II Kings 17:33: They feared the LORD, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence.
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.