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King Hoshea of Israel

17 In the twelfth year of the reign of King Ahaz of Judah, Hoshea son of Elah became king of Israel, and he ruled in Samaria for nine years. He sinned against the Lord, but not as much as the kings who had ruled Israel before him. Emperor Shalmaneser of Assyria made war against him; Hoshea surrendered to Shalmaneser and paid him tribute every year. But one year Hoshea sent messengers to So, king of Egypt,[a] asking for his help, and stopped paying the annual tribute to Assyria. When Shalmaneser learned of this, he had Hoshea arrested and put in prison.

The Fall of Samaria

Then Shalmaneser invaded Israel and besieged Samaria. In the third year of the siege, which was the ninth year of the reign of Hoshea, the Assyrian emperor[b] captured Samaria, took the Israelites to Assyria as prisoners, and settled some of them in the city of Halah, some near the Habor River in the district of Gozan and some in the cities of Media.

Samaria fell because the Israelites sinned against the Lord their God, who had rescued them from the king of Egypt and had led them out of Egypt. They worshiped other gods, followed the customs of the people whom the Lord had driven out as his people advanced, and adopted customs introduced by the kings of Israel.[c] The Israelites did[d] things that the Lord their God disapproved of. They built pagan places of worship in all their towns, from the smallest village to the largest city. 10 (A)On all the hills and under every shady tree they put up stone pillars and images of the goddess Asherah, 11 and they burned incense on all the pagan altars, following the practice of the people whom the Lord had driven out of the land. They aroused the Lord's anger with all their wicked deeds 12 and disobeyed the Lord's command not to worship idols.

13 The Lord had sent his messengers and prophets to warn Israel and Judah: “Abandon your evil ways and obey my commands, which are contained in the Law I gave to your ancestors and which I handed on to you through my servants the prophets.” 14 But they would not obey; they were stubborn like their ancestors, who had not trusted in the Lord their God. 15 They refused to obey his instructions, they did not keep the covenant he had made with their ancestors, and they disregarded his warnings. They worshiped worthless idols and became worthless themselves, and they followed the customs of the surrounding nations, disobeying the Lord's command not to imitate them. 16 (B)They broke all the laws of the Lord their God and made two metal bull-calves to worship; they also made an image of the goddess Asherah, worshiped the stars, and served the god Baal. 17 (C)They sacrificed their sons and daughters as burnt offerings to pagan gods; they consulted mediums and fortunetellers, and they devoted themselves completely to doing what is wrong in the Lord's sight, and so aroused his anger. 18 The Lord was angry with the Israelites and banished them from his sight, leaving only the kingdom of Judah.

19 But even the people of Judah did not obey the laws of the Lord their God; they imitated the customs adopted by the people of Israel. 20 The Lord rejected all the Israelites, punishing them and handing them over to cruel enemies until at last he had banished them from his sight.

21 After the Lord had separated Israel from Judah, the Israelites made Jeroboam son of Nebat their king. Jeroboam caused them to abandon the Lord and led them into terrible sins. 22 They followed Jeroboam and continued to practice all the sins he had committed, 23 until at last the Lord banished them from his sight, as he had warned through his servants the prophets that he would do. So the people of Israel were taken into exile to Assyria, where they still live.

The Assyrians Settle in Israel

24 The emperor of Assyria took people from the cities of Babylon, Cuth, Ivvah, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, and settled them in the cities of Samaria[e] in place of the exiled Israelites. They took possession of these cities and lived there. 25 When they first settled there, they did not worship the Lord, and so he sent lions, which killed some of them. 26 The emperor of Assyria was told that the people he had settled in the cities of Samaria did not know the law of the god of that land, and so the god had sent lions, which were killing them. 27 So the emperor commanded: “Send back one of the priests we brought as prisoners; have him[f] go back and live there, in order to teach the people the law of the god of that land.” 28 So an Israelite priest who had been deported from Samaria went and lived in Bethel, where he taught the people how to worship the Lord.

29 But the people who settled in Samaria continued to make their own idols, and they placed them in the shrines that the Israelites had built. Each different group made idols in the cities they were living in: 30 the people of Babylon made idols of the god Succoth Benoth; the people of Cuth, idols of Nergal; the people of Hamath, idols of Ashima; 31 the people of Ivvah, idols of Nibhaz and Tartak; and the people of Sepharvaim sacrificed their children as burnt offerings to their gods Adrammelech and Anammelech. 32 These people also worshiped the Lord and chose from among their own number all sorts of people to serve as priests at the pagan places of worship and to offer sacrifices for them there. 33 So they worshiped the Lord, but they also worshiped their own gods according to the customs of the countries from which they had come.

