And she said to the men, I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that your terror is fallen on us…
The history of the escape of the Israelitish spies through the assistance of Rahab the harlot, and the reward given her for her services, in the sparing of her life when all her townsfolk perished, is one which presents many moral difficulties. To help the enemies of one's country is an act severely and justly reprobated by all nations. That which is in itself evil cannot be transformed into good because it is done for a good cause; otherwise we ought to give plenary indulgence to the Society of Jesus. We must beware, then, of extolling the wrong thing which Rahab did. But at the same time we must recognise that she was prompted to it by a nobler motive than that of securing her own safety. Faith in the true God had taken rough possession of this ignorant soul. She had heard of the miracles by which Israel had been brought out of Egypt and led safely through the perils of the wilderness. She says, "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," etc. It is clear, then, that the Canaanites knew enough to acknowledge with Rahab, that "the Lord the God of Israel was God in heaven above and in the earth beneath;" and therefore that they were sinning by still cleaving to their false gods, whose worship was an abomination to the only living and true God. It cannot be denied, therefore, that Rahab gave a proof of faith in the choice which she made between her own people and the people of God. It is this aspect of her conduct alone which is commended in the Epistle to the Hebrews (Joshua 11:31). We must be careful, moreover, not to exaggerate what she did. She did not betray the secret of her people, she simply preserved the lives of the representatives of the nation which she knows to be enrolled under the banner of the true God. This act of faith saved her, and even won for her the honour of a place in the genealogy of Messiah (Matthew 1:5). We occupy a very different position from that of Rahab. No such conflict can arise in our case between duty to the earthly and to the heavenly fatherland, because the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but spiritual. Let it be ours to have the faith of Rahab in the victory of our Divine Head; and let us hold fast this confidence, especially in view of the great conflicts that are before us, between the Captain of our salvation and an unbelieving world. Have we not as much to rest our faith upon - nay, far more than Rahab had - in the great victories of the past? We are the soldiers of a General who said, "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). To be confident of victory is to have already conquered. - E. DE P.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.