Sects During Biblical Times — Samaritans (b)

Sects During Biblical Times — Samaritans (b)

Question: “We know who the Samaritans were, but what were their beliefs?”

The Samaritans were from different tribes replaced by Shalmaneser, the king of Assyria, who relocated them in the cities of Samaria from which the ten tribes of Israel who had been led away as captives. When the ten tribes were carried away into captivity to Assyria, the king of Assyria sent people from Cutha, Ava, Hamath, and Sepharvaim to inhabit Samaria (2 Kings 17:24; Ezra 4:2-11). These new settlers were not Israelites and they displeased the Lord with their pagan practices that occupied the cities and country formerly belonged to the ten tribes of Israel. The capital of the country continued to be Samaria, formerly a large and splendid city, hence the name of these settlers are known as Samaritans. 

II Kings 17:24 And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they possessed Samaria and dwelt in the cities thereof.

Hence eventually, the Talmud asserts the Samaritans as “Cuthaeans,” one of the tribes from Babylon.

Samaritans on Mount Gerizim during Passover

The Samaritans embraced a religion that was a mixture of Judaism and idolatry (II Kings 17:26-28). Because these Samaritans had intermarried with other foreigners and adopted their idolatrous religion, Samaritans were generally considered as “unclean” and were universally despised by the Jews.

During the 70 years of absence, the Samaritans had all along considered Mount Gerizim as the place which God will choose (Deuteronomy 16:16) . So when the Jews returned and Nehemiah the governor wanted to build the temple at Jerusalem, the Samaritans were furious.

Mount Gerizim lies in the immediate vicinity of the West Bank city of Nablus (biblical Shechem), and forms the southern side of the valley in which Nablus is situated, the northern side being formed by Mount Ebal. In Samaritan tradition, Mount Gerizim is held to be the holiest mountain in the world. Hence they regard the mountain as sacred, rather than the Jerusalem’s Temple as having been the location chosen by God for a holy temple. 

The mountain continues to be the centre of Samaritan religion to this day, and over 90% of the worldwide population of Samaritans live in close proximity to Gerizim, mostly in Kiryat Luza, the main village. Every year Passover is celebrated by the Samaritans on Mount Gerizim. Their basis to consider Mt Gerizim as a holy mountain is found in Deuteronomy 11:29 And it shall come to pass, when the Lord thy God hath brought thee in unto the land whither thou goest to possess it, that thou shalt put the blessing upon Mount Gerizim and the curse upon Mount Ebal.

After the end of the Babylonian Captivity, a large schism between Judaism and Samaritans developed and intensified regarding Jerusalem or Mount Gerizim as the holy place chosen by God. Subsequently, still under the Persian Period, while the Jews built a Temple in Jerusalem the Samaritans built a temple on Mount Gerizim in the middle of 5th century BC, arguing that this was the real location of the Israelite temple which had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar.

Record by Ezra 4: Resistance to Rebuilding

The contents of this chapter are the offer the Samaritans made to the Jews, to assist them in building the temple, which having refused, they gave them all the trouble they could, Ezra 4:1 and a letter of theirs to Artaxerxes, king of Persia, full of accusations against them, Ezra 4:7 and the answer of Artaxerxes, giving orders to command the Jews to cease building the temple, Ezra 4:17 which orders were accordingly executed, and the work ceased till the second year of Darius, Ezra 4:23. 

Ezra 4 (KJ21)

1 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity were building the temple unto the Lord God of Israel,

Rashi: the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin: They are the nations whom Sannecherib settled in the land Israel, as it says (II Kings 17: 24): “And the king of Assyria brought [people] from Babylonia and from Cuthah and from Avvah and from Hamath and from Sepharvaim, and he settled them in the cities of Samaria instead of the Children of Israel.”

Adam Clarke: Now when the adversaries – These were the Samaritans, and the different nations with which the kings of Assyria had peopled Israel, when they had carried the original inhabitants away into captivity, see Ezra 4:9, Ezra 4:10.

John Gill: build the temple unto the Lord God of Israel; that they were going about it, and had laid the foundation of it, which might soon come to their ears, the distance not being very great. Josephus says they heard the sound of the trumpets, and came to know the meaning of it. 

2 then they came to Zerubbabel and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, “Let us build with you, for we seek your God as ye do; and we have done sacrifice unto Him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us up hither.”

Rashi: and said to them, “Let us build with you…”: They said this in order that through them the work of the Temple should be disrupted, that they should build no more. — their intention were disguised

3 But Zerubbabel and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel said unto them, “Ye have nothing to do with us in building a house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the Lord God of Israel, as King Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us.”

Clarke: Ye have nothing to do with us – We cannot acknowledge you as worshippers of the true God, and cannot participate with you in anything that relates to his worship.

