The Second Book of the Kings

Chapter 17

Hoshea's wicked reign, 1, 2. Being subdued by Shalmaneser, he conspires against him with So, king of Egypt, 3, 4. The Lord rejects the offspring of Israel for their sins, and they are led into captivity, 5-23. The strange nations which were transplanted into Samaria, being plagued with lions, make a mixture of religions, 24-41.

1 In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea the son of Elah began to reign in Samaria over Israel nine years. 2 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, but not as the kings of Israel that were before him. 3 Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against him, and Hoshea became his servant and gave him presents. 4 And the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea, for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt and brought no present 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 came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria and besieged it three years.

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

7 For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God who had brought them out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods, 8 And walked in the statutes of the heathen whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel and of the kings of Israel which they had made. 9 And the children of Israel secretly did things that were not right against the LORD their God, and they built for themselves high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fortified city. 10 And they set up for themselves images and groves on every high hill and under every green tree. 11 And there they burnt incense on all the high places, as did the heathen whom the LORD carried away before them, and wrought wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger. 12 For they served idols, of which the LORD had said to them, "You shall not do this thing." 13 Yet the LORD testified against Israel and against Judah by all the prophets and by all the seers, 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." 14 But they would not hear, but hardened their necks like the neck of their fathers who did not believe in the LORD their God. 15 And they rejected his statutes, his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them, and they followed vanity, became vain, and went after the nations that were around them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them that they should not do like them. 16 And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, made for themselves molten images, even two calves, made a grove, worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. 17 And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD to provoke him to anger. 18 Therefore, the LORD was very angry with Israel and removed them out of his sight. There was none left but the tribe of Judah only.

19 Also Judah did not keep the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made. 20 And the LORD rejected all the offspring of Israel, afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of raiders until he had cast them out of his sight.

21 For he rent 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. 22 For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did. They did not depart from them, 23 Until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away out of their own land to Assyria to this day.

24 And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, from Cuthah, from Ava, from 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 And it was so at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they did not fear the LORD. Therefore, the LORD sent lions among them which slew some of them. 26 Therefore, they spoke to the king of Assyria, saying, "The nations which you have removed and placed in the cities of Samaria do not know the manner of the God of the land. Therefore, he has sent lions among them, and behold, they slay them because they do not know the manner of the God of the land."

27 Then 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 manner of the God of the land." 28 Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Beth-el and taught them how they should fear the LORD.

29 Yet 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 dwelt. 30 And the men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, the men of Cuth made Nergal, the men of Hamath made Ashima, 31 The Avites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burnt their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. 32 So they feared the LORD, but also made for themselves from the lowest of them priests of the high places who sacrificed for them in the houses of the high places. 33 They feared the LORD, but also served their own gods after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from there.

34 To this day they do according to the former manners. They do not fear the LORD, neither do they follow their statutes, follow their ordinances, or follow the law and commandment which the LORD commanded the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel, 35 With whom the LORD had made a covenant and charged them, saying, "You shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them, 36 But the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt with great power and an out-stretched arm, you shall fear him, you shall worship him, and you shall do sacrifice to him. 37 And the statutes, the ordinances, the law, and the commandment which he wrote for you, you shall observe to do forevermore. And you shall not fear other gods. 38 And the covenant that I have made with you, you shall not forget, neither shall you fear other gods. 39 But you shall fear the LORD your God, and he will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies." 40 Yet they did not listen, but they did according to their former manner. 41 So these nations feared the LORD, but also served their engraved images, both their children and their children's children. As their fathers did, so they do to this day.


Matthew Henry Commentary - 2nd Kings, Chapter 17[➚]