2 Kings 17:1-23 New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
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. 2 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.
3 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. 4 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. 5 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. 6 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
7 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. 8 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. 9 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.
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