During the 700s BC, the Assyrian empire made many conquests in the land of Israel. Because God’s people had ignored his commands and began turning to pagan gods, they had become weak, both morally and physically. As judgment for their waywardness, God allowed the powerful Assyrians to destroy and conquer the northern ten tribes, as well as many cities in the southern tribes of Judah:
Circa 740 BC: Assyrian King Tiglath-Pileser began plundering the northern ten tribes, the nation of Israel (2 Kings 15:29). He destroyed many cities, brutally killing their inhabitants, and left Israel with only the capital of Samaria intact.
Circa 735 BC: King Shalmaneser marched on Samaria after Hoshea, the last king of Israel, refused to pay tribute to the Assyrians. The Assyrians marched on Samaria, slaughtered its inhabitants, and destroyed the remainder of the northern kingdom.
722 BC: The ten northern tribes ceased to exist as a people. The Israelites who remained in Israel were forcibly mixed with other religious and ethnic groups and became the hated Samaritans of the New Testament. Those who were deported disappeared from history.
Circa 700 BC: The new Assyrian king, Sennacherib, focused his attention on Judah, where he destroyed many cities. (He claimed to have destroyed 46 walled cities and deported more than 200,000 captives.)
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