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2Ki 17:1 In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah began Hoshea the son of Elah to reign in Samaria over Israel nine years.
Ver. 1. Began Hoshea the son of Elah to reign. ] Heb., He reigned, sc., as an absolute king, and no longer a vassal or tributary to the king of Assyria as before. a
Over Israel nine years, ] viz., Four in the days of Ahaz, and five of Hezekiah.
2Ki 17:2 And he did [that which was] evil in the sight of the LORD, but not as the kings of Israel that were before him.
Ver. 2. But not as the kings of Israel that were before him. ] For he suffered his subjects to go up to the passover celebrated by Hezekiah when he invited them, 2Ch 30:11 and to worship the Lord as they thought meet. Sulpitius Severus therefore is out when he saith of Hoshea, Hic ultra omnes superiores reges impius, &c.; this king being wicked above all that went before him, procured to himself punishment from God, and to his nation perpetual captivity. For he was better than his predecessors, as here appeareth; and the iniquity of the people was now full. It is not the last sand that exhausteth the hour glass, nor the last stroke of the axe that felleth the tree; so here.
2Ki 17:3 Against him came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria; and Hoshea became his servant, and gave him presents.
Ver. 3. Against him came up Shalmaneser. ] Son to Tiglathpileser, and father to Sennacherib; not the same with Sennacherib, as Eusebius maketh him. Under this Shalmaneser Tobias was carried captive, and he seemeth to be the same with that Shalman Hos 10:14 who "spoiled Betharbel" - famous afterwards for the overthrow of Darius there - "in the day of battle; the mother was dashed in pieces upon her children."
2Ki 17:4 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.
Ver. 4. And the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea, ] sc., With So, king of Egypt, to whom he had sent ambassadors, and afterwards denied to pay his yearly tribute, as 2 Kings 17:3 .
For he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt. ] Jerome calleth him Sua; he seemeth to be the same with Sabicon the Ethiopian, a who had taken Bocchoris in battle, and reigned in Egypt eight years in his stead. Whence Chrysostom b saith that Hoshea was confederate with the Ethiopians; and Sulpitius c saith that he sent for help to the king of the Ethiopians, who then ruled over Egypt.
b In Johan., homil, xxx.
c Hist. Sac., lib. i.
2Ki 17:5 Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years.
Ver. 5. Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land. ] Like an overflowing flood; having first seized upon the country of the Moabites, that he might leave nothing behind him that might be to his prejudice, Ar and Kirharaseth being destroyed, as had been foretold three years before. See Isaiah 16:1-14 cum notis Tremellii.
2Ki 17:6 In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor [by] the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
Ver. 6. And carried Israel away into Assyria. ] Whither Tiglathpileser had before carried five of the tribes. 1Ch 5:26 And this was the end of the Israelitish kingdom, after it had stood two hundred and fifty-four years; the time being now come of which the prophet Isaiah had spoken, saying, Within sixty-five years Ephraim shall be wasted, so that he shall not be a people. This time began, say the Hebrews, in the twenty-fifth year of Uzziah, when their carrying away captive was first threatened by Amos.
And placed them in Halah and in Habor. ] Which are in Media and Persia, saith Josephus; among the Colchians and Iberians, saith Scaliger; the Tartarians, saith Genebrard, where certain places are known still by the names of Dan, Nephthalim, and Zebulon, &c. The name also of Tartars, alias Tatari or Totari, is supposed by some to come from the Hebrew word Tothar, which signifieth a residue or remnant. Iudicium sit penes lectorem.
2Ki 17:7 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,
Ver. 7. For so it was that the children of Israel had sinned. ] Their iniquity was their ruin. Out of Hosea and Amos their sins may be gathered; and especially their abominable idolatry, contempt of God’s prophets, and abuse of his benefits. Of the ruin of the Greek empire, the historian assigneth these for the chief causes: - first the innovation and change of their ancient religion, by Michael Paleologus, whereof ensued a world of woes: then covetousness, coloured with the name of good husbandry, the utter destruction of the chief strength of the empire. Next unto that, envy, the ruin of the great; false suspect, the looser of friends; ambition, honour’s overthrow; distrust, the great mind’s torment; and foreign aid, the empire’s unfaithful porter, opening the gate even to the enemy himself; whereunto foul discord joined, what wanted that the barbarous enemy could desire, for the helping of them in the supplanting of so great an empire! a
a Turk. Hist., 178.
2Ki 17:8 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.
Ver. 8. And of the kings of Israel. ] They made them kings, and those kings made statutes of their own devising, without God’s approbation, Mic 6:16 and the people loved to have it so.
