The Israelite army captured two hundred thousand of their own relatives. They took women, sons and daughters, and many valuable things from Judah and carried them back to Samaria.
But a prophet of the Lord named Oded was there. He met the Israelite army when it returned to Samaria and said to them, "The Lord, the God of your ancestors, handed Judah over to you, because he was angry with those people. But God has seen the cruel way you killed them.
Now you plan to make the people of Judah and Jerusalem your slaves, but you also have sinned against the Lord your God.
Now listen to me. Send back your brothers and sisters whom you captured, because the Lord is very angry with you."
Then some of the leaders in Ephraim -- Azariah son of Jehohanan, Berekiah son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah son of Shallum, and Amasa son of Hadlai -- met the Israelite soldiers coming home from war.
They warned the soldiers, "Don't bring the prisoners from Judah here. If you do, we will be guilty of sin against the Lord, and that will make our sin and guilt even worse. Our guilt is already so great that he is angry with Israel."
So the soldiers left the prisoners and valuable things in front of the officers and people there.
The leaders who were named took the prisoners and gave those who were naked the clothes that the Israelite army had taken. They gave the prisoners clothes, sandals, food, drink, and medicine. They put the weak prisoners on donkeys and took them back to their families in Jericho, the city of palm trees. Then they returned home to Samaria.
At that time the Edomites came again and attacked Judah and carried away prisoners. So King Ahaz sent to the king of Assyria for help.
The Philistines also robbed the towns in the western hills and in southern Judah. They captured the towns of Beth Shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Soco, Timnah, and Gimzo, and the villages around them. Then the Philistines lived in those towns.