[begin part 2]
The Northern Kingdom [Israel] consisted of 10 tribes (excluding Judah and Benjamin). It will be destroyed by Assyria in about 722 BC. Its capital was Samaria. Every king of Israel was evil. In the northern kingdom there were 9 family lines of kings, and 19 kings in all. Eight of these kings met death by violence.
The epitaph written over every one of its kings was:
… and he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and he walked in the way of Jeroboam, in his sin by which he had made Israel sin.
It was king Ahab who introduced Baal worship to them. As recorded in 1 Kings 16:30-33:
Now Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD, more than all who were before him. And it came to pass, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians; and he went and served Baal and worshiped him. Then he set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a wooden image. Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him.
The last king was Hoshea (2 Kings 17). The constant bickering between their neighbors outside of the cities boundaries never ceased. These thorns of Israel led to petty wars with Syria and Edom, Ammon and Philistia. A new world empire was slowly being formed and gathered into the ruthless hands of the Assyrians.
Assyria was a kingdom located between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers that dominated the ancient world from the ninth century to the seventh century B. C. Its capital was Nineveh. In stature the Assyrians were of average modern European height, and were powerfully built. Their complexion was dark, the nose prominent, the hair, eyebrows, and beard thick and bushy. They rarely intermarried with neighboring peoples. The early inhabitants of Assyria were ancient tribesmen (Genesis 10:22) who probably migrated from Babylonia. They grew powerful enough around 1300 B. C. to conquer Babylonia. For the next 700 years they were the leading power in the ancient world, with their leading rival nation, Babylon, constantly challenging them for this position. It is the Assyrians that will eventually destroy the northern kingdom Israel.
Samaria would not survive, dragging Israel into captivity. After defeating the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 B. C., the Assyrians carried away thousands of Israelites and resettled them in other parts of the Assyrian Empire. From this they would never fully recover. The ten tribes that were taken to Assyria became the ten lost tribes, for they never again emerged by tribe in world history.
Assyrian scribes world record the number slain, very often putting out the eyes of an enemy king and leading the officials into captivity with hooks in their lips. They were a world empire for about 300 years, and finally the brutal empire fell in 607 B.C. giving way to the Babylonians. Because of the cruelty and paganism of the Assyrians, the Hebrew people harbored deep-seated hostility against this nation. This attitude is revealed clearly in the Book of Jonah. When God instructed Jonah to preach to Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, Jonah refused and went in the opposite direction. After he finally went to Nineveh, the prophet was disappointed with God because He spared the city. 150 years later the prophet Nahum spoke against Assyria indicating that they were ripe for the slaughter.
But the Lord always reminded them of why judgment came:
II Kings 17:7-23
For so it was that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt—yet they other gods, and had walked in the statutes of the nations whom the LORD had cast out from before the children of Israel…
Also the children of Israel secretly did against the LORD their God things that were not right, and they built for themselves high places in all their cities, from watchtower to fortified city. They set up for themselves sacred pillars and wooden images on every high hill and under every green tree. There they burned incense on all the high places, like the nations whom the LORD had carried away before them; and they did wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger, for they served idols, of which the LORD had said to them, “You shall not do this thing.” So the LORD testified against Israel and against Judah, by all of His prophets and every seer, saying:
“Turn from your evil ways, and keep My commandments and My statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets.”
Nevertheless they would not hear, but stiffened their necks, like the necks of their fathers, who did not believe in the LORD their God. And they rejected His statutes and His covenant that He had made with their fathers, and His testimonies which He had testified against them; they followed idols, became idolaters, and went after the nations who were all around them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them that they should not do like them.
So they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, made for themselves a molded image and two calves, made a wooden image and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and soothsaying, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger.
Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them from His sight; there was none left but the tribe of Judah alone…
And the LORD rejected all the descendants of Israel, afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them from His sight. So He tore Israel from the house of David, and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. Then Jeroboam drove Israel from following the LORD, and made them commit a great sin. For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them, until the LORD removed Israel out of His sight, as He had said by all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away from their own land to Assyria, as it is to this day.
Ref: BIBLE FAQs http://www.biblica.com/bibles/faq/9/