1Hoshea became king of Israel in Samaria. It was in the 12th year that Ahaz was king of Judah. Hoshea ruled for nine years. He was the son of Elah.2Hoshea did what was evil in the eyes of the LORD. But he wasn’t as evil as the kings of Israel who ruled before him.3Shalmaneser came up to attack Hoshea. Shalmaneser was king of Assyria. He had been Hoshea’s master. He had forced Hoshea to bring him gifts.4But the king of Assyria found out that Hoshea had turned against him. Hoshea had sent messengers to So, the king of Egypt. Hoshea didn’t send gifts to the king of Assyria anymore. He had been sending them every year. So Shalmaneser grabbed him and put him in prison.5The king of Assyria marched into the whole land of Israel. He marched to Samaria and surrounded it for three years. From time to time he attacked it.6Finally, the king of Assyria captured Samaria. It was in the ninth year of Hoshea. The king of Assyria took the Israelites away from their own land. He sent them off to Assyria. He made some of them live in Halah. He made others live in Gozan on the River Habor. And he made others live in the towns of the Medes.
Israel is forced to leave the land because of sin
7All of this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the LORD their God. He had brought them up out of Egypt. He had brought them out from under the power of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. But they worshipped other gods.8The LORD had driven out other nations to make room for Israel. But they followed the evil practices of those nations. They also followed the practices that the kings of Israel had started.9The Israelites did things in secret against the LORD their God. What they did wasn’t right. They built high places for worship in all their towns. They built them at lookout towers. They also built them at cities that had high walls around them.10They set up sacred stones. And they set up poles used to worship the female god named Asherah. They did that on every high hill and under every green tree.11The LORD had driven out nations to make room for Israel. But the Israelites burned incense at every high place, just as those nations had done. The Israelites did evil things that made the LORD very angry.12They worshipped statues of gods. They did it even though the LORD had said, ‘Do not do that.’13The LORD warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers. He said, ‘Turn from your evil ways. Keep my commands and rules. Obey every part of my Law. I commanded your people who lived long ago to obey it. And I gave it to you through my servants the prophets.’14But the people wouldn’t listen. They were as stubborn as their people of long ago had been. Those people didn’t trust in the LORD their God.15They refused to obey his rules. They broke the covenant he had made with them. They didn’t pay any attention to the rules he had warned them to keep. They worshipped worthless statues of gods. Then they themselves became worthless. They followed the example of the nations around them. They did it even though the LORD had ordered them not to. He had said, ‘Do not do as they do.’16They turned away from all the commands of the LORD their God. They made two statues of gods for themselves. The statues were shaped like calves. They made a pole used to worship the female god named Asherah. They bowed down to all the stars. And they worshipped the god named Baal.17They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practised all kinds of evil magic. They gave up following God’s rules. They did only what was evil in the eyes of the LORD. All these things made him very angry.18So the LORD was very angry with Israel. He removed them from his land. Only the tribe of Judah was left.19And even Judah didn’t obey the commands of the LORD their God. They followed the practices Israel had started.20So the LORD turned his back on all the people of Israel. He made them suffer. He handed them over to people who stole everything they had. And finally he threw them out of his land.21The LORD took control of Israel away from the royal house of David. The Israelites made Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, their king. Jeroboam tried to get Israel to stop following the LORD. He caused them to commit a terrible sin.22The Israelites were stubborn. They continued to commit all the sins Jeroboam had committed. They didn’t turn away from them.23So the LORD removed them from his land. That’s what he had warned them he would do. He had given that warning through all his servants the prophets. So the people of Israel were taken away from their country. They were forced to go to Assyria. And that’s where they still are.
