in Melachim II - II Kings - Chapter 17 Paragraph 24. it speaks about the King of Assyria sending foreign people into the land of Israel after exiling the Israelites to Assyria.

The new "inhabitants" of the land were then attacked by Lions. and the people of Israel told the King of Assyria that this is in consequence to the new "Inhabitants" not following the law of the land.

King of Assyria then sends over a priest to teach them the laws..

Now my questions are as follows: 1. Was this a genuine priest from the tribe of Levi? 2. Did this priest teach the new "inhabitants" the correct laws

the reason why I ask is because the new "inhabitants" did exactly what the Israelites did to anger g-d, (passing through fire, idol worshipping etc.) How did they learn about this? did the priest teach them to do so?

1 Answer 1


Rashi states that this was not a "real" kohein but was a "priest' from Samaria who included the idol worship of Samaria in what he taught them.

Similarly, they mixed the worship of Hashem with the worship of the idols that they brought with them. This is because the pagan belief of those times was that all "gods" are powerful and should be worshipped, but the "god" of a particular place is at the head of the "tribe" of deities as long as people are in that place. Additionally, people should continue to worship the "god" who had originally taken their anscestors under his protection in order not to offend him lest he punish them.

Jews were often called "atheists" because they refused to believe in the existence of the "gods". This continued into the time of the Christians and was the subject of many arguments.

they do not fear the Lord: a complete fear as the custom of the Israelites. Even though they were converted because of the fear of the lions, their fear of the Lord was not a complete fear, (like Jewish practice) as Scripture goes on to elaborate, that they were not engaged in the Torah and the commandments which He (or, which the Lord) commanded the sons of Jacob, neither do they practice according to their statutes and according to their law, which they are duty bound to practice since they converted, but as the priest who was of the people of Samaria, who were idolatrous, instructed them.

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