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The LORD Sent Lions as a Plague to Samaria's New Inhabitants
The people did not realize that the God of Israel was the true God and they did not fear Him. Therefore the LORD multiplied many lions in the land to punish them. Since the people in Samaria were so engrossed in their idolatry the Bible mentions that the Lord rebuked them and punished them using the lions as a plague. The people were so distressed that they cried out to the king of Assyria and he sent them a priest of Israel from among the captives. He set up an altar at Bethel and sought to worship Yahweh, but the people wanted their idols and thus the religion became mixed, much like Christianity and Paganism (Roman Catholicism) in the and fourth century A.D.
2 Kings 17:25-27 - And [so] it was at the beginning of their dwelling there, [that] they feared not the LORD: therefore the LORD sent lions among them, which slew [some] of them. Wherefore they spake to the king of Assyria, saying, The nations which thou hast removed, and placed in the cities of Samaria, know not the manner of the God of the land: therefore he hath sent lions among them, and, behold, they slay them, because they know not the manner of the God of the land. Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, Carry thither one of the priests whom ye brought from thence; and let them go and dwell there, and let him teach them the manner of the God of the land.