Despite the fulfillment of the prophecy that God would hand over to him the majority of the kingdom of Israel without a fight, Jeroboam failed to trust God for an everlasting kingdom.
“And Jeroboam said in his heart…If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me. Whereupon the king…said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem:
- made two calves of gold, and said, behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt…
- the people went to worship unto Dan.
- And he made an house of high places,
- and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi…which he had devised of his own heart;
- and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense.”
The natural consequence of distrust is a never-satisfied need to control to feel safe, leading to tyranny.
The natural consequence of rejecting the worship / unity with the merciful God at Jerusalem, with its rules of social justice, is constant social turmoil.
The natural result of a king without power behind the throne is constant scheming preventing government’s handing of problems with social unrest and civil war leading inevitably, as with the better known rise and fall of the Roman empire, to self destruction.
Baasha…smote all the house of Jeroboam; he left not to Jeroboam any that breathed, until he had destroyed him, according unto the saying of the LORD…And he / Baasha did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of Jeroboam…
Elah the son of Baasha reigned…two years. And his servant Zimri, captain of half his chariots, conspired against him, as he was…drinking himself drunk …and smote him and killed him…
And the people that were encamped heard say, Zimri hath…slain the king: wherefore all Israel made Omri, the captain of the host, king over Israel that day in the camp…Zimri…went into the palace of the king’s house, and burnt the king’s house over him with fire, and died…
Then were the people of Israel divided into two parts: half of the people followed Tibni…But the people that followed Omri prevailed…so Tibni died, and Omri reigned. And he bought the hill…and built on the hill, and called the name of the city which he built, after the name of Shemer, owner of the hill, Samaria.
Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him...
And the following account gives a very clear description of how God feels about government mistreating the vulnerable.
And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money. And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee. And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased…And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread. But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him…Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite. So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth. And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people: And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die. And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them. And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, which is in Samaria: behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, whither he is gone down to possess it. And thou shalt speak unto him, saying…
Thus saith the LORD, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine…I will make thine house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat…for the provocation wherewith thou hast provoked me to anger, and made Israel to sin. And of Jezebel also spake the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel. Him that dieth of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat.” (I Kings 21)
Jezebel brings down the prototypical reign of terror that recurs to Israel throughout its history. But as much as we hate the idea of experiencing great tribulation, it is when we need God the most that we experience his power and appreciate his salvation.
The showdown between Elijah the prophet of God and Jezebel’s prophets of Baal is a repetition of David’s championship over Goliath, and sends a powerful message to those who are willing to get into the fight.
when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim.
Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table…
Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD; and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God.
And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken…
After a three year drought and famine and who knows how many deaths from starvation and sickness they were ready for a new protector.
And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it,
- and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered.
- And they leaped upon the altar which was made…
- and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them….
- and they prophesied / invoked the spirits / recited incantations until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.
And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be thy name [for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed]:
- and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed.
- And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood,
- and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood.
- And he said, Do it the second time.
- And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time.
- And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.
And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.
Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.
And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.
Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.
And when he saw that, he arose, and went…into the wilderness...and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life.” (I Kings 18-19)
As a psychiatric provider, I often remind biblically knowledgeable persons of this passage. Elijah was a superlative prophet who channeled immense spiritual power. But like any other human, it drained him. We are body, soul and spirit and need to care appropriately for all three aspects.
And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink…and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb AKA Sinai the mount of God.
Are you catching the signs? Elijah is one of the Melchizedekian Yeshua Messiah successors to Moses, which is a chosen / anointed position that doesn’t require David’s bloodline. The Prophet appointment is not dependent on the Kingship lineage. There are many unnamed prophets of God who continue prophesying / preaching to Ahab, who, under duress, in fact believes and acts on some, but tragically not all, of their messages. Notice how Ahab “lets go”, which is the opposite of “let be / make it happen“, and the consequence is transfer of power, to the other side, exactly like a game of tug-of-war.
“And Ben-hadad i.e. son [of / human incarnation of] the god of Thunder and War the king of Syria gathered all his host together: and there were thirty and two kings with him, and horses, and chariots; and he went up and besieged Samaria, and warred against it. And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and said unto him…I will send my servants unto thee to morrow about this time, and they shall search thine house, and the houses of thy servants; and it shall be, that whatsoever is pleasant in thine eyes, they shall put it in their hand, and take it away.
And, behold, there came a prophet unto Ahab king of Israel, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou seen all this great multitude? behold, I will deliver it into thine hand this day; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.
