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2 Kings 17:5-11

Context
17:5 The king of Assyria marched through 1  the whole land. He attacked Samaria and besieged it for three years. 17:6 In the ninth year of Hoshea’s reign, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the people of Israel 2  to Assyria. He settled them in Halah, along the Habor (the river of Gozan), and in the cities of the Medes.

A Summary of Israel’s Sinful History

17:7 This happened because the Israelites sinned against the Lord their God, who brought them up from the land of Egypt and freed them from the power of 3  Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshiped 4  other gods; 17:8 they observed the practices 5  of the nations whom the Lord had driven out from before Israel, and followed the example of the kings of Israel. 6  17:9 The Israelites said things about the Lord their God that were not right. 7  They built high places in all their cities, from the watchtower to the fortress. 8  17:10 They set up sacred pillars and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every green tree. 17:11 They burned incense on all the high places just like the nations whom the Lord had driven away from before them. Their evil practices made the Lord angry. 9 

1 tn Heb “went up against.”

2 tn The Hebrew text has simply “Israel” as the object of the verb.

3 tn Heb “and from under the hand of.” The words “freed them” are added in the translation for stylistic reasons.

4 tn Heb “feared.”

5 tn Heb “walked in the customs.”

6 tn Heb “and [the practices of] the kings of Israel which they did.”

7 tn The meaning of the verb וַיְחַפְּאוּ (vayÿkhappÿu), translated here “said,” is uncertain. Some relate it to the verbal root חָפַה (khafah), “to cover,” and translate “they did it in secret” (see BDB 341 s.v. חָפָא). However, the pagan practices specified in the following sentences were hardly done in secret. Others propose a meaning “ascribe, impute,” which makes good contextual sense but has little etymological support (see HALOT 339 s.v. חפא). In this case Israel claimed that the Lord authorized their pagan practices.

8 sn That is, from the city’s perimeter to the central citadel.

9 tn Heb “and they did evil things, angering the Lord.”



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