Chapter 17

1In the twelfth year of Ahaz the king of Judah, Hoshea the son of Elah reigned over Israel for nine years.   אבִּשְׁנַת֙ שְׁתֵּ֣ים עֶשְׂרֵ֔ה לְאָחָ֖ז מֶ֣לֶךְ יְהוּדָ֑ה מָ֠לַךְ הוֹשֵׁ֨עַ בֶּן־אֵלָ֧ה בְשֹׁמְר֛וֹן עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל תֵּ֥שַׁע שָׁנִֽים:
In the twelfth year of Ahaz…: It is impossible to say that Hoshea became king in the twelfth year of Ahaz, for in the fourth year of Ahaz, he assassinated Pekah and reigned in his stead (See above 15:30), and when you calculate Pekah’s years you will find it so. Likewise, it is impossible to say that he did not reign more than nine years, for he reigned from the fourth year of Ahaz until the sixth year of Hezekiah, when Samaria was captured. This amounts to more than sixteen years. What then is the meaning of “nine years?” Since he rebelled against the king of Assyria. This is what we learned in Seder Olam (ch. 23). Now it is impossible to say that in the twelfth year of Ahaz he started to rebel, for if so, you will find the years of his revolt five years during the days of Hezekiah, making eleven years, yet here he states that he reigned nine years. The twelfth year of Ahaz was mentioned only in connection with the following verse, “Shalmaneser the king of Assyria went up against him,” that in the twelfth year of Ahaz, Sennacherib went up against Hoshea and exiled those who were on the eastern bank of the Jordan. Thus we learned in Seder Olam (ch. 22), and a verse is written in Chron. I (5:26): “The God of Israel aroused Pul the king of Assyria… and he exiled the Reubenites and the Gadites…” And he did not explain at what time. Here he explains that it was in the twelfth year of Ahaz. The ten tribes were exiled at three different times (lit. three exiles were the ten tribes exiled): (1) in the twentieth year of Pekah, as it is written above, (15:29)… “Tiglath Pileser the king of Assyria came and took Ijon and Dan… and the entire land of Naphtali (sic) and exiled them to Assyria.” Now this was the fourth year of Ahaz. (2) He waited eight years and came upon them in the twelfth year of Ahaz, and exiled the Reubenites and the Gadites. When Hoshea the son of Elah saw this, he revolted against him and sent messengers to So the king of Egypt. (3) He waited eight years and came and laid siege to Samaria. After three years it was captured, and everyone was exiled. This is the meaning of that which is written (Is. 8:23): “Like the first time, he dealt mildly, the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali.” [I.e., just as the king of Assyria dealt mildly with Israel in the first exile by exiling only Zebulun and Naphtali,] so did he deal mildly also in the second exile, for he exiled but two tribes. But “in the last one, he swept (Heb. ‘hichbid’).” He swept everything out like one who sweeps a house. In any case, according to the figures he wrote here as the number of years of his revolt, [i.e.,] nine years, he did not revolt against him until the fourteenth year of Ahaz, for Ahaz reigned sixteen years; the revolt was three years of Ahaz and six years in the days of Hezekiah.  
2And he did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord, though not like the kings of Israel who had preceded him.   בוַיַּ֥עַשׂ הָרַ֖ע בְּעֵינֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֑ה רַ֗ק לֹא כְּמַלְכֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֲשֶׁ֥ר הָי֖וּ לְפָנָֽיו:
though not like the kings of Israel: for he abolished the sentries who were stationed since the days of Jeroboam, on the roads, to guard lest the Israelites perform the pilgrimage for the festivals, and this one abolished them, for the golden calves had already been exiled in the two exiles. In the first exile “he took Ijon and Dan.” He exiled the calf that was in Dan. And in the second, when Reuben and Gad were exiled, he took the calf that was in Bethel, to fulfill what was stated (Hosea 10:6), “That too, to Assyria will be transported.” Since the sentries were abolished, and they (the Israelites) refrained from performing the pilgrimage, therefore, their verdict was sealed to be exiled in his days, for until now, they had blamed the corruption on their kings, but now they had no one to blame. This is what Hosea the son of Beeri said (Hosea 5:3), “For now you have gone astray, Ephraim; Israel has become defiled.” Now your evil has been revealed.  
