Dave Burnette's Commentary

2 Kings Chapter 17

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Jeremiah
Date Penned: (586 BC)
Overview: A History of the Kings of Israel and Judah (c 1-25)
Theme: A Divided Kingdom (c 1-17)
Message: Hoshea Rules Israel (v 1-41)

2 Kings 17 Commentary 

(17:3-4) Hosea Decides to Rebel - Shalmaneser V (727-722 BC), who had become king of Assyria after Tiglath-pileser. He continued to demand heavy tribute from Israel. Israel's King Hoshea decided to rebel against Assyria and join forces with King So of Egypt. This was not only foolish but also against God's commands. To destroy this alliance, Shalmaneser attacked and besieged Samaria for three years. Just before Samaria fell, however, Shalmaneser died. His successor, Sargon II, took credit for capturing the city, destroying the nation of Israel, and carrying away its people

(17:5-6) Assyria Destroys Israel - This was Assyria's third and final invasion of Israel. (The first two invasions are recorded in 15:19 and 15:29.) The first wave had been merely a warning to the people of Israel--to avoid further attack, they were required to pay money and not rebel. At that point the people should have learned their lesson and returned to God. When they didn't, God had allowed Assyria to invade again, this time carrying off some captives from the northern border. But the people still did not realize that they had caused their own troubles. Thus, Assvria invaded for the third and final time, completely destroying the northern kingdom of Israel, carrying away most of the people, and resettling the land with foreigners. God was doing what he had said he would do (Deuteronomy 28). He had given Israel ample warning; they should have known what would come, but they ignored God and his law. Israel was now no better than the pagan nations it had destroyed in the days of Joshua. God's people had turned sour and rejected their original purpose to honor God and be a light to the world.

(1:7) The Lord Judged Israel - The Lord judged the people of Israel because they had copied the evil customs of the surrounding nations, worshiping false gods, accommodating pagan customs, and following their own desires. Those who create their own religion tend to live selfishly. And to live for oneself, as the people of Israel learned, brings serious consequences from God. Sometimes following God is difficult and painful, but consider the alternative. You can live for God or die for yourself. Determine to be God's person and do what he says regardless of the cost. What God thinks of you is infinitely more important than what those around you think (See Romans 12:1-2; 1 John 2:15-


(17:9) God Judges Sin - Ruin came upon Israel for the people's public sins and their secret sins. Not only did they condone wickedness and idolatry in public, but they also committed even worse sins in private, taking idols into their towns and homes. Secret sins are the ones we don't want others to know about because they are embarrassing or incriminating. Sins done in private are not secret to God, and secret defiance of him is just as damaging as open rebellion.

(1713-15) The People Forgot God's Word - The people took on the characteristics of the idols and imitated the godless nations around them. They had forgotten the importance and benefits of obeying God's word. The king and the people had become mired in wickedness. Time and again God had sent prophets to warn them of how far they had turned away from him and to call them to turn back. God's patience and mercy are beyond our ability to understand. He will pursue us until we either respond to him or, by our own choice and hardness of heart, make ourselves unreachable. Then God's judgment will be swift and sure. The only right decision is to turn to God before our stubbornness puts us out of his reach.

(17:16) Objects of Pagan Worship - The "host of heaven" refers to the sun, moon, and constellations, which were the objects of pagan worship practices. This verse is referring to Assyrian gods that were being added to the Israelites' religion. (See also 21:1- 6; 23:4-5.)

(17:17) Paganism and the Occult - God had forbidden witchcraft, fortune telling, and black magic (Deuteronomy 18:9-14). They were sinful because using them meant seeking power and guidance totally apart from God, his law, and the words of his prophets. Isaiah echoed this law and prophesied of the complete destruction these occult practices would bring to those who participated in them (Isaiah 8:19-22). Today, people sometimes consult horoscopes, tarot cards, crystals, and Quija boards for advice. Such practices should be avoided by Christians. Not only are they against God's law, but they also open the door to Satan's influence.