Gill: you have nothing to do with us to build an house to our God; being neither of the same nation, nor of the same religion: 

See the source image

4 Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building,

Rashi: the people of the land: They are the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin.

Gill: Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building. By threatening them, or by dissuading the workmen from going on, by endeavouring to hinder their having materials from the Tyrians and Zidonians, or money out of the king’s revenues to bear the expenses as ordered; see Ezra 6:4. 

5 and hired counselors against them to frustrate their purpose all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.

Rashi: all the days of: the reign of Cyrus and the reign of Ahasuerus, who reigned after Cyrus, until the second year of Darius, who reigned after Ahasuerus, the work was stopped.

Clarke: Hired counsellors – They found means to corrupt some of the principal officers of the Persian court, so that the orders of Cyrus were not executed; or at least so slowly as to make them nearly ineffectual.

Gill: And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign,…. According to Jarchi, this was Ahasuerus the husband of Esther; but, as most think, was Cambyses, the son and successor of Cyrus; so Josephus; who was an enemy to the Egyptians; and, fearing the Jews might take part with them, was no friend to them; their enemies therefore took the advantage of the death of Cyrus, and the first opportunity after Cambyses reigned in his own right: 

6 And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, they wrote unto him an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.

Rashi: And in the reign of Ahasuerus: who reigned after Cyrus; he is the Ahasuerus who took Esther.

Gill: and wrote they unto him an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem; full of hatred and enmity, spite and malice, charging them as a turbulent, disobedient, and rebellious people. 

7 And in the days of Artaxerxes, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel and the rest of their companions wrote unto Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the writing of the letter was written in the Syrian tongue, and interpreted in the Syrian tongue.

Rashi: written in Aramaic: in Aramaic characters.

and explained in Aramaic: The script was explained in the Aramaic language.

Clarke: Written in the Syrian tongue – That is, the Syrian or Chaldean character was used; not the Hebrew.

Interpreted, in the Syrian tongue – That is, the language, as well as the character, was the Syriac or Chaldaic.

8 Rehum the chancellor and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king of this sort:

See the source image

Rashi: about Jerusalem: about the building of the Temple, which is in Jerusalem.

9 Rehum the chancellor, and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their companions, the Dinaites, the Apharsathchites, the Tarpelites, the Apharsites, the Archevites, the Babylonians, the Shushanites, the Dehavites, and the Elamites,

Rashi: All these are names of nations whom Sennacherib repatriated in the cities of Samaria . . . and all of them were settling and concurring with the commission of this letter (to Artaxerxes against Jerusalem).

10 and the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Osnapper brought over and set in the cities of Samaria, and the rest who are on this side of the river and at such a time:

11 (This is the copy of the letter that they sent unto him, even unto Artaxerxes the king.) “Thy servants, the men on this side of the river, and at such a time.

Rashi: and the rest of the other side of the river: and the rest of the nations that are on the other side of the river; because the river Euphrates intervenes between the land of Israel and Babylon, those nations that are in Israel are on the opposite side of the river of those found in Babylon.

12 Be it known unto the king that the Jews who came up from thee to us have come unto Jerusalem, building the rebellious and the bad city, and have set up the walls thereof, and joined the foundations.

Gill: that the Jews which came up from thee to us are come unto Jerusalem; this they observe partly out of contempt of the Jews, having been lately captive in Babylon, and partly to insinuate what ingratitude they were guilty of; that having got their liberty, and come to Jerusalem, they made use of it to the king’s detriment: 

13 Be it known now unto the king that, if this city be built and the walls set up again, then they will not pay toll, tribute, and custom, and so thou shalt bring damage to the revenue of the kings.

Clarke: Toll, tribute, and custom – The first term is supposed to imply the capitation tax; the second, an excise on commodities and merchandise; the third, a sort of land tax. Others suppose the first means a property tax; the second, a poll tax; and the third, what was paid on imports and exports. In a word, if you permit these people to rebuild and fortify their city, they will soon set you at naught, and pay you no kind of tribute.

14 Now because we have maintenance from the king’s palace, and it was not meet for us to see the king’s dishonor, therefore have we sent and certified this to the king,

AMPC Now because we eat the salt of the king’s palace and it is not proper for us to witness the king’s discredit, therefore we send to inform the king,

Rashi: Now in view of this, that we wish to destroy the Temple: Now in view of this matter, that we wish to implement the destruction of the Temple. דִי מְלַח is an expression of destruction and desolation, like Jer. 17:6): “barren (מְלֵחָה) land that is uninhabitable.”

