- An angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bochim and said, "It was I who brought you up from Egypt and led you into the land which I promised on oath to your fathers. I said that I would never break my covenant with you,
- but that you were not to make a pact with the inhabitants of this land, and you were to pull down their altars. Yet you have not obeyed me. What did you mean by this?
- For now I tell you, I will not clear them out of your way; they shall oppose you and their gods shall become a snare for you."
- When the angel of the LORD had made these threats to all the Israelites, the people wept aloud;
- 1 and so that place came to be called Bochim. They offered sacrifice there to the LORD.
- When Joshua dismissed the people, each Israelite went to take possession of his own hereditary land.
- The people served the LORD during the entire lifetime of Joshua, and of those elders who outlived Joshua and who had seen all the great work which the LORD had done for Israel.
- Joshua, son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, was a hundred and ten years old when he died;
- and they buried him within the borders of his heritage at Timnath-heres in the mountain region of Ephraim north of Mount Gaash.
- But once the rest of that generation were gathered to their fathers, and a later generation arose that did not know the LORD, or what he had done for Israel,
- 2 the Israelites offended the LORD by serving the Baals.
- Abandoning the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had led them out of the land of Egypt, they followed the other gods of the various nations around them, and by their worship of these gods provoked the LORD.
- 3 Because they had thus abandoned him and served Baal and the Ashtaroth,
- the anger of the LORD flared up against Israel, and he delivered them over to plunderers who despoiled them. He allowed them to fall into the power of their enemies round about whom they were no longer able to withstand.
- Whatever they undertook, the LORD turned into disaster for them, as in his warning he had sworn he would do, till they were in great distress.
- Even when the LORD raised up judges to deliver them from the power of their despoilers,
- they did not listen to their judges, but abandoned themselves to the worship of other gods. They were quick to stray from the way their fathers had taken, and did not follow their example of obedience to the commandments of the LORD.
- Whenever the LORD raised up judges for them, he would be with the judge and save them from the power of their enemies as long as the judge lived; it was thus the LORD took pity on their distressful cries of affliction under their oppressors.
- But when the judge died, they would relapse and do worse than their fathers, following other gods in service and worship, relinquishing none of their evil practices or stubborn conduct.
- In his anger toward Israel the LORD said, "Inasmuch as this nation has violated my covenant which I enjoined on their fathers, and has disobeyed me,
- I for my part will not clear away for them any more of the nations which Joshua left when he died."
- Through these nations the Israelites were to be made to prove whether or not they would keep to the way of the LORD and continue in it as their fathers had done;
- therefore the LORD allowed them to remain instead of expelling them immediately, or delivering them into the power of Israel.
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Footnotes1 Bochim: the Hebrew word for "weepers."
2 Baals: the chief god of the Canaanites and the Phoenicians was called "Baal," a word meaning "lord." He was honored by various titles, hence the plural form here, equivalent to "the pagan gods."
3 Ashtaroth: the Canaanite Phoenician goddess of love and fertility was Astarte. The plural form used here refers to her various titles and images and is equivalent to "goddesses."
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