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11 (A)the Israelites did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. They served the Baals,[a] 12 and abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, the one who had brought them out of the land of Egypt. They followed other gods, the gods of the peoples around them, and bowed down to them, and provoked the Lord.

13 Because they had abandoned the Lord and served Baal and the Astartes,[b] 14 the anger of the Lord flared up against Israel, and he delivered them into the power of plunderers who despoiled them. He sold them into the power of the enemies around them, and they were no longer able to withstand their enemies. 15 Whenever they marched out, the hand of the Lord turned against them, as the Lord had said, and as the Lord had sworn to them;(B) and they were in great distress. 16 But the Lord raised up judges to save them from the power of their plunderers; 17 but they did not listen to their judges either, for they prostituted themselves by following other gods, bowing down to them. They were quick to stray from the way their ancestors had taken, who obeyed the commandments of the Lord; but these did not. 18 When the Lord raised up judges for them, he would be with the judge and save them from the power of their enemies as long as the judge lived. The Lord would change his mind when they groaned in their affliction under their oppressors. 19 But when the judge died, they would again do worse than their ancestors, following other gods, serving and bowing down to them, relinquishing none of their evil practices or stubborn ways.(C)

20 (D)The anger of the Lord flared up against Israel, and he said: Because this nation has transgressed my covenant, which I enjoined on their ancestors, and has not listened to me, 21 I for my part will not clear away for them any more of the nations Joshua left when he died. 22 (E)They will be made to test Israel, to see whether or not they will keep to the way of the Lord and continue in it as their ancestors did. 23 Therefore the Lord allowed these nations to remain instead of expelling them immediately. He had not delivered them into the power of Joshua.

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  1. 2:11 The Baals: the title “Baal,” meaning “lord” or “master,” belonged to a large number of Canaanite, Phoenician, and Syrian deities, including especially the great storm god Hadad Baal, widely revered as lord of the earth. The plural form, which occurs here, was used by the biblical writers to refer to foreign gods in general.
  2. 2:13 The Astartes: Ashtoreth, or Astarte, was an important Canaanite and Phoenician goddess. The plural form used here probably refers to foreign goddesses in general.