Page images


Joshua was the properést person in the world for the important office he was appointed to, because he had for some time been the constant companion of Moses, and received anıple instructions from him: he was likewise a man of exemplary life and conversation. To conquer Canaan, and govern Israel, were great undertakings; but he had every degree of encouragement that he could desire, for he had received infallible assurances that the LORD would strengthen him to perform whatever he required him to attempt.

The enterprize of passing the river Jordan was certainly (according 100 the common course of things) tery unlikely to be attended with success, as there was no bridge by which they could march across it; neither were they furnished with boats to pass it; and the river though not broad, was too rapid for armed men to stim over ; notwithstanding these obstacles, Joshua made not the least objection to the undertaking, knowing that all things are possible to God. The people were in a most excellent disposition of mind, for they willingly submitted to his authority, and devoutly wished for the PRESENCE of God amongst them, encouraging Joshua to pursue the work he had engaged in with steadiness and cheerfulness.*".

Joshua on this occasion commanded the people to prepare them victuals ; from which we may conclude, that the LORD had informed him manna would cease. We find that the Reubenites and Gadites attended, according to the covenant they had made with Moses ; but as their tribes composed an army of an hundred thousand fighting men, he took only half of them, leaving the rest to defend their new possessions and their familiee. H4


[ocr errors]

From the Lord's injunction to Joshua, to meditate on the book of the law day and night, we may under. stand that a diligent study of the Scriptures, with a view to the regulation of our lives and actions, is the way to obtain prosperity.' Of this, we may be certain, that it is the only likely method to secure our eternal happiness.

[ocr errors]




From Joshua, Chap. it. AND Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men, to spy secretly, saying, Go, view the land, even Jericho : and they went and came into an harlor's house, bamed Rahab, and lodged there.

And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men in hither to night of the children of Israel, to search out the country.

And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house: for they be come to search out all the country.

And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were : and it came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out : whither the men went, I wot not ; pursue after them quickly,


shall overtake them. But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof. And the men pursued after them the way to Jordan,


unto the fords : and as soon as they which pursued after them were gone out, they shut the gate,

And before they were laid down, she came up unto them

upon the roof; and she said unto the men, I know that the Lord hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you,

For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you, when you came out of Egypt ; and what you did unto the two kings of the Amorites that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.

And as soon as we had heard these things our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you : for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.

Now, therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye

will also shew kindness unto my father's house ; and give me a true token : 'and that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death. And the men answered her, Our life for yours, if

ye utter not this our business. And it shall be when the LORD hath given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee.

Then she let them down by a cord through the window: for her house was upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall.

And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the

pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned ; and afterward may ye go your way.

And the men said unto her, We will be blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear. H 5

Behold, . Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet,thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father's houshold home unto thee.

And it shall be, that whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood shall be upon his head, and we will be guiltless : and whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood shall be upon our head, if any hand be upon

him. And if thou üfter this our business, then we will be quit of thine oath which thou hast made us to :swear.

And she said, according to your words, so be it. And she sent them away, and they departed. And she bound the scarlet line in the window.

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.

So the two men returned, and descended from the moun. tain, and passed over, and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all things that befel them;

And they said unto Joshua, Truly the LORD hath delivered into our hands all the land ; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us.



Jericho was a city just opposite to the place where the Israelites were to pass the river Jordan, and the nearest for them to attack. From what motive Joshua was induced to send spies thither, we are not informed; we may reasonably conjecture, that he was commanded to do so, for the purpose of saving Rahab, who would otherwise have been involved in the general destructoo,

[ocr errors]

This woman is called a harlot , but it seems that the Hebrew word will admit of another interpretation, an hostess. From Rahab's account of the consternation which prevailed in Jericho, we learn in what manner the terror of the LORD, that fear which he promised to send before his people upon the heathen nations, operated, and by the effect which it had upon her, we may understand, that it was calculated to produce wisdom in well-inclined minds, but to intimidate the presumptuous sinner.

In order to clear Rahab from the imputation of treachery and treason, we must consider that her mind was possessed with a thorough persuasion, that the God of Israel was. Lord of all things in heaven and earth ; - and that He was able to do by that city as He had done by Egypt, and she feared His ALMIGHTY power, By what means she had received intimation of the design of God towards the Canaanites is uncertain, though from her own words we may conclude, that the king and people of Jericho had been warned of the intended destruction of the place : all excepting herself were unmoved ; she, on the contrary, secretly resolved to adore and worship the God of Israel; she therefore rejoiced in the opportunity of being serviceable to His people. Those kings who threw off the authority of God, and devoted themselvas to the worship of idols, encouraging their subjects to commit abominations to the LORD, were not intitled to allegiance from true believers, because no person could obey them, without disobeying God; therefore what would have been treason and treachery in another case, was none in Rahab?s, as she acted from what ought to be the first principle in every breast, love and fear of the SUPREME BEING: Her example, however, in respect to betraying her country, is not recommended to future imitation, for it was only justi. H6


« PreviousContinue »