The Fall of Samaria and the Captivity of Israel
17 1 In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea the son of Elah began to reign in Samaria over Israel, for nine years. 2 And he did evil in the sight of Jehovah, but not as the kings of Israel that had been before him. 3 Against him came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria, and Hoshea became his servant, and tendered him presents. 4 But the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea; for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt, and sent up no present to the king of Assyria as [he had done] from year to year. And the king of Assyria shut him up and bound him in prison. 5 And the king of Assyria overran the whole land, and went up against Samaria, and besieged it three years. 6 In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and by the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
7 And so it was, because the children of Israel had sinned against Jehovah their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods; 8 and they walked in the statutes of the nations that Jehovah had dispossessed from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made. 9 And the children of Israel did secretly against Jehovah their God things that were not right; and they built them high places in all their cities, from the watchmen's tower to the fortified city. 10 And they set them up columns and Asherahs on every high hill and under every green tree; 11 and there they burned incense on all the high places, as did the nations that Jehovah had carried away from before them, and they wrought wicked things to provoke Jehovah to anger; 12 and they served idols, as to which Jehovah had said to them, Ye shall not do this thing. 13 And Jehovah testified against Israel and against Judah, by all the prophets, all the seers, saying, Turn from your evil ways, and keep my commandments, my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you through my servants the prophets. 14 But they would not hear, and hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, who did not believe in Jehovah their God. 15 And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant which he had made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he had testified unto them; and they followed vanity and became vain, and [went] after the nations that were round about them, concerning whom Jehovah had charged them that they should not do like them. 16 And they forsook all the commandments of Jehovah their God, and made them molten images, two calves, and made an Asherah, and worshipped all the host of the heavens, and served Baal; 17 and they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of Jehovah, to provoke him to anger. 18 Therefore Jehovah was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there remained but the tribe of Judah only. 19 Also Judah kept not the commandments of Jehovah their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they had made. 20 And Jehovah rejected all the seed of Israel; and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight. 21 For Israel had rent [the kingdom] from the house of David; and they had made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king; and Jeroboam violently turned Israel from following Jehovah, and made them sin a great sin. 22 And the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them: 23 until Jehovah had removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said through all his servants the prophets; and Israel was carried away out of their own land to Assyria, unto this day.
The Repopulation of Samaria
24 And the king of Assyria brought [people] from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Avva, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and made them dwell in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in its cities. 25 And so it was, at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they feared not Jehovah; and Jehovah sent lions among them, which killed [some] of them. 26 And they spoke to the king of Assyria saying, The nations that thou hast removed and made to dwell in the cities of Samaria know not the manner of the god of the land; therefore he has sent lions among them, and behold, they slay them, because they know not the manner of the god of the land. 27 And the king of Assyria commanded saying, Carry thither one of the priests whom ye have brought away from thence; and let them go and abide there, and let him teach them the manner of the god of the land. 28 Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and abode in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear Jehovah. 29 And every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places that the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities in which they dwelt. 30 And the people of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, and the people of Cuth made Nergal, and the people of Hamath made Ashima, 31 and the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech the gods of Sepharvaim. 32 So they feared Jehovah, and made to themselves from all classes of them priests of the high places, who offered [sacrifices] for them in the houses of the high places. 33 They feared Jehovah, and served their own gods after the manner of the nations, whence they had been carried away. 34 To this day they do after their former customs: they fear not Jehovah, neither do they after their statutes or after their ordinances, nor after the law and commandment that Jehovah commanded the sons of Jacob, whom he named Israel. 35 And Jehovah had made a covenant with them, and charged them saying, Ye shall not fear other gods, nor bow down yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them; 36 but Jehovah alone, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and a stretched-out arm, him shall ye fear, and him shall ye worship, and to him shall ye do sacrifice. 37 And the statutes and the ordinances and the law, and the commandment which he wrote for you, ye shall observe to do for evermore; and ye shall not fear other gods. 38 And ye shall not forget the covenant that I have made with you, neither shall ye fear other gods; 39 but ye shall fear Jehovah your God, and he shall deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies. 40 And they did not hearken, but did after their former customs. 41 And these nations feared Jehovah, and served their graven images, both their children and their children's children: as did their fathers, so do they, unto this day.
The Reign of Hezekiah
18 1 And it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea the son of Elah, king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz, king of Judah, began to reign. 2 He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem; and his mother's name was Abi, daughter of Zechariah. 3 And he did what was right in the sight of Jehovah, according to all that David his father had done. 4 He removed the high places, and broke the columns, and cut down the Asherahs, and broke in pieces the serpent of brass that Moses had made; for to those days the children of Israel burned incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan. 5 He trusted in Jehovah the God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor [among any] that were before him. 6 And he clave to Jehovah, and did not turn aside from following him, but kept his commandments, which Jehovah commanded Moses. 7 And Jehovah was with him; he prospered whithersoever he went forth. And he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not. 8 He smote the Philistines unto Gazah and its borders, from the watchmen's tower to the fortified city.
