1. Exposition

What is the relationship of 2:1–5 to chapter 1?

Judges 2:1–5 (ESV)

1 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 1:1–36 recounts history from the perspective of man. And taken on its own terms, chapter 1 reads a little like a collection of Israel’s press releases about their campaign. It’s their 'spin' on why they weren’t as successful as we (and God) might have expected. The readers are lulled into sympathy with the Israelites…. Then suddenly we are confronted and shocked by God’s assessment. Chapter 1 has given us the facts. Now we have heaven’s explanation.1 Judges 2:1–5 tells how God looked at this history, revealing that God confronted his people on account of their failure. And the reader gets to perceive at once that we again are dealing with sacred history.2 This short section actually functions as a hinge between the report of the failed conquest (anti-conquest) in Judges 1:1–36 and the interpretation of Israel’s spiritual condition in Judges 2:6–23,3 while also forming an inclusio with Judges 1:1–2 in taking counsel with the Lord.4,5,6 It gives God’s reaction to his people’s compromising and self-reliant attitudes and actions…. It links to the previous section with the angel’s 'going up' (Judges 2:1; the verb shows up also in 1:1, 2, 3, 4, 16, 22), and to the following pericope as well, with the impactful words of Yahweh’s angel: the reference to 'covenant,' the accusation of 'not listening to My voice,' and Yahweh’s resolution 'not to drive [the nations] out before' Israel are found in both Judges 2:1–3 and Judges 2:21.7