The Angel of the Lord Warns Israel
1The angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bokim. There he spoke to the people of Israel. "I brought you up out of Egypt," he said. "I led you into this land. It is the land I promised with an oath to give to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I said, 'I will never break the covenant I made with you. 2So you must not make a covenant with the people of this land. Instead, you must tear down their altars.'
"But you have disobeyed me. Why did you do it? 3I have something to tell you. I will not drive those people out to make room for you. They will be like thorns in your sides. Their gods will be a trap to you."
4The angel of the Lord spoke those things to all of the people of Israel. Then the people began to sob out loud. 5So that place was called Bokim. The people offered sacrifices to the Lord there.
The People Turn Away From the Lord
6Joshua sent the people of Israel away. Then they went to take over the land. All of them went to their own shares of land.
7The people served the Lord as long as Joshua lived. They also served him as long as the elders lived. Those were the elders who lived longer than Joshua did. They had seen all of the great things the Lord had done for Israel.
8Joshua, the servant of the Lord, died. He was the son of Nun. He was 110 years old when he died. 9His people buried his body on his own property at Timnath Heres. It's north of Mount Gaash in the hill country of Ephraim.
10All of the people of Joshua's time joined the members of their families who had already died. Then those who were born after them grew up. They didn't know the Lord. They didn't know what he had done for Israel.
11The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. They served the gods that were named after Baal. 12They deserted the Lord, the God of their people. He had brought them out of Egypt. But now the people of Israel followed other gods and worshiped them. They served the gods of the nations that were around them. They made the Lord angry 13because they deserted him. They served Baal. They also served the goddesses that were named after Ashtoreth.
14The Lord became angry with Israel. So he handed them over to robbers. The robbers stole everything from them. He gave them over to their enemies who were all around them. Israel wasn't able to fight against them anymore and win. 15When Israel went out to fight, the Lord's power was against them. He let their enemies win the battle over them. The Lord had warned them with an oath that it would happen. And now they were suffering terribly.
16Then the Lord gave them leaders. The leaders saved them from the power of those robbers. 17But the people wouldn't listen to their leaders. They weren't faithful to the Lord. They joined themselves to other gods and worshiped them. They didn't obey the Lord's commands as their people before them had done. They quickly turned away from the path their people had taken.
18When the Lord gave them a leader, he was with that leader. He saved the people from the power of their enemies. He did it as long as the leader lived. He was very sorry for the people. They groaned because of what their enemies did to them. The enemies beat them down. They treated them badly.
19But when the leader died, the people returned to their evil ways. The things they did were even more sinful than the things their people before them had done. They followed other gods. They served them. They worshiped them. They refused to give up their evil practices. They wouldn't change their stubborn ways.
20So the Lord's anger burned against the people of Israel. He said, "This nation has broken my covenant. I made it with their people of long ago. But this nation has not listened to me. 21Joshua left some nations in the land when he died. I will not drive those nations out to make room for you anymore. 22I will use them to put Israel to the test. I will see whether Israel will live the way I want them to. I will see whether they will follow my path, just as their people did long ago."
23The Lord had let those nations remain in the land. He didn't drive them out right away. He didn't hand them over to Joshua.