2 KINGS 17

3 Against him came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria [Melech Ashur]; and Hoshea became his servant [eved], and gave him presents [paid him minchah (tribute)].

4 And the king of Assyria [Melech Ashur] found conspiracy [kesher] in Hoshea: for he had sent messengers [malachim] to So king of Egypt [Melech Mitzrayim], and brought no present to the king of Assyria [paid no minchah to Melech Ashur], as he had done year by year [shanah b'shanah]: therefore the king of Assyria [Melech Ashur] shut him up [took him in custody], and bound him in prison [bais keleh].

5 Then the king of Assyria [Melech Ashur] came up throughout all the land [kol HaAretz], and went up to Samaria [Shomron], and besieged it 3 years [shalosh shanim].

6 In the 9th year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria [Melech Ashur took Shomron], and carried Israel away into Assyria [Yisroel away to Ashur], and placed them in [Chalach] and in [ Chavor ] by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

Proximately, Israel's calamities were of purely human origin: but how stands the case from the divine point of view? They were divine doings by human agency. This is testified so abundantly and emphatically that there can be no mistake about the matter. First by Moses God forewarned them when they came out of Egypt:

"If ye will not hearken unto Me and will not do all these commandments, . . . I will bring a sword against you that shall avenge the quarrel of My covenant, . . . and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you" (Leviticus 26: 14-25).

Then by the prophet Ahijah, in the reign of Jeroboam who first led the Ten Tribes astray, the following message was delivered:

"The Lord shall root up Israel out of this good land which He gave to their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the river, because they have made their groves, provoking the Lord to anger" (1 Kings 14: 15).

And finally, the divine record of these prophecies fulfilled verses 18, 23).

Thus by perfectly natural means, a great work of God was done in the reign of Shalmaneser the king of Assyria, 2,500 years ago. It is written:

"He that scattered Israel will gather him."

The scattering was done by natural means, and so may the gathering be in its first stages. It is this which imparts such interest to the many schemes and motions abroad in the earth at the present time, touching the return of Israel to their own land.

Ways of Providence Ch 20.