3Shalmaneser the king of Assyria went up against him, and Hoshea became his vassal, and he paid him tribute.   געָלָ֣יו עָלָ֔ה שַׁלְמַנְאֶ֖סֶר מֶ֣לֶךְ אַשּׁ֑וּר וַֽיְהִי־ל֚וֹ הוֹשֵׁ֙עַ֙ עֶ֔בֶד וַיָּ֥שֶׁב ל֖וֹ מִנְחָֽה:
4And the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea, that he sent messengers to So the king of Egypt and did not pay tribute to the king of Assyria as year by year, and the king of Assyria arrested him and confined him in prison.   דוַיִּמְצָא֩ מֶֽלֶךְ־אַשּׁ֨וּר בְּהוֹשֵׁ֜עַ קֶ֗שֶׁר אֲשֶׁ֨ר שָׁלַ֚ח מַלְאָכִים֙ אֶל־ס֣וֹא מֶֽלֶךְ־מִצְרַ֔יִם וְלֹא־הֶעֱלָ֥ה מִנְחָ֛ה לְמֶ֥לֶךְ אַשּׁ֖וּר כְּשָׁנָ֣ה בְשָׁנָ֑ה וַֽיַּעַצְרֵ֙הוּ֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ אַשּׁ֔וּר וַיַּאַסְרֵ֖הוּ בֵּ֥ית כֶּֽלֶא:
5And the king of Assyria went up through the entire land, and he went up to Samaria and besieged it three years.   הוַיַּ֥עַל מֶֽלֶךְ אַשּׁ֖וּר בְּכָל־הָאָ֑רֶץ וַיַּ֙עַל֙ שֹׁמְר֔וֹן וַיָּ֥צַר עָלֶ֖יהָ שָׁל֥שׁ שָׁנִֽים:
6In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria took Samaria and exiled the Israelites to Assyria, and he repatriated them in Halah, and in Habor, the Gozan River, and the cities of Media.   ובִּשְׁנַ֨ת הַתְּשִׁיעִ֜ית לְהוֹשֵׁ֗עַ לָכַ֚ד מֶֽלֶךְ־אַשּׁוּר֙ אֶת־שֹׁ֣מְר֔וֹן וַיֶּ֥גֶל אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל אַשּׁ֑וּרָה וַיּ֨שֶׁב אוֹתָ֜ם בַּחְלַ֧ח וּבְחָב֛וֹר נְהַ֥ר גּוֹזָ֖ן וְעָרֵ֥י מָדָֽי:
In the ninth year: of Hoshea’s revolt.  
and exiled the Israelites: [Heb. וַיֶגֶל,] like וַיַגְלֶה אֶת יִשׂרָאֵל This is the rule of every word whose verb root [ends] with a mute ‘heh’, [e.g. פנה, to face,] בנה, to build, גלה, to go in exile, זנה to commit harlotry, רבה, to multiply, when one comes to prefix the word with “vav” “yud,” [i.e., the “vav” that converts the verb from future to past,] if the word applies to the doer, [i. e.,] if the verb appears in the light conjugation, involving only one doer, the “yud” will be voweled with a “hirik,” e.g. “and he built (וַיִבֶן) there an altar” (Gen. 12:8); “And Moses turned (וַיִפֶן) and descended” (Ex. 32:15); “And Judah was exiled (וַיִגֶל) off its land” (below 25:21); “And she too went and committed harlotry (וַתִּזֶן)” (Jer. 3:8); “And the people multiplied (וַיִרֶב) and became very strong” (Ex. 1:20). If, however, one is talking in the causative conjugation, the “yud” will be voweled with a “segol,” [e.g.] “and turned (וַיֶפֶן) tail to tail” (Jud. 15:4); “And exiled (וַיֶגֶל) the Israelites to Assyria” (here); “And he caused the dwellers of Jerusalem to commit harlotry (וַיֶזֶן)” (II Chron. 21:11); “And He increased (וַיֶרֶב) among the people of Judah grief and lamentation” (Lam. 2:5).  
