Bibelen på hverdagsdansk

Anden Kongebog 17

Eksilet—Guds dom over Israel

1I kong Ahaz af Judas 12. regeringsår blev Hosea, Elas søn, konge i Israel. Han regerede i Samaria i ni år. Han gjorde, hvad der var ondt i Herrens øjne, men ikke så slemt som hans forgængere på Israels trone.

Kong Shalmanesar af Assyrien angreb og besejrede kong Hosea, så Israel måtte betale skat til den assyriske konge. Men Hosea gjorde oprør imod assyrerkongen, idet han henvendte sig til kong So af Egypten og bad ham om hjælp i sit forsøg på at befri Israel fra det assyriske tyranni. Samtidig nægtede Hosea at betale skat til Assyrien. Da skatten udeblev, sendte assyrerkongen bud efter Israels konge og lod ham kaste i fængsel.

Assyrerkongen drog derefter med sin hær til Israel og belejrede hovedstaden Samaria i tre år. I kong Hoseas niende regeringsår måtte byen endelig overgive sig. Israels folk blev deporteret til Assyrien og anbragt i kolonier i byen Halach, i Gozan ved Haborfloden, og i en række mediske byer.

Nordrigets indbyggere blev sendt i eksil, fordi de dyrkede afguderne og derved syndede imod Herren, deres Gud, som havde ført dem ud af fangenskabet i Egypten. Anført af Israels konger begyndte de at følge de samme ugudelige skikke, som blev praktiseret af de folkeslag, som Herren havde jaget ud af landet for at give plads til sit eget folk. Israels folk trodsede deres Gud ved at gøre mange ting, som var forkert i Herrens øjne. De indrettede offerhøje rundt omkring i landet i både små og store byer, 10 og de opstillede frugtbarhedssymboler og afgudsbilleder på alle offerhøjene og under de store træer. 11 De brændte afgudsofre på højene, sådan som folkene, der boede i landet før dem, havde gjort. Alle disse onde handlinger skete i oprør mod Herren, 12 for folket tilbad disse afguder på trods af, at Herren klart havde sagt, at det måtte de ikke gøre.

13 Gang på gang havde Herren sendt sine profeter for at advare Israel og Juda. Budskabet var altid det samme: „Hold op med jeres afgudsdyrkelse og adlyd i stedet de love og anvisninger, som jeg gav jeres forfædre ved mine profeters medvirken.” 14 Men de ville ikke høre efter. De var lige så oprørske som deres forfædre, der ikke havde tillid til, at Herren, deres Gud, ville sørge for dem. 15 De forkastede hans love, den pagt han havde oprettet med deres forfædre og stentavlerne med de ti bud, som han havde givet dem. De tilbad indholdsløse afguder og endte selv i tomhed. De efterlignede de folkeslag, som Herren havde sagt, de ikke måtte efterligne. 16 De lod hånt om Herrens, deres Guds, bud ved at tilbede to gudebilleder i form af guldkalve. De opstillede søjler for Ashera, og de tilbad Baʼal, foruden solen, månen og stjernerne. 17 Ja, de ofrede tilmed deres egne børn som brændofre. De opsøgte okkulte medier og gjorde brug af trolddom. De solgte deres sjæl til at gøre, hvad der var ondt i Herrens øjne. På den måde gjorde de oprør imod Herren, 18 og han blev meget vred på Israel og sendte dem langt væk, indtil der kun var en rest tilbage i landet, nemlig Judas stamme.

19 Men også Juda nægtede at adlyde Herrens, deres Guds, bud. De fremturede i samme synd og ondskab, som Israel var begyndt på. 20 Derfor forkastede Herren alle Jakobs efterkommere. Han straffede dem ved at udlevere dem til deres fjender, indtil alle var ført i landflygtighed.

21 Dengang Herren rev Israels rige ud af Davidslægtens hånd, valgte de Jeroboam, Nebats søn, til konge. Det var ham, der lokkede folket til synd og indførte afgudsdyrkelsen. 22 Og Israels folk fortsatte derefter ad den vej, Jeroboam havde ledt dem ind på, 23 indtil det kom til det punkt, hvor Herren måtte forvise dem fra deres land, helt i overensstemmelse med profeternes advarsler. Det er baggrunden for Israels landflygtighed i Assyrien i dag.

Nybyggerne i Israel

24 Assyriens konge sørgede for at forflytte store menneskemængder fra byerne Babylon, Kuta, Avva, Hamat og Sefarvajim til Samarias byer, så de kunne befolke landet i stedet for israelitterne. Således overtog assyrerne Samaria og de andre byer i Israel og bosatte sig der. 25 Men fordi nybyggerne ikke fra begyndelsen tilbad Herren, sendte Herren løver iblandt dem, så mange af dem blev dræbt.

