New English Translation
Joshua Sends Spies into the Land
1 Joshua son of Nun sent two spies out from Shittim secretly and instructed them: "Find out what you can about the land, especially Jericho." They stopped at the house of a prostitute named Rahab and spent the night there. 2 The king of Jericho received this report: "Note well! Israelite men have come here tonight to spy on the land." 3 So the king of Jericho sent this order to Rahab: "Turn over the men who came to you - the ones who came to your house - for they have come to spy on the whole land!" 4 But the woman hid the two men and replied, "Yes, these men were clients of mine, but I didn't know where they came from. 5 When it was time to shut the city gate for the night, the men left. I don't know where they were heading. Chase after them quickly, for you have time to catch them!" 6 (Now she had taken them up to the roof and had hidden them in the stalks of flax she had spread out on the roof.) 7 Meanwhile the king's men tried to find them on the road to the Jordan River near the fords. The city gate was shut as soon as they set out in pursuit of them.
8 Now before the spies went to sleep, Rahab went up to the roof. 9 She said to the men, "I know the LORD is handing this land over to you. We are absolutely terrified of you, and all who live in the land are cringing before you. 10 For we heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you left Egypt and how you annihilated the two Amorite kings, Sihon and Og, on the other side of the Jordan. 11 When we heard the news we lost our courage and no one could even breathe for fear of you. For the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on earth below! 12 So now, promise me this with an oath sworn in the LORD's name. Because I have shown allegiance to you, show allegiance to my family. Give me a solemn pledge 13 that you will spare the lives of my father, mother, brothers, sisters, and all who belong to them, and rescue us from death." 14 The men said to her, "If you die, may we die too! If you do not report what we've been up to, then, when the LORD hands the land over to us, we will show unswerving allegiance to you."
15 Then Rahab let them down by a rope through the window. (Her house was built as part of the city wall; she lived in the wall.) 16 She told them, "Head to the hill country, so the ones chasing you don't find you. Hide from them there for three days, long enough for those chasing you to return. Then you can be on your way." 17 The men said to her, "We are not bound by this oath you made us swear unless the following conditions are met: 18 When we invade the land, tie this red rope in the window through which you let us down, and gather together in your house your father, mother, brothers, and all who live in your father's house. 19 Anyone who leaves your house will be responsible for his own death - we are innocent in that case! But if anyone with you in the house is harmed, we will be responsible. 20 If you should report what we've been up to, we are not bound by this oath you made us swear." 21 She said, "I agree to these conditions." She sent them on their way and then tied the red rope in the window. 22 They went to the hill country and stayed there for three days, long enough for those chasing them to return. Their pursuers looked all along the way but did not find them. 23 Then the two men returned - they came down from the hills, crossed the river, came to Joshua son of Nun, and reported to him all they had discovered. 24 They told Joshua, "Surely the LORD is handing over all the land to us! All who live in the land are cringing before us!"
King James Version
1 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 harlot's house, named Rahab, and lodged there.
2 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.
3 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.
4 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:
5 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; for ye shall overtake them.
6 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.
7 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.
8 ¶ And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof;
9 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.
10 For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.
11 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.
12 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:
13 And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.
14 And the men answered her, Our life for your's, 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.
15 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.
16 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.
17 And the men said unto her, We will be blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear.
18 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 household, home unto thee.
19 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 on our head, if any hand be upon him.
20 And if thou utter this our business, then we will be quit of thine oath which thou hast made us to swear.
21 And she said, According unto your words, so be it. And she sent them away, and they departed: and she bound the scarlet line in the window.
22 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.
23 So the two men returned, and descended from the mountain, and passed over, and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all things that befell them:
24 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.