7And it was, when the children of Israel sinned to the Lord their God, who brought them up from the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh the king of Egypt, and they feared other gods.   זוַיְהִ֗י כִּֽי־חָטְא֚וּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ לַיהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֵיהֶ֔ם הַמַּעֲלֶ֚ה אֹתָם֙ מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם מִתַּ֕חַת יַ֖ד פַּרְעֹ֣ה מֶֽלֶךְ־מִצְרָ֑יִם וַיִּֽירְא֖וּ אֱלֹהִ֥ים אֲחֵרִֽים:
8And they followed the statutes of the nations whom the Lord had driven out from before the children of Israel, and [of] the kings of Israel that they practiced.   חוַיֵּֽלְכוּ֙ בְּחֻקּ֣וֹת הַגּוֹיִ֔ם אֲשֶׁר֙ הוֹרִ֣ישׁ יְהֹוָ֔ה מִפְּנֵ֖י בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וּמַלְכֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל אֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשֹֽוּ:
9And the children of Israel fabricated things which were not so about the Lord their God, and they built themselves high places in all their cities, from watchtower to fortified city.   טוַיְחַפְּא֣וּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל דְּבָרִים֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר לֹא־כֵ֔ן עַל־יְהֹוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵיהֶ֑ם וַיִּבְנ֨וּ לָהֶ֚ם בָּמוֹת֙ בְּכָל־עָ֣רֵיהֶ֔ם מִמִּגְדַּ֥ל נוֹצְרִ֖ים עַד־עִ֥יר מִבְצָֽר:
And they fabricated: This interpretation is according to context.  
from watchtower: which is made only to station a lookout to watch. In every high house they erected idols.  
to fortified city: like “from small to big” (Gen. 19:11 and many other places).  
10And they erected for themselves monuments and asherim on every high hill and under every green tree.   יוַיַּצִּ֧בוּ לָהֶ֛ם מַצֵּב֖וֹת וַאֲשֵׁרִ֑ים עַל כָּל־גִּבְעָ֣ה גְבֹהָ֔ה וְתַ֖חַת כָּל־עֵ֥ץ רַעֲנָֽן:
11And they burned incense there on all the high places, like the nations that the Lord had exiled from before them, and they did evil things to anger the Lord.   יאוַיְקַטְּרוּ־שָׁם֙ בְּכָל־בָּמ֔וֹת כַּגּוֹיִ֕ם אֲשֶׁר־הֶגְלָ֥ה יְהֹוָ֖ה מִפְּנֵיהֶ֑ם וַֽיַּעֲשׂוּ֙ דְּבָרִ֣ים רָעִ֔ים לְהַכְעִ֖יס אֶת־יְהֹוָֽה:
12And they worshipped the idols, which the Lord had said to them, "You shall not do this thing."   יבוַיַּֽעַבְד֖וּ הַגִּלֻּלִ֑ים אֲשֶׁ֨ר אָמַ֚ר יְהֹוָה֙ לָהֶ֔ם לֹ֥א תַעֲשֹ֖וּ אֶת־הַדָּבָ֥ר הַזֶּֽה:
13And the Lord warned Israel and Judah through all prophets of all visions, saying, "Repent of your evil ways, and keep My commandments, My statutes, according to the entire Law that I commanded your forefathers, and that I sent to you through My servants, the prophets."   יגוַיָּ֣עַד יְהֹוָ֡ה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵ֣ל וּבִיהוּדָ֡ה בְּיַד֩ כָּל־נְבִיאֵ֨י (כתיב נְבִיאֵ֨ו) כָל־חֹזֶ֜ה לֵאמֹ֗ר שֻׁ֜ב֠וּ מִדַּרְכֵיכֶ֚ם הָֽרָעִים֙ וְשִׁמְרוּ֙ מִצְו‍ֹתַ֣י חֻקּוֹתַ֔י כְּכָ֨ל־הַתּוֹרָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר צִוִּ֖יתִי אֶת־אֲבֹֽתֵיכֶ֑ם וַֽאֲשֶׁר֙ שָׁלַ֣חְתִּי אֲלֵיכֶ֔ם בְּיַ֖ד עֲבָדַ֥י הַנְּבִיאִֽים:
And the Lord warned: He warned them.  
