Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 17:1

In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea the son of Elah became king over Israel in Samaria, and reigned nine years.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Elah;   Hoshea;   Rulers;   Scofield Reference Index - Israel;   Thompson Chain Reference - Hoshea;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Kings;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Egypt;   Hoshea;   Shalmaneser;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Assyria;   Hoshea;   Judah, tribe and kingdom;   Samaria, samaritans;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Samaritans;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Assyria;   Elah;   Hoshea;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Captivity;   Elah;   Hosea;   Hoshea (2);   Holman Bible Dictionary - Exile;   Hosea;   Israel, History of;   Jonah;   Kings, 1 and 2;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Hoshea;   Israel;   Samaria;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Elah ;   Hoshea ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Hosea;   Shalmanezer;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Hezekiah;   Smith Bible Dictionary - E'lah;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Hosea;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Israel;   Kingdom of Judah;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Elah (1);   Hoshea;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Chronology;   Hoshea;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

In the twelfth year - Compare 2 Kings 15:30 note. The history of the kingdom of Israel is in this chapter brought to a close.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Kings 17:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-kings-17.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

THE FALL OF THE NORTHERN KINGDOM OF ISRAEL

It would require an entire book of several hundred pages to explore in any exhaustive sense all of the problems and questions which scholars discuss concerning this chapter. Our purpose does NOT include such an extensive treatment of what is written here. The great facts of the chapter are as clear as our solar orb on a cloudless day when the sun is at perihelion.

(1) The day of grace for the Northern Israel expired, and God removed them "out of his sight" (2 Kings 17:18). Therefore, we may safely ignore the Book of Mormon and its fairy tale about the American Indians being "the lost ten tribes," as well as all the other cock and bull stories that, throughout history, have located those lost tribes in half a dozen places. Our theory is that if God can't see them anymore, men might as well stop looking for them. Many of the false theories about the present-day "discoveries" of the lost tribes are founded upon an obscure reference from an uncanonical book (Esdras 13:29-47).[1]

(2) Hoshea was the last king of Israel, and he reigned only about nine years, and all of that as an Assyrian vassal (2 Kings 17:3). Shalmaneser IV the son of Tiglath-pileser discovered Hoshea's defection to an alliance with Egypt and came up and conquered the land in either one or two campaigns. It is mentioned that he imprisoned Hoshea, but that probably took place after the fall of his capital city (Samaria) in 722 or 721 B.C. However, the actual capture of Samaria appears to have been made by Shalmaneser's successor Sargon II. Much of the history of this period is uncertain. Keil, for example wrote that Shalmaneser and Sargon "were one and the same person."[2]

This writer does not share the implicit confidence some scholars attribute to ancient pagan monuments; there is no reason whatever to consider them any more accurate than the Holy Bible, or their being, in any sense whatever, necessary as "confirmation" of what is therein written. We have already pointed out the gross error on a modern monument at the head of Wall Street on Broadway, New York City. And, if in the present state of civilization, such a mistake is possible, how much more likely it must be that there were countless mistakes, intentional errors, and outright lies in ancient pagan monuments.

(3) The depopulation of Samaria and its environs was also a result of the fall of the Northern Kingdom. One of the "monuments" cited by several scholars recorded that some 27,920 were deported by Sargon,[3] but that did not include the number carried into captivity by Tiglath-pileser (2 Kings 15:29). Also, that might have been merely the number of the initial list of captives. In fact, Hammond pointed out that, "The 27,920 were those taken from the city of Samaria," and that, "A vast number of others were carried off from the smaller towns and country districts."[4]

The fact that the entire land was so devastated that it was overrun and made unsafe by the prolific multiplication of wild animals (2 Kings 17:26) certainly indicates the near total depopulation of Palestine. One scholar mentioned what he called, "A Jewish tradition that only Judah was left." That, however, was not a tradition at all, but an emphatic declaration of God's Word that, "There was none left but the tribe of Judah only" (2 Kings 17:18).

Of course, this does not mean that individual descendants of the various tribes were all removed from history. The N.T., for example, names a number of persons identified with one or another of the lost tribes (See Luke 2:36).

(4) The origin of the mixed race of people known as the Samaritans is also revealed in this chapter, a matter of immense importance. Significantly, the priests (ignorant and inadequate as they were) delivered the Pentateuch to the peoples of Samaria, who, by reason of it, became monotheists, countless numbers of them accepting Christ in his ministry (Luke 4). Furthermore, the existence of that Samaritan Version of the Pentateuch gives the lie to the claim of modern radical critics who advocate a late date for the Law of Moses. Adam Clarke flatly declared that, "The Samaritan Version is precisely the same as the Hebrew, only fuller, having preserved many words, letters, and even whole sentences, and sometimes several verses NOT in the Hebrew. In all other respects, it is the same as the Hebrew, except for the Samaritan language."[5] In this light, how ridiculous is the false claim that the regulations of the Pentateuch were unknown until after the exile! The period (circa 722 B.C.) was a long, long time prior to the exile.

