Spies sent out
1And Joshua the son of Nun sent two men secretly from Shittim as spies, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” And they went, and came into the house of a harlot whose name was Rahab, and lodged there. 2And it was told the king of Jericho, “Behold, certain men of Israel have come here tonight to search out the land.” 3Then the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, “Bring forth the men that have come to you, who entered your house; for they have come to search out all the land.” 4But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them; and she said, “True, men came to me, but I did not know where they came from; 5and when the gate was to be closed, at dark, the men went out; where the men went I do not know; pursue them quickly, for you will overtake them.” 6But she had brought them up to the roof, and hid them with the stalks of flax which she had laid in order on the roof. 7So the men pursued after them on the way to the Jordan as far as the fords; and as soon as the pursuers had gone out, the gate was shut.
8Before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, 9and said to the men, “I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. 10For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites that were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. 11And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no courage left in any man, because of you; for the LORD your God is he who is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. 12Now then, swear to me by the LORD that as I have dealt kindly with you, you also will deal kindly with my father's house, and give me a sure sign, 13and save alive my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.” 14And the men said to her, “Our life for yours! If you do not tell this business of ours, then we will deal kindly and faithfully with you when the LORD gives us the land.”
15Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was built into the city wall, so that she dwelt in the wall. 16And she said to them, “Go into the hills, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers have returned; then afterward you may go your way.” 17The men said to her, “We will be guiltless with respect to this oath of yours which you have made us swear. 18Behold, when we come into the land, you shall bind this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down; and you shall gather into your house your father and mother, your brothers, and all your father's household. 19If any one goes out of the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be upon his head, and we shall be guiltless; but if a hand is laid upon any one who is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head. 20But if you tell this business of ours, then we shall be guiltless with respect to your oath which you have made us swear.” 21And she said, “According to your words, so be it.” Then she sent them away, and they departed; and she bound the scarlet cord in the window.
22They departed, and went into the hills, and remained there three days, until the pursuers returned; for the pursuers had made search all along the way and found nothing. 23Then the two men came down again from the hills, and passed over and came to Joshua the son of Nun; and they told him all that had befallen them. 24And they said to Joshua, “Truly the LORD has given all the land into our hands; and moreover all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of us.”
Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, 1957 and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.