Then the Israelites again did things that the LORD saw as evil. They served the Baals and the Astartes, as well as the gods of Aram, Sidon, Moab, the Ammonites, and the Philistines. They went away from the LORD and didn't serve him.
The LORD became angry with Israel and handed them over to the Philistines and the Ammonites.
Starting that year and for the next eighteen years, they beat and bullied the Israelites, especially all the Israelites who lived on the east side of Jordan in the territory of the Ammonites in Gilead.
The Ammonites also crossed the Jordan to make raids into Judah, Benjamin, and the households of Ephraim. So Israel was greatly distressed.
Then the Israelites cried out to the LORD, "We've sinned against you, for we went away from our God and served the Baals."
The LORD replied to the Israelites, "When the Egyptians, Amorites, Ammonites, Philistines,
Sidonians, Amalekites, and Maonites oppressed you and you cried out to me, didn't I rescue you from their power?
But you have gone away from me and served other gods, so I won't rescue you anymore!
Go cry out to the gods you've chosen. Let them rescue you in the time of your distress."
The Israelites responded to the LORD, "We've sinned. Do to us whatever you see as right, but please save us this time."
They put away the foreign gods from among them and served the LORD. And the LORD could no longer stand to see Israel suffer.
The Ammonites called out their army and made camp in Gilead, while the Israelites gathered and set up their camp at Mizpah.
Gilead's rulers said to each other, "Whoever is willing to launch the attack against the Ammonites will become the leader over all those living in Gilead."