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2 Kings 17:7-41 (New American Standard)

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Why Israel Fell

7 Now 1this came about because the sons of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, 2who had brought them up from the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, 3and they had afeared other gods 8 and 4walked in the bcustoms of the nations whom the LORD had driven out before the sons of Israel, and in the customs 5of the kings of Israel which they had cintroduced. 9 The sons of Israel ddid things secretly which were not right against the LORD their God. Moreover, they built for themselves high places in all their towns, from 6watchtower to fortified city. 10 7They set for themselves sacred pillars and e8Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree, 11 and there they burned incense on all the high places as the nations did which the LORD had carried away to exile before them; and they did evil things provoking the LORD. 12 They served idols, 9concerning which the LORD had said to them, "You shall not do this thing." 13 Yet the 10LORD warned Israel and Judah 11through all His prophets and 12every seer, saying, "13Turn from your evil ways and keep My commandments, My statutes according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you through My servants the prophets." 14 However, they did not listen, but 14stiffened their neck flike their fathers, who did not believe in the LORD their God. 15 15They rejected His statutes and 16His covenant which He made with their fathers and His warnings with which He warned them. And 17they followed vanity and 18became vain, and went after the nations which surrounded them, concerning which the 19LORD had commanded them not to do like them. 16 They forsook all the commandments of the LORD their God and made for themselves molten images, even 20two calves, and 21made an gAsherah and 22worshiped all the host of heaven and 23served Baal. 17 Then 24they made their sons and their daughters pass through the fire, and 25practiced divination and enchantments, and 26sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking Him. 18 So the LORD was very angry with Israel and 27removed them from His hsight; 28none was left except the tribe of Judah. 19 Also 29Judah did not keep the commandments of the LORD their God, but 30walked in the icustoms jwhich Israel had kintroduced. 20 The LORD rejected all the ldescendants of Israel and afflicted them and 31gave them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them mout of His sight. 21 When 32He had torn Israel from the house of David, 33they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. Then 34Jeroboam drove Israel away from following the LORD and made them ncommit a great sin. 22 The sons of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them 23 35until the LORD removed Israel from His sight, 36as He spoke through all His servants the prophets. 37So Israel was carried away into exile from their own land to Assyria until this day.

Cities of Israel Filled with Strangers

24 38The king of Assyria brought men from Babylon and from Cuthah and from o39Avva and from 40Hamath and Sephar-vaim, and settled them in the cities of Samaria in place of the sons of Israel. So they possessed Samaria and lived in its cities. 25 At the beginning of their living there, they 41did not fear the LORD; therefore the LORD sent lions among them which killed some of them. 26 So they spoke to the king of Assyria, saying, "The nations whom you have carried away into exile in the cities of Samaria do not know the custom of the god of the land; so he has sent lions among them, and behold, they kill them because they do not know the custom of the god of the land." 27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, "Take there one of the priests whom you carried away into pexile and let qhim go and live there; and let him teach them the custom of the god of the land." 28 So one of the priests whom they had carried away into exile from Samaria came and lived at Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the LORD. 29 But every nation still made gods of its own and put them 42in the houses of the high places which the people of Samaria had made, every nation in their cities in which they lived. 30 43The men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, the men of Cuth made Nergal, the men of Hamath made Ashima, 31 and the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and 44the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire to 45Adrammelech and Anammelech the gods of 46Sepharvaim. 32 47They also feared the LORD and r48appointed from among themselves priests of the high places, who acted for them in the houses of the high places. 33 They feared the LORD and served their own gods according to the custom of the nations from among whom they had been carried away into exile. 34 To this day they do according to the earlier customs: they do not fear the LORD, nor do they sfollow their statutes or their ordinances or the law, or the commandments which the LORD commanded the sons of Jacob, 49whom He named Israel; 35 with whom the LORD made a covenant and commanded them, saying, "50You shall not fear other gods, nor 51bow down yourselves to them nor 52serve them nor sacrifice to them. 36 "But the LORD, 53who brought you up from the land of Egypt with great power and with 54an outstretched arm, 55Him you shall fear, and to Him you shall bow yourselves down, and to Him you shall sacrifice. 37 "The statutes and the ordinances and the law and the commandment which He wrote for you, 56you shall observe to do forever ; and you shall not fear other gods. 38 "The covenant that I have made with you, 57you shall not forget, nor shall you fear other gods. 39 "But the LORD your God you shall fear; and He will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies." 40 However, they did not listen, but they did according to their earlier custom. 41 58So while these nations feared the LORD, they also served their tidols; their children likewise and their grandchildren, as their fathers did, so they do to this day.
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