all prophets of all visions: Heb. נְבִיאֵי כָל חֹזֶה, prophets of all visions. [Although חוֹזֶה usually means “seer,”] there is [a word] חוֹזֶה that is a noun, such as (Is.28:5) “and with the grave have we made a boundary (חוֹזֶה).”  
14But they did not heed, and they hardened their nape like the nape of their forefathers who did not believe in the Lord their God.   ידוְלֹ֖א שָׁמֵ֑עוּ וַיַּקְשׁ֚וּ אֶת־עָרְפָּם֙ כְּעֹ֣רֶף אֲבו‍ֹתָ֔ם אֲשֶׁר֙ לֹ֣א הֶאֱמִ֔ינוּ בַּֽיהֹוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵיהֶֽם:
15And they despised His statutes and His covenant that He had enacted with their forefathers and His warnings that He had warned them, and they followed worthless things and became worthless, and after the nations that were around them, concerning whom the Lord had commanded them not to do like them.   טווַיִּמְאֲס֣וּ אֶת־חֻקָּ֗יו וְאֶת־בְּרִיתוֹ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר כָּרַ֣ת אֶת־אֲבוֹתָ֔ם וְאֵת֙ עֵֽדְו‍ֹתָ֔יו אֲשֶׁ֥ר הֵעִ֖יד בָּ֑ם וַיֵּ֨לְכוּ֜ אַחֲרֵ֚י הַהֶ֙בֶל֙ וַיֶּהְבָּ֔לוּ וְאַחֲרֵ֚י הַגּוֹיִם֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר סְבִֽיבֹתָ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֨ר צִוָּ֚ה יְהֹוָה֙ אֹתָ֔ם לְבִלְתִּ֖י עֲשֹ֥וֹת כָּהֶֽם:
16And they forsook all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made for themselves two molten calves, and they made an asherah, and they prostrated themselves before the entire host of the heavens, and they worshipped the Baal.   טזוַיַּעַזְב֗וּ אֶת־כָּל־מִצְו‍ֹת֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֵיהֶ֔ם וַיַּעֲשֹ֥וּ לָהֶ֛ם מַסֵּכָ֖ה שְׁנֵ֣י (כתיב שְׁנֵ֣ים) עֲגָלִ֑ים וַיַּעֲשֹ֣וּ אֲשֵׁירָ֗ה וַיִּֽשְׁתַּחֲווּ֙ לְכָל־צְבָ֣א הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם וַיַּעַבְד֖וּ אֶת־הַבָּֽעַל:
two molten calves: [lit. a molten image, two calves] - in Bethel and in Dan.  
the Baal: a pagan deity named Baal.  
17And they passed their sons and daughters through fire, and they practiced enchantment and divination, and they committed themselves to do what was evil in the eyes of the Lord, to anger Him.   יזוַֽ֠יַּעֲבִירוּ אֶת־בְּנֵיהֶ֚ם וְאֶת־בְּנֽוֹתֵיהֶם֙ בָּאֵ֔שׁ וַיִּקְסְמ֥וּ קְסָמִ֖ים וַיְנַחֵ֑שׁוּ וַיִּֽתְמַכְּר֗וּ לַעֲשֹ֥וֹת הָרַ֛ע בְּעֵינֵ֥י יְהֹוָ֖ה לְהַכְעִיסֽוֹ:
and they committed themselves: [lit.] they sold themselves to that.  
18And the Lord became very much incensed against Israel, and He sent them away from before Him; none was left but the tribe of Judah alone.   יחוַיִּתְאַנַּ֨ף יְהֹוָ֚ה מְאֹד֙ בְּיִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וַיְסִרֵ֖ם מֵעַ֣ל פָּנָ֑יו לֹ֣א נִשְׁאַ֔ר רַ֛ק שֵׁ֥בֶט יְהוּדָ֖ה לְבַדּֽוֹ:
and He sent them away from before Him: for they were exiled with Hoshea the son of Elah.  
