Judges 2

1An angel of Hashem came up from Gilgal to Bochim and said, “I brought you up from Egypt and I took you into the land which I had promised on oath to your fathers. And I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you.

va-YA-al mal-akh a-do-NAI min ha-gil-GAL el ha-bo-KHEEM va-YO-mer a-a-LEH et-KHEM mi-mitz-RA-yim va-a-VEE et-KHEM el ha-A-retz a-SHER nish-BA-tee la-a-VO-tay-KHEM va-o-MAR lo a-FAYR b'-ree-TEE i-t'-KHEM l'-o-LAM

אוַיַּעַל מַלְאַךְ־יְהֹוָה מִן־הַגִּלְגָּל אֶל־הַבֹּכִים וַיֹּאמֶר אַעֲלֶה אֶתְכֶם מִמִּצְרַיִם וָאָבִיא אֶתְכֶם אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי לַאֲבֹתֵיכֶם וָאֹמַר לֹא־אָפֵר בְּרִיתִי אִתְּכֶם לְעוֹלָם׃

 2:1   An angel of Hashem came up from Gilgal to Bochim

Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook (1891-1982)

The angel, who is actually a human prophet according to Metzudat David, reiterates God’s promise that He will never erase the covenant made with the Patriarchs, according to which the Land of Israel belongs to the Children of Israel. Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, who was dean of the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva and a prominent leader of Religious Zionism, teaches that whenever the Bible describes a covenant between Hashem and the People of Israel, it is not a mutual agreement. Rather, it is a promise that God makes, which the Jewish people must embrace. As this covenant is completely divine, it can never be changed or broken. The establishment of the State of Israel after thousands of years of exile is clearly a fulfillment of this divine covenant.

2And you, for your part, must make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you must tear down their altars.' But you have not obeyed Me—look what you have done!

בוְאַתֶּם לֹא־תִכְרְתוּ בְרִית לְיוֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת מִזְבְּחוֹתֵיהֶם תִּתֹּצוּן וְלֹא־שְׁמַעְתֶּם בְּקֹלִי מַה־זֹּאת עֲשִׂיתֶם׃

3Therefore, I have resolved not to drive them out before you; they shall become your oppressors, and their gods shall be a snare to you.”

גוְגַם אָמַרְתִּי לֹא־אֲגָרֵשׁ אוֹתָם מִפְּנֵיכֶם וְהָיוּ לָכֶם לְצִדִּים וֵאלֹהֵיהֶם יִהְיוּ לָכֶם לְמוֹקֵשׁ׃

4As the angel of Hashem spoke these words to all the Israelites, the people broke into weeping.

דוַיְהִי כְּדַבֵּר מַלְאַךְ יְהֹוָה אֶת־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה אֶל־כָּל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיִּשְׂאוּ הָעָם אֶת־קוֹלָם וַיִּבְכּוּ׃

5So they named that place Bochim, and they offered sacrifices there to Hashem.

הוַיִּקְרְאוּ שֵׁם־הַמָּקוֹם הַהוּא בֹּכִים וַיִּזְבְּחוּ־שָׁם לַיהֹוָה׃

6When Yehoshua dismissed the people, the Israelites went to their allotted territories and took possession of the land.

ווַיְשַׁלַּח יְהוֹשֻׁעַ אֶת־הָעָם וַיֵּלְכוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל אִישׁ לְנַחֲלָתוֹ לָרֶשֶׁת אֶת־הָאָרֶץ׃

7The people served Hashem during the lifetime of Yehoshua and the lifetime of the older people who lived on after Yehoshua and who had witnessed all the marvelous deeds that Hashem had wrought for Yisrael.

זוַיַּעַבְדוּ הָעָם אֶת־יְהֹוָה כֹּל יְמֵי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ וְכֹל יְמֵי הַזְּקֵנִים אֲשֶׁר הֶאֱרִיכוּ יָמִים אַחֲרֵי יְהוֹשׁוּעַ אֲשֶׁר רָאוּ אֵת כָּל־מַעֲשֵׂה יְהֹוָה הַגָּדוֹל אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל׃

8Yehoshua son of Nun, the servant of Hashem, died at the age of one hundred and ten years,

חוַיָּמָת יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בִּן־נוּן עֶבֶד יְהֹוָה בֶּן־מֵאָה וָעֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים׃

9and was buried on his own property, at Timnath-heres in the hill country of Efraim, north of Mount Gaash.

טוַיִּקְבְּרוּ אוֹתוֹ בִּגְבוּל נַחֲלָתוֹ בְּתִמְנַת־חֶרֶס בְּהַר אֶפְרָיִם מִצְּפוֹן לְהַר־גָּעַשׁ׃

10And all that generation were likewise gathered to their fathers. Another generation arose after them, which had not experienced [the deliverance of] Hashem or the deeds that He had wrought for Yisrael.

יוְגַם כָּל־הַדּוֹר הַהוּא נֶאֶסְפוּ אֶל־אֲבוֹתָיו וַיָּקָם דּוֹר אַחֵר אַחֲרֵיהֶם אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יָדְעוּ אֶת־יְהֹוָה וְגַם אֶת־הַמַּעֲשֶׂה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל׃

11And the Israelites did what was offensive to Hashem. They worshiped the Baalim

יאוַיַּעֲשׂוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־הָרַע בְּעֵינֵי יְהֹוָה וַיַּעַבְדוּ אֶת־הַבְּעָלִים׃

12and forsook Hashem, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt. They followed other gods, from among the gods of the peoples around them, and bowed down to them; they provoked Hashem.

