2 Kings 17:25-41
New English Translation
25 When they first moved in,[a] they did not worship[b] the Lord. So the Lord sent lions among them and the lions were killing them. 26 The king of Assyria was told,[c] “The nations whom you deported and settled in the cities of Samaria do not know the requirements of the God of the land, so he has sent lions among them. They are killing the people[d] because they do not know the requirements of the God of the land.” 27 So the king of Assyria ordered, “Take back one of the priests whom you[e] deported from there. He must settle there and teach them the requirements of the God of the land.”[f] 28 So one of the priests whom they had deported from Samaria went back and settled in Bethel. He taught them how to worship[g] the Lord.
29 But each of these nations made[h] its own gods and put them in the shrines on the high places that the people of Samaria[i] had made. Each nation did this in the cities where they lived. 30 The people from Babylon made Sukkoth Benoth,[j] the people from Cuth made Nergal,[k] the people from Hamath made Ashima,[l] 31 the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak,[m] and the Sepharvites burned their sons in the fire as an offering to Adrammelech and Anammelech,[n] the gods of Sepharvaim. 32 At the same time they worshiped[o] the Lord. They appointed some of their own people to serve as priests in the shrines on the high places.[p] 33 They were worshiping[q] the Lord and at the same time serving their own gods in accordance with the practices of the nations from which they had been deported.
34 To this very day they observe their earlier practices. They do not worship[r] the Lord; they do not obey the rules, regulations, law, and commandments that the Lord gave[s] the descendants of Jacob, whom he renamed Israel. 35 The Lord made a covenant with them[t] and instructed them, “You must not worship other gods. Do not bow down to them, serve them, or offer sacrifices to them. 36 Instead you must worship the Lord, who brought you up from the land of Egypt by his great power and military ability;[u] bow down to him and offer sacrifices to him. 37 You must carefully obey at all times the rules, regulations, law, and commandments he wrote down for you. You must not worship other gods. 38 You must never forget the covenant I made with you, and you must not worship other gods. 39 Instead you must worship the Lord your God; then he will rescue you from the power of all your enemies.” 40 But they[v] paid no attention; instead they observed their earlier practices. 41 These nations were worshiping the Lord and at the same time serving their idols; their sons and grandsons are doing just as their fathers have done, to this very day.Read full chapter
- 2 Kings 17:25 tn Heb “in the beginning of their living there.”
- 2 Kings 17:25 tn Heb “fear.”
- 2 Kings 17:26 tn Heb “and they said to the king of Assyria, saying.” The plural subject of the verb is indefinite.
- 2 Kings 17:26 tn Heb “Look, they are killing them.”
- 2 Kings 17:27 tc The second plural subject may refer to the leaders of the Assyrian army. However, some prefer to read “whom I deported,” changing the verb to a first person singular form with a third masculine plural pronominal suffix. This reading has some support from Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic witnesses.
- 2 Kings 17:27 tc Heb “and let them go and let them live there, and let him teach them the requirements of the God of the land.” The two plural verbs seem inconsistent with the preceding and following contexts, where only one priest is sent back to Samaria. The singular has the support of Greek, Syriac, and Latin witnesses.
- 2 Kings 17:28 tn Heb “fear.”
- 2 Kings 17:29 sn The verb “make” refers to the production of idols. See M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 210-11.
- 2 Kings 17:29 tn Heb “Samaritans.” This refers to the Israelites who had been deported from the land.
- 2 Kings 17:30 sn No deity is known by the name Sukkoth Benoth in extant Mesopotamian literature. For speculation as to the identity of this deity, see M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 211.
- 2 Kings 17:30 sn Nergal was a Mesopotamian god of the underworld.
- 2 Kings 17:30 sn This deity is unknown in extra-biblical literature. See M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 211-12.
- 2 Kings 17:31 sn Nibhaz and Tartak were two Elamite deities. See M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 212.
- 2 Kings 17:31 sn Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of the Sepharvaim are unknown in extra-biblical literature. See M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 212.
- 2 Kings 17:32 tn Heb “feared.”
- 2 Kings 17:32 tn Heb “and they appointed for themselves from their whole people priests for the high places and they were serving for them in the house[s] of the high places.”
- 2 Kings 17:33 tn Heb “fearing.”
- 2 Kings 17:34 tn Heb “fear.”
- 2 Kings 17:34 tn Heb “commanded.”
- 2 Kings 17:35 sn That is, the descendants of Jacob/Israel (see v. 35b).
- 2 Kings 17:36 tn Heb “and outstretched arm.”
- 2 Kings 17:40 sn This refers to the foreigners whom the king of Assyria settled in the land (see v. 35a).