(5) The chapter also reveals that the devastation and removal that came to Northern Israel were also intended by the Lord to have been a warning to Judah of what would also happen to them, unless they forsook their idolatry and returned to the pure and faithful worship of Jehovah. Unfortunately, Judah was incapable of heeding the warning.

(6) The theological reasons given in 2 Kings 17:7-23 for God's destroying Northern Israel out of his sight are elaborated in these verses; and the passage is often referred to as a "homily" (sermon). No in-depth study of this section will be attempted. The entire O.T. up to this point is the background of this analysis of why God rejected them and cast them away.

The reasons may be summarized as follows:

(a) Their ingratitude and failure to appreciate all God did for them.

(b) Their idolatry in which they adopted and worshipped the very gods of the Canaanites whose worship of them was the very reason why God drove them out and repopulated Canaan with Israel.

(c) Their refusal to believe and heed the warnings of the great O.T. prophets whom God sent in the vain hope of rescuing them from their apostasy.

(d) Their self-satisfaction and conceit, thinking of themselves as being God's special darlings, coupled with their utter disdain and hatred of the Gentiles as exemplified so dramatically in the story of Jonah.

(e) Their breaking of the sacred Sinaitic covenant.

(f) They rejected the plainest commandments of the Law of Moses.

(g) They developed a social "upper class" who hated, despised, and oppressed the poor.

(h) They even sacrificed their children as burnt-offerings to Molek.

(i) Instead of seeking God's will by the appointed manner via the Urim and Thummin, they resorted to all kinds of enchantments and methods of divination.

(j) They even outlawed the worship of the true God and made idolatry the official religion of the nation.

(k) They even oppressed and murdered God's prophets.

(l) They became open enemies of the Davidic dynasty, and one of their rulers (Athaliah) even tried to exterminate David's dynasty.

This is only a partial and incomplete summary, but it is enough to indicate why no complete report of such a reprobate history is advisable just here. The only wonder is that God put up with Northern Israel as long as he did. No nation ever deserved destruction any more than did they. As Ezekiel stated it, "They became worse than Sodom and Gomorrah" (Ezekiel 16).

(7) The final part of this chapter carries a description of the corrupted worship that was carried on in Canaan by the populations placed there by Assyria.

THE SIEGE AND FALL OF SAMARIA

"In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah began Hoshea the son of Elah to reign in Samaria over Israel, and reigned nine years. And he did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, yet not as the kings of Israel that were before him. Against him came Shalmaneser king of Assyria; and Hoshea became his servant and brought him tribute. And the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea; for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt, and offered not tribute 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. Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria. and carried Israel away unto Assyria, and placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes."

"And (he) reigned 9 years" (2 Kings 17:1). Hoshea reigned until Samaria was taken, and therefore we must understand that the imprisonment of Hoshea (2 Kings 17:4) is a summary of what eventually happened, detailed by the following verses. Either that, or the statement of his imprisonment may be understood as a metaphorical reference to the siege that lasted three years.

"Yet not as the kings of Israel that were before him" (2 Kings 17:2). It is not exactly known why Hoshea was judged to have been any better than prior kings of Israel. It might be explained by a Jewish tradition mentioned by Montgomery, "That Hoshea removed the guards set on the road to Jerusalem to keep Israelites from going there to worship."[6] If that tradition is true, it is a sad comment upon the determination of previous kings of Israel not to allow the Israelites to worship in the place that God had appointed.

"So king of Egypt" (2 Kings 17:4). This king of Egypt cannot be certainly identified. One of the Sargon inscriptions, "Mentions a Piru as king of Egypt in the year 720 B.C., whose general, a certain Sibu, he claims to have defeated on the road to Egypt."[7] Again, we mention the danger of implicit trust in such ancient inscriptions.

"He besieged (Samaria) three years" (2 Kings 17:5). Samaria was a powerful stronghold, and it is a credit to the builders and defenders of that city that it withstood a siege for such a long while.

"He placed them (the captives) in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes" (2 Kings 17:6). It is evident that Assyria scattered her captives among the provinces and that they were not carried to Nineveh, the capital. "It was also their policy to place them in small groups so that they would lose their identity and mingle with the local populations."[8] It is not certain as to the exact location of the places mentioned here, but scholars generally suppose that the captives were placed in northern Mesopotamia.

