2 Kings 17

Talks for Growing Christians

The End of the Northern Kingdom of Israel

2 Kings 17

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Lesson Number 31

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Rebellion again God leads to captivity.
  2. Rebellion against God leads to syncretism.

Practical Application

  1. Watch out for syncretism in your own family.


  1. Who was the last king of northern Israel?
  2. How did King Hoshea get Israel in trouble with Assyria? What was the end result?
  3. Why did God allow the downfall and captivity of the northern kingdom of Israel?
  4. What is syncretism?
  5. How did the Assyrians encourage syncretism?


  1. King Hoshea was the last of the nineteen kings of the northern kingdom of Israel.
  2. Shalmaneser V of Assyria forced Hoshea to pay annual tribute or taxes. But Hoshea refused to pay the tribute after he made a treaty with Egypt. However, this military treaty was unsuccessful and Shalmaneser invaded Israel and besieged Samaria for three years. In 722 BC Samaria was finally conquered by Sargon II, Shalmaneser’s successor. Israelite captives were taken into exile and resettled in towns of Assyria.
  3. Instead of getting rid of all the pagan practices in the land that God gave them, Israel adopted these pagan practices and the heathen gods behind them. They broke all the commandments of the Mosaic covenant. They lowered themselves to worshipping golden calves. They got involved in astrology and other occult practices. They even sacrificed their children in their idolatry. And they would not listen to the prophets that God graciously sent them.
  4. Syncretism is the fusion of different forms of belief or practice. In other words, mixing religions.
  5. They took Israelites captive and resettled them in towns of Assyria. Then they repopulated the Land of Israel with people from other areas of the Assyrian Empire. Thus there was a fusion that took place between the true Israelites and these foreign people. This mixed race became known as the Samaritans.


  1. 1. Rebellion against God leads to captivity. This was graphically illustrated by the nation of Israel, and the same is true today. People think they can gain freedom by ignoring God’s moral standards and doing what “feels good,” but just the opposite is true. They become captives to their sin and to Satan. Do you have personal experience with this, or have you seen it in someone you love?
  2. 2. In many foreign countries around the world today you will find syncretism – a fusion of Christianity and remnants of the former pagan religions. Other gods were not completely removed when Christianity came in. Discuss the dangers that must result from this rebellion.


  1. What heritage are you passing on to your children and grandchildren in your observation of religious holidays? Watch out for syncretism in your own family.

Key Verses

  • “Now the king of Assyria went throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria and besieged it for three years. In the Ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria took Samaria and carried Israel away to Assyria.” 2 Kings 17:5-6
  • “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.” 2 Kings 17:7
  • “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.” 2 Kings 17:24
  • “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 17:33

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