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Then the king of Assyria[a] occupied the whole land and attacked Samaria, which he besieged for three years.

X. The End of Israel[b]

Israelites Deported. In Hoshea’s ninth year, the king of Assyria took Samaria, deported the Israelites to Assyria, and settled them in Halah, and at the Habor, a river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.(A) This came about because the Israelites 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. They venerated other gods, (B)they followed the rites of the nations whom the Lord had dispossessed before the Israelites and those that the kings of Israel had practiced.

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  1. 17:5 The king of Assyria: Shalmaneser was succeeded by Sargon II, who usurped the Assyrian throne in 722/721 B.C. In his inscriptions, Sargon claims to have captured Samaria during the first year of his reign.
  2. 17:6–41 This brief section is the Deuteronomistic historian’s theological reflection on the causes and aftermath of Assyria’s conquest of the Northern Kingdom. The text contrasts the Israelites, who were deported (v. 6) because they abandoned the worship of the Lord (vv. 7–23), with the foreigners who were brought into the land (v. 24) and undertook, however imperfectly, to worship the Lord alongside their own traditional deities (vv. 25–34a). The last verses recapitulate the apostasy of the Israelites (vv. 34b–40) and the syncretism of the foreigners (v. 41). This is a deliberately disparaging, and not wholly accurate, account of the origin of the Samaritans; it reflects the hostility the Judahites continued to hold toward the inhabitants of the northern territories.

13 (A)The Lord warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and seer: Give up your evil ways and keep my commandments and statutes, in accordance with the entire law which I enjoined on your ancestors and which I sent you by my servants the prophets. 14 But they did not listen. They grew as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who had not believed in the Lord, their God.(B) 15 They rejected his statutes, the covenant he had made with their ancestors, and the warnings he had given them. They followed emptiness and became empty; they followed the surrounding nations whom the Lord had commanded them not to imitate.(C)

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18 (A)The Lord became enraged, and removed them from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah was left.

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