34 (D)They still carry on their old customs to this day. They do not worship the Lord nor do they obey the laws and commands which he gave to the descendants of Jacob, whom he named Israel. 35 (E)The Lord had made a covenant with them and had ordered them: “Do not worship other gods; do not bow down to them or serve them or offer sacrifices to them. 36 (F)You shall obey me, the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt with great power and strength; you are to bow down to me and offer sacrifices to me. 37 You shall always obey the laws and commands that I wrote for you. You shall not obey other gods, 38 and you shall not forget the covenant I made with you. 39 You shall obey me, the Lord your God, and I will rescue you from your enemies.” 40 But those people would not listen, and they continued to follow their old customs.

41 So those people worshiped the Lord, but they also worshiped their idols; and to this day their descendants continue to do the same.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Kings 17:4 So, king of Egypt; or the king of Egypt at Sais.
  2. 2 Kings 17:6 Probably Sargon II, the successor of Shalmaneser.
  3. 2 Kings 17:8 Probable text and adopted … Israel; Hebrew unclear.
  4. 2 Kings 17:9 did; or said.
  5. 2 Kings 17:24 The name of the capital city was applied to the territory of the former kingdom of Israel.
  6. 2 Kings 17:27 Some ancient translations him; Hebrew them.

Hoshea Last King of Israel(A)

17 In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea(B) son of Elah became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned nine years. He did evil(C) in the eyes of the Lord, but not like the kings of Israel who preceded him.

Shalmaneser(D) king of Assyria came up to attack Hoshea, who had been Shalmaneser’s vassal and had paid him tribute.(E) But the king of Assyria discovered that Hoshea was a traitor, for he had sent envoys to So[a] king of Egypt,(F) and he no longer paid tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year. Therefore Shalmaneser seized him and put him in prison.(G) The king of Assyria invaded the entire land, marched against Samaria and laid siege(H) to it for three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria(I) captured Samaria(J) and deported(K) the Israelites to Assyria. He settled them in Halah, in Gozan(L) on the Habor River and in the towns of the Medes.

Israel Exiled Because of Sin

All this took place because the Israelites had sinned(M) against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of Egypt(N) from under the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshiped other gods and followed the practices of the nations(O) the Lord had driven out before them, as well as the practices that the kings of Israel had introduced. The Israelites secretly did things against the Lord their God that were not right. From watchtower to fortified city(P) they built themselves high places in all their towns. 10 They set up sacred stones(Q) and Asherah poles(R) on every high hill and under every spreading tree.(S) 11 At every high place they burned incense, as the nations whom the Lord had driven out before them had done. They did wicked things that aroused the Lord’s anger. 12 They worshiped idols,(T) though the Lord had said, “You shall not do this.”[b] 13 The Lord warned(U) Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers:(V) “Turn from your evil ways.(W) Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your ancestors to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets.”(X)

14 But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked(Y) as their ancestors, who did not trust in the Lord their God. 15 They rejected his decrees and the covenant(Z) he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols(AA) and themselves became worthless.(AB) They imitated the nations(AC) around them although the Lord had ordered them, “Do not do as they do.”

16 They forsook all the commands of the Lord their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves,(AD) and an Asherah(AE) pole. They bowed down to all the starry hosts,(AF) and they worshiped Baal.(AG) 17 They sacrificed(AH) their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and sought omens(AI) and sold(AJ) themselves to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger.

18 So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence.(AK) Only the tribe of Judah was left, 19 and even Judah did not keep the commands of the Lord their God. They followed the practices Israel had introduced.(AL) 20 Therefore the Lord rejected all the people of Israel; he afflicted them and gave them into the hands of plunderers,(AM) until he thrust them from his presence.(AN)

21 When he tore(AO) Israel away from the house of David, they made Jeroboam son of Nebat their king.(AP) Jeroboam enticed Israel away from following the Lord and caused them to commit a great sin.(AQ) 22 The Israelites persisted in all the sins of Jeroboam and did not turn away from them 23 until the Lord removed them from his presence,(AR) as he had warned(AS) through all his servants the prophets. So the people of Israel were taken from their homeland(AT) into exile in Assyria, and they are still there.

Samaria Resettled

24 The king of Assyria(AU) brought people from Babylon, Kuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaim(AV) and settled them in the towns of Samaria to replace the Israelites. They took over Samaria and lived in its towns. 25 When they first lived there, they did not worship the Lord; so he sent lions(AW) among them and they killed some of the people. 26 It was reported to the king of Assyria: “The people you deported and resettled in the towns of Samaria do not know what the god of that country requires. He has sent lions among them, which are killing them off, because the people do not know what he requires.”

27 Then the king of Assyria gave this order: “Have one of the priests you took captive from Samaria go back to live there and teach the people what the god of the land requires.” 28 So one of the priests who had been exiled from Samaria came to live in Bethel and taught them how to worship the Lord.

29 Nevertheless, each national group made its own gods in the several towns(AX) where they settled, and set them up in the shrines(AY) the people of Samaria had made at the high places.(AZ) 30 The people from Babylon made Sukkoth Benoth, those from Kuthah made Nergal, and those from Hamath made Ashima; 31 the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire as sacrifices to Adrammelek(BA) and Anammelek, the gods of Sepharvaim.(BB) 32 They worshiped the Lord, but they also appointed all sorts(BC) of their own people to officiate for them as priests in the shrines at the high places. 33 They worshiped the Lord, but they also served their own gods in accordance with the customs of the nations from which they had been brought.

34 To this day they persist in their former practices. They neither worship the Lord nor adhere to the decrees and regulations, the laws and commands that the Lord gave the descendants of Jacob, whom he named Israel.(BD) 35 When the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites, he commanded them: “Do not worship(BE) any other gods or bow down to them, serve them or sacrifice to them.(BF) 36 But the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt with mighty power and outstretched arm,(BG) is the one you must worship. To him you shall bow down and to him offer sacrifices. 37 You must always be careful(BH) to keep the decrees(BI) and regulations, the laws and commands he wrote for you. Do not worship other gods. 38 Do not forget(BJ) the covenant I have made with you, and do not worship other gods. 39 Rather, worship the Lord your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.”

40 They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices. 41 Even while these people were worshiping the Lord,(BK) they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their ancestors did.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Kings 17:4 So is probably an abbreviation for Osorkon.
  2. 2 Kings 17:12 Exodus 20:4,5

17 In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah began Hoshea the son of Elah to reign in Samaria over Israel nine years.

And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, but not as the kings of Israel that were before him.

Against him came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria; and Hoshea became his servant, and gave him presents.

And the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea: for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt, and brought no present to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year: therefore the king of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in prison.

Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years.

In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods,

And walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made.

And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the Lord their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.

10 And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree:

11 And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the Lord carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the Lord to anger:

12 For they served idols, whereof the Lord had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing.

13 Yet the Lord testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets.

14 Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the Lord their God.

15 And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the Lord had charged them, that they should not do like them.

16 And they left all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.

17 And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger.

18 Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only.

19 Also Judah kept not the commandments of the Lord their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made.

20 And the Lord rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight.

21 For he rent Israel from the house of David; and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king: and Jeroboam drave Israel from following the Lord, and made them sin a great sin.

22 For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them;

23 Until the Lord removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.

24 And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof.

25 And so it was at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they feared not the Lord: therefore the Lord sent lions among them, which slew some of them.

26 Wherefore they spake to the king of Assyria, saying, The nations which thou hast removed, and placed in the cities of Samaria, know not the manner of the God of the land: therefore he hath sent lions among them, and, behold, they slay them, because they know not the manner of the God of the land.

27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, Carry thither one of the priests whom ye brought from thence; and let them go and dwell there, and let him teach them the manner of the God of the land.

28 Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the Lord.

29 Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt.

30 And the men of Babylon made Succothbenoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima,

31 And the Avites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burnt their children in fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.

32 So they feared the Lord, and made unto themselves of the lowest of them priests of the high places, which sacrificed for them in the houses of the high places.

33 They feared the Lord, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence.

34 Unto this day they do after the former manners: they fear not the Lord, neither do they after their statutes, or after their ordinances, or after the law and commandment which the Lord commanded the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel;

35 With whom the Lord had made a covenant, and charged them, saying, Ye shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them:

36 But the Lord, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and a stretched out arm, him shall ye fear, and him shall ye worship, and to him shall ye do sacrifice.

37 And the statutes, and the ordinances, and the law, and the commandment, which he wrote for you, ye shall observe to do for evermore; and ye shall not fear other gods.

38 And the covenant that I have made with you ye shall not forget; neither shall ye fear other gods.

39 But the Lord your God ye shall fear; and he shall deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.

40 Howbeit they did not hearken, but they did after their former manner.

41 So these nations feared the Lord, and served their graven images, both their children, and their children's children: as did their fathers, so do they unto this day.

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