The Fall of Samaria and the Captivity of Israel
171 In the twelfth year of Ahaz, king of Judah, Hoshea, the son of Elah, became king over Israel in Samaria, ruling for nine years. 2 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, though not like the kings of Israel before him. 3 Against him came up Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, and Hoshea became his servant and sent him offerings. 4 But Hoshea's broken faith became clear to the king of Assyria because he had sent representatives to So, king of Egypt, and did not send his offering to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year: so the king of Assyria had him shut up in prison and put in chains. 5 Then the king of Assyria went through all the land and came up to Samaria, shutting it in with his forces for three years. 6 In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria took Samaria, and took Israel away to Assyria, placing them in Halah and in Habor on the river Gozan, and in the towns of the Medes.
7 And the wrath of the Lord came on Israel because they had done evil against the Lord their God, who took them out of the land of Egypt from under the yoke of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and had become worshippers of other gods, 8 Living by the rules of the nations whom the Lord had sent out from before the children of Israel. 9 And the children of Israel did secretly against the Lord their God things which were not right, building high places for themselves in all their towns, from the tower of the watchmen to the walled town. 10 They put up pillars of stone and wood on every high hill and under every green tree: 11 Burning their offerings in all the high places, as those nations did whom the Lord sent away from before them; they did evil things, moving the Lord to wrath; 12 And they made themselves servants of disgusting things, though the Lord had said, You are not to do this. 13 And he gave witness to Israel and Judah, by every prophet and seer, saying, Come back from your evil ways, and do my orders and keep my rules, and be guided by the law which I gave to your fathers and sent to you by my servants the prophets. 14 And they did not give ear, but became stiff-necked, like their fathers who had no faith in the Lord their God. 15 And they went against his rules, and the agreement which he made with their fathers, and his laws which he gave them; they gave themselves up to things without sense or value, and became foolish like the nations round them, of whom the Lord had said, Do not as they do. 16 And turning their backs on all the orders which the Lord had given them, they made for themselves images of metal, and the image of Asherah, worshipping all the stars of heaven and becoming servants to Baal. 17 And they made their sons and their daughters go through the fire, and they made use of secret arts and unnatural powers, and gave themselves up to doing evil in the eyes of the Lord, till he was moved to wrath. 18 So the Lord was very angry with Israel, and his face was turned away from them: only the tribe of Judah kept its place. 19 (But even Judah did not keep the orders of the Lord their God, but were guided by the rules which Israel had made. 20 So the Lord would have nothing to do with all the offspring of Israel, and sent trouble on them, and gave them up into the hands of their attackers, till he had sent them away from before his face.) 21 For Israel was broken off from the family of David, and they made Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, king, who, driving them away from the laws of the Lord, made them do a great sin. 22 And the children of Israel went on with all the sins which Jeroboam did; they did not keep themselves from them; 23 Till the Lord put Israel away from before his face, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So Israel was taken away from their land to Assyria, to this day.
The Repopulation of Samaria
24 Then the king of Assyria took men from Babylon and from Cuthah and Avva and Hamath and Sepharvaim, and put them in the towns of Samaria in place of the children of Israel; so they got Samaria for their heritage, living in its towns. 25 Now when first they were living there they did not give worship to the Lord. So the Lord sent lions among them, causing the death of some of them. 26 So they said to the king of Assyria, The nations whom you have taken as prisoners and put in the towns of Samaria, have no knowledge of the way of the god of the land: so he has sent lions among them, causing their death, because they have no knowledge of his way. 27 Then the king of Assyria gave orders, saying, Send there one of the priests whom you took away, and let him be living there and teaching the people the way of the god of the land. 28 So one of the priests whom they had taken away as a prisoner from Samaria came back, and, living in Beth-el, became their teacher in the worship of the Lord. 29 And every nation made gods for themselves, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in the towns where they were living. 30 The men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima, 31 The Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites gave their children to be burned in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. 32 So they went on worshipping the Lord, and made for themselves, from among all the people, priests for the high places, to make offerings for them in the houses of the high places. 33 They gave worship to the Lord, but they gave honour to their gods like the nations did from whom they had been taken as prisoners. 34 So to this day they go on in their old ways, not worshipping the Lord or keeping his orders or his ways or the law and the rule which the Lord gave to the children of Jacob, to whom he gave the name Israel; 35 And the Lord made an agreement with them and gave them orders, saying, You are to have no other gods; you are not to give worship to them or be their servants or make them offerings: 36 But the Lord, who took you out of the land of Egypt with his great power and his outstretched arm, he is your God, to whom you are to give worship and make offerings: 37 And the rules and the orders and the law which he put in writing for you, you are to keep and do for ever; you are to have no other gods. 38 And you are to keep in memory the agreement which I have made with you; and you are to have no other gods. 39 And you are to give worship to the Lord your God; for it is he who will give you salvation from the hands of all who are against you. 40 But they gave no attention, but went on in their old way. 41 So these nations, worshipping the Lord, still were servants to the images they had made; their children and their children's children did the same; as their fathers did, so do they, to this day.