Assyria makes other people live in Samaria
24The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Kuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaim. He made all of them live in the towns of Samaria. They took the place of the people of Israel. They lived in all the towns of Samaria.25When they first lived there, they didn’t worship the LORD. So he sent lions among them. And the lions killed some of the people.26A report was given to the king of Assyria. He was told, ‘You forced people to leave their own homes and live in the towns of Samaria. But they don’t know what the god of that country requires. So he has sent lions among them. And the lions are killing the people off. That’s because the people don’t know what that god requires.’27Then the king of Assyria gave an order. He said, ‘Get one of the priests you captured from Samaria. Send him back to live there. Make him teach the people what the god of that land requires.’28So a priest went back to live in Bethel. He was one of the priests who had been forced to leave Samaria. He taught the people of Bethel how to worship the LORD.29In spite of that, the people from each nation made statues of their own gods. They made them in all the towns where they had been forced to live. They set up those statues in small temples. The people of Samaria had built the temples at the high places.30The people from Babylon made statues of the god named Sukkoth Benoth. Those from Kuthah made statues of the god named Nergal. Those from Hamath made statues of the god named Ashima.31The Avvites made statues of the gods named Nibhaz and Tartak. The Sepharvites sacrificed their children in the fire to the gods named Adrammelek and Anammelek. They were the gods of Sepharvaim.32So the people of Samaria worshipped the LORD. But they also appointed all kinds of their own people to be their priests. The priests served in the small temples at the high places.33The people worshipped the LORD. But they also served their own gods. They followed the evil practices of the nations they had been taken from.34The people of Samaria are still stubborn. They continue in their old practices to this day. And now they don’t even worship the LORD. They don’t follow his directions and rules. They don’t obey his laws and commands. The LORD had given all these laws to the family of Jacob. He gave the name Israel to Jacob.35The LORD made a covenant with the Israelites. At that time he commanded them, ‘Do not worship any other gods. Do not bow down to them. Do not serve them or sacrifice to them.36The LORD is the one you must worship. The LORD brought you up out of Egypt by his great power. He saved you by reaching out his mighty arm. You must bow down only to him. You must offer sacrifices only to him.37You must always be careful to follow his directions and rules. You must obey the laws and commands he wrote for you. Do not worship other gods.38Do not forget the covenant I made with you. And remember, you must not worship other gods.39Instead, worship the LORD your God. He will save you from the powerful hand of all your enemies.’40But the people wouldn’t listen. Instead, they were stubborn. They continued in their old practices.41They worshipped the LORD. But at the same time, they served the statues of their gods. And to this day their children and grandchildren continue to do what their people before them did.
2 Kings 17
English Standard Version
Hoshea Reigns in Israel
1In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea the son of Elah began to reign in Samaria over Israel, and he reigned nine years. (2Ki 15:30)2And he did what 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 vassal and paid him tribute. (2Ki 18:9; Ho 10:14)4But the king of Assyria found treachery 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 invaded all the land and came to Samaria, and for three years he besieged it.
7And this occurred because the people of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods (Ex 20:2; Le 25:38; 2Ki 17:36)8and walked in the customs of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel, and in the customs that the kings of Israel had practiced. (Le 18:3; De 18:9; 2Ki 16:3; 2Ki 17:19)9And the people of Israel did secretly against the Lord their God things that were not right. They built for themselves high places in all their towns, from watchtower to fortified city. (2Ki 18:8)10They set up for themselves pillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree, (Ex 23:24)11and there they made offerings on all the high places, as the nations did whom the Lord carried away before them. And they did wicked things, provoking the Lord to anger,12and they served idols, of which the Lord had said to them, “You shall not do this.” (Ex 20:4)13Yet the Lord warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes, in accordance with all the Law that I commanded your fathers, and that I sent to you by my servants the prophets.” (1Sa 9:9; 2Ki 