New Heart English Bible
1In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea the son of Elah began to reign in Samaria over Israel for nine years. 2He did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, yet not as the kings of Israel who were before him. 3Against him came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria; and Hoshea became his servant, and brought him tribute. 4The king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea; for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt, and offered 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.
5Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years.
6In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away to Assyria, and placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
7It was so, because the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, who brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods, 8and walked in the statutes of the nations, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they made. 9The children of Israel did secretly things that were not right against the LORD their God: and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fortified city; 10and they set them up pillars and Asherim on every high hill, and under every green tree; 11and there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the nations whom the LORD carried away before them; and they worked wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger; 12and they served idols, of which the LORD had said to them, "You shall not do this thing." 13Yet the LORD testified to Israel, and to Judah, by every prophet, and every seer, saying, "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." 14Notwithstanding, they would not listen, but hardened their neck, like the neck of their fathers, who did not believe in the LORD their God. 15They rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified to them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and followed the nations that were around them, concerning whom the LORD had commanded them that they should not do like them. 16They forsook all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made an Asherah, and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. 17They caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, practiced divination and sorcery, and sold themselves to do that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. 18Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only.
19Also Judah did not keep the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made. 20The LORD rejected all the descendants of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of plunderers, until he had cast them out of his sight.
21For he tore Israel from the house of David; and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king: and Jeroboam drove Israel from following the LORD, and made them sin a great sin. 22The children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them; 23until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he spoke by all his servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away out of their own land to Assyria to this day.
24The king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Avva, and from Hamath and Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they possessed Samaria, and lived in the cities of it. 25So it was, 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. 26Therefore they spoke to the king of Assyria, saying, "The nations which you have carried away, and placed in the cities of Samaria, do not know the law of the god of the land. Therefore he has sent lions among them, and look, they kill them, because they do not know the law of the god of the land."
27Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, "Carry there one of the priests whom you brought from there; and let them go and dwell there, and let him teach them the law of the god of the land." 28So one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and lived in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the LORD.
29However every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities in which they lived. 30The men of Babylon made Succoth Benoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima, 31and the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and the Sepharvites burnt their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. 32And they worshiped the LORD, yet they established their abominations in the houses of the high places which they made in Samaria, each nation in the city in which they dwelt. And they worshiped the LORD, yet appointed from among themselves priests of the high places, who sacrificed for them in the houses of the high places. 33And they worshiped the LORD, yet served their own gods, after the ways of the nations from among whom they had been carried away.
34To this day they do what they did before: they do not fear the LORD, neither do they follow their statutes, or their ordinances, or the law or the commandment which the LORD commanded the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel; 35with whom the LORD had made a covenant, and commanded them, saying, "You shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them; 36but you shall fear the LORD, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and with an outstretched arm, and you shall bow yourselves to him, and you shall sacrifice to him. 37The statutes and the ordinances, and the law and the commandment, which he wrote for you, you shall observe to do forevermore. You shall not fear other gods. 38You shall not forget the covenant that I have made with you; neither shall you fear other gods. 39But you shall fear the LORD your God; and he will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies." 40However they did not listen, but they did what they did before. 41So these nations feared the LORD, and served their engraved images. Their children likewise, and their children's children, as their fathers did, so they do to this day.