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[277] WHEN Shalmaneser, the king of Assyria, had it told him, that [Hoshea] the king of Israel had sent privately to So, the king of Egypt, desiring his assistance against him, he was very angry, and made an expedition against Samaria, in the seventh year of the reign of Hoshea; but when he was not admitted [into the city] by the king, 1 he besieged Samaria three years, and took it by force in the ninth year of the reign of Hoshea, and in the seventh year of Hezekiah, king of Jerusalem, and quite demolished the government of the Israelites, and transplanted all the people into Media and Persia among whom he took king Hoshea alive; and when he had removed these people out of this their land he transplanted other nations out of Cuthah, a place so called, (for there is [still] a river of that name in Persia,) into Samaria, and into the country of the Israelites. So the ten tribes of the Israelites were removed out of Judea nine hundred and forty-seven years after their forefathers were come out of the land of Egypt, and possessed themselves of the country, but eight hundred years after Joshua had been their leader, and, as I have already observed, two hundred and forty years, seven months, and seven days after they had revolted from Rehoboam, the grandson of David, and had given the kingdom to Jeroboam. And such a conclusion overtook the Israelites, when they had transgressed the laws, and would not hearken to the prophets, who foretold that this calamity would come upon them, if they would not leave off their evil doings. What gave birth to these evil doings, was that sedition which they raised against Rehoboam, the grandson of David, when they set up Jeroboam his servant to be their king, when, by sinning against God, and bringing them to imitate his bad example, made God to be their enemy, while Jeroboam underwent that punishment which he justly deserved.

1 This siege of Samaria, though not given a particular account of, either in our Hebrew or Greek Bibles, or in Josephus, was so very long, no less than three years, that it was no way improbable but that parents, and particularly mothers, might therein be reduced to eat their own children, as the law of Moses had threatened upon their disobedience, Leviticus 26;29; Deuteronomy 28:53-57; and as was accomplished in the other shorter sieges of both the capital cities, Jerusalem and Samaria; the former mentioned Jeremiah 19:9; Antiq. B. IX. ch. 4. sect. 4, and the latter, 2 Kings 6:26-29.

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