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A Monotonous Cycle

2:11 The Israelites did evil before25 the Lord by worshiping26 the Baals. 2:12 They abandoned the Lord God of their ancestors27 who brought them out of the land of Egypt. They followed other gods—the gods of the nations who lived around them. They worshiped28 them and made the Lord angry. 2:13 They abandoned the Lord and worshiped Baal and the Ashtars.29

2:14 The Lord was furious with Israel30 and handed them over to robbers who plundered them.31 He turned them over to32 their enemies who lived around them. They could not withstand their enemies’ attacks.33 2:15 Whenever they went out to fight,34 the Lord did them harm,35 just as he had warned and solemnly vowed he would do.36 They suffered greatly.37

2:16 The Lord raised up leaders38 who delivered them from these robbers.39 2:17 But they did not obey40 their leaders. Instead they prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped41 them. They quickly turned aside from the path42 their ancestors43 had walked. Their ancestors had obeyed the Lord’s commands, but they did not.44 2:18 When the Lord raised up leaders for them, the Lord was with each leader and delivered the people45 from their enemies while the leader remained alive. The Lord felt sorry for them46 when they cried out in agony because of what their harsh oppressors did to them.47 2:19 When a leader died, the next generation48 would again49 act more wickedly than the previous one.50 They would follow after other gods, worshiping them51 and bowing down to them. They did not give up52 their practices or their stubborn ways.


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