Clarke: Now because we have maintenance from the kings palace – More literally: Now because at all times we are salted with the salt of the palace; i.e., We live on the king’s bounty, and must be faithful to our benefactor. Salt was used as the emblem of an incorruptible covenant; and those who ate bread and salt together were considered as having entered into a very solemn covenant. These hypocrites intimated that they felt their conscience bound by the league between them and the king; and therefore could not conscientiously see anything going on that was likely to turn to the king’s damage. They were probably also persons in the pay of the Persian king.

15 that search may be made in the book of the records of thy fathers. So shalt thou find in the book of the records and know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful unto kings and provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same in old times, for which cause this city was destroyed.

Gill: so shalt thou find in the book of the records, and know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful unto kings and provinces, and that they have moved sedition within the same of old time; against the king of Babylon, particularly in the times of Jehoiakim and Zedekiah: 

for which cause was this city destroyed; as it was by Nebuchadnezzar; see 2 Kings 24:1. 

Benson: In the book of the records of thy fathers — That is, thy predecessors, the former emperors of this empire; namely, in the Assyrian and Babylonish records; which, together with the empire, were now in the hands of the Persian kings.

16 We certify to the king that if this city be built again, and the walls thereof set up, by this means thou shalt have no portion on this side of the river.”

Rashi: in the other side of the river: That is the entire area of the side of Israel, which is on the other side of the river of those who are in Babylon.

17 Then sent the king an answer unto Rehum the chancellor, and to Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their companions who dwell in Samaria, and unto the rest beyond the river: “Peace, and at such a time.

18 The letter which ye sent unto us hath been plainly read before me.

19 And I commanded, and search hath been made, and it is found that this city in old times hath made insurrection against kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made therein.

Rashi: and they searched and found: And they searched in the annals of the kings and found written that this city, from days of yore, would raise itself up and exalt itself over all the kings of the nations, and rebellion and disobedience were committed there to rebel against the kings of the nations.

Gill: and it is found that this city of old time hath made insurrection against kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made therein: and yet this could not be carried higher than to the times of Zedekiah and Jehoiakim, as before observed, which was not one hundred years ago, unless the rebellion of Hezekiah against the king of Assyria could be thought to be in these records, 2 Kings 18:7, and yet from hence it is concluded as if in ages past they had been guilty of rebellion and sedition, and even always. 

20 There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, who have ruled over all countries beyond the river; and toll, tribute, and custom were paid unto them.

Rashi: And mighty kings: and mighty kings were in Jerusalem who were the rulers and governors over the entire side of the river on the side of Israel, as it says regarding Solomon (I Kings 5:4): “For he had dominion over all this side of the river, etc.” And taxes and the head tax were given to them, for the nations paid them tribute.

Gill: and toll, tribute, and custom, was paid unto them; as appears from the places referred to; and this served to strengthen the insinuation made to the king, that if these people were suffered to go on building, he would lose his tribute and taxes in those parts. 

21 Give ye now command to cause these men to cease, and that this city be not built until another command shall be given from me.

Rashi: Now issue an order: Now give out a word to announce in the land to stop these men, the Children of Israel, from the work, and the city of Jerusalem shall not be built until orders are given with my knowledge and my authorization.

Clarke: Until another commandment shall be given from me – The rebuilding was only provisionally suspended. The decree was, Let it cease for the present; nor let it proceed at any time without an order express from me.

22 Take heed now that ye fail not to do this. Why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings?”

23 Now when the copy of King Artaxerxes’ letter was read before Rehum and Shimshai the scribe and their companions, they went up in haste to Jerusalem unto the Jews, and made them cease by force and power.

Gill: they went up in haste to Jerusalem unto the Jews; not only in obedience to the king’s command, but from an eagerness of spirit to put a stop to the proceedings of the Jews, to whom they had an aversion, instigated by the Samaritans: 

24 Then ceased the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem. So it ceased unto the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.

Rashi: Then: Then the work of the building of the House of God, which was in Jerusalem, was suspended until the second year of Darius, the king of Persia; for after Cyrus, Ahasuerus, who married Esther, reigned, and after Ahasuerus, Darius, the son of Ahasuerus, who was the son of Esther, reigned. And from the first year of Cyrus, the king of Persia, until the second year of Darius were eighteen years, which completed the seventy years from the destruction of Jerusalem. For from the destruction of the Temple, when Zedekiah was exiled, until the first year of Cyrus, were fifty-two years, as is explained in Seder Olam (ch. 29). There were then eighteen years from the first year of Cyrus until the second year of Darius, totaling a complete seventy years, and in the second year of Darius they commenced to build the Temple until they completed it.

Gill: Then ceased the work of the house of God, which is at Jerusalem,…. How far they had proceeded is not said, whether any further than laying the foundation of it; though probably, by this time, it might be carried to some little height; however, upon this it was discontinued: 

The following conflicts were recorded by Nehemiah, governor of Persian Judea under Artaxerxes I of Persia (c. 5th century BC).

Book of Nehemiah

In the 20th year of Artaxerxes, king of Persia, (445/444 BC), Nehemiah was cup-bearer to the king. Learning that the remnants in Judea were in distress and that the walls of Jerusalem were broken down, he asked the king for permission to return and rebuild the city. Artaxerxes agreed, and sent him to Judea as governor of the province with a mission to rebuild, letters explaining his support for the venture, and provision for timber from the king’s forest. Once there, Nehemiah fought against the opposition of Judah’s enemies on all sides — Samaritans, Ammonites, Arabs and Philistines — and rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem within 52 days, from the Sheep Gate in the North, the Hananel Tower at the North West corner, the Fish Gate in the West, the Furnaces Tower at the Temple Mount’s South West corner, the Dung Gate in the South, the East Gate and the gate beneath the Golden Gate in the East.

Appearing in the Queen’s presence (Neh 2:6) may indicate he maybe a eunuch,[2] and in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, he is described as such: eunochos (eunuch), in addition to being oinochoos (wine-cup-bearer). If so the attempt by his enemy Shemaiah to trick him into entering the Temple is aimed at making him break Jewish law, rather than simply hide from assassins.

In the New Testament

Matthew 10:5 [The Commissioning of the Twelve Apostles ] These twelve Jesus sent forth and commanded them, saying, “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, nor into any city of the Samaritans.

The Mission of the Twelve Apostles

Luke 9:1 Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases. 2 And He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey: no staff, no bag, no bread, no money. And do not take two tunics apiece. 4 Whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. 5 Whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” 6 So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

A Samaritan Village Refuses to Receive Jesus

Luke 9:51 When the time came for Him to be received up, He was steadfastly set to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers ahead of Him. They went and entered a village of the Samaritans to make things ready for Him, 53 but they did not receive Him, because He was set to go to Jerusalem.

Why? Because the Samaritans believe that Mt Gerizim is the holy mountain but Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. The Samaritans reject the testimonies of the Prophets.

 54 When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, even as Elijah did?” 55 But He turned and rebuked them and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.

Jesus and the Samaritan Woman

John 4:1 Now when the Lord learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), 3 He left Judea and departed again to Galilee.

4 Now it was necessary that He go through Samaria. 5 So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there. Jesus, therefore, being exhausted from His journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

7 A woman of Samaria came there to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who is saying to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

11 The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? 12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, along with his sons and his livestock?”

These Samaritans also claim they were the descendent of Jacob, i.e. Israelites. But they were never Israelites nor Jews.

13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water that I shall give him will become in him a well of water springing up into eternal life.”

15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not thirst, nor come here to draw.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”

17 The woman answered, “I have no husband.”

Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband,’ 18 for you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband. So you have spoken truthfully.”

See the source image

19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, but you all say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.”

The contest again centered on whether Mt Gerizim or Jerusalem is the holy place to worship. But the Oracles are of the Jews (Roman 3:1-4).

21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.

For the Oracles and Plan of salvation are of the Jews (Roman 3:1-4).

For centuries, Samaritans lived in Nablus, but some moved to Jaffa and later to Holon. In 1988, the Nablus community relocated to a village near an Israeli settlement to escape attacks by Palestinians, who viewed them as Jews.

Today there is still a community of Samaritans in the West Bank near below Mount Gerizim. One of the biggest problems facing the community is the issue of continuity. With such a small population, divided into only four families (Cohen, Tsedakah, Danfi and Marhib, a fifth family died out in the twentieth century) and a general refusal to accept converts, there has been a history of genetic disease within the group due to the small gene pool. Marriage between cousins is common in this community.

This is from the Jewish Encyclopedia:

— [Under Samaritan] The governor of Samaria under Darius (probably Nothus, not Codomannus as Josephus says) was Sanballat, whose daughter was married to Manasseh, the son of the high priest at Jerusalem. In consequence of his foreign marriage Manasseh was expelled by Nehemiah, and was invited by his father-in-law to settle in Samaria. 

— Temple at Gerizim:

See the source image

At any rate, a century later, in 332, by permission of Alexander, a temple was built on the holy hill of Gerizim, near Shechem, which thus became, if it had not formerly been so, the “ḳiblah” of Samaritan worship. Josephus, indeed, connects the building of the temple with the secession of Manasseh, putting both in the time of Alexander; but, unless Nehemiah’s date be put 100 years later, the historian must have been, intentionally or otherwise, in error. It is most unlikely that there were two Sanballats whose daughters married sons (or a son and a brother) of high priests, and that these sons were expelled from Jerusