The emperor of Assyria took people from the cities of Babylon, Cuth, Ivvah, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, and settled them in the cities of Samaria in place of the exiled Israelites. They took possession of these cities and lived there.
When they first settled there, they did not worship the Lord, and so he sent lions, which killed some of them.
The emperor of Assyria was told that the people he had settled in the cities of Samaria did not know the law of the god of that land, and so the god had sent lions, which were killing them.
So the emperor commanded: "Send back one of the priests we brought as prisoners; have him go back and live there, in order to teach the people the law of the god of that land."
So an Israelite priest who had been deported from Samaria went and lived in Bethel, where he taught the people how to worship the Lord.
But the people who settled in Samaria continued to make their own idols, and they placed them in the shrines that the Israelites had built. Each different group made idols in the cities they were living in:
the people of Babylon made idols of the god Succoth Benoth; the people of Cuth, idols of Nergal; the people of Hamath, idols of Ashima;
the people of Ivvah, idols of Nibhaz and Tartak; and the people of Sepharvaim sacrificed their children as burnt offerings to their gods Adrammelech and Anammelech.
These people also worshiped the Lord and chose from among their own number all sorts of people to serve as priests at the pagan places of worship and to offer sacrifices for them there.
So they worshiped the Lord, but they also worshiped their own gods according to the customs of the countries from which they had come.
They still carry on their old customs to this day. They do not worship the Lord nor do they obey the laws and commands which he gave to the descendants of Jacob, whom he named Israel. 1