[This disaster] happened because the people of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God who had brought them out of the land of Egypt from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt and because they had worshipeda other gods.
They had lived according to the customs of the nations that the Lord had dispossessed before the Israelitesb and the customs the kings of Israel had introduced.
The Israelites secretly did what was not rightc against the Lord their God. They built high places in all their towns from watchtower to fortified city.
They set up for themselves sacred pillars and Asherah polesd on every high hill and under every green tree.
They burned incense on all the high places just like those nations that the Lord had driven out before them. They did evil things, provoking the Lord.
They served idols, although the Lord had told them, "You must not do this."e13
Still, the Lord warned Israel and Judah through every prophet and every seer, saying, "Turn from your evil ways and keep My commandments and statutes according to all the law I commanded your ancestors and sent to you through My servants the prophets."f14
But they would not listen. Instead, they became obstinate likeg their ancestors who did not believe the Lord their God.h15
They rejected His statutes and His covenant He had made with their ancestorsi and the warnings He had given them. They pursued worthless idols and became worthless themselves,j following the surrounding nations the Lord had commanded them not to imitate.
They abandoned all the commandments of the Lord their God. They made for themselves molded imagesk-even two calves-and an Asherah pole. They worshiped the whole heavenly host and served Baal.l17
They made their sons and daughters pass through the fire and practiced divination and interpreted omens.m They devoted themselves to do what was evil in the Lord's sight and provoked Him.
Therefore, the Lord was very angry with Israel, and He removed them from His presence. Only the tribe of Judah remained.
Even Judah did not keep the commandments of the Lord their God but lived according to the customs Israel had introduced.
So the Lord rejected all the descendants of Israel, afflicted them, and handed them over to plunderers until He had banished them from His presence.