1 In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, aHoshea the son of Elah became king over Israel in Samaria, and reigned nine years.
2 He did evil in the sight of the Lord, only not as the kings of Israel who were before him.
3 aShalmaneser king of Assyria came up bagainst him, and Hoshea became his servant and paid him tribute.
4 But the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea, who had sent messengers to So king of Egypt and had offered no tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year; so the king of Assyria shut him up and bound him in prison.
5 Then the king of Assyria invaded the whole land and went up to aSamaria and besieged it three years.
6 In the ninth year of Hoshea, athe king of Assyria captured Samaria and bcarried Israel away into exile to Assyria, and csettled them in Halah and Habor, on the river of dGozan, and ein the cities of the Medes.
7 Now athis came about because the sons of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, bwho had brought them up from the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, cand they had 1feared other gods
8 and awalked in the 1customs of the nations whom the Lord had driven out before the sons of Israel, and in the customs bof the kings of Israel which they had 2introduced.
9 The sons of Israel 1did things secretly which were not right against the Lord their God. Moreover, they built for themselves high places in all their towns, from awatchtower to fortified city.
10 aThey set for themselves sacred pillars and 1bAsherim on every high hill and under every green tree,
11 and there they burned incense on all the high places as the nations did which the Lord had carried away to exile before them; and they did evil things provoking the Lord.
12 They served idols, aconcerning which the Lord had said to them, “You shall not do this thing.”
13 Yet the aLord warned Israel and Judah bthrough all His prophets and cevery seer, saying, “dTurn from your evil ways and keep My commandments, My statutes according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you through My servants the prophets.”
14 However, they did not listen, but astiffened their neck 1like their fathers, who did not believe in the Lord their God.
15 aThey rejected His statutes and bHis covenant which He made with their fathers and His warnings with which He warned them. And cthey followed vanity and dbecame vain, and went after the nations which surrounded them, concerning which the eLord had commanded them not to do like them.
16 They forsook all the commandments of the Lord their God and made for themselves molten images, even atwo calves, and bmade an 1Asherah and cworshiped all the host of heaven and dserved Baal.
17 Then athey made their sons and their daughters pass through the fire, and bpracticed divination and enchantments, and csold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him.
18 So the Lord was very angry with Israel and aremoved them from His 1sight; bnone was left except the tribe of Judah.
19 Also aJudah did not keep the commandments of the Lord their God, but bwalked in the 1customs 2which Israel had 3introduced.
20 The Lord rejected all the 1descendants of Israel and afflicted them and agave them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them 2out of His sight.
21 When aHe had torn Israel from the house of David, bthey made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. Then cJeroboam drove Israel away from following the Lord and made them 1commit a great sin.
22 The sons of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them
23 auntil the Lord removed Israel from His sight, bas He spoke through all His servants the prophets. aSo Israel was carried away into exile from their own land to Assyria until this day.
Cities of Israel Filled with Strangers
24 aThe king of Assyria brought men from Babylon and from Cuthah and from 1bAvva and from cHamath and Sephar-vaim, and settled them in the cities of Samaria in place of the sons of Israel. So they possessed Samaria and lived in its cities.
25 At the beginning of their living there, they adid 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 carried away into exile in the cities of Samaria do not know the custom of the god of the land; so he has sent lions among them, and behold, they kill them because they do not know the custom of the god of the land.”
27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, “Take there one of the priests whom you carried away into 1exile and let 2him go and live there; and let him teach them the custom of the god of the land.”
28 So one of the priests whom they had carried away into exile from Samaria came and lived at Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the Lord.
29 But every nation still made gods of its own and put them ain the houses of the high places which the people of Samaria had made, every nation in their cities in which they lived.
30 aThe men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, the men of Cuth made Nergal, the men of Hamath made Ashima,
31 and the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and athe Sepharvites burned their children in the fire to bAdrammelech and Anammelech the gods of cSepharvaim.
32 aThey also feared the Lord and 1bappointed from among themselves priests of the high places, who acted for them in the houses of the high places.
33 They feared the Lord and served their own gods according to the custom of the nations from among whom they had been carried away into exile.
34 To this day they do according to the earlier customs: they do not fear the Lord, nor do they 1follow their statutes or their ordinances or the law, or the commandments which the Lord commanded the sons of Jacob, awhom He named Israel;
35 with whom the Lord made a covenant and commanded them, saying, “aYou shall not fear other gods, nor bbow down yourselves to them nor cserve them nor sacrifice to them.
36 “But the Lord, awho brought you up from the land of Egypt with great power and with ban outstretched arm, cHim you shall fear, and to Him you shall bow yourselves down, and to Him you shall sacrifice.
37 “The statutes and the ordinances and the law and the commandment which He wrote for you, ayou shall observe to do forever; and you shall not fear other gods.
38 “The covenant that I have made with you, ayou 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 listen, but they did according to their earlier custom.
41 aSo while these nations feared the Lord, they also served their 1idols; their children likewise and their grandchildren, as their fathers did, so they do to this day.
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