A re-telling of Rahab and the spies. (Joshua Ch. 2)

Rahab and the Emissaries of Joshua Italian School (15th century)

The two men entered the city unobtrusively, unnoticed they hoped. They had been sent to reconnoitre the city and report back to Joshua. They considered themselves to be an advance reconnaissance party. The city authorities considered them to be spies.

The two men had met a woman, a prostitute called Rahab who was sympathetic to them and took the into her home.

After the King of Jericho was informed of the presence of the spies, he sent the city’s guards to find them. The guard’s orders were to bring the spies before the king to be sentenced, but before they reached Rahab’s house, she had hidden the men, under stalks of flax that she was drying on her roof.

When the city guards reached Rahab’s home, they questioned her about the Israelite spies, she mislead them,saying that the two men had left at dusk, and that she did not know where they went. As they had left at dusk, the guards surmised they might have gone out of the city gate, which is closed at sundown. They hastened after them in that direction.

After the guards had left Rahab’s house, she went to talk to the men hidden on her roof, before they bedded down for the night. She said that the people of the city had heard what God had already done for the Israelite people, and the city was afraid of them. Rahab asked the spies to ensure her family would be safe, because she had helped them. The two men promised Rahab that because she had kept them safe, they would make sure her family would be too.

As the men left Rahab’s home, climbing down a rope dangled from her window, they gave her instructions for her family’s safety. ‘You must all be in this home when we come’ they said to her. ‘So that our people will know not to harm anyone in here, you must hang a scarlet cord from this window we are escaping through.’ ‘If anyone leaves the house, they will not be safe’. Finally they said to her, ‘If you tell anyone what we are doing, we will be released from our oath that you will be safe.

After the left Rahab’s home and the city of Jericho, the two men hid in the hills until they were sure they were not followed, then returned to Joshua, the Israelite leader to report what they had discovered.


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