2 Kings 17
Hoshea Reigns over IsraelIn the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea the son of Elah became king over Israel in Samaria and reigned nine years. 2 And he did what was evil in the sight of Yahweh, only not as the kings of Israel who were before him. 3 Shalmaneser king of Assyria went up against 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; therefore the king of Assyria shut him up and bound him in prison. 5 Then the king of Assyria went up against the whole land and he went up to Samaria and besieged it three years.
Israel Exiled to Assyria6 In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and took Israel away into exile to Assyria, and settled them in Halah and Habor, on the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
Israel Rejects Yahweh7 Now this happened because the sons of Israel had sinned against Yahweh their God—who had brought them up from the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt—and they had feared other gods 8 and walked in the statutes of the nations whom Yahweh had dispossessed from before the sons of Israel, and in the statutes of the kings of Israel which they had made. 9 And the sons of Israel did things secretly which were not right against Yahweh their God. Moreover, they built for themselves high places in all their cities, from watchtower to fortified city. 10 And they set for themselves sacred pillars and Asherim 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 Yahweh had taken away into exile before them; and they did evil things provoking Yahweh to anger. 12 And they served idols, concerning which Yahweh had said to them, “You shall not do this thing.” 13 Yet Yahweh warned Israel and Judah by the hand of all His prophets and every seer, saying, “Turn 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 by the hand of My slaves the prophets.” 14 However, they did not listen, but stiffened their neck like their fathers, who did not believe in Yahweh their God. 15 They also rejected His statutes and His covenant which He cut with their fathers and His warnings with which He warned them. And they followed vanity and became vain, and went after the nations which surrounded them, concerning which Yahweh had commanded them not to do like them. 16 And they forsook all the commandments of Yahweh their God and made for themselves molten images, even two calves, and made an Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal. 17 Then they made their sons and their daughters pass through the fire, and practiced divination and omens, and sold themselves to do what is evil in the sight of Yahweh, provoking Him to anger. 18 So Yahweh was very angry with Israel and caused them to depart from His presence; none was left except the tribe of Judah alone. 19 Also Judah did not keep the commandments of Yahweh their God, but walked in the statutes which Israel had made. 20 So Yahweh rejected all the seed of Israel and afflicted them and gave them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them from His presence. 21 When He had torn Israel from the house of David, they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. Then Jeroboam drove Israel away from following Yahweh and made them sin a great sin. 22 And the sons of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them 23 until Yahweh caused Israel to depart from His presence, as He spoke through all His slaves the prophets. So Israel went into exile from their own land to Assyria until this day.
Exiled Men in the Cities of Samaria24 And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon and from Cuthah and from Avva and from Hamath and Sepharvaim, 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 Now it happened at the beginning of their settlement there, that they did not fear Yahweh; therefore Yahweh sent lions among them which were killing them. 26 So they spoke to the king of Assyria, saying, “The nations whom you have taken away into exile and settled 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 are putting them to death 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 took away into exile and let him go and live there; and let him instruct them the custom of the god of the land.” 28 So one of the priests whom they had taken away into exile from Samaria came and settled at Bethel, and instructed them how they should fear Yahweh. 29 But each nation was still making gods of its own and put them in the houses of the high places which the people of Samaria had made, each nation in their cities in which they lived. 30 And the 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 the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of the Sepharvaim. 32 They were also fearing Yahweh and appointed from among all of themselves priests of the high places, and they were acting for them in the houses of the high places. 33 They were fearing Yahweh and serving their own gods according to the custom of the nations from among whom they had been taken away into exile. 34 To this day they are acting according to the earlier customs: they are not fearing Yahweh; they are not acting according to their statutes or their judgments or the law, or the commandment which Yahweh commanded the sons of Jacob, whom He named Israel; 35 with whom Yahweh cut a covenant and commanded them, saying, “You shall not fear other gods, nor worship them nor serve them nor sacrifice to them. 36 But Yahweh, who brought you up from the land of Egypt with great power and with an outstretched arm, Him you shall fear, and to Him you shall worship, and to Him you shall sacrifice. 37 And the statutes and the judgments and the law and the commandment which He wrote for you, you shall be careful to do forever; and you shall not fear other gods. 38 And the covenant that I have cut with you, you shall not forget, nor shall you fear other gods. 39 But Yahweh 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 were acting according to their earlier custom. 41 So while these nations were fearing Yahweh, they also were serving their graven images; their children likewise and their grandchildren, as their fathers acted, so they are acting this way to this day.