May 18 2003 Joshua 2 The Spies and Rahab the Harlot and her faith. DE 约书亚记第2章 两个探子与妓女喇合 喇合的信心
我们今天所要阅读的圣经经文是约书亚记第2章，这章经文告诉我们一个名叫喇合的女人所具有的非凡的信心。在我们阅读这一章经文的时候，我们能够以她为信心的榜样并从中学到很多。 The reading for today is Joshua 2 which tells of the remarkable faith of Rahab. Having read the chapter let us now look at the lessons we can learn from her remarkable example of Faith.
38年以前，以色列人在进入迦南地以前曾经派遣12个探子进入该地，其中10人带着伤感的经历回来了，因为他们看到当地的居民都是巨人，是他们无法战胜的。这些没有信心的探子说：“我们不能上去攻击那民，因为他们比我们强壮。”（民数记13：31）。尽管其中两个有信心的人——约书亚和迦勒说耶和华必将迦南赐给以色列人，但是以色列人却不相信他们的话。因为以色列人缺乏信心，所以 神说，以色列人要在旷野徘徊40年，直等到所有的缺乏信心的那一代人都死去。 38 years earlier the Children of Israel had sent 12 spies into Canaan to search out the land before they would enter it. Ten of these spies returned with the sad story that there were giants in the land and they would not be able to overthrow the people there. These faithfess spies said "We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we". Numbers 13:31. Although the two faithful spies, Joshua and Caleb, had said that God would deliver the land into their hand the people believed the words of the faithless spies. It was because of their lack of faith God said that Israel would wander in the wilderness for 40 years until all the faithless generation had died.
40年的旷野徘徊终于结束，两个有信心的探子之一的约书亚将领导人们进入耶和华所应许给他们的土地。以色列人在约旦河东岸安营，跨过约旦河就是耶利哥城，它将是以色列人进入这片土地后所要征服的第一个城。约书亚派出两个探子秘密地跨过约旦河，去侦查那个城市。俩人很快就照约书亚所吩咐的过了河进了城，他们到达喇合的房子那里。喇合是一个年轻的女人，但是她是一个妓女。有可能两个探子并不知道喇合是个什么样的人，但是喇合却认出那两个探子是从以色列人。她同样也意识到他们可能马上要被别的人认出，并且被俘虏。因此她领二人上了房顶，将他们藏在那里所摆的麻秸中。 The 40 years wandering now have ended and Joshua, one of the two faithful spies, was to lead the people into the Land Yahweh had promised them. Israel was camped on the east bank of Jordan. Across the river was the city of Jericho. It was the first city Israel would have to overcome when they entered the land. Joshua sent out two spies secretly to cross the Jordan River and spy out the city. These two spies did as Joshua asked and were soon across the river and had entered the city. The place they came to was the house of Rahab. She was a young woman of Jericho but she was a harlot. It may be that these men did not realise what kind of woman she was but Rahab had recognised these two spies as men from Israel. She also realised that they would soon be recognised and captured and so she hid them on the roof of her house under the flax that was drying there.
不仅喇合认出那两个人是探子，城里的其他人也认出了他们并且过来搜寻他们。让人感到奇怪的是，两个探子是秘密地进城，但是却那么快地被认出来了。显然他们的侦探工作做的不是很好。 Not only had Rahab recognised these spies but others had also and soon a search was conducted for them. It is rather amazing that these men, who thought they had entered the city secretly as spies, were immediately recognised as they entered the city. They obviously were not very good spies.
Rahab's Conversation with the Spies Joshua 2: 8-13 喇合与探子之间的对话（约书亚记2: 8-13）
尽管喇合是一个妓女，但是她非常严肃地看待她所听到的有关 神的选民以色列人的消息。她对两个探子所说的话表明她对以色列的 神所怀有的极大的信心。让我们来思考她的话语：
Although Rahab worked as a prostitute she thought very seriously about the news she had heard about the God of Israel. The words she said to the spies show that she had developed a wonderful faith in their God. Let us consider her words.
