Judges 2:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 2:1, NIV: The angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, 'I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land I swore to give to your ancestors. I said, 'I will never break my covenant with you,

Judges 2:1, ESV: Now the angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said, “I brought you up from Egypt and brought you into the land that I swore to give to your fathers. I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you,

Judges 2:1, KJV: And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.

Judges 2:1, NASB: Now the angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said, 'I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land which I have sworn to your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you,

Judges 2:1, NLT: The angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said to the Israelites, 'I brought you out of Egypt into this land that I swore to give your ancestors, and I said I would never break my covenant with you.

Judges 2:1, CSB: The angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bochim and said, "I brought you out of Egypt and led you into the land I had promised to your ancestors. I also said: I will never break my covenant with you.

What does Judges 2:1 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The previous chapter ended by listing the many tribes of Israel, followed by the words "did not drive out the inhabitants." God had commanded Israel to purge the wicked Canaanites and devote them to complete destruction (Deuteronomy 20:16–17). God's reason for this was the deep danger of Canaanite religion, and the temptation for Israel to imitate their evil (Deuteronomy 20:18).

Scripture does not give explicit reasons why Israel failed to complete their mission. Context provides a few possibilities. Israel may have encountered resistance, at first, and simply given up. It was likely easier to let the locals stay than go to war with them. Some might have been so intrigued with Canaanite culture that they didn't want to eliminate it. The reports in chapter 1 did not give a reason, aside from the few mentions of the Canaanites resisting and pushing the Israelites back.

Whatever the reason, God has associated Israel's lack of follow-through as disobedience. In the event depicted here, it seems representatives from Israel are gathered. The angel from the Lord arrives to speak to them at a place which will soon be named Bochim (Judges 2:5). Some scholars believe this to be near Bethel (Genesis 28:19).

Scholars speculate about the exact identity of the angel from the Lord. Since this figure speaks as the Lord, with "I" statements, many scholars suggest that this is a "theophany:" when God appears in some human form. When this form is associated with the second person of the Trinity, God the Son, such an event is called a "Christophany."

The Angel is said to have come up from Gilgal. No explanation is given for why this Person should have been in Gilgal, where Israel first camped after crossing the Jordan River (Joshua 4:19). Most likely, this is symbolic, as God is appearing to deliver a devastating message about Israel's disobedience. That begins with a reminder about how the Lord rescued them from slavery in Egypt. God brought them into the Promised Land.

God points out that He has done great things for the people of Israel. He promised to never break His covenant with them. He also guaranteed the nation wonderful benefits—but only if they continued to obey His very specific instructions (Judges 2:2). Israel's suffering in the centuries to come will be a direct result of their refusal to honor God's covenant agreement.