2 Kings 17
International Standard Version

Israel Falls to Assyria during Hoshea’s Reign

1During the twelfth year of the reign ofa King Ahaz of Judah, Elah’s son Hoshea became king over Israel for nine years in Samaria. 2He practiced what the LORD considered to be evil,b though not like the kings of Israel who had preceded him. 3King Shalmaneser of Assyria attacked him, and Hoshea became his servant and paid tribute to him. 4But the king of Assyria uncovered a conspiracy involving Hoshea, who had sent envoys to King So of Egypt and stopped offering tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done annually. As a result, the king of Assyria placed him under arrest and sent him to prison. 5After this, the king of Assyria invaded the entire land, approached Samaria, and began a three year siege. 6As a result, during the ninth year of the reign ofc Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and took the Israelis off to Assyria, placing them in Halah, along the Habor River in Gozan, and in cities ruled by the Medes.

The Idolatry of the Northern Kingdom

7This happened because the Israelis had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up from the land of Egypt and from the dominationd of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, becausee they were fearing other gods, 8and because they were followingf the rules of the nations whom the LORD had expelled before the Israelis and that the kings of Israel had practiced.

9The Israelis practiced secret things that were not right, offending the LORD their God. In addition, they built high places for use by all their towns, watchtowers, and fortified cities. 10They set up pillars and Asherim on every high hill and in the shade of every green tree, 11where they made offerings on all the high places, as did the nations whom the LORD had expelled before them. They also practiced otherg wickedness, provoking the LORD to become angry, 12and they served idols, a practice that the LORD had warned them, “You are not to do this.”

13Nevertheless, the LORD had warned both Israel and Judah by meansh of every prophet and seer: “Turn away from your evil practicesi and keep my commandments and statutes according to the entire Law that I gave your ancestors and that I sent to you through my servants, the prophets.” 14But they would not listen. Instead, they were stubborn,j just like their ancestors had been, who did not believe in the LORD their God. 15They rejected the LORD’sk statutes, the covenant that he had made with their ancestors, and his warnings that he gave them. They pursued meaninglessness—and became meaningless themselves—as they followed the lifestyles of the nations that surrounded them, a practice that the LORD had warned them not to do.

16They abandoned all of the commands given byl the LORD their God, crafted for themselves cast images of two calves, constructed an Asherah, worshipped all of the stars in heaven, and served Baal. 17They passed their sons and daughters through fire, practiced divination, cast spells, and sold themselves to practice what the LORD considered to be evil, therebym provoking him. 18As a result, the LORD was angry with Israel and removed them from his presence. No one was left except for the tribe of Judah.

19But Judah, too, did not keep the commands of the LORD their God. Instead, they lived the lifestylen that Israel had chosen, 20so the LORD rejected all of the descendantso of Israel, afflicted them, and handed them over to the control of plunderers until he had thrown them away from his presence.p 21He ripped them away from the heritage of David, even as the peopleq appointed Nebat’s son Jeroboam to be king. Jeroboam drove Israel away from following the LORD and made them commit great sin.

22The Israelis practicedr all the sins that Jeroboam had practiced, and never wavered from them 23until the LORD removed Israel from his presence,s just as he had warned throught all of his prophets who served him. So Israel was carried off into exile from their own land into Assyria, where they remain to this day.u

Assyria Supplants the Northern Kingdom

24Because the king of Assyria brought captivesv from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sephar-vaim and settled them in the cities of Samaria to replace the Israelis, the settlersw possessed Samaria and lived in its cities. 25When they first began to live there, the settlersx did not fear the LORD, so he sent lions among them, and they killed a few of them. 26As a result, they reported to the king of Assyria, “Because the nations whom you exiled to live in the cities of Samaria don’t know the lawy of the god of the land, he has sent lions among them. Look how the lionsz are killing them, because they don’t know the law of the god of the land!”

27So the king of Assyria issued this order: “Take one of the priests whom you carried away and let him go back and live there. Let him teach them the law of the god of the land.” 28So one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria went to live in Bethel to teach them how they ought to fear the LORD.

Assyrian Settlers Create Lasting Corruption

29Nevertheless, each nation continued to craft their own gods and install them in the temples on the high places that the people of Samaria had constructed—every nation in their own cities where they continued to live. 30Settlersaa from Babylon built Succoth-benoth, settlersbb from Cuth built Nergal, settlerscc from Hamath built Ashima, 31and settlersdd from Avva built Nibhaz and Tartak. The residents of Sephar-vaim burned their children in fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sephar-vaim.

32Because they feared the LORD, they also appointed from among themselves priests for the high places who acted on their behalf in the temples on the high places. 33While they continued to fear the LORD, they served their own gods, following the custom of the nations whom they had carried away from there. 34To this very day, they still follow the former customs: they don’t fear the LORD and they don’t live in accordance with the statutes, ordinances, laws, or commandments that the LORD had given to the descendants of Jacob—whom he renamed Israel— 35and with whom the LORD had made a covenant when he gave theseee orders to them:

“You are not to fear other gods, bow down to them, serve them, or sacrifice to them. 36Instead, it is to be the LORD, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, showing great power and public demonstrations of might,ff whom you are to fear, worship, and to whom you are to offer sacrifice. 37Furthermore, you are to be careful to observe forever the statutes, ordinances, law, and the commandment that he wrote for you. And you are not to fear other gods. 38You are not to forget the covenant that I’ve made with you, and you are not to fear other gods. 39But you are to fear the LORD, and he will deliver you from the controlgg of all your enemies.”

40But they wouldn’t listen. Instead, they did what they had been doing before. 41These nations feared the LORD and also served their carved images. Their descendants did the same thing, as did their grandchildren. Just as their ancestors had done, they also do the same thing to this day.


Footnotes:
a 17:1 The Heb. lacks the reign of
b 17:2 Lit. sight
c 17:6 The Heb. lacks the reign of
d 17:7 Lit. hand
e 17:7 The Heb. lacks because
f 17:8 Lit. were walking in
g 17:11 The Heb. lacks other
h 17:13 Lit. by the hand
i 17:13 Lit. ways
j 17:14 Lit. they hardened their necks
k 17:15 Lit. rejected his
l 17:16 The Heb. lacks given by
m 17:17 The Heb. lacks thereby
n 17:19 Lit. customs
o 17:20 Lit. seed
p 17:20 Lit. face
q 17:21 Lit. David, and they
r 17:22 Lit. Israelis walked in
s 17:23 Lit. sight
t 17:23 Lit. spoken by the hand of
u 17:23 i.e. c. during the late Babylonian captivity or slightly after that time
v 17:24 The Heb. lacks captives
w 17:24 The Heb. lacks the settlers
x 17:25 The Heb. lacks the settlers
y 17:26 Or justice
z 17:26 Lit. how they
aa 17:30 Lit. Men
bb 17:30 Lit. men
cc 17:30 Lit. men
dd 17:31 Lit. men
ee 17:35 The Heb. lacks these
ff 17:36 Lit. and with an outstretched arm
gg 17:39 Lit. hand



The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1
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