Judges 3:7 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 3:7, NIV: The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD; they forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs.

Judges 3:7, ESV: And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD. They forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and the Asheroth.

Judges 3:7, KJV: And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgat the LORD their God, and served Baalim and the groves.

Judges 3:7, NASB: So the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and they forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and the Asheroth.

Judges 3:7, NLT: The Israelites did evil in the LORD's sight. They forgot about the LORD their God, and they served the images of Baal and the Asherah poles.

Judges 3:7, CSB: The Israelites did what was evil in the Lord's sight; they forgot the Lord their God and worshiped the Baals and the Asherahs.

What does Judges 3:7 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The main body of the book of Judges begins with this verse. The writer has established all the reasons for what will happen in the stories to follow (Judges 1—2). Key details are that Israel disobeyed God by not removing all the wicked Canaanites from the Promised Land, so God will allow those remaining influences to harass Israel (Judges 2:20–23). In fact, this first verse is almost identical to the statement in Judges 2:11–13.

God's reasons for wanting to remove the Canaanites were moral, rather than racial or ethnic. Israel's evil, as condemned here, is directly tied to imitating the lifestyles of the local cultures (Deuteronomy 20:16–18). Israel not only failed to destroy these nations, but they even endorsed their culture by common marriages. They abandoned faithfulness to the Lord and served idols.

Worship of false gods is, of course, a grievous sin in and of itself. Deities associated with names like Ba'al, Asheroth, and Ashtaroth were fertility gods who promised wealth and abundance in return for worship. The worship of the Baals and the Asheroth, though, involved great evil on top of spiritual adultery against God. Worshipers of these gods participated in gross sexual immorality, debauchery, and even child sacrifices, in hopes of receiving blessings from these false deities.

Israel's fall into sin will result in oppression (Judges 3:8), and the rise of the first judge: Othniel (Judges 3:9).