The gentile nations in the Shomron are attacked by lions and convert

Melachim 2-Chapter 17

The cities of Shomron are resettled with Gentiles who are attacked by lions and convert:

  • The king of Ashur brought people from Babylonia and from Cutah and Avva and Chamas and Sefarvaim, and he settled them in the cities of Shomron in place of the Jewish people, and they took possession of Shomron and dwelt in its cities.
  • Hashem sends lions to attack the Gentile people: When the gentile nations lived in these cities, they did not fear Hashem, and Hashem incited lions against them, and they were killed by the lions.
  • The Gentiles of the land complain to the king of Ashur: The Gentile nations living in the Shomron complained to the king of Ashur about their predicament, telling him that they are not aware of what the God of this land desires of them, and He has incited lions against them, and they are killing them, as they do not know which laws God wants them to follow in this land.
  • A priest is sent to the land to teach them the laws of God: The king of Ashur instructed for a priest of the Jewish people to be brought from exile back to their city in order to teach them the law of God. So, one of the priests whom they had exiled from Shomron came and settled in Beis Eil, and he taught them how they should fear Hashem.
  • The Gentile nations serve their idolatry in the land: Each of the Gentile nations who lived in the cities of Israel made for themselves deities of their original land. The people of Babylonia made idols in the form of a female chicken with her chicks, and the people of Cuth made an idols in the form of a male chicken, and the people of Chamas made idols in the form of a goat and the people of Avvim made idols in the form of a dog and donkeys. The Sefarvite people burnt their children alive in a fire to Adramelech and Anamelech, the deities of Sepharvaim, who were in the form of a mule and horse. They feared Hashem and made some of them priests of the high places, and they would practice their [rites] in the temple of the high places.
  • The Gentile nations nonetheless also fear God and convert even though they continue serving idols: Although the gentile nations worshipped their deities, as was their custom in their original lands that they were exiled from, nonetheless, they [converted to Judaism due to their fear of the lions[1]] and also feared God to some degree. However, they did not fully follow the rules of the Torah and continued to also serve idolatry, and follow in their earlier ways. This continued throughout all their generations and their descendants follow these ways until today.

[1] Rashi 17:34

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