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Then Amaziah the priest of Beth-el sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying: "Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel: the land is not able to bear all his words. For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land." Also Amaziah said unto Amos: "O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there: but prophesy not again any more at Beth-el: for it is the king's chapel, and it is the king's court." Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah: "I am no prophet, neither am I a prophet's son; but I am an herdman, and a pincher1 of sycomore fruit: and the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel. Now therefore hear thou the word of the Lord: Thou sayest, Prophesy not against Israel, and drop not thy word against the house of Isaac. Therefore thus saith the Lord; Thy wife shall be an harlot in the city, and thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword, and thy land shall be divided by line; and thou shalt die in a polluted land and Israel shall surely go into captivity forth of his land."
Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, and all that he did, and his might, how he warred, and how he recovered Damascus, and Hamath for Israel, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? 2 And Jeroboam slept with his fathers, even with the kings of Israel; and Zechariah his son reigned in his stead.
Zechariah (2 Kings xv. 8-12). In the thirty and eighth year of Azariah king of Judah did Zechariah the son of Jeroboam reign over Israel in Samaria six months. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, as his fathers had done: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. And Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired
1 pincher. The sycomore fig required pinching or scraping to bring it into proper condition for eating.
2 Jeroboam's long reign owed its prosperity largely to the crippling of Damascus by Assyria. The moral and religious corruption of his time called into activity not only Amos, but towards the end of his reign - Hosea. Amos preached especially against the moral remissness of the well-to-do, urging that they could not please Jehovah with their lavish worship at his altars, so long as they practiced oppression and vice. Hosea attacked the worship itself, as corrupted by sensual and superstitious features which made it practically worship of Baal.
against him, and smote him in Ibleam, and slew him, and reigned in his stead. And the rest of the acts of Zechariah, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel. This was the word of the Lord which he spake unto Jehu, saying: "Thy sons shall sit on the throne of Israel unto the fourth generation." And so it came to pass.
Shallum (2 Kings xv. 13-15). Shallum the son of Jabesh began to reign in the nine and thirtieth year of Uzziah king of Judah; and he reigned a full month in Samaria. For Menahem the son of Gadi went up from Tirzah, and came to Samaria, and smote Shallum the son of Jabesh in Samaria, and slew him, and reigned in his stead. And the rest of the acts of Shallum, and his conspiracy which he made, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
Menahem (2 Kings xv. 16-22). Then Menahem smote Tappuah, and all that were therein, and the coasts thereof from Tirzah: because they opened not to him, therefore he smote it; and all the women therein that were with child he ripped up. In the nine and thirtieth year of Azariah king of Judah began Menahem the son of Gadi to reign over Israel, and reigned ten years in Samaria. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. In his days Pul1 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. And the rest of the acts of Menahem, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? And Menahem slept with his fathers; and Pekahiah his son reigned in his stead.
Pekahiah (2 Kings xv. 23-26). In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekahiah the son of Menahem began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned two years. And he did that
1 Pul. Tiglath-pileser III, who reigned 745-728 B. C. He has left it recorded that in 738 B. C. he received tribute from Menahem of Samaria.'
which was evil in the sight of the Lord: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. 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, and with him fifty men of the Gileadites: and he killed him, and reigned in his room. And the rest of the acts of Pekahiah, and all that he did, behold, they are written in the book of the chi nicles of the kings of Israel.
Pekah (2 Kings xv. 27-31). In the two and fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekah the son of Remaliah began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned twenty years. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abel-beth-maachah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria.1 And Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and smote him, and slew him, and reigned in his stead, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah. And the rest of the acts of Pekah, and all that he did, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
Hoshea (2 Kings xvii. 1-4). In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah began Hoshea the son of Elah to reign in Samaria over Israel nine years. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, but not as the kings of Israel that were before him. Against him came up Shalmaneser 2 king of Assyria; and Hoshea became his servant, and gave him presents. And the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea: for he had sent messengers to So3 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.
1 This seizure of the northern district of the kingdom (in 734 B. C.) was in requital for Pekah's attempt, with Rezin of Damascus, to force Judah to join them in a coalition against Assyria. See p. 398. The practice of deporting the inhabitants of conquered districts was intended to break down national lines between the subject peoples, and thus make such coalitions difficult.
2 Shalmaneser IV (727-722 B. C.).
8 So or Sewe was probably one of the petty dynasts of the Nile Delta.
The Fall of Samaria (2 Kings xvii. 5-18). Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria1 took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods, and walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made. And the children of Israel devised those things that were not right against the Lord their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city. And they set them up pillars and asherim in every high hill, and under every green tree and there they sacrificed in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the Lord carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the Lord to anger: for they served idols, whereof the Lord had said unto them, "Ye shall not do this thing." Yet the Lord testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying: "Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets." Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the Lord their God. And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the Lord had charged them, that they should not do like them. And they left all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made an asherah, and worshipped all the host of heaven,2 and served Baal. And they caused their sons
1 This king was Sargon (723-705 B. C.). His inscription says: "Samaria I besieged and took; . 27,290 of its people I carried away; fifty chariots I collected from them; the rest I allowed to keep their property; people from all lands, my captives, I settled there; I set my officers as governors over them, and imposed tribute."
2 all the host of heaven. See note, p. 407.
and their daughters to pass through the fire,1 and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger. Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only.
Origin of the Samaritans (2 Kings xvii. 23–33, 41). So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day. And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Avva, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, 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 removed, and 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 Beth-el, 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 Succoth-benoth,2 and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima, and the Avites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burnt their
1 caused their sons fire. Sacrificed their children to Molech, a practice that in the seventh century became common in Judah, at a place called Topheth just outside Jerusalem. Molech (or Moloch, properly Melech, 'King'), though identified on p. 325 with Milcom, the national god of Ammon, was probably not thought of as other than Jehovah. The cult seems to have been due to Phonician influence, perhaps also to a popular misconception of the law that the firstborn should be dedicated to God.
2 Succoth-benoth. This name has not yet been explained.
8 Nergal. A Babylonian god of war and of the nether world, worshipped especially at Kutu. The other deities here mentioned are obscure.