Friday, February 19, 2010

Hiding in the hay

Salman and Phinehas were hiding on Rahab’s roof for what seemed like forever. Thankfully it was harvest time, and large bales of flax were stored on the rooftops of many homes until they dried for threshing. It was the perfect cover to hide from guards passing frequently during the night along the narrow walkway nearby.

Motionless, tired and scared out of their wits, Salman silently prayed for protection under a bale of itchy straw. Strangely, he was glad the freshly cut barley made his skin crawl, at least that way he would stay awake and alert. The last thing he wanted was to doze off and wake up with a sword at his throat - or not wake up at all.

The whole commotion at Rahab’s house earlier in the evening made the entire guard quite jittery, and many times they stood just a few yards from the spies arguing how they might have escaped.

“No one leaves the city at night,” said an older guard, “not without someone noticing. Only spies and thieves travel in the dark.”

“Maybe they bribed Adin?” the younger one replied.

“Unlikely. I heard they had magic powers to make them invisible.”


“How do you think they escaped Pharaoh?”

“No, that was because their god sent plagues and horrible... well stuff you... wouldn’t want to happen here.”

The conversation hit a brick wall of deathly silence.

“Mmm. Nice weather.”

“Yes, it is nice.”

Neither of the guards enjoyed contemplating the Hebrew god, so they pretended to be distracted and continued walking the wall as if they never had that conversation.

An hour or so later, after the sounds of barking dogs and crying babies had long since echoed across the city, Jericho returned to its slumber. In fact, Salman and Phinehas were half asleep when they were disturbed by the sound of the wooden hatch opening next to them. They barely had time to reach for their daggers (not knowing who was coming) before they were relieved to see it was Rahab – and she was alone.

“It's safe to come down now.”

Salman sheathed his dagger and started moving towards the hatch.

“Wait,” whispered Phinehas, “how can we be sure?”

“Hasn't she done enough?” said Salman

“Listen, everyone’s afraid,” Rahab interjected, “even the King. He's heard about your victories in battle. And though he wont admit it, God has given you this land. Who else can part the Red Sea?”

“Thank you for helping us,” replied Salman, “but how can we escape?”

“Over the wall,” she answered, “but later when the guards are asleep. Come now and I'll help you get ready.”

Rahab lowered herself back down inside onto the table in the dining room. Salman looked at Phinehas, who still seemed too shocked to follow.

“What are you waiting for?”

“She’s a ... it just doesn’t add up.”

“She’s a human,” Salman replied, “nothing does.”

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