1 The angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bokim with a message for the Israelites. He told them, "I brought you out of Egypt into this land that I swore to give your ancestors, and I said I would never break my covenant with you.
2 For your part, you were not to make any covenants with the people living in this land; instead, you were to destroy their altars. Why, then, have you disobeyed my command?
3 Since you have done this, I will no longer drive out the people living in your land. They will be thorns in your sides, and their gods will be a constant temptation to you."
4 When the angel of the LORD finished speaking, the Israelites wept loudly.
5 So they called the place "Weeping,"* and they offered sacrifices to the LORD.1
6 After Joshua sent the people away, each of the tribes left to take possession of the land allotted to them.
7 And the Israelites served the LORD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and the leaders who outlived him--those who had seen all the great things the LORD had done for Israel.
8 Then Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of 110.
9 They buried him in the land he had inherited, at Timnath-serah* in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.2
10 After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the LORD or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel.
11 Then the Israelites did what was evil in the LORD's sight and worshiped the images of Baal.
12 They abandoned the LORD, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They chased after other gods, worshiping the gods of the people around them. And they angered the LORD.
13 They abandoned the LORD to serve Baal and the images of Ashtoreth.
14 This made the LORD burn with anger against Israel, so he handed them over to marauders who stole their possessions. He sold them to their enemies all around, and they were no longer able to resist them.
15 Every time Israel went out to battle, the LORD fought against them, bringing them defeat, just as he promised. And the people were very distressed.
16 Then the LORD raised up judges to rescue the Israelites from their enemies.
17 Yet Israel did not listen to the judges but prostituted themselves to other gods, bowing down to them. How quickly they turned away from the path of their ancestors, who had walked in obedience to the LORD's commands.
18 Whenever the LORD placed a judge over Israel, he was with that judge and rescued the people from their enemies throughout the judge's lifetime. For the LORD took pity on his people, who were burdened by oppression and suffering.
19 But when the judge died, the people returned to their corrupt ways, behaving worse than those who had lived before them. They followed other gods, worshiping and bowing down to them. And they refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.
20 So the LORD burned with anger against Israel. He said, "Because these people have violated the covenant I made with their ancestors and have ignored my commands,
21 I will no longer drive out the nations that Joshua left unconquered when he died.
22 I did this to test Israel--to see whether or not they would obey the LORD as their ancestors did."
23 That is why the LORD did not quickly drive the nations out or allow Joshua to conquer them all.
Read Judges 3