then they drew near to Zerubbabel and to the heads of fathers’ households, and said to them, “Let us build with you, because we seek your God as you do, and we sacrifice to him since the days of Esar-haddon, king of Assyria, who brought us up here.” Bible see other translations

“Esar-haddon.” A son of Sennacherib, king of Assyria, who brought those particular people to Israel. A number of successive kings imported people conquered by the Assyrians into Israel. It was not just one king who did that.

“who brought us up here.” When the Assyrians conquered the northern kingdom of Israel, they deported the Israelites and brought in people from other nations they had conquered and repopulated Israel (2 Kings 17:24-41). These pagans began to worship Yahweh, but also continued to worship their own gods, thus creating a kind of perverted worship of Yahweh that persisted until the time of Christ. These imported people became the Samaritans of the New Testament, and the fact they were foreigners and worshiped Yahweh in a perverted way explains why they were so hated by the Jews of Christ’s time.

Commentary for: Ezra 4:2