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Result of disobedience

1THE angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bokim, and said, “I brought you up out of Egypt and into the country which I promised on oath I would give to your forefathers. I said: I shall never annul my covenant with you,

2and you in turn must make no covenant with the inhabitants of this country; you must pull down their altars. But you did not obey me, and look what you have done!

3So I said, I shall not drive them out before you; they will entice you astray, and their gods will become a snare for you.”

4When the angel of the LORD said this to the Israelites, they all broke into loud lamentation.

5They called the place Bokim and offered sacrifices there to the LORD.

6JOSHUA dismissed the people, and the Israelites went off to occupy the country, each to his allotted holding.

7The people served the LORD as long as Joshua and the elders who outlived him were alive -- everyone, that is, who had witnessed all the great deeds the LORD had done for Israel.

8At the age of a hundred and ten Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died,

9and was buried within his own holding in Timnath-heres to the north of Mount Gaash in the hill-country of Ephraim.

10When that whole generation was gathered to its forefathers, and was succeeded by another generation, who did not acknowledge the LORD and did not know what he had done for Israel,

11then the Israelites did what was wrong in the eyes of the LORD by serving the baalim.

12They forsook the LORD, their fathers' God who had brought them out of Egypt, and went after other gods, the gods of the peoples among whom they lived; by bowing down before them they provoked the LORD to anger;

13they forsook the LORD and served the baalim and the ashtaroth.

14In his anger the LORD made them the prey of bands of raiders and plunderers; he sold them into the power of their enemies around them, so that they could no longer stand against them.

15Every time they went out to do battle the LORD brought disaster on them, as he had said when he gave them his solemn warning; and they were in dire straits.

The first judges

16THEN the LORD raised up judges to rescue them from the marauding bands,

17yet even to their judges they did not listen. They prostituted themselves by worshipping other gods and bowed down before them; all too soon they abandoned the path of obedience to the LORD's commands which their forefathers had followed. They did not obey the LORD.

18Whenever the LORD set up a judge over them, he was with that judge, and kept them safe from their enemies so long as the judge lived. The LORD would relent when he heard them groaning under oppression and tyranny.

19But on the death of the judge they would relapse into corruption deeper than that of their predecessors and go after other gods; serving them and bowing before them, they would give up none of their evil practices and wilful ways.

20So the LORD's anger was roused against Israel and he said, “Because this nation has violated the covenant which I laid upon their forefathers, and has not obeyed me,

21I for my part shall not drive out before them one individual of all the nations which Joshua left at his death.

22Through them I shall test Israel, to see whether or not they will keep strictly to the way of the LORD as their forefathers did.”

23So the LORD left those nations alone and made no haste to drive them out or give them into Joshua's hands.

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