2 Kings 17:35
With whom the LORD had made a covenant, and charged them, saying, You shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
17:24-41 The terror of the Almighty will sometimes produce a forced or feigned submission in unconverted men; like those brought from different countries to inhabit Israel. But such will form unworthy thoughts of God, will expect to please him by outward forms, and will vainly try to reconcile his service with the love of the world and the indulgence of their lusts. May that fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom, possess our hearts, and influence our conduct, that we may be ready for every change. Wordly settlements are uncertain; we know not whither we may be driven before we die, and we must soon leave the world; but the righteous hath chosen that good part which shall not be taken from him.They fear not the Lord - The new-comers in one sense feared Yahweh 2 Kings 17:33, 2 Kings 17:41. They acknowledged His name, admitted Him among their gods, and kept up His worship at the high place at Bethel according to the rites instituted by Jeroboam 2 Kings 17:28. But in another sense they did not fear Him. To acknowledge Yahweh together with other gods is not really to acknowledge Him at all. 34. Unto this day—the time of the Babylonian exile, when this book was composed. Their religion was a strange medley or compound of the service of God and the service of idols. Such was the first settlement of the people, afterwards called Samaritans, who were sent from Assyria to colonize the land, when the kingdom of Israel, after having continued three hundred fifty-six years, was overthrown. A covenant, containing many precious promises, upon the condition here following: see Genesis 17:7 Exodus 19:5 24:7. With whom the Lord had made a covenant,.... As he did at Sinai, 2 Kings 17:15.

and charged them, saying, ye shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them; all which is contained in the first and second commandments of the law.

With whom the LORD had made a covenant, and charged them, saying, Ye shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 35. - With whom the Lord had made a covenant, and charged them, saying, Ye shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them (see Exodus 20:3; Deuteronomy 5:7; Deuteronomy 6:14; Deuteronomy 11:28. For the "covenant," see Exodus 19:5-8; Exodus 24:3-8). In the earliest period of their settlement in the cities of Samaria the new settlers were visited by lions, which may have multiplied greatly during the time that the land was lying waste. The settlers regarded this as a punishment from Jehovah, i.e., from the deity of the land, whom they did not worship, and therefore asked the king of Assyria for a priest to teach them the right, i.e., the proper, worship of God of the land; whereupon the king sent them one of the priests who had been carried away, and he took up his abode in Bethel, and instructed the people in the worship of Jehovah. The author of our books also looked upon the lions as sent by Jehovah as a punishment, according to Leviticus 26:22, because the new settlers did not fear Him. העריות: the lions which had taken up their abode there. שׁם וישׁבוּ וילכוּ: that they (the priest with his companions) went away and dwelt there. There is no need therefore to alter the plural into the singular.

The priest sent by the Assyrian king was of course an Israelitish priest of the calves, for he was one of those who had been carried away and settled in Bethel, the chief seat of Jeroboam's image-worship, and he also taught the colonists to fear or worship Jehovah after the manner of the land. This explains the state of divine worship in the land as described in 2 Kings 17:29. "Every separate nation (גּוי גּוי: see Ewald, 313, a.) made itself its own gods, and set them up in the houses of the high places (הבּמות בּית: see at 1 Kings 12:31, and for the singular בּית, Ewald, 270, c.) which the Samaritans (השּׁמרנים, not the colonists sent thither by Esarhaddon, but the former inhabitants of the kingdom of Israel, who are so called from the capital Samaria) had made (built); every nation in the cities where they dwelt."

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