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 2 Kings 17:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/2-kings-17.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah began Hoshea the son of Elah to reign in Samaria over Israel nine years. In this account there is some difficulty, since it was in the twentieth of Jotham, that is, the fourth of Ahaz, that Hosea conspired against Pekah king of Israel, and slew him, when it might be reasonably thought he began his reign: now either there was an interregnum until the twelfth of Ahaz, or Hoshea however was not generally received and acknowledged as king till then, as others think; he being a tributary to the king of Assyria, and a kind of viceroy, is not said to reign until he rebelled against him; after which he reigned nine years, four in the times of Ahaz, and five in the reign of Hezekiah, 2 Kings 18:9, in this way the author of the Jewish chronology goesF18Seder Olam Rabba, c. 22. , in which he is followed by other Jewish writers; and this bids as fair as any to remove the difficulty, unless these nine years refer to the time of his reign before the twelfth of Ahaz; and the sense be, that in the twelfth of Ahaz he had reigned nine year's; but it is said he "began" to reign then.

Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 17:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-kings-17.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

2 Kings 17:1-16. Hoshea‘s wicked reign.

In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, began Hoshea  …  to reign — The statement in 2 Kings 15:30 may be reconciled with the present passage in the following manner: Hoshea conspired against Pekah in the twentieth year of the latter, which was the eighteenth of Jotham‘s reign. It was two years before Hoshea was acknowledged king of Israel, that is, in the fourth of Ahaz, and twentieth of Jotham. In the twelfth year of Ahaz his reign began to be tranquil and prosperous [Calmet].

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 17:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-kings-17.html. 1871-8.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

CONTENTS

This chapter relates to the history of the kingdom of Israel. Hosea's wicked reign is recorded, and which terminates the Israelitish kingdom; for the captivity takes place in the destruction of Samaria, after a period of about 260 years. A mixture of religions takes place also on the event of the captivity.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Kings 17:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/2-kings-17.html. 1828.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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

To reign — He usurped the kingdom in Ahaz's fourth year; but either was not owned as king, by the generality of the people; or was not accepted and established in his kingdom, 'till Ahaz's twelfth year.

Nine — After his confirmation and peaceable possession of his kingdom: for in all, he reigned seventeen, or eighteen years; twelve with Ahaz, who reigned sixteen years, and six with Hezekiah.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 17:1". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-kings-17.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Kings 17:1 In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah began Hoshea the son of Elah to reign in Samaria over Israel nine years.

Ver. 1. Began Hoshea the son of Elah to reign.] Heb., He reigned, sc., as an absolute king, and no longer a vassal or tributary to the king of Assyria as before. (a)

Over Israel nine years,] viz., Four in the days of Ahaz, and five of Hezekiah.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 17:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-kings-17.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

2 KINGS CHAPTER 17

Hoshea king of Israel, his wicked reign: being subdued by Shalmaneser king of Assyria, he conspireth against him with So king of Egypt: he is besieged; taken prisoner; and with all the people carried captive to Assyria for their sins, 2 Kings 17:1-23. The strange nations transplanted into Samaria are plagued with lions: an Israelitish priest is sent to them; whence followeth a mixture of religious, 2 Kings 17:24-41.

Quest. How can this be true, seeing it is said that he reigned, or began to reign, in Israel in the twentieth year of Jotham, 2 Kings 15:30, which was the fourth year of Ahaz, as was there noted? Answ. He usurped the kingdom in Ahaz’s fourth year; but either was not owned as king by the generality of the people, or was not accepted and established in his kingdom by the Assyrian, till Ahaz’s twelfth year; or in his eight first years he was only a tributary prince, and the king of Assyria’s viceroy; and after that time he set up for himself, which drew the Assyrian upon him. Nine years, to wit, after his confirmation and peaceable possession of his kingdom; for in all he reigned seventeen or eighteen years, to wit, twelve with Ahaz, who reigned sixteen years, and six with Hezekiah, 2 Kings 18:10.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 17:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-kings-17.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

REIGN OF HOSEA AND FALL OF THE KINGDOM OF ISRAEL, 2 Kings 17:1-23.

