The northern kingdom of Israel had become subject to the vast Assyrian Empire as early as 740 B.C. during the reign of the Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser, and many Israelites from lands east of the Jordan River were exiled to places along the Habor River (2 Kings 15:29; 1 Chronicles 5:26). In 722 B.C., however, king Hoshea of Israel rebelled against Assyria’s rule, and king Shalmaneser of Assyria invaded the land again and besieged the capital city of Samaria. After three years Samaria fell, and many more Israelites were exiled to places along the Habor River and to Media (2 Kings 17:1-6). Shalmaneser resettled foreign peoples in Samaria, including people from the regions of Babylon and Hamath (2 Kings 17:24), in order to make it more difficult for people to join together in revolt against his rule. These foreign peoples brought with them their pagan worship practices and combined them with the worship practices of the local Israelites, and they also intermarried with them, forming a distinct Samaritan culture and religion that was often despised by Jews from Judah.