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Judges 2:17-20

2:17 But they did not obey 1  their leaders. Instead they prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped 2  them. They quickly turned aside from the path 3  their ancestors 4  had walked. Their ancestors had obeyed the Lord’s commands, but they did not. 5  2:18 When the Lord raised up leaders for them, the Lord was with each leader and delivered the people 6  from their enemies while the leader remained alive. The Lord felt sorry for them 7  when they cried out in agony because of what their harsh oppressors did to them. 8  2:19 When a leader died, the next generation 9  would again 10  act more wickedly than the previous one. 11  They would follow after other gods, worshiping them 12  and bowing down to them. They did not give up 13  their practices or their stubborn ways.

A Divine Decision

2:20 The Lord was furious with Israel. 14  He said, “This nation 15  has violated the terms of the agreement I made with their ancestors 16  by disobeying me. 17 

1 tn Or “did not listen to.”

2 tn Or “bowed before.”

3 tn Or “way [of life].”

4 tn Or “fathers.”

5 tn Heb “…walked, obeying the Lord’s commands. They did not do this.”

6 tn Heb “them”; the referent (the people) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

7 tn The phrase “for them” is supplied in the translation for clarity.

8 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.

9 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the next generation) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

10 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.

11 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).

12 tn Or “serving [them]”; or “following [them].”

13 tn Or “drop.”

14 tn Or “The Lord’s anger burned [or “raged”] against Israel.”

15 tn Heb “Because this nation.”

16 tn Heb “my covenant which I commanded their fathers.”

17 tn Heb “and has not listened to my voice.” The expression “to not listen to [God’s] voice” is idiomatic here for disobeying him.

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