“And she brought them up to the roof and hid them in the flax trees which were arranged for her on the roof.” As we follow the sequence of events recorded in the passages, we become increasingly impressed by the heroism of Rachav. After presenting her convincing alibi to the king’s messengers, Rachav immediately returned to her rescue efforts and brought the spies to safer quarters. As the passages suggest, the messengers were still in earshot and Rachav was already busy bringing the spies up on her roof. True, she perceived this relocation as an utter necessity; nevertheless she ran the risk of being discovered and indicted for treason. Obviously, no major effort was necessary for the king’s messengers to return and conduct a thorough search of her home before setting out on their chase. Yet, leaving the spies inadequately protected was unacceptable to Rachav, and she felt compelled to bring them to safety at all costs.
“And the men chased after them towards the Jordan until the crossing and they closed the gates after the chasers left.” The city gates were immediately closed to prevent any further exit from the city. The M’tzudos Dovid explains that the city intended to continue an internal search for the spies and therefore closed off any avenue of escape. Once again we discover Rachav’s devotion and commitment. Although people were not convinced that the spies left their walls, apparently it was clear to all that the spies did not remain in Rachav’s home. In their minds, it wasn’t even worth the search because Rachav had totally convinced them that she had no clue of their whereabouts.
“And the spies had not yet laid down to sleep and she went up to them on the roof.” The notion of sleep during such moments reinforces the spies’ unbelievable level of faith and reflects the stark contrast between these spies and the ones sent during earlier times. That earlier mission resulted in a total disaster because the spies were overcome with fear from the inhabitants of Canaan. Their towering figure coupled with their abnormal mortality rate brought serious dread to the majority of the spies. Their faith in Hashem was tested that time and they unfortunately failed to meet the challenge. This time the spies maintained perfect faith in Hashem throughout the most adverse of conditions. Although they had been discovered and a search party was on their trail, the spies remained calm and unaffected. Their trust in Hashem was so profound that even during these perilous moments they relied totally on Hashem. There, buried in the flax, they seemed oblivious to their threatening predicament and were actually capable of considering the option of sleep. They were totally confident that as Hashem had protected them thus far He would undoubtedly continue doing so throughout their faithful mission. And with this they calmly laid down to go to sleep!
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