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The Eternal’s messenger traveled from Gilgal to Bochim.

Messenger (to the people of Israel): I rescued you out of the land of Egypt and brought you into this land that I had promised to your ancestors. I said, “I will never break My covenant with you. As your part of this bargain, you shall not make a covenant with the inhabitants of this land. You must tear down the altars of their gods.” But you did not do as I commanded. Do you realize what you have done? Now I tell you, “I will not drive them out before you. The people of the land will irritate you, and their gods will ensnare you.”

When the Eternal’s messenger spoke these words to Israel, the people wept bitterly. So they named that place Bochim, which means “weeping,” and there they sacrificed to Him.

When Joshua sent the people away, each tribe of Israel went to gain possession of its territorial inheritance. The people served the Eternal as long as Joshua lived and through all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua—those who had seen all the great works that the Eternal had done for Israel.

Joshua, son of Nun, the Eternal’s servant, died at the age of 110 years and was buried within the borders of his inheritance at Timnath-heres in the hills of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. 10 Now that whole generation, the generation that had walked with Moses—the generation that saw the walls of Jericho fall—that generation passed on, and another generation grew up after them, a generation that did not know the Eternal and had not seen the great works He had done for Israel. 11 Consequently this new generation served the gods of Canaan—the Baals[a] as they were called—doing what the Eternal God considered evil. 12 They abandoned the Eternal One, the True God of their ancestors, who brought them safely out of Egypt. Instead, they began to serve the gods of their neighbors, the Canaanites, bowing low before their images, causing the Eternal to burn with anger.

13 The Israelites abandoned the worship of the Eternal One and turned to serve Baal and his consort the moon goddess, Ashtaroth. 14 So the Eternal’s anger burned hot against them, and He caused them to be overcome by those around them, using their enemies to plunder them so that the Israelites could no longer stand against their enemies. 15 Whenever they marched out to battle, the hand of the Eternal One was raised against them in evil, as He had warned and promised them, and they were in anguish.

16 But the Eternal appointed judges among them, leaders and liberators who rescued the Israelites from their enemies who plundered them. 17 Even then the people of Israel did not listen to their judges, but instead passionately pursued other gods and bowed down to them. How quickly they turned from the faithfulness exhibited by their ancestors in obeying the Eternal’s commandments. This younger generation did not follow their ancestors’ example.

18 Still, whenever the Eternal appointed judges among the Israelites, He was with each one, saving the Israelites from their enemies as long as that leader lived, for He was moved to compassion by the groans of His people when they were persecuted and oppressed. 19 But when the judge died, then the people would fall away from their faithfulness, and the next generation behaved even worse than their ancestors, pursuing and serving other gods, and bowing down before them. They would not change their bad habits but clung to them stubbornly.

20 So the Eternal’s anger burned hot against the people of Israel.

Eternal One: Since these people have violated the covenant I gave as a commandment to their ancestors and no longer listen to My voice, 21 I will no longer drive out from their path any of the nations who still remained in this land when Joshua died. 22 I will put My people to the test to see whether or not they will walk the faithful way of the Eternal as their ancestors did.

23 So God did as He promised. He left those pagan nations in the land of Canaan. He did not drive them away immediately, nor did He give them into the hands of Joshua and his armies.


  1. 2:11 Literally, lords

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