17:25. And when they began to dwell there, they feared not the Lord: and the Lord sent lions among them, which killed them.
17:26. And it was told the king of the Assyrians, and it was said: The nations which thou hast removed, and made to dwell in the cities of Samaria, know not the ordinances of the God of the land: and the Lord hath sent lions among them: and behold they kill them, because they know not the manner of the God of the land.
17:27. And the king of the Assyrians commanded, saying: Carry thither one of the priests whom you brought from thence captive, and let him go, and dwell with them: and let him teach them the ordinances of the God of the land.
17:28. So one of the priests, who had been carried away captive from Samaria, came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should worship the Lord.
17:29. And every nation made gods of their own and put them in the temples of the high places, which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities where they dwelt.
17:30. For the men of Babylon made Sochothbenoth: and the Cuthites made Nergel: and the men of Emath made Asima.
17:31. And the Hevites made Nebahaz, and Tharthac. And they that were of Sepharvaim burnt their children in fire, to Adramelech and Anamelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.
17:32. And nevertheless they worshipped the Lord. And they made to themselves, of the lowest of the people, priests of the high places, and they placed them in the temples of the high places.
17:33. And when they worshipped the Lord, they served also their own gods, according to the custom of the nations out of which they were brought to Samaria:
17:34. Unto this day they follow the old manner: they fear not the Lord, neither do they keep his ceremonies, and judgments, and law, and the commandment, which the Lord commanded the children of Jacob, whom he surnamed Israel:
17:35. With whom he made a covenant, and charged them, saying: You shall not fear strange gods, nor shall you adore them, nor worship them, nor sacrifice to them.
17:36. But the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, with great power, and a stretched out arm, him shall you fear, and him shall you adore, and to him shall you sacrifice.
17:37. And the ceremonies, and judgments, and law, and the commandment, which he wrote for you, you shall observe to do them always: and you shall not fear strange gods.
17:38. And the covenant that he made with you, you shall not forget: neither shall ye worship strange Gods,
17:39. But fear the Lord, your God, and he shall deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.
17:40. But they did not hearken to them, but did according to their old custom.
17:41. So these nations feared the Lord, but nevertheless served also their idols: their children also, and grandchildren, as their fathers did, so do they unto this day.
4 Kings Chapter 18
The reign of Ezechias: he abolisheth idolatry and prospereth.
Sennacherib cometh up against him: Rabsaces soliciteth the people to revolt; and blasphemeth the Lord.
18:1. In the third year of Osee, the son of Ela, king of Israel, reigned Ezechias, the son of Achaz, king of Juda.
18:2. He was five and twenty years old when he began to reign: and he reigned nine and twenty years in Jerusalem: the name of his mother was Abi, the daughter of Zacharias.
18:3. And he did that which was good before the Lord, according to all that David, his father, had done:
18:4. He destroyed the high places, and broke the statues in pieces, and cut down the groves, and broke the brazen serpent, which Moses had made: for till that time the children of Israel burnt incense to it: and he called its name Nohestan.
And he called its name Noheston... That is, their brass; or a little brass. So he called it in contempt, because they had made an idol of it.
18:5. He trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel: so that after him there was none like him among all the kings of Juda, nor any of them that were before him:
18:6. And he stuck to the Lord, and departed not from his steps, but kept his commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses.
18:7. Wherefore the Lord also was with him, and in all things, to which he went forth, he behaved himself wisely. And he rebelled against the king of the Assyrians, and served him not.
18:8. He smote the Philistines as far as Gaza, and all their borders, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.
18:9. In the fourth year of king Ezechias, which was the seventh vear of Osee, the son of Ela, king of Israel, Salmanasar, king of the Assyrians, came up to Samaria, and besieged it,
18:10. And took it. For after three years, in the sixth year of Ezechias, that is, in the ninth year of Osee, king of Israel, Samaria was taken:
18:11. And the king of the Assyrians carried away Israel into Assyria, and placed them in Hala, and in Habor, by the rivers of Gozan, in the cities of the Medes.
18:12. Because they hearkened not to the voice of the Lord, their God, but transgressed his covenant: all that Moses, the servant of the Lord, commanded, they would not hear, nor do.
18:13. In the fourteenth year of king Ezechias, Sennacherib, king of the Assyrians, came up against the fenced cities of Juda, and took them.
18:14. Then Ezechias, king of Juda, sent messengers to the king of the Assyrians, to Lachis, saying: I have offended, depart from me: and all that thou shalt put upon me, I will bear. And the king of the Assyrians put a tax upon Ezechias, king of Juda, of three hundred talents of silver, and thirty talents of gold.
18:15. And Ezechias gave all the silver that was found in the house of the Lord, and in the king's treasures.
18:16. At that time Ezechias broke the doors of the temple of the Lord, and the plates of gold which he had fastened on them, and gave them to the king of the Assyrians.
18:17. And the king of the Assyrians sent Tharthan, and Rabsaris, and Rabsaces, from Lachis, to king Ezechias, with a strong army, to Jerusalem: and they went up and came to Jerusalem, and they stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is in the way of the fuller's field.
18:18. And they called for the king: and there went out to them Eliacim, the son of Helcias, who was over the house, and Sobna, the scribe, and Joahe, the son of Asaph, the recorder.
18:19. And Rabsaces said to them: Speak to Ezechias: Thus saith the great king, the king of the Assyrians: What is this confidence, wherein thou trustest?
18:20. Perhaps thou hast taken counsel, to prepare thyself for battle.
On whom dost thou trust, that thou darest to rebel?
18:21. Dost thou trust in Egypt a staff of a broken reed, upon which if a man lean, it will break and go into his hand, and pierce it? so is Pharao, king of Egypt, to all that trust in him.
18:22. But if you say to me: We trust in the Lord, our God: is it not he, whose high places and altars Ezechias hath taken away: and hath commanded Juda and Jerusalem: You shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem?
18:23. Now therefore come over to my master, the king of the Assyrians, and I will give you two thousand horses, and see whether you be able to have riders for them.
18:24. And how can you stand against one lord of the least of my master's servants? Dost thou trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?
18:25. Is it without the will of the Lord that I am come up to this place to destroy it? The Lord said to me: Go up to this land, and destroy it.
18:26. Then Eliacim, the son of Helcias, and Sobna, and Joahe, said to Rabsaces: We pray thee, speak to us, thy servants, in Syriac: for we understand that tongue: and speak not to us in the Jews' language, in the hearing of the people that are upon the wall.
18:27. And Rabsaces answered them, saying: Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words, and not rather to the men that sit upon the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their urine with you?
18:28. Then Rabsaces stood, and cried out with a loud voice in the Jews'
language, and said: Hear the word of the great king, the king of the Assyrians.