In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria,
&c.]. Which was the last year of his reign, and to be reckoned either from the time of his reigning in full power and authority, or from his first casting off the Assyrian yoke; (See Gill on 2 Kings 17:1)
and carried Israel away into Assyria;
not only the inhabitants of Samaria, but all the ten tribes inhabiting the several parts of the kingdom, for which Josephus is express F1
and placed them in Halah, and in Habor, by the river of Gozan;
some of them he placed here, which were in Assyria. Halah is the Calachena of Ptolemy, at the north of Assyria, and Habor is the mount Chobaras of the same; from which mountain, as you go to the Caspian sea, about midway, is the city Gauzania, the same with Gozan, which might give name to this river F2. The Jews say F3, this is the river Sambation, which runs so swiftly, that there is no passing except on the sabbath day; and which then the Jews cannot pass because of the profanation of the sabbath; and is the reason they give why the ten tribes are there detained; and Manasseh ben Israel F4 fancies Habor to be Tabor, a province in Tartary, where some Jews are:
and in the cities of the Medes;
others of them he placed there, under his jurisdiction, the same with Hara, ( 1 Chronicles 5:26 ) , which with the Greeks is called Aria; and Herodotus says F5, these Medes formerly were called by all Arii. It appears from hence that the kingdom of Media was now subject to the king of Assyria: some F6 take Halach to be Colchi, and Habor to be Iberia, and Hara to be Armenia, and Gauzani to be Media, which all bounded the north of Assyria.