be in the camps of the Israelites either Canaanites, or Egyptians knowing the Canaanite tongue, from whom the Israelites were able to learn (Serarius); for a similar reason, perhaps, namely, to spie, etc. (Bonfrerius).  But it is a response closer to the truth, that the Hebrew and Canaanite language either were the same, or were quite similar (Lapide, Bonfrerius, Serarius).  That they differ in dialect alone is able to be proven from the names that had been imposed on cities by the Canaanites before the coming of the Hebrews; such as, Jericho,[5] Salem,[6] Shechem,[7] Bethlehem,[8] Zoar,[9] Kirjath-arba,[10] etc.  And the name Beer-sheba[11] was imposed by Abraham and the Canaanites together, Genesis 21.  To these add the proper names of the Canaanites; such as, Melchizedek,[12] Adoni-zedek,[13] Abimelech,[14] Rahab,[15] etc. (Bonfrerius).  Then, the Hebrew tongue is called the language of Canaan, Isaiah 19:18.  Moreover, the Punic language, which either is Canaanite, or derived from it, is nearly the same as Hebrew, as Jerome relates in Traditions on Genesis,[16] and many words of the Phœnicians show (Serarius, whom you should see).  [But concerning these things see the Most Illustrious Bochart in that stupendous work, Sacred Geography “Canaan”,[17] throughout the whole.]

And she said unto the men, etc.:  Question. How could they understand one the other?  Answer 1.  The Hebrew and the Canaan or Phoenician languages have a very great resemblance, and are thought to be but differing dialects of one and the same tongue, as the learned prove by a multitude of words, which are common to both of them.  Or, 2.  Some of the Hebrews had either out of curiosity, or by Joshua’s order and direction, learnt that language for this or other such like occasions.

[I know that the Lord hath delivered]  That is, He hath decreed to deliver (Lapide).  She speaks of the future through the mode of the past, because of the certainty of faith (Lyra).  Her faith and piety are to be observed, which sort the Israelites were hardly having, although this was inculcated so many times by God and Moses (Masius).  Or, He hath delivered, namely, the dominion, although not the possession (Bonfrerius).  Question:  How and with what awareness did she know these things?  Responses:  1.  Natural, with respect to conveying cause.  From men’s rumors concerning the drying of the Red Sea, etc., and feelings, it took its beginning (Serarius).  2.  Or supernatural (Serarius, Masius, Lapide, Bonfrerius); because faith was in her, Hebrews 11:31 (Serarius).  She acknowledges the true God of the Jews, and that He is immense and omnipotent (Bonfrerius).  She knew these things, partly from the miracles, partly from Divine illumination (Lapide).  Otherwise she was able to attribute these miracles either to Magicians, or to the gods of the Egyptians not duly placated.  And that miracle of the dried sea forty years earlier was nearly forgotten.  She was able to ascribe the victory won over the Amorites[18] to other causes (Masius).

[Your terror]  Supernaturally sent in, according to Exodus 23:27; Deuteronomy 11:25 (Bonfrerius).  Which was easy to gather from a comparison of strength.  The Canaanites were both the most numerous and the fiercest, and their places the most heavily fortified; the Hebrews were exiled, destitute, broken and worn out with the miseries of the forty years.  Rahab saw this terror with illuminated keenness of mind:  she was not neglecting this heavenly grace through madness, nor was she repudiating it through impiety, nor was she ascribing it foolishly to fortune; but, while the Canaanites through fear were condemning themselves with a certain prejudgment, as it were, she rightly gathered that the counsel of the Divine Will was to drive them out of possession, etc. (Masius).

Your terror, i.e. the dread of you.  See Exodus 23:27; 34:24; Deuteronomy 11:25; 28:7.

[And they droop, etc., נָמֹ֛גוּ כָּל־יֹשְׁבֵ֥י הָאָ֖רֶץ מִפְּנֵיכֶֽם׃[19]They were melted (they melted away [Junius and Tremellius], they vacillated [Arabic], they were broken [Jonathan], they were alarmed [Syriac], they were dissolved [Vatablus]) from your faces (Montanus) (because of you [Arabic, Vatablus, similarly the Syriac], with the fear of you [Junius and Tremellius]).  Because of fear they are of a remiss spirit (Vatablus).  Immoderate fear melts, enervates, and dissolves all strength of soul and body (Lapide).

[1] Hebrew: וַתֹּ֙אמֶר֙ אֶל־הָ֣אֲנָשִׁ֔ים יָדַ֕עְתִּי כִּֽי־נָתַ֧ן יְהוָ֛ה לָכֶ֖ם אֶת־הָאָ֑רֶץ וְכִֽי־נָפְלָ֤ה אֵֽימַתְכֶם֙ עָלֵ֔ינוּ וְכִ֥י נָמֹ֛גוּ כָּל־יֹשְׁבֵ֥י הָאָ֖רֶץ מִפְּנֵיכֶֽם׃

[2] Hebrew:  נָמֹגוּ.

[3] Exodus 15:15:  “Then the dukes of Edom shall be amazed; the mighty men of Moab, trembling shall take hold upon them; all the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away (נָמֹגוּ).”

[4] Athenæus of Naucratis (late second-early third century AD) wrote Deipnosophistæ (or Banquet of the Learned), a dialogue in which the characters discuss a wide range of topics, including sexuality.  The Deipnosophistæ preserves much information about the ancient world that would have otherwise been lost.

[5] יְרִיחוֹ /Jericho may be related to יָרֵחַ/moon, or to רֵיחַ, scent or odor.

[6] See Genesis 14:18.  שָׁלֵם/Salem is related to שָׁלוֹם/peace.

[7] See Genesis 34.  שְׁכֶם/Shechem is related to שְׁכֶם/shoulder.

[8] See Genesis 35:19.  בֵּית לָחֶם/Bethlehem means House of Bread in Hebrew.

