Front Page

Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: 2 Kings

(Return to Old Testament Contents)


FRAMEWORKS: 2 Kings 17: The End of the Northern Kingdom, Israel  [All about Israel]


v.1,2 Introducing Hoshea Last King of Israel

v.3-6 Assyria take Israel into Captivity

v.7-17 The Sins of Israel that caused their Exile

v.18-20 Israel's Rejection by the Lord

v.21-23 Their Sin throughout their Existence

v.24-26 Samaria is Resettled but with problems

v.27-28 The King of Assyria sends a Priest to remedy it

v.29-31 Nevertheless Pagan gods remained

v.32-34 Dual worship remained

v.35-39 The Original Commands of God

v.40,41 The Ongoing Idolatry of Israel



v.1,2 Introducing Hoshea Last King of Israel


v.1 In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea son of Elah became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned nine years

v.2 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, but not like the kings of Israel who preceded him. 


[Notes: We have previously seen Hoshea of Israel come to rule [see 15:30], another bad king.]



v.3-6 Assyria take Israel into Captivity


v.3 Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up to attack Hoshea, who had been Shalmaneser's vassal and had paid him tribute. 

v.4 But the king of Assyria discovered that Hoshea was a traitor, for he had sent envoys to So 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. 

v.5  The king of Assyria invaded the entire land, marched against Samaria and laid siege to it for three years. 

v.6 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.


[Notes: Israel had been paying tribute to Assyria but had also sent envoys to become friends with Egypt. When the king of Assyria heard of this he invaded Israel, imprisoned the king and after a siege of Samaria, deported all the people to Assyria. The end of Israel, the northern kingdom as a nation.]



v.7-17 The Sins of Israel that caused their Exile


v.7 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 

v.8 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. 

v.9 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. 

v.10 They set up sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree. 

v.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. 

v.12 They worshiped idols, though the LORD had said, “You shall not do this.” 

v.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.” 

v.14 But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the LORD their God. 

v.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.” 

v.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. 

v.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. 


[Notes: The cause for this exile is laid out: Israel rejected the Lord and worshipped other gods. They ignored the Law and the prophets and despite warnings simply carried on their idolatry, constantly degenerating until the terrible record of v.17 above.]



v.18-20 Israel's Rejection by the Lord


v.18 So the LORD was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah was left, 

v.19 and even Judah did not keep the commands of the LORD their God. They followed the practices Israel had introduced. 

v.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. 


[Notes: The Lord thus rejects Israel, leaving only Judah left.]



v.21-23 Their Sin throughout their Existence


v.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. 

v.22 The Israelites persisted in all the sins of Jeroboam and did not turn away from them 

v.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.


[Notes: Ever since their inception as a separate northern kingdom under Jeroboam they had followed idols and refused to repent. Thus they were taken into permanent exile in Assyria.]



v.24-26 Samaria is Resettled but with problems


v.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. 

v.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. 

v.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.” 


[Notes: As was often typical of conquering nations of those days, the king of Assyria takes the Israelites from their land and puts back into it, people from other lands. However in the land of Israel it was reported to the king that the land was reverting to wilderness with wild animals roaming.]



v.27-28 The King of Assyria sends a Priest to remedy it


v.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.” 

v.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. 


[Notes: The superstitious king of Assyria sends a priest to establish religion in the land to appease whatever god rules there, so an exiled priest returns to the land.]


v.29-31 Nevertheless Pagan gods remained


v.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. 

v.30 The people from Babylon made Sukkoth Benoth, those from Kuthah made Nergal, and those from Hamath made Ashima; 

v.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. 


[Notes: Nevertheless superstition reigned among the now multiple people groups in the land and idolatry reigned.]


v.32-34 Dual worship remained


v.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. 

v.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. 

v.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. 


[Notes: Thus there appeared both worship of the Lord alongside worship of other gods, and that remained.]



v.35-39 The Original Commands of God


v.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. 

v.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. 

v.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. 

v.38 Do not forget the covenant I have made with you, and do not worship other gods. 

v.39  Rather, worship the LORD your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.” 


[Notes: The recorder reminds us of the original commands of the Lord which the people of Israel had failed to keep.]



v.40,41 The Ongoing Idolatry of Israel


v.40 They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices. 

v.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.


[Notes: These commands continued to be ignored and thus idolatry prevailed alongside apparent right worship of the Lord.]