(17:23) God's Word Comes to Pass - Israel was taken into exile, just as God's prophets had warned. Whatever God wills and says will come to pass. This, of course, is good news to those who trust and obey him; they can be confident of his promises. But it is bad news to those who ignore and disobey him. Both the promises and warnings God has given in his Word will surely come true.

(17:24) The Samaritans - Moving the Israelites out and moving foreigners in was Assyria's resettlement policy to prevent revolt. Spreading the Israelite captives across the Assyrian Empire prevented their uniting, and repopulating Israel with foreign captives made it difficult for the remaining Israelites to unite as well. This mixture of peoples resettled in Israel came to be known as Samaritans. They were despised by the Jews, even at the time of Christ (John 4:9).

(17:27-29) Appease Instead of Please - The new settlers in Israel worshiped God without giving up their pagan customs. They worshiped God to appease him rather than to please him, treating him as a good luck charm or just another idol to add to their collection. A similar attitude is common today. Many people claim to believe in God while refusing to give up attitudes and actions that God denounces. God cannot be added to the values we already have. He must come first, and his Word must shape all our actions and attitudes.

(17:29-31)  Israel was conquered because the people had lost sight of the only true God and the importance of following him. When conquering the land, the Israelites were told to destroy the idolatrous influences that could lead them away from God. Their failure to do so brought about their ruin. Here they faced an even greater influx of gods from the many pagan peoples moving into the land.


Dave Burnette's Life Application

Repent - While You Can


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Today we continue the book of 2 Kings with Chapter 17.  In our text, we see  Israel is exiled to Assyria as Hoshea rules Israel. The rejection of God caused Israel's exile, and foreigners came to populate the land. What catches my eye is how grace ends, and judgment commences on the land. Now for generations, Israel continued to worship other Gods. In applying, we see how God's grace does end, and the hand of judgment will come to sinners. Today we see our land sinning against God and foolishly think there is no judgment for sin. Abortion, homosexuality, promiscuity, gambling, drunkenness, and modern-day idol worship will soon see God's Grace come to an end, and the wrath of God comes full circle. How about you? Do you know the grace of God is coming to an end, and the wrath of God coming to this land? Let us repent and turn from our sins by learning from today's text and other examples of grace and judgment in the Bible. As Jesus said, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye and believe the gospel."


2 Kings 17

2 Kings 17

 1In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah began Hoshea the son of Elah to reign in Samaria over Israel nine years.

 2And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, but not as the kings of Israel that were before him.

 3Against him came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria; and Hoshea became his servant, and gave him presents.

 4And 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.

 5Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years.

 6In 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.

 7For 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,

 8And 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.

 9And 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.

 10And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree:

 11And 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:

 12For they served idols, whereof the LORD had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing.

 13Yet 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.

 14Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God.

 15And 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.

 16And 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.

 17And 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.

 18Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only.

 19Also Judah kept not the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made.

 20And 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.

 21For 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.

 22For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them;

 23Until 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.

 24And 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.

 25And 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.

 26Wherefore 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.

 27Then 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.

 28Then 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.

 29Howbeit 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.

 30And the men of Babylon made Succothbenoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima,

 31And the Avites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burnt their children in fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.

 32So 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.

 33They feared the LORD, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence.

 34Unto 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;

 35With whom the LORD had made a covenant, and charged them, saying, Ye shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them:

 36But the LORD, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and a stretched out arm, him shall ye fear, and him shall ye worship, and to him shall ye do sacrifice.

 37And the statutes, and the ordinances, and the law, and the commandment, which he wrote for you, ye shall observe to do for evermore; and ye shall not fear other gods.

 38And the covenant that I have made with you ye shall not forget; neither shall ye fear other gods.

 39But the LORD your God ye shall fear; and he shall deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.

 40Howbeit they did not hearken, but they did after their former manner.

 41So these nations feared the LORD, and served their graven images, both their children, and their children's children: as did their fathers, so do they unto this day.