1In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea the son of Elah began to reign in Samaria, and he reigned over Israel for nine years.
2He did what was evil in the eyes of Yahweh, yet not like the kings of Israel who were before him.
3Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against him, and Hoshea became his servant and paid him tribute.
4But the king of Assyria found out Hoshea was in a conspiracy, for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt and did not send up tribute to the king of Assyria as he had done year after year, so the king of Assyria seized him and bound him in prison.
5Then the king of Assyria went up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria and besieged it for three years.
6In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured 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.
7Now this came about because the children of Israel had sinned against Yahweh their God who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and because they had feared other gods
8and walked in the statutes of the nations that Yahweh drove out from before the children of Israel, and in the statutes of the kings of Israel, which they had made.
9The children of Israel attributed wordsa that were not so to Yahweh their God, and they built pagan shrines for themselves in all their cities from watchtower to fortified city
10and they set up for themselves standing stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every green tree.
11And they burned incense at all the shrines, like the nations did that Yahweh had driven out from before them. And they did evil things, making Yahweh angry,
12and they served the disgusting idols, about which Yahweh had said to them, “You must not do this thing.”
13Yet Yahweh warned Israel and Judah by the hand of every prophet and every seer, saying, “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 the hand of my servants the prophets.”
14But they would not listen, but stiffened their neck like the neck of their fathers who did not trust in Yahweh their God.
15They rejected his statutes and his covenant that he cut with their fathers, and his warnings with which he warned them, and they followed after the worthless idols and became worthless, and they followed the nations that were around them concerning whom Yahweh had commanded them that they were not to do like them.
16They forsook all the commandments of Yahweh their God and made cast metal images for themselves—two calves—and made an Asherah and worshiped all the army of heaven and served Baal.
17And they made their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire and used divination and interpreted omens and sold themselves to do what was evil in the eyes of Yahweh, making him angry.
18Therefore Yahweh became very angry with Israel and he removed them from his presence; none was left but the tribe of Judah alone.
19Also, Judah did not keep the commandments of Yahweh their God, but walked in the practices that Israel did.
20So Yahweh rejected all the seed of Israel and afflicted them, and gave them into the hand of plunderers until he had cast them out of his presence.
21For he had torn Israel from the house of David, and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king, and Jeroboam drove Israel from following after Yahweh and made them sin a great sin.
22So the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam that he did. They did not depart from it
23until Yahweh removed Israel from his presence, as he had spoken by all his servants the prophets. So Israel was exiled from their own land to Assyria to this day.
24And the king of Assyria brought people from Babylon and from Cuthah and from Avva and from Hamath and Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they took possession of Samaria and lived in its cities.
25But when they began to settle there they did not fear Yahweh, so Yahweh sent lions among them that killed some of them.
26So they spoke to the king of Assyria, saying, “The nations that you have exiled and placed in the cities of Samaria do not know the law of the god of the land. So he has sent lions among them, and behold, they kill them because they do not know the law of the god of the land.”
27Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, “Send back there one of the priests whom you exiled from there, and let him go and live there, and have him teach them the law of the god of the land.”
28So one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and lived in Bethel and began teaching them how they should fear Yahweh.
29But each nation still made gods of their own and put them in the temples of the shrines that the Samaritans had made, each nation in their cities where they lived.
30The people from Babylon made Sukkoth-benoth, and the people from Cuth made Nergal, and the people from Hamath made Ashima,
31and the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.
32So they feared Yahweh, but made for themselves from among themselves priests for the shrines who sacrificed for them in the temples of the shrines.
33So they feared Yahweh and served their own gods after the manner of the nations from among whom they had been carried away.
34To this day they do according to their former manner. They do not fear Yahweh, and they do not follow their statutes or their ordinances or the law or the commandment that Yahweh commanded the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel.
35But Yahweh had cut a covenant and commanded them, saying, “You are not to fear other gods; you are not to bow down to them;b you are not to serve them; and you are not to sacrifice to them!
36But Yahweh, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and with an outstretched arm, him you are to fear, and you are to bow down to him and you are to sacrifice to him.
37The statutes and the ordinances and the law and the commandment that he wrote for you, you are to be careful to do forevermore. Do not worshipc other gods.
38Do not forget the covenant that I have made with you, and do not fear other gods.
39But you are to fear Yahweh your God, and he will rescue you from the hand of all your enemies.”
40However they did not listen, but they kept doing according to their former manner.
41So these nations feared Yahweh and kept serving their carved images. Their children did likewise, and their children’s children; as their fathers did, so they do to this day.