And Ahab said, By whom? And he said, Thus saith the LORD, Even by the young men of the princes of the provinces. Then he said, Who shall order the battle? And he answered, Thou. Then he numbered the young men of the princes of the provinces [trained to lead, i.e. captains], and they were 232: and after them he numbered all the people [able to go to war], even all the children of Israel, being 7,000.
And they went out at noon. But Benhadad was drinking himself drunk in the pavilions, he and the kings, the thirty and two kings that helped him…So these young men of the princes of the provinces came out of the city, and the army which followed them. And they slew every one his man: and the Syrians fled…And the king of Israel went out, and smote the horses and chariots, and slew the Syrians with a great slaughter.
And the prophet came to the king of Israel, and said unto him, Go, strengthen thyself…for at the return of the year the king of Syria will come up against thee…And it came to pass at the return of the year…and the children of Israel pitched before them like two little flocks of kids; but the Syrians filled the country.
And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the Lord, Because the Syrians have said, The LORD…is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the LORD…and the children of Israel slew of the Syrians an hundred thousand footmen in one day. But the rest fled to Aphek, into the city; and there a wall fell upon twenty and seven thousand of the men that were left. And Benhadad fled, and came into the city, into an inner chamber. And his servants said unto him, Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings…So they…came to the king of Israel, and said, Thy servant Benhadad saith, I pray thee, let me live….Then said Ahab, I will send thee away with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and sent him away.
And a certain man of the sons / students of the prophets…waited for the king by the way…And as the king passed by, he cried unto the king…Thus saith the LORD, Because thou hast let go out of thy hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people.” (I Kings 20)
“And they continued three years without war between Syria and Israel. And it came to pass in the third year, that…the king of Israel said unto his servants, Know ye that Ramoth in Gilead is ours, and we be still, and take it not out of the hand of the king of Syria? And he said unto Jehoshaphat, Wilt thou go with me to battle to Ramothgilead? And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, I am as thou art, my people as thy people, my horses as thy horses.
As a good king, possibly Jehoshaphat was trying to carry out God’s purpose for his nation, which is to draw other nations to the God of Israel. However, putting himself and his people under an unrighteous king’s control is not the way to go about it. (Ahem, get it? Any unrighteous political leader. Ringing a bell, anyone?) Also, they most certainly entered into a covenant to ally during this war, and that required Jehoshaphat to agree to include Ahab’s gods with YHVH. Forbidden.
And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and enter into the battle; but put thou on thy robes.
Clearly this was to take the brunt of the fighting, aimed at the king! The natural reaction is to wonder what is wrong with Jehoshaphat! The answer is “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death…” (Romans 6:16)
And the king of Israel disguised himself, and went into the battle…And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat…they turned aside to fight against him: and Jehoshaphat cried out…..And a certain man drew a bow at a venture [not aiming], and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness…and the king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even: and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot. So the king died, and was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria. And one washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood…according unto the word of the LORD which he spake.” (I Kings 22)
We have more records on Ahab and Jezebel than on any other kings besides David and Solomon for a reason. Jezebel is readily acknowledged to be the prototypical Whore of Babylon, the Woman who rides the Beast during the greatest tribulation ever. As such, we should expect to find a future Ahab as well. When we take the time to study these precursor events referenced by future prophecies, we find that, despite doing more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him, God gave Ahab plenty of time and rope to hang himself.
One reason, surely, is for chastening of his people. Certainly many Israelites fled south to Judah, as we find that many years later when King Josiah celebrates Passover for the first time in many generations, that it is recorded that “And there was no passover like to that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; neither did all the kings of Israel keep such a passover as Josiah kept, and the priests, and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel that were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” (II Chronicles 35:17-19)
But there is undoubtedly more to it. When I read that Ahab remained propped up in his chariot all day after he was mortally wounded, bleeding to death, my first reaction is that he was a fighter, rather heroic. But he wasn’t being heroic when he asked Jehoshaphat to cover for him, so another explanation for his behavior is that he was simply being stubborn. Reminds me of Pharaoh. And that fits.
When God sent Moses to deliver his people from Egypt’s tribulation, he showed his superior power through an escalating series of wonders. We can conclude the same circumstances occurred when he sent Elijah to deliver his people from Ahab/Jezebel’s tribulation. We can again apply this pattern of behavior when God sent John the Baptist / Elijah to deliver his people from Rome’s tribulation during Christ’s first coming. Once we take into account historic patterns of behavior we are able to recognize its future recurrence.
