Yahweh's message to Israel
1 Yahweh appeared in the form of an angel and went up from Gilgal to a place that was later called Bokim. He said to the Israeli people, “I brought your ancestors up here from Egypt. I led them into this land that I solemnly promised to give to your ancestors. I said to them, ‘The agreement that I made with you, as for me, I will never ◄break it/say that it is ended►. 2 But as for you, you must never make a peace agreement with the people who live in this land. You must tear down the altars where they make sacrifices to idols.’ But you have not obeyed me. 3 So now, I am telling you that I will not expel your enemies as you advance. They will be like thorns in your sides. And they will try to trap you by making you worship their idols.”
4 After he told that to all the Israelis, the people cried loudly. 5 They called that place Bokim, which means ❛weeping. ❛ There they offered sacrifices to Yahweh.
6 After Joshua sent the Israel people away, each group went to possess the land that had been allotted to them. 7 They served Yahweh as long as Joshua was alive, and as long as the elders, those who had seen all the great things that Yahweh had done for Israel, were alive.
8 Then Yahweh's servant Joshua died. He was 110 years old when he died. 9 They buried his body in the area he had received from Moses, at Timnath-Serah, in the area where the descendants of Ephraim lived, north of Gaash Mountain.
The Israelis were punished for doing evil things
10 After all the people died who lived at the same time as Joshua [EUP], a group of people grew up who did not know Yahweh, and did not know what great things he had done for the Israeli people. 11-13 They did things that Yahweh said were very evil. They worshiped idols that represented the god Baal and the goddess Astarte. They worshiped [DOU] the various gods that the people-groups around them worshiped. They stopped worshiping Yahweh, the God their ancestors worshiped, the one who had brought their ancestors out of Egypt. That caused Yahweh to be very angry. 14 So he allowed people from other groups to raid them and steal their crops and animals. They were no longer able to resist their enemies, and Yahweh allowed all their enemies around them to defeat them. 15 Whenever the Israelis went to fight their enemies, Yahweh [MTY] was opposing them, and allowed their enemies to defeat them, just as he had promised he would do. So the Israelis were greatly distressed.
16 Then Yahweh gave leaders to them. These leaders rescued the Israelis from the people who were raiding them. 17 But the Israelis still would not pay attention to their leaders. Instead, they went to* the idols, acting like prostitutes who gave themselves to men who were not their husbands [MET], and they worshiped those idols. They were not like their ancestors. Their ancestors obeyed what Yahweh commanded, but their descendants quickly stopped behaving as their ancestors had behaved. 18 Whenever Yahweh gave a leader to them, he helped that leader and enabled him to rescue the people from their enemies. He elped them like that as long as that leader was alive. Yahweh pitied them as they groaned because they were being oppressed and caused to suffer. 19 But after that leader died, the people went back to behaving in ways even more evil than their ancestors had behaved. They worshiped other gods and bowed down to them and did all [LIT] the things that they thought those gods wanted them to do.
20 So Yahweh was very angry with the Israeli people. He said, “These people have disobeyed the agreement I made with their ancestors. They have not done what I told them to do. 21 So I will no longer expel the people-groups that Joshua left in this land when he died. 22 I will use them to test the Israeli people to see whether they will do what I want them to do, as their ancestors did.” 23 Yahweh had allowed those people-groups to stay in that land. He did not expel them by allowing Joshua and his men to defeat them.