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Behold, we are coming into the land. Tie this cord of scarlet thread in the window through which you let us down. You are to gather to yourself into the house, your father and your mother and your brothers and all your father’s household. Bible

“Tie this cord of scarlet thread.” The Hebrew is abrupt; the directions were short and clear. There was no room for error in this communication, it meant life or death. The cord was made of scarlet thread, and is called a “scarlet cord” in Joshua 2:21). It is interesting and unexplained as to how Rahab happened to have a scarlet-colored cord in her house. However, we know from the flax she was drying that she may have made clothes, and scarlet was a common color worn by women, so it does make sense that she could have had scarlet cord in her house.

The Hebrew word translated “cord” is tiqvah (#08615 תִּקְוָה), which has two meanings, and both are appropriate here. The two meanings are “cord, line” and “hope.” In Rahab’s case, she was to tie a “cord” of scarlet thread, which was also her “hope” of being delivered from death, into the window so the Israelite warriors could see it.


Commentary for: Joshua 2:18