“I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. And if any man will hurt them,
- fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies
- These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy:
- and have power over waters to turn them to blood,
- and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.” (Revelation 11:3-6)
If we have loved ones and care at all about other people, we should be grateful for the 3 1/2 years of terrible tribulation as mounting evidence of the truth of God’s word brings people to the God of the Bible for salvation from worse yet to come.
Ahaziah the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria…And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of his father, and in the way of his mother…And Ahaziah…was sick: and he sent messengers, and said unto them, Go, enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron whether I shall recover of this disease. But the angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say unto them, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron? Now therefore thus saith the LORD, Thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die…
- Then the king sent unto him a captain of fifty with his fifty. And he went up to him: and, behold, he sat on the top of an hill. And he spake unto him, Thou man of God, the king hath said, Come down…And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.
- Again also he sent unto him another captain of fifty with his fifty. And he answered and said unto him, O man of God, thus hath the king said, Come down quickly…And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.
- And he sent again a captain of the third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and besought him, and said unto him, O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight. And the angel of the LORD said unto Elijah, Go down with him…So the king died according to the word of the LORD which Elijah had spoken…
And J(eh)oram reigned in his stead.” (II Kings 1)
The biblical account of the fall of the house of Ahab meets the high standards of any episode of Game of Thrones. I dare you to be bored with this historical account in the Bible.
And king Joram went back to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Syria.”
Just as Elijah anointed successors, so does Elisha.
“For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” (Romans 13:1)
“And Elisha the prophet called one of the children [trainees] of the prophets, and said unto him, Gird up thy loins, and take this box of oil in thine hand, and go to Ramothgilead: and when thou comest thither, look out there Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in, and make him arise up from among his brethren, and carry him to an inner chamber; Then take the box of oil, and pour it on his head, and say, Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel. Then open the door, and flee, and tarry not [this is going to be wild]. So the young man, even the young man the prophet, went to Ramothgilead.
And when he came, behold, the captains of the host were sitting; and he said, I have an errand to thee, O captain. And Jehu said, Unto which of all us? And he said, To thee, O captain. And he arose, and went into the house; and he poured the oil on his head, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I have anointed thee king over the people of the LORD, even over Israel. And thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy master, that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the Lord, at the hand of Jezebel. For the whole house of Ahab shall perish…And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her. And he opened the door, and fled.
Then Jehu came forth to the servants of his lord: and one said unto him, Is all well? wherefore came this mad fellow to thee? And he said unto them, Ye know the man, and his communication. [Figuring they were listening at the door.] And they said, It is false [no we didn’t!]; tell us now. And he said…Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel.
Then they hasted, and took every man his [protective battle] garment, and put it under him [like a bullet proof vest] on the top of the stairs, and blew with trumpets, saying, Jehu is king. So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi conspired against Joram…
And Jehu said, If it be your minds, then let none go forth nor escape out of the city to go to tell it in Jezreel. So Jehu rode in a chariot, and went to Jezreel; for Joram lay there…
And there stood a watchman on the tower in Jezreel, and he spied the company of Jehu as he came, and said, I see a company. And Joram said, Take an horseman, and send to meet them, and let him say, Is it peace? [Expecting a coup d’etate.] So there went one on horseback to meet him, and said, Thus saith the king, Is it peace? And Jehu said, What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind [to follow / join] me. And the watchman told, saying, The messenger came to them, but he cometh not again.
Then he sent out a second on horseback…And the watchman told, saying, He came even unto them, and cometh not again: and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously.
And Joram said, Make ready. And his chariot was made ready. And Joram king of Israel…went out against Jehu, and met him in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite [foreshadowing here!]. And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?
And Joram turned his hands [on the reigns], and fled…And Jehu drew a bow with his full strength, and smote Jehoram between his arms, and the arrow went out at his heart, and he sunk down in his chariot.
Some fantastic shooting from a bouncing chariot or else another “guided missile” like the one that hit Ahab.
Then said Jehu to Bidkar his captain, Take up, and cast him in the portion of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite: for remember how that, when I and thou rode together after Ahab his father, the LORD laid this burden upon him; Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth, and the blood of his sons, saith the LORD; and I will requite thee in this plat, saith the LORD. Now therefore take and cast him into the plat of ground, according to the word of the LORD.
And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window. And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?
