First Reading for the Monday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2

2 Kings 17:5-8, 13-15a, 18

Summary: Shalmaneser of Assyria captured Samaria and exiled the Israelites due to their disobedience to God, who had freed them from Egypt. Despite many warnings, they worshiped other gods.

Israel's Exile

Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, occupied the whole land and attacked Samaria, which he besieged for three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea, king of Israel, the king of Assyria took Samaria and deported the children of Israel to Assyria, setting them in Halah, at the Habor, a river of Gozan, and the cities of the Medes.

This came about because the children of Israel sinned against the LORD, their God, who had brought them up from the land of Egypt, from under the domination of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and because they venerated other gods. They followed the rites of the nations whom the Lord had cleared out of the way of the children of Israel and the kings of Israel whom they set up.

And though the LORD warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and seer, “Give up your evil ways and keep my commandments and statutes, in accordance with the entire law which I enjoined on your fathers and which I sent you by my servants the prophets,” they did not listen, but were as stiff-necked as their fathers, who had not believed in the LORD, their God. They rejected his statutes, the covenant which he had made with their fathers, and the warnings which he had given them, till, in his great anger against Israel, the LORD put them away out of his sight. Only the tribe of Judah was left.

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