2 Kings 17

VIN(i) 1 In the twelfth year of Ahaz, king of Judah, Hoshea, the son of Elah, became king over Israel in Samaria, ruling for nine years. 2 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, only not as the kings of Israel who were before him. 3 Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against him, and Hoshea became his servant, and brought him tribute. 4 The king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea; for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt, and offered no tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year. Therefore the king of Assyria seized him, and bound him in prison. 5 Then the king of Assyria invaded the land and advanced to Samaria. He besieged the city for three years. 6 In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria. He led the Israelites away to Assyria. He stationed them in Halah and Habor on the Gozan River, and in the towns of the Medes. 7 Now this happened because the Israelites had sinned against the LORD their God when he brought them up from the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh the king of Egypt and they feared other gods. 8 They walked in the statutes of the nations whom the LORD had driven out from before the Israelites, which the kings of Israel had introduced. 9 The Israelites secretly did things which were not right, against the LORD their God; they built high places for themselves in all their towns, from the watchtower up to the fortified city. 10 and they set up for themselves pillars and Asherah poles on every high hill, and under every green tree; 11 and there they burned incense in all the high places, as the nations whom the LORD carried away before them did; and they did wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger; 12 They served idols which the LORD had said to them, "You shall not do this thing!" 13 Nevertheless, the LORD had warned both Israel and Judah by means of every prophet and seer: "Turn away from your evil practices and keep my commandments and statutes according to the entire law that I gave your ancestors and that I sent to you through my servants, the prophets." 14 And they did not give ear, but became stiff-necked, like their fathers who had no faith in the Lord their God. 15 They rejected the LORD's statutes, the covenant that he had made with their ancestors, and his warnings that he gave them. They pursued meaninglessness {— } and became meaningless themselves {— } as they followed the lifestyles of the nations that surrounded them, a practice that the LORD had warned them not to do. 16 They abandoned all the commands of the LORD their God and made for themselves two molten calf-shaped idols; they made a pole of Asherah worship and bowed down to the army of the heavens and served Baal. 17 They made their sons and their daughters pass through the fire, they practiced divination and read omens, and they sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the LORD to provoke him. 18 the LORD was very angry with Israel. He removed them from his sight. Only the tribe of Judah kept its place. 19 But even Judah did not obey the commands of the LORD their God. They were guided by the rules Israel made. 20 And the LORD rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and gave them into the hand of the plunderers, until He had cast them out from His presence. 21 for he rent Israel away from the house of David, and they made Jeroboam son of Nebat, king,—and Jeroboam thrust away Israel from following the LORD, and caused them to commit a great sin. 22 The Israelites practiced all the sins that Jeroboam had practiced, and never wavered from them 23 until the Lord removed them from his presence, as he spoke by the ministry of all his servants the prophets. Now when Israel was removed from their own land to Assyria, where they continue to this day; 24 Because the king of Assyria brought captives from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sephar-vaim and settled them in the cities of Samaria to replace the Israelites, the settlers possessed Samaria and lived in its cities. 25 When they first lived there they did not respect the LORD. So the LORD sent lions among them, causing some of them to die. 26 So they said to the king of Assyria, "The nations whom you deported and settled in the cities of Samaria do not know the customs of the God of the land, so he sent lions among them, and now they are killing them because they do not know the customs of the God of the land." 27 Then the king of Assyria gave orders, saying: "Send one of the priests you took from there. Let him live there and teach the people the way of the god of the land." 28 And one of the priests whom they exiled from Samaria came and lived in Bethel, and he taught them how they should fear the LORD. 29 However each nation made gods of their own and put them in the houses of the high places which those of Samaria had made, each nation in their city in which they dwelt. 30 The men of Babylon made Succoth Benoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima, 31 the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and the Sepharvites burnt their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. 32 And they were fearing the lord, and they made for themselves priests of the high places; and they offered for themselves in the houses of the high places. 33 They feared the LORD, and served their own gods, according to the custom of the nations from where they exiled them. 34 To this day they do after their former customs: they fear not the LORD, neither do they after their statutes or after their ordinances, nor after the law and commandment that the LORD commanded the sons of Jacob, whom he named Israel. 35 And the LORD made a covenant with them, and commanded them, saying, You 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 with an outstretched arm, him you will fear and to him you will bow yourselves and to him you will sacrifice. 37 Furthermore, you shall be careful to observe forever the statutes, ordinances, law, and the commandment that he wrote for you. And you are not to fear other gods. 38 You shall not forget the covenant that I have made with you. You shall not fear other gods. 39 but you will fear the LORD your God and he will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies. 40 But they did not listen, but did according to their former custom. 41 Yet these nations feared the Lord and at the same time served their graven images. And even to this day their children and their children's children do as their fathers did.