19Neither did Judah observe the commandments of the Lord their God, and they followed the practices of Israel that they did.   יטגַּם־יְהוּדָ֕ה לֹ֣א שָׁמַ֔ר אֶת־מִצְוֹ֖ת יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֵיהֶ֑ם וַיֵּ֣לְכ֔וּ בְּחֻקּ֥וֹת יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל אֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשֹֽוּ:
20And the Lord despised all the seed of Israel, and He afflicted them, and delivered them into the hands of plunderers until He cast them away from before Him.   כוַיִּמְאַ֨ס יְהֹוָ֜ה בְּכָל־זֶ֚רַע יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ וַיְעַנֵּ֔ם וַֽיִּתְּנֵ֖ם בְּיַד־שֹׁסִ֑ים עַ֛ד אֲשֶׁ֥ר הִשְׁלִיכָ֖ם מִפָּנָֽיו:
21For Israel had torn away from the house of David and had appointed Jeroboam the son of Nebat as king, and Jeroboam led Israel astray from following the Lord and caused them to commit a grave sin.   כאכִּֽי־קָרַ֣ע יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל מֵעַל֙ בֵּ֣ית דָּוִ֔ד וַיַּמְלִ֖יכוּ אֶת־יָרָבְעָ֣ם בֶּן־נְבָ֑ט וַיַּדַּ֨ח (כתיב וַיַּדַּ֨א) יָרָבְעָ֚ם אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ מֵאַחֲרֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֔ה וְהֶחֱטִיאָ֖ם חֲטָאָ֥ה גְדוֹלָֽה:
22And the children of Israel followed all the sins of Jeroboam that he committed; they did not turn away from it.   כבוַיֵּֽלְכוּ֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל בְּכָל־חַטֹּ֥אות יָרָבְעָ֖ם אֲשֶׁ֣ר עָשָֹ֑ה לֹא־סָ֖רוּ מִמֶּֽנָּה:
23Until the Lord removed Israel from His Presence, as He had spoken through all His servants, the prophets, and Israel went in exile from their land to Assyria until this day.   כגעַ֠ד אֲשֶׁר־הֵסִ֨יר יְהֹוָ֚ה אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ מֵעַ֣ל פָּנָ֔יו כַּאֲשֶׁ֣ר דִּבֶּ֔ר בְּיַ֖ד כָּל־עֲבָדָ֣יו הַנְּבִיאִ֑ים וַיִּ֨גֶל יִשְׂרָאֵ֜ל מֵעַ֚ל אַדְמָתוֹ֙ אַשּׁ֔וּרָה עַ֖ד הַיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּֽה:
and Israel went in exile: [Heb. וַיִגֶל.] This is vowelized with a “hirik,” which is an expression of “went in exile.” It is not an expression of “exiled.”  
24And the king of Assyria brought [people] from Babylonia and from Cuthah and from Avva and from Hamath and from Sepharvaim, and he settled them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel, and they took possession of Samaria and dwelt in its cities.   כדוַיָּבֵ֣א מֶֽלֶךְ־אַשּׁ֡וּר מִבָּבֶ֡ל וּ֠מִכּ֠וּתָה וּמֵעַוָּ֚א וּמֵֽחֲמָת֙ וּמִסְפַרְוַ֔יִם (כתיב וּסְפַרְוַ֔יִם) וַיּ֙שֶׁב֙ בְּעָרֵ֣י שֹֽׁמְר֔וֹן תַּ֖חַת בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וַיִּֽרְשׁוּ֙ אֶת־שֹׁ֣מְר֔וֹן וַיֵּֽשְׁב֖וּ בְּעָרֶֽיהָ:
25And it was in the beginning of their dwelling there, that they did not fear the Lord, and the Lord incited lions against them, and they were killing them.   כהוַיְהִ֗י בִּתְחִלַּת֙ שִׁבְתָּ֣ם שָׁ֔ם לֹ֥א יָרְא֖וּ אֶת־יְהֹוָ֑ה וַיְשַׁלַּ֨ח יְהֹוָ֚ה בָּהֶם֙ אֶת־הָ֣אֲרָי֔וֹת וַיִּֽהְי֥וּ הֹרְגִ֖ים בָּהֶֽם:
they did not fear the Lord: Even though the pagan nations fear him and call him the God of the gods, in the manner it is written (Malachi 1:14), “and My Name is feared among the nations,” these did not fear Me, for they said, “If He were worthy of fear, He would not have delivered His people into exile.”  
