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Rahab Secreting the Israelitish Spies.

Rahab Secreting the Israelitish Spies.

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Published by: glennpease on Aug 28, 2013
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RAHAB SECRETIG THE ISRAELITISH SPIES.BY ALEXADER WATSO, M.A.Very soon after the Israelites were led by Mose^ out of Egypt, the rumour of a divine prediction spread abroad, andrery generally prevailed among the Canaanitish nations, thatthey were devoted to destruction by that people. That thepromise to Abraham was not divulged beyond Isaac his son,Jacob his grandson, and the children of the latter, being thethird generation, we have some reason to believe, Mid that^except Joseph, none of Jacob's sons seem to have paid any,or much regard to it This we consider as obvious, whenwe view the good understanding between Abraham, Isaac,and Jacob, and the Canaanites, down to the last moment of Jacob's ultimate' change of residence from Canaan to Egyp^on account of the famine, a circumstance very unlikely hadthese patriarchs communicated, further, the promise whichthe Deity had made, and so frequently confirmed to them.Joseph, the b«8t of Jacob's children, seems to have been the▼OL. I. D d«10 RAHAB SECRETIGlast of the patriarchal race, to whom any heavenly vision orintelligence was directly made, or who was gifted with theprophetical spirit, until the deliverance was accomplished byMoses, under the immediate direction of God. After hisdeath, there appears no trace among the Israelites, either of the recollection of that prombe, or any expectation of de-liverance, previous to Moses communicating the divine mis-sion to them, which he had received, neither does that com*munication appear to have escaped the necessary precautionof secrecy during that leader's applications to Pharaoh andthe Egyptians, to whom no other reason was assigned, thanthat the Deity required their service in the wilderness* Had
such a promise or expected relief existed among the Israe-lites, during their bondage, the report thereof must havereached the ears of their masters, the E^ptians, but we dis-cover no rumour whatever abroad either among these, or anyof the surrounding nations, concerning an event of such mag-nitude and consequence, in wliich all were so deeply inte-rested*We may therefore presume, that the alarm and terrorwhich so powerfully pervaded the hearts of the Canaanites,upon the approach of the Israelites from Egypt, and duringtheir detention in the wilderness, must have arisen Srom theaccounts of their miraculous deliverance and supernaturalprotection and guidance, as well as their avowing upon theirroute, their purposed object of invasion, upon the authorityof the sacred order for completion of the promise* As this wasdisclosed to the &ther-in-law of Moses, who was sent for tothe Israelitish camp, and who, with some of his family, re-mained for sometime in it, the knowledge of their deognwould soen spread abroad, and cause the fears, which^ withreason, did now take hold of, and trouble the nations whichwere the objects of the divice vengeance. Long as the Is*THE ISRAELITI8H SPI£fi« SI4raeliCes were detained in the wilderness, these fears couldnot altogether subside, as a most clear evidence of superna-tural power still appeared to guide and preserve them forsuch a long space of time in a mere desert, without inter-course with any nation, or exertion of their own, even forthe means of subsistence and clothing.Though the Almighty executes his purposes by direct mi-racles^ where these are necessary, such as in the case beforeus, guiding, protecting, feeding, and preserving their clothingfrom waste, during a space of no less than forty years, of sonumerous a body of people in a wilderness, without manufac-toi^s or the exercise of any manual labour of industry or
handicraftship, yet we find it his almost universal rule^ thatwhere man can exert his hands and his ftctilties, he imposesit upon him as a duty, and makes him the occasional instru-ment of executing the ends of his general governmentThis he does for two obvious reasons, the improvement of his intellectual, as well as corporal talents and powers, andto instruct him in the necessary operation of those endow-ments which he has conferred upon him, for the very purposeof putting them to use and exercise, and to prove him in obe-dience to his commands, trust in his promises and Almightyprotection, and to convince him of his dependance upon thedivine fiivour. Where man can work, he claims it, not foi*any assistance he can give, but for the creatures own advan-tage, the furthering of hb capacity, and the invigorating of his judgment, as the very principle on which he has enrichisdhim with knowledge, and the qualifications necessary for im-proving and extending it, — idleness and sloth being an utterabomination to his own nature.Accordingly, upon the death of Moses, Joshua, who suc-ceeded him, under the immediate direction of their heavenlyCaptain, when preparing to pass the river Jordan, appointedod2Uli RAHAB SECaETlGtwo men to proceed to the city of Jericho,* the first on thisside of that river of a walled or defensive nature, and obtainintelligence of its state in point of military strength and po-pulation, and such other circumstances as were necessary forthe information and conduct of the invaders, and to reporttheir discoveries* As Ciod had all along accompanied thispeople for the avowed purpose of extirpating the Canaanites,and giving their dominions to it, agreeably to his promise toAbraham, we have in this case, among many others, theearest evidence of the principle of his bestowing upon man,the fiEM^ulty of rationality, that it may be exercised, thereby

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