The Israelites persisted in all the sins of Jeroboam and did not turn away from them
until the LORD removed them from his presence,1 as he had warned2 through all his servants the prophets. So the people of Israel were taken from their homeland3 into exile in Assyria, and they are still there.
The king of Assyria4 brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaim5 and settled them in the towns of Samaria to replace the Israelites. They took over Samaria and lived in its towns.
When they first lived there, they did not worship the LORD; so he sent lions6 among them and they killed some of the people.
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."
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."
So one of the priests who had been exiled from Samaria came to live in Bethel and taught them how to worship the LORD.
Nevertheless, each national group made its own gods in the several towns7 where they settled, and set them up in the shrines8 the people of Samaria had made at the high places.930
The men from Babylon made Succoth Benoth, the men from Cuthah made Nergal, and the men from Hamath made Ashima;
the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire as sacrifices to Adrammelech10 and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.1132
They worshiped the LORD, but they also appointed all sorts12 of their own people to officiate for them as priests in the shrines at the high places.