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2 Kings 17:24-34

Context
The King of Assyria Populates Israel with Foreigners

17:24 The king of Assyria brought foreigners 1  from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim and settled them in the cities of Samaria 2  in place of the Israelites. They took possession of Samaria and lived in its cities. 17:25 When they first moved in, 3  they did not worship 4  the Lord. So the Lord sent lions among them and the lions were killing them. 17:26 The king of Assyria was told, 5  “The nations whom you deported and settled in the cities of Samaria do not know the requirements of the God of the land, so he has sent lions among them. They are killing the people 6  because they do not know the requirements of the God of the land.” 17:27 So the king of Assyria ordered, “Take back one of the priests whom you 7  deported from there. He must settle there and teach them the requirements of the God of the land.” 8  17:28 So one of the priests whom they had deported from Samaria went back and settled in Bethel. 9  He taught them how to worship 10  the Lord.

17:29 But each of these nations made 11  its own gods and put them in the shrines on the high places that the people of Samaria 12  had made. Each nation did this in the cities where they lived. 17:30 The people from Babylon made Succoth Benoth, 13  the people from Cuth made Nergal, 14  the people from Hamath made Ashima, 15  17:31 the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, 16  and the Sepharvites burned their sons in the fire as an offering to Adrammelech and Anammelech, 17  the gods of Sepharvaim. 17:32 At the same time they worshiped 18  the Lord. They appointed some of their own people to serve as priests in the shrines on the high places. 19  17:33 They were worshiping 20  the Lord and at the same time serving their own gods in accordance with the practices of the nations from which they had been deported.

17:34 To this very day they observe their earlier practices. They do not worship 21  the Lord; they do not obey the rules, regulations, law, and commandments that the Lord gave 22  the descendants of Jacob, whom he renamed Israel.

1 tn The object is supplied in the translation.

2 sn In vv. 24-29 Samaria stands for the entire northern kingdom of Israel.

3 tn Heb “in the beginning of their living there.”

4 tn Heb “fear.”

5 tn Heb “and they said to the king of Assyria, saying.” The plural subject of the verb is indefinite.

6 tn Heb “Look they are killing them.”

7 tc The second plural subject may refer to the leaders of the Assyrian army. However, some prefer to read “whom I deported,” changing the verb to a first person singular form with a third masculine plural pronominal suffix. This reading has some support from Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic witnesses.

8 tc Heb “and let them go and let them live there, and let him teach them the requirements of the God of the land.” The two plural verbs seem inconsistent with the preceding and following contexts, where only one priest is sent back to Samaria. The singular has the support of Greek, Syriac, and Latin witnesses.

9 map For location see Map4 G4; Map5 C1; Map6 E3; Map7 D1; Map8 G3.

10 tn Heb “fear.”

11 sn The verb “make” refers to the production of idols. See M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 210-11.

12 tn Heb “Samaritans.” This refers to the Israelites who had been deported from the land.

13 sn No deity is known by the name Succoth Benoth in extant Mesopotamian literature. For speculation as to the identity of this deity, see M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 211.

14 sn Nergal was a Mesopotamian god of the underworld.

15 sn This deity is unknown in extra-biblical literature. See M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 211-12.

16 sn Nibhaz and Tartak were two Elamite deities. See M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 212.

17 sn Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of the Sepharvaim are unknown in extra-biblical literature. See M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 212.

18 tn Heb “feared.”

19 tn Heb “and they appointed for themselves from their whole people priests for the high places and they were serving for them in the house[s] of the high places.”

20 tn Heb “fearing.”

21 tn Heb “fear.”

22 tn Heb “commanded.”



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