[9] See Genesis 13:10.  צֹעַר/Zoar is related to the verbal root צָעַר, to be insignificant.

[10] See Genesis 23:2; Joshua 14:15; Judges 1:10.  בְּקִרְיַת אַרְבַּע/Kirjath-arba means City of the Four in Hebrew.

[11] See Gensis 21:30, 31.  בְּאֵר שֶׁבַע/Beer-sheba signifies the Well of שֶׁבַע/Seven or of שְׁבוּעָה/Swearing.

[12] See Genesis 14:18 and Psalm 110:4.  מַלְכִּי־צֶדֶק/Melchizedek, King of Righteousness, is a compound of Hebrew words, מֶלֶךְ/king and צֶדֶק/righteousness, Hebrews 7:3.

[13] See Joshua 10:1-4.  אֲדֹנִי־צֶדֶק/Adoni-zedek, Lord of righteousness, is a compound of Hebrew words, אֲדֹנִי/Lord and צֶדֶק/righteousness.

[14] See Genesis 20 and 26.  אֲבִימֶלֶךְ/Abimelech, My Father is King, is a compound of Hebrew words, אֲבִי, my father, and מֶלֶךְ/king.

[15] רָחָב/Rahab is related to the verbal root רָחַב, to be wide or spacious.

[16] Traditiones Hebræas in Genesin.

[17] Samuel Bochart (1599-1667) was a French Protestant pastor and scholar with a wide variety of interests, including philology, theology, geography, and zoology.  Indeed his works on Biblical geography (Geographia Sacra) and zoology (Hierozoicon, sive Bipertitum Opus de Animalibus Scripturæ) became standard reference works for generations.  He was on familiar terms with many of the greatest men of his age.

[18] See Numbers 21:21-31; Deuteronomy 2:24-3:17.

[19] מוּג, to melt, in the Niphal signifies to be melted, or to melt away.

Joshua 2:8: Rahab’s Faith, Part 1

Verse 8:[1]  And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof…

[And they had not yet slept, וְהֵ֖מָּה טֶ֣רֶם יִשְׁכָּב֑וּן[2]And they, before they might lie down (Montanus); before they might sleep (Septuagint); they had not yet lain down (Junius and Tremellius, Jonathan, Arabic).  I translate טֶרֶם as not yet, as it is often taken, especially in construction with the future, Genesis 2:5;[3] 1 Samuel 3:7[4] (Masius).  Be it not that they had climbed up there to catch sleep, nevertheless the quiet and darkness was able to lull them to sleep (Bonfrerius).  Others refer הֵמָּה/they to the citizens (Drusius), who had not yet completely ceased from murmuring (Junius).  She was unwilling for the spies either to be in fear for a long time, or to lose the opportunity of conducting their business quickly; therefore she visits them immediately (Masius).

Before they were laid down to rest or sleep, as they intended, being now, after the departure of their searchers, come from their hiding-place to their resting-place.

[1] Hebrew:  וְהֵ֖מָּה טֶ֣רֶם יִשְׁכָּב֑וּן וְהִ֛יא עָלְתָ֥ה עֲלֵיהֶ֖ם עַל־הַגָּֽג׃

[2] שָׁכַב signifies to lie down.

[3] Genesis 2:5:  “And every plant of the field before it was in the earthוְכֹ֣ל׀ שִׂ֣יחַ הַשָּׂדֶ֗ה) טֶ֚רֶם יִֽהְיֶ֣ה בָאָ֔רֶץ), and every herb of the field before it grew (וְכָל־עֵ֥שֶׂב הַשָּׂדֶ֖ה טֶ֣רֶם יִצְמָ֑ח):  for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.”

[4] 1 Samuel 3:7:  “Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, neither was the word of the Lord yet revealed unto him (וּשְׁמוּאֵ֕ל טֶ֖רֶם יָדַ֣ע אֶת־יְהוָ֑ה וְטֶ֛רֶם יִגָּלֶ֥ה אֵלָ֖יו דְּבַר־יְהוָֽה׃).”

Joshua 2:7: The Spies Pursued

Verse 7:[1]  And 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.

[By the way that leads to the ford of Jordan, דֶּ֣רֶךְ הַיַּרְדֵּ֔ן]  By the way of Jordan (Jonathan, Syriac, Arabic), or, towards (or upon [Septuagint]) Jordan (Junius and Tremellius).  For they were thinking that they have turned back toward their own (Masius).

[עַ֖ל הַֽמַּעְבְּר֑וֹת]  Through the individual fords (Junius and Tremellius).  But it is not likely that they crossed the fords, because they knew that their enemies were abiding there (Piscator).  All the way to the crossing (Glassius, Montanus, Septuagint), or, to the fords (Jonathan, Arabic, Munster, Tigurinus, Pagnine, similarly the Chaldean).  עַל/upon here is put in the place of עַד/unto (Vatablus, Drusius, Masius out of Kimchi), or, in the place of אֶל/towards, Genesis 38:12[2] (Glassius’ “Grammar” 549).

Fords, or passages, that is, the usual places where people used to pass over Jordan, whether by boats or bridges; or rather, because of the shallowness of the river, which a little after this swelled higher, as the history will tell us, and as it is very usual for rivers to do.

[The gate was closed[3] (thus the Septuagint in Drusius, Syriac, Arabic)]  The Hebrew:  They had shut the gate, namely, of the hired inn of Rahab:  her familiars and domestics shut it (Kimchi in Drusius, certain interpreters in Malvenda).  Or rather, the gate of the city (most interpreters in Malvenda, Lyra, Menochius, Masius, Drusius, Junius):  lest the spies, if they were in the city, should escape (Junius).  This was inserted so that they might understand why it was necessary to send them away through the window (Malvenda out of Masius).  They shut is set down impersonally, in the place of, it was shut (Piscator, Masius).  [But Junius and Tremellius have it thus, some of those men pursued, etc., others had shut the gate.]

