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2 Kings 17

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 1 In the twelfth year of Ahaz, king of Judah; Hoshea, the son of Elah, began his nine year reign over Israel in Samaria.

 2 And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, but not as the kings of Israel who were before him.

 3 Now Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, came up against him, and Hoshea became his vassal and paid him tribute money.

 4 But the king of Assyria discovered a conspiracy by Hoshea for Hoshea had sent messengers to King So of Egypt, and paid no tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done each year. Therefore the king of Assyria seized him and bound him in prison.

 5 Then the king of Assyria invaded all the land and went up to Samaria and besieged it for three years.

 6 And in the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria, took Samaria and carried the people of Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and Habor by the river of Gozan and in the cities of the Medes.

 7 Now this was because the children 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 they had feared other gods,

 8 And walked in the customs of the heathen whom the LORD had driven out before the children of Israel, and in the customs that the kings of Israel had introduced.

 9 The children of Israel also secretly did things against the LORD their God that were not right. They built themselves high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fortified city.

 10 And they set up sacred pillars and Asherim [idols] on every high hill and under every green tree.

 11 There they burned incense on all the high places, as did the heathen whom the LORD driven out before them; and they did wicked things that provoked the LORD to anger,

 12 For they served idols, concerning which the LORD had said to them, "You shall not do this thing."

 13 Yet the LORD warned Israel and Judah through all the prophets and all the seers, saying, "Turn from your evil ways and keep my commands and my statutes, according to all the law that I commanded your forefathers and sent to you by my servants the prophets."

 14 Nevertheless they would not listen, but stiffened their necks, like the necks of their forefathers who did not believe in the LORD their God.

 15 They rejected his statutes and his covenant that he had made with their forefathers, and his warnings that he had given them. They followed vain [false] idols and they became false themselves. And they went after the heathen who were all around them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do as they did.

 16 They forsook all the commands of the LORD their God and made for themselves molten images, even two calves, and they made an Asherah [idol] and worshipped all the host of heaven and served Baal.

 17 And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire [sacrificed them] and used divination and enchantments and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger.

 18 Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel and removed them out of his sight [presence]. None was left but the tribe of Judah.

 19 But even Judah did not keep the commands of the LORD their God, but walked in the practices that Israel had introduced.

 20 So the LORD rejected all the descendants of Israel and afflicted them and delivered them into the hands of plunderers, until he had cast them out of his sight.

 21 For he tore Israel from the house of David; and they made Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, king. And Jeroboam drove Israel away from following the LORD and made them commit a great sin.

 22 For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam; they did not depart from them,

 23 Until the LORD removed Israel from his sight, as he had warned through all his servants the prophets. So the people of Israel were carried away from their own land into Assyria until this day.

 24 Then the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, Cuthah, Ava, Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel. And they possessed Samaria and dwelt in its cities.

 25 Now 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.

 26 Therefore it was said to the king of Assyria, "The nations that you have removed and placed in the cities of Samaria do not know the manner of worship of the God of the land. Therefore he has sent lions among them, and behold, they are killing them, because they do not know how to worship the God of the land."

 27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, "Take one of the priests whom you carried away from there, and let him go and dwell there and teach the people what the God of the land requires."

 28 So one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel and taught them how they should fear the LORD.

 29 But every nation made gods of their own and put them in the shrines of the high places that the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities in which they lived.

 30 The men of Babylon made Succothbenoth, the men of Cuth made Nergal, the men of Hamath made Ashima,

 31 The Avites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burned their children in fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.

 32 So they [professed] fear of the LORD, yet from every class they made for themselves priests of the high places, who sacrificed for them in the shrines of the high places.

 33 They [professed] fear of the LORD, yet served their own gods, after the manner of the nations from whom they had been brought.

 34 To this day they still persist in their former practices. They neither fear the LORD nor do they adhere to the statutes and ordinances, the laws and commands that the LORD gave the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel,

 35 With whom the LORD had made a covenant and commanded them, saying, "You shall not fear other gods or bow yourselves to them or serve them or sacrifice to them.

 36 But the LORD, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and a stretched out arm, him you shall fear, him you shall worship, and to him you shall offer sacrifice.

 37 And the statutes, ordinances, law, and the commandments, which he wrote for you, you shall observe to do forevermore; you shall not fear other gods.

 38 And the covenant that I have made with you, you shall not forget; you shall not fear other gods.

 39 But the LORD your God you shall fear; and he will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies."

 40 However, they did not listen, but persisted in their former practices.

 41 So these nations [professed] fear of the LORD, yet still served their graven images, as did their children and their children's children. As their forefathers did, so do they do to this day.

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