Joshua 6:22, 23: The Salvation of Rahab and Her House, Part 1

Verse 22:[1] But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot’s house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she hath, (Josh. 2:14; Heb. 11:31) as ye sware unto her.

[He said] I translate it, he had said, when he gave the other instructions, verse 17. For it is not believable that Joshua declared these things with the slaughter already proceeding (Masius).

The harlot’s house, together with the wall upon which it leaned, was left standing, either by a special favour of God to her, or for the reason alleged upon Joshua 6:5.


Verse 23:[2] And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, (Josh. 2:13) and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred (Heb. families[3]), and left them without the camp of Israel.

[Youths, הַנְּעָרִים] Thus the Hebraism calls whatever ministers/servants (Munster, Kimchi in Masius, Drusius). It is said of Joseph in his thirtieth year;[4] of Rehoboam in his forty-first year;[5] of Joshua in his fifty-fifth year[6] (Masius).

[Kindred, מִשְׁפְּחוֹתֶיהָ] Relatives, or families. Whence it is gathered that here kinsmen were many, who had fled to this despised little woman, as soon as she showed the hope of salvation: while, on the other hand, not even the two sons-in-law of Lot followed their father-in-law, a man of the greatest authority, forewarning of truth things, Genesis 19:14, neither did Abraham’s father follow him across the river.[7] This is a type of our Joshua, that is, Christ, to whom, when Rahab, that is, the Church, had submitted herself, the nations then fled in masses for the sake of salvation (Masius).

[Outside the camps] Which were holy on account of the Ark and the Divine presence (Malvenda, Bonfrerius). While they are purified from the ancient rites and contagion of their Gentile state (Menochius), and are solemnly received into the people of God, as in Numbers 31:19 (Malvenda, similarly Masius). Thus Religion’s dignity is preserved, and the shame of superstition is shown, since such are kept out of the camps (Masius). Although women were not circumcised, it is certain that they were wont to be, as it were, dedicated to God by other ceremonies (Masius). Rahab had not yet forsworn Gentilism and professed Judaism (Bonfrerius). But you will say that that multitude was not kept from the camps, Exodus 12:38. Responses: 1. After the construction and consecration of the Ark, God willed that He be esteemed as present in a peculiar manner in the camps. 2. There is no doubt that those resigned themselves to God, and were initiated through circumcision at mount Sinai (Masius). They made them to remain outside of the camp, that is, until they might be joined to the people, Rahab and the women by baptism, the men of her house by circumcision (Grotius).

Without the camp of Israel: Till they were cleansed from the impurities of their Gentile state, and instructed in the Jewish religion, and solemnly admitted into that church in the usual way, to which Rahab’s good counsel and example had doubtless very much prepared them; and this stupendous work of God confirmed their purposes.

[1] Hebrew: וְלִשְׁנַ֙יִם הָאֲנָשִׁ֜ים הַֽמְרַגְּלִ֤ים אֶת־הָאָ֙רֶץ֙ אָמַ֣ר יְהוֹשֻׁ֔עַ בֹּ֖אוּ בֵּית־הָאִשָּׁ֣ה הַזּוֹנָ֑ה וְהוֹצִ֙יאוּ מִשָּׁ֤ם אֶת־הָֽאִשָּׁה֙ וְאֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־לָ֔הּ כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר נִשְׁבַּעְתֶּ֖ם לָֽהּ׃

[2] Hebrew: וַיָּבֹ֜אוּ הַנְּעָרִ֣ים הַֽמְרַגְּלִ֗ים וַיֹּצִ֡יאוּ אֶת־רָ֠חָב וְאֶת־אָבִ֙יהָ וְאֶת־אִמָּ֤הּ וְאֶת־אַחֶ֙יהָ֙ וְאֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־לָ֔הּ וְאֵ֥ת כָּל־מִשְׁפְּחוֹתֶ֖יהָ הוֹצִ֑יאוּ וַיַּ֙נִּיח֔וּם מִח֖וּץ לְמַחֲנֵ֥ה יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

[3] Hebrew: מִשְׁפְּחוֹתֶיהָ.

[4] Genesis 41:12:  “And there was there with us a young man (נַעַר), an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret.”  Compare with verse 46.

[5] 2 Chronicles 13:7:  “And there are gathered unto him vain men, the children of Belial, and have strengthened themselves against Rehoboam the son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was young (נַעַר) and tenderhearted, and could not withstand them.”.  Compare with 2 Chronicles 12:13.

[6] Exodus 33:11:  “And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.  And he turned again into the camp:  but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man (נַעַר), departed not out of the tabernacle.”

[7] See Genesis 11:24-32.

1 thought on “Joshua 6:22, 23: The Salvation of Rahab and Her House, Part 1

  1. Matthew Henry: “The preservation of Rahab the harlot, or innkeeper, who perished not with those that believed not, Hebrews 11:31. The public faith was engaged for her safety by the two spies, who acted therein as public persons; and therefore, though the hurry they were in at the taking of the town was no doubt very great, yet Joshua took effectual care for her preservation. The same persons that she had secured were employed to secure her, Joshua 6:22, 23. They were best able to do it who knew her and her house, and they were fittest to do it, that it might appear it was for the sake of her kindness to them that she was thus distinguished and had her life given her for a prey. All her kindred were saved with her; like Noah she believed to the saving of her house; and thus faith in Christ brings salvation to the house, Acts 16:31. Some ask how her house, which is said to have been upon the wall (Joshua 2:15), escaped falling with the wall; we are sure it did escape, for she and her relations were safe in it, either though it joined so near to the wall as to be said to be upon it, yet it was so far off as not to fall either with the wall or under it; or, rather, that part of the wall on which her house stood fell not. Now being preserved alive, 1. She was left for some time without the camp to be purified from the Gentile superstition, which she was to renounce, and to be prepared for her admission as a proselyte. 2. She was in due time incorporated with the church of Israel, and she and her posterity dwelt in Israel, and her family was remarkable long after. We find her the wife of Salmon, prince of Judah, mother of Boaz, and named among the ancestors of our Saviour, Matthew 1:5. Having received Israelites in the name of Israelites, she had an Israelite’s reward. Bishop Pierson observes that Joshua’s saving Rahab the harlot, and admitting her into Israel, were a figure of Christ’s receiving into his kingdom, and entertaining there, the publicans and the harlots, Matthew 21:31. Or it may be applied to the conversion of the Gentiles.”

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