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Our Young Folk's Josephus by  William Shepard
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THE DESTRUCTION OF THE KINGDOM OF ISRAEL

AFTER Pekah, king of Israel, had ruled for twenty years, he was treacherously slain by one of his most trusted servants, named Hosea, and Hosea made himself king. He was a wicked man, and despised the worship of God. Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, invaded his kingdom and defeated him, and ordered Hosea to pay him a large sum of money every year. Hosea found it burdensome to pay this money, so he called upon the king of Egypt to assist him in casting off the yoke of the Assyrians, Shalmaneser heard of this, and he raised an army and marched into Israel, and in three years he had entirely conquered the country and taken all the cities, and their armies and their king he made prisoners. And he determined to put and end forever to the government of the Israelites; so he sent all the people away to the countries of Media and Persia, and he gave their country to a people called the Cutheans, who lived by a river called Cuthah. These people came and lived in the houses and towns of the Israelites; and because they took Samaria as their principal city they soon became known as Samaritans. Thus the kingdom of Israel came to an end two hundred and forty years after the ten tribes had revolted from Rehoboam; and no one knows what became of the [223] tribes after this. And in this way were they punished for having despised the law of God and the voice of His prophets, who had so often warned them of what would happen if they persisted in their impiety.

When the Cutheans, or Samaritans, first came into their new country, they were worshippers of idols, and they brought their gods with them. But God sent upon the a grievous sickness, and many of them died; and when they found no cure for their miseries, they were informed by a prophet that if they worshipped God they would be relieved. So they sent ambassadors to the king of Assyria, asking him to send them some of those priests of the Israelites whom he had taken captive. And the priests came, and taught the Samaritans the worship of God, and the plague ceased immediately.


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