The Exodus within Jericho

When reading the bible one may find interesting repeating patterns, as if God is being extra creative to sign his name on his handy work throughout history. In Joshua 2, I noticed a similarity to the Passover story with Rahab of Jericho.

In the Passover story, the Hebrews were protected from a plague that caused the death of the firstborn sons by putting sacrificial blood on the doorpost. The two Israelite spies that came to Jericho told Rahab, the woman that shielded them from the authorities, to hang the scarlet rope from her window before the Israelites came to conquer the city. That way her family would be spared death in the conquest. Scarlet is red like blood, and this symbol protected her and her family in her household from judgment, just like the blood protected the firstborn sons in each household that was covered. In fact what makes it really clear is this line from verse 19 which says, “If they go out into the street and are killed, it will not be our fault. But if anyone lays a hand on people inside this house, we will accept the responsibility for their death.” This rule applied to the Israelites in Exodus 12:22-23 as well. They had to stay in the house with the blood on the door all night, but if they went outside or didn’t put blood on the door, the firstborn of the household was not protected.

Also, the parting of the Jordan River in Joshua chapters 3-4 is just like the parting of the Red Sea in Exodus 14. So it’s almost as if entering Canaan was a reversal of leaving Egypt. When leaving Egypt after many miraculous signs, they put blood on the doorpost to protect them from the final judgment plague against the firstborn sons. This even triggered the Egyptians to let them go and give them reparations. However Pharaoh chased them to the Red Sea and God parted it so they could get across, but drowned Pharaoh’s army. When entering Canaan, they spied out the city of Jericho right across from the Jordan River. While there, Rahab kept them safe and they promised to return the favor by sparing her household with the scarlet rope above her door. Then they crossed the Jordan River as God parted it and went to conquer Jericho through a miraculous sign causing the walls to crumble. Patterns like this exist throughout the bible and there are always interesting to find. There is a similar reversal between Abraham’s pilgrimage from Babylon to Canaan and the Exile from Canaan (Israel) to Babylon.