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One day the Angel of the Lord arrived at Bochim, coming from Gilgal, and announced to the people of Israel, “I brought you out of Egypt into this land that I promised to your ancestors, and I said that I would never break my covenant with you, if you, on your part, would make no peace treaties with the people living in this land; I told you to destroy their heathen altars. Why have you not obeyed? And now since you have broken the contract, it is no longer in effect, and I no longer promise to destroy the nations living in your land; rather, they shall be thorns in your sides, and their gods will be a constant temptation to you.”

The people broke into tears as the Angel finished speaking; so the name of that place was called “Bochim” (meaning, “the place where people wept”). Then they offered sacrifices to the Lord.

When Joshua finally disbanded the armies of Israel, the tribes moved into their new territories and took possession of the land. 7-9 Joshua, the man of God, died at the age of 110 and was buried at the edge of his property in Timnath-heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. The people had remained true to the Lord throughout Joshua’s lifetime, and as long afterward as the old men of his generation were still living—those who had seen the mighty miracles the Lord had done for Israel.

10 But finally all that generation died; and the next generation did not worship Jehovah as their God and did not care about the mighty miracles he had done for Israel. 11 They did many things that the Lord had expressly forbidden, including the worshiping of heathen gods. 12-14 They abandoned Jehovah, the God loved and worshiped by their ancestors—the God who had brought them out of Egypt. Instead, they were worshiping and bowing low before the idols of the neighboring nations. So the anger of the Lord flamed out against all Israel. He left them to the mercy of their enemies, for they had departed from Jehovah and were worshiping Baal and the Ashtaroth idols.

15 So now when the nation of Israel went out to battle against its enemies, the Lord blocked their path. He had warned them about this, and in fact had vowed that he would do it. But when the people were in this terrible plight, 16 the Lord raised up judges to save them from their enemies.

17 Yet even then Israel would not listen to the judges, but broke faith with Jehovah by worshiping other gods instead. How quickly they turned away from the true faith of their ancestors, for they refused to obey God’s commands. 18 Each judge rescued the people of Israel from their enemies throughout his lifetime, for the Lord was moved to pity by the groaning of his people under their crushing oppressions; so he helped them as long as that judge lived. 19 But when the judge died, the people turned from doing right and behaved even worse than their ancestors had. They prayed to heathen gods again, throwing themselves to the ground in humble worship. They stubbornly returned to the evil customs of the nations around them.

20 Then the anger of the Lord would flame out against Israel again. He declared, “Because these people have violated the treaty I made with their ancestors, 21 I will no longer drive out the nations left unconquered by Joshua when he died. 22 Instead, I will use these nations to test my people, to see whether or not they will obey the Lord as their ancestors did.”

23 So the Lord left those nations in the land and did not drive them out, nor let Israel destroy them.

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