Close…ExpositionWhat were the clues that these people had false motives?ShareInformationReading listEzra 4:2 (ESV)2 they approached Zerubbabel and the heads of fathers’ houses and said to them, “Let us build with you, for we worship your God as you do, and we have been sacrificing to him ever since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria who brought us here.”The first clue that these people’s offer for help should be refused because they have false motives is the fact that they talk about seeking your God. They don’t talk about our God. If they truly worshipped the Lord, they would refer to him as our God.The second clue that these people’s offer for help should be refused because they have false motives is the fact that they talk about sacrificing to him. The don’t mention the name by which God had revealed himself to the people of Israel (Lord). They just talk about him.The final clue that these people’s offer for help should be refused because of false motives is their mention of being brought to the land by the king of Assyria. In 722 BC, the king of Assyria invaded Israel, destroyed the capital city Samaria, and took all the Israelites into captivity. The Israelites were resettled in in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes (2 Kings 17:5–6). Sometime later, people from Babylon, Kuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim were resettled in the towns of Samaria to replace the Israelites (2 Kings 17:24). The Assyrians resettled people throughout their empire because they wanted to prevent rebellions. They thought that if there were people from different cultures, languages and religions living together, it will be very hard for them to work together and rebel. This was needed because they did not have the resources necessary in order to have a standing army in each of the regions they conquered.Esarhaddon king of Assyria was the Assyrian king (680-669 BC) who succeeded Sennacherib (2 Kings 19:37; Isaiah 37:38).1 We are not told the name of the Assyrian king in 2 Kings 17:24; it could have been Esarhaddon.2If you read 2 Kings 17:24–41, you will see that the people who lived in the areas north of Jerusalem (Samaria), were syncretistic. They worshipped lots of different gods. Though they knew something about the Lord, they did not worship the Lord exclusively. To them, he was just one god among many. Even though these people from the north (Shiloh and Shechem) came to bring grain offerings and incense as sacrifice at the site of the ruined temple (Jeremiah 41:5), they did so because they worshipped the Lord as one god among many.3 We assume that the people mentioned in Ezra 4:1 originally come from Samaria though they are not explicitly identified as coming from that country.