THESE men are in trouble. They must get away, or they will be killed. They are Israelite spies, and the woman helping them is Rahab. Rahab lives here in a house on the wall of the city of Jericho. Let’s find out why these men are in trouble. The Israelites are ready to cross the Jordan River into the land of Canaan. But before they do, Joshua sends out the two spies. He tells them: ‘Go take a look at the land and the city of Jericho.’ When the spies come into Jericho, they go to the house of Rahab. But somebody tells the king of Jericho: ‘Two Israelites came in here tonight to spy out the land.’ When he hears this, the king sends men to Rahab, and they command her: ‘The men that you have in your house, bring them out!’ But Rahab has hidden the spies on her roof. So she says: ‘Some men did come to my house, but I don’t know where they were from. They left just as it was getting dark, before the city gate was closed. If you hurry, you can catch them!’ And so the men go chasing after them.

After they leave, Rahab hurries up to the roof. ‘I know that God will give you this land,’ she tells the spies. ‘We heard how he dried up the Red Sea when you were leaving Egypt, and how you killed the kings Sihon and Og. I have been kind to you, so promise me, please, that you will be kind to me. Save my father and mother, and my brothers and sisters.’

The spies promise that they will, but Rahab must do something. ‘Take this red cord and tie it in your window,’ the spies say, ‘and gather all your relatives into your house with you. And when we all return to take Jericho, we will see this cord in your window and will not kill anyone in your house.’ When the spies go back to Joshua, they tell him everything that happened. .

Joshua 2:1-24; Hebrews 11:31

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