Judges 2-3 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
Pattern of Sin and Judgment
2 The angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bochim and said, “I brought you out of Egypt and led you into the land I had promised to your fathers. I also said: I will never break my covenant with you. 2 You are not to make a covenant with the inhabitants of this land. You are to tear down their altars. But you have not obeyed me. What is this you have done? 3 Therefore, I now say: I will not drive out these people before you. They will be thorns[a][b] in your sides, and their gods will be a trap for you.” 4 When the angel of the Lord had spoken these words to all the Israelites, the people wept loudly. 5 So they named that place Bochim[c] and offered sacrifices there to the Lord.
6 Previously, when Joshua had sent the people away, the Israelites had gone to take possession of the land, each to his own inheritance. 7 The people worshiped the Lord throughout Joshua’s lifetime and during the lifetimes of the elders who outlived[d] Joshua. They had seen all the Lord’s great works he had done for Israel.
8 Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of 110. 9 They buried him in the territory of his inheritance, in Timnath-heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. 10 That whole generation was also gathered to their ancestors. After them another generation rose up who did not know the Lord or the works he had done for Israel.
11 The Israelites did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. They worshiped the Baals 12 and abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed other gods from the surrounding peoples and bowed down to them. They angered the Lord, 13 for they abandoned him and worshiped Baal and the Ashtoreths.
14 The Lord’s anger burned against Israel, and he handed them over to marauders who raided them. He sold them to[e] the enemies around them, and they could no longer resist their enemies. 15 Whenever the Israelites went out, the Lord[f] was against them and brought disaster on them, just as he had promised and sworn to them. So they suffered greatly.
16 The Lord raised up judges, who saved them from the power of their marauders, 17 but they did not listen to their judges. Instead, they prostituted themselves with other gods, bowing down to them. They quickly turned from the way of their fathers, who had walked in obedience to the Lord’s commands. They did not do as their fathers did. 18 Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for the Israelites, the Lord was with him and saved the people from the power of their enemies while the judge was still alive.[g] The Lord was moved to pity whenever they groaned because of those who were oppressing and afflicting them. 19 Whenever the judge died, the Israelites would act even more corruptly than their fathers, following other gods to serve them and bow in worship to them. They did not turn from their evil practices or their obstinate ways.
20 The Lord’s anger burned against Israel, and he declared, “Because this nation has violated my covenant that I made with their fathers and disobeyed me, 21 I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died. 22 I did this to test Israel and to see whether or not they would keep the Lord’s way by walking in it, as their fathers had.” 23 The Lord left these nations and did not drive them out immediately. He did not hand them over to Joshua.
The Lord Tests Israel
3 These are the nations the Lord left in order to test all those in Israel who had experienced[h] none of the wars in Canaan. 2 This was to teach the future generations of the Israelites how to fight in battle, especially those who had not fought before.[i] 3 These nations included the five rulers of the Philistines and all of the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites who lived in the Lebanese mountains from Mount Baal-hermon as far as the entrance to Hamath.[j] 4 The Lord left them to test Israel, to determine if they would keep the Lord’s commands he had given their fathers through[k] Moses. 5 But they settled among the Canaanites, Hethites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 6 The Israelites took their daughters as wives for themselves, gave their own daughters to their sons, and worshiped their gods.
Othniel, the First Judge
7 The Israelites did what was evil in the Lord’s sight; they forgot the Lord their God and worshiped the Baals and the Asherahs. 8 The Lord’s anger burned against Israel, and he sold them to[l] King Cushan-rishathaim[m] of Aram-naharaim,[n] and the Israelites served him eight years.
9 The Israelites cried out to the Lord. So the Lord raised up Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s youngest brother, as a deliverer to save the Israelites. 10 The Spirit of the Lord came on him, and he judged Israel. Othniel went out to battle, and the Lord handed over King Cushan-rishathaim of Aram to him, so that Othniel overpowered him. 11 Then the land had peace for forty years, and Othniel son of Kenaz died.
12 The Israelites again did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. He gave King Eglon of Moab power over Israel, because they had done what was evil in the Lord’s sight. 13 After Eglon convinced the Ammonites and the Amalekites to join forces with him, he attacked and defeated Israel and took possession of the City of Palms.[o] 14 The Israelites served King Eglon of Moab eighteen years.
15 Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord, and he raised up Ehud son of Gera, a left-handed Benjaminite,[p] as a deliverer for them. The Israelites sent him with the tribute for King Eglon of Moab.
16 Ehud made himself a double-edged sword eighteen inches long.[q] He strapped it to his right thigh under his clothes 17 and brought the tribute to King Eglon of Moab, who was an extremely fat man. 18 When Ehud had finished presenting the tribute, he dismissed the people who had carried it. 19 At the carved images near Gilgal he returned and said, “King Eglon, I have a secret message for you.” The king said, “Silence!” and all his attendants left him. 20 Then Ehud approached him while he was sitting alone in his upstairs room where it was cool. Ehud said, “I have a message from God for you,” and the king stood up from his throne. 21 Ehud reached with his left hand, took the sword from his right thigh, and plunged it into Eglon’s belly. 22 Even the handle went in after the blade, and Eglon’s fat closed in over it, so that Ehud did not withdraw the sword from his belly. And the waste came out.[r] 23 Ehud escaped by way of the porch, closing and locking the doors of the upstairs room behind him.
24 Ehud was gone when Eglon’s servants came in. They looked and found the doors of the upstairs room locked and thought he was relieving himself[s] in the cool room. 25 The servants waited until they became embarrassed and saw that he had still not opened the doors of the upstairs room. So they took the key and opened the doors—and there was their lord lying dead on the floor!
26 Ehud escaped while the servants waited. He passed the Jordan near the carved images and reached Seirah. 27 After he arrived, he sounded the ram’s horn throughout the hill country of Ephraim. The Israelites came down with him from the hill country, and he became their leader. 28 He told them, “Follow me, because the Lord has handed over your enemies, the Moabites, to you.” So they followed him, captured the fords of the Jordan leading to Moab, and did not allow anyone to cross over. 29 At that time they struck down about ten thousand Moabites, all stout and able-bodied men. Not one of them escaped. 30 Moab became subject to Israel that day, and the land had peace for eighty years.
31 After Ehud, Shamgar son of Anath became judge. He also delivered Israel, striking down six hundred Philistines with a cattle prod.