26And they said to the king of Assyria, saying, "The nations that you exiled and settled in the cities of Samaria, do not know the law of the God of the land, and He has incited lions against them, and behold they are killing them, as they do not know the law of the God of the land."   כווַיֹּאמְר֗וּ לְמֶ֣לֶךְ אַשּׁוּר֘ לֵאמֹר֒ הַגּוֹיִ֗ם אֲשֶׁ֚ר הִגְלִ֙יתָ֙ וַתּ֙וֹשֶׁב֙ בְּעָרֵ֣י שֹׁמְר֔וֹן לֹ֣א יָֽדְע֔וּ אֶת־מִשְׁפַּ֖ט אֱלֹהֵ֣י הָאָ֑רֶץ וַיְשַׁלַּח־בָּ֣ם אֶת־הָאֲרָי֗וֹת וְהִנָּם֙ מְמִיתִ֣ים אוֹתָ֔ם כַּאֲשֶׁר֙ אֵינָ֣ם יֹדְעִ֔ים אֶת־מִשְׁפַּ֖ט אֱלֹהֵ֥י הָאָֽרֶץ:
27And the king of Assyria commanded, saying, "Bring there one of the priests whom I have exiled from there, and let them go and dwell there, and teach them the law of the God of the land."   כזוַיְצַ֨ו מֶֽלֶךְ־אַשּׁ֜וּר לֵאמֹ֗ר הֹלִ֚יכוּ שָׁ֙מָּה֙ אֶחָ֚ד מֵהַכֹּֽהֲנִים֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר הִגְלִיתֶ֣ם מִשָּׁ֔ם וְיֵלְכ֖וּ וְיֵ֣שְׁבוּ שָׁ֑ם וְיֹרֵ֕ם אֶת־מִשְׁפַּ֖ט אֱלֹהֵ֥י הָאָֽרֶץ:
28And one of the priests whom they had exiled from Samaria came and settled in Bethel, and he would direct them how they should fear the Lord.   כחוַיָּבֹ֞א אֶחָ֣ד מֵהַכֹּהֲנִ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֚ר הִגְלוּ֙ מִשֹּׁ֣מְר֔וֹן וַיֵּ֖שֶׁב בְּבֵֽית־אֵ֑ל וַֽיְהִי֙ מוֹרֶ֣ה אֹתָ֔ם אֵ֖יךְ יִֽירְא֥וּ אֶת־יְהֹוָֽה:
29Now each nation made its god, and they placed [it] in the temple of the high places that the people of Samaria had made, each nation in their cities wherein they were dwelling.   כטוַיִּהְי֣וּ עֹשִֹ֔ים גּ֥וֹי גּ֖וֹי אֱלֹהָ֑יו וַיַּנִּ֣יחוּ | בְּבֵ֣ית הַבָּמ֗וֹת אֲשֶׁ֚ר עָשׂוּ֙ הַשֹּׁ֣מְרֹנִ֔ים גּ֥וֹי גּוֹי֙ בְּעָ֣רֵיהֶ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֛ר הֵ֥ם ישְׁבִ֖ים שָֽׁם:
the people of Samaria had made: [i.e.,] the Israelites while they were still there.  
each nation its god (sic): Every nation (as per R. Joseph Kara), the deity they had worshipped in their land, here, too, each nation did so in the city (as per R. Joseph Kara) which Sennacherib had given them as a possession (or had settled them Kara) there in the cities of Israel.  
