Old Testament Story List

Israel's Captivity

Over the years, the people of Israel ignored the Lord's prophets. Of course a few believed, but most people did not. Their kings worshiped golden calves instead of the true God.

Many years passed. Finally, God decided that the Israelites would never turn to him with all their hearts. Nineteen kings had ruled the land and many times God had

helped them out of trouble. Still they did not lead their people back to God.

God allowed the Assyrians, whose capital city was Nineveh, to capture some of the Israelites and take them as slaves to a strange land. For a while, Hoshea, king of Israel, paid heavy taxes to the Assyrians.

One year Hoshea refused to pay. Again the king of Assyria sent his army. He took Hoshea and many of his people to Assyria. Only the poorest Israelites were left in the land. Those who were taken away were never again allowed to return to their homeland.

Since he had conquered the country, the Assyrian king ruled the land of Israel. He decided it was not good to leave the Israelite cities empty, and so he brought heathen people from the east to live in Samaria. He told the, "You can work the fields and care for the vineyards. Each year when you sell your crops, you can pay me for letting you use the land."

The heathen who came to live in the cities of Israel did not know about the true God. They sent a messenger to tell the king of Assyria, "We do not know how to worship the God of this land and we are afraid of him."

The king of Assyria commanded, "Send back one of the priests that we captured. He can teach the heathen there to worship the God of Israel."

A priest of the Israelites taught the heathen about the true God, and the heathen tried to worship the God of Israel. Because they still worshiped their own idols, the right and wrong got mixed up.

Of the twelve Israelite tribes, only the tribe of Judah was not carried into captivity.

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