2Ki 17:9 And the children of Israel did secretly [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.
Ver. 9. And the children of Israel did secretly. ] Heb., They hid, or covered, or cloaked over what they did, see Eze 8:12 but all in vain; for God is all eye, and to him dark things appear, dumb things answer, silence itself maketh confession, as an ancient speaketh.
From the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city, ] i.e., From one corner of the country to another: a proverbial speech.
2Ki 17:10 And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree:
Ver. 10. In every high hill. ] Where they "poured forth their whoredoms," Eze 16:20-26 and "this had been their custom from their youth." Eze 23:8
2Ki 17:11 And there they burnt incense 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:
Ver. 11. To provoke the Lord to anger. ] As if they had done all this expressly and on purpose.
2Ki 17:12 For they served idols, whereof the LORD had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing.
Ver. 12. Whereof the Lord had said, Ye shall not. ] But they did it the rather; taking occasion by the law, that their sin might appear to be exceeding sinful. Rom 7:13 Such is the canker of our vile natures, that the more God forbids a thing, the more we bid for it. Nitimur in vetitum semper petimusque negata.
2Ki 17:13 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.
Ver. 13. Yet the Lord testified against Israel. ] He left not himself without witness; but them utterly without excuse.
Turn you from your evil ways. ] This was the voice of all the prophets; as of Christ and his apostles, Repent, amend your lives, which is the same.
2Ki 17:14 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.
Ver. 14. But hardened their necks. ] Adding to their sinews of iron (natural impudency), brows of brass, notorious impudency in sin. Isa 48:8
2Ki 17:15 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.
Ver. 15. And they rejected his statutes. ] With extreme contempt; Non unius tantum sed omnium quae caelestis sapientiae sunt, as one here glosseth.
And went after the heathen that were round about them. ] A Lapide here complaineth, but without cause, that in like sort the neighbour kingdoms of Germany, France, Switzerland, Denmark, England, Scotland, &c., were infected with the Lutheran heresy - so he blasphemously calleth the truth according to godliness - from Saxony, by the means of heretical merchants especially.
2Ki 17:16 And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, [even] two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.
Ver. 16. And they left all the commandments of God. ] So they will soon do, who take liberty to leave any; for the whole law is but one copulative, as the schools speak.
All the host of heaven. ] So the heavenly bodies, sun, moon, and stars are called, for their (1.) number; (2.) order; (3.) obedience.
2Ki 17:17 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 the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
Ver. 17. And they caused their sons. ] See on 2 Kings 16:3 .
And used divination. ] Dealt with the devil.
2Ki 17:18 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.
Ver. 18. Removed them out of his sight. ] That since they would not live by his laws, they should not live in his land, quippe qui moribus suis quam legibus uti mallent. a
a Val. Max.
2Ki 17:19 Also Judah kept not the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made.
Ver. 19. Also Judah. ] Being the worse for Israel’s ill neighbourhood, Hos 4:14 and therefore the worse, because she should have been better by such a warning. Jer 3:8
2Ki 17:20 And the LORD 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.
Ver. 20. And the Lord rejected. ] Making them to become Loammi, and Loruhamah, according to Hosea 1:6 ; Hosea 1:9 .
And delivered them into the hand of spoilers. ] So that when to leave their dear country, they cried out to the mountains to cover them, and to the hills to fall upon them, according to Hosea 10:8 .
2Ki 17:21 For he rent Israel from the house of David; and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king: and Jeroboam drave Israel from following the LORD, and made them sin a great sin.
Ver. 21. For he rent Israel. ] Or, Israel rent itself; and became miserable by their own election.
And Jeroboam drove Israel. ] By fraud and by force. So seducers are said to "thrust men out of the way." Deu 13:5
2Ki 17:22 For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them;
Ver. 22. Walked in the sins of Jeroboam. ] And nothing would cure them of this leprosy, but captivity.
They departed not from them. ] Nothing is more pertinacious than a strong corruption.
2Ki 17:23 Until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.
Ver. 23. Until the Lord removed. ] See on 2 Kings 17:18 .
Unto this day. ] Wrath is come upon them to the utmost, if not to the very end, as the Greek hath it. 1Th 2:16
2Ki 17:24 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, and dwelt in the cities thereof.
Ver. 24. And the king of Assyria. ] First Shalmaneser, as here, and then his grandson Esarhaddon. Ezr 4:2 These colonies were afterwards called Samaritans. Mat 10:5 Luk 9:52 Joh 4:4
2Ki 17:25 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.
