The Second Book of Kings
Chapter Seventeen.

2-Kings. Chapter 17.
Brit-Am Commentary to 2-Kings. Chapter 17.

King Hosea of Israel and Rectification of the Division from Judah!
Exile and Idolatry.
The Samaritans.



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2 Kings 17.
King Hosea of Israel and Rectification of the Division from Judah!

[2 Kings 17:1] In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea the son of Elah became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned nine years.
Hosea and Hoshea are different ways of pronouncing the same name.
"Hoshea" is closer to the present Hebrew pronunciation.

Hoshea was destined to be the last King of the northern Kingdom of Israel, of the Ten Tribes. Hosea had killed Pekah his predecessor.
He became king over Samaria. The eastern sections of Israel (Reuben, Gad, and half-Menasseh), the Galilee and north had all been conquered and their inhabitants exiled to different sections of the Assyrian Empire.
There is a difference of opinion concerning the sequence of Exile: Some say that the inhabitants of northern Israel were taken away before those east of the  Jordan.

An inscription of the King of Assyria, Tiglath-Pileser-3 tells us:

# Bit-Humria  [i.e. "House of Omri" meaning Israel] ?overthrew their king Pekah (Pa-qa-ha) and I placed Hoshea (A-u -si') as king over them. I received from them 10 talents of gold, 1,000(?) talents of silver as their [tri]bute and brought them to Assyria. #
 It is worth remembering that the name used for northern Israel, Bit-Humria  i.e. "House of Omri" is sometimes rendered as just "Humria"  and that the initial letter represented by a "H" was probably pronounced like a "G" i.e. Gumria".  This is similar to the name given to the Cimmerians by the Assyrians. It also equates the Hebrew "Gomer". In the Biblical Book of Hosea (chapters 1 and 2) the Ten Tribes are symbolized by a wayward women named Gomer and her children.

Most of the Book of Hosea is dedicated to the Ten Tribes, their moral and political state just before their exile, and their future history. It is interesting to note that the Prophet Hosea has the same name as King Hosea the last king just before the Exile.
Yair Davidiy on behalf of the Brit-Am, Movement of the Ten Tribes,  is preparing a book based on the Book of Hosea.

[2 Kings 17:2] And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, but not as the kings of Israel who were before him.

We see that Hosea is described as being relatively better than the monarchs who went before him. The Sages said that Hosea did away with the barriers
and guards at the border whose task had been to prevent those Israelites who wished to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem at one of the thrice-yearly festivals from  doing so.
Jeroboam the son of Nebat had led the northern Tribes in seceding from Judah and setting up their own kingdom of Israel.

1-Kings 12:
26 And Jeroboam said in his heart, 'Now the kingdom may return to the house of David: 27 If these people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will turn back to their lord,
Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me and go back to Rehoboam king of Judah.'  28 Therefore the king asked advice, made two calves of gold, and said to the people, 'It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt!' 29 And he set up one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. 30 Now this thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one as far as Dan. 31 He made shrines on the high places, and made priests from every class [Hebrew "Katsi" i.e. "ends-of" possibly connoting lower classes]  of people, who were not of the sons of Levi. 32 Jeroboam ordained a feast on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the feast that was in Judah, and offered sacrifices on the altar.

So we see that Jeroboam had set up golden bull calves. One was located in Dan, the other in Beth-el.
These calves may have originally been intended to somehow represent the God of Israel but they quickly received idolatrous status. Jeroboam did not want the Israelites to go up to Jerusalem. He did not want them to worship God in the same way as the Jews do. He demoted the Levites and put in their place officiates from the lower classes. Jeroboam also changed the Calendar ordering the people to celebrate Succoth at a later date.
Nowadays quite a few different religious groups in the west amongst descendants of the Lost Tribes are recognizing their Israelite ancestry. They also often adopt what they consider to be Biblical practices. Unfortunately some of them are anti-Jewish. Even those that are not openly anti-Jewish in many cases go out of their way not to be associated with Jewish religious practices. Perhaps this is for the better? Anyway these groups usually reject the accepted Hebrew calendar and adopt an invented substitute. They sometimes support the pseudo-Karaites who are anti-Jewish reprobates even if technically Jewish themselves. They also in some cases advocate Conspiracy Theories that are at base anti-Jewish and anti-Israelite. A recent case has one of these so-called "Ephraimite" ministers claiming to be pro-Jewish but promoting literature against Judaism. His source? An American neo-Nazi!
We see here a continuation of the sins of Jeroboam.

Jeroboam says tradition had placed the equivalent of policemen at the borders to present Israelites from going to Jerusalem for religious purposes. These preventive measures existed throughout the existence of the northern Kingdom until the time of Hosea.
King Hosea did away with them. Hosea allowed those Israelites who so wished to worship at Jerusalem to do so. His failure, according to the Sages, was not insisting on this. He should have applied force to rectify effects of the injustice that had been forcibly enforced!
In future the Ten Tribes will be led by a Messiah (Anointed Leader) descended from Joseph. This Mashiach ben Yosef will save the Israelites from oppression, defeat their enemies, and lead them back to the Land of Israel. He will also initiate re-unification with Judah and help Judah rebuild Jerusalem and possibly the Temple as well.

[2 Kings 17:3] Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against him; and Hoshea became his vassal, and paid him tribute money.

This was Shalmaneser-5 (727-722 BCE) as distinct from Shalmaneser-3 (859-824 BCE) who fought against King Ahab and received tribute from Jehu son of Omri.
We saw above that Tiglathpileser boasted of having exacted tribute from Hosea. Shalmaneser-5 succeeded Tiglathpileser.

[2 Kings 17:4] And the king of Assyria uncovered a conspiracy by Hoshea; for he had sent messengers to So, king of Egypt, and brought no 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.

He placed the King of Egypt in jail.

[2 Kings 17:5] Now the king of Assyria went throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria and besieged it for three years.

Shalmaneser-5 began the siege but apparently it was completed by his successor, King Sargon.
At this stage the Kingdom of Israel had been reduced to the Royal city of Samaria and some territory around it.

Exile and Idolatry.

[2 Kings 17:6] In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria took Samaria and carried Israel away to Assyria, and placed them in Halah and by the Habor, the River of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

For a short note as to the identity of the above places see:
Brit-Am Now no. 1655.
#2. Query on First Appearance of the Scythians

See Also:
Sometimes they Come Back
 The Assyrian Exile  by Cam Rea

The Completeness of the Exile

The Cimmerians, Scythians, and Israel

[2 Kings 17:7] For so it was that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and they had feared other gods,

The Israelites had feared and revered other gods. A "god" is not just an idol but it can be any other power or force that is attributed ability independent of that emanating directly from the Almighty.

[2 Kings 17:8] and had walked in the statutes of the nations whom the LORD had cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made.

The Israelites had copied the pagan ways of the nations around them and also invented idolatrous practices of their own.

[2 Kings 17:9] Also the children of Israel secretly did against the LORD their God things that were not right, and they built for themselves high places in all their cities, from watchtower to fortified city.

The above expression, "secretly did against the LORD their God things that were not right" in Hebrew could be rendered "veYechapu" (translated as "did secretly" but also understandable as "cover over" see Daat Mikra) the Almighty matters that are not so. in other words they invented their own theology. They not only worshipped other gods. They also worshipped the God of Israel but they interpreted HIS will other than it was. They said things about the Almighty that were not so. They attempted to combine HIS worship with that of other elements.

# from watchtower to fortified city# The words translated as "watchtower" are "migdal notsrim". Migdal means "tower". These are numerous in the Land of Israel. We consider their conception and design to be forerunners to the nuraghi on Sardinia and the brochs in Scotland.
"Notsrim" means "watchman" or "guard". The singular is "notser" related to the Hebrew-Aramaic "noter".
The expression "notsrim" or in the singular "notser" is connected to the root "netser".
"Netser" was a hero-figure in Ancient Israel as shown by an inscription from Biblical Succot in the territory of Gad. Later the pre-Islamic pagan Arabs apparently assimilated "netser" as a god into their pantheon. "Netser" was associated with the Biblical Bilaam.
It has been claimed (by 19th century German scholars) that before Christianity arose there was a group known as "Notsrim" amongst the Jews. They may have somehow been associated with "Netser".
Later the term "Notsrim" was applied to the Christians because of their association with "Nazareth". In Hebrew Nazareth is pronounced as "Natseret" from the same word root as 'Netser". There may have been a perceived similarity between the early "Notsrim" and the Christians who came after them. Or it may be a coincidence. Or the claim as to an existing group known as "Notsrim" before the Christians might be wrong.
Abarbanel associated the word "notsrim" in Prophecy (Jeremiah 31:6) with the Christians from Edom i.e. Europe.
Brit-Am collated all the above sources (and some others) and came to the conclusion that the Ten Tribes when they return will be Christians.
This does not mean we agree with Christianity.
Just the opposite.
It does however fit in with our conception that whether right or wrong Christianity has a positive role to play in the history of the Ten Tribes of Israel.
At all events the present-day Jews are not historically, psychologically, or sociologically equipped to deal with this question at present.
We may therefore allow ourselves to leave the solution to the Messiah when he comes.
See Also:

[2 Kings 17:10] They set up for themselves sacred pillars and wooden images [asherot] on every high hill and under every green tree.

The Western Celts worshipped stone pillars (menhirs)  while the Anglo-Saxons and company adored wooden poles. The may-pole custome was an offshoot of this worship. These poles etc were referred to as asherot and associated with a goddess of that name. The Anglo-Saxons (as recorded by Bede) referred to her as "Eostre".

[2 Kings 17:11] There they burned incense on all the high places, like the nations whom the LORD had carried away before them; and they did wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger,

[2 Kings 17:12] for they served idols, of which the LORD had said to them, 'You shall not do this thing.'

We have seen how the northern Israelites were exiled.
For a more complete discussion of the Exile and matters involved with it see:
The Stages of Exile
The Exile in Stages Predicted
What led to the Exile?
Pul and Tiglathpileser
Later Assyrian Exiles and Samaria
ALL of the Northern Tribes were Exiled!
Most of the Exiles Were Taken Overland!
Places of Exile
Transportation of the Exiles by Sea
A Portion of Judah also Exiled by the Assyrians
The Lost Ten Tribes in Exile are spoken of in
Midrashic and Talmudic Sources
The Lost Ten
Tribes,Darkness and "Hidden" Concealment
The Wandering Bull Calf
The Aspect of Darkness Continued into North America

[2 Kings 17:13] Yet the LORD testified against Israel and against Judah, by all of His prophets, every seer, saying, 'Turn 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.'

Here the description of Israelite transgressions includes those of Judah. Israel, i.e. the Ten Tribes,  was to be exiled and lose their identity.
Judah was not. More than a hundred years later the Babylonian did take the inhabitants of Judah into Exile. Part of Judah however returned and those of Judah who did not retained their identity.
On the one hand it was all part of a Divine Plan. Divine Providence wanted the northern Israelites to do what they had to do and at this stage the only way they could do it was by forgetting who they were.
We have several articles on this matter each discussing different aspects of the same theme.
The Blessings and Tasks of Joseph

The Divine Purpose for the Exile and Division

"The Yearning of Ephraim For Redemption"

On the one hand the Israelites had sinned and were being punished. On the other hand their punishment took a form that would enable them ultimately to carry forward the Divine Plan that entails their Redemption and the uplifting of all mankind.

