Judges 2

1The Angel of the Lord went up to the city of Bokim from the city of Gilgal. The angel spoke a message from the Lord to the people of Israel. This was the message: “I brought you out of Egypt. I led you to the land that I promised to give to your ancestors. I told you I would never break my agreement with you. 2But in return, you must never make any agreement with the people living in that land. You must destroy their altars. I told you that. But you didn’t obey me! 3“Now I will tell you this, 'I will not force the other people to leave this land any longer. These people will become a problem for you. They will be like a trap to you. Their false gods will become like a net to trap you.’” 4After the angel gave the people of Israel this message from the Lord, the people cried loudly. 5So the people of Israel named the place where they cried, Bokim. At Bokim the people of Israel offered sacrifices to the Lord. 6Then Joshua told the people to go home. So each family group went to take their area of land to live in it. 7The people of Israel served the Lord as long as Joshua was alive. They continued serving the Lord during the lifetimes of the elders ˻(leaders)˼ that lived after Joshua had died. These old men had seen all the great things the Lord had done for the people of Israel. 8Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of 110 years. 9The people of Israel buried Joshua. They buried Joshua on the land that he had been given. That was at Timnath Heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. 10After that whole generation died, the next generation grew up. This new generation did not know about the Lord and what the Lord had done for the people of Israel. 11So the people of Israel did evil and served the false god Baal. The Lord saw the people doing this evil thing. 12The Lord had brought the people of Israel out of Egypt. And the ancestors of these people had worshiped the Lord. But the people of Israel quit following the Lord. The people of Israel began to worship the false gods of the people living around them. That made the Lord angry. 13The people of Israel quit following the Lord and began worshiping Baal and Ashtoreth. 14The Lord was angry with the people of Israel. So the Lord let enemies attack the people of Israel and take their possessions. The Lord let their enemies that lived around them defeat them. The people of Israel could not protect themselves from their enemies. 15When the people of Israel went out to fight, they always lost. They lost because the Lord was not on their side. The Lord had already warned the people of Israel that they would lose if they served the gods of the people living around them. The people of Israel suffered very much. 16Then the Lord chose leaders called judges. These leaders saved the people of Israel from the enemies that took their possessions. 17But the people of Israel did not listen to their judges. The people of Israel were not faithful to God—they followed other gods. In the past, the ancestors of the people of Israel obeyed the Lord’s commands. But now the people of Israel changed and stopped obeying the Lord. 18Many times the enemies of Israel did bad things to the people. So the people of Israel would cry for help. And each time, the Lord felt sorry for the people. Each time he sent a judge to save the people from their enemies. The Lord was always with those judges. So each time, the people of Israel were saved from their enemies. 19But when each judge died, the people of Israel again sinned and started worshiping the false gods. The people of Israel were very stubborn—they refused to change their evil ways. 20So the Lord became angry with the people of Israel, and he said, “This nation has broken the Agreement that I made with their ancestors. They have not listened to me. 21So I will no longer defeat the nations and clear the way for the people of Israel. Those nations were still in this land when Joshua died. And I will let those nations stay in this land. 22I will use those nations to test the people of Israel. I will see if the people of Israel can keep the Lord’s commands like their ancestors did.” 23The Lord allowed those nations to stay in the land. The Lord did not force those nations to quickly leave the country. He did not help Joshua’s army defeat them.

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