Old Testament

Judges 2
Religious Conditions During the Time of the Judges
21The Angel of the Lord[] went up from Gilgal to Bokim, and he said,
“I brought you up out of Egypt, and I brought you to the land that I swore to give to your fathers. I said, ‘I will not break my covenant with you, forever. 2As for you, do not make a covenant with the people living in this land. You must tear down their altars.’ But you did not listen to my voice. What is this you have done? 3So I say, ‘I will not drive them out before you, but they will be traps for you, and their gods will be a snare to you.’”
4When the Angel of the Lord spoke these things to all the people of Israel, the people lifted up their voices and wept loudly. 5They named that place Bokim,[] and they sacrificed to the Lord there.
6When Joshua dismissed the people, each of the descendants of Israel went to his own inheritance to take possession of the land. 7The people served the Lord all the days of Joshua and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, those who had seen all the great deeds that the Lord had done for Israel.
8Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of one hundred ten years. 9They buried him within the borders of his inheritance, in Timnath Heres,[] in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Ga'ash.
The Cycle That Repeats Itself Throughout Judges
10After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them, who did not know the Lord or the deeds that he had done for Israel. 11The people of Israel committed evil in the eyes of the Lord. They served the Baals, 12and they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt. They went after other gods from among the gods of the peoples who were around them. They bowed down to them, and they angered the Lord. 13They abandoned the Lord and served the Baals and the Ashtartes.[]
14So the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and he delivered them into the hand of raiders, who plundered them. He sold them into the hand of their enemies around them, and they were not able to stand up in the face of their enemies. 15Whenever the men of Israel went out, the hand of the Lord was against them to bring disaster on them, just as the Lord had said to them and just as the Lord had sworn to them. So they were greatly distressed.
16Nevertheless, the Lord raised up judges,[] who saved them from the hand of those who plundered them, 17but they did not listen even to the judges! Instead, they prostituted themselves to other gods and bowed down to them. They quickly turned from the way in which their fathers, who had obeyed the commands of the Lord, had once walked. This generation did not act the same way their fathers had acted.
18Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for them, the Lord was with that judge and saved them from their enemies during all the days of that judge, because the Lord had compassion when he heard their groaning under their tormenters and oppressors.
19But then, after the death of the judge, Israel would turn back and become more corrupt than their fathers by going after other gods, by serving them, and by worshipping them. They refused to let go of their practices and their shameless ways.
20So the anger of the Lord burned against Israel. He said, “Because this nation has violated my covenant, which I commanded to their fathers, and because they did not obey my voice, 21I will no longer drive out from among them a single one of the nations that Joshua left unconquered when he died. 22I will do this in order to test Israel by means of them. Will Israel keep the way of the Lord and walk upon it as their fathers kept it, or not?” 23So the Lord gave those nations a reprieve, and he did not drive them out quickly. He did not hand them over to Joshua.


  • 2:1 In the title Angel of the Lord, the word Angel is capitalized when the context makes it clear that it is God himself who is speaking rather than a created angel. Angel means messenger or envoy.
  • 2:5 Bokim means weeping.
  • 2:9 Called Timnath Serah in Joshua 19:50 and 24:30
  • 2:13 Baal was the most worshipped god and Asherah the most worshipped goddess among the Canaanites. Ashtarte may originally have been a different goddess, but often she seems to be interchangeable with Asherah. The names of Baal and Ashtarte are plural because Baal and Asherah/Ashtarte had many local forms and local shrines.
  • 2:16 The term judges refers not only to judicial officials but also to military deliverers or liberators who rescue people from oppression.