The Reign of Hezekiah
181 Now in the third year of Hoshea, son of Elah, king of Israel, Hezekiah, the son of Ahaz, became king of Judah. 2 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, ruling in Jerusalem for twenty-nine years; his mother's name was Abi, the daughter of Zechariah. 3 He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord as David his father had done. 4 He had the high places taken away, and the stone pillars broken to bits, and the Asherah cut down; and the brass snake which Moses had made was crushed to powder at his order, because in those days the children of Israel had offerings burned before it, and he gave it the name Nehushtan. 5 He had faith in the Lord, the God of Israel; so that there was no one like him among all the kings of Judah who were before him. 6 For his heart was fixed on the Lord, not turning from his ways, and he did his orders which the Lord gave to Moses. 7 And the Lord was with him; he did well in all his undertakings: and he took up arms against the king of Assyria and was his servant no longer. 8 He overcame the Philistines as far as Gaza and its limits, from the tower of the watchman to the walled town.
The Fall of Samaria
9 Now in the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea, son of Elah, king of Israel, Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, came up against Samaria, shutting it in with his armies. 10 And at the end of three years they took it; in the sixth year of Hezekiah's rule, which was the ninth year of Hoshea, king of Israel, Samaria was taken. 11 And the king of Assyria took Israel away as prisoners into Assyria, placing them in Halah and in Habor on the river Gozan, and in the towns of the Medes; 12 Because they did not give ear to the voice of the Lord their God, but went against his agreement, even against everything ordered by Moses, the servant of the Lord, and they did not give ear to it or do it.
The Invasion of Sennacherib
13 Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, came up against all the walled towns of Judah and took them. 14 And Hezekiah, king of Judah, sent to Lachish, to the king of Assyria, saying, I have done wrong; give up attacking me, and whatever you put on me I will undergo. And the payment he was to make was fixed by the king of Assyria at three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15 So Hezekiah gave him all the silver in the house of the Lord, and in the king's store-house. 16 And at that time Hezekiah had the gold from the doors of the Lord's house, and from the door-pillars plated by him, cut off and gave it to the king of Assyria.
17 Then the king of Assyria sent the Tartan and the Rab-saris and the Rab-shakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem, to King Hezekiah, with a strong force. And they went up and came to Jerusalem, and took up their position by the stream of the higher pool, by the highway of the washerman's field. 18 And they sent for the king, and Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, who was over the house, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder, came out to them. 19 And the Rab-shakeh said to them, Say now to Hezekiah, These are the words of the great king, the king of Assyria: In what are you placing your hope? 20 You say you have a design, and strength for war, but these are only words. Now to whom are you looking for support, that you have gone against my authority? 21 See, now, you are basing your hope on that broken rod of Egypt, which will go through a man's hand if he makes use of it for a support; for so is Pharaoh, king of Egypt, to all who put their faith in him. 22 And if you say to me, Our hope is in the Lord our God: is it not he, whose high places and altars Hezekiah has taken away, saying to Judah and Jerusalem that worship may only be given before this altar in Jerusalem? 23 And now, take a chance with my master, the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able to put horsemen on them. 24 How then may you put to shame the least of my master's servants? and you have put your hope in Egypt for war-carriages and horsemen: 25 And have I now come up to send destruction on this place without the Lord's authority? It was the Lord himself who said to me, Go up against this land and make it waste. 26 Then Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, and Shebna and Joah said to the Rab-shakeh, Will you kindly make use of the Aramaean language in talking to your servants, for we are used to it, and do not make use of the Jews' language in the hearing of the people on the wall. 27 But the Rab-shakeh said to them, Is it to your master or to you that my master has sent me to say these words? has he not sent me to the men seated on the wall? for they are the people who will be short of food with you when the town is shut in. 28 Then the Rab-shakeh got up and said with a loud voice in the Jews' language, Give ear to the words of the great king, the king of Assyria; 29 This is what the king says: Do not be tricked by Hezekiah, for there is no salvation for you in him. 30 And do not let Hezekiah make you put your faith in the Lord, saying, The Lord will certainly keep us safe, and this town will not be given into the hands of the king of Assyria. 31 Do not give ear to Hezekiah, for this is what the king of Assyria says: Make peace with me and come out to me; and everyone will be free to take the fruit of his vine and of his fig-tree, and the water of his spring; 32 Till I come and take you away to a land like yours, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vine-gardens, a land of oil-giving olives and of honey, so that life and not death may be your fate. Give no attention to Hezekiah when he says to you, The Lord will keep us safe. 33 Has any one of the gods of the nations kept his land from falling into the hands of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and of Arpad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim, of Hena and Ivvah? have they kept Samaria out of my hands? 35 Who among all the gods of these countries have kept their country from falling into my hands, to give cause for the thought that the Lord will keep Jerusalem from falling into my hands? 36 But the people kept quiet and gave him no answer: for the king's order was, Give him no answer. 37 Then Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, who was over the house, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah, with their clothing parted as a sign of grief, and gave him an account of what the Rab-shakeh had said.