16 Then the Lord raised up judges,[a] who saved them out of the hands of these raiders.17 Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. They quickly turned from the ways of their ancestors, who had been obedient to the Lord’s commands.18 Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the Lord relented because of their groaning under those who oppressed and afflicted them.19 But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.
20 Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel and said, “Because this nation has violated the covenant I ordained for their ancestors and has not listened to me,21 I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died.22 I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the Lord and walk in it as their ancestors did.”23 The Lord had allowed those nations to remain; he did not drive them out at once by giving them into the hands of Joshua.
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