1. Exposition

What is noteworthy as the narrative moves from 2:5 to 2:6?

Judges 2:6 (ESV)

6 When Joshua dismissed the people, the people of Israel went each to his inheritance to take possession of the land.

While the narrative flows from one verse to the next with no disturbance, there is in fact a temporal disjunction, for the one who dismisses Israel is Joshua! Judges 2:6 begins a flashback to an earlier assembly, even though there are none of the formal indicators of such a flashback (e.g., disjunctive syntax in the original). Yet “there is an important sense in which Judges 2:6ff. does in fact follow on from Judges 2:1–5: the apostasy which is the principal subject matter of 2:6—3:6 both follows and is derived from the gradual coming to terms with the Canaanites that happens in 1:1—2:5. This consequence is anticipated…in the ominous words of the messenger in Judges 2:3: 'their gods will become a snare to you.' While the content of Judges 2:6 makes clear that a major temporal break has taken place, the syntax reflects the more fundamental continuity of thought."1