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 towns1 where they settled, and set them up in the shrines2 the people of Samaria had made at the high places.3
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;
the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire as sacrifices to Adrammelech4 and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.5
References for 2 Kings 17:31
They worshiped the LORD, but they also appointed all sorts6 of their own people to officiate for them as priests in the shrines at the high places.
References for 2 Kings 17:32
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.
To this day they persist in their former practices. They neither worship the LORD nor adhere to the decrees and ordinances, the laws and commands that the LORD gave the descendants of Jacob, whom he named Israel.7
References for 2 Kings 17:34
When the LORD made a covenant with the Israelites, he commanded them: "Do not worship8 any other gods or bow down to them, serve them or sacrifice to them.9
References for 2 Kings 17:35
But the LORD, who brought you up out of Egypt with mighty power and outstretched arm,10 is the one you must worship. To him you shall bow down and to him offer sacrifices.
References for 2 Kings 17:36