Confrontation and Repentance at Bokim
2:1 The Lord’s angelic messenger1 went up from Gilgal to Bokim. He said, “I brought you up from Egypt and led you into the land I had solemnly promised to give to your ancestors.2 I said, ‘I will never break my agreement3 with you,
2:2 but you must not make an agreement with the people who live in this land. You should tear down the altars where they worship.’4 But you have disobeyed me.5 Why would you do such a thing?6
2:3 At that time I also warned you,7 ‘If you disobey,8 I will not drive out the Canaanites9 before you. They will ensnare you10 and their gods will lure you away.’”11
2:4 When the Lord’s messenger finished speaking these words to all the Israelites, the people wept loudly.12
2:5 They named that place Bokim13 and offered sacrifices to the Lord there.
The End of an Era
2:6 When Joshua dismissed14 the people, the Israelites went to their allotted portions of territory,15 intending to take possession of the land.
2:7 The people worshiped16 the Lord throughout Joshua’s lifetime and as long as the elderly men17 who outlived him remained alive. These men had witnessed18 all the great things the Lord had done for Israel.19
2:8 Joshua son of Nun, the Lord’s servant, died at the age of one hundred ten.
2:9 The people20 buried him in his allotted land21 in Timnath Heres in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.
2:10 That entire generation passed away;22 a new generation grew up23 that had not personally experienced the Lord’s presence or seen what he had done for Israel.24
A Monotonous Cycle
2:11 The Israelites did evil before25 the Lord by worshiping26 the Baals.
2:12 They abandoned the Lord God of their ancestors27 who brought them out of the land of Egypt. They followed other gods – the gods of the nations who lived around them. They worshiped28 them and made the Lord angry.
2:13 They abandoned the Lord and worshiped Baal and the Ashtars.29
2:14 The Lord was furious with Israel30 and handed them over to robbers who plundered them.31 He turned them over to32 their enemies who lived around them. They could not withstand their enemies’ attacks.33
2:15 Whenever they went out to fight,34 the Lord did them harm,35 just as he had warned and solemnly vowed he would do.36 They suffered greatly.37
2:16 The Lord raised up leaders38 who delivered them from these robbers.39
2:17 But they did not obey40 their leaders. Instead they prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped41 them. They quickly turned aside from the path42 their ancestors43 had walked. Their ancestors had obeyed the Lord’s commands, but they did not.44
2:18 When the Lord raised up leaders for them, the Lord was with each leader and delivered the people45 from their enemies while the leader remained alive. The Lord felt sorry for them46 when they cried out in agony because of what their harsh oppressors did to them.47
2:19 When a leader died, the next generation48 would again49 act more wickedly than the previous one.50 They would follow after other gods, worshiping them51 and bowing down to them. They did not give up52 their practices or their stubborn ways.
A Divine Decision
2:20 The Lord was furious with Israel.53 He said, “This nation54 has violated the terms of the agreement I made with their ancestors55 by disobeying me.56
2:21 So I will no longer remove before them any of the nations that Joshua left unconquered when he died.
2:22 Joshua left those nations57 to test58 Israel. I wanted to see59 whether or not the people60 would carefully walk in the path61 marked out by62 the Lord, as their ancestors63 were careful to do.”
2:23 This is why64 the Lord permitted these nations to remain and did not conquer them immediately;65 he did not hand them over to Joshua.