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 The Judges As Saviours

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CHAPTER 2 Jun. 7 
An Angel Warns the People 
The angel of Yahweh came up from Gilgal to Bochim. He said, I brought you up out of Egypt and have brought you to the land which I swore to your fathers, and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you, 2and you must make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; break down their altars’. But you have not listened to My voice; why have you done this? 3Therefore I tell you that I will not drive them out from before you, but they shall be thorns in your sides and their gods will be a snare to you. 4When the angel of Yahweh spoke these words to all the children of Israel, the people lifted up their voice and wept. 5They called the name of that place Bochim; and they sacrificed there to Yahweh. 
The Death of Joshua
6Now when Joshua had sent the people away, the children of Israel went every man to his inheritance to possess the land. 7The people served Yahweh all the days of Joshua and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work of Yahweh that He had worked for Israel. 8Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Yahweh, died, being one hundred and ten years old. 9They buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnah Heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, on the north of the mountain of Gaash. 10Also all that generation were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who didn’t know Yahweh, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel. 
Israel Turns to Idols
11The Israelites did what was evil in the sight of Yahweh and served the Baals. 12They forsook Yahweh the God of their fathers who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods of the peoples who were around them and bowed themselves down to them; and they provoked Yahweh to anger. 13They forsook Yahweh and served Baal and the Ashtaroth. 14The anger of Yahweh was kindled against Israel and He delivered them into the hands of raiders who plundered them, and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. 15Wherever they went the hand of Yahweh was against them for evil, as Yahweh had spoken and as Yahweh had sworn to them; and they were very distressed. 16Yahweh raised up judges who saved them from those who plundered them. 17Yet they didn’t listen to their judges; for they played the prostitute after other gods and bowed themselves down to them. They turned aside quickly out of the way in which their fathers walked, who had obeyed the commandments of Yahweh. They didn’t do so. 18When Yahweh raised up judges for them, Yahweh was with the judge and saved them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge, for it grieved Yahweh because of their distress because of the oppression. 19But when the judge was dead they turned back and behaved more corruptly than their fathers in following other gods to serve them and to bow down to them. They didn’t cease from their evil practices or from their stubborn ways. 20The anger of Yahweh was kindled against Israel and He said, Because this nation has transgressed My covenant which I commanded their fathers and has not listened to Me, 21I also will no longer drive out from before them any of the nations that Joshua left when he died. 22So by them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of Yahweh to walk therein as their fathers did, or not. 23So Yahweh left those nations without driving them out quickly and didn’t deliver them into the hand of Joshua.


2:1-3 The Angel here speaks as if He is God Himself speaking. Both men and Angels can carry God’s Name (Ex. 23:21) and thus can functionally be as God, whilst not being God Himself in person. This explains how God’s Son, Jesus, isn’t God Himself but carries God’s Name (Jn. 5:43) and acts as God whilst not being God Himself.
2:9 They buried him in the border of his inheritance- So that when Joshua is resurrected at Christ’s return, he can go directly into his inheritance.
2:18 It grieved Yahweh because of their distress- God like the truly loving parent took no pleasure in punishing His children. The idea of eternal conscious torture of the wicked isn’t taught in the Bible; God has no pleasure at all in punishing sinners (Ez. 18:23; 33:11).
2:22 This is rather similar to God telling Balaam to go with the messengers of Balak, but to be obedient to His word. God as it were pushes people down the downward spiral if this is the way they choose to go. Obedience would be so much harder with the Canaanite tribes still existing amongst Israel; but God let this be so. We pray “lead us not into temptation” (Mt. 6:13) because it is possible for God to lead us into such situations, even though the process of temptation is totally internal to ourselves (James 1:13-15).
2:23 God drove out the tribes from Canaan slowly, not immediately- or at least, He potentially enabled this to happen. But Israel were to destroy those tribes “quickly” (Dt. 9:3); yet they chose not to. Because they didn’t want to be obedient to that, or at least to only be ‘slowly’ obedient, God went along with them and confirmed them in the level of response to Him which they chose.