1. 首先，她知道耶和华已经将迦南地给与以色列人。她的谈话当中实际上说出了以色列的 神的名字是耶和华。可以想象当两个探子听到这些话时是多么的惊奇。（第9节） 1. First she said that she knew Yahweh had given the land of Canaan to Israel. She actually used the name of the God of Israel, Yahweh, when she spoke to them. This would have been a startling thing to the spies to hear. V9
2．她告诉他们，迦南地的一切居民都害怕以色列人，因为他们知道以色列的神与以色列人同在（第9节） 2. She told them how all the people of the land of Canaan were terrified of the nation of Israel, as they knew that their God was with them. V9
3．她说她们曾经听说在以色列人出埃及的时候， 神怎样使红海的水干了。尽管这件事情发生在40年以前，很可能她还没有出生，但是她相信。很显然喇合意识到 神能够对约旦河做同样的事情。 神能够使约旦河的水停止，让以色列人走过干地。（第10节）。在我们阅读约书亚记第1章会发现，事实上，这正是 神所做的。 3. She said that they had heard what God did in the opening of the Red Sea when the children of Israel left Egypt. That had happened 40 years earlier yet she believed it had happened even though she possibly had not even been born then. Obviously Rahab realised that God could do the same to the Jordan River. He could stop the water and let Israel pass over on the dry land. V 10. This is exactly what God did, as we will read in Joshua 3.
4．她还留意到以色列人在对付约旦河东的两个亚摩利王西宏和噩，将他们毁灭的时候，耶和华是怎样与以色列人同在的。 4. She had head how that Yahweh had been with Israel when they destroyed utterly the two mighty kings on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og. V10
5．她告诉两个探子当地的人们一听见这些事，因害怕以色列人的缘故，没有人有勇气。（11节）。这对于两个探子来说是好消息，因为他们曾经被告知“只要刚强壮胆。”约书亚记1：18 5. She tells them that the people were so frightened that they had no more courage. V11. This would have been good news to the spies as they had been told to "be strong and of good courage". Joshua 1:18.
6．喇合最后的陈述很了不起，尤其是当我们意识到她来自于一个崇拜偶像的国家，这样的国家还允许她过着这种不道德的生活的时候。她说：“耶和华你们的神本是上天下地的神。”（11节）这些话一定会使两个探子感动，因为他们听到一位年轻妇女说并且明白耶和华是唯一的 神，他的道路是人们要跟从的唯一的道路。 6. The final statement of Rahab is so wonderful when we realise that she came from a nation that had worshiped idols and which had allowed her to live the immoral life she had been living. She said, "Yahweh your God, He is God in heaven above and in earth beneath". V11. This must have moved the two spies to hear this young woman acknowledge that the God of Israel was the only God and His ways were the only ways to follow. 毫无疑问喇合已经对耶和华——以色列的 神有了深刻的信仰。她想跟从以色列的 神，成为 神的选民的一分子。让我们看第12节她对探子们说的话： There is no doubt that Rahab had developed a remarkable faith in Yahweh, Israel's God. She wanted to follow Him and be part of his people. Look at what she then said to the spies in Verse 12.
“求你们指着耶和华向我起誓，”她信耶和华，她要求那两个以色列人指着耶和华向她起誓。她提醒他们耶和华想要他的追随者所做的事情——善待他人。这种仁慈正是耶和华所具有的特性。“仁慈”和在出埃及记34：6，7中所出现的“怜悯”和“恩典”是同一个希伯来词汇，都是用来表明耶和华所显现的品德的。“耶和华，耶和华，是有怜悯有恩典的神，不轻易发怒，并有丰盛的慈爱和诚实。为千万人存留慈爱，赦免罪孽，过犯，和罪恶，”喇合已经向探子显示了她的“怜悯”和“恩典”。她要求他们也要恩待她的父家，因为她已经先向他们这样做了。 "Swear to me by Yahweh". She believed in Yahweh and she asks these two men of Israel to take an oath by Yahweh to her. She reminds them that she had done what Yahweh wants all His followers to do - to show kindness to others. This kindness is a characteristic of Yahweh Himself. The word Kindness is the same Hebrew word as goodness and mercy in Exodus 34:6-7 where we have the character of Yahweh revealed. "And the Yahweh passed by before him, and proclaimed, Yahweh, Yahweh God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin". Rahab had shown this "goodness" and "mercy" to the spies. She asks that they will show the kindness or mercy of Yahweh to her father's house for what she has done for them.
喇合并没有为自己要任何东西，她所要的仅仅是对恩待她的父家，包括她的父母，弟兄，姐妹，（13节）。她是真正地关心她的家人。也许她的家人因为她的职业是一位妓女就认为她不好，我们无从知道这一点，但是我们知道她爱她的家人，还要以色列人照看他们。喇合接着向他们要一个实在的证据，（“实在”与“诚实”的英文都是“truth”）。因为 神是“慈爱和诚实”的 神，所以她相信那两个探子，因他们敬拜耶和华，一定会以慈爱和诚实来对待她。 Rahab did not ask anything for herself, but she asked that they would show kindness to her father's house. That included her father and mother, brothers and sisters, Verse 13. She was truly concerned for her family. It may be that they thought badly of her because of her life style as a prostitute, we do not know, but what we do know is that she loved them all and wanted them cared for by Israel. She therefore asked for a "token of truth" from them. As God is a God of "goodness and truth" she believed that these spies, who worshiped Yahweh, would deal in truth with her.
The promise of the Spies V 13-22 * 探子的承诺13-22
他们一定是被她所显示出来的的信心和知识所打动。他们回答：“耶和华将这地赐给我们的时候，我们必以慈爱诚实待你。”（14节）。他们所说的其实就是，我们也将同样以“慈爱和诚实”对待你，照你已对待我们的那样，因为我们都跟随耶和华的道路。 The spies would have been mightily impressed with the faith and knowledge of Yahweh that Rahab had show. They said, "it shall be, when Yahweh hath given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee". Verse 14. What they were saying was, we will show the same "kindness and truth" to you as you have shown to us, for we too follow the ways of Yahweh. 因她的房子是在城墙边上，于是喇合用绳子将二人从窗户里缒下去，他们就可以逃离该城。但是在他们离开前指示喇合：“我们来到这地的时候，你要把这条朱红线绳系在缒我们下去的窗户上，并要使你的父母，弟兄，和你父的全家都聚集在你家中。凡出了你家门往街上去的，他的罪必归到自己的头上（罪原文作血），与我们无干了。凡在你家里的，若有人下手害他，流他血的罪就归到我们的头上。”（18-19节） Rahab's house was on the wall of the city and so Rahab lowered the two spies down the wall from her window so they could escape. However before they left that gave the following instruction to Rahab. "Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father's household, home unto thee. And it shall be, that whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood shall be upon his head, and we will be guiltless" Verse 18-19.
我们可能觉得奇怪，为什么要把这条“朱红线绳”系在窗户上。以下几点可能帮助我们理解其中的道理。当以色列人进城毁灭的时候，喇合想让她的全家人都进她的房子，并且留在那里。我们知道，朱红色就是鲜血的颜色，因此它象征着在窗户上流淌的鲜血。如果你还记得以色列人在过逾越节的情景：当死亡天使跨越埃及的时候，以色列人要将鲜血刷在门上，并且全家人都要留在屋内。如果没有逾越节的羔羊的血涂在门上，死亡天使就会进入那家并且杀死一切头生的。在约书亚记5:10-11中我们可以看到，当以色列人跨越约旦河进入并毁灭耶利哥时正是逾越节时。逾越节提醒以色列人 神曾经带领他们走出埃及地。现在是喇合被引领逃脱耶利哥城的毁灭的时候，因为她相信以色列的 神。实际上在我们进行的圣餐也是在不停地提醒我们，因着耶稣基督的宝血，我们脱离过去犯罪的道路，我们过去的罪被赦免。 We may wonder why they said a "scarlet thread or cord" was to be placed in the window. Here are some points that may help us realise the lesson. Rahab was to have the whole family come into the house and remain there when Israel came to destroy the city. As we know, scarlet is the colour of blood. So it would symbolise blood sprinkled on the window. If you remember when Israel kept the Passover they were to put blood on the door and all remain in the house while the angel of death passed over Egypt. If there was no blood of the Passover lamb on the door then the angel of death entered that house and the firstborn was slain. When Israel crossed over the Jordan and just before they destroyed Jericho it was Passover time. Joshua 5:10-11. The Passover was the reminder of the deliverance from Egypt. Now Rahab was to be delivered from the destruction of Jericho because of her faith in the God of Israel. Actually as we partake of the bread and wine, we continually remember that it was through the blood of Christ, that we have been delivered from our past sinful ways of life and had our sins forgiven.
The Spies report back to Joshua. Verses 23-24. 探子回去向约书亚报告
在本章的最后两节我们看到，两个探子回到约书亚那里，向他述说所遭遇的一切事。（23节）因为喇合曾经向他们说过，他们的报告也说：“耶和华果然将那全地交在我们手中。那地的一切居民在我们面前心都消化了。”（24节） In the last two verses of the chapter we read how the spies reported back to Joshua and told him all that happened to them, verse 23. Because of what Rahab had told them they said, "Truly Yahweh hath delivered into our hands all the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us". Verse 24.
在接下来几天的圣经阅读当中我们会读到以色列人跨越约旦河，占领并且摧毁耶利哥的故事。耶和华真的将喇合以及她的家人从耶利哥的毁灭当中拯救出来。约书亚记6:25中记载：“约书亚却把妓女喇合与她父家，并她所有的，都救活了。因为她隐藏了约书亚所打发窥探耶利哥的使者，她就住在以色列中，直到今日。”耶和华以这种方式“慈爱”“ 诚实”地对待喇合，这是因为她的信心，也因为她曾经恩待以色列的两个探子。 In our readings in the next few days we will read how Israel crossed the Jordan River and how the city of Jericho was captured and destroyed. Yahweh did protect Rahab and her family and delivered them from the destruction the rest of the city suffered. In Joshua 6:25 we read, "And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father's household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho". Thus Yahweh showed "kindness" and Truth" to Rahab because of her faith in Him and the kindness she showed to the spies.
让我们想想怎样应该看待喇合这个人。如果你认识某个人，她曾经是个妓女，而现在她想成为一名基督徒，你会热情的欢迎她，像对待一位主内姐妹那样吗？还是一直对她的过去耿耿于怀，与她保持距离？你会允许你的儿子和她结婚吗？这些都是我们必须面对的严肃问题，因为我们的思考方式常常是带有偏见的。 As we think about Rahab, what would you do if you knew a person who had been a prostitute now wanted to be a disciple of Christ. Would you welcome her warmly as a sister in Christ? Or would you always remember her past life and keep a little bit separate from her? Would you let your son marry her? These are serious questions that we must all face for we all at times have predjucises in our thinking.
让我们再来思考我们引用过的出埃及记中的经文。 神是“有怜悯有恩典的神，不轻易发怒，并有丰盛的慈爱和诚实。为千万人存留慈爱，赦免罪孽，过犯，和罪恶”。 神有丰盛的慈爱，就是说如果我们肯向他承认并悔改的话， 神愿意宽恕我们的一切过犯。我们还记得那位挨着耶稣的脚哭，又用自己的头发擦干耶稣的脚的妓女的故事，故事出现在路加福音7:37-50中。法利赛人西门看见这事，心里说，“这人若是先知，必知道摸他的是谁，是个怎样的女人，乃是个罪人。”（39节）。他不信她也能够悔改，他也不想和她有任何的关系。但是耶稣知道这位内心悲伤的女人的悔恨。耶稣对他说：“你的罪赦免了。”（48节），“你的信救了你，平平安安地回去吧。”（50节）。
Let us remember that the quotation in Exodus says God is "abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin" God's abundant mercy is shown in His willingness to forgive all sins if we confess them and repent of them. Remember the story of the prostitute woman who came to Jesus and weeping washed his feet with the hairs of her head. It is in Luke 7:37-50. Simon the Pharisee who saw this said in his heart, "This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner". Verse 39. He could not believe that she was repentant - he would have nothing to do with her. But Jesus realised how repentant this sad woman was. Jesus said to her, "Thy sins are forgiven" Verse 48 and in Verse 50 "Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace".
