16 The Lord raised upac judges, who saved them from the power of their marauders, 17 but they did not listen to their judges. Instead, they prostitutedad themselves with other gods, bowing down to them. They quickly turned from the wayae of their ancestors, who had walked in obedience to the Lord’s commands. They did not do as their ancestors did. 18 Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for the Israelites, the Lord was withaf him and saved the people from the power of their enemies while the judge was still alive. The Lord was moved to pity whenever they groaned because of those who were oppressing and afflicting them. 19 Whenever the judge died, the Israelites would act even more corruptlyag than their ancestors, following other gods to serve them and bow in worship to them. They did not turn from their evil practices or their obstinateah ways.
20 The Lord’s anger burned against Israel, and he declared, “Because this nation has violated my covenanta that I made with their ancestorsb and disobeyed me, 21 I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua leftc when he died.d 22 I did this to test Israel and to see whether or not they would keep the Lord’s waye by walking in it, as their ancestors had.”f 23 The Lord left these nations and did not drive them out immediately. He did not hand them over to Joshua.