Ver. 25. That they feared not the Lord. ] As he expected they should some way own him in a land which he was pleased to own. To do wickedly in a land of uprightness is a foul business. Isa 26:10
2Ki 17:26 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.
Ver. 26. Know not the manner of the god of the land. ] They foolishly thought that each land had its proper god, whenas both they and their posterity worshipped they knew not what; Joh 4:22 worshipped devils. Rev 9:20
2Ki 17:27 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.
Ver. 27. Carry thither one of the priests. ] One of Jeroboam’s priests, for want of a better. Docendi munus suscipit quisquis ad sacerdotium accedit. An unteaching priest is a monster. 2Ch 15:3
2Ki 17:28 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.
Ver. 28. And taught them how they should fear the Lord. ] Timore cultus, non culpae; fear him at least as the idolatrous Israelites did Servile fear materially is not evil, but formally and eventually, because joined with a hatred of him we fear, saith Ribera.
2Ki 17:29 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.
Ver. 29. Made gods of their own. ] Goodly gods, that were made of men. Olim truncus eram ficulnus, &c. God made man after his own image, and men, to be even with him, will needs make gods after their image. See Romans 1:23 2 Corinthians 8:5 .
Every nation in the cities. ] So each city had its own god, and lest they should miss of the right, they closed their petitions with that general Diique deaeque omnes; or, as Medics doth in the tragedy, O Deus quisquis es, vel in caelo vel in terra; O God, whoever thou art in heaven or earth. a But God requireth that we be at a better certainty. Heb 11:6 Mat 16:15
a Servius in Georgic, lib. i.
2Ki 17:30 And the men of Babylon made Succothbenoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima,
Ver. 30. Succothbenoth. ] This idol was made in the form of a hen hurking her chickens. Most of these names of heathenish deities are Syriac and Chaldee. Nergol significth a woodcock, or a rooster (roostcock); Asima, a goat or wolf; Nibhaz, a dog; Tartak, an ass. Adrammelech and Anammelech were idols made in the shape of a horse and a mule. See here Rom 1:23 verified, and bless God who hath taught us better. Gildas saith that our forefathers were gross idolaters, and that their gods were portenta diabolica, poene numero Aegyptiaca vincentia, devilish fray-bugs (bogies), as many in number almost as those of Egypt.
2Ki 17:31 And the Avites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burnt their children in fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.
Ver. 31. Made Nibhaz and Tartak. ] A dog and an ass, as 2 Kings 17:30 . So the Africans worshipped a dog; the Persians, a cock; the Mendesians, a goat, &c. The people of the East Indies, in the isle Ceylon, having an ape’s tooth got from them which they had consecrated, offered an incredible mass of treasure to recover it.
2Ki 17:32 So they feared the LORD, and made unto themselves of the lowest of them priests of the high places, which sacrificed for them in the houses of the high places.
Ver. 32. So they feared the Lord. ] They did, and they did not; 2Ki 17:34 they feared him for his lions, as the old Romans served their Veioves, that they might not hurt them, and their gods Rubigus, Orbona, Febris, &c., for the same reason. a So the poor Indians do at this day worship the devil, that he may not whip them.
a Rosin., Ant., ii. 21.
2Ki 17:33 They feared the LORD, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence.
Ver. 33. They feared the Lord. ] Religione mixta et interimistica. See 2 Kings 17:32 .
And served their own gods. ] So Redwald, the first king of the East Saxons that was baptized, had in the same church one altar for Christian religion, and another for sacrifice to devils. a The Papists do no less. Rev 9:20 Neither doth their distinction of Latria and Dulia excuse them.
2Ki 17:34 Unto this day they do after the former manners: they fear not the LORD, neither do they after their statutes, or after their ordinances, or after the law and commandment which the LORD commanded the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel;
Ver. 34. They fear not the Lord. ] Rightly they feared him not, because neither truly nor totally: their religion was a galimaufrey, a mixture of true and false, which is as good as none; for God will not part stakes with the devil at any hand. Such a religion is a mere irreligion, because contrary, (1.) To God’s law, which rejecteth heathen rites; 2 Kings 17:34 ; 2 Kings 17:36-37 ; 2Ki 17:39-40 (2.) To God’s covenant, which heathens have nothing to do with. 2 Kings 17:33 ; 2Ki 17:38 The mongrel religion of the Samaritans was afterwards refined by Manasseh, a Jewish priest, that in Alexander’s time made a defection to them, and brought many Jews with him.
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 17". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://studylight.org/
the Second Week of Advent