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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Yehoshua - Joshua - Chapter 2

Yehoshua - Joshua - Chapter 2

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 2

1. And Joshua the son of Nun sent two men out of Shittim to spy secretly, saying, Go see the land and Jericho. And they went, and came to the house of an innkeeper named Rahab, and they lay there.   א. וַיִּשְׁלַח יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בִּן נוּן מִן הַשִּׁטִּים שְׁנַיִם אֲנָשִׁים מְרַגְּלִים חֶרֶשׁ לֵאמֹר לְכוּ רְאוּ אֶת הָאָרֶץ וְאֶת יְרִיחוֹ וַיֵּלְכוּ וַיָּבֹאוּ בֵּית אִשָּׁה זוֹנָה וּשְׁמָהּ רָחָב וַיִּשְׁכְּבוּ שָׁמָּה:
And Joshua [the son of Nun] sent [two men out of Shittim to spy]: Against my will I must say that he dispatched them during Moses’ mourning period, for after three days following the termination of Moses’ mourning period, they crossed the Jordan, for thence we deduced that Moses died on Adar 7 by counting back thirty-three days from the day they came up from the Jordan, namely, the tenth day of the first month. Now, of necessity, from the time the spies were dispatched, they did not cross the Jordan until the fifth day, as it is stated: and stayed there three days until the pursuers returned. On that night they crossed over and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and Joshua rose up early in the morning, and they moved from Shittim, here is a fourth day. And they lodged there before they crossed over. Hence, they did not cross until the fifth day.  
secretly: Secretly. So did Jon. render it. He said to them: Disguise yourselves as deaf-mutes (חרשים) so that they will not conceal their affairs from you. Another explanation is: חרש [with a “shin”] is like חרש [with a “sin” or “samech,” namely pottery.] Load yourselves with pots so that you appear as potters.  
and see the land and Jericho: Now, was Jericho not included in the generalization? Why, then, is it specifed? Because it was as strong as all of them [the cities combined], it was situated on the boundary. Similarly, and there were missing of David’s servants nineteen men and Asahel. Now, was Asahel not included in the generalization? Why, then, was he specified? Because he was as strong as all of them [combined]. Similarly, and King Solomon loved many foreign wives and Pharaoh’s daughter. Now, was Pharaoh’s daughter not included in the generalization? Why, then, was she specified? Because he loved her as much as all of them [combined]. And regarding the sin, since she caused him to sin more than all of them. This was taught in Sifrei.  
Inkeeper: זונה. Targum Jon. renders: Innkeeper, one who sells various foodstuffs (מזונות).  
2. And it was told to the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, men have come here this night from the children of Israel to search the land.   ב. וַיֵּאָמַר לְמֶלֶךְ יְרִיחוֹ לֵאמֹר הִנֵּה אֲנָשִׁים בָּאוּ הֵנָּה הַלַּיְלָה מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לַחְפֹּר אֶת הָאָרֶץ:
to search: לחפר [lit. to dig,] to spy. And similarly: Thence he sought (חפר) food.  
3. And the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men who have come to you, that have entered your house, for they have come to search out the entire land.   ג. וַיִּשְׁלַח מֶלֶךְ יְרִיחוֹ אֶל רָחָב לֵאמֹר הוֹצִיאִי הָאֲנָשִׁים הַבָּאִים אֵלַיִךְ אֲשֶׁר בָּאוּ לְבֵיתֵךְ כִּי לַחְפֹּר אֶת כָּל הָאָרֶץ בָּאוּ:
4. Now the woman had taken the two men, and had hidden them, and she said, Indeed the men came to me, but I did not know from where they were.   ד. וַתִּקַּח הָאִשָּׁה אֶת שְׁנֵי הָאֲנָשִׁים וַתִּצְפְּנוֹ וַתֹּאמֶר כֵּן בָּאוּ אֵלַי הָאֲנָשִׁים וְלֹא יָדַעְתִּי מֵאַיִן הֵמָּה:
and had hidden them: [lit.“and had hidden him.”] Some Scriptural passages treat the plural as singular. [In this case,] because she hastened to hide them, and [she hid them] in a narrow place as though they were one man. The Agadic Midrash of Rabbi Tanhuma states: They were Phinehas and Caleb, and Phinehas stood before them, yet they did not see him because he was like an angel. Another explanation is: And she hid him, [i.e.,] each one by himself. And we have found the like thereof: Oil and incense make joyful the heart. (ישמח לב), sing. form.) And it is not written ישמחו לב (plural form), [implying that each one makes the heart joyful.]  
