Joshua 2

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1 Then Joshua, the son of Nun, sent two men from Shittim secretly, with the purpose of searching out the land, and Jericho. So they went and came to the house of a loose woman of the town, named Rahab, where they took their rest for the night.

2 And it was said to the king of Jericho, See, some men have come here tonight from the children of Israel with the purpose of searching out the land.

3 Then the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, Send out the men who have come to you and are in your house; for they have come with the purpose of searching out all the land.

4 And the woman took the two men and put them in a secret place; then she said, Yes, the men came to me, but I had no idea where they came from;

5 And when it was the time for shutting the doors at dark, they went out; I have no idea where the men went: but if you go after them quickly, you will overtake them.

6 But she had taken them up to the roof, covering them with the stems of flax which she had put out in order there.

7 So the men went after them on the road to Jordan as far as the river-crossing: and when they had gone out after them, the door into the town was shut.

8 And before the men went to rest, she came up to them on the roof,

9 And said to them, It is clear to me that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has come on us;

10 For we have had news of how the Lord made the Red Sea dry before you when you came out of Egypt; and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites, on the other side of Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you gave up to the curse.

11 And because of this news, our hearts became like water, and there was no more spirit in any of us because of you; for the Lord your God is God in heaven on high and here on earth.

12 So now, will you give me your oath by the Lord, that, because I have been kind to you, you will be kind to my father's house,

13 And that you will keep safe my father and mother and my brothers and sisters and all they have, so that death may not come on us?

14 And the men said to her, Our life for yours if you keep our business secret; and when the Lord has given us the land, we will keep faith and be kind to you.

15 Then she let them down from the window by a cord, for the house where she was living was on the town wall.

16 And she said to them, Get away into the hill-country, or the men who have gone after you will overtake you; keep yourselves safe there for three days, till the searchers have come back, and then go on your way.

17 And the men said to her, We will only be responsible for this oath which you have made us take,

18 If, when we come into the land, you put this cord of bright red thread in the window from which you let us down; and get your father and mother and your brothers and all your family into the house;

19 Then if anyone goes out of your house into the street, his blood will be on his head, we will not be responsible; but if any damage comes to anyone in the house, his blood will be on our heads.

20 But if you say anything about our business here, then we will be free from the oath you have made us take.

21 And she said, Let it be as you say. Then she sent them away, and they went; and she put the bright red cord in the window.

22 And they went into the hill-country and were there three days, till the men who had gone after them had come back; and those who went after them were searching for them everywhere without coming across them.

23 Then the two men came down from the hill-country and went over and came back to Joshua, the son of Nun; and they gave him a complete account of what had taken place.

24 And they said to Joshua, Truly, the Lord has given all the land into our hands; and all the people of the land have become like water because of us.

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Exploring the Meaning of Joshua 2      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth and New Christian Bible Study Staff

Joshua Chapter 2: Rahab hides the Israelite spies

Chapter 2 is the fascinating story of the prostitute Rahab, whose house is on the wall of the city of Jericho. Joshua sends two spies to see what Jericho is like, because Jericho lies opposite where they will be crossing the river Jordan. Rahab takes these spies into her house and hides them from the king’s messengers, who come and demand that she hand the men over. Rahab says the men have been and gone, and the king’s messengers leave. She then tells the men hidden on the roof that she knows that the God of Israel will give Jericho into the hands of Israel as he has made them victorious up to this time.

She asks them for kindness for everyone in her family just as she has been kind in hiding and so saving them. The two spies give her their promise and she lets them escape down a cord from her window on the city wall. The men tell her that their promise will be void unless she hangs a scarlet cord in her window and brings all her family into her house. Rahab agrees, and the men escape and return to Joshua, telling him everything and saying that God has given them the city.

There are several rich and important spiritual meanings in this very graphic story. First, we should appreciate that the spies do not seem to go anywhere else in Jericho than to Rahab! The point is, they don’t need to, because Rahab’s prostitution – selling her body for men to enjoy – represents the quality of the whole city of Jericho, which stands almost directly opposite where Israel will cross the Jordan. It must and will be taken. (See Doctrine of Life 46).

In this story, Jericho stands for a sensual life. It's the sort of life that comes into play when anything we know about God’s truth gets perverted and rejected as nothing. No truth, no values, no conscience, nothing! (See Arcana Caelestia 2973[6].) This is why the story involves the prostitute Rahab, because she pictures that level of life.

But Rahab sees herself for what she is and for what her city is, and she knows that with the God of the Israelites coming, there is no future for Jericho. She believes the future lies with Israel and their God.

So what we have in this story is a sinful woman whose mind and heart and actions turn towards repentance, and even a genuine worship and acknowledgement of God. For us, it is the picture of our unspiritual or natural life which is self-gratifying, hedonistic, pleasure-seeking and opportunistic. But hopefully for us it is also the picture of our wish and our intention to believe in and follow God (Arcana Caelestia 5639[2]). If we have that wish and work towards it, as with Rahab, it will eventually save us from ourselves and save everything about us (all Rahab’s family).

Next, we should look at these two men who are to spy out Jericho but who go in to Rahab.
Perhaps a better word than to ‘spy’ is to ‘espy’ which means to observe but even more to take a very long hard look at how a situation is. If we direct that to ourselves we are talking about real self-examination, about looking at how we have been and what we have thought, said and done, or not. We can only examine ourselves properly if we have begun to take on various values and truths, and look at ourselves in their light (Doctrine of Life 6).

There are two men, not one, and this is because our spiritual life involves a love for what is true and a love for what is good (Arcana Caelestia 5194). When we love and want to live by what is true, then things we know becomes things we feel and we have delight in them and doing them.

Lastly, note how these two men are hidden by Rahab high up on the roof, under her drying flax stalks. In the Word, anything up high is a picture of being closer to God, nearer to what is true (Divine Love and Wisdom 103). We see more high up! And the flax is the fibre from which our spiritual clothing – these truths again – can be made. And flax provides linen which was used for the high priest’s robes.

Swedenborg

Výklad(y) nebo odkazy ze Swedenborgových prací:

Arcana Coelestia 9468


Odkazy ze Swedenborgových nevydaných prací:

Apocalypse Explained 608, 1042

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