The Meaning of Judges 2:17 Explained

Judges 2:17

KJV: And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; but they did not so.

YLT: and also unto their judges they have not hearkened, but have gone a-whoring after other gods, and bow themselves to them; they have turned aside with haste out of the way in which their fathers walked to obey the commands of Jehovah -- they have not done so.

Darby: And yet they did not listen to their judges; for they played the harlot after other gods and bowed down to them; they soon turned aside from the way in which their fathers had walked, who had obeyed the commandments of the LORD, and they did not do so.

ASV: And yet they hearkened not unto their judges; for they played the harlot after other gods, and bowed themselves down unto them: they turned aside quickly out of the way wherein their fathers walked, obeying the commandments of Jehovah; but they did not so.

What does Judges 2:17 Mean?

Context Summary

Judges 2:16-23 - Ineffectual Penitence
This paragraph is an epitome of this book, which covers some 450 years, Acts 13:20. Israel lacks unity and kingship; and in that reminds us of the heart of the man which has not become united under the reign of Jesus. See Judges 17:6; Judges 18:1. Such rites as were associated with Baal and Ashtaroth were both cruel and demoralizing; a distressing picture is given in Psalms 106:34, etc., of the condition of Israel at this period. What wonder that such practices ate out the heart of the people, and left them exposed to the surrounding nations! When the blood becomes thin and impoverished, we can no longer repel the pestilence that walketh in darkness, nor the temptations that assail us at noonday!
Notice God's great patience and pity. He was against the people when they sinned, but as soon as the groans of their misery arose, they touched Him to the quick, and He raised up a deliverer. Note Psalms 106:43-44 : "Many times did He deliver them; but they were rebellious in their counsel; nevertheless He regarded their distress; and remembered his covenant." Herein we may take heart of hope for ourselves! [source]

Chapter Summary: Judges 2

1  An angel rebukes the people at Bochim
6  The wickedness of the new generation after Joshua
14  God's anger and pity toward them
20  The Canaanites left to prove Israel

What do the individual words in Judges 2:17 mean?

And yet to their judges not they would listen but they played the harlot with gods other and bowed down to them they turned quickly from the way in which walked their fathers in obeying the commandments of Yahweh not they did do so
וְגַ֤ם אֶל־ שֹֽׁפְטֵיהֶם֙ לֹ֣א שָׁמֵ֔עוּ כִּ֣י זָנ֗וּ אַֽחֲרֵי֙ אֱלֹהִ֣ים אֲחֵרִ֔ים וַיִּֽשְׁתַּחֲו֖וּ לָהֶ֑ם סָ֣רוּ מַהֵ֗ר מִן־ הַדֶּ֜רֶךְ אֲשֶׁ֨ר הָלְכ֧וּ אֲבוֹתָ֛ם לִשְׁמֹ֥עַ מִצְוֺת־ יְהוָ֖ה לֹא־ עָ֥שׂוּ כֵֽן

וְגַ֤ם  And  yet 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Conjunction
Root: גַּם  
Sense: also, even, indeed, moreover, yea.
שֹֽׁפְטֵיהֶם֙  their  judges 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Participle, masculine plural construct, third person masculine plural
Root: שָׁפַט  
Sense: to judge, govern, vindicate, punish.
שָׁמֵ֔עוּ  they  would  listen 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person common plural
Root: שָׁמַע 
Sense: to hear, listen to, obey.
זָנ֗וּ  they  played  the  harlot 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person common plural
Root: זָנָה 
Sense: to commit fornication, be a harlot, play the harlot.
אֱלֹהִ֣ים  gods 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural
Root: אֱלֹהִים  
Sense: (plural).
אֲחֵרִ֔ים  other 
Parse: Adjective, masculine plural
Root: אַחֵר  
Sense: another, other, following.
וַיִּֽשְׁתַּחֲו֖וּ  and  bowed  down 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Hitpael, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine plural
Root: שָׁחָה  
Sense: to bow down.
לָהֶ֑ם  to  them 
Parse: Preposition, third person masculine plural
סָ֣רוּ  they  turned 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person common plural
Root: סוּר 
Sense: to turn aside, depart.
מַהֵ֗ר  quickly 
Parse: Adverb
Root: מַהֵר  
Sense: hurrying, speedy, swift, hastening adv.
הַדֶּ֜רֶךְ  the  way 
Parse: Article, Noun, common singular
Root: דֶּרֶךְ  
Sense: way, road, distance, journey, manner.
אֲשֶׁ֨ר  in  which 
Parse: Pronoun, relative
Root: אֲשֶׁר 
Sense: (relative part.).
הָלְכ֧וּ  walked 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person common plural
Root: הָלַךְ  
Sense: to go, walk, come.
אֲבוֹתָ֛ם  their  fathers 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct, third person masculine plural
Root: אָב  
Sense: father of an individual.
לִשְׁמֹ֥עַ  in  obeying 
Parse: Preposition-l, Verb, Qal, Infinitive construct
Root: שָׁמַע 
Sense: to hear, listen to, obey.
מִצְוֺת־  the  commandments 
Parse: Noun, feminine plural construct
Root: מִצְוָה  
Sense: commandment.
יְהוָ֖ה  of  Yahweh 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: the proper name of the one true God.
עָ֥שׂוּ  they  did  do 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person common plural
Root: עָשָׂה 
Sense: to do, fashion, accomplish, make.
כֵֽן  so 
Parse: Adverb
Root: כֵּן 
Sense: so, therefore, thus.