2 Kings 17:6 MEANING

2 Kings 17:6
(6) In the ninth year of Hosheathe king of Assyria took Samaria.--Comp. Hosea 10:5 seq.; Micah 1:6; Isaiah 28:1-4. In the great inscription published by Botta, Sargon says: "The city of Samaria I assaulted, I took; 27,280 men dwelling in the midst thereof I carried off; 50 chariots among them I set apart (for myself), and the rest of their wealth I let (my soldiers) take; my prefect over them I appointed, and the tribute of the former king upon them I laid."

Placed them.--Literally, made them dwell. LXX.,

In Halah.--This place appears to be identical with Halahhu, a name occurring in an Assyrian geographical list between Arrabha (Arrapachitis) and Ratsappa (Rezeph). It probably lay in Mesopotamia, like Rezeph and Gozan. (See Note on 1 Chronicles 5:26.)

In Habor by the river of Gozan.--Rather, on Habor the river of Gozan.

The cities of the Medes.- The LXX. seems to have read "mountains of the Medes." (Comp. Notes on 1 Chronicles 5:26, where "Hara and the river of Gozan" is probably the result of an inadvertent transposition of "The river of Gozan and Hara.")

Verse 6. - In the ninth year of Hoshea the wing of Assyria took Samaria. In B.C. 722, the ninth year of Hoshea, there seems to have been a revolution at Nineveh. The reign of Shalmaneser came to an end, and Sargon seated himself upon the throne. There have been commentators on Kings (Keil, Bahr) who have supposed that Shalmaneser and Sargon were the same person, and have even claimed that the Assyrian inscriptions support their view. But the fact is otherwise. Nothing is more certain than that, according to them, Sargon succeeded Shalmaneser IV. in B.C. 722 by a revolution, and was the head of a new dynasty. He claims in his annals, among his earliest acts, the siege and capture of Samaria ('Eponym Canon,' p. 125). It is remarkable that Scripture, while in no way connecting him with the capture, never distinctly assigns it to Shalmaneser. Here we are only told that "the King of Assyria" took it. In 2 Kings 18:9, 10, where we are distinctly told that Shalmaneser "came up against Samaria, and besieged it," the capture is expressed by the phrase, "they took it," not "he took it." Perhaps neither king was present in person at the siege, or, at any rate, at its termination. The city may have been taken by an Assyrian general, while Shalmaneser and Sargon were contending for the crown. In that case, the capture might be assigned to either. Sargon certainly claims it; Shalmaneser's annals have been so mutilated by his successors that we cannot tell whether he claimed it or not. The city fell in B.C. 722; and the deportation of its inhabitants at once took place. And carried Israel away into Assyria. The inscription of Sargon above referred to mentions only the deportation, from the city of Samaria itself, of 27,290 persons. No doubt a vast number of others were carried off from the smaller towns and from the country districts. Still, the country was not left uninhabited, and Sargon assessed its tribute at the old rate ('Eponym Canon,' l.s.c.). Nor was the cry of Samaria destroyed, since we hear of it subsequently more than once in the Assyrian annals. And placed them in Halah. "Halah" (חֲלַה) has been supposed by some to be the old Assyrian city (Genesis 10:11) of Calah (כָּלַח), which was, down to the' time of Tiglath-pileser, the main capital; but the difference of spelling is an objection, and the Assyrians do not seem to have ever transported subject-populations to their capitals. It is moreover reasonable to suppose that Halah, Habor, Gozan, and Hara (1 Chronicles 5:26) were in the same neighborhood. This last consideration points to the "Chalcitis" of Ptolemy (5. 18) as the true "Halah," since it was in the immediate vicinity of the Khabour, of Gauzanitis, and of Haran. And in Habor by the river of Gozan. This is a mistranslation. The Hebrew runs, "And on Habor (Khabor), the river of Gozan" (so also in 2 Kings 18:11). "Habor, the river of Gozan," is undoubtedly one of the Khabours. Those who find Halah in Calah, or in Calacine (Calachene), generally prefer the eastern river which runs into the Tigris from Kurdistan a little below Jezireh. But there is no evidence that rids river bore the name in antiquity. The Western Khabour, on the other hand, was well known to the Assyrians under that appellation, and is the Aborrhas of Strabo and Procopius, the Chaboras of Pliny and Ptolemy, the Aburas of Isadore of Charax, and the Abora of Zosimus. It adjoins a district called Chalcitis, and it drains the country of Gauzanitis or Mygdonia. The Western Khabour is a river of Upper Mesopotamia, and runs into the Euphrates from the northeast near the site of the ancient Circesion. The tract which it drains is called Mygdonia by Strabo, Gauzanitis by Ptolemy. And in the cities of the Medes. Media had been repeatedly invaded and ravaged by the Assyrians from the time of Vulnirari IV. (about B.C. 810); but the first king to conquer any portion of it, and people its cities with settlers from other parts of his dominions, was Sargon (Oppert, ' Inscriptions des Sargonides,' pp. 25, 37). We learn from the present passage that a certain number of these settlers were Israelites (comp. 2 Kings 18:11 and Tobit 1:14).

17:1-6 When the measure of sin is filled up, the Lord will forbear no longer. The inhabitants of Samaria must have endured great affliction. Some of the poor Israelites were left in the land. Those who were carried captives to a great distance, were mostly lost among the nations.In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria,..... Which was the last year of his reign, and to be reckoned either from the time of his reigning in full power and authority, or from his first casting off the Assyrian yoke; See Gill on 2 Kings 17:1.

and carried Israel away into Assyria; not only the inhabitants of Samaria, but all the ten tribes inhabiting the several parts of the kingdom, for which Josephus is express (a).

and placed them in Halah, and in Habor, by the river of Gozan; some of them he placed here, which were in Assyria. Halah is the Calachena of Ptolemy, at the north of Assyria, and Habor is the mount Chobaras of the same; from which mountain, as you go to the Caspian sea, about midway, is the city Gauzania, the same with Gozan, which might give name to this river (b). The Jews say (c), this is the river Sambation, which runs so swiftly, that there is no passing except on the sabbath day; and which then the Jews cannot pass because of the profanation of the sabbath; and is the reason they give why the ten tribes are there detained; and Manasseh ben Israel (d) fancies Habor to be Tabor, a province in Tartary, where some Jews are:

and in the cities of the Medes; others of them he placed there, under his jurisdiction, the same with Hara, 1 Chronicles 5:26, which with the Greeks is called Aria; and Herodotus says (e), these Medes formerly were called by all Arii. It appears from hence that the kingdom of Media was now subject to the king of Assyria: some (f) take Halach to be Colchi, and Habor to be Iberia, and Hara to be Armenia, and Gauzani to be Media, which all bounded the north of Assyria.

(a) Antiqu. l. 9. c. 10. sect. 1.((b) Vid. Witsium de 10 Trib. Israel. c. 4. sect. 2.((c) Rambam apud Eliam in Tishbi, p. 134. (d) Spes Israelis, sect. 17. p. 55. (e) Polymnia, sive, l. 7. c. 60. So Pausanias Corinthiac. sive, l. 2. p. 91. Vid. Vossium in Melam, de Situ Orbis, l. 1. c. 2. p. 13. (f) See Bierwood's Inquiries, p. 104.

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