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They feared the LORD, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

17:33 their own gods. The new inhabitants of Samaria, after the best of the Israelites had been carried away into Assyria, soon became a mixed nation—partly composed of Israeli blood and partly of many other tribes, all of which were pagan (II Kings 17:24). Consequently, their religion became a strange mixture of worship of Jehovah and of various pagan gods. These people became the Samaritans of New Testament times, despised by their Jewish half-brothers. Except for scattered individuals, the exiled Israelites never returned to their homeland.

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