Jesse Tree- Day 11: Joshua

Today’s Jesse Tree reading is… admittedly a bit odd. When I made the ornament, I kind of made it hastily. After all, I was starting to get panicked that I would never finish the set of ornaments by the time either Christmas came around or I had my fourth baby.

…I know, I know. It’s a bit silly to panic about! I am going to blame my nesting instinct on this one. 😛

Here is the ornament, since I know you’re dying to see it!

Yes, our Christmas Tree is up! And so, I figured I would take a picture of the scarlet cord ornament on the tree. If you would like to make your own, here is the crochet pattern!

It’s a supposed to be a scarlet cord!

Anyway, I crocheted the ornament so fast, I didn’t really read the scripture accompanying it.

Until today.

Let me tell you, it’s kind of like reading some sort of James Bond story… except in the Old Testament. Two spies go into a city, meet up with a prostitute, and earn her loyalty. And then they are able to sneak out, with her help.

Oh! And don’t forget: a startling admission of faith!

But I am getting ahead of myself! Let’s read the scripture together… with plenty of artworks, of course! 🙂

Joshua 2:1-24: Rahab Saves Two Spies

(Bible text taken from here.)

Then Joshua, son of Nun, secretly sent out two spies from Shittim, saying, “Go, reconnoiter the land and Jericho.” When the two reached Jericho, they went into the house of a prostitute named Rahab, where they lodged.

The Harlot of Jericho and the Two Spies, by James Tissot, c. 1896-1902. Jewish Museum, New York, New York, United States.
The Harlot of Jericho and the Two Spies, by James Tissot, c. 1896-1902. Jewish Museum, New York, New York, United States.

But a report was brought to the king of Jericho: “Some men came here last night, Israelites, to spy out the land.”

So the king of Jericho sent Rahab the order, “Bring out the men who have come to you and entered your house, for they have come to spy out the entire land.”

The woman had taken the two men and hidden them, so she said, “True, the men you speak of came to me, but I did not know where they came from. At dark, when it was time to close the gate, they left, and I do not know where they went. You will have to pursue them quickly to overtake them.”

Rehab Hiding the Spies in Jericho, c. 1400-10. Ms. 33 (88.MP.70), fol. 114. J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California, United States.
Rehab Hiding the Spies in Jericho, c. 1400-10. Ms. 33 (88.MP.70), fol. 114. J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California, United States.

Now, she had led them to the roof, and hidden them among her stalks of flax spread out there.

But the pursuers set out along the way to the fords of the Jordan. As soon as they had left to pursue them, the gate was shut.

Before the spies lay down, Rahab went up to them on the roof and said: “I know that the LORD has given you the land, that a dread of you has come upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land tremble with fear because of you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the waters of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites beyond the Jordan, whom you destroyed under the ban. We heard, and our hearts melted within us; everyone is utterly dispirited because of you, since the LORD, your God, is God in heaven above and on earth below. Now then, swear to me by the LORD that, since I am showing kindness to you, you in turn will show kindness to my family. Give me a reliable sign that you will allow my father and mother, brothers and sisters, and my whole family to live, and that you will deliver us from death.”

Rahab and the Emissaries of Joshua, c. 17th century. Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nîmes, France.
Rahab and the Emissaries of Joshua, c. 17th century. Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nîmes, France.

“We pledge our lives for yours,” they answered her. “If you do not betray our mission, we will be faithful in showing kindness to you when the LORD gives us the land.”

Then she let them down through the window with a rope; for she lived in a house built into the city wall.

“Go up into the hill country,” she said, “that your pursuers may not come upon you. Hide there for three days, until they return; then you may go on your way.”

They answered her, “We are free of this oath that you made us take, unless, when we come into the land, you tie this scarlet cord in the window through which you are letting us down. Gather your father and mother, your brothers, and all your family into your house. Should any of them pass outside the doors of your house, their blood will be on their own heads, and we will be guiltless. But if anyone in your house is harmed, their blood will be on our heads. If, however, you betray our mission, we will be free of the oath you have made us take.”

The Spies Escape from Jericho, by Elias van Nijmegen, c. 1731. Museum Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands.
The Spies Escape from Jericho, by Elias van Nijmegen, c. 1731. Museum Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

“Let it be as you say,” she replied, and sent them away. When they were gone, she tied the scarlet cord in the window.

They went up into the hill country, where they stayed three days until their pursuers, who had sought them all along the road without finding them, returned.

Then the two came back down from the hills, crossed the Jordan to Joshua, son of Nun, and told him all that had happened to them.

They assured Joshua, “The LORD has given all this land into our power; indeed, all the inhabitants of the land tremble with fear because of us.”

The Seven Trumpets of Jericho, by James Tissot, c. 1896-1902. Jewish Museum, New York, New York, United States.
The Seven Trumpets of Jericho, by James Tissot, c. 1896-1902. Jewish Museum, New York, New York, United States.

(Again! Bible text taken from here.)

Isn’t that dramatic??? And, of course, I couldn’t resist putting in an artwork of the scene that (eventually) follows this story… the trumpets of Jericho blasting.

All right! Today was a bit of a spy thriller… tomorrow, expect a little bit of romance. 🙂

Karina Tabone

Karina Tabone is a wife, mother of four, author, blogger, and lover of Christian artwork. She's the author of the Illustrated Rosary series, which pairs every prayer of the Rosary with beautiful religious artwork. She likes also milkshakes, sunshine, and mystery novels. Follow her on Twitter at @illustr_prayer.

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