24 p Then the king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, q Ava, Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they took possession of Samaria and dwelt in its cities. 25 And it was so, at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they did not fear the LORD; therefore the LORD sent lions among them, which killed some of them. 26 So they spoke to the king of Assyria, saying, "The nations whom you have removed and placed in the cities of Samaria do not know the rituals of the God of the land; therefore He has sent lions among them, and indeed, they are killing them because they do not know the rituals of the God of the land." 27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, "Send there one of the priests whom you brought from there; let him go and dwell there, and let him teach them the rituals of the God of the land." 28 Then 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.
29 However every nation continued to make gods of its own, and put them r in the shrines on the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in the cities where they dwelt. 30 The men of s Babylon made Succoth Be-noth', the men of Cuth made Nergal, the men of Hamath made Ashima, 31 t and the Avites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and the Sepharvites u burned their children in fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. 32 So they feared the LORD, v and from every class they appointed for themselves priests of the 1 high places, who sacrificed for them in the shrines of the high places. 33 w They feared the LORD, yet served their own gods - according to the rituals of the nations from among whom they were carried away.
34 To this day they continue practicing the former rituals; they do not fear the LORD, nor do they follow their statutes or their ordinances, or the law and commandment which the LORD had commanded the children of Jacob, x whom He named Israel, 35 with whom the LORD had made a covenant and charged them, saying: y "You shall not fear other gods, nor z bow down to them nor serve them nor sacrifice to them; 36 "but the LORD, who a brought you up from the land of Egypt with great power and b an outstretched arm, c Him you shall fear, Him you shall worship, and to Him you shall offer sacrifice. 37 "And the statutes, the ordinances, the law, and the commandment which He wrote for you, d you shall be careful to observe forever; you shall not fear other gods. 38 "And the covenant that I have made with you, e you shall not forget, nor shall you fear other gods. 39 "But the LORD your God you shall fear; and He will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies." 40 However they did not obey, but they followed their former rituals.
41 f So these nations feared the LORD, yet served their carved images; also their children and their children's children have continued doing as their fathers did, even to this day.New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.