2 Kings 17:5-15 (New International Version)

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5 The king of Assyria invaded the entire land, marched against Samaria and laid siege1 to it for three years. 6 In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria2 captured Samaria3 and deported4 the Israelites to Assyria. He settled them in Halah, in Gozan5 on the Habor River and in the towns of the Medes.

Israel Exiled Because of Sin

7 All this took place because the Israelites had sinned6 against the LORD their God, who had brought them up out of Egypt7 from under the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshiped other gods 8 and followed the practices of the nations8 the LORD had driven out before them, as well as the practices that the kings of Israel had introduced. 9 The Israelites secretly did things against the LORD their God that were not right. From watchtower to fortified city9 they built themselves high places in all their towns. 10 They set up sacred stones10 and Asherah poles11 on every high hill and under every spreading tree.12 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 provoked the LORD to anger. 12 They worshiped idols,13 though the LORD had said, "You shall not do this."a 13 The LORD warned14 Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers:15 "Turn from your evil ways.16 Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your fathers to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets."17 14 But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked18 as their fathers, who did not trust in the LORD their God. 15 They rejected his decrees and the covenant19 he had made with their fathers and the warnings he had given them. They followed worthless idols20 and themselves became worthless.21 They imitated the nations22 around them although the LORD had ordered them, "Do not do as they do," and they did the things the LORD had forbidden them to do.
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