And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who is on my side? who? And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs. And he said, Throw her down. So they threw her down: and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he trode her under foot. And when he was come in, he did eat and drink, and said, Go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her: for she is a king’s daughter. And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands. [How do I know she was tattoed? Because it was a pagan practice at that time.]
Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel: And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel. (2 Kings 9)
What emerges at this time is a pattern of half-hearted faith by the next rulers, neither hot nor cold, crying out for help under duress but not fully allying with the God who saves. Sound familiar? The result is constant conflict.
“But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the LORD God of Israel with all his heart…In those days the LORD began to cut Israel short: and Hazael king of Syria smote them in all the coasts of Israel;” (II K 10:3-33)
“Jehoahaz the son of Jehu…reigned seventeen years….the LORD…delivered them into the hand of Hazael king of Syria, and into the hand of Benhadad the son of Hazael, all their days. And Jehoahaz besought the LORD…And the LORD gave Israel a saviour, so that they went out from under the hand of the Syrians.” (II Kings 13:1-5)
“Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz…reigned sixteen years….took again out of the hand of Benhadad the son of Hazael the cities, which he had taken out of the hand of Jehoahaz his father by war..” (II Kings 13:10-11, 25)
“Jeroboam the son of J[eh]oash king of Israel…reigned forty and one years…He restored the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath unto the sea of the plain, according to the word of the Lord God of Israel, which he spake by the hand of his servant Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet, which was of Gathhepher [undoubtedly just one of the many prophecies that were not included in the final archive for the sake of limiting the size]. For the LORD saw the affliction of Israel, that it was very bitter: for there was not any shut up, nor any left, nor any helper for Israel. And the LORD said not that he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven: but he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash.” (II Kings 14:23-27)
But when Jehu’s dynasty refused to give YHVH his due credit, honor and worship, Israel’s powerful protective military fractured into militias waging civil war.
“Zachariah the son of Jeroboam reign over Israel in Samaria six months…And Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him, and smote him and reigned in his stead.” (II Kings 15:8-10)
“Shallum the son of Jabesh…reigned a full month in Samaria. [Does anyone besides me find that “full” a sarcastic commentary?] For Menahem the son of Gadi…slew him, and reigned in his stead.” (II Kings 15:13-14)
“Menahem the son of Gadi…reigned ten years in Samaria.And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not all his days from the sins of Jeroboam…Menahem smote Tiphsah…and the coasts thereof from Tirzah: because they opened not to him…and all the women therein that were with child he ripped up…And Pul the king of Assyria came against the land: and Menahem gave Pul a thousand talents of silver, that his hand might be with him to confirm the kingdom in his hand. And Menahem exacted the money of Israel, even of all the mighty men of wealth, of each man fifty shekels of silver, to give to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria turned back, and stayed not there in the land.” (II Kings 15:16-20)
“Pekahiah the son of Menahem…reigned two years. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam. But Pekah the son of Remaliah, a captain of his, conspired against him, and smote him in Samaria, in the palace of the king’s house, with Argob and Arieh, and with him fifty men of the Gileadites: and he killed him, and reigned in his room.” (II Kings 15:23-25)
“Pekah the son of Remaliah…reigned twenty years. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam…
In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and took…Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria. And Hoshea…made a conspiracy against Pekah… and slew him, and reigned in his stead.” (II Kings 15:27-30)
“Hoshea the son of Elah…reign in Samaria over Israel nine years…Against him came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria; and Hoshea became his servant, and gave him presents [euphemism for tribute]. And the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea: for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt, and brought no present to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year: therefore the king of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in prison…and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria…unto this day…
Notice how this takes Israel completely out of the Promised Land, beyond the eastern border of the Euphrates River.
And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria [built by Ahab], and dwelt in the cities thereof…
And so it was at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they feared not the LORD: therefore the LORD sent lions among them, which slew some of them. Wherefore they spake to the king of Assyria, saying, The nations which thou hast…placed in the cities of Samaria, know not the manner of the God of the land: therefore he hath sent lions among them, and, behold, they slay them, because they know not the manner of the God of the land. Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, Carry thither one of the priests whom ye brought from thence; and let them go and dwell there, and let him teach them the manner of the God of the land. Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the LORD.
Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt.
- And the men of Babylon made Succothbenoth,
- the men of Cuth made Nergal,
- the men of Hamath made Ashima,
- And the Avites made Nibhaz and Tartak,
- the Sepharvites burnt their children in fire to Adram-melech and Anam-melech.
So they feared the LORD, AND..served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence.” (II Kings 17:1-41)
These of course, are the Samaritans of the New Testament.