The Angel of the Lord at Bokim
1The angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, “I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land I swore to give to your ancestors. I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you, 2and you shall not make a covenant with the people of this land, but you shall break down their altars.’ Yet you have disobeyed me. Why have you done this? 3And I have also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you; they will become traps for you, and their gods will become snares to you.’ ”
4When the angel of the Lord had spoken these things to all the Israelites, the people wept aloud, 5and they called that place Bokim.2:5 Bokim means weepers. There they offered sacrifices to the Lord.
Disobedience and Defeat
6After Joshua had dismissed the Israelites, they went to take possession of the land, each to their own inheritance. 7The people served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had seen all the great things the Lord had done for Israel.
8Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of a hundred and ten. 9And they buried him in the land of his inheritance, at Timnath Heres2:9 Also known as Timnath Serah (see Joshua 19:50 and 24:30) in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.
10After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. 11Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. 12They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the Lord’s anger 13because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. 14In his anger against Israel the Lord gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. 15Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress.
16Then the Lord raised up judges,2:16 Or leaders; similarly in verses 17-19 who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. 17Yet 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. 18Whenever 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. 19But 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.
20Therefore 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, 21I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died. 22I 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.” 23The Lord had allowed those nations to remain; he did not drive them out at once by giving them into the hands of Joshua.