2:16 The Lord raised up leaders 1 who delivered them from these robbers. 2 2:17 But they did not obey 3 their leaders. Instead they prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped 4 them. They quickly turned aside from the path 5 their ancestors 6 had walked. Their ancestors had obeyed the Lord’s commands, but they did not. 7 2:18 When the Lord raised up leaders for them, the Lord was with each leader and delivered the people 8 from their enemies while the leader remained alive. The Lord felt sorry for them 9 when they cried out in agony because of what their harsh oppressors did to them. 10 2:19 When a leader died, the next generation 11 would again 12 act more wickedly than the previous one. 13 They would follow after other gods, worshiping them 14 and bowing down to them. They did not give up 15 their practices or their stubborn ways.
1 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.”
2 tn Heb “and they delivered them from the hand of the ones robbing them.”
3 tn Or “did not listen to.”
4 tn Or “bowed before.”
5 tn Or “way [of life].”
6 tn Or “fathers.”
7 tn Heb “…walked, obeying the
8 tn Heb “them”; the referent (the people) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
9 tn The phrase “for them” is supplied in the translation for clarity.
10 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.
11 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the next generation) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
12 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.
13 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).
14 tn Or “serving [them]”; or “following [them].”
15 tn Or “drop.”