26 Da skyndte de sig at sende følgende budskab til den assyriske konge: „Vi nybyggere her i Israel kender ikke landets Gud, og nu har han sendt løver iblandt os, som dræber os, fordi vi ikke tilbeder ham.”

27 Assyrerkongen gav derefter ordre til, at en af de bortførte præster skulle vende tilbage til Israel og lære nybyggerne at dyrke Israels Gud. 28 Da rejste en præst, som oprindelig var kommet fra Samaria, tilbage til Israel og bosatte sig i Betel med det formål at forklare, hvordan man tilbeder Herren.

29 Men nybyggerne opgav ikke af den grund deres afgudsdyrkelse. Hver koloni lavede billeder af deres egne guder og opstillede dem på de offersteder, som allerede fandtes i landet. 30 Folk fra Babylon dyrkede deres gud Sukkot-Benot, folk fra Kuta dyrkede Nergal, folk fra Hamat dyrkede Ashima, 31 guderne Nibhaz og Tartak blev dyrket af avvijitterne, og folk fra Sefarvajim brændte endog deres børn som et udtryk for deres ærefrygt for guderne Adrammelek og Anammelek.

32 Samtidig ofrede de til Herren, Israels Gud. De udnævnte deres egne præster, som skulle ofre til Herren ved de offersteder, der var indrettet på bakketoppene. 33 Men de holdt fast ved deres nationale og religiøse skikke, som de havde taget med sig hjemmefra. 34 Sådan er det den dag i dag. De tilbeder ikke Herren af hjertet eller adlyder de love, han gav til Jakobs efterkommere, den Jakob hvis navn blev ændret til Israel. 35-36 For det var med Jakobs efterkommere Herren oprettede sin pagt, da han befalede dem aldrig at tilbede eller ofre til nogen afguder. De måtte kun tilbede Herren, der havde ført dem ud af Egypten med vældig kraft og store mirakler. 37 Jakobs efterkommere skulle adlyde alle Guds love og aldrig tilbede fremmede guder. 38 Gud havde sagt: „Glem aldrig den pagt, jeg her har oprettet med jer, så I dyrker andre guder. 39 Tilbed Herren alene. Han alene kan frelse jer fra jeres fjender.”

40 Men Israel ville ikke høre efter. De blev ved med at ofre til afguderne. 41 Nybyggerne fra Babylon ofrede til Israels Gud samtidig med, at de ofrede til deres egne guder. Og sådan er det fortsat helt frem til i dag.

New International Reader's Version

2 Kings 17

Hoshea the Last King of Israel

1Hoshea became king of Israel in Samaria. It was in the 12th year that Ahaz was king of Judah. Hoshea ruled for nine years. He was the son of Elah. Hoshea did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord. But he wasn’t as evil as the kings of Israel who ruled before him.

Shalmaneser came up to attack Hoshea. Shalmaneser was king of Assyria. He had been Hoshea’s master. He had forced Hoshea to bring him gifts. But the king of Assyria found out that Hoshea had turned against him. Hoshea had sent messengers to So, the king of Egypt. Hoshea didn’t send gifts to the king of Assyria anymore. He had been sending them every year. So Shalmaneser grabbed him and put him in prison. The king of Assyria marched into the whole land of Israel. He marched to Samaria and surrounded it for three years. From time to time he attacked it. Finally, the king of Assyria captured Samaria. It was in the ninth year of Hoshea. The king of Assyria took the Israelites away from their own land. He sent them off to Assyria. He made some of them live in Halah. He made others live in Gozan on the Habor River. And he made others live in the towns of the Medes.

Israel Is Forced to Leave the Land Because of Sin

All of this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the Lord their God. He had brought them up out of Egypt. He had brought them out from under the power of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. But they worshiped other gods. The Lord had driven out other nations to make room for Israel. But they followed the evil practices of those nations. They also followed the practices that the kings of Israel had started. The Israelites did things in secret against the Lord their God. What they did wasn’t right. They built high places for worship in all their towns. They built them at lookout towers. They also built them at cities that had high walls around them. 10 They set up sacred stones. And they set up poles used to worship the female god named Asherah. They did that on every high hill and under every green tree. 11 The Lord had driven out nations to make room for Israel. But the Israelites burned incense at every high place, just as those nations had done. The Israelites did evil things that made the Lord very angry. 12 They worshiped statues of gods. They did it even though the Lord had said, “Do not do that.” 13 The Lord warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers. He said, “Turn from your evil ways. Keep my commands and rules. Obey every part of my Law. I commanded your people who lived long ago to obey it. And I gave it to you through my servants the prophets.”

