New English Translation
Hoshea's Reign over Israel
1 In the twelfth year of King Ahaz's reign over Judah, Hoshea son of Elah became king over Israel. He reigned in Samaria for nine years. 2 He did evil in the sight of the LORD, but not to the same degree as the Israelite kings who preceded him. 3 King Shalmaneser of Assyria threatened him; Hoshea became his subject and paid him tribute. 4 The king of Assyria discovered that Hoshea was planning a revolt. Hoshea had sent messengers to King So of Egypt and had not sent his annual tribute to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria arrested him and imprisoned him. 5 The king of Assyria marched through the whole land. He attacked Samaria and besieged it for three years. 6 In the ninth year of Hoshea's reign, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the people of Israel to Assyria. He settled them in Halah, along the Habor (the river of Gozan), and in the cities of the Medes.
A Summary of Israel's Sinful History
7 This happened because the Israelites sinned against the LORD their God, who brought them up from the land of Egypt and freed them from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshiped other gods; 8 they observed the practices of the nations whom the LORD had driven out from before Israel, and followed the example of the kings of Israel. 9 The Israelites said things about the LORD their God that were not right. They built high places in all their cities, from the watchtower to the fortress. 10 They set up sacred pillars and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every green tree. 11 They burned incense on all the high places just like the nations whom the LORD had driven away from before them. Their evil practices made the LORD angry. 12 They worshiped the disgusting idols in blatant disregard of the LORD's command.
13 The LORD solemnly warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and all the seers, "Turn back from your evil ways; obey my commandments and rules that are recorded in the law. I ordered your ancestors to keep this law and sent my servants the prophets to remind you of its demands." 14 But they did not pay attention and were as stubborn as their ancestors, who had not trusted the LORD their God. 15 They rejected his rules, the covenant he had made with their ancestors, and the laws he had commanded them to obey. They paid allegiance to worthless idols, and so became worthless to the LORD. They copied the practices of the surrounding nations in blatant disregard of the LORD's command. 16 They abandoned all the commandments of the LORD their God; they made two metal calves and an Asherah pole, bowed down to all the stars in the sky, and worshiped Baal. 17 They passed their sons and daughters through the fire, and practiced divination and omen reading. They committed themselves to doing evil in the sight of the LORD and made him angry.
18 So the LORD was furious with Israel and rejected them; only the tribe of Judah was left. 19 Judah also failed to keep the commandments of the LORD their God; they followed Israel's example. 20 So the LORD rejected all of Israel's descendants; he humiliated them and handed them over to robbers, until he had thrown them from his presence. 21 He tore Israel away from David's dynasty, and Jeroboam son of Nebat became their king. Jeroboam drove Israel away from the LORD and encouraged them to commit a serious sin. 22 The Israelites followed in the sinful ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat and did not repudiate them. 23 Finally the LORD rejected Israel just as he had warned he would do through all his servants the prophets. Israel was deported from its land to Assyria and remains there to this very day.
The King of Assyria Populates Israel with Foreigners
24 The king of Assyria brought foreigners 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 lived in its cities. 25 When they first moved in, they did not worship the LORD. So the LORD sent lions among them and the lions were killing them. 26 The king of Assyria was told, "The nations whom you deported and settled in the cities of Samaria do not know the requirements of the God of the land, so he has sent lions among them. They are killing the people because they do not know the requirements of the God of the land." 27 So the king of Assyria ordered, "Take back one of the priests whom you deported from there. He must settle there and teach them the requirements of the God of the land." 28 So one of the priests whom they had deported from Samaria went back and settled in Bethel. He taught them how to worship the LORD.
29 But each of these nations made its own gods and put them in the shrines on the high places that the people of Samaria had made. Each nation did this in the cities where they lived. 30 The people from Babylon made Succoth Benoth, the people from Cuth made Nergal, the people from Hamath made Ashima, 31 the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burned their sons in the fire as an offering to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. 32 At the same time they worshiped the LORD. They appointed some of their own people to serve as priests in the shrines on the high places. 33 They were worshiping the LORD and at the same time serving their own gods in accordance with the practices of the nations from which they had been deported.
34 To this very day they observe their earlier practices. They do not worship the LORD; they do not obey the rules, regulations, law, and commandments that the LORD gave the descendants of Jacob, whom he renamed Israel. 35 The LORD made an agreement with them and instructed them, "You must not worship other gods. Do not bow down to them, serve them, or offer sacrifices to them. 36 Instead you must worship the LORD, who brought you up from the land of Egypt by his great power and military ability; bow down to him and offer sacrifices to him. 37 You must carefully obey at all times the rules, regulations, law, and commandments he wrote down for you. You must not worship other gods. 38 You must never forget the agreement I made with you, and you must not worship other gods. 39 Instead you must worship the LORD your God; then he will rescue you from the power of all your enemies." 40 But they pay no attention; instead they observe their earlier practices. 41 These nations are worshiping the LORD and at the same time serving their idols; their sons and grandsons do just as their fathers have done, to this very day.
King James Version
1 In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah began Hoshea the son of Elah 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 Against him came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria; 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, which had brought them up 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 did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.
10 And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree:
11 And there they burnt incense in 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, whereof the LORD had said unto them, Ye 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 ye 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 Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God.
15 And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about 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, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.
17 And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and 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 kept not the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made.
20 And the LORD rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, 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 drave 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 departed not from them;
23 Until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.
24 ¶ And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and 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 the cities thereof.
25 And so it was at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they feared not the LORD: therefore the LORD sent lions among them, which slew some of them.
26 Wherefore they spake to the king of Assyria, saying, The nations which thou hast removed, and placed in the cities of Samaria, know not the manner of the God of the land: therefore he hath sent lions among them, and, behold, they slay them, because they know not the manner of the God of the land.
27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, Carry thither one of the priests whom ye brought from thence; 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 Howbeit 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 wherein they dwelt.
30 And the men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima,
31 And the Avites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burnt their children in fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.
32 So they feared the LORD, and made unto themselves of the lowest of them priests of the high places, which sacrificed for them in the houses of the high places.
33 They feared the LORD, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence.
34 Unto this day they do after the former manners: they fear not the LORD, neither do they after their statutes, or after their ordinances, or after 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, Ye shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor 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 shall ye fear, and him shall ye worship, and to him shall ye do sacrifice.
37 And the statutes, and the ordinances, and the law, and the commandment, which he wrote for you, ye shall observe to do for evermore; and ye shall not fear other gods.
38 And the covenant that I have made with you ye shall not forget; neither shall ye fear other gods.
39 But the LORD your God ye shall fear; and he shall deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.
40 Howbeit they did not hearken, but they did after their former manner.
41 So these nations feared the LORD, and served their graven images, both their children, and their children's children: as did their fathers, so do they unto this day.