1.In the twelfth year of Ahaz — In our note on 2 Kings 15:30, following Usher we understand that Hoshea slew Pekah in the fourth year of Ahaz. Accordingly there must have been an interregnum of about eight years after Pekah’s death before Hoshea succeeded in seating himself on the throne. This opinion is adopted by Keil, who says, “His possession of the throne must have been contested for eight years. The earlier commentators, and almost all the chronologists, have justly assumed that there was an eight years’ anarchy between the death of Pekah and the commencement of Hoshea’s reign. This assumption merits the preference, above all the attempts made to remove the discrepancy by alterations of the text, since there is nothing at all surprising in the existence of anarchy at a time when the kingdom was in a state of the greatest inward disturbance and decay.” This seems to us more satisfactory than Bahr’s proposal to alter the text in 2 Kings 15:27 by reading thirty instead of twenty years for Pekah’s reign, and to regard the latter part of 2 Kings 15:30 as an interpolation.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 17:1". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-kings-17.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

2 Kings 17:1. In the twelfth year of Ahaz, began Hoshea to reign — He usurped the kingdom in Ahaz’s fourth year; but either was not owned as king by the generality of the people, or was not accepted and established in his kingdom till Ahaz’s twelfth year. Nine years — After his confirmation and peaceable possession of his kingdom; for in all he reigned seventeen or eighteen years; twelve with Ahaz, who reigned sixteen years, and six with Hezekiah.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Kings 17:1". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-kings-17.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Twelfth. Houbigant would substitute 14th, to make the dates agree, p. 113. See chap. xv. 30. (Haydock) --- Till this time, Osee had been tributary to the Assyrian monarch. (Grotius) --- Hebrew may be, "in the 12th year....Osee....had reigned....nine years; which his true. (Calmet) --- He reigned so long afterwards, ver. 6. (Haydock)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Kings 17:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-kings-17.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

twelfth year. There was anarchy for nine years between Pekah and Hoshea. For, in 2 Kings 15:30, Hoshea conspired against Pekah in the twentieth year of Jotham, which was the third year of Ahaz (20 - 12 = 8): for Ahaz began in Pekah"s seventeenth year (2 Kings 16:1), and Hoshea began in Ahaz"s twelfth year. But Pekah"s twenty years end in Ahaz"s third year. (See App-50.

nine years: reckoned from twelfth of Ahaz. Hoshea kept under by the Assyrians till then. Compare Hosea 10:14, where Shalman[eser] spoiled Betharbel in his first expedition, and would spoil Beth-el at his second,

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 17:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-kings-17.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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

In the twelfth year of Ahaz ... began Hoshea ... to reign. The statement in 2 Kings 15:30 may be reconciled with the present passage in the following manner: Hoshea conspired against Pekah in the twentieth year of the latter, which was the eighteenth of Jotham's reign. There was an interregnum or period of anarchy, for it was two years before Hoshea was acknowledged king of Israel - i:e., in the fourth year of Ahaz and twentieth of Jotham. In the twelfth year of Ahaz his reign began to be tranquil and prosperous. This general statement describes the characteristic policy of his reign.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 17:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-kings-17.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

XVII.

THE REIGN OF HOSHEA, THE LAST KING OF SAMARIA. THE FALL OF SAMARIA. CAPTIVITY OF ISRAEL, AND RE-PEOPLING OF THE LAND BY FOREIGNERS.

(1) In the twelfth year of Ahaz.—If Pekah reigned thirty years (see Note on 2 Kings 15:27), and Ahaz succeeded in Pekah’s seventeenth year (2 Kings 16:1), Ahaz must have reigned thirteen years concurrently with Pekah. Hoshea, therefore, succeeded Pekah in the fourteenth year of Ahaz.

Began Hoshea.—See the inscription of Tiglath Pileser, quoted at 2 Kings 15:30, according to which, Hoshea (A-u-si-ha) only mounted the throne as a vassal of Assyria. On the news of the death of Tiglath, he probably refused further tribute.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 17:1". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-kings-17.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah began Hoshea the son of Elah to reign in Samaria over Israel nine years.
A. M. 3274. B.C. 730. In the twelfth. In ch. 15:30, this is said to be "the twentieth year of Jotham," which Calmet thus reconciles: "Hosea conspired against Pekah, the 20th year of the reign of this prince, which was the 18th of Jotham, king of Judah. Two years after this, that is, the 4th of Ahaz and the 20th of Jotham, Hosea made himself master of a part of the kingdom, according to ch. 15:30. Finally, the 12th year of Ahaz, Hosea had peaceable possession of the whole kingdom, agreeably to ch. 17:1."
Hoshea
"After an interregnum, ch. 15:30; 18:9."
Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 28:52 - General1 Kings 16:24 - the name of the city;  2 Kings 18:1 - in the third;  Hosea 8:8 - swallowed;  Hosea 13:11 - GeneralZechariah 1:18 - four

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 17:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-17.html.