Joshua 2:18: Rahab’s Covenant, Part 6

Verse 18:[1]  (Josh. 2:12) Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by:  (Josh. 6:23) and thou shalt bring (Heb. gather[2]) thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father’s household, home unto thee.

[If with us entering the land]  Namely, places neighboring the city.  Into part of the city (Septuagint), that is, as soon as the attack is made upon the city.  But it was difficulty at that time to call together the relatives (Masius).

Into the land, that is, over Jordan, and near the city.

[That scarlet cord (thus Munster, Tigurinus), אֶת־תִּקְוַ֡ת חוּט֩ הַשָּׁנִ֙י]  A line (strip [Vatablus], cord [Arabic, Jonathan, Septuagint, Paginine]) of scarlet thread (Montanus), that is, made of scarlet thread (Vatablus) (of red thread [Jonathan], of double-dyed thread [Junius and Tremellius], of threaded scarlet [Arabic]).  I translate תִּקְוַת as woven fabric, with the Hebrews (Masius, Drusius), which elsewhere signifies hope and trust.  By translation thus he names this as the sign, in which the woman placed all hope of salvation.  It is translated sign by the Septuagint, Aquila, Symmachus, and Vulgate, more according to the sense than the definition of the term.  The Chaldean translates it תֻורָא, that is, fringe.  Why?  The word קואי, which in Chaldean signifies weaver, persuades me that to the Hebrews קָוָה signifies not only to gather, but also to weave/braid.  For the other tongues of the East are derived from Hebrew.  Rabbi Isaiah translates it, a cord, named from gathering, because in a cord many twisted threatds are gathered together (Masius).  That thread, which we see, or, by which thou didst let us down (Lapide).  The same cord, by which she saved her guests, is made use of for (her own) salvation (Masius).  It was scarlet, so that it might represent the blood of Christ (Lapide, Bonfrerius).

Bind this line of scarlet thread in the window, that it may be easily discerned by our soldiers.

[Through/by which thou didst let us down[3]]  It is referred to the window (Jerome, the Septuagint in Bonfrerius).  But it is able to be referred to the woven fabric of thread (Drusius).  Through/by which thou didst let us down (thus Masius).

[Brethren, etc.]  By the name of brethren, etc., all relatives are understood (Lapide, Bonfrerius).

[1] Hebrew: הִנֵּ֛ה אֲנַ֥חְנוּ בָאִ֖ים בָּאָ֑רֶץ אֶת־תִּקְוַ֡ת חוּט֩ הַשָּׁנִ֙י הַזֶּ֜ה תִּקְשְׁרִ֗י בַּֽחַלּוֹן֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר הוֹרַדְתֵּ֣נוּ ב֔וֹ וְאֶת־אָבִ֙יךְ וְאֶת־אִמֵּ֜ךְ וְאֶת־אַחַ֗יִךְ וְאֵת֙ כָּל־בֵּ֣ית אָבִ֔יךְ תַּאַסְפִ֥י אֵלַ֖יִךְ הַבָּֽיְתָה׃

[2] Hebrew:  תַּאַסְפִי.

[3] Hebrew:  אֲשֶׁ֣ר הוֹרַדְתֵּ֣נוּ ב֔וֹ.

2 thoughts on “Joshua 2:18: Rahab’s Covenant, Part 6

  1. Matthew Henry: “They will protect Rahab, and all her relations always, provided, (1.) That she tie the scarlet cord with which she was now about to let them down in the window of her house, Joshua 2:18. This was to be a mark upon the house, which the spies would take care to give notice of to the camp of Israel, that no soldier, how hot and eager soever he was in military executions, might offer any violence to the house that was thus distinguished. This was like the blood sprinkled upon the doorpost, which secured the firstborn from the destroying angel, and, being of the same colour, some allude to this also to represent the safety of believers under the protection of the blood of Christ sprinkled on the conscience. The same cord that she made use of for the preservation of these Israelites was to be made use of for her preservation. What we serve and honour God with we may expect he will bless and make comfortable to us. (2.) That she should have all those whose safety she had desired in the house with her and keep them there, and that, at the time of taking the town, none of them should dare to stir out of doors, Joshua 2:18-19. This was a necessary proviso, for Rahab’s kindred could not be distinguished any other way than by being in her distinguished house; should they mingle with their neighbours, there was no remedy, but the sword would devour one as well as another. It was a reasonable proviso that, since they were saved purely for Rahab’s sake, her house should have the honour of being their castle, and that, if they would not perish with those that believed not, they should thus far believe the certainty and severity of the ruin coming upon their city as to retire into a place made safe by promise, as Noah into the ark and Lot into Zoar, and should save themselves from this untoward generation, by separating from them. It was likewise a significant proviso, intimating to us that those who are added to the church that they may be saved must keep close to the society of the faithful, and, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust, must take heed of being again entangled therein.”

  2. Ambrose’s “Exposition of the Christian Faith”: “A harlot saw this; and she who in the destruction of the city lost all hope of any means of safety, because her faith had conquered, bound a scarlet thread in her window, and thus uplifted a sign of her faith and the banner of the Lord’s Passion (Joshua 2:18); so that the semblance of the mystic blood, which should redeem the world, might be in memory. So, without, the name of Joshua was a sign of victory to those who fought; within, the semblance of the Lord’s Passion was a sign of salvation to those in danger. Wherefore, because Rahab understood the heavenly mystery, the Lord says in the Psalm: ‘I will be mindful of Rahab and Babylon that know Me’ (Psalm 87:4).”

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