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2 Kings 17:1–18:12

Hoshea Reigns in Israel

17 In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, aHoshea the son of Elah became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned nine years. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, but not as the kings of Israel who were before him. bShalmaneser king of Assyria came up against him; and Hoshea cbecame his vassal, and paid him tribute money. And the king of Assyria uncovered a conspiracy by Hoshea; for he had sent messengers to So, king of Egypt, and brought no tribute 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.

Israel Carried Captive to Assyria

Now dthe king of Assyria went throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria and besieged it for three years. eIn the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria took Samaria and fcarried Israel away to Assyria, gand placed them in Halah and by the Habor, the River of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

For hso it was that the children of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and they had ifeared other gods, and jhad walked in the statutes of the nations whom the Lord had cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made. Also the children of Israel secretly did against the Lord their God things that were not right, and they built for themselves 1high places in all their cities, kfrom watchtower to fortified city. 10 lThey set up for themselves sacred pillars and mwooden images 2 non every high hill and under every green tree. 11 There they burned incense on all the high places, like the nations whom the Lord had carried away before them; and they did wicked things to provoke the Lord to anger, 12 for they served idols, oof which the Lord had said to them, p“You shall not do this thing.”

13 Yet the Lord testified against Israel and against Judah, by all of His qprophets, revery seer, saying, s“Turn 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 Nevertheless they would not hear, but tstiffened their necks, like the necks of their fathers, who udid not believe in the Lord their God. 15 And they vrejected His statutes wand His covenant that He had made with their fathers, and His testimonies which He had testified against them; they followed xidols, ybecame idolaters, and went after the nations who were all around them, concerning whom the Lord had charged them that they should znot do like them. 16 So they left all the commandments of the Lord their God, amade for themselves a molded image and two calves, bmade a wooden image and worshiped all the chost of heaven, dand served Baal. 17 eAnd they caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire, fpracticed witchcraft and soothsaying, and gsold 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 from His sight; there was none left hbut the tribe of Judah alone.

19 Also iJudah did not keep the commandments of the Lord their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made. 20 And the Lord rejected all the descendants of Israel, afflicted them, and jdelivered them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them from His ksight. 21 For lHe tore Israel from the house of David, and mthey made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. Then Jeroboam drove Israel from following the Lord, and made them commit a great sin. 22 For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them, 23 until the Lord removed Israel out of His sight, nas He had said by all His servants the prophets. oSo Israel was carried away from their own land to Assyria, as it is to this day.

Assyria Resettles Samaria

24 pThen the king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, qAva, Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they took possession of Samaria and dwelt in its cities. 25 And it was so, at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they did not fear the Lord; therefore the Lord sent lions among them, which killed some of them. 26 So they spoke to the king of Assyria, saying, “The nations whom you have removed and placed in the cities of Samaria do not know the rituals of the God of the land; therefore He has sent lions among them, and indeed, they are killing them because they do not know the rituals of the God of the land.” 27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, “Send there one of the priests whom you brought from there; let him go and dwell there, and let him teach them the rituals 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 However every nation continued to make gods of its own, and put them rin the shrines on the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in the cities where they dwelt. 30 The men of sBabylon made Succoth Benoth, the men of Cuth made Nergal, the men of Hamath made Ashima, 31 tand the Avites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and the Sepharvites uburned their children in fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. 32 So they feared the Lord, vand from every class they appointed for themselves priests of the 3high places, who sacrificed for them in the shrines of the high places. 33 wThey feared the Lord, yet served their own gods—according to the rituals of the nations from among whom they were carried away.

34 To this day they continue practicing the former rituals; they do not fear the Lord, nor do they follow their statutes or their ordinances, or the law and commandment which the Lord had commanded the children of Jacob, xwhom He named Israel, 35 with whom the Lord had made a covenant and charged them, saying: y“You shall not fear other gods, nor zbow down to them nor serve them nor sacrifice to them; 36 but the Lord, who abrought you up from the land of Egypt with great power and ban outstretched arm, cHim you shall fear, Him you shall worship, and to Him you shall offer sacrifice. 37 And the statutes, the ordinances, the law, and the commandment which He wrote for you, dyou shall be careful to observe forever; you shall not fear other gods. 38 And the covenant that I have made with you, eyou shall not forget, nor shall you fear other gods. 39 But the Lord your God you shall fear; and He will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.” 40 However they did not obey, but they followed their former rituals. 41 fSo these nations feared the Lord, yet served their carved images; also their children and their children’s children have continued doing as their fathers did, even to this day.

Hezekiah Reigns in Judah

18 Now it came to pass in the third year of aHoshea the son of Elah, king of Israel, that bHezekiah the son of Ahaz, king of Judah, began to reign. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was cAbi 1the daughter of Zechariah. And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done.

dHe removed the 2high places and broke the sacred pillars, cut down the 3wooden image and broke in pieces the ebronze serpent that Moses had made; for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it, and called it 4Nehushtan. He ftrusted in the Lord God of Israel, gso that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who were before him. For he hheld fast to the Lord; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses. The Lord iwas with him; he jprospered wherever he went. And he krebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. lHe 5subdued the Philistines, as far as Gaza and its territory, mfrom watchtower to fortified city.

Now nit came to pass in the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea the son of Elah, king of Israel, that Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria and besieged it. 10 And at the end of three years they took it. In the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is, othe ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken. 11 pThen the king of Assyria carried Israel away captive to Assyria, and put them qin Halah and by the Habor, the River of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes, 12 because they rdid not obey the voice of the Lord their God, but transgressed His covenant and all that Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded; and they would neither hear nor do them.

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