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Hoshea the Last King of Israel

17 Hoshea became king of Israel in Samaria. It was in the 12th year that Ahaz was king of Judah. Hoshea ruled for nine years. He was the son of Elah. Hoshea did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord. But he wasn’t as evil as the kings of Israel who ruled before him.

Shalmaneser came up to attack Hoshea. Shalmaneser was king of Assyria. He had been Hoshea’s master. He had forced Hoshea to bring him gifts. But the king of Assyria found out that Hoshea had turned against him. Hoshea had sent messengers to So, the king of Egypt. Hoshea didn’t send gifts to the king of Assyria anymore. He had been sending them every year. So Shalmaneser grabbed him and put him in prison. The king of Assyria marched into the whole land of Israel. He marched to Samaria and surrounded it for three years. From time to time he attacked it. Finally, the king of Assyria captured Samaria. It was in the ninth year of Hoshea. The king of Assyria took the Israelites away from their own land. He sent them off to Assyria. He made some of them live in Halah. He made others live in Gozan on the Habor River. And he made others live in the towns of the Medes.

Israel Is Forced to Leave the Land Because of Sin

All of this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the Lord their God. He had brought them up out of Egypt. He had brought them out from under the power of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. But they worshiped other gods. The Lord had driven out other nations to make room for Israel. But they followed the evil practices of those nations. They also followed the practices that the kings of Israel had started. The Israelites did things in secret against the Lord their God. What they did wasn’t right. They built high places for worship in all their towns. They built them at lookout towers. They also built them at cities that had high walls around them. 10 They set up sacred stones. And they set up poles used to worship the female god named Asherah. They did that on every high hill and under every green tree. 11 The Lord had driven out nations to make room for Israel. But the Israelites burned incense at every high place, just as those nations had done. The Israelites did evil things that made the Lord very angry. 12 They worshiped statues of gods. They did it even though the Lord had said, “Do not do that.” 13 The Lord warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers. He said, “Turn from your evil ways. Keep my commands and rules. Obey every part of my Law. I commanded your people who lived long ago to obey it. And I gave it to you through my servants the prophets.”

14 But the people wouldn’t listen. They were as stubborn as their people of long ago had been. Those people didn’t trust in the Lord their God. 15 They refused to obey his rules. They broke the covenant he had made with them. They didn’t pay any attention to the rules he had warned them to keep. They worshiped worthless statues of gods. Then they themselves became worthless. They followed the example of the nations around them. They did it even though the Lord had ordered them not to. He had said, “Do not do as they do.”

16 They turned away from all the commands of the Lord their God. They made two statues of gods for themselves. The statues were shaped like calves. They made a pole used to worship the female god named Asherah. They bowed down to all the stars. And they worshiped the god named Baal. 17 They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced all kinds of evil magic. They gave up following God’s rules. They did only what was evil in the eyes of the Lord. All these things made him very angry.

18 So the Lord was very angry with Israel. He removed them from his land. Only the tribe of Judah was left. 19 And even Judah didn’t obey the commands of the Lord their God. They followed the practices Israel had started. 20 So the Lord turned his back on all the people of Israel. He made them suffer. He handed them over to people who stole everything they had. And finally he threw them out of his land.

21 The Lord took control of Israel away from the royal house of David. The Israelites made Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, their king. Jeroboam tried to get Israel to stop following the Lord. He caused them to commit a terrible sin. 22 The Israelites were stubborn. They continued to commit all the sins Jeroboam had committed. They didn’t turn away from them. 23 So the Lord removed them from his land. That’s what he had warned them he would do. He had given that warning through all his servants the prophets. So the people of Israel were taken away from their country. They were forced to go to Assyria. And that’s where they still are.

Assyria Makes Other People Live in Samaria

24 The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Kuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaim. He made all of them live in the towns of Samaria. They took the place of the people of Israel. They lived in all the towns of Samaria. 25 When they first lived there, they didn’t worship the Lord. So he sent lions among them. And the lions killed some of the people. 26 A report was given to the king of Assyria. He was told, “You forced people to leave their own homes and live in the towns of Samaria. But they don’t know what the god of that country requires. So he has sent lions among them. And the lions are killing the people off. That’s because the people don’t know what that god requires.”

27 Then the king of Assyria gave an order. He said, “Get one of the priests you captured from Samaria. Send him back to live there. Have him teach the people what the god of that land requires.” 28 So a priest went back to live in Bethel. He was one of the priests who had been forced to leave Samaria. He taught the people of Bethel how to worship the Lord.

29 In spite of that, the people from each nation made statues of their own gods. They made them in all the towns where they had been forced to live. They set up those statues in small temples. The people of Samaria had built the temples at the high places. 30 The people from Babylon made statues of the god named Sukkoth Benoth. Those from Kuthah made statues of the god named Nergal. Those from Hamath made statues of the god named Ashima. 31 The Avvites made statues of the gods named Nibhaz and Tartak. The Sepharvites sacrificed their children in the fire to the gods named Adrammelek and Anammelek. They were the gods of Sepharvaim. 32 So the people of Samaria worshiped the Lord. But they also appointed all kinds of their own people to be their priests. The priests served in the small temples at the high places. 33 The people worshiped the Lord. But they also served their own gods. They followed the evil practices of the nations they had been taken from.

34 The people of Samaria are still stubborn. They continue in their old practices to this day. And now they don’t even worship the Lord. They don’t follow his directions and rules. They don’t obey his laws and commands. The Lord had given all these laws to the family of Jacob. He gave the name Israel to Jacob. 35 The Lord made a covenant with the Israelites. At that time he commanded them, “Do not worship any other gods. Do not bow down to them. Do not serve them or sacrifice to them. 36 The Lord is the one you must worship. The Lord brought you up out of Egypt by his great power. He saved you by reaching out his mighty arm. You must bow down only to him. You must offer sacrifices only to him. 37 You must always be careful to follow his directions and rules. You must obey the laws and commands he wrote for you. Do not worship other gods. 38 Do not forget the covenant I made with you. And remember, you must not worship other gods. 39 Instead, worship the Lord your God. He will save you from the powerful hand of all your enemies.”

40 But the people wouldn’t listen. Instead, they were stubborn. They continued in their old practices. 41 They worshiped the Lord. But at the same time, they served the statues of their gods. And to this day their children and grandchildren continue to do what their people before them did.

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

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