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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 2

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Spies Saved by Rahab. 1Then Joshua, son of Nun, secretly sent out two spies from Shittim, saying, “Go, reconnoiter the land and Jericho.” When the two reached Jericho, they went into the house of a harlot* named Rahab, g Mt 1, 5; Jas 2, 25 . where they lodged. 2But a report was brought to the king of Jericho that some Israelites had come there that night to spy out the land. 3So the king of Jericho sent Rahab the order, “Put out the visitors who have entered your house, for they have come to spy out the entire land.” 4The woman h Jos 6, 17 . had taken the two men and hidden them, so she said, “True, the men you speak of came to me, but I did not know where they came from. 5At dark, when it was time for the gate to be shut, they left, and I do not know where they went. You will have to pursue them immediately to overtake them.” 6Now, she had led them to the roof, and hidden them among her stalks of flax spread out* there. 7But the pursuers set out along the way to the fords of the Jordan, and once they had left, the gate was shut.

8Before the spies fell asleep, Rahab* came to them on the roof 9and said: “I know that the LORD has given you the land, that a dread of you has come upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are overcome with fear of you. i Ex 15, 15f; 23, 27 . 10For we have heard how the LORD dried up the waters of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, j Jos 4, 23; Ex 14, 21; Nm 21, 23–26. 33ff . and how you dealt with Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites beyond the Jordan, whom you doomed to destruction. 11At these reports, we are disheartened; everyone is discouraged because of you, since the LORD, your God, is God in heaven above and on earth below. k Dt 4, 39 . 12Now then, swear to me by the LORD that, since I am showing kindness to you, you in turn will show kindness to my family; l Jos 2, 18; 6, 23. 25 . and give me an unmistakable token 13that you are to spare my father and mother, brothers and sisters, and all their kin, and save us from death.” 14“We pledge our lives for yours,” the men answered her. “If you do not betray this errand of ours, we will be faithful in showing kindness to you when the LORD gives us the land.”

15Then she let them down through the window with a rope; for she lived in a house built into the city wall.* 16“Go up into the hill country,” she suggested to them, “that your pursuers may not find you. Hide there for three days, until they return; then you may proceed on your way.” 17The men answered her, “This is how we will fulfill the oath you made us take: 18When we come into the land, tie this scarlet cord in the window through which you are letting us down; and gather your father and mother, your brothers and all your family into your house. 19Should any of them pass outside the doors of your house, he will be responsible for his own death, and we shall be guiltless. But we shall be responsible if anyone in the house with you is harmed. 20If, however, you betray this errand of ours, we shall be quit of the oath you have made us take.” 21“Let it be as you say,” she replied, and bade them farewell. When they were gone, she tied the scarlet cord in the window.

22They went up into the hills, where they stayed three days until their pursuers, who had sought them all along the road without finding them, returned. 23Then the two came back down from the hills, crossed the Jordan to Joshua, son of Nun, and reported all that had befallen them. 24They assured Joshua, “The LORD has delivered all this land into our power; indeed, all the inhabitants of the land are overcome with fear of us.”

Notes:

g: Mt 1, 5; Jas 2, 25 .

h: Jos 6, 17 .

i: Ex 15, 15f; 23, 27 .

j: Jos 4, 23; Ex 14, 21; Nm 21, 23–26. 33ff .

k: Dt 4, 39 .

l: Jos 2, 18; 6, 23. 25 .

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