Joshua 2

Study

           

1 Joshua the son of Nun secretly sent two men out of Shittim as spies, saying, "Go, view the land, including Jericho." They went and came into the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab, and slept there.

2 The king of Jericho was told, "Behold, men of the children of Israel came in here tonight to spy out the land."

3 The king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, "Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered into your house; for they have come to spy out all the land."

4 The woman took the two men and hid them. Then she said, "Yes, the men came to me, but I didn't know where they came from.

5 It happened about the time of the shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out. Where the men went, I don't know. Pursue them quickly; for you will overtake them."

6 But 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.

7 The men pursued them the way to the Jordan to the fords: and as soon as those who pursued them had gone out, they shut the gate.

8 Before they had laid down, she came up to them on the roof;

9 and she said to the men, "I know that Yahweh has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you.

10 For we have heard how Yahweh 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, who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and to Og, whom you utterly destroyed.

11 As soon as we had heard it, our hearts melted, neither did there remain any more spirit in any man, because of you: for Yahweh your God, he is God in heaven above, and on earth beneath.

12 Now therefore, please swear to me by Yahweh, since I have dealt kindly with you, that you also will deal kindly with my father's house, and give me a true token;

13 and that you will save alive my father, my mother, my brothers, and my sisters, and all that they have, and will deliver our lives from death."

14 The men said to her, "Our life for yours, if you don't talk about this business of ours; and it shall be, when Yahweh gives us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with you."

15 Then she let them down by a cord through the window; for her house was on the side of the wall, and she lived on the wall.

16 She said to them, "Go to the mountain, lest the pursuers find you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers have returned. Afterward, you may Go your way."

17 The men said to her, "We will be guiltless of this your oath which you have made us to swear.

18 Behold, when we come into the land, you shall bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which you did let us down by. You shall gather to yourself into the house your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father's household.

19 It shall be that whoever goes out of the doors of your house into the street, his blood will be on his head, and we will be guiltless. Whoever is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head, if any hand is on him.

20 But if you talk about this business of ours, then we shall be guiltless of your oath which you have made us to swear."

21 She said, "According to your words, so be it." She sent them away, and they departed. She tied the scarlet line in the window.

22 They went, and came to the mountain, and stayed there three days, until the pursuers had returned. The pursuers sought them throughout all the way, but didn't find them.

23 Then the two men returned, descended from the mountain, passed over, and came to Joshua the son of Nun; and they told him all that had happened to them.

24 They said to Joshua, "Truly Yahweh has delivered into our hands all the land. Moreover, all the inhabitants of the land melt away before us."

  

Exploring the Meaning of Joshua 2      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

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.

    Studovat vnitřní smysl

Přeložit: