Confrontation and Repentance at Bokim
2:1 The Lord’s angelic messenger 1 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 agreement 3 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 Canaanites 9 before you. They will ensnare you 10 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 Bokim 13 and offered sacrifices to the Lord there.
The End of an Era
2:6 When Joshua dismissed 14 the people, the Israelites went to their allotted portions of territory, 15 intending to take possession of the land. 2:7 The people worshiped 16 the Lord throughout Joshua’s lifetime and as long as the elderly men 17 who outlived him remained alive. These men had witnessed 18 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 people 20 buried him in his allotted land 21 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 up 23 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 before 25 the Lord by worshiping 26 the Baals. 2:12 They abandoned the Lord God of their ancestors 27 who brought them out of the land of Egypt. They followed other gods – the gods of the nations who lived around them. They worshiped 28 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 Israel 30 and handed them over to robbers who plundered them. 31 He turned them over to 32 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 leaders 38 who delivered them from these robbers. 39 2:17 But they did not obey 40 their leaders. Instead they prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped 41 them. They quickly turned aside from the path 42 their ancestors 43 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 people 45 from their enemies while the leader remained alive. The Lord felt sorry for them 46 when they cried out in agony because of what their harsh oppressors did to them. 47 2:19 When a leader died, the next generation 48 would again 49 act more wickedly than the previous one. 50 They would follow after other gods, worshiping them 51 and bowing down to them. They did not give up 52 their practices or their stubborn ways.
A Divine Decision
2:20 The Lord was furious with Israel. 53 He said, “This nation 54 has violated the terms of the agreement I made with their ancestors 55 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 nations 57 to test 58 Israel. I wanted to see 59 whether or not the people 60 would carefully walk in the path 61 marked out by 62 the Lord, as their ancestors 63 were careful to do.” 2:23 This is why 64 the Lord permitted these nations to remain and did not conquer them immediately; 65 he did not hand them over to Joshua.