Joshua 2: Spies in Jericho

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 79–80

Alma taught that faith is putting your trust in God (see Alma 36:3). As you read Joshua 2, look for ways people in this chapter demonstrate their faith.
spies at the city wall

Understanding the Scriptures

Joshua 2

Harlot’s (v. 1)Prostitute’s 
Wist not whence they were (v. 4)Did not know where they came from 
Gate (v. 5)An opening in the city wall 
Whither (v. 5)Where 
Wot (v. 5)Know 
Pursue, pursued, pursuers (vv. 5, 7, 16, 22)Chase, chased, chasers 
Stalks (v. 6)Long bundles 
The way to Jordan unto the fords (v. 7)To the places where one may cross the Jordan River 
Your terror is fallen upon us (v. 9)We are afraid of you 
House (v. 12)Family 
Token (v. 12)Sign that you will keep your word 
Our life for yours (v. 14)You have saved our lives and we will save yours in return. 
Cord (v. 15)Rope 
Scarlet (v. 18)Red 
His blood shall be upon his head (v. 19)He will be held responsible for his own death. 
His blood shall be on our head (v. 19)We will be held responsible for his death. 
Quit of (v. 20)Free from 
Befell (v. 23)Happened to 

Joshua 2:1—Why Did the Spies Stay at the Home of a Harlot?

When we read something in the Bible that doesn’t seem to make sense, we must remember what we know about the Lord and His teachings. For example, He has asked us to be chaste and to avoid situations and people that would encourage us to be unchaste. Knowing that fact, we can be sure that either harlot means something other than what we normally think or that this harlot had repented. What happened in this story leads us to believe that she was a good woman who had faith in God. We also should consider the spies’ situation. People would be less likely to notice foreigners staying in a harlot’s home than if the strangers stayed somewhere else.

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A or B as you study Joshua 1.

Activity A iconRahab the Good

After reading Joshua 2; Hebrews 11:30–31; and James 2:24–25, imagine you were one of the spies and write an explanation giving evidence of how Rahab demonstrated faith and explaining why you think the Israelites should save her when they conquer Jericho.

Activity B iconA Scarlet Thread

What do you think the scarlet thread could represent? What did the Israelites do when they were in Egypt that was like this scarlet thread? (see Exodus 12:7, 13).