The Downfall of the Israelite Kingdom
God patiently, with long suffering, called on the Israelite people through many of His prophets, to turn from evil and come to believe in Him. But neither the kings nor the people listened to them.
Finally, when the people’s evil deeds had reached the ultimate limits, the Lord withdrew from the Israelite kingdom and it perished. The Assyrian King Shalmaneser conquered and destroyed the Israelite kingdom. He sent a large part of the Israelite people to his own country. In their place he settled pagans from his own kingdom. These pagans assimilated with the Israelites who remained and formed a people who came to be called Samaritans, from the name Samaria, which was the main city of the destroyed Israelite kingdom.
The Samaritans spoke an impure Hebrew language. They accepted faith in the true God, but not completely, because they did not abandon their former pagan customs and they honored only one of the prophets, Moses. The Jews despised the Samaritans and would not sit with them at the table and even tried not to speak to them. The Israelite kingdom existed for 257 years.
Note: See II Kings, chap. 17.
(from: The Law of God by Fr. Seraphim Slobodskoy)