我们很悲哀地看到，这种法利赛人西门般的情感常常出现在我们每个人中间。尽管 神已经赦免了他人的过犯，我们却还是觉得和这个人在一起不太舒服。然而不管我们怎样认为，就像耶稣因这女人的信赦免了她的罪一样，喇合的罪也被 神赦免了。
Sadly there is often some of the feelings of Simon the Pharisee in all of us. We remember the sins of others, although God has forgiven them, and we do not feel comfortable with the person. However just as Jesus forgave the woman's sins because of her faith, so Rahab's sins were forgiven by God.
新约圣经在两处提到了喇合，是作为信心和仁慈的榜样出现的。希伯来书11章31节说：“妓女喇合因着信，曾和和平平的接待探子，就不与那些不顺从的人一同灭亡。”她的信心使她能够出现在希伯来书11章中所列举的因信称义的名单中，更是其中唯一的一位外邦妇女。雅各也这样评价喇合的信心：“妓女喇合接待使者，又放他们从别的路上出去，不也是一样因行为称义吗？”雅各书2:25。可能你还没有注意到雅各选择的两个有信心的榜样，一个是以色列人的祖先亚伯拉罕，一个是外邦的妓女喇合。可能有人看见将这两个人并列就感到震惊，但是我们却不应该这样看待问题，因为他们两个都是因信称义的人。就是说他们两个人的罪都因为信被赦免。雅各在这里告诉我们的是，他们在这一点上是没有区别的。如果 神称一个人为义，愿意赦免他的罪，我们就不要有区别地对他们。 In two places in the New Testament we are reminded of the example of Rahab and her kindness and faith. In Hebrews 11 where we read of many examples of faith. In verse 25 it says, "By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace". Her faith earned her a place in the list of faithful in this chapter. She is the only Gentile woman mentioned in this list. James also gives the example of Rahab's faith in these words, "Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?" James 2:25. You may not have noticed this before but the two examples that James chooses to use as examples of faith and works are Abraham, the father of the nation of Israel and Rahab, a gentile harlot. Some may be shocked to see them both put side by side like this but we shouldn't be. Both were justified by faith. This means their sins were forgiven because of their faith. There is no difference between them and this is the point James is making for us. If God has justified a person, forgiving their sins, we must not make differences between such people.
Rahab accepted and married. 喇合被以色列人接受并在以色列成家
如果你有一个儿子，他爱上了喇合这样的人，尽管喇合已经受洗，你会同意这门婚事吗？犹大支派的一位首领的儿子就因为喇合的信心爱慕她。他看重的是现在的喇合，而不是喇合过去做过什么。喇合嫁给了撒门，他们的儿子叫波阿斯，波阿斯娶路得为妻。喇合被列在耶稣基督的家谱当中，（马太福音1:5）。她是大卫王的高祖母。因为喇合伟大的信心， 神信实地赐福给她。 Well would you let your son marry such a person as Rahab even though she has been baptised? The faithful qualities of Rahab were admired the son of the head prince in the tribe of Judah. He respected what she now was and not what she had been. He married her. Rahab married Salmon and they had a child named Boaz and Boaz married Ruth. Rahab is listed in the line of Jesus Christ in Matthew 1:5. She was the great grandmother to King David. God truly blessed her because of her great faith in Him.
对于我们来说，我们和喇合一样，都是外邦人，但是我们认识了以色列的 神和他的儿子我们的主耶稣基督。我们和过去的生活决裂，寻求在基督里我们的罪过得到宽恕。这是多么伟大的祝福阿！但是我们不应该按照他人过去的生活来判断人，让我们真正地彼此相爱，互相帮助，在我们等待耶稣基督的降临期间过着充满信心的生活。 The lessons are very clear for all of us. We like Rahab, are Gentiles, but we have come to know of the God of Israel and His son the Lord Jesus Christ. We have forsaken our past way of life and sought forgiveness in Jesus Christ. How blessed we are. But never let us judge against others because of their past way of life. Let us truly love one another and help each other to walk faithfully in these last days as we long for the return of Jesus Christ.
在我们吃这饼、喝这杯的时候，让我们来感谢 神，因为他是“有怜悯有恩典的神，不轻易发怒，并有丰盛的慈爱和诚实。为千万人存留慈爱，赦免罪孽，过犯，和罪恶”。 As we take now of the bread and wine, let us thank God that He is a God who is "abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin"