2 Kings 17

Listen to 2 Kings 17
1 In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, 1Hoshea the son of Elah began to reign in Samaria over Israel, and he reigned nine years.
2 And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, yet not as the kings of Israel who were before him.
3 2Against him came up 3Shalmaneser king of Assyria. And Hoshea became his vassal and paid him tribute.
4 But the king of Assyria found treachery in Hoshea, for he had sent messengers to So, king of Egypt, and offered no tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year. Therefore the king of Assyria shut him up and bound him in prison.
5 Then the king of Assyria invaded all the land and came to Samaria, and for three years he besieged it.

The Fall of Israel

6 In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria 4captured Samaria, 5and he carried the Israelites away to Assyria 6and placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of 7Gozan, and in the cities of 8the Medes.

Exile Because of Idolatry

7 And this occurred because the people of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, 9who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods
8 10and walked in the customs of the nations whom the LORD drove out before the people of Israel, 11and in the customs that the kings of Israel had practiced.
9 And the people of Israel did secretly against the LORD their God things that were not right. They built for themselves high places in all their towns, 12from watchtower to fortified city.
10 They set up for themselves 13pillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree,
11 and there they made offerings on all the high places, as the nations did whom the LORD carried away before them. And they did wicked things, provoking the LORD to anger,
12 and they served idols, 14of which the LORD had said to them, "You shall not do this."
13 Yet the LORD 15warned Israel and Judah 16by every prophet 17and every seer, saying, 18"Turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes, in accordance with all the Law that I commanded your fathers, and that I sent to you by my servants the prophets."
14 But they would not listen, 19but were stubborn, as their fathers had been, who did not believe in the LORD their God.
15 They despised his statutes 20and his covenant that he made with their fathers and the warnings that he gave them. They went after 21false idols 22and became false, and they followed the nations that were around them, concerning whom the 23LORD had commanded them that they should not do like them.
16 And they abandoned all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made for themselves metal images of 24two calves; and they 25made an Asherah and 26worshiped all the host of heaven and served 27Baal.
17 28And they burned their sons and their daughters as offerings[a] and used 29divination and 30omens and 31sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger.
18 Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel and removed them out of his sight. None was left but 32the tribe of Judah only.
19 33Judah also did not keep the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the customs that Israel had introduced.
20 And the LORD rejected all the descendants of Israel and afflicted them 34and gave them into the hand of plunderers, until he had cast them out of his sight.
21 35When he had torn Israel from the house of David, 36they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. And Jeroboam drove Israel from following the LORD 37and made them commit great sin.
22 The people of Israel walked in all the sins that Jeroboam did. They did not depart from them,
23 until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, 38as he had spoken by all his servants the prophets. 39So Israel was exiled from their own land to Assyria until this day.

Assyria Resettles Samaria

24 40And the king of Assyria brought people from 41Babylon, Cuthah, 42Avva, 43Hamath, and 44Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the people of Israel. And they took possession of Samaria and lived in its cities.
25 And at the beginning of their dwelling there, they did not fear the LORD. Therefore the LORD sent lions among them, which killed some of them.
26 So the king of Assyria was told, "The nations that you have carried away and placed in the cities of Samaria do not know the law of the god of the land. Therefore he has sent lions among them, and behold, they are killing them, because they do not know the law of the god of the land."
27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, "Send there one of the priests whom you carried away from there, and let him[b] go and dwell there and teach them the law of the god of the land."
28 So one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and lived in 45Bethel and taught them how they should fear the LORD.
29 But every nation still made gods of its own and put them 46in the shrines of the high places that the Samaritans had made, every nation in the cities in which they lived.
30 The men of 47Babylon made Succoth-benoth, the men of Cuth made Nergal, the men of Hamath made Ashima,
31 and the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and the Sepharvites 48burned their children in the fire to 49Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of 50Sepharvaim.
32 51They also feared the LORD 52and appointed from among themselves all sorts of people as priests of the high places, who sacrificed for them in the shrines of 53the high places.
33 So they feared the LORD but also served their own gods, after the manner of the nations from among whom they had been carried away.
34 To this day they do according to the former manner. They do not fear the LORD, and they do not follow the statutes or the rules or the law or the commandment that the LORD commanded the children of Jacob, 54whom he named Israel.
35 The LORD made a covenant with them and commanded them, 55"You shall not fear other gods 56or bow yourselves to them or serve them or sacrifice to them,
36 but 57you shall fear the LORD, 58who brought you out of the land of Egypt with great power and 59with an outstretched arm. You shall bow yourselves to him, and to him you shall sacrifice.
37 And the statutes and the rules and the law and the commandment that he wrote for you, 60you shall always be careful to do. 61You shall not fear other gods,
38 and 62you shall not forget the covenant that I have made with you. 63You shall not fear other gods,
39 but 64you shall fear the LORD your God, and he will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies."
40 However, they would not listen, but they did according to their former manner.
41 65So these nations feared the LORD and also served their carved images. Their children did likewise, and their children's children--as their fathers did, so they do to this day.

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 65

  • 1. [2 Kings 15:30]
  • 2. For ver. 3-7, see 2 Kings 18:9-12
  • 3. [Hosea 10:14]
  • 4. [Hosea 13:16]
  • 5. [Leviticus 26:32, 33; Deuteronomy 28:36, 64; Deuteronomy 29:27, 28]
  • 6. 2 Kings 18:11; [1 Chronicles 5:26]
  • 7. Isaiah 37:12
  • 8. Ezra 6:2; Isaiah 13:17; Isaiah 21:2; Jeremiah 51:11, 28
  • 9. ver. 36; Leviticus 25:38; See Exodus 20:2
  • 10. Leviticus 18:3; Deuteronomy 18:9
  • 11. ver. 19; 2 Kings 16:3
  • 12. 2 Kings 18:8
  • 13. See Exodus 23:24
  • 14. See Exodus 20:4
  • 15. Nehemiah 9:30
  • 16. ver. 23
  • 17. See 1 Samuel 9:9
  • 18. Jeremiah 18:11; Jeremiah 25:5; Jeremiah 35:15
  • 19. Deuteronomy 9:6; 2 Chronicles 30:8; [Deuteronomy 31:27; Acts 7:51]
  • 20. Deuteronomy 29:25
  • 21. Deuteronomy 32:21; [1 Kings 16:13]
  • 22. Jeremiah 2:5; Romans 1:21
  • 23. Deuteronomy 12:30, 31
  • 24. See 1 Kings 12:28
  • 25. 1 Kings 14:15, 23; 1 Kings 15:13; 1 Kings 16:33
  • 26. 2 Kings 21:3; 2 Kings 23:5; [Deuteronomy 4:19]
  • 27. 2 Kings 11:18; 1 Kings 16:31; 1 Kings 22:53
  • 28. 2 Kings 16:3; [Leviticus 18:21; Ezekiel 23:37]
  • 29. [Deuteronomy 18:10]
  • 30. [Leviticus 19:26]
  • 31. See 1 Kings 21:20
  • 32. [1 Kings 11:13, 32; 1 Kings 12:20]
  • 33. [Jeremiah 3:8]
  • 34. Judges 2:14; [2 Kings 13:3; 2 Kings 15:29]
  • 35. 1 Kings 11:11, 31
  • 36. 1 Kings 12:20
  • 37. See 1 Kings 14:16
  • 38. ver. 13
  • 39. ver. 6
  • 40. Ezra 4:2, 10
  • 41. ver. 30
  • 42. [2 Kings 18:34]
  • 43. See 1 Kings 8:65
  • 44. ver. 31; 2 Kings 18:34; 2 Kings 19:13
  • 45. 1 Kings 12:29
  • 46. 1 Kings 12:31; 1 Kings 13:32
  • 47. ver. 24
  • 48. See ver. 17
  • 49. [2 Kings 19:37]
  • 50. ver. 24
  • 51. [Zephaniah 1:5]
  • 52. See 1 Kings 12:31
  • 53. ver. 29
  • 54. Genesis 32:28; Genesis 35:10; 1 Kings 18:31
  • 55. Judges 6:10
  • 56. See Exodus 20:5
  • 57. Deuteronomy 6:13
  • 58. ver. 7
  • 59. Exodus 6:6; Deuteronomy 4:34
  • 60. Deuteronomy 5:32
  • 61. [See ver. 35 above]
  • 62. Deuteronomy 4:23
  • 63. [See ver. 35 above]
  • 64. [See ver. 36 above]
  • 65. [Zephaniah 1:5]

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or made their sons and their daughters pass through the fire
  • [b]. Syriac, Vulgate; Hebrew them

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