The kingdom of Israel is exiled by Ashur

Melachim 2 Chapter 17

Shalmaneser conquers the kingdom of Israel and exiles the 10 tribes:

  • Shalmaneser makes Hosheia pay him a tribute: Shalmaneser, the king of Ashur, went up against him, and Hoshea became his servant, and had to pay him tribute.
  • Shalmaneser imprisons Hosheia: Shalmaneser the king of Ashur discovered that Hosheia had conspired against him and that he sent messengers to Su, the king of Egypt, and did not pay tribute to the king of Ashur that year. So, the king of Ashur arrested him and confined him in a prison.
  • Shalmaneser besieges and exiles the Jewish people: Shalmaneser the king of Ashur went up to conquer the entire land of the kingdom of Israel, and he went up to Shomron and besieged it for three years. In the ninth year of reign of Hosheia, Shalmaneser the king of Ashur conquered the city of Shomron and exiled the Israelites to Ashur. He settled them in the countries of Bachlach, and in Chavur, the Gozan River, and the cities of Media.

2.      The sins of the Jewish people that caused God to exile them:

  • Serving idolatry: The Jewish people sinned against Hashem who brought them up from the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh the king of Egypt, and they feared other deities.
  • Following the ways of the Gentiles: They followed the ways of the Gentile nations whom Hashem had driven out from the land of Israel. The kings of Israel also went in these ways and practiced idolatry.
  • Denying divine providence: The Jewish people fabricated false ideas about Hashem their God [such as to say that He does not see them or listen to them, and denied his divine providence over them[1]].
  • Building altars for idolatry: The Jewish people built for themselves altars for idolatry in all their cities, from the watchtower to the fortified cities.
  • Building monuments and idolatry trees: The Jewish people erected for themselves monuments and Asheira trees on every high hill and under every green tree.
  • Offering incense to idolatry: They offered incense to idolatry on their altars, as did the nations that Hashem had exiled from the land of Israel, and they did evil things to anger Hashem. They worshipped the idols which Hashem had warned them against.
  • G-d warns the Jewish people to repent but they do not heed His call: Hashem had warned the kingdom of Israel and Yehuda through their prophets telling them to repent from their evil ways, and to keep G-d’s commandments. However, they did not listen to the reproof of the prophets, and they hardened their necks and were stubborn like their ancestors who did not believe in Hashem their God. They despised the laws of His Torah and went after vein and worthless things.
  • A list of their sins of idolatry: They forsook all the commandments of Hashem, and made for themselves two molten calves, an Asherah, tree and they worshipped and bowed down to all of the legions of the heavens, and they worshipped the idolatry of Baal.
  • The sin of Molech: The Jewish people passed their sons and daughters through fire as was done by the idolatry of Molech.
  • The sin of sorcery: The Jewish people practiced enchantment and divination and other forbidden forms of sorcery.
  • Addiction to evil: The Jewish people became addicted to do all that was evil in the eyes of Hashem.
  • The punishment of the Jewish people: Hashem became very angry with Israel, and He decided to punish them and exile them from before Him. All the tribes were exiled from the land and there was no tribe left but the tribe of Yehuda alone.
  • The sins of the tribe of Yehudah: Also the tribe of Yehuda sinned and did not observe the commandments of Hashem, and they followed the practices of the kingdom of Israel. Hashem despised all of the Jewish people, and He oppressed them, and delivered them into the hands of plunderers until He eventually threw them away from before Him and exiled them from His land.
  • The sins of Yeravam Ben Nevat: The people of Israel had torn away from the house of David and had appointed Yeravam the son of Nevat as king, and Yeravam led the Jewish people astray from the ways of God and caused them to commit a grave sin. The children of Israel followed all the sins that were committed by Yeravam. As a result, Hashem removed the Jewish people from His Presence, as Hashem had warned through his prophets, and Jewish people were exiled from their land to the land of Ashur until this day.

[1] See Radak and Metzudos Dovid 17:9

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