Joshua 2:22, 23: The Escape and Return of the Spies, Part 1

Verse 22:[1]  And they went, and came unto the mountain, and abode there three days, until the pursuers were returned:  and the pursuers sought them throughout all the way, but found them not.

[They abode there three days]  Question:  What did they eat there for three days?  Response:  1.  A three days’ fast is not uncommon; and that three day period was shorter.  2.  Or, travelers were carrying necessities with them, according to the custom of the age; or, Rahab gave them provisions according to her hospitality (Serarius).

Abode there three days; supporting themselves there with the provisions, which after the manner of those times and places they carried with them, which Rahab furnished them with.  Throughout all the way, that is, in the road to Jordan, and the places near it, but not in the mountains.

[They did not find them]  This commends the woman’s counsel, and illustrates the greatness of the danger (Masius).


Verse 23:[2]  So the two men returned, and descended from the mountain, and passed over, and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all things that befell them…

And passed over, to wit, Jordan unto Joshua.

[And they related to him]  To Joshua alone; which was expedient, lest a moveable and inconsiderate multitude from their relations should conceive greater confidence or fear than was fitting (Masius).

Him alone, not the people, as they did Numbers 13.

[That had befallen them (thus the Septuagint, similarly Jonathan, Syriac, Arabic, Junius and Tremellius), הַמֹּצְא֖וֹת אוֹתָֽם׃]  That found them (Montanus, Drusius, Vatablus).  Dangers are said to find us, Genesis 44:34;[3] Exodus 18:8;[4] Deuteronomy 31:17;[5] Esther 8:6.[6]  It is general rule, Whom a calamity often passes by, it at length finds[7] (Drusius).

[1] Hebrew: וַיֵּלְכוּ֙ וַיָּבֹ֣אוּ הָהָ֔רָה וַיֵּ֤שְׁבוּ שָׁם֙ שְׁלֹ֣שֶׁת יָמִ֔ים עַד־שָׁ֖בוּ הָרֹדְפִ֑ים וַיְבַקְשׁ֧וּ הָרֹדְפִ֛ים בְּכָל־הַדֶּ֖רֶךְ וְלֹ֥א מָצָֽאוּ׃

[2] Hebrew: וַיָּשֻׁ֜בוּ שְׁנֵ֤י הָֽאֲנָשִׁים֙ וַיֵּרְד֣וּ מֵֽהָהָ֔ר וַיַּעַבְרוּ֙ וַיָּבֹ֔אוּ אֶל־יְהוֹשֻׁ֖עַ בִּן־נ֑וּן וַיְסַ֙פְּרוּ־ל֔וֹ אֵ֥ת כָּל־הַמֹּצְא֖וֹת אוֹתָֽם׃

[3] Genesis 44:34:  “For how shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me? lest peradventure I see the evil that shall find (יִמְצָא) my father.”

[4] Exodus 18:8:  “And Moses told his father in law all that the Lord had done unto Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, and all the travail that had found them (מְצָאָתַם) by the way, and how the Lord delivered them.”

[5] Deuteronomy 31:17:  “Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall find them (וּמְצָאֻ֛הוּ רָע֥וֹת רַבּ֖וֹת וְצָר֑וֹת); so that they will say in that day, Have not these evils found us (מְצָא֖וּנִי הָרָע֥וֹת הָאֵֽלֶּה׃), because our God is not among us?”

[6] Esther 8:6:  “For how can I endure to see the evil that shall find (יִמְצָא) my people? or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?”

[7] Seneca the Younger’s “The Madness of Hercules” 325-328.

1 thought on “Joshua 2:22, 23: The Escape and Return of the Spies, Part 1

  1. Matthew Henry: “We have here the safe return of the spies Joshua had sent, and the great encouragement they brought with them to Israel to proceed in their descent upon Canaan. Had they been disposed to discourage the people, as the evil spies did that Moses sent, they might have told them what they had observed of the height and strength of the walls of Jericho, and the extraordinary vigilance of the king of Jericho, and how narrowly they escaped out of his hands; but they were of another spirit, and, depending themselves upon the divine promise, they animated Joshua likewise.

    Their return in safety was itself an encouragement to Joshua, and a token for good. That God provided for them so good a friend as Rahab was in an enemy’s country, and that notwithstanding the rage of the king of Jericho and the eagerness of the pursuers they had come back in peace, was such an instance of God’s great care concerning them for Israel’s sake as might assure the people of the divine guidance and care they were under, which should undoubtedly make the progress of their arms glorious. He that so wonderfully protected their scouts would preserve their men of war, and cover their heads in the day of battle.”

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