God sends an angel
1 The Lord God sent an angel from Gilgal to Bokim. The angel said, ‘I have brought you from Egypt. You are in the land that I promised to give you. I said that I would always do what I promised in my Covenant.
2 You must not have a covenant with the Canaanites. You must destroy the places where the Canaanites serve these false gods. You have not done as I told you. But you have done what I told you not to do! 3 This is what I will do. I will not send the Canaanites out of the land. They will be your enemies. Their false gods will pull you away from me. They will cause you much pain’.
4 When the angel had said this, the Israelites began to cry aloud. 5 They called the place Bokim (people who cry). They offered gifts there to the Lord.
2:6This book tells us how the people of Israel failed. God told them to kill all the Canaanites and to send them out of the land. They did not do any of these things. The first part of this book tells us how God helped the Israelites when Joshua was alive. But after Joshua died, they forgot to keep their promises. They had failed because they did not ask God for his help. They did not want to obey God. God was angry with Israel.
6 Joshua sent the people to go to their land. Each tribe went to take the part of the land chosen for them. 7 The Israelites obeyed the Lord for a time. Joshua and the old men had seen how the Lord had done great things for Israel. Whilst some of them were alive, the people obeyed the Lord. 8 Joshua the son of Nun (the servant of the Lord) died at 110 years old. 9 They buried him in the land that was his family's land, at Timnath Heres. This is in the hills near Mount Gaash. It is in Ephraim's part of the land.
Israel forgets God
10 When all the older men had died, younger men became leaders. They forgot the Lord and all that he had done for Israel. They did not obey him. 11 Then Israel did many bad things. They served the Baals, (gods of some Canaanites). 12 They did not obey the Lord God of their fathers. Yet, he had brought them out of Egypt. They obeyed the many false gods of the people who lived near them. They made the Lord angry, 13 because they served the Baals and Ashtoreths (false male and female gods) and did not obey the Lord. 14 So the Lord punished Israel. He sent enemies to take their animals and food. He let their enemies make the Israelites their servants. 15 Israel went to fight their enemies. But the Lord helped the enemies to win. He had said that he would do this. Israel was very, very sad.
God makes some people judges
16 Then the Lord made some of the people judges. These judges helped to save Israel from their enemies. 17 But the people would not listen to the judges. They went on following other gods. They were not like their fathers. They soon forgot the Lord. They would not obey him. 18 When the Lord gave them a judge, the Lord helped the judge to save them from their enemies. They obeyed the Lord while the judge was alive. The Lord listened to their cries when other people made their lives difficult.
19 But when the judge died, the people stopped serving the Lord. They became worse than their fathers. They served many false gods. They refused to stop doing all these bad things.
20 Because of this, the Lord became very angry with Israel. He said to them, ‘You have not done what your fathers promised. You have not listened to me. Because of this, I will not help you. 21 I will not send the Canaanites out of the land. They stayed in the land when Joshua died. 22 I will use them to see if you will try to obey me. Your fathers obeyed me’. 23 Some of the Canaanites lived in the land. The Lord did not send them all away. Also, he did not give their lands to Israel soon after Joshua had died.