Israel Carried Captive to Assyria

A mother once approached Napoleon seeking a pardon for her son. The emperor replied that the young man had committed a certain offense twice and justice demanded death. “But I don’t ask for justice, the mother explained. “I plead for mercy.? “But your son does n … More


Elisha tells Ahab that there will be no rain in the land except by his word (v. 1). Then the Lord to go and hide himself near the brook Cherith (vv. 2-3). Elishia did as the Lord told him and a drought came and the Lord fed him till the brook dried up (vv. 4-6). The last king to reign in Israel was Hoshea who gained the throne by conspiracy (15:30). He was an evil king, but he did not rank with his predecessors. He reigned for nine years until Samaria fell to Assyria. Meanwhile, Tiglath-pileser III died and his son, Shalmaneser, became the king of Assyria to which Hoshea paid a tax. After six years of paying these taxes he stopped and sought help from Egypt. It is ironic that Hoshea, the last king of Israel, sought help from Egypt when 724 years earlier they had finally escaped from Egypt.

This was a foolish mistake because Egypt did not and apparently could not help Hoshea. When Shalmaneser discovered Hoshea’s plan to revolt he marched on Israel, and took him prisoner. Then while Israel was without a functioning king, the Assyrians came through the land, taking the smaller cities first and finally they took Samaria and Israel fell permanently.

In this passage we not only review Israel’s history, but also list the many reasons why Israel deserved the judgement she received (vv. 7-23). Israel did not fall to Assyria because God was helpless to rescue her. God graciously sent prophets repeatedly to warn Israel to turn from her idolatry and return to God. The judgement of God was inevitable for Judah if she did not repent.


God’s patience and mercy are beyond my ability to understand. He will pursue me until I either respond to Him or by my own choice make myself unreachable.


II Kings 17:1-23 (English Standard Version)

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