5. And it was time to close the gate, at darkness, that the men went out. I do not know where they went. Pursue after them quickly, for you will overtake them.   ה. וַיְהִי הַשַּׁעַר לִסְגּוֹר בַּחשֶׁךְ וְהָאֲנָשִׁים יָצָאוּ לֹא יָדַעְתִּי אָנָה הָלְכוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים רִדְפוּ מַהֵר אַחֲרֵיהֶם כִּי תַשִּׂיגוּם:
6. And she had brought them up to the roof, and she hid them with the stalks of flax, that she had laid arranged upon the roof.   ו. וְהִיא הֶעֱלָתַם הַגָּגָה וַתִּטְמְנֵם בְּפִשְׁתֵּי הָעֵץ הָעֲרֻכוֹת לָהּ עַל הַגָּג:
with the stalks of flax: With their capsules.  
7. And the men pursued them in the direction of the Jordan, to the fords; and as soon as the pursuers had gone out, they shut the gate.   ז. וְהָאֲנָשִׁים רָדְפוּ אַחֲרֵיהֶם דֶּרֶךְ הַיַּרְדֵּן עַל הַמַּעְבְּרוֹת וְהַשַּׁעַר סָגָרוּ אַחֲרֵי כַּאֲשֶׁר יָצְאוּ הָרֹדְפִים אַחֲרֵיהֶם:
to the fords: the place for crossing the water, for they thought that they had turned back towards the Plains of Moab, and the Jordan stood in between.  
they shut the gate: [I.e.,] the gatekeepers.  
8. And before they were asleep, she came up to them upon the roof.   ח. וְהֵמָּה טֶרֶם יִשְׁכָּבוּן וְהִיא עָלְתָה עֲלֵיהֶם עַל הַגָּג:
9. And she said to the men, I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away because of you.   ט. וַתֹּאמֶר אֶל הָאֲנָשִׁים יָדַעְתִּי כִּי נָתַן יְהֹוָה לָכֶם אֶת הָאָרֶץ וְכִי נָפְלָה אֵימַתְכֶם עָלֵינוּ וְכִי נָמֹגוּ כָּל ישְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ מִפְּנֵיכֶם:
10. 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 to the two kings of the Amorites that were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you completely destroyed.   י. כִּי שָׁמַעְנוּ אֵת אֲשֶׁר הוֹבִישׁ יְהֹוָה אֶת מֵי יַם סוּף מִפְּנֵיכֶם בְּצֵאתְכֶם מִמִּצְרָיִם וַאֲשֶׁר עֲשִׂיתֶם לִשְׁנֵי מַלְכֵי הָאֱמֹרִי אֲשֶׁר בְּעֵבֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן לְסִיחֹן וּלְעוֹג אֲשֶׁר הֶחֱרַמְתֶּם אוֹתָם:
11. And as soon as we heard, our hearts melted, nor did there remain anymore spirit in any man because of you, for the Lord your God He is God in heaven above and on the earth below.   יא. וַנִּשְׁמַע וַיִּמַּס לְבָבֵנוּ וְלֹא קָמָה עוֹד רוּחַ בְּאִישׁ מִפְּנֵיכֶם כִּי יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם הוּא אֱלֹהִים בַּשָּׁמַיִם מִמַּעַל וְעַל הָאָרֶץ מִתָּחַת:
nor did there remain (or arise) anymore spirit: And there did not remain anymore spirit, even to lie with a woman. [This was evident to Rahab] because, as the Rabbis said: There was neither prince or ruler who had no relations with Rahab the harlot. She was ten years old when the Israelites departed from Egypt, and she practiced harlotry for forty years.  
12. And now, I pray, swear to me by the Lord, since I have showed you kindness, that you will also show kindness to my father's house, and give me a true token.   יב. וְעַתָּה הִשָּׁבְעוּ נָא לִי בַּיהוָה כִּי עָשִֹיתִי עִמָּכֶם חָסֶד וַעֲשִׂיתֶם גַּם אַתֶּם עִם בֵּית אָבִי חֶסֶד וּנְתַתֶּם לִי אוֹת אֱמֶת:
a true token: That you will make, so that when you come and conquer the city, that you will recognize the sign and let me live.  
13. And you shall preserve alive my father, and my mother, and my brothers and my sisters, and all that they have, and you shall deliver our lives from death.   יג. וְהַחֲיִתֶם אֶת אָבִי וְאֶת אִמִּי וְאֶת אַחַי וְאֶת אַחְיוֹתַי וְאֵת כָּל אֲשֶׁר לָהֶם וְהִצַּלְתֶּם אֶת נַפְשֹׁתֵינוּ מִמָּוֶת:
14. And the men answered her, Our life for yours, if you will not tell this our discussion. And it shall be, when the Lord gives us the land, that we will deal with you with kindness and truth.   יד. וַיֹּאמְרוּ לָהּ הָאֲנָשִׁים נַפְשֵׁנוּ תַחְתֵּיכֶם לָמוּת אִם לֹא תַגִּידוּ אֶת דְּבָרֵנוּ זֶה וְהָיָה בְּתֵת יְהֹוָה לָנוּ אֶת הָאָרֶץ וְעָשִֹינוּ עִמָּךְ חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת:
15. And she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was in the town wall and she dwelt in the wall.   טו. וַתּוֹרִדֵם בַּחֶבֶל בְּעַד הַחַלּוֹן כִּי בֵיתָהּ בְּקִיר הַחוֹמָה וּבַחוֹמָה הִיא יוֹשָׁבֶת:
And she let them down by a rope through the window: [lit., by] the [rope.] By this very rope and window the sinners would ascend to her. She said: “O Lord of the universe! With these I have sinned. With these forgive me.”  