We may perhaps draw a parallel from the Holocaust. Before World War-2 the Jews of Europe were murdered by Gentiles. Why this happened it is perhaps too early to know. One notion is that the Jews were then on the verge of mass assimilation. Whatever the case the aftermath of what happened necessitated the establishment of the State of Israel. Without the Holocaust it may not have been possible. The Jews may have preferred to stay were they were?

[2 Kings 17:14] Nevertheless they would not hear, but stiffened their necks, like the necks of their fathers, who did not believe in the LORD their God.

[2 Kings 17:15] And they rejected His statutes and His covenant that He had made with their fathers, and His testimonies which He had testified against them; they followed idols, became idolaters, and went after the nations who were all around them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them that they should not do like them.

The Israelites in their own land had adopted the ways of the nations around them. After their exile they continued in this path.
We trace the Exiled Israelites to Western Europe and find in these areas pagan cults that combine aspects of the Ancient Hebrew faith with those of the Canaanites and other Middle Eastern peoples.

[2 Kings 17:16] So they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, made for themselves a molded image and two calves, made a wooden image and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.

# a molded image # in Hebrew is "masaca" connoting a metal statue made from a mould.
# two calves # i.e. two young bulls.
# a wooden image#  i.e. "Asheirah" which could mean the goddess "Astarte" or "Eostre" as the Anglo-Saxons later called her and indeed they too worshipped at wooden polls etc.
Baal became the chief god the Western Celts known as "Bel".  Britain in Welsh tradition was referred to as the "Honey Isle of Bel".
In Scandinavia Baal became "Baldar".

[2 Kings 17:17] And they caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and soothsaying, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger.

This is the practice of Moloch and Beltain that we discussed in chapter 16.

[2 Kings 17:18] Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them from His sight; there was none left but the tribe of Judah alone.

We know that not only people from the Tribe of Judah remained behind but also many from the other Tribes.

Daat Mikra quotes concerning King Asa of Judah,
# Then he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and those who dwelt with them from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon, for they came over to him in great numbers from Israel when they saw that the LORD his God was with him # (2-Chronicles 15:9).
This and other verses are often quoted by those who wish to say that the Bible exaggerates concerning the extent of Israel and that actually a good portion of all the Israelites remained or later attached themselves tot he entity otherwise known as "Judah".
The Completeness of the Exile

The Radak, Nachmanides, and others however explain that Judah was the main tribe in the Kingdom of Judah. Judah set the tone. Members of the other Tribes who were included in the Kingdom of Judah were subservient to Judah and became part of Judah. Their Tribal expression was meant to be achieved through the Ten Tribes and not as "Jews". This explains how amongst the Jews here and there we find family traditions of descent from one or other of the other Tribes.

[2 Kings 17:19] Also Judah did not keep the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made.

The inhabitants of Judah also followed the practices of the northern Kingdom of Israel. Nevertheless a remnant of Judah was not exiled to Assyria and did not loose their identity. Statistically it may be that MORE Jews were taken away by the Assyrians and were lost along with the Ten Tribes. From a  Biblical perspective however enough Jews remained in Judah and around Jerusalem to reconstitute the entity of Judah.
Nachmanides: The Completeness of the Exile.

[2 Kings 17:20] And the LORD rejected all the descendants of Israel, afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them from His sight.

[2 Kings 17:21] For He tore Israel from the house of David, and they made Jeroboam the son of
Nebat king. Then Jeroboam drove Israel from following the LORD, and made them commit a great sin.

The Sages (Sanhedrin 102;a) say that the Israelites were forced to commit idolatry by Jeroboam. They had not really wanted to do so. That is one  view of what happened. Another opinion (also quoted by the Sages) is that the real underlying motivation for the separation from Judah had been a craving for idolatry. perhaps the two opinions are not mutually exclusive but somehow complement each other?
These days we live in a different culture with other values. We are more materialistic and less spiritual. We feel less dependent on superior forces and less wary of the unknown worlds beyond our own.

[2 Kings 17:22] For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them,

[2 Kings 17:23] until the LORD removed Israel out of His sight, as He had said by all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away from their own land to Assyria, as it is to this day.

According to tradition the Book of Kings was transcribed in the Time of Ezra and Nehemiah which according to modern reckoning would put it somewhere before ca. 500 BCE.

The Samaritans.

[Kings 17:24] Then the king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, 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.

These foreign peoples became the Samaritans.
The places they came from seem to be all in Mesopotamia and Northern Syria.

The archaeologist Adam Zertal claims to have found evidence of the newcomers entry:

# Zertal dates the Assyrian onslaught at 721 BCE to 647 BCE and discusses three waves of imported settlers. He shows that Mesopotamian pottery in Samaritan territory cluster around the lands of Menasheh and that the type of pottery found was produced around 689 BCE. #

In the Book of Ezra other peoples are mentioned:
Ezra 4:
9 From
Rehum the commander, Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their companions'representatives of the Dinaites, the Apharsathchites, the Tarpelites, the people of Persia and Erech and Babylon and Shushan, the Dehavites, the Elamites, 10 and the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Osnapper took captive and settled in the cities of Samaria and the remainder beyond the River'and so forth.

Here the peoples mentioned include groups from Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) and Iran. The Dehavites may have been the Dahai from east of the Caspian.
It would seem that in addition to the first wave of settlers the Assyrians kept on bringing in newcomers up until the time their rulership was replaced by that of Babylon.

Josephus "Antiquities" 9:14:3
3. But now the
Cutheans, who removed into Samaria, (for that is the name they have been called by to this time, because they were brought out of the country called Cuthah, which is a country of Persia, and there is a river of the same name in it,) each of them, according to their nations, which were in number five, brought their own gods into Samaria, and by worshipping them, as was the custom of their own countries, they provoked Almighty God to be angry and displeased at them, for a plague seized upon them, by which they were destroyed; and when they found no cure for their miseries, they learned by the oracle that they ought to worship Almighty God, as the method for their deliverance. So they sent ambassadors to the king of Assyria, and desired him to send them some of those priests of the Israelites whom he had taken captive. And when he thereupon sent them, and the people were by them taught the laws, and the holy worship of God, they worshipped him in a respectful manner, and the plague ceased immediately; and indeed they continue to make use of the very same customs to this very time, and are called in the Hebrew tongue Cutlans, but in the Greek tongue Samaritans. And when they see the Jews in prosperity, they pretend that they are changed, and allied to them, and call them kinsmen, as though they were derived from Joseph, and had by that means an original alliance with them; but when they see them falling into a low condition, they say they are no way related to them, and that the Jews have no right to expect any kindness or marks of kindred from them, but they declare that they are sojourners, that come from other countries. But of these we shall have a more seasonable opportunity to discourse hereafter.

Antiquities  12:2:5
5. When the Samaritans saw the Jews under these sufferings, they no longer confessed that they were of their kindred, nor that the temple on Mount
Gerizzim belonged to Almighty God. This was according to their nature, as we have already shown. And they now said that they were a colony of Medes and Persians; and indeed they were a colony of theirs.
So they sent ambassadors to Antiochus, and an epistle, whose contents are these: "To king Antiochus the god,
Epiphanes, a memorial from the Sidonians, who live at Shechem. ..

Here Josephus has the Samaritans say they came from Media but in the letter he quotes immeditely from them they claim to be from Sidon i.e. Phoenicia.

Elsewhere Josephus says they were partly Arab and Assyrian inscriptions speak of Arab settlers being brought in to replace Israelites from the Ten Tribes who has all been exiled:

#  [the Israelites of Samar]ia [who had agreed with a hostile king]...I fought with them and decisively defeated them]....carried off as spoil. 50 chariots for my royal force ...[the rest of them I settled in the midst of Assyria]....The Tamudi, Ibadidi, Marsimani and Hayappa, who live in distant Arabia, in the desert, who knew neither overseer nor commander, who never brought tribute to any king--with the help of Ashshur my lord, I defeated them. I deported the rest of them. I settled them in Samaria/Samerina.(Sargon II Inscriptions, COS 2.118A, p. 293)

The inhabitants of Samaria/Samerina, who agreed [and plotted] with a king [hostile to] me, not to do service and not to bring tribute [to Assyria] and who did battle, I fought against them with the power of the great gods, my lords. I counted as spoil 27,280 people, together with their chariots, and gods, in which they trusted. I formed a unit with 200 of [their] chariots for my royal force. I settled the rest of them in the midst of Assyria. I repopulated Samaria/Samerina more than before. I brought into it people from countries conquered by my hands. I appointed my eunuch as governor over them. And I counted them as Assyrians.(Nimrud Prisms, COS 2.118D, pp. 295-296)

For more about the Samaritans including a British and Lost Ten Tribes connection see:
Do traditions of British and French Kinship Reflect Ancestral Connections?

[2 Kings 17:25] 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.

In Ancient Mesopotamia cases are reported where packs of lions roamed the countryside and occasionally entered the towns attacking the citizens. The Land of Israel at that time was wetter and more heavily forested than it is now. There was more wildlife.
The World Climate is thought to have changed around 700 BCE. This conventionally was about the time the Ten tribes were exiled.

[2 Kings 17:26] 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.'

[2 Kings 17:27] 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.'

[2 Kings 17:28] 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.

[2 Kings 17:29] However every nation continued to make gods of its own, and put them in the shrines on the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in the cities where they dwelt.

[2 Kings 17:30] The men of Babylon made Succoth
Benoth, the men of Cuth made Nergal, the men of Hamath made Ashima,

[2 Kings 17:31] and the
Avites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and the Sepharvites burned their children in fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.

[2 Kings 17:32] So they feared the LORD, and from every class they appointed for themselves priests of the high places, who sacrificed for them in the shrines of the high places.

These altars and places of worship with pagan priests officiating were those whom Josiah son of Amon King of Judah destroyed and killed (2-Chronicles 34:6-9).
The Completeness of the Exile

[2 Kings 17:33] They feared the LORD, yet served their own
gods'according to the rituals of the nations from among whom they were carried away.

[2 Kings 17:34] 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, whom He named Israel,

[2 Kings 17:35] with whom the LORD had made a covenant and charged them, saying: 'You shall not fear other gods, nor bow down to them nor serve them nor sacrifice to them;

[2 Kings 17:36] but the LORD, who brought you up from the land of Egypt with great power and an outstretched arm, Him you shall fear, Him you shall worship, and to Him you shall offer sacrifice.

[2 Kings 17:37] And the statutes, the ordinances, the law, and the commandment which He wrote for you, you shall be careful to observe forever; you shall not fear other gods.

[2 Kings 17:38] And the covenant that I have made with you, you shall not forget, nor shall you fear other gods.

[2 Kings 17:39] But the LORD your God you shall fear; and He will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.'

[2 Kings 17:40] However they did not obey, but they followed their former rituals.

[2 Kings 17:41] 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.

There were the Samaritans.
They were not Israelites.
There may have been a very small number of real Israelites amongst them.
Nevertheless nearly all of them were heathen non-Israelite pagans. They received at first some basic instruction from an exiled Israelite priest who had been sent back. They took this elementary basis and combined it with their own heathen notions. Later they were drawn closer to what is now considered  Judaism but drew away again. They retained their basic pagan psychological foundation.
At the best of times they were incapable of accepting the Torah as it had been given.
They became the first Karaites.

To Be Continued!
After the Death of Solomon:
The Divided Kingdom

The Divided Kingdom
Source of Map:

2-Kings ch.16
2-Kings Contents
2-Kings ch.18