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Hoshea Son of Elah, the Last King of Israel

17 In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea son of Elah became king over Israel in Samaria and ruled for nine years. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, but not like the kings of Israel who came before him.

Shalmaneser king of Assyria went up against him, and Hoshea became his vassal and paid tribute to him. But the king of Assyria caught Hoshea in a conspiracy. He had sent messengers to So[a] king of Egypt, and he did not send tribute to the king of Assyria as he had done in previous years. That is why the king of Assyria arrested him and confined him in prison.

Then the king of Assyria invaded the whole land. He went up against Samaria and laid siege to it for three years. In Hoshea’s ninth year, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and exiled Israel to Assyria. He made them live in Halah and along the Habur River, which is the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.[b]

This happened because the people of Israel sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up from the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and they feared other gods. They walked in the practices of the nations, whom the Lord had driven out before the people of Israel, and the practices which the kings of Israel had introduced. The people of Israel did secret things against the Lord their God, which were not right. They also built high places for themselves in all their cities, from watchtower to fortified city. 10 They set up sacred memorial stones and Asherah poles for themselves upon every high hill and under every leafy tree. 11 They offered sacrifices at all the high places, like the nations that God drove out before them. They did evil things, provoking the Lord to anger. 12 They served filthy idols even though the Lord had said to them, “You must not do this.”

13 The Lord had warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers, saying, “Turn back from your evil ways and keep my commands and my regulations, according to the entire law which I commanded your fathers and which I sent to you through my servants the prophets.” 14 But they did not listen. They made their necks just as stiff as their fathers, who did not trust in the Lord their God.

15 They rejected his regulations and the covenant which he made with their fathers and the testimony with which he warned them. They followed useless idols, and they became useless themselves. They followed the other nations around them, about whom the Lord had commanded them, “Do not do as they do.” 16 They deserted all the commands of the Lord their God, and they made for themselves cast metal images, two calves. They made Asherah poles, and they bowed down to the whole army of the heavens,[c] and they served Baal. 17 They made their sons and daughters pass through the fire. They engaged in divination and sought omens and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, provoking him to anger. 18 So the Lord was furious with Israel, and he removed them from his presence. None was left—only the tribe of Judah.

19 Even Judah did not keep the commands of the Lord their God. They walked in the practices which Israel introduced. 20 So the Lord rejected all the seed of Israel, and he afflicted them. He gave them into the hand of plunderers until he cast them out of his presence.

21 When the Lord tore Israel away from the house of David, they made Jeroboam son of Nebat king. But Jeroboam drove Israel away from following the Lord. He caused them to commit a great sin. 22 The people of Israel walked in all the sins which Jeroboam did. They did not turn from them 23 until the Lord removed Israel from his presence, just as he had said through all his servants the prophets. So Israel went to Assyria, into exile from her homeland to this day.

New Settlers in Israel

24 The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Kuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, and he settled them in the cities of Samaria in the place of the people of Israel. They took possession of Samaria and lived in its cities. 25 When they began to settle there, they did not fear the Lord, so the Lord sent lions among them. The lions were killing people, 26 so they said to the king of Assyria, “The peoples whom you deported and settled in the cities of Samaria do not know the customs of the god of the land. That is why he has sent lions among them, and the lions are killing people, because there aren’t any people left who know the customs of the god of the land.”

27 So the king of Assyria commanded, “Get one of the priests who was exiled from there. He will go and live there and teach the customs of the god of the land.” 28 So one of the priests who had been exiled from Samaria came and lived in Bethel. He was teaching them how they should fear the Lord.

29 But each nation was still making its own gods and setting them in the shrines[d] of the high places which the Samaritans had made, each nation in their cities where they were dwelling. 30 The people from Babylon made Sukkoth Benoth. The people from Kuth made Nergal. The people from Hamath made Ashima. 31 The people from Avvah made Nibhaz and Tartak. The people from Sepharvaim were burning their sons in the fire to Adrammelek and Anammelek, the gods of Sepharvaim. 32 [e]They were fearing the Lord, but they were making priests for their high places from all kinds of people, who were serving them in the shrines on the high places. 33 They were fearing the Lord, but they were also serving their gods according to the customs of the nations from which they had been deported.

34 To this day they are acting according to their former customs. There are none of them who fear the Lord, and there is no one who acts according to the regulations, ordinances, law, and commands which the Lord had commanded the children of Jacob, to whom he gave the name Israel. 35 The Lord had made a covenant with them and commanded them, “Do not fear other gods. Do not bow down to them. Do not serve them. Do not sacrifice to them. 36 Rather fear the Lord, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and an outstretched arm. Fear him and bow down to him and offer sacrifices to him. 37 Keep the regulations, ordinances, law, and commands, which he wrote for you, and do not fear other gods. 38 Do not forget the covenant I made with you, and do not fear other gods. 39 Fear only the Lord your God. He is the one who will save you from the hand of all your enemies.”

40 But these nations did not listen. Instead, they acted according to their former customs. 41 These nations were fearing the Lord, and they were serving their idols. Their children and their grandchildren did just as their fathers had done. They are doing this up to this day.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Kings 17:4 Probably the pharaoh also known as Osorkon
  2. 2 Kings 17:6 These areas are in northern Syria and Iran.
  3. 2 Kings 17:16 That is, the stars and other celestial bodies
  4. 2 Kings 17:29 Literally houses. These were likely small shrines, not large-scale temples.
  5. 2 Kings 17:32 The Greek Old Testament has an additional sentence at the beginning of verse 32: They were fearing the Lord, but they established their abominations in the shrines of the high places which they made in Samaria, each nation in the city in which they dwelt. Both sentences begin with they were fearing the Lord.

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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