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2 Reis 17

1 Hoshea son of Elah became king over Israel in Samaria. This was in the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah. Hoshea ruled for nine years.

2 He did evil in the eyes of Jehovah. Though he was not like the kings of Israel before him.

3 Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against him. Hoshea became his servant and sent him offerings.

4 Hoshea's treachery became clear to the king of Assyria. He had sent representatives to the king of Egypt. He did not send his offering to the king of Assyria like he did in previous years. So the king of Assyria had him put in chains and locked in prison.

5 Then the king of Assyria invaded the land and advanced to Samaria. He besieged the city for three years.

6 In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria. He led the Israelites away to Assyria. He stationed them in Halah and Habor on the Gozan River, and in the towns of the Medes.

7 The wrath intense anger of Jehovah came on Israel because they had done evil against Jehovah their God, who took them out of the land of Egypt from under the yoke of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. They worshipped other gods.

8 They lived by the rules of the nations whom Jehovah sent out from before the children of Israel.

9 The children of Israel secretly did things that were not right according to Jehovah their God. They built high places for themselves in all their towns, from the watchtower to the walled towns.

10 They erected pillars of stone and wood on every high hill and under every green tree.

11 They burned their offerings in all the high places, as those nations did whom Jehovah sent away from them. They did evil things, moving Jehovah to anger.

12 They made themselves servants of disgusting things. Even though Jehovah said: »You should not do this.«

13 Jehovah sent his messengers and prophets to warn Israel and Judah: »Abandon your evil ways and obey my commands. The commandments contained in the Law I gave to your ancestors. I handed them on to you through my servants the prophets.«

14 They would not obey. They were stubborn like their ancestors. They did not trust in Jehovah their God.

15 They refused to obey his instructions. They did not keep the covenant he made with their ancestors. They disregarded his warnings. They worshiped worthless idols and became worthless themselves. They followed the customs of the surrounding nations, disobeying Jehovah’s command not to imitate them.

16 They broke all the laws of Jehovah their God. They made two metal bull-calves to worship. They also made an image of the goddess Asherah. Also they worshiped the stars and served the god Baal.

17 They caused their sons and their daughters to go through the fire to be sacrificed. They made use of secret arts and unnatural powers, and gave themselves up to doing evil in the eyes of Jehovah, till they provoked him to anger.

18 Jehovah was very angry with Israel. He removed them from his sight. Only the tribe of Judah kept its place.

19 But even Judah did not obey the commands of Jehovah their God. They were guided by the rules Israel made.

20 So Jehovah would have nothing to do with all the offspring of Israel. He caused trouble for them. He gave them up into the hands of their attackers, till he had sent them away from before his face.

21 He tore Israel from the house of David and made Jeroboam son of Nebat king. Jeroboam drove them away from the laws of Jehovah and made them do a great sin.

22 The children of Israel walked in all the sins Jeroboam committed. They did not depart from these sins.

23 Jehovah removed Israel from his sight as he said he would through all his servants the prophets. Israel was taken away from their land to Assyria, to this day.

24 Then the king of Assyria took men from Babylon and from Cuthah and Avva and Hamath and Sepharvaim, and put them in the towns of Samaria in place of the children of Israel. They acquired Samaria for their heritage, living in its towns.

25 When they first lived there they did not respect Jehovah. So Jehovah sent lions among them, causing some of them to die.

26 They said to the king of Assyria: »The nations you have taken as prisoners and put in the towns of Samaria have no knowledge of the way of the god of the land. He has sent lions among them causing their death. This is because they have no knowledge of his way.«

27 Then the king of Assyria gave orders, saying: »Send one of the priests you took from there. Let him live there and teach the people the way of the god of the land.«

28 So one of the priests they had taken away as a prisoner from Samaria came back. He lived in Bethel and taught them how to worship Jehovah.

29 EVERY NATION MADE GODS FOR THEMSELVES. They put them in the houses of the high places the Samaritans had made.

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

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

32 So they worshipped Jehovah. They appointed priests from the people for the high places. The priests were to make offerings for them in the houses of the high places.

33 They worshipped Jehovah, but they gave honor to their gods like the nations did from whom they had been taken as prisoners.

34 So to this day they go on in their old ways. They do not worship Jehovah. They do not keep his orders, his ways, or the law Jehovah gave to the children of Jacob. They are the ones he gave the name Israel.

35 Jehovah made an agreement with them and gave them orders, saying: You are to have no other gods. You are not to worship them or be their servants or make them offerings.

36 »Jehovah took you out of the land of Egypt with his great power and his outstretched arm. He is your God, to whom you are to give worship and make offerings:

37 »You are to obey and do forever the law he put in writing for you. You are to have no other gods.

38 »You are to keep in memory the agreement I made with you. You are to have no other gods.

39 »You are to worship Jehovah your God. It is he who will give you salvation from the hands of all who are against you.«

40 But they paid no attention and they continued in their old way.

41 So these nations worshiped Jehovah and they still served the images idols they had made. Their children and their children's children did the same. They do just as their fathers did to this very day.

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