17:23; Ne 9:30; Jer 18:11; Jer 25:5; Jer 35:15)14But they would not listen, but were stubborn, as their fathers had been, who did not believe in the Lord their God. (De 9:6; De 31:27; 2Ch 30:8; Ac 7:51)15They despised his statutes and his covenant that he made with their fathers and the warnings that he gave them. They went after false idols and became false, and they followed the nations that were around them, concerning whom the Lord had commanded them that they should not do like them. (De 12:30; De 29:25; De 32:21; 1Ki 16:13; Jer 2:5; Ro 1:21)16And they abandoned all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made for themselves metal images of two calves; and they made an Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal. (De 4:19; 1Ki 12:28; 1Ki 14:15; 1Ki 14:23; 1Ki 15:13; 1Ki 16:31; 1Ki 16:33; 1Ki 22:53; 2Ki 11:18; 2Ki 21:3; 2Ki 23:5)17And they burned their sons and their daughters as offerings and used divination and omens and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger. (Le 18:21; Le 19:26; De 18:10; 1Ki 21:20; 2Ki 16:3; Eze 23:37)18Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them out of his sight. None was left but the tribe of Judah only. (1Ki 11:13; 1Ki 11:32; 1Ki 12:20)19Judah also did not keep the commandments of the Lord their God, but walked in the customs that Israel had introduced. (Jer 3:8)20And the Lord rejected all the descendants of Israel and afflicted them and gave them into the hand of plunderers, until he had cast them out of his sight. (Jud 2:14; 2Ki 13:3; 2Ki 15:29)21When he had torn Israel from the house of David, they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. And Jeroboam drove Israel from following the Lord and made them commit great sin. (1Ki 11:11; 1Ki 11:31; 1Ki 12:20; 1Ki 14:16)22The people of Israel walked in all the sins that Jeroboam did. They did not depart from them,23until the Lord removed Israel out of his sight, as he had spoken by all his servants the prophets. So Israel was exiled from their own land to Assyria until this day. (2Ki 17:6; 2Ki 17:13)
Assyria Resettles Samaria
24And the king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the people of Israel. And they took possession of Samaria and lived in its cities. (1Ki 8:65; 2Ki 17:30; 2Ki 17:31; 2Ki 18:34; 2Ki 19:13; Ezr 4:2; Ezr 4:10)25And at the beginning of their dwelling there, they did not fear the Lord. Therefore the Lord sent lions among them, which killed some of them.26So the king of Assyria was told, “The nations that 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 behold, they are killing them, because they do not know the law of the god of the land.”27Then the king of Assyria commanded, “Send there one of the priests whom you carried away from there, and let him go and dwell there and 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. (1Ki 12:29)29But every nation still made gods of its own and put them in the shrines of the high places that the Samaritans had made, every nation in the cities in which they lived. (1Ki 12:31; 1Ki 13:32)30The men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, the men of Cuth made Nergal, the men of Hamath made Ashima, (2Ki 17:24)31and the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. (2Ki 17:17; 2Ki 17:24; 2Ki 19:37)32They also feared the Lord and appointed from among themselves all sorts of people as priests of the high places, who sacrificed for them in the shrines of the high places. (1Ki 12:31; 2Ki 17:29; Zep 1:5)33So they feared the Lord but also served their own gods, after the manner of the nations from among whom they had been carried away.34To this day they do according to the former manner. They do not fear the Lord, and they do not follow the statutes or the rules or the law or the commandment that the Lord commanded the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel. (Ge 32:28; Ge 35:10; 1Ki 18:31)35The Lord made a covenant with them and commanded them, “You shall not fear other gods or bow yourselves to them or serve them or sacrifice to them, (Ex 20:5; Jud 6:10)36but you shall fear the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt with great power and with an outstretched arm. You shall bow yourselves to him, and to him you shall sacrifice. (Ex 6:6; De 4:34; De 6:13; 2Ki 17:7)37And the statutes and the rules and the law and the commandment that he wrote for you, you shall always be careful to do. You shall not fear other gods, (De 5:32; 2Ki 17:35)38and you shall not forget the covenant that I have made with you. You shall not fear other gods, (De 4:23; 2Ki 17:35)39but you shall fear the Lord your God, and he will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.” (2Ki 17:36)40However, they would not listen, but they did according to their former manner.41So these nations feared the Lord and also served their carved images. Their children did likewise, and their children’s children—as their fathers did, so they do to this day. (Zep 1:5)