2 Kings 17

Hoshea Last King of Israel

1 In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea son of Elah became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned nine years.
2 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, but not like the kings of Israel who preceded him.
3 Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up to attack Hoshea, who had been Shalmaneser’s vassal and had paid him tribute.
4 But the king of Assyria discovered that Hoshea was a traitor, for he had sent envoys to So[a] king of Egypt, and he no longer paid tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year. Therefore Shalmaneser seized him and put him in prison.
5 The king of Assyria invaded the entire land, marched against Samaria and laid siege to it for three years.
6 In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the Israelites to Assyria. He settled them in Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River and in the towns of the Medes.

Israel Exiled Because of Sin

7 All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up out of Egypt from under the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshiped other gods
8 and followed the practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before them, as well as the practices that the kings of Israel had introduced.
9 The Israelites secretly did things against the LORD their God that were not right. From watchtower to fortified city they built themselves high places in all their towns.
10 They set up sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree.
11 At every high place they burned incense, as the nations whom the LORD had driven out before them had done. They did wicked things that aroused the LORD’s anger.
12 They worshiped idols, though the LORD had said, “You shall not do this.”[b]
13 The LORD warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers: “Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your ancestors to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets.”
14 But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the LORD their God.
15 They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the LORD had ordered them, “Do not do as they do.”
16 They forsook all the commands of the LORD their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves, and an Asherah pole. They bowed down to all the starry hosts, and they worshiped Baal.
17 They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and sought omens and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the LORD, arousing his anger.
18 So the LORD was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah was left,
19 and even Judah did not keep the commands of the LORD their God. They followed the practices Israel had introduced.
20 Therefore the LORD rejected all the people of Israel; he afflicted them and gave them into the hands of plunderers, until he thrust them from his presence.
21 When he tore Israel away from the house of David, they made Jeroboam son of Nebat their king. Jeroboam enticed Israel away from following the LORD and caused them to commit a great sin.
22 The Israelites persisted in all the sins of Jeroboam and did not turn away from them
23 until the LORD removed them from his presence, as he had warned through all his servants the prophets. So the people of Israel were taken from their homeland into exile in Assyria, and they are still there.

Samaria Resettled

24 The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Kuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaim and settled them in the towns of Samaria to replace the Israelites. They took over Samaria and lived in its towns.
25 When they first lived there, they did not worship the LORD; so he sent lions among them and they killed some of the people.
26 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.”
27 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.”
28 So one of the priests who had been exiled from Samaria came to live in Bethel and taught them how to worship the LORD.
29 Nevertheless, each national group made its own gods in the several towns where they settled, and set them up in the shrines the people of Samaria had made at the high places.
30 The people from Babylon made Sukkoth Benoth, those from Kuthah made Nergal, and those from Hamath made Ashima;
31 the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire as sacrifices to Adrammelek and Anammelek, the gods of Sepharvaim.
32 They worshiped the LORD, but they also appointed all sorts of their own people to officiate for them as priests in the shrines at the high places.
33 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.
34 To this day they persist in their former practices. They neither worship the LORD nor adhere to the decrees and regulations, the laws and commands that the LORD gave the descendants of Jacob, whom he named Israel.
35 When the LORD made a covenant with the Israelites, he commanded them: “Do not worship any other gods or bow down to them, serve them or sacrifice to them.
36 But the LORD, who brought you up out of Egypt with mighty power and outstretched arm, is the one you must worship. To him you shall bow down and to him offer sacrifices.
37 You must always be careful to keep the decrees and regulations, the laws and commands he wrote for you. Do not worship other gods.
38 Do not forget the covenant I have made with you, and do not worship other gods.
39 Rather, worship the LORD your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.”
40 They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices.
41 Even while these people were worshiping the LORD, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their ancestors did.

2 Kings 17 Commentary

Chapter 17

Reign of Hoshea in Israel, The israelites carried captives by the Assyrians. (1-6) Captivity of the Israelites. (7-23) The nations placed in the land of Israel. (24-41)

Verses 1-6 When the measure of sin is filled up, the Lord will forbear no longer. The inhabitants of Samaria must have endured great affliction. Some of the poor Israelites were left in the land. Those who were carried captives to a great distance, were mostly lost among the nations.

Verses 7-23 Though the destruction of the kingdom of the ten tribes was but briefly related, it is in these verses largely commented upon, and the reasons of it given. It was destruction from the Almighty: the Assyrian was but the rod of his anger, ( Isaiah 10:5 ) . Those that bring sin into a country or family, bring a plague into it, and will have to answer for all the mischief that follows. And vast as the outward wickedness of the world is, the secret sins, evil thoughts, desires, and purposes of mankind are much greater. There are outward sins which are marked by infamy; but ingratitude, neglect, and enmity to God, and the idolatry and impiety which proceed therefrom, are far more malignant. Without turning from every evil way, and keeping God's statutes, there can be no true godliness; but this must spring from belief of his testimony, as to wrath against all ungodliness and unrighteousness, and his mercy in Christ Jesus.

Verses 24-41 The terror of the Almighty will sometimes produce a forced or feigned submission in unconverted men; like those brought from different countries to inhabit Israel. But such will form unworthy thoughts of God, will expect to please him by outward forms, and will vainly try to reconcile his service with the love of the world and the indulgence of their lusts. May that fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom, possess our hearts, and influence our conduct, that we may be ready for every change. Wordly settlements are uncertain; we know not whither we may be driven before we die, and we must soon leave the world; but the righteous hath chosen that good part which shall not be taken from him.

Cross References 62

  • 1. 2 Kings 15:30
  • 2. S Deuteronomy 4:25
  • 3. 2 Kings 18:9-12; Hosea 10:14
  • 4. S Judges 3:15
  • 5. Psalms 146:3; Isaiah 30:1,7; Isaiah 36:6; Jeremiah 2:36; Hosea 12:1
  • 6. Hosea 13:10
  • 7. Hosea 13:16
  • 8. ver 20; S 2 Kings 15:29; Isaiah 42:24
  • 9. Isaiah 10:9; Hosea 13:16
  • 10. S Deuteronomy 4:27; S Deuteronomy 24:1; S 2 Kings 15:29; Amos 7:17; Deuteronomy 28:36,64; 2 Kings 18:10-11
  • 11. 1 Chronicles 5:26
  • 12. S Joshua 7:11; Joshua 23:16; Judges 6:10
  • 13. Exodus 14:15-31
  • 14. S Exodus 34:15; S Leviticus 18:3; S Deuteronomy 9:4; Deuteronomy 18:9; 2 Kings 16:3
  • 15. 2 Kings 18:8
  • 16. S Exodus 23:24
  • 17. Exodus 34:13; Isaiah 17:8; Micah 5:14
  • 18. S Deuteronomy 12:2; 1 Kings 14:23
  • 19. S Exodus 20:4
  • 20. S Judges 6:8; S 2 Chronicles 7:14; S Job 34:33; Ezekiel 3:17-19
  • 21. S 1 Samuel 9:9
  • 22. Jeremiah 4:1; Jeremiah 18:11; Jeremiah 23:22; Jeremiah 25:5; Jeremiah 35:15; Jeremiah 36:3; Zechariah 1:4
  • 23. Matthew 23:34
  • 24. S Exodus 32:9; Deuteronomy 31:27; Acts 7:51
  • 25. S Leviticus 26:11; Deuteronomy 29:25; Judges 2:20; 1 Kings 11:11; 2 Kings 18:12; Psalms 78:10; Ezekiel 5:6; Malachi 2:10
  • 26. S Deuteronomy 32:21; Hosea 11:2; Romans 1:21-23
  • 27. Jeremiah 2:5
  • 28. S Deuteronomy 12:4; Deuteronomy 12:30-31
  • 29. S Exodus 32:4; 1 Kings 12:28
  • 30. S Deuteronomy 16:21; 1 Kings 14:15,23
  • 31. S Genesis 2:1; Isaiah 40:26; Jeremiah 19:13; 2 Kings 21:3
  • 32. S Judges 2:11; 1 Kings 16:31
  • 33. S Deuteronomy 12:31; Deuteronomy 18:10-12; 2 Kings 16:3; Ezekiel 16:21
  • 34. S Leviticus 19:26
  • 35. S 1 Kings 21:20; Romans 7:14
  • 36. S Genesis 4:14; S Exodus 33:15; S 2 Kings 13:23; 2 Thessalonians 1:9
  • 37. 1 Kings 14:22-23; 2 Kings 16:3; Jeremiah 3:6-10; Ezekiel 23:13
  • 38. S ver 6; 2 Kings 15:29
  • 39. Jeremiah 7:15; Jeremiah 15:1
  • 40. S 1 Samuel 15:27; S 1 Kings 11:11
  • 41. 1 Kings 12:20
  • 42. S 1 Kings 12:30
  • 43. Ezekiel 39:23-24
  • 44. S Judges 6:8
  • 45. S 1 Kings 9:7
  • 46. 2 Kings 19:37; Ezra 4:2,10; Isaiah 37:38
  • 47. ver 31; S 2 Kings 15:29; 2 Kings 18:34; Isaiah 36:19; Isaiah 37:13; Amos 6:2
  • 48. S Genesis 37:20; Isaiah 5:29; Isaiah 15:9; Jeremiah 50:17
  • 49. Jeremiah 2:28; Jeremiah 11:13
  • 50. S Leviticus 26:30; S 1 Kings 12:31
  • 51. Micah 4:5
  • 52. 2 Kings 19:37
  • 53. S ver 24
  • 54. S 1 Kings 12:31
  • 55. S Genesis 17:5; Genesis 32:28; Genesis 35:10; S 1 Kings 18:31
  • 56. S Exodus 20:5; Judges 6:10
  • 57. S Exodus 20:3
  • 58. S Exodus 3:20; Exodus 6:6; Psalms 136:12
  • 59. Deuteronomy 5:32
  • 60. S Leviticus 19:37
  • 61. S Deuteronomy 4:23; Deuteronomy 6:12
  • 62. ver 32-33; S 1 Kings 18:21; Ezra 4:2; Matthew 6:24

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. "So" is probably an abbreviation for "Osorkon."
  • [b]. Exodus 20:4,5

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO 2 KINGS 17

This chapter relates the captivity of the ten tribes of Israel, and how it came about, 2Ki 17:1-6, the cause of it, their idolatry, which they persisted in, notwithstanding the remonstrances made against it, 2Ki 17:7-23, in whose stead were placed people from different parts, who exercised a mixed religion, partly Heathenish, and partly Israelitish, 2Ki 17:24.

2 Kings 17 Commentaries