chapter  III
3 Pages


other point

But if the spies have chosen their point of entry wisely, they have not gone unobserved. The Icing ofJericho has been informed of their entry and whereabouts and sends immediately to Rahab, requesting that she hand over the men who have entered her house. Instead, she hides the spies and shrewdly diverts the king's men with a false report. Here again the ambiguous language of entry/intercourse is employed, first by the king's messengers who command: "Bring out the men who were going in to you (habba)im )elayik), who entered your house" (v 3); and then by Rahab, who acknowledges: "They did indeed come in to me" (ba)u )elay) v 4).32 Thus sexual innuendo is not confined to the opening verses but pervades the whole first scene as an element of narrative intention. Rahab's action, however, contradicts the expectations aroused by the suggestive language, leaving the reader to speculate about her intentions.