The Angel of the Lord at Bokim
1The angel of the Lord 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 with you. 2But you must not make an agreement with the people who live in this land. You must destroy their altars.’ But you did not obey me. How could you do this? 3Now I tell you, ‘I will not force out the people in this land. They will be your enemies, and their gods will be a trap for you.’ ”
4After the angel gave Israel this message from the Lord, they cried loudly. 5So they named the place Bokim. There they offered sacrifices to the Lord.
6Then Joshua sent the people back to their land. 7The people served the Lord during the lifetime of Joshua and during the lifetimes of the elders who lived after Joshua and who had seen what great things the Lord had done for Israel. 8Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of one hundred ten. 9They buried him in his own land at Timnath Serah in the mountains of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.
The People Disobey
10After those people had died, their children grew up and did not know the Lord or what he had done for Israel. 11So they did what the Lord said was wrong, and they worshiped the Baal idols. 12They quit following 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. 13The Israelites quit following the Lord and worshiped Baal and Ashtoreth. 14The Lord was angry with the people of Israel, so he handed them over to robbers who took their possessions. He let their enemies who lived around them defeat them; they could not protect themselves. 15When the Israelites went out to fight, they always lost, because the Lord was not with them. The Lord had sworn to them this would happen. So the Israelites suffered very much.
God Chooses Judges
16Then the Lord chose leaders called judges, who saved the Israelites from the robbers. 17But the Israelites did not listen to their judges. They were not faithful to God but worshiped other gods instead. Their ancestors had obeyed the Lord’s commands, but they quickly turned away and did not obey. 18When their enemies hurt them, the Israelites cried for help. So the Lord felt sorry for them and sent judges to save them from their enemies. The Lord was with those judges all their lives. 19But when the judges died, the Israelites again sinned and worshiped other gods. They became worse than their ancestors. The Israelites were very stubborn and refused to change their evil ways.
20So the Lord became angry with the Israelites. He said, “These people have broken the agreement I made with their ancestors. They have not listened to me. 21I will no longer defeat the nations who were left when Joshua died. 22I will use them to test Israel, to see if Israel will keep the Lord’s commands as their ancestors did.” 23In the past the Lord had permitted those nations to stay in the land. He did not quickly force them out or help Joshua’s army defeat them.
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