16. And she said to them, Go to the mountain lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days until the pursuers return, and afterwards you will go your way.   טז. וַתֹּאמֶר לָהֶם הָהָרָה לֵּכוּ פֶּן יִפְגְּעוּ בָכֶם הָרֹדְפִים וְנַחְבֵּתֶם שָׁמָּה שְׁלשֶׁת יָמִים עַד שׁוֹב הָרֹדְפִים וְאַחַר תֵּלְכוּ לְדַרְכְּכֶם:
until the pursuers return: There sprouted in Rahab an expression of Divine Spirit that they would return at the end of three days.  
17. And the men said to her, we will be blameless of this your oath which you made us swear;   יז. וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלֶיהָ הָאֲנָשִׁים נְקִיִּם אֲנַחְנוּ מִשְּׁבֻעָתֵךְ הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר הִשְׁבַּעְתָּנוּ:
We will be blameless: We are making this matter dependent upon you to make this sign.  
18. Behold when we come into the land, you shall bind this line of scarlet thread in the window by which you let us down; and you shall bring your father and your mother, and your brothers and all your father's household home to you.   יח. הִנֵּה אֲנַחְנוּ בָאִים בָּאָרֶץ אֶת תִּקְוַת חוּט הַשָּׁנִי הַזֶּה תִּקְשְׁרִי בַּחַלּוֹן אֲשֶׁר הוֹרַדְתֵּנוּ בוֹ וְאֶת אָבִיךְ וְאֶת אִמֵּךְ וְאֶת אַחַיִךְ וְאֵת כָּל בֵּית אָבִיךְ תַּאַסְפִי אֵלַיִךְ הַבָּיְתָה:
line of scarlet thread: תקות - an expression of a line (קו) or rope.  
19. And it shall be, that whosoever shall go out of the doors of your house outside, his blood shall be upon his head, and we will be blameless, and that whosoever shall be with you in the house, his blood shall be upon our head if any hand be upon him.   יט. וְהָיָה כֹּל אֲשֶׁר יֵצֵא מִדַּלְתֵי בֵיתֵךְ הַחוּצָה דָּמוֹ בְרֹאשׁוֹ וַאֲנַחְנוּ נְקִיִּם וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה אִתָּךְ בַּבַּיִת דָּמוֹ בְרֹאשֵׁנוּ אִם יָד תִּהְיֶה בּוֹ:
his blood shall be upon his head: The guilt of his slaying will be upon his own head, for he will have caused his own death.  
his blood shall be upon our head: The guilt of his slaying will be upon us.  
20. And if you tell this our discussion, then we will be blameless of your oath which you have made us swear.   כ. וְאִם תַּגִּידִי אֶת דְּבָרֵנוּ זֶה וְהָיִינוּ נְקִיִּם מִשְּׁבֻעָתֵךְ אֲשֶׁר הִשְׁבַּעְתָּנוּ:
21. 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.   כא. וַתֹּאמֶר כְּדִבְרֵיכֶם כֶּן הוּא וַתְּשַׁלְּחֵם וַיֵּלֵכוּ וַתִּקְשֹׁר אֶת תִּקְוַת הַשָּׁנִי בַּחַלּוֹן:
22. And they went, and came to the mountain, and stayed there three days until the pursuers returned; and the pursuers sought them throughout all the way, but they did not find them.   כב. וַיֵּלְכוּ וַיָּבֹאוּ הָהָרָה וַיֵּשְׁבוּ שָׁם שְׁלשֶׁת יָמִים עַד שָׁבוּ הָרֹדְפִים וַיְבַקְשׁוּ הָרֹדְפִים בְּכָל הַדֶּרֶךְ וְלֹא מָצָאוּ:
23. And the two men returned and descended from the mountain, and crossed over and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all that had happened to them.   כג. וַיָּשֻׁבוּ שְׁנֵי הָאֲנָשִׁים וַיֵּרְדוּ מֵהָהָר וַיַּעַבְרוּ וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בִּן נוּן וַיְסַפְּרוּ לוֹ אֵת כָּל הַמֹּצְאוֹת אוֹתָם:
and crossed over: the Jordan.  
24. And they said to Joshua, -For the Lord has delivered into our hands all the land; and also the inhabitants of the country have melted away because of us.   כד. וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶל יְהוֹשֻׁעַ כִּי נָתַן יְהֹוָה בְּיָדֵנוּ אֶת כָּל הָאָרֶץ וְגַם נָמֹגוּ כָּל ישְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ מִפָּנֵינוּ:
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