They shut the gate of the city, partly for their security against their approaching enemies; and partly to prevent the escape of the spies, if peradventure Rahab was mistaken, and they yet lurked in the city.

[With those having gone out, אַחֲרֵ֕י כַּאֲשֶׁ֛ר יָצְא֥וּ[4]After they went out (Munster, Tigurinus, Pagnine, Syriac, Arabic).  The letter כ/as in כַּאֲשֶׁר, just as is superfluous:  Thus Rabbi Isaiah[5] rightly has it, a man certainly learned (Masius).  [But the Septuagint separates these things from what precedes, and refers them to what follows, in this manner:  And the gate was shut.  And…after the pursuers went out…and before they might sleep, she went up.]

[1] Hebrew: וְהָאֲנָשִׁ֗ים רָדְפ֤וּ אַֽחֲרֵיהֶם֙ דֶּ֣רֶךְ הַיַּרְדֵּ֔ן עַ֖ל הַֽמַּעְבְּר֑וֹת וְהַשַּׁ֣עַר סָגָ֔רוּ אַחֲרֵ֕י כַּאֲשֶׁ֛ר יָצְא֥וּ הָרֹדְפִ֖ים אַחֲרֵיהֶֽם׃

[2] Genesis 38:12:  “And in process of time the daughter of Shuah Judah’s wife died; and Judah was comforted, and went up unto his sheepshearers (וַיַּ֜עַל עַל־גֹּֽזֲזֵ֤י צֹאנוֹ֙) to Timnath, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite.”

[3] Hebrew:  וְהַשַּׁ֣עַר סָגָ֔רוּ.

[4] The comments here are determined by the Hebrew word order, rather than the English:  “And the gate was shut after that the pursuers had gone out.”

[5] Isaiah ben Elijah di Trani the Younger (thirteenth and fourteenth centuries) was an Italian Talmudist.  He wrote commentaries on Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Job, and the Psalms.  There is a Roman manuscript of a commentary of the five Megillot ascribed to him also.  Rabbi Isaiah’s exegesis is concise and literal, free from allegorical interpretation.

Joshua 2:6: Rahab Hides the Spies

Verse 6:[1]  But (see Ex. 1:17; 2 Sam. 17:19) 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.

[To the balcony, הַגָּגָה]  To the roof (Septuagint, Chaldean, Syriac, Arabic, Montanus, Junius and Tremellius).  The rooftops were flat there, lest anyone should fall, Deuteronomy 22:8 (Bonfrerius, Lapide).  They are called solaria, because exposed to the sun (Lapide).  That houses were thus constructed is evident from Matthew 10:27; Acts 10:9 (Masius).

Up to the roof, which was plain, after the manner.  See Deuteronomy 22:8; Matthew 10:27; Mark 2:4; Acts 10:9.

[She overspread them with straw of flax, בְּפִשְׁתֵּ֣י הָעֵ֔ץ]  [They render it variously.]  In stalks (bunches, or bundles [Syrica, Castalio,[2] the Chaldean in Bonfrerius], straw [Munster]) of flax (Pagnine, Calvin, English, similarly Tigurinus).  In linis ligni, in flaxes of wood, with the expressions inverted, in the place of, in lignis lini, in wood of flax (Vatablus, Drusius, Glassius’ “Grammar” 163), that is, in stalks, or straw, of flaxes (Vatablus, Drusius).  Because the flax was yet in the stalk; which is called wood, whether a tree, or a stalk (Vatablus).  There are such inversions, worm of scarlet, in the place of scarlet of a worm;[3] thus 2 Thessalonians 1:8, in fire of flame, in the place of, in flame of fire;[4] and thus in Pindar,[5] in his Odes 1, used to extinguish lightning of fire, in the place of, fire of lightning (Bonfrerius); and, greenness of herb, in the place of, green herb[6] (Drusius).  Perhaps that which is yet green and woody is called flax of wood, that is, from which the bark and straw are not yet beaten and combed off with a threshing mallet and by combing.  For flax is wont to be placed in the sun before it is beaten (Masius).  For this was common flax, as all version indicate, but it is explained that this was merely to be dried (Bonfrerius).  The noun wood, or עֵץ, which is here ascribed to flax, is elsewhere ascribed to rushes, as Kimchi testifies in his Book of Roots,[7] and to hyssop, 1 Kings 4:33[8] (Masius, Lapide, Bonfrerius).  To others this was Egyptian linen, which is called gossipium/cotton, which others call xylum/cotton, says Pliny in his Natural History 19:1 (Masius).  Thus Forster[9] in Malvenda and Masius and Boot’s[10] Animadversions[11] 2:1:5, 8.  Thus the Arabic translates it, among the staves of gossipii/cotton (Malvenda).

[Which were there, הָעֲרֻכ֥וֹת לָ֖הּ]  Ordered, or placed, to her (Montanus, Vatablus, Junius and Tremellius), that is, by her.  Here the ל/to is put in the place of מ/by (Hebrews in Vatablus).  This passage is illustrated by Pliny’s Natural History 19:1, concerning linen, Then…it is dried in the Sun (Malvenda).

Laid in order upon the roof, that they may be dried by the heat of the sun.

[1] Hebrew:  וְהִ֖יא הֶעֱלָ֣תַם הַגָּ֑גָה וַֽתִּטְמְנֵם֙ בְּפִשְׁתֵּ֣י הָעֵ֔ץ הָעֲרֻכ֥וֹת לָ֖הּ עַל־הַגָּֽג׃

[2] Sebastian Castalio (1515-1563) distinguished himself as a scholar by means of his linguistic talents, evident in his Annotationes in Vetus et Novum Testamentum.  After a period of working closely with Calvin, the two fell into controversy.  Castalio was inclined towards Pelagianism, and his views were influential in the development of Socinianism.  As a translator of the Bible, he takes great liberty with the text, molding the speech of the prophets to conform to the standards of classical Latin.

[3] See, for example, Exodus 25:4:  “And blue, and purple, and scarlet (וְתוֹלַ֥עַת שָׁנִ֖י, worm of scarlet), and fine linen, and goats’ hair…”

[4] 2 Thessalonians 1:8:  “In flaming fire (ἐν πυρὶ φλογός, in fire of flame) taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…”

[5] Pindar (522 BC-443 BC) was a lyric poet of Greece, esteemed by some to be the greatest.

[6] See, for example, Genesis 1:30:  “And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb (אֶת־כָּל־יֶ֥רֶק עֵ֖שֶׂב, every greenness of herb) for meat:  and it was so.”

[7] ספר השורשים.

[8] 1 Kings 4:33a:  “And he spake of trees (הָעֵצִים), from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop (וְעַד֙ הָאֵז֔וֹב) that springeth out of the wall…”

[9] Johann Forster (1495-1556) was a German Hebraist, author of Dictionarium Hebraicum.

[10] Arnold Boot (1606-1650) was a Dutch physician, who excelled, not only in the practice of medicine, but also in the study of Oriental languages.  He defended the integrity of the Hebrew text and vowel points against Louis Cappel.

[11] Animadversiones Sacræ ad Textum Hebraicum Veteris Testamenti.

Joshua 2:5: Rehab’s Treason?

Verse 5:[1]  And 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.

[And when the gate was shut (thus the Septuagint), or, when it was to be shut (Arabic, Junius and Tremellius, Vatablus, Masius), וַיְהִ֙י הַשַּׁ֜עַר לִסְגּ֗וֹר]  And it was the gate to shut[2] (Montanus, Malvenda).  And it was time to shut the gate (the Chaldean in Vatablus, Syriac).  The gate, that is, of the city (Vatablus, a great many in Malvenda), or, of the inn (Vatablus).

The time of shutting of the gate; either of her house, or rather of the city, which was shut at a certain time.

[In darkness (thus the Septuagint, Junius and Tremellius), בַּחֹשֶׁךְ]  In obscurity (Montanus); at evening (Syriac, Arabic); at twilight (Jonathan).  Because of darkness, that is, because the night was now dark (Vatablus).

[They went out]  She speaks ambiguously, either, from her house, or, from the city (Masius).

[Pursue, etc.]  Thus she frees herself from suspicion of confederacy, when she feigns that she desires them captured; and she sends the inquisitors away from her house by kindling the hope of overtaking them.  Question:  Whether Rahab is to be accused of treason against her country on account of this deed?  Response:  Not at all.  For, 1.  She understood that the neither the spies life was going to be her country’s destruction; nor their death, its salvation.  2.  Since she knew her nation to be confiscated by God, and given to the Israelites, neither was she obliged, or able, to defend an unjust cause, or to oppose a just cause.  No bond of necessity may compel a good man to sin against the duties of righteousness.  It would have been another thing, if she have served her own interests, not the will of God (Masius).

[1] Hebrew: וַיְהִ֙י הַשַּׁ֜עַר לִסְגּ֗וֹר בַּחֹ֙שֶׁךְ֙ וְהָאֲנָשִׁ֣ים יָצָ֔אוּ לֹ֣א יָדַ֔עְתִּי אָ֥נָה הָלְכ֖וּ הָֽאֲנָשִׁ֑ים רִדְפ֥וּ מַהֵ֛ר אַחֲרֵיהֶ֖ם כִּ֥י תַשִּׂיגֽוּם׃

[2] A woodenly literalistic reading.

Joshua 2:4: Rahab’s Lie

Verse 4:[1]  (see 2 Sam. 17:19, 20) And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were

[And taking up…she hid, וַתִּקַּ֧ח— וַֽתִּצְפְּנ֑וֹ]  And she took, and she hid him (Montanus, similarly the Septuagint, Jonathan).  Others:  she had admitted, or had received, and had hidden (Junius and Tremellius, Arabic, Masius, Vatablus, Lapide, Bonfrerius).  A little after they had turned aside to her (Masius); from rumors suspecting that which happened (Bonfrerius), and fearing inquisition (Masius).  Question:  But why did she not immediately send them out through the window?  Response:  She feared that she, surprised by the sudden coming of the inquisitors, would bring about the ruin both of herself and of them (Masius).

[וַתִּצְפְּנוֹ]  And she hid him (Montanus, similarly the Septuagint, Vatablus, Jonathan).  It is an Enallage of number[2] (Masius, Malvenda).  Him, that is, whichever one of them, that is, separately (Vatablus), lest the flax spread over both stand forth higher, and the projection be suspected; or, lest both be discovered at the same time (Masius).  Distribution is commonly noted by a singular pronoun connected to a substantive plural (Glassius’[3] “Grammar” 206).  Or this Enallage signifies the haste of the woman (Rabbi Salomon in Masius, Malvenda); or rather the industry and resourcefulness, which swiftly hid each (Masius); and the narrowness of the place in which they were hidden (Rabbi Salomon in Masius, Lyra).  She had hidden them (Syriac, Arabic), or, each (Junius and Tremellius).

[They came to me]  She confesses what she could not deny to knowing neighbors, so that she might lay a foundation for confidence in herself in the things to be said (Masius).

[But I did not know whence they were]  Those receiving enemies were not supporting their crimes, unless they were aware (Masius).  Question:  Whether she lied?  Responses:  1.  Some answer in the negative.  Others were able to turn aside into Rahab’s house, supposing her to be an innkeeper, concerning whom she might give these answers (Junius, Malvenda).  2.  She lied:  But it was an officious lie, and the guilt was slight (Menochius, Tirinus[4]).  It is not strange, especially in a woman rude and pagan, if she persuaded herself that such a lie is lawful; which was also the thought of Plato in Concerning the Republic 3, Origen,[5] Jerome, Chrysostom, and others (Lapide, Bonfrerius).  And Augustine confesses that in the solving of this question the most learned are wearied (Bonfrerius).  It is lauded that this was done, as appropriate for that occasion, Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25.  Before the Gospel, a lie to save good men was not reckoned as a fault.  See what things we have gathered in Concerning the Law of War and Peace[6] 3:1:16 (Grotius).  Augustine has it otherwise:  Not the deceit and iniquity of the lie, but the benignity and liberality of the mind, is compensated with reward[7] (Masius).

And the woman took, etc.; or, But the woman had taken…and had hid them, to wit, before the messengers came from the king; as soon as she understood from her neighbours, or common rumour, that there was a suspicion of the matter, and guessed that search would be made.  And this is justly mentioned as a great and generous act of faith, Hebrews 11:31, for she did apparently venture her life upon a stedfast persuasion of the truth of God’s word and promise given to the Israelites.  I wist not whence they were:  her answer, contained in these and the following words, was palpably false, and therefore unquestionably sinful; howsoever, her intention was good therein:  see Romans 3:8.  But it is very probable, she being a heathen, might think, what some Christians have thought and said, that an officious lie is not unlawful.  Or, at worst, this was her infirmity, which was graciously pardoned by God, and her faith was amply rewarded.

[1] Hebrew:  וַתִּקַּ֧ח הָֽאִשָּׁ֛ה אֶת־שְׁנֵ֥י הָאֲנָשִׁ֖ים וַֽתִּצְפְּנ֑וֹ וַתֹּ֣אמֶר׀ כֵּ֗ן בָּ֤אוּ אֵלַי֙ הָֽאֲנָשִׁ֔ים וְלֹ֥א יָדַ֖עְתִּי מֵאַ֥יִן הֵֽמָּה׃

[2] That is, the use of one grammatical form in the place of another.

[3] Solomon Glassius (1593-1656) was a German Lutheran divine and critic.  He was Professor of Divinity at the University of Jena.  His Philologia Sacra was a groundbreaking work in Biblical Hebrew.

[4] James Tirinus (1580-1636) was a Flemish Jesuit priest.  His abilities as a commentator are displayed in his Commentaria in Sacram Scripturam.

[5] Origen (c. 185-c. 254) succeeded Clement of Alexandria as the head of the catechetical school in Alexandria.  He was perhaps the greatest scholar of his age.

[6] De Jure Belli ac Pacis.

[7] Contra Mendacium ad Consentium 1:15.

Joshua 2:2, 3: Joshua’s Spies Hunted

Verse 2:[1]  And (Ps. 127:1; Prov. 21:30) 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.

[It was reported to the king]  It is probable that he lived securely in accustomed luxuries; otherwise, with sentries posted, he would have permitted to no one of doubtful character entrance into the city:  moreover, he would have set himself and his troops against men crossing the river (Masius).

To-night; this evening, by comparing this with verse 5.

[That they might spy out (thus the Septuagint, Jonathan, Syriac, Arabic), לַחְפֹּר]  To search thoroughly (Montanus).  Properly it is to dig.  Thence it is used of intent digging of the mind and eyes, that is, concentrated attention, thorough searching (Malvenda).


Verse 3:[2]  And 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.

[That came unto thee, and entered into thine house[3] (thus Jonathan, Munster, similarly Tigurinus, Junius and Tremellius, Pagnine)]  But the Septuagint and the Syriac have only, that have entered unto thee; they have omitted that, coming unto thee, so that they might avoid ταυτολογίαν, a tautology.  But I suspect that this was said by the overbearing and enraged ministers of the court concerning sexual congress.  Thus the language of coming in is taken, 2 Samuel 3:7.  Objection:  But Rahab responds, they had come to me; certainly she would have been unwilling so openly to acknowledge this indecency.  Response:  She feigns that she took otherwise the thing spoken shamelessly by them, which belongs to feminine modesty.  Or it is to be asserted that this is ταυτολογίαν, a tautology, common in the Sacred books:  for Benoni participles[4] (of which sort is הַבָּאִים, which are entering) are often in the place of nouns.  Thus, those coming to thee, you are able to render, thy guests (Masius).

[1] Hebrew:  וַיֵּ֣אָמַ֔ר לְמֶ֥לֶךְ יְרִיח֖וֹ לֵאמֹ֑ר הִנֵּ֣ה אֲ֠נָשִׁים בָּ֣אוּ הֵ֧נָּה הַלַּ֛יְלָה מִבְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לַחְפֹּ֥ר אֶת־הָאָֽרֶץ׃

[2] Hebrew: וַיִּשְׁלַח֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ יְרִיח֔וֹ אֶל־רָחָ֖ב לֵאמֹ֑ר ה֠וֹצִיאִי הָאֲנָשִׁ֙ים הַבָּאִ֤ים אֵלַ֙יִךְ֙ אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֣אוּ לְבֵיתֵ֔ךְ כִּ֛י לַחְפֹּ֥ר אֶת־כָּל־הָאָ֖רֶץ בָּֽאוּ׃

[3] Hebrew: הָאֲנָשִׁ֙ים הַבָּאִ֤ים אֵלַ֙יִךְ֙ אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֣אוּ לְבֵיתֵ֔ךְ .

[4] The active participle is sometimes called a Benoni.  It can be treated as a verb or a noun, depending upon context.  בֵּינוֹנִי/Benoni signifies central or middle.

Joshua 2:1: Rahab an Harlot?

Verse 1:[1]  And Joshua the son of Nun sent (or, had sent[2]) (Num. 25:1) out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho.  And they went, and (Heb. 11:31; James 2:25) came into an harlot’s house, named (Matt. 1:5) Rahab, and lodged (Heb. lay[3]) there.

[He sent (thus Montanus, Septuagint, Jonathan, Syriac, Arabic, Munster, Tigurinus, Pagnine), וַיִּשְׁלַח]  Others:  And he had sent (Vatablus, Masius, Drusius, Grotius, Lapide), that is, before the edict concerning the preparation of provisions (Drusius, similarly Lapide, Masius).  The past in the place of the pluperfect (Lapide).  In this way the passages in Joshua 1:11 and Joshua 2:22 are easily reconciled (Grotius).

Sent; or, had sent, as that tense is oft used.  See on Joshua 1:11.

[From Shittim]  It was in the plains of Moab (Lapide, Bonfrerius).  It is called Abel-shittim, that is, the plains of Shittim,[4] Numbers 33:49, as we said on Numbers 25:1.  In that place now the town of Abila is visited, says Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 4:7 (Bonfrerius).  The trees from this place were called Shittim,[5] the timbe of which is the lightest, glossiest, and most beautiful of all (Lapide).

Shittim; called also Abel-shittim, Numbers 33:49.

[Two men as spies]  Questions:  Was this rightly done?  For the first exploration yielded the worst results, Numbers 13:3.  And there appears to have been an obligation to rest in the words of God (Masius).  Responses:  1.  It is to be supposed that Joshua did nothing without consulting God (Masius, Bonfrerius, Serarius); although not all things said by Joshua at that time are recorded (Bonfrerius).  For God, conscious of our weakness, grants help readily.  See a quite similar example in Judges 6 and 7 (Masius).  God was going to direct this, and He knew all the blessings that were going to be reported (Bonfrerius).  2.  What things God promises are to be hoped for with settled confidence, but at the same time special, painstaking labor also belongs to us.  By His grace, God aids our efforts (Masius).

[Two]  Why did he not send twelve, as previously?  Responses:  1.  Because then there was less suspicion (Serarius).  The twelve, although many, were nevertheless able to deceive the inhabitants at that time secure; but now not even two are able to lie hidden in a city alarmed by fear.  2.  The twelve were obliged to view the entire region; it did not belong to these to go beyond a few stadia[6] (Masius).

[Men[7]]  Νεανίσκους, youths or young men (Septuagint), by which word they meant to denote their daring and vigor (Masius).  Eminent men, as אֲנָשִׁים is a title/name of ἀρετῆς/rank (Drusius).  The Hebrews maintain that these were Phineas and Caleb, which is not likely (Drusius, Masius, Lapide).  But Joshua was unwilling to expose to the greatest peril except common men, although he sent cunning men, cautious and brave (Masius).  A man as a spy is an expression like a man as a fisherman, a woman as a handmaid (Drusius).  Spying, and Harboring of enemies, Joshua 2:4, and disclosing of enemy counsels, as in 2 Samuel 17:15, are distasteful things; yet not unlawful against the enemies of God, or of one anointed by God; for with such there is no kinship of the law of nations.  And so the harboring is celebrated as an act of faith, Hebrews 11:31, that is, of a soul renouncing πολυθεΐαν/polytheism on account of the reported miracles.  See Joshua 2:9-11 (Grotius).  Although it is not lawful to make use of wicked treachery, nevertheless it has been esteemed the highest virtue of Emperors to conceal their own stratagems, but to search out the intention of enemies, and to anticipate their plans (Masius).

Two men; not twelve, as Moses did, partly because the people of Canaan were now more alarmed than in Moses’s time, and more suspicious of all strangers; and partly 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, and what way and method they should proceed in.  It is evident enough that Joshua did not this out of distrust, as the people did, Deuteronomy 1; and it is most probable he had God’s command and direction in it, for the encouragement of himself and his army in their present enterprise.

[Spies in secret, מְרַגְּלִים֙ חֶ֣רֶשׁ[8]]  Uncontracted it would be בְּחֶרֶשׁ, in secret (Drusius).  [They take it variously.]  Who might spy in, or with, silence (Munster, Vatablus, Montanus), that is, secretly (Jonathan, Vatablus), hiddenly (Arabic), covertly (Junius and Tremellius).  Who might spy in being quiet, or in being silent, that is, without any noise (Vatablus, Munster).  That is, so that the inhabitants of the region might not begin to perceive (Vatablus).  This does not satisfy; for, since it is even the especial condition of all spies that they be silent, etc., it would be unnecessary to point this out (Masius).  [Others thus:]  Without the knowledge of the Israelites.  There is a contrast between these spies and those of Moses, who were sent with the people approving (Masius, similarly Lapide, Malvenda).  He does this, lest they murmur again, as they had previously done (Lapide).  Others thus translate it, spying out the thought, and machination of the heart, namely, in their enemies.  Thus the verb חָרַשׁ signifies in Proverbs 3:29;[9] 14:22.[10]  Thus Rabbi Levi.  But the noun חֶרֶשׁ, unless I am mistaken, is not thus taken (Masius).

Secretly; with reference not to his enemies, which being the constant and necessary practice of all spies, was needless to be mentioned; but to the Israelites, without their knowledge or desire.  And this seems added by way of opposition unto the like action, Deuteronomy 1, where it was done with the people’s privity, and upon their motion; and therefore an account was given, not only to Moses, but also to the congregation; whereas here it was given to Joshua only, Joshua 2:23, which was a good caution to prevent the inconveniency which possibly might have arisen, if their report had been doubtful or discouraging.

[View the land, and Jericho]  That is, especially Jericho (Vatablus).  Such a sort of speech as is found in 1 Kings 11:1, he was loving strange women, and the daughter of Pharaoh; the title of Psalm 18, from the hand of his enemies, and of Saul; 2 Samuel 2:30, nineteen of David’s servants, and Asahel (Malvenda, Drusius).  He adds in particular, Jericho, because in the taking of that city was placed the greatest importance for victory (Masius).  It was the closest and most heavily fortified city (Lapide).  It was the next place unto which the people were going to advance (Menochius).  The name of Jericho[11] was, either, from the crescent-shaped form of that plain;[12] or, from the most pleasant smell of the balsam tree uniquely thriving there,[13] according to Pliny (Masius), and Strabo,[14] Solinus,[15] Tacitus, and others [whose words Malvenda cites:  There is likewise a description of Jericho in Malvenda and Masius].  According to Josephus, Jericho is one hundred and fifty stadia from Jerusalem (that is, eighteen and a half Italian miles [Lapide]), but sixty stadia from Jordan (that is, seven and a half Italian miles [Lapide, Masius]).

