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2 Kings 17:7-9

Context
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 1  Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshiped 2  other gods; 17:8 they observed the practices 3  of the nations whom the Lord had driven out from before Israel, and followed the example of the kings of Israel. 4  17:9 The Israelites said things about the Lord their God that were not right. 5  They built high places in all their cities, from the watchtower to the fortress. 6 

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

2 tn Heb “feared.”

3 tn Heb “walked in the customs.”

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

5 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.

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



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