At the king's command, couriers went throughout Israel and Judah with letters from the king and from his officials, which read: "People of Israel, return to the LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that he may return to you who are left, who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria.
Do not be like your fathers1 and brothers, who were unfaithful2 to the LORD, the God of their fathers, so that he made them an object of horror,3 as you see.
Do not be stiff-necked,4 as your fathers were; submit to the LORD. Come to the sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever. Serve the LORD your God, so that his fierce anger5 will turn away from you.
If you return6 to the LORD, then your brothers and your children will be shown compassion7 by their captors and will come back to this land, for the LORD your God is gracious and compassionate.8 He will not turn his face from you if you return to him."
The couriers went from town to town in Ephraim and Manasseh, as far as Zebulun, but the people scorned and ridiculed9 them.