[Who proceeding, etc.]  Question:  But how were they able to pass over Jordan?  Response:  Innumerable ways were available to God for accomplishing this, indeed without a miracle (Bonfrerius).  But they were able to cross over either by swimming, or by fording:  for we read of the fords of Jordan, Judges 3:28; 12:5.  And here in verse 7, as if the men of Jericho sniffed out when and how they had come to Jericho, they pursued them unto the fords of Jordan (Serarius, similarly Lapide, Menochius).  Yet afterwards the river flooded in such a way that it was not able to be forded (Serarius).  Question:  But how were they able to slip by the watches of the Canaanites?  Response:  It is sufficiently apparent that they were settled, and foolishly secure (Menochius out of Serarius).  If it be desired that miracles be devised, God could send in either blindness, as in Genesis 19:11, or lethargic sleep, as in 1 Samuel 26:12, or Panicy terror, or something similar (Serarius).  Joshua was blessed that these two men do not so much as open their mouths to speak against his orders, but they without hesitation expose themselves to mortal dangers (Masius).

The land, even Jericho, that is, the land about Jericho, together with the city.  Hebrews:  the land and Jericho,[16] that is, especially Jericho.  So and is used 2 Samuel 2:30; 1 Kings 11:1; Psalm 18:1.  They obeyed Joshua’s command, even with the hazard of their own lives, considering that they were under the protection of Divine Providence, which could very easily many ways secure them; or being willing to sacrifice their lives in their country’s service.

[They came into the house of a woman, a harlot, זוֹנָה]  Question:  What sort was she, whether an hostess, or an harlot?  Response 1:  They translate it an hostess, or an innkeeper (Pagnine, Tigurinus, Vatablus).  Thus the Rabbis and many others (Malvenda).  So called, because she prepares and sells food, from זוּן, to feed.  These think that they follow the Chaldean translator, who renders it פוּנְדָקִיתָא/pundokita, from the Greek πανδοκία/pandokia/hostess, or πανδοκεύτρια/pandokeutria/hostess (Masius, Serarius).  But they are mistaken:  for the Chaldean thus translates זוֹנָה where it is taken for a harlot; as in Judges 11:1;[17] 16:1;[18] 1 Kings 3:16;[19] Ezekiel 23:44[20] (Bonfrerius, Serarius).  The Chaldean avoids the name of harlot for the sake of modesty, wherefore also in one place he translates זוֹנָה as a wandering woman, in another place as a treacherous woman, etc., but as harlot hardly one and again (Masius).  Others are not satisfied by this translation.  1.  Rahab received these out of hospitality, rather than out of the performance of her job, Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25.  2.  In those ancient times, there were not, as there are today among us, innkeepers, as I taught on Tobit 5.[21]  3.  If she was an innkeeper, there would not have been such liberty of speech with the spies, nor so easy a method of hiding them (Serarius).  Response 2:  Others translate it harlot, or prostitute, etc. (thus the Septuagint, Syriac, Arabic, Munster, Drusius, Grotius, Masius, Lapide, Bonfrerius, Serarius).  Which sort of life, at that time and among those nations, was held as mean rather than scandalous; while the discipline of the Hebrews, even before the Law, was far different, Genesis 38:24 (Grotius).  They approve this translation, 1.  Because she is called πόρνη, a prostitute, in Hebrews 11:31 (Bonfrerius).  2.  Because the ancient Greek and Latin Fathers with one voice thus settle the matter (Serarius, whom you should see).  3.  Because, while she bargains for salvation with respect to all her relatives, she does not mention a husband (Masius, Serarius).  4.  The word זוֹנָה always signifies this [as Serarius shows in the passages listed].  But against this opinion they object:  1.  Salmon married her, a very distinguished man, son of Nahshon[22] Prince of Judah,[23] who certainly would not have married such a vile little woman (Bonfrerius, Serarius).  Responses:  1.  Therefore, some interpreters think that she was a different Rahab (thus Masius, certain interpreters in Serarius).  But it is sufficiently evident that she was the same, and all the Fathers think so (Serarius).  2.  The same might ask why he would marry a Gentile, and a worshipper of idols.  But the praise of new Religion, and the change of life, and the glory of recent service wear away all infamy (Serarius).  Objection 2:  It is absurd, that the spies, honest men, turned aside to a harlot.  Responses:  1.  They did not know that she was a harlot (Bonfrerius, Serarius).  2.  They turned in there, not for the sake of satisfying lust, but for the sake of discharging their business (Masius, Bonfrerius).  For which he house was opportune, adjoining the gate and the walls[24] (Bonfrerius).  Nowhere was there a more suitable hiding place.  Thus they were removing all suspicion from their reconnaissance.  For not prudent men and spies, but the foolish, the idle, the dissolute, would go into a harlot.  And formerly there were signs allowed to the apartments of harlots, by which they would prevent others from approaching.  Add that their employment, haste, and trepidation would exclude all lasciviousness.  Finally, these matters were conducted by a Divine instinct (Serarius).  Objection 3:  This would tend to the disgrace of Christ, who was born of Rahab.  Response:  Not one of the holy women is taken up into the genealogy of Christ, but those that Scripture reprehends; so that He, who had come because of sins, being born of sinners, might blot out the sins of all, says Jerome on Matthew 1.  Therefore, she was a harlot, not common, but rather idolatrous, which sort were wont to prostitute themselves for the honor of their gods and goddesses (Serarius).  [See more things in the author, if you please.]  Response 3:  She was both a hostess and an harlot (Lyra,[25] Junius and Tremellius, Malvenda).  Formerly among the ancients it was shameful to employ a femal innkeeper.  See Casaubon[26] on Theophrastus’ Characters,[27] περὶ ἀπονοίας, concerning desperation, or lost confidence (Drusius).  Everywhere in those regions female innkeepers were ill regarded, especially those that did not have husbands (Bonfrerius).

An harlot’s house; so the Hebrew word is used, Judges 11:1; 16:1; 1 Kings 3:16; Ezekiel 23:44, and so it is rendered by two apostles, Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25; such she either now was, or formerly had been; and such a person’s house they might come to with less observation than to an hostess, as some render it, or to a public victualling-house.  And such a course of life was very common among the Gentiles, who esteemed fornication to be either no sin, or a very small and trivial one.

[And they rested (thus the Septuagint, Vatablus, Tigurinus), that is, for a while (Vatablus), וַיִּשְׁכְּבוּ[28]And they lay down (Jonathan, Montanus, Junius and Tremellius, Masius), that is, They turned aside as if for the sake of spending the night and taking their rest (Masius).  They slept (Pagnine); they spent the night (Syriac, Arabic, Munster, Cajetan in Serarius).  Thus on the following day they were seen, and pointed out to the King.  But the royal watchmen say, This night (they do not say, yesterday) they came in; and שָׁכַב simply signifies to lie, to lie down, to rest, to delay.  Therefore, they rested there, but they did not sleep, nor spend the night (Serarius out of Jonathan and the Hebrews).

Lodged there, or, lay down, as the same word, is rendered, verse 8, intended and composed themselves to rest; but they were disturbed and hindered from their intentions upon the following discovery.

[1] Hebrew: וַיִּשְׁלַ֣ח יְהוֹשֻׁ֣עַ־בִּן־נ֠וּן מִֽן־הַשִּׁטִּ֞ים שְׁנַֽיִם־אֲנָשִׁ֤ים מְרַגְּלִים֙ חֶ֣רֶשׁ לֵאמֹ֔ר לְכ֛וּ רְא֥וּ אֶת־הָאָ֖רֶץ וְאֶת־יְרִיח֑וֹ וַיֵּ֙לְכ֜וּ וַ֠יָּבֹאוּ בֵּית־אִשָּׁ֥ה זוֹנָ֛ה וּשְׁמָ֥הּ רָחָ֖ב וַיִּשְׁכְּבוּ־שָֽׁמָּה׃

[2] Hebrew:  וַיִּשְׁלַח.

[3] Hebrew:  וַיִּשְׁכְּבוּ.

[4] אָבֵל signifies a meadow.

[5] That is, Acacias.

[6] A stadium is a little more than a tenth of a mile.

[7] Hebrew:  אֲנָשִׁים.

[8] חֶרֶשׁ/silently/secretly is derived from the verbal root חָרֵשׁ, to be silent.

[9] Proverbs 3:29:  “Devise not (אַל־תַּחֲרֹשׁ) evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.”

[10] Proverbs 14:22:  “Do they not err that devise evil (חֹ֣רְשֵׁי רָ֑ע)? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good (חֹ֣רְשֵׁי טֽוֹב׃).”

[11] Hebrew:  יְרִיחוֹ.

[12] Here, יְרִיחוֹ /Jericho is being related to יָרֵחַ/moon.

[13] רֵיחַ signifies scent or odor.

[14] Strabo (c. 63 BC-c. 24 AD) was a Greek geographer and historian.

[15] Gaius Julius Solinus (third century) was a compiler of antiquarian curiosities.

[16] Hebrew:  אֶת־הָאָ֖רֶץ וְאֶת־יְרִיח֑וַֹ.

[17] Judges 11:1:  “Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of an harlot (זוֹנָה; פֻנדְקֵיתָא, in the Chaldean; πόρνης, in the Septuagint):  and Gilead begat Jephthah.”

[18] Judges 16:1:  “Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot (זוֹנָה; פֻנדְקֵיתָא, in the Chaldean; πόρνην, in the Septuagint), and went in unto her.”

[19] 1 Kings 3:16:  “Then came there two women, that were harlots (זֹנוֹת;פֻנדְקָאָן , in the Chaldean; πόρναι, in the Septuagint), unto the king, and stood before him.”

[20] Ezekiel 23:44:  “Yet they went in unto her, as they go in unto a woman that playeth the harlot (זוֹנָה; פֻונדְקֵיתָא, in the Chaldean; πόρνην, in the Septuagint):  so went they in unto Aholah and unto Aholibah, the lewd women.”

[21] Tobit 5 relates the preparation made for Tobias’ and Raphael’s journey to Media.

[22] See Ruth 4:20, 21; Matthew 1:4, 5.

[23] Numbers 1:4, 5, 7; 2:3.

[24] See Joshua 2:15.

[25] Little is known about the early life of Nicholas de Lyra (1270-1340).  He entered the Franciscan Order and became a teacher of some repute in Paris.  His Postilla in Vetus et Novum Testamentum are remarkable for the time period:  Lyra was firmly committed to the literal sense of the text, as a necessary control for allegorical exposition; and he drew heavily upon Hebraic and Rabbinical materials.  His commentary was influential among the Reformers.

[26] Isaac Casaubon (1559-1614) began his career as Professor of Greek at Geneva and finished his career as a prebendary of Westminster and Canterbury.  He was a learned critic, and he produced annotated editions of Greek and Latin authors.  He was among those that sought a reunion between the Protestant and Roman churches.

[27] Theophrastus (372-287 BC) was a disciple of Aristotle and his successor at the Lyceum.  Characters has been traditionally ascribed to him.  It contains thirty sketches of moral types.

[28] שָׁכַב signifies to lie down, or to lodge.

Joshua 2 Outline

Joshua sends two spies to Jericho; they are sought after; Rahab hides them; deceives the messengers, 1-7.  She acknowledges that God had given them the land; her reasons, 8-11.  The covenant between her and them, 12-21.  Their return and relation, 22-24.