יבוַיַּעַזְבוּ אֶת־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתָם הַמּוֹצִיא אוֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם וַיֵּלְכוּ אַחֲרֵי אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים מֵאֱלֹהֵי הָעַמִּים אֲשֶׁר סְבִיבוֹתֵיהֶם וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ לָהֶם וַיַּכְעִסוּ אֶת־יְהֹוָה׃

13They forsook Hashem and worshiped Baal and the Ashtaroth.

יגוַיַּעַזְבוּ אֶת־יְהֹוָה וַיַּעַבְדוּ לַבַּעַל וְלָעַשְׁתָּרוֹת׃

14Then Hashem was incensed at Yisrael, and He handed them over to foes who plundered them. He surrendered them to their enemies on all sides, and they could no longer hold their own against their enemies.

ידוַיִּחַר־אַף יְהֹוָה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל וַיִּתְּנֵם בְּיַד־שֹׁסִים וַיָּשֹׁסּוּ אוֹתָם וַיִּמְכְּרֵם בְּיַד אוֹיְבֵיהֶם מִסָּבִיב וְלֹא־יָכְלוּ עוֹד לַעֲמֹד לִפְנֵי אוֹיְבֵיהֶם׃

15In all their campaigns, the hand of Hashem was against them to their undoing, as Hashem had declared and as Hashem had sworn to them; and they were in great distress.

טובְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר יָצְאוּ יַד־יְהֹוָה הָיְתָה־בָּם לְרָעָה כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהֹוָה וְכַאֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע יְהֹוָה לָהֶם וַיֵּצֶר לָהֶם מְאֹד׃

16Then Hashem raised up chieftains who delivered them from those who plundered them.

טזוַיָּקֶם יְהֹוָה שֹׁפְטִים וַיּוֹשִׁיעוּם מִיַּד שֹׁסֵיהֶם׃

17But they did not heed their chieftains either; they went astray after other gods and bowed down to them. They were quick to turn aside from the way their fathers had followed in obedience to the commandments of Hashem; they did not do right.

יזוְגַם אֶל־שֹׁפְטֵיהֶם לֹא שָׁמֵעוּ כִּי זָנוּ אַחֲרֵי אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ לָהֶם סָרוּ מַהֵר מִן־הַדֶּרֶךְ אֲשֶׁר הָלְכוּ אֲבוֹתָם לִשְׁמֹעַ מִצְוׂת־יְהֹוָה לֹא־עָשׂוּ כֵן׃

18When Hashem raised up chieftains for them, Hashem would be with the chieftain and would save them from their enemies during the chieftain's lifetime; for Hashem would be moved to pity by their moanings because of those who oppressed and crushed them.

יחוְכִי־הֵקִים יְהֹוָה לָהֶם שֹׁפְטִים וְהָיָה יְהֹוָה עִם־הַשֹּׁפֵט וְהוֹשִׁיעָם מִיַּד אֹיְבֵיהֶם כֹּל יְמֵי הַשּׁוֹפֵט כִּי־יִנָּחֵם יְהֹוָה מִנַּאֲקָתָם מִפְּנֵי לֹחֲצֵיהֶם וְדֹחֲקֵיהֶם׃

19But when the chieftain died, they would again act basely, even more than the preceding generation—following other gods, worshiping them, and bowing down to them; they omitted none of their practices and stubborn ways.

יטוְהָיָה בְּמוֹת הַשּׁוֹפֵט יָשֻׁבוּ וְהִשְׁחִיתוּ מֵאֲבוֹתָם לָלֶכֶת אַחֲרֵי אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים לְעָבְדָם וּלְהִשְׁתַּחֲוׂת לָהֶם לֹא הִפִּילוּ מִמַּעַלְלֵיהֶם וּמִדַּרְכָּם הַקָּשָׁה׃

20Then Hashem became incensed against Yisrael, and He said, “Since that nation has transgressed the covenant that I enjoined upon their fathers and has not obeyed Me,

כוַיִּחַר־אַף יְהֹוָה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֹּאמֶר יַעַן אֲשֶׁר עָבְרוּ הַגּוֹי הַזֶּה אֶת־בְּרִיתִי אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִי אֶת־אֲבוֹתָם וְלֹא שָׁמְעוּ לְקוֹלִי׃

21I for My part will no longer drive out before them any of the nations that Yehoshua left when he died.”

כאגַּם־אֲנִי לֹא אוֹסִיף לְהוֹרִישׁ אִישׁ מִפְּנֵיהֶם מִן־הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר־עָזַב יְהוֹשֻׁעַ וַיָּמֹת׃

22For it was in order to test Yisrael by them—[to see] whether or not they would faithfully walk in the ways of Hashem, as their fathers had done—

כבלְמַעַן נַסּוֹת בָּם אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל הֲשֹׁמְרִים הֵם אֶת־דֶּרֶךְ יְהֹוָה לָלֶכֶת בָּם כַּאֲשֶׁר שָׁמְרוּ אֲבוֹתָם אִם־לֹא׃

23that Hashem had left those nations, instead of driving them out at once, and had not delivered them into the hands of Yehoshua.

כגוַיַּנַּח יְהֹוָה אֶת־הַגּוֹיִם הָאֵלֶּה לְבִלְתִּי הוֹרִישָׁם מַהֵר וְלֹא נְתָנָם בְּיַד־יְהוֹשֻׁעַ׃