30And the people of Babylonia made Succoth-benoth, and the people of Cuth made Nergal, and the people of Hamath made Ashima.   לוְאַנְשֵׁ֣י בָבֶ֗ל עָשׂוּ֙ אֶת־סֻכּ֣וֹת בְּנ֔וֹת וְאַנְשֵׁי־כ֔וּת עָשֹ֖וּ אֶת־נֵֽרְגַ֑ל וְאַנְשֵׁ֥י חֲמָ֖ת עָשֹ֥וּ אֶת־אֲשִׁימָֽא:
Succoth benoth: a likeness of a hen with her chicks.  
Nergal: the likeness of a rooster.  
Ashima: the likeness of a goat. So they are called in the language of every nation, and so did our Rabbis explain in Sanhedrin (63b).  
31And the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burnt their children in fire to Adramelech and Anamelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.   לאוְהָעַוִּ֛ים עָשֹ֥וּ נִבְחַ֖ז וְאֶת־תַּרְתָּ֑ק וְהַסְפַרְוִ֗ים שֹׁרְפִ֚ים אֶת־בְּנֵיהֶם֙ בָּאֵ֔שׁ לְאַדְרַמֶּ֥לֶךְ וַֽעֲנַמֶּ֖לֶךְ אֱלֹהֵ֥י (כתיב אֱלֹהֵ֥) סְפַרְוָֽיִם (כתיב סְפַרֳֽיִם) :
Nibhaz: the likeness of a dog.  
Tartak: the likeness of a donkey.  
to Adramelech: the likeness of a mule.  
Anamelech: the likeness of a horse.  
32And they feared the Lord, and they made some of them priests of the high places, and they would practice their [rites] in the temple of the high places.   לבוַיִּהְי֥וּ יְרֵאִ֖ים אֶת־יְהֹוָ֑ה וַיַּעֲשֹ֨וּ לָהֶ֚ם מִקְצוֹתָם֙ כֹּהֲנֵ֣י בָמ֔וֹת וַיִּהְי֛וּ עֹשִֹ֥ים לָהֶ֖ם בְּבֵ֥ית הַבָּמֽוֹת:
33They feared the Lord, yet they worshipped their own gods, as was the custom of the nations whom they had exiled from there.   לגאֶת־יְהֹוָ֖ה הָי֣וּ יְרֵאִ֑ים וְאֶת־אֱלֹֽהֵיהֶם֙ הָי֣וּ עֹֽבְדִ֔ים כְּמִשְׁפַּט֙ הַגּוֹיִ֔ם אֲשֶׁר־הִגְל֥וּ אֹתָ֖ם מִשָּֽׁם:
as was the custom of the nations whom they had exiled from there: Those deities that the nations whom Sennacherib and his armies had exiled from there, worshipped, these they would worship here.  
34Until this day, they practice just as their earlier practices; they do not fear the Lord, neither do they practice according to their statutes and laws, nor according to the Law and the commandment that the Lord commanded the sons of Jacob, whose name He called Israel.   לדעַ֣ד הַיּ֚וֹם הַזֶּה֙ הֵ֣ם עֹשִֹ֔ים כַּמִּשְׁפָּטִ֖ים הָרִֽאשֹׁנִ֑ים אֵינָ֚ם יְרֵאִים֙ אֶת־יְהֹוָ֔ה וְאֵינָ֣ם עֹשִֹ֗ים כְּחֻקֹּתָם֙ וּכְמִשְׁפָּטָ֔ם וְכַּתּוֹרָ֣ה וְכַמִּצְוָ֗ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר צִוָּ֚ה יְהֹוָה֙ אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י יַעֲקֹ֔ב אֲשֶׁר־שָֹ֥ם שְׁמ֖וֹ יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
they do not fear the Lord: a complete fear as the custom of the Israelites. Even though they were converted because of the fear of the lions, their fear of the Lord was not a complete fear, (like Jewish practice) as Scripture goes on to elaborate, that they were not engaged in the Torah and the commandments which He (or, which the Lord) commanded the sons of Jacob, neither do they practice according to their statutes and according to their law, which they are duty bound to practice since they converted, but as the priest who was of the people of Samaria, who were idolatrous, instructed them.  
35And the Lord enacted a covenant with them, saying, "You shall not fear other gods, neither shall you prostrate yourselves to them nor worship them, and you shall not slaughter [sacrifices] to them.   להוַיִּכְרֹ֨ת יְהֹוָ֚ה אִתָּם֙ בְּרִ֔ית וַיְצַוֵּ֣ם לֵאמֹ֔ר לֹ֥א תִֽירְא֖וּ אֱלֹהִ֣ים אֲחֵרִ֑ים וְלֹא־תִשְׁתַּחֲו֣וּ לָהֶ֔ם וְלֹ֣א תַעַבְד֔וּם וְלֹ֥א תִזְבְּח֖וּ לָהֶֽם:
And the Lord enacted a covenant with them: when He gave them the Torah on Mt. Sinai.  
36Only the Lord Who brought you up from the land of Egypt with great might and with an outstretched arm, Him shall you fear, and to Him shall you prostrate yourselves and to Him shall you slaughter sacrifices.   לוכִּ֣י אִֽם־אֶת־יְהֹוָ֗ה אֲשֶׁר֩ הֶעֱלָ֨ה אֶתְכֶ֜ם מֵאֶ֧רֶץ מִצְרַ֛יִם בְּכֹ֧חַ גָּד֛וֹל וּבִזְר֥וֹעַ נְטוּיָ֖ה אֹת֣וֹ תִירָ֑אוּ וְל֥וֹ תִֽשְׁתַּחֲו֖וּ וְל֥וֹ תִזְבָּֽחוּ:
37And the statutes and the judgments, and the Law and the commandment that He wrote for you, you shall heed to perform all times, and you shall not fear strange gods.   לזוְאֶת־הַחֻקִּ֨ים וְאֶת־הַמִּשְׁפָּטִ֜ים וְהַתּוֹרָ֚ה וְהַמִּצְוָה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר כָּתַ֣ב לָכֶ֔ם תִּשְׁמְר֥וּן לַעֲשֹ֖וֹת כָּל־הַיָּמִ֑ים וְלֹ֥א תִֽירְא֖וּ אֱלֹהִ֥ים אֲחֵרִֽים:
38And the covenant that I enacted with you, you shall not forget, neither shall you fear strange gods.   לחוְהַבְּרִ֛ית אֲשֶׁר־כָּרַ֥תִּי אִתְּכֶ֖ם לֹ֣א תִשְׁכָּ֑חוּ וְלֹ֥א תִֽירְא֖וּ אֱלֹהִ֥ים אֲחֵרִֽים:
39But the Lord your God you shall fear, and He will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies."   לטכִּ֛י אִֽם־אֶת־יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶ֖ם תִּירָ֑אוּ וְהוּא֙ יַצִּ֣יל אֶתְכֶ֔ם מִיַּ֖ד כָּל־אֹיְבֵיכֶֽם:
40But they did not obey, but according to their earlier practice they were doing.   מוְלֹ֖א שָׁמֵ֑עוּ כִּ֛י אִֽם־כְּמִשְׁפָּטָ֥ם הָֽרִאשׁ֖וֹן הֵ֥ם עֹשִֹֽים:
41And these nations feared the Lord, yet they worshipped their graven images; also their children and their grandchildren, as their forefathers had done, they are doing until this day.   מאוַיִּהְי֣וּ | הַגּוֹיִ֣ם הָאֵ֗לֶּה יְרֵאִים֙ אֶת־יְהֹוָ֔ה וְאֶת־פְּסִֽילֵיהֶ֖ם הָי֣וּ עֹֽבְדִ֑ים גַּם־בְּנֵיהֶ֣ם | וּבְנֵ֣י בְנֵיהֶ֗ם כַּאֲשֶׁ֨ר עָשֹ֚וּ אֲבֹתָם֙ הֵ֣ם עֹשִֹ֔ים עַ֖ד הַיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּֽה: