Joshua 2:16: Rahab’s Covenant, Part 4

Verse 16:[1]  And 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.

[To the mountains]  Hebrew:  to the mountain;[2] that is, which was adjacent to the city (Vatablus).  Mountain in the place of mountains:  thus Deuteronomy 1:7;[3] 2:37;[4] Joshua 9:1;[5] 10:40[6] (Drusius).  Jericho was surrounded by mountains (Serarius, Bonfrerius, Masius, Josephus and Adrichomius[7] in Bonfrerius), toward the West, North, and South:  But Jordan itself was toward the East, in which direction the pursuers were proceeding (Serarius).

To the mountain, that is, to some of the mountains wherewith Jericho was encompassed, in which also there were many caves where they might lurk.

[Lest they meet you[8]]  Or, lest they rush upon you, or, attack:  for פָּגַע often signifies this (Masius).

[Remaining in hiding three days]  It is a Synecdoche; for only a part of the first and of the last days is spent in hiding (Serarius).  Thus Christ arose on the third day:  and it everywhere happens that the time of night before sleep is reckoned to the day (Serarius, similarly Masius, Lightfoot).  The Hebrews observe that tribulations are often limited to three days, Genesis 42:18; Hosea 6:2; Jonah 1:17.  This prognostic of the third day they ascribe partly to the Law given on the third day, Exodus 19:16, partly to Abraham going to sacrifice his son, Genesis 22:4.  We more rightly ascribe it to Christ, who arose on the third day (Masius).  Not that she was thinking that three days were necessary for the journey and return, for from the city to the ford there were only sixty stadia, or five miles; but that it was likely that the pursuers were not going to return directly, but were everywhere going to search the thickets, retreats, and all hiding places, and were going to wait at Jordan for some time (Bonfrerius, Masius).  In the word וְנַחְבֵּתֶם, and hide yourselves, an א/Aleph or ה/He is wanting or lies hidden, and a Patach (ַ) is under the נ in the place of the Hireq (ִ), because of the guttural ח[9] (Masius).

Three days; not three whole days, but one whole day, and parts of two days:  see on Joshua 1:11.

[1] Hebrew: וַתֹּ֤אמֶר לָהֶם֙ הָהָ֣רָה לֵּ֔כוּ פֶּֽן־יִפְגְּע֥וּ בָכֶ֖ם הָרֹדְפִ֑ים וְנַחְבֵּתֶ֙ם שָׁ֜מָּה שְׁלֹ֣שֶׁת יָמִ֗ים עַ֚ד שׁ֣וֹב הָרֹֽדְפִ֔ים וְאַחַ֖ר תֵּלְכ֥וּ לְדַרְכְּכֶֽם׃

[2] Hebrew:  הָהָרָה.

[3] Deuteronomy 1:7:  “Turn you, and take your journey, and go to the mount of the Amorites (הַ֥ר הָֽאֱמֹרִי֮), and unto all the places nigh thereunto, in the plain, in the hills (בָהָר), and in the vale, and in the south, and by the sea side, to the land of the Canaanites, and unto Lebanon, unto the great river, the river Euphrates.”

[4] Deuteronomy 2:37:  “Only unto the land of the children of Ammon thou camest not, nor unto any place of the river Jabbok, nor unto the cities in the mountains (וְעָרֵ֣י הָהָ֔ר), nor unto whatsoever the Lord our God forbad us.”

[5] Joshua 9:1:  “And it came to pass, when all the kings which were on this side Jordan, in the hills (בָּהָר), and in the valleys, and in all the coasts of the great sea over against Lebanon, the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard thereof…”

[6] Joshua 10:40:  “So Joshua smote all the country of the hills (אֶת־כָּל־הָאָ֡רֶץ הָהָר֩), and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings:  he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the Lord God of Israel commanded.”

[7] Christian Adrichomius (1533-1585), a Dutch Roman Catholic priest, wrote an important geography of Palestine (Theatrum Terræ Sanctæ et Biblicarum Historiarum).

[8] Hebrew:  פֶּֽן־יִפְגְּע֥וּ בָכֶ֖ם. פָּגַע  signifies to encounter, even to encounter with hostility, to fall upon.

[9] The root is חָבָא or חָבָה, to hide.  It is not unusual for a final ה to be dropped, or a final א to lose its power as a consonant.  In the Niphal, the presence of the guttural ח as the initial letter in the root tends to lengthen the Hireq (ִ), so the presence of the Patach (ַ) is unusual.

1 thought on “Joshua 2:16: Rahab’s Covenant, Part 4

  1. Practical wisdom from Matthew Henry: “She then took effectual care to secure her new friends, and sent them out another way, James 2:25. She … directed them which way to go for their own safety, being better acquainted with the country than they were, Joshua 2:16. She directs them to leave the high road, and abscond in the mountains till the pursuers returned, for till then they could not safely venture over Jordan. Those that are in the way of God and their duty may expect that Providence will protect them, but this will not excuse them from taking all prudent methods for their own safety. God will keep us, but then we must not wilfully expose ourselves. Providence must be trusted, but not tempted.”

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