Then the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying: 'Bring out the men who came to you, who entered your house, because they have come to search out the whole land.' But the woman took the two men, and hid them; and she said: 'Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from; and at dark, as the gates were about to close, the men went away; I do not know where they went. Pursue them quickly, for you will overtake them.' But she had taken them up to the roof, and hidden them with the stalks of flax which she had spread out there.
shelach “Send forth men”
Numbers 13:1 – 15:41
Moses was petitioned to send out spies to discover what lay before them as they approached “Eretz Yisrael” what was then the land of the Canaanites. Each tribe sent a member and the colors of their garments reflect the tribe affiliation. For a variety of reasons, including the knowledge that once they crossed into this land that flowed with milk and honey (represented here by the rivers from the hills), they would lose Moses their leader; so the spies decided to insinuate fear in the people with their report. They returned with oversized fruit – grapes and pomegranate and figs – suggesting that these were strange, and they also warned of the aggressive giants that lived there. Joshua from the tribe of Ephraim, wearing black, and Caleb from the tribe of Judah, wearing blue, did not participate with the others in spreading these rumors.