An angel confronts them. Joshua dies. A faithless generation arises.
VERSE 1. The LORD’s angel came up from Gilgal to Bochim. He said, “I brought you out of Egypt, and have brought you to the land which I swore to give your fathers. I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you.
The LORD’s angel. Which angel is this?
VERSE 2. You shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land. You shall break down their altars.’ But you have not listened to my voice. Why have you done this?
make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land. They were instructed to exterminate the indigenous people.
you have not listened to my voice. They did not do as they were instructed. They did not exterminate the Canaanites.
VERSE 3. Therefore I also said, ‘I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be in your sides, and their gods will be a snare to you.’ ”
I will not drive them out from before you. The LORD God will not compensate for their disobedience. They will reap what they (didn’t) sow.
There is a law of “sowing and reaping” throughout the Bible. We don’t know how to fully reconcile it with grace and mercy. Here are the verses we’ve found »
VERSE 4. When the LORD’s angel spoke these words to all the children of Israel, the people lifted up their voice and wept.
Bochim. This Hebrew word means weepers.”
VERSE 6. Now when Joshua had sent the people away, the children of Israel each went to his inheritance to possess the land.
VERSE 7. The people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work of the LORD that he had worked for Israel.
served the LORD all the days of Joshua. As long as they have a Spirit-anointed leader, the people serve the LORD God.
all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua. As long as they have leaders who walked with the LORD God, the people serve the LORD God.
who had seen all the great work of the LORD. They were eyewitnesses.
1 John 1:1. That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we saw, and our hands touched, concerning the Word of life
VERSE 8. Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being one hundred ten years old.
VERSE 9. They buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnath Heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, on the north of the mountain of Gaash.
VERSE 10. After all that generation were gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who didn’t know the LORD, nor the work which he had done for Israel.
another generation arose after them. This is the third generation of leaders mentioned in this chapter:
- Joshua the Servant of the LORD (verse 7)
- Eyewitnesses (verse 7)
- Those who do not know the LORD (verse 10)
who didn’t know the LORD. These third-generation leaders do NOT know the LORD God. And yet they hold the office of godly leader. They will wreak endless damage.
That was true in their day. And it is true in our day as well.
Many leaders in the Christian community do not know the LORD God. And yet they hold the office of godly leader. They wreak endless damage.
Here are two obvious examples: The Catholic priests who sexually abuse children. And the bishops who protect the priests who sexually abuse children.
served the Baals. In the timeframe of the third-generation leaders, people abandon the LORD God. Instead, they worship Baal.
VERSE 12. They abandoned the LORD, the God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed themselves down to them; and they provoked the LORD to anger.
bowed themselves down. The Hebrew word is וַיִּֽשְׁתַּחֲו֖וּ (“way·yiš·ta·ḥă·wū”). It means to bow down, to bow down in worship.
abandoned. The Hebrew word is וַיַּעַזְב֖וּ (“way·ya·‘aḇ·ḏū”). It means to leave, forsake, loose.
They didn’t gradually fall away from the LORD God. No, they forsook him.
served Baal. Instead of worshipping the LORD God, they now worship Baal.
and the Ashtaroth. Not only do they worship Baal. But they also worship Ashtaroth.
VERSE 14. The LORD’s anger burned against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies.
delivered them into the hands of raiders. Since they forsook the LORD God, he has given them into the hands of their enemies.
VERSE 15. Wherever they went out, the LORD’s hand was against them for evil, as the LORD had spoken, and as the LORD had sworn to them; and they were very distressed.
NAB translation. Whatever they undertook, the LORD turned into disaster for them …
VERSE 16. The LORD raised up judges, who saved them out of the hand of those who plundered them.
VERSE 17. Yet they didn’t listen to their judges; for they prostituted themselves to other gods, and bowed themselves down to them. They quickly turned away from the way in which their fathers walked, obeying the LORD’s commandments. They didn’t do so.
they didn’t listen to their judges. They are exceptionally obstinate.
They quickly turned away. Their fall into apostasy was not gradual. No, it happened quickly.
VERSE 18. When the LORD raised up judges for them, then the LORD was with the judge, and saved them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for it grieved the LORD because of their groaning by reason of those who oppressed them and troubled them.
the LORD was with the judge. The LORD God works through the judge.
VERSE 19. But when the judge was dead, they turned back, and dealt more corruptly than their fathers in following other gods to serve them and to bow down to them. They didn’t cease what they were doing, or give up their stubborn ways.
they turned back. Their loyalty to the faith is quite fickle.
VERSE 20. The LORD’s anger burned against Israel; and he said, “Because this nation transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and has not listened to my voice,
VERSE 21. I also will no longer drive out any of the nations that Joshua left when he died from before them;
VERSE 22. that by them I may test Israel, to see if they will keep the LORD’s way to walk therein, as their fathers kept it, or not.”
VERSE 23. So the LORD left those nations, without driving them out hastily. He didn’t deliver them into Joshua’s hand.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.