Pattern of Sin and Judgment
1The angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bochim and said, “I brought you out of Egypt and led you into the land I had promised to your ancestors. I also said: I will never break my covenant with you. 2You are not to make a covenant with the inhabitants of this land. You are to tear down their altars. But you have not obeyed me. What have you done? 3Therefore, I now say: I will not drive out these people before you. They will be thorns in your sides, and their gods will be a trap for you.” 4When the angel of the Lord had spoken these words to all the Israelites, the people wept loudly. 5So they named that place Bochim and offered sacrifices there to the Lord.
6Previously, when Joshua had sent the people away, the Israelites had gone to take possession of the land, each to his own inheritance. 7The people worshiped the Lord throughout Joshua’s lifetime and during the lifetimes of the elders who outlived Joshua. They had seen all the Lord’s great works he had done for Israel.
8Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of 110. 9They buried him in the territory of his inheritance, in Timnath-heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. 10That whole generation was also gathered to their ancestors. After them another generation rose up who did not know the Lord or the works he had done for Israel.
11The Israelites did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. They worshiped the Baals 12and abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed other gods from the surrounding peoples and bowed down to them. They angered the Lord, 13for they abandoned him and worshiped Baal and the Ashtoreths.
14The Lord’s anger burned against Israel, and he handed them over to marauders who raided them. He sold them to the enemies around them, and they could no longer resist their enemies. 15Whenever the Israelites went out, the Lord was against them and brought disaster on them, just as he had promised and sworn to them. So they suffered greatly.
16The Lord raised up judges, who saved them from the power of their marauders, 17but they did not listen to their judges. Instead, they prostituted themselves with other gods, bowing down to them. They quickly turned from the way of their ancestors, who had walked in obedience to the Lord’s commands. They did not do as their ancestors did. 18Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for the Israelites, the Lord was with him and saved the people from the power of their enemies while the judge was still alive. The Lord was moved to pity whenever they groaned because of those who were oppressing and afflicting them. 19Whenever the judge died, the Israelites would act even more corruptly than their ancestors, following other gods to serve them and bow in worship to them. They did not turn from their evil practices or their obstinate ways.
20The Lord’s anger burned against Israel, and he declared, “Because this nation has violated my covenant that I made with their ancestors and disobeyed me, 21I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died. 22I did this to test Israel and to see whether or not they would keep the Lord’s way by walking in it, as their ancestors had.” 23The Lord left these nations and did not drive them out immediately. He did not hand them over to Joshua.