The king of Assyria1 brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaim2 and settled them in the towns of Samaria to replace the Israelites. They took over Samaria and lived in its towns.
References for 2 Kings 17:24
When they first lived there, they did not worship the LORD; so he sent lions3 among them and they killed some of the people.
References for 2 Kings 17:25
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 towns4 where they settled, and set them up in the shrines5 the people of Samaria had made at the high places.6
References for 2 Kings 17:29
The men from Babylon made Succoth Benoth, the men from Cuthah made Nergal, and the men from Hamath made Ashima;