1. Exposition

Why does the LORD refer to Israel as “this people”?

Judges 2:20 (ESV)

20 So the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he said, “Because this people have transgressed my covenant that I commanded their fathers and have not obeyed my voice,

He is implicitly associating them with the nations they failed to drive out. The times when this expression is applied to Israel are very rare. When it is applied, “it often (though not always) bears overtones of reprimand for the nation’s infidelity to Yahweh and its characteristically negative moral qualities. In this context Yahweh expressly places his own people in a category with the Canaanite nations, who are twice identified as gôyim in Judges 2:21 and Judges 2:23 and specifically listed in Judges 3:1–5."1