The Fall of Samaria
9 And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea the son of Elah, king of Israel, [that] Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria and besieged it. 10 And at the end of three years they took it; in the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is, the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken. 11 And the king of Assyria carried away Israel to Assyria, and settled them in Halah and by the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes; 12 because they hearkened not to the voice of Jehovah their God, but transgressed his covenant, all that Moses the servant of Jehovah commanded; and they would not hear nor do it.
The Invasion of Sennacherib
13 And in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah, and took them. 14 And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria to Lachish, saying, I have sinned; retire from me: I will bear what thou layest upon me. And the king of Assyria laid upon Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15 And Hezekiah gave all the silver that was found in the house of Jehovah, and in the treasures of the king's house. 16 At that time Hezekiah stripped the doors of the temple of Jehovah, and the posts that Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave them to the king of Assyria.
17 And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rab-shakeh from Lachish, with a strong force, against king Hezekiah, to Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. And when they were come up, they came and stood by the aqueduct of the upper pool, which is on the highway of the fuller's field. 18 And they called to the king. Then came forth to them Eliakim the son of Hilkijah, who was over the household, and Shebnah the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the chronicler. 19 And Rab-shakeh said to them, Say now to Hezekiah, Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: What confidence is this wherein thou trustest? 20 Thou sayest—but it is a word of the lips—There is counsel and strength for war. Now on whom dost thou rely, that thou hast revolted against me? 21 Now behold, thou reliest upon the staff of that broken reed, upon Egypt, on which if a man lean, it goes into his hand and pierces it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all that rely upon him. 22 And if ye say to me, We rely upon Jehovah our God: is it not he whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, Ye shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem? 23 And now, engage, I pray thee, with my master the king of Assyria, and I will give thee two thousand horses, if thou canst set the riders upon them. 24 How then wilt thou turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master's servants? And thou reliest upon Egypt for chariots and for horsemen! 25 Am I now come up without Jehovah against this place to destroy it? Jehovah said to me, Go up against this land and destroy it. 26 And Eliakim the son of Hilkijah, and Shebnah and Joah said to Rab-shakeh, Speak, we pray thee, to thy servants in Syriac, for we understand it, and talk not with us in the Jewish [language] in the ears of the people that are on the wall. 27 And Rab-shakeh said to them, Is it to thy master and to thee that my master sent me to speak these words? Is it not to the men that sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung and drink their own urine with you? 28 And Rab-shakeh stood and cried with a loud voice in the Jewish [language], and spoke and said, Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria! 29 Thus says the king: Let not Hezekiah deceive you; for he will not be able to deliver you out of the [king's] hand. 30 Neither let Hezekiah make you rely upon Jehovah, saying, Jehovah will certainly deliver us, and this city shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. 31 Hearken not to Hezekiah; for thus says the king of Assyria: Make peace with me, and come out to me; and eat every one of his vine and every one of his fig-tree, and drink every one the waters of his own cistern; 32 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive-trees and of honey, that ye may live and not die; and hearken not to Hezekiah, when he persuades you, saying, Jehovah will deliver us. 33 Have any of the gods of the nations delivered at all his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and of Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? and have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? 35 Which are they among all the gods of the countries, who have delivered their country out of my hand, that Jehovah should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand? 36 But the people were silent and answered him not a word; for the king's command was, saying, Answer him not. 37 And Eliakim the son of Hilkijah, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the chronicler, came to Hezekiah with their garments rent, and told him the words of Rab-shakeh.
19 And this is the judgment, that light is come into the world, and men have loved darkness rather than light; for their works were evil. 20 For every one that does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light that his works may not be shewn as they are; 21 but he that practises the truth comes to the light, that his works may be manifested that they have been wrought in God.
He Must Increase, but I Must Decrease
22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he abode with them and baptised. 23 And John also was baptising in Aenon, near Salim, because there was a great deal of water there; and they came to [him] and were baptised: 24 for John was not yet cast into prison. 25 There was therefore a reasoning of the disciples of John with a Jew about purification. 26 And they came to John and said to him, Rabbi, he who was with thee beyond the Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, he baptises, and all come to him. 27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing unless it be given him out of heaven. 28 Ye yourselves bear me witness that I said, I am not the Christ, but, that I am sent before him. 29 He that has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices in heart because of the voice of the bridegroom: this my joy then is fulfilled. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
The Testimony from Heaven
31 He who comes from above is above all. He who has his origin in the earth is of the earth, and speaks [as] of the earth. He who comes out of heaven is above all, 32 [and] what he has seen and has heard, this he testifies; and no one receives his testimony. 33 He that has received his testimony has set to his seal that God is true; 34 for he whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives not the Spirit by measure. 35 The Father loves the Son, and has given all things [to be] in his hand. 36 He that believes on the Son has life eternal, and he that is not subject to the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides upon him.