1. From Shittim, Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two men to reconnoitre. He said, 'Go and explore the country and Jericho.' They left; they went into the house of a prostitute called Rahab, to spend the night there.
2. The king of Jericho was told, 'Some men have come here tonight from the Israelites, to reconnoitre the country.'
3. The king of Jericho then sent a message to Rahab, 'Send out the men who came to you and are lodging in your house, for they have come to reconnoitre the whole country.'
4. But the woman took the two men and hid them. 'It is true,' she said, 'the men did come to me, but I did not know where they came from.
5. When the city gate was about to be closed at nightfall, the men went out and I cannot say where they have gone. Follow them quickly and you will overtake them.'
6. She had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under some stalks of flax which she had laid out there.
7. The men hurried in pursuit of them towards the Jordan, as far as the fords, and the gate was shut once the pursuers had gone through.
8. The two men had not yet settled down for the night when Rahab came up to them on the roof.
9. She said to them, 'I know that Yahweh has given you this country, that we are afraid of you and that everyone living in this country has been seized with terror at your approach;
10. for we have heard how Yahweh dried up the Sea of Reeds before you when you came out of Egypt and what you did to the two Amorite kings across the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you put under the curse of destruction.
11. When we heard this, our hearts failed us, and now no one has any courage left to resist you, since Yahweh your God is God both in heaven above and on earth beneath.
12. So, swear to me now by Yahweh, since I have been kind to you,
13. that you in your turn will be kind to my father's family; and give me a sure sign of this: that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters and all who belong to them, and will preserve us from death.'
14. The men replied, 'We pledge you our lives, provided that you say nothing about our mission. When Yahweh has given us the country, we shall treat you kindly and faithfully.'
15. She then let them down from the window on a rope, as her house was against the city wall and she actually lived in the wall.
16. 'Make for the hills,' she said, 'or you may run into your pursuers. Hide there for three days, until your pursuers have come back, and then go on your way.'
17. The men said, 'This is how we shall fulfil the oath which you have made us swear:
18. when we invade the country, you must tie this scarlet cord to the window from which you let us down, and collect your father, mother, brothers and entire family inside your house.
19. If anyone goes out of the doors of your house into the street, his blood will be on his own head and we shall not be to blame; but the blood of all staying inside the house with you will be on our heads if a hand is laid on any of them.
20. But if you divulge our mission in the meanwhile, we shall be free of the oath which you have made us swear.'
21. She replied, 'Let it be as you say.' She let them go, and they left. She then tied the scarlet cord to the window.
22. They left and made for the hills. They stayed there for three days, until their pursuers had gone home, having scoured the countryside without finding them.
23. The two men then came down again from the hills, crossed over and, going to Joshua son of Nun, told him everything that had happened to them.
24. To Joshua they said, 'Yahweh has put the whole country at our mercy, and its inhabitants are all panic-stricken at our approach.'