14 But the people wouldn’t listen. They were as stubborn as their people of long ago had been. Those people didn’t trust in the Lord their God. 15 They refused to obey his rules. They broke the covenant he had made with them. They didn’t pay any attention to the rules he had warned them to keep. They worshiped worthless statues of gods. Then they themselves became worthless. They followed the example of the nations around them. They did it even though the Lord had ordered them not to. He had said, “Do not do as they do.”

16 They turned away from all the commands of the Lord their God. They made two statues of gods for themselves. The statues were shaped like calves. They made a pole used to worship the female god named Asherah. They bowed down to all the stars. And they worshiped the god named Baal. 17 They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced all kinds of evil magic. They gave up following God’s rules. They did only what was evil in the eyes of the Lord. All these things made him very angry.

18 So the Lord was very angry with Israel. He removed them from his land. Only the tribe of Judah was left. 19 And even Judah didn’t obey the commands of the Lord their God. They followed the practices Israel had started. 20 So the Lord turned his back on all the people of Israel. He made them suffer. He handed them over to people who stole everything they had. And finally he threw them out of his land.

21 The Lord took control of Israel away from the royal house of David. The Israelites made Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, their king. Jeroboam tried to get Israel to stop following the Lord. He caused them to commit a terrible sin. 22 The Israelites were stubborn. They continued to commit all the sins Jeroboam had committed. They didn’t turn away from them. 23 So the Lord removed them from his land. That’s what he had warned them he would do. He had given that warning through all his servants the prophets. So the people of Israel were taken away from their country. They were forced to go to Assyria. And that’s where they still are.

Assyria Makes Other People Live in Samaria

24 The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Kuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaim. He made all of them live in the towns of Samaria. They took the place of the people of Israel. They lived in all the towns of Samaria. 25 When they first lived there, they didn’t worship the Lord. So he sent lions among them. And the lions killed some of the people. 26 A report was given to the king of Assyria. He was told, “You forced people to leave their own homes and live in the towns of Samaria. But they don’t know what the god of that country requires. So he has sent lions among them. And the lions are killing the people off. That’s because the people don’t know what that god requires.”

27 Then the king of Assyria gave an order. He said, “Get one of the priests you captured from Samaria. Send him back to live there. Have him teach the people what the god of that land requires.” 28 So a priest went back to live in Bethel. He was one of the priests who had been forced to leave Samaria. He taught the people of Bethel how to worship the Lord.

29 In spite of that, the people from each nation made statues of their own gods. They made them in all the towns where they had been forced to live. They set up those statues in small temples. The people of Samaria had built the temples at the high places. 30 The people from Babylon made statues of the god named Sukkoth Benoth. Those from Kuthah made statues of the god named Nergal. Those from Hamath made statues of the god named Ashima. 31 The Avvites made statues of the gods named Nibhaz and Tartak. The Sepharvites sacrificed their children in the fire to the gods named Adrammelek and Anammelek. They were the gods of Sepharvaim. 32 So the people of Samaria worshiped the Lord. But they also appointed all kinds of their own people to be their priests. The priests served in the small temples at the high places. 33 The people worshiped the Lord. But they also served their own gods. They followed the evil practices of the nations they had been taken from.

34 The people of Samaria are still stubborn. They continue in their old practices to this day. And now they don’t even worship the Lord. They don’t follow his directions and rules. They don’t obey his laws and commands. The Lord had given all these laws to the family of Jacob. He gave the name Israel to Jacob. 35 The Lord made a covenant with the Israelites. At that time he commanded them, “Do not worship any other gods. Do not bow down to them. Do not serve them or sacrifice to them. 36 The Lord is the one you must worship. The Lord brought you up out of Egypt by his great power. He saved you by reaching out his mighty arm. You must bow down only to him. You must offer sacrifices only to him. 37 You must always be careful to follow his directions and rules. You must obey the laws and commands he wrote for you. Do not worship other gods. 38 Do not forget the covenant I made with you. And remember, you must not worship other gods. 39 Instead, worship the Lord your God. He will save you from the powerful hand of all your enemies.”

40 But the people wouldn’t listen. Instead, they were stubborn. They continued in their old practices. 41 They worshiped the Lord. But at the same time, they served the statues of their gods. And to this day their children and grandchildren continue to do what their people before them did.