The Angel of the Lord at Bokim
2 The ·angel [messenger] of the Lord [C an angelic spokesperson for God, sometimes identified with the Lord himself; Gen. 16:7; Ex. 14:19; 23:20] went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, “I brought you up from Egypt and led you to the land I promised to give your ancestors. I said, ‘I will never break my ·agreement [covenant] with you [Gen. 17:7; Ex. 6:4]. 2 But you must not make an ·agreement [covenant] with the people who live in this land [Ex. 23:32]. You must ·destroy [tear down] their altars [Deut. 7:2].’ But you did not obey me. How could you do this [L What is this you have done]? 3 ·Now I tell you [or Then I told you; Num. 33:55; Josh. 23:12–13], ‘I will not ·force [drive] out the people in this land. They will ·be your enemies [or ensnare you; or be thorns in your side], and their gods will be a ·trap [snare] for you.’”
4 After the angel gave ·Israel [L the sons/T children of Israel] this message from the Lord, they ·cried loudly [L lifted up their voices and wept]. 5 So they named the place Bokim [C “weeping ones”]. There they offered sacrifices to the Lord.
6 After Joshua ·dismissed [sent away] the people, the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] went to take possession of the land that they had been given. 7 The people ·served [worshiped; remained faithful to] the Lord during the lifetime of Joshua and during the lifetimes of the elders who ·lived after [outlived] Joshua and who had seen what great things the Lord had done for Israel. 8 Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of one hundred ten. 9 They buried him in ·his own land [the territory of his inheritance] at Timnath Heres [C also known as Timnath Serah; Josh. 19:50; 24:30] in the ·mountains [hill country] of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.
The People Disobey
10 After ·those people [L the whole generation] ·had died [L were gathered to their fathers/ancestors], ·their children [L another generation] grew up and did not know the Lord or what he had done for Israel. 11 So ·they [L the sons/T children of Israel] did ·what the Lord said was wrong [L evil in the eyes/sight of the Lord], and they worshiped the ·Baal idols [L Baals; C Baal was the main god of the Canaanites, but had many local manifestations]. 12 They ·quit following [abandoned] the Lord, the God of their ancestors who had brought them out of Egypt. They began to worship the gods of the people who lived around them, and that made the Lord angry. 13 The Israelites ·quit following [abandoned] the Lord and worshiped Baal and Ashtoreth. 14 The Lord was angry with the people of Israel, so he ·handed them over to [gave them into the hand of] ·robbers [raiders; plunderers] who took their possessions. He ·let their enemies who lived around them defeat them [L sold them into the hand of their enemies around them]; they could not ·protect themselves [resist/L stand before them]. 15 When the Israelites went out to fight, ·they always lost, because the Lord was not with them [L the hand of the Lord was against them for harm/evil]. The Lord had sworn to them this would happen. So the Israelites ·suffered very much [were in great distress].
God Chooses Judges
16 Then the Lord ·chose leaders called [L raised up] ·judges [leaders; C not courtroom judges, but leaders who guided the nation through difficult times, sometimes as military commanders], ·who saved the Israelites from [L to deliver them from the hand of] the ·robbers [raiders; plunderers]. 17 But the Israelites did not listen to their ·judges [leaders; v. 16]. They ·were not faithful to God but [L prostituted themselves to and] worshiped other gods instead. Their ancestors had ·obeyed [L walked in the way/path of] the Lord’s commands, but they quickly turned away and did not obey. 18 Whenever the Lord sent ·judges [leaders] to save the Israelites from their enemies, he was with that ·judge [leader] and rescued the people during that ·judge’s [leader’s] lifetime. The Lord ·felt sorry for them [took pity on them; or relented] when they cried for help because of those who ·hurt [oppressed and afflicted] them. 19 But when the ·judges [leaders; 2:16] died, the Israelites ·again sinned [returned to their corrupt ways] and worshiped other gods. They became worse than their ancestors. The Israelites were very stubborn and refused to change their evil ways.
20 So the ·Lord became angry with [L anger of the Lord burned against] the Israelites. He said, “These people have ·broken [violated] the ·agreement [covenant] I made with their ancestors. They have not listened to me. 21 I will no longer ·defeat [L drive out before them] the nations who were left when Joshua died. 22 I will use them to test Israel, to see if Israel will keep ·the Lord’s commands [L the way of the Lord to walk in it] as their ancestors did.” 23 In the past the Lord had permitted those nations to stay in the land. He did not quickly ·force [drive] them out or ·help Joshua’s army defeat them [L give them into the hand of Joshua].