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Judges 10:10

ESV And the people of Israel cried out to the LORD, saying, “We have sinned against you, because we have forsaken our God and have served the Baals.”
NIV Then the Israelites cried out to the LORD, 'We have sinned against you, forsaking our God and serving the Baals.'
NASB Then the sons of Israel cried out to the Lord, saying, 'We have sinned against You, for indeed, we have abandoned our God and served the Baals.'
CSB so they cried out to the Lord, saying, "We have sinned against you. We have abandoned our God and worshiped the Baals."
NLT Finally, they cried out to the Lord for help, saying, 'We have sinned against you because we have abandoned you as our God and have served the images of Baal.'
KJV And the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, saying, We have sinned against thee, both because we have forsaken our God, and also served Baalim.

What does Judges 10:10 mean?

The pattern of the book of Judges (Judges 2:11–19) becomes familiar to anyone reading from the beginning. Israel sins against the Lord by worshiping the gods of Canaan. God responds by selling Israel into the hands of other nations. The people "cry out" by begging God for rescue. The Lord responds by raising up a deliverer, labelled with a term translated as "judge," to save His people and restore peace.

This time, everything about the pattern is amplified. First, the people do not just serve another god. They serve all the false gods of the region. This includes the Baals and Ashtaroths (Judges 3:7; 8:33), and the gods of the nations who have oppressed them in times past. They openly serve all gods except the One True God, whom they abandon (Judges 10:6).

In response, the Lord turns them over for oppression to not one, but two nations (Judges 10:7). These nations oppress Israel from two different directions. All of Israel will suffer as a result, not just one region or another.

Finally, the people realize the cause of their hardship and beg for mercy after eighteen years of suffering. For the first time in Judges, however, their cry includes explicit confession. The people of Israel admit their guilt. They say openly that they have sinned against the Lord by forsaking Him and serving false gods. Without confession, there can be no repentance. On the surface, this reaction seems more genuine than Israel's past cries for help.

It's not clear what form this communication between the people and the Lord takes. Do they cry out to Him through specific representatives, such as prophets? Are the people moved to cry out to Him, in general, from across the nation? What is clear is that the Lord will not quickly and easily respond to the cry for mercy. This is far from the first time that Israel has betrayed Him, and their rescue will not come the instant they repent.
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