SynopsisThis passage starts out with yet another recap of what has happened before: At the age of a hundred and ten, Joshua reconfirmed the LORD’s covenant with the Israelites, and then died. The people had served the LORD throughout his lifetime, and when he died, they went to take possession of the Promised Land. But then…
Because of this cycle of disobedience—disobey God; He sends a judge; they sort of repent; the judge dies; they do even worse than before—the LORD is angry with them, and, as mentioned before, He tells them that He will no longer drive the nations out of the Promised Land, as He would have, if they’d have obeyed Him.
After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel. Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals. They forsook the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They provoked the LORD to anger because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. In his anger against Israel the LORD handed them over to raiders who plundered them. He sold them to their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the LORD was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress.
Then the LORD raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. Unlike their fathers, they quickly turned from the way in which their fathers had walked, the way of obedience to the LORD’s commands. Whenever the LORD raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the LORD had compassion on them as they groaned under those who oppressed and afflicted them. But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their fathers, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.
The Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. They took their daughters in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods. (verses 3:5–6)Get used to seeing the list of peoples listed above; the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. I seem to recall seeing that phrase a lot in the book of Judges, and maybe the rest of the Old Testament, too.