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2 Kings 17 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 17

Reign of Hoshea of Israel. In the twelfth year of Ahaz, king of Judah, Hoshea, son of Elah, became king in Samaria over Israel for nine years.

He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, yet not to the extent of the kings of Israel before him. Shalmaneser,[a] king of Assyria, advanced against him, and Hoshea became his vassal and paid him tribute. But the king of Assyria found Hoshea guilty of conspiracy for sending messengers to the king of Egypt at Sais, and for failure to pay the annual tribute to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria arrested and imprisoned him. Then the king of Assyria[b] occupied the whole land and attacked Samaria, which he besieged for three years.

X. The End of Israel[c]

Israelites Deported. In Hoshea’s ninth year, the king of Assyria took Samaria, deported the Israelites to Assyria, and settled them in Halah, and at the Habor, a river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. This came about because the Israelites sinned against the Lord, their God, who had brought them up from the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. They venerated other gods, they followed the rites of the nations whom the Lord had dispossessed before the Israelites and those that the kings of Israel had practiced. They adopted unlawful practices toward the Lord, their God. They built high places in all their cities, from guard post to garrisoned town. 10 They set up pillars and asherahs[d] for themselves on every high hill and under every green tree. 11 They burned incense there, on all the high places, like the nations whom the Lord had sent into exile at their coming. They did evil things that provoked the Lord, 12 and served idols, although the Lord had told them: You must not do this.

13 The Lord warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and seer: Give up your evil ways and keep my commandments and statutes, in accordance with the entire law which I enjoined on your ancestors and which I sent you by my servants the prophets. 14 But they did not listen. They grew as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who had not believed in the Lord, their God. 15 They rejected his statutes, the covenant he had made with their ancestors, and the warnings he had given them. They followed emptiness and became empty; they followed the surrounding nations whom the Lord had commanded them not to imitate. 16 They abandoned all the commandments of the Lord, their God: they made for themselves two molten calves; they made an asherah; they bowed down to all the host of heaven; they served Baal. 17 They immolated their sons and daughters by fire. They practiced augury and divination. They surrendered themselves to doing what was evil in the Lord’s sight, and provoked him.

18 The Lord became enraged, and removed them from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah was left. 19 Even the people of Judah did not keep the commandments of the Lord, their God, but followed the rites practiced by Israel. 20 So the Lord rejected the entire people of Israel: he afflicted them and delivered them over to plunderers, finally casting them from his presence. 21 When he tore Israel away from the house of David, they made Jeroboam, son of Nebat, king; but Jeroboam lured the Israelites away from the Lord, causing them to commit a great sin. 22 The Israelites imitated Jeroboam in all the sins he committed; they would not depart from them.

23 Finally, the Lord removed Israel from his presence, just as he had declared through all his servants, the prophets. Thus Israel went into exile from their native soil to Assyria until this very day.

Foreigners Deported to Israel. 24 The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, and settled them in the cities of Samaria in place of the Israelites. They took possession of Samaria and dwelt in its cities. 25 When they first settled there, they did not venerate the Lord, so he sent lions among them that killed some of them. 26 A report reached the king of Assyria: “The nations you deported and settled in the cities of Samaria do not know the proper worship of the god of the land, so he has sent lions among them that are killing them, since they do not know the law of the god of the land.” 27 The king of Assyria gave the order, “Send back some of the priests you deported, to go there and settle, to teach them the proper worship of the god of the land.” 28 So one of the priests who had been deported from Samaria returned and settled in Bethel, and began to teach them how to venerate the Lord.

29 Thus each of these nations continued to make its own gods, setting them up in the shrines of the high places the Samarians had made: each nation in the cities in which they dwelt. 30 The Babylonians made Sukkot-Benot;[e] the people of Cuth made Nergal; those from Hamath made Ashima; 31 those from Avva made Nibhaz and Tartak; and those from Sepharvaim immolated their children by fire to their city gods, King Hadad and King Anu. 32 At the same time, they were venerating the Lord, appointing from their own number priests for the high places to officiate for them in the shrines on the high places. 33 They were both venerating the Lord and serving their own gods. They followed the custom of the nations from among whom they had been deported.

34 To this very day they continue to act according to their former customs, not venerating the Lord nor observing the statutes and regulations, the law and commandment, that the Lord enjoined on the descendants of Jacob, whom he had named Israel. 35 When the Lord made a covenant with them, he commanded them: You must not venerate other gods, nor bow down to them, nor serve them, nor offer sacrifice to them, 36 but only to the Lord, who brought you up from the land of Egypt with great power and outstretched arm. Him shall you venerate, to him shall you bow down, and to him shall you offer sacrifice. 37 You must be careful always to observe the statutes and ordinances, the law and commandment, which he wrote for you; you must not venerate other gods. 38 The covenant I made with you, you must not forget; you must not venerate other gods. 39 You must venerate only the Lord, your God; it is he who will deliver you from the power of all your enemies. 40 But they did not listen; they continued to act according to their former customs.

41 But these nations were both venerating the Lord and serving their own idols. Their children and children’s children are still acting like their ancestors, to this very day.

