2:1 The Lord’s angelic messenger 1 went up from Gilgal to Bokim. He said, “I brought you up from Egypt and led you into the land I had solemnly promised to give to your ancestors. 2 I said, ‘I will never break my agreement 3 with you, 2:2 but you must not make an agreement with the people who live in this land. You should tear down the altars where they worship.’ 4 But you have disobeyed me. 5 Why would you do such a thing? 6 2:3 At that time I also warned you, 7 ‘If you disobey, 8 I will not drive out the Canaanites 9 before you. They will ensnare you 10 and their gods will lure you away.’” 11
2:6 When Joshua dismissed 14 the people, the Israelites went to their allotted portions of territory, 15 intending to take possession of the land. 2:7 The people worshiped 16 the Lord throughout Joshua’s lifetime and as long as the elderly men 17 who outlived him remained alive. These men had witnessed 18 all the great things the Lord had done for Israel. 19 2:8 Joshua son of Nun, the Lord’s servant, died at the age of one hundred ten. 2:9 The people 20 buried him in his allotted land 21 in Timnath Heres in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. 2:10 That entire generation passed away; 22 a new generation grew up 23 that had not personally experienced the Lord’s presence or seen what he had done for Israel. 24
2:11 The Israelites did evil before 25 the Lord by worshiping 26 the Baals. 2:12 They abandoned the Lord God of their ancestors 27 who brought them out of the land of Egypt. They followed other gods – the gods of the nations who lived around them. They worshiped 28 them and made the Lord angry. 2:13 They abandoned the Lord and worshiped Baal and the Ashtars. 29
2:14 The Lord was furious with Israel 30 and handed them over to robbers who plundered them. 31 He turned them over to 32 their enemies who lived around them. They could not withstand their enemies’ attacks. 33 2:15 Whenever they went out to fight, 34 the Lord did them harm, 35 just as he had warned and solemnly vowed he would do. 36 They suffered greatly. 37
2:16 The Lord raised up leaders 38 who delivered them from these robbers. 39 2:17 But they did not obey 40 their leaders. Instead they prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped 41 them. They quickly turned aside from the path 42 their ancestors 43 had walked. Their ancestors had obeyed the Lord’s commands, but they did not. 44 2:18 When the Lord raised up leaders for them, the Lord was with each leader and delivered the people 45 from their enemies while the leader remained alive. The Lord felt sorry for them 46 when they cried out in agony because of what their harsh oppressors did to them. 47 2:19 When a leader died, the next generation 48 would again 49 act more wickedly than the previous one. 50 They would follow after other gods, worshiping them 51 and bowing down to them. They did not give up 52 their practices or their stubborn ways.
2:20 The Lord was furious with Israel. 53 He said, “This nation 54 has violated the terms of the agreement I made with their ancestors 55 by disobeying me. 56 2:21 So I will no longer remove before them any of the nations that Joshua left unconquered when he died. 2:22 Joshua left those nations 57 to test 58 Israel. I wanted to see 59 whether or not the people 60 would carefully walk in the path 61 marked out by 62 the Lord, as their ancestors 63 were careful to do.” 2:23 This is why 64 the Lord permitted these nations to remain and did not conquer them immediately; 65 he did not hand them over to Joshua.
2 tn Heb “the land that I had sworn to your fathers.”
3 tn Or “covenant” (also in the following verse).
4 tn Heb “their altars.”
5 tn Heb “you have not listened to my voice.”
6 tn Heb “What is this you have done?”
7 tn Heb “And I also said.” The use of the perfect tense here suggests that the messenger is recalling an earlier statement (see Josh 23:12-13). However, some translate, “And I also say,” understanding the following words as an announcement of judgment upon those gathered at Bokim.
9 tn Heb “them”; the referent (the Canaanites) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
10 tn The meaning of the Hebrew word צִדִּים (tsiddim) is uncertain in this context. It may be related to an Akkadian cognate meaning “snare.” If so, a more literal translation would be “they will become snares to you.” Normally the term in question means “sides,” but this makes no sense here. On the basis of Num 33:55 some suggest the word for “thorns” has been accidentally omitted. If this word is added, the text would read, “they will become [thorns] in your sides” (cf. NASB, NIV, NLT).
11 tn Heb “their gods will become a snare to you.”
12 tn Heb “lifted their voices and wept.”
13 sn Bokim means “weeping ones” and is derived from the Hebrew verb בָּכָא (bakha’, “to weep”).
14 tn Or “sent away.”
15 tn Heb “the Israelites went each to his inheritance.”
16 tn Or “served”; or “followed.”
17 tn Or perhaps “elders,” which could be interpreted to mean “leaders.”
18 tn Heb “all the days of Joshua and all the days of the old men who outlived him, who had seen.”
19 tn Heb “the great work of the
20 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the people) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
21 tn Heb “in the territory of his inheritance.”
22 tn Heb “All that generation were gathered to their fathers.”
23 tn Heb “arose after them.”
24 tn Heb “that did not know the
25 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”
26 tn Or “serving”; or “following.”
27 tn Or “fathers.”
28 tn Or “bowed before” (the same expression occurs in the following verse).
29 tn Some English translations simply transliterate the plural Hebrew term (“Ashtaroth,” cf. NAB, NASB), pluralize the transliterated Hebrew singular form (“Ashtoreths,” cf. NIV), or use a variation of the name (“Astartes,” cf. NRSV).
sn The Ashtars were local manifestations of the goddess Astarte.
30 tn Or “The
31 tn Heb “robbers who robbed them.” (The verb שָׁסָה [shasah] appears twice in the verse.)
sn The expression robbers who plundered them is a derogatory reference to the enemy nations, as the next line indicates.
32 tn Heb “sold them into the hands of.”
33 tn The word “attacks” is supplied in the translation both for clarity and for stylistic reasons.
34 tn The expression “to fight” is interpretive.
35 tn Heb “the
36 tn Heb “just as he had said and just as he had sworn to them.”
37 tn Or “they experienced great distress.”
38 tn Or more traditionally, “judges” (also in vv. 17, 18 [3x], 19). Since these figures carried out more than a judicial function, also serving as rulers and (in several instances) as military commanders, the translation uses the term “leaders.”
39 tn Heb “and they delivered them from the hand of the ones robbing them.”
40 tn Or “did not listen to.”
41 tn Or “bowed before.”
42 tn Or “way [of life].”
43 tn Or “fathers.”
44 tn Heb “…walked, obeying the
45 tn Heb “them”; the referent (the people) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
46 tn The phrase “for them” is supplied in the translation for clarity.
47 tn Heb “the ones oppressing them and afflicting them.” The synonyms “oppressing” and “afflicting” are joined together in the translation as “harsh oppressors” to emphasize the cruel character of their enemies.
48 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the next generation) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
49 tn The verb שׁוּב (shuv, “to return; to turn”) is sometimes translated “turn back” here, but it is probably used in an adverbial sense, indicating that the main action (“act wickedly”) is being repeated.
50 tn Heb “their fathers.”
sn The statement the next generation would again act more wickedly than the previous one must refer to the successive sinful generations after Joshua, not Joshua’s godly generation (cf. vv. 7, 17).
51 tn Or “serving [them]”; or “following [them].”
52 tn Or “drop.”
53 tn Or “The
54 tn Heb “Because this nation.”
55 tn Heb “my covenant which I commanded their fathers.”
56 tn Heb “and has not listened to my voice.” The expression “to not listen to [God’s] voice” is idiomatic here for disobeying him.
57 tn The words “Joshua left those nations” are interpretive. The Hebrew text of v. 22 simply begins with “to test.” Some subordinate this phrase to “I will no longer remove” (v. 21). In this case the
58 tn The Hebrew text includes the phrase “by them,” but this is somewhat redundant in English and has been omitted from the translation for stylistic reasons.
59 tn The words “I [i.e., the
60 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the people) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
61 tn Or “way [of life].”
62 tn “The words “marked out by” are interpretive.
63 tn Or “fathers.”
64 tn The words “this is why” are interpretive.
65 tn Or “quickly.”