Evil Hoshea becomes king of Israel. The Fall of Israel. Foreigners settle in Israel.
VERSE 1. In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea the son of Elah began to reign in Samaria over Israel for nine years.
the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah. That was in 732 BC.
VERSE 2. He did that which was evil in the LORD’s sight, yet not as the kings of Israel who were before him.
He did that which was evil. Hoshea is yet another evil king in a long line of evil kings.
VERSE 3. Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against him; and Hoshea became his servant, and brought him tribute.
This is a first account of the fall of Samaria.
It can be read in parallel with the second account of the fall of Samaria, which is in 2 Kings 18:9-12.
Shalmaneser king of Assyria. This is Shalmaneser V. He reigned from 727 to 722 BC.
VERSE 4. The king of Assyria discovered a conspiracy 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 seized him, and bound him in prison.
a conspiracy in Hoshea. King Hoshea is corrupt.
So king of Egypt. That is, Osorkon IV. He reigned from 727 to 716 BC.
offered no tribute to the king of Assyria. A “tribute” is like a bribe. You pay it to avoid going to war.
Evil king Hoshea does not pay his tribute. Instead, he tries to make a treaty with the king of Egypt.
How ironic that king Hoshea seeks help from Egypt, when 724 years earlier, Israel escaped from Egypt.
VERSE 5. Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years.
besieged it three years. The nation paid a terrible price for Hoshea’s corruption. They are surrounded and embattled for three years.
VERSE 6. In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria and carried Israel away to Assyria, and placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
the ninth year of Hoshea. That was 722 BC.
carried Israel away to Assyria. Due to the corruption of evil king Hoshea, his nation is defeated. His citizens are carried away into captivity in Assyria.
VERSE 7. It was so because the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, who brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods,
because the children of Israel had sinned. They had become the worst people on earth. They brought this disaster upon themselves.
And yet the trigger for the destruction of their nation was the profound selfishness of their evil king Hoshea.
VERSE 8. and walked in the statutes of the nations whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they made.
VERSE 9. The children of Israel secretly did things that were not right against the LORD their God; and they built high places for themselves in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fortified city;
they built high places. They worshipped the LORD God in the high places instead of in Jerusalem.
VERSE 10. and they set up for themselves pillars and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every green tree;
pillars. They built special stones that they regarded as sacred.
Asherah poles. They built wooden poles representing the goddess Asherah.
VERSE 11. and there they burned incense in all the high places, as the nations whom the LORD carried away before them did; and they did wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger;
they burned incense. They did this to placate “the gods.”
They copied this practice from the Canaanite people who had lived in the land before them.
they served idols. This was quite clearly forbidden.
VERSE 13. Yet the LORD testified to Israel and to Judah, by every prophet and every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets.”
Turn from your evil ways. Our evil practices grieve the heart of the One God.
In our own lives, what evil practices do we have?
VERSE 14. Notwithstanding, they would not listen, but hardened their neck like the neck of their fathers who didn’t believe in the LORD their God.
they would not listen. They refused to listen to the Scriptures. And they refused to listen to the prophets.
At a glance, it would seem that their evil practices were universal. However, they were established by their kings.
Their evil kings introduced these practices to the nation. And normalized them.
VERSE 15. They rejected his statutes and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified to them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and followed the nations that were around them, concerning whom the LORD had commanded them that they should not do like them.
VERSE 16. They abandoned all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made molten images for themselves, even two calves, and made an Asherah, and worshiped all the army of the sky, and served Baal.
They abandoned all the commandments. They forsake all the commands of the LORD God.
even two calves. The Golden Calves are back.
They fashioned two calves out of metal. They worship them at Dan and Bethel.
made an Asherah. In Samaria, Israel set up a pole that symbolizes the Canaanite fertility goddess Asherah.
the army of the sky. They worship the planets and constellations, and practice astrology.
served Baal. He was the male fertility god of the Near East.
VERSE 17. They caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do that which was evil in the LORD’s sight, to provoke him to anger.
pass through the fire. To placate the gods, they offer their children as human sacrifices.
This is the culmination of everything before it. We see it as the triggering event. It caused the destruction of the nation.
used divination and enchantments. That is, witchcraft and sorcery.
VERSE 18. Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight. There was none left but the tribe of Judah only.
removed them out of his sight. Exile was one of the curses the LORD God said he would bring on the nation if they disobeyed him.
VERSE 19. Also Judah didn’t keep the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made.
Even the Southern Kingdom disobeyed the LORD God.
VERSE 20. The LORD rejected all the offspring of Israel, afflicted them, and delivered them into the hands of raiders, until he had cast them out of his sight.
VERSE 21. For he tore Israel from David’s house; and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king; and Jeroboam drove Israel from following the LORD, and made them sin a great sin.
VERSE 22. The children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they didn’t depart from them
VERSE 23. until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he said by all his servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away out of their own land to Assyria to this day.
to this day. That is, “as of this writing.”
VERSE 24. The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, from Cuthah, from Avva, and from Hamath and Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they possessed Samaria and lived in its cities.
The king of Assyria. This was probably Sargon II. He reigned from 722 to 705 BC.
VERSE 25. So it was, at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they didn’t fear the LORD. Therefore the LORD sent lions among them, which killed some of them.
they didn’t fear the LORD. Their nation was destroyed. They lost everything. They were taken into captivity in a foreign land.
And they still don’t believe.
VERSE 26. Therefore they spoke to the king of Assyria, saying, “The nations which you have carried away and placed in the cities of Samaria don’t know the law of the god of the land. Therefore he has sent lions among them; and behold, they kill them, because they don’t know the law of the god of the land.”
VERSE 27. Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, “Carry there one of the priests whom you brought from there; and let him go and dwell there, and let him teach them the law of the god of the land.”
let him go and dwell there. The Hebrew is more like this: “let them go and dwell there.”
VERSE 28. So one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and lived in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the LORD.
VERSE 29. However every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities in which they lived.
VERSE 30. The men of Babylon made Succoth Benoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima,
VERSE 31. and the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.
VERSE 32. So they feared the LORD, and also made from among themselves priests of the high places for themselves, who sacrificed for them in the houses of the high places.
VERSE 33. They feared the LORD, and also served their own gods, after the ways of the nations from among whom they had been carried away.
VERSE 34. To this day they do what they did before. They don’t fear the LORD, and they do not follow the statutes, or the ordinances, or the law, or the commandment which the LORD commanded the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel;
To this day they do what they did before. This is written in the present tense. The human author is describing the conditions at the moment this passage was written.
VERSE 35. with whom the LORD had made a covenant and commanded them, saying, “You shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them;
VERSE 36. but you shall fear the LORD, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and with an outstretched arm, and you shall bow yourselves to him, and you shall sacrifice to him.
VERSE 37. The statutes and the ordinances, and the law and the commandment which he wrote for you, you shall observe to do forever more. You shall not fear other gods.
VERSE 38. You shall not forget the covenant that I have made with you. You shall not fear other gods.
VERSE 39. But you shall fear the LORD your God, and he will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.”
VERSE 40. However they didn’t listen, but they did what they did before.
VERSE 41. So these nations feared the LORD, and also served their engraved images. Their children did likewise, and so did their children’s children. They do as their fathers did to this day.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.