Footnotes:

  1. 17:3 Shalmaneser: son and successor of the Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser III. Vassal: lit., “servant”; cf. 16:7; so also in 24:1.
  2. 17:5 The king of Assyria: Shalmaneser was succeeded by Sargon II, who usurped the Assyrian throne in 722/721 B.C. In his inscriptions, Sargon claims to have captured Samaria during the first year of his reign.
  3. 17:6–41 This brief section is the Deuteronomistic historian’s theological reflection on the causes and aftermath of Assyria’s conquest of the Northern Kingdom. The text contrasts the Israelites, who were deported (v. 6) because they abandoned the worship of the Lord (vv. 7–23), with the foreigners who were brought into the land (v. 24) and undertook, however imperfectly, to worship the Lord alongside their own traditional deities (vv. 25–34a). The last verses recapitulate the apostasy of the Israelites (vv. 34b–40) and the syncretism of the foreigners (v. 41). This is a deliberately disparaging, and not wholly accurate, account of the origin of the Samaritans; it reflects the hostility the Judahites continued to hold toward the inhabitants of the northern territories.
  4. 17:10 Asherahs: see note on Ex 34:13.
  5. 17:30 Sukkot-Benot: several of the divine names in vv. 30–31 are problematic or conjectural. Sukkot-Benot is unknown, but the name may have been corrupted from that of Sarpanitu, the consort of the Babylonian god Marduk.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

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2 Kings 17 New International Version (NIV)

Hoshea Last King of Israel

17 In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea son of Elah became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned nine years. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, but not like the kings of Israel who preceded him.

Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up to attack Hoshea, who had been Shalmaneser’s vassal and had paid him tribute. But the king of Assyria discovered that Hoshea was a traitor, for he had sent envoys to So[a] king of Egypt, and he no longer paid tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year. Therefore Shalmaneser seized him and put him in prison. The king of Assyria invaded the entire land, marched against Samaria and laid siege to it for three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the Israelites to Assyria. He settled them in Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River and in the towns of the Medes.

Israel Exiled Because of Sin

All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of Egypt from under the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshiped other gods and followed the practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before them, as well as the practices that the kings of Israel had introduced. The Israelites secretly did things against the Lord their God that were not right. From watchtower to fortified city they built themselves high places in all their towns. 10 They set up sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree. 11 At every high place they burned incense, as the nations whom the Lord had driven out before them had done. They did wicked things that aroused the Lord’s anger. 12 They worshiped idols, though the Lord had said, “You shall not do this.”[b] 13 The Lord warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers: “Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your ancestors to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets.”

14 But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the Lord their God. 15 They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, “Do not do as they do.”

16 They forsook all the commands of the Lord their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves, and an Asherah pole. They bowed down to all the starry hosts, and they worshiped Baal. 17 They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and sought omens and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger.

18 So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah was left, 19 and even Judah did not keep the commands of the Lord their God. They followed the practices Israel had introduced. 20 Therefore the Lord rejected all the people of Israel; he afflicted them and gave them into the hands of plunderers, until he thrust them from his presence.

21 When he tore Israel away from the house of David, they made Jeroboam son of Nebat their king. Jeroboam enticed Israel away from following the Lord and caused them to commit a great sin. 22 The Israelites persisted in all the sins of Jeroboam and did not turn away from them 23 until the Lord removed them from his presence, as he had warned through all his servants the prophets. So the people of Israel were taken from their homeland into exile in Assyria, and they are still there.

Samaria Resettled

24 The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Kuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaim and settled them in the towns of Samaria to replace the Israelites. They took over Samaria and lived in its towns. 25 When they first lived there, they did not worship the Lord; so he sent lions among them and they killed some of the people. 26 It was reported to the king of Assyria: “The people you deported and resettled in the towns of Samaria do not know what the god of that country requires. He has sent lions among them, which are killing them off, because the people do not know what he requires.”

27 Then the king of Assyria gave this order: “Have one of the priests you took captive from Samaria go back to live there and teach the people what the god of the land requires.” 28 So one of the priests who had been exiled from Samaria came to live in Bethel and taught them how to worship the Lord.

29 Nevertheless, each national group made its own gods in the several towns where they settled, and set them up in the shrines the people of Samaria had made at the high places. 30 The people from Babylon made Sukkoth Benoth, those from Kuthah made Nergal, and those from Hamath made Ashima; 31 the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire as sacrifices to Adrammelek and Anammelek, the gods of Sepharvaim. 32 They worshiped the Lord, but they also appointed all sorts of their own people to officiate for them as priests in the shrines at the high places. 33 They worshiped the Lord, but they also served their own gods in accordance with the customs of the nations from which they had been brought.

34 To this day they persist in their former practices. They neither worship the Lord nor adhere to the decrees and regulations, the laws and commands that the Lord gave the descendants of Jacob, whom he named Israel. 35 When the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites, he commanded them: “Do not worship any other gods or bow down to them, serve them or sacrifice to them. 36 But the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt with mighty power and outstretched arm, is the one you must worship. To him you shall bow down and to him offer sacrifices. 37 You must always be careful to keep the decrees and regulations, the laws and commands he wrote for you. Do not worship other gods. 38 Do not forget the covenant I have made with you, and do not worship other gods. 39 Rather, worship the Lord your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.”

40 They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices. 41 Even while these people were worshiping the Lord, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their ancestors did.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Kings 17:4 So is probably an abbreviation for Osorkon.
  2. 2 Kings 17:12 Exodus 20:4,5
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