Thoughts and Reflection
Today we learn about the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel when all ten tribes were exiled by the Assyrians. The tribes are now gone and all that remains are the two tribes in the south — Judah and Benjamin.
In Micah, we hear about the prophecy of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. Micah is telling the people that they will be scattered but from Bethlehem, a ruler will come that will bring them back.
This is an amazing prophecy and foretells the coming of Jesus!
About This Project
For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!
2 Kings 17
1 In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea son of Elah became king of Israel in Samaria, and reigned for nine years.
2 He did what is displeasing to Yahweh, though not like the preceding kings of Israel.
4 But the king of Assyria discovered that Hoshea was playing a double game with him; he had sent messengers to Sais, to the king of Egypt, and had not, as in previous years, handed over the tribute to the king of Assyria. For this the king of Assyria imprisoned him in chains.
5 The king of Assyria invaded the whole country and, coming to Samaria, laid siege to it for three years.
8 they followed the practices of the nations which Yahweh had dispossessed for them.
11 They sacrificed on all the high places like the nations which Yahweh had expelled for them, and did wicked things there, provoking Yahweh’s anger.
12 They served idols, although Yahweh had told them, ‘This you must not do.’
13 And yet through all the prophets and the seers, Yahweh had given Israel and Judah this warning, ‘Turn from your wicked ways and keep my commandments and my laws in accordance with the entire Law which I laid down for your fathers and delivered to them through my servants the prophets.’
15 They despised his laws and the covenant which he had made with their ancestors and the warnings which he had given them. Pursuing futility, they themselves became futile through copying the nations round them, although Yahweh had ordered them not to act as they did.
16 They rejected all the commandments of Yahweh their God and cast themselves metal idols, two calves; they made themselves sacred poles, they worshipped the whole array of heaven, and they served Baal.
17 They caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire of sacrifice, also they practised divination and sorcery, they sold themselves to doing what displeases Yahweh, provoking his anger.
18 Because of which, Yahweh became enraged with Israel and thrust them away from him. The tribe of Judah was the only one left.
23 until at length Yahweh thrust Israel away from him, as he had foretold through all his servants the prophets; he deported the Israelitesfrom their own country to Assyria, where they have been ever since.
24 The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaim, and settled them in the towns of Samariato replace the Israelites; these took possession of Samaria and lived in its towns.
25 When they first came to live there, they did not worship Yahweh; hence, Yahweh set lions on them, which killed a number of them.
26 Consequently, the king of Assyria was informed as follows, ‘The nations whom you deported and settled in the towns of Samaria do not know how to worship the local god, and he has set lions on them; and now these are killing them because they do not know how to worship the local god.’
27 So the king of Assyria gave this order, ‘Send back one of the priests whom I deported from there; let him go and live there and teach them how to worship the local god.’
28 Accordingly, one of the priests who had been deported from Samaria came to live in Bethel; he taught them how to worship Yahweh.
32 They worshipped Yahweh as well, and they appointed priests out of their own number for the high places, and these officiated in the shrines on the high places.
34 They still follow their old rites even now. They did not worship Yahweh and did not conform to his statutes or ritual, or the law or the commandments, which Yahweh had laid down for the sons of Jacob to whom he gave the name Israel.
37 You are to observe the statutes and ritual, the law and the commandments which he has given you in writing and to which you are always to conform; you are not to worship alien gods.
1 But you (Bethlehem) Ephrathah, the least of the clans of Judah, from you will come for me a future ruler of Israel whose origins go back to the distant past, to the days of old.
3 He will take his stand and he will shepherd them with the power of Yahweh, with the majesty of the name of his God, and they will be secure, for his greatness will extend henceforth to the most distant parts of the country.
4 He himself will be peace! Should the Assyrian invade our country, should he set foot in our land, we shall raise seven shepherds against him, eight leaders of men;
6 Then what is left of Jacob, surrounded by many peoples, will be like a dew from Yahweh, like showers on the grass, which do not depend on human agency and are beyond human control.
7 Then what is left of Jacob, surrounded by many peoples, will be like a lion among the forest beasts, like a fierce lion among flocks of sheep trampling as he goes, mangling his prey which no one takes from him.
11 I shall tear the spells out of your hands and you will have no more soothsayers;
12 I shall tear away your images and your sacred pillars from among you, and no longer will you worship things which your own hands have made!
14 In furious anger I shall wreak vengeance on the nations who have disobeyed me!
1 Now listen to what Yahweh says: ‘Stand up, state your case to the mountains and let the hills hear what you have to say!’
4 For I brought you up from Egypt, I ransomed you from the place of slave-labour and sent Moses, Aaron and Miriam to lead you.
5 My people, please remember: what was Balak king of Moab’s plan and how did Balaam son of Beor answer him? . . . from Shittim to Gilgal, for you to know Yahweh’s saving justice.
6 ‘With what shall I enter Yahweh’s presence and bow down before God All-high? Shall I enter with burnt offerings, with calves one year old?
16 ‘For you keep the laws of Omri; what the House of Ahab did, you have done; by modelling yourselves on their standards, you force me to make an appalling example of you and reduce your citizens to a laughing-stock; hence you will endure the scorn of other people.’
1 How wretched I am, a harvester in summer time, like a gleaner at the vintage: not a single cluster to eat, none of those early figs I love!
2 The faithful have vanished from the land: there is no one honest left. All of them are on the alert for blood, every man hunting his brother with a net.
3 Their hands are adept at wrong-doing: the official makes his demands, the judge gives judgement for a bribe, the man in power pronounces as he pleases.
4 The best of them is like a briar, the most honest of them like a thorn-hedge. Now from the north their punishment approaches! That willbe when they are confounded!
8 Do not gloat over me, my enemy: though I have fallen, I shall rise; though I live in darkness, Yahweh is my light.
11 That will be the day for rebuilding your walls! The day for expanding your frontiers!
12 The day when others come to you all the way from Assyria, from Egypt, from Tyre and all the way from the Euphrates, from sea to sea, from the mountains to the mountains!
14 With shepherd’s crook lead your people to pasture, the flock that is your heritage, living confined in a forest with meadow land all round. Let them graze in Bashan and Gilead as in the days of old!
1 [For the choirmaster Psalm Of David] Rescue me, Yahweh, from evil men, protect me from violent men,
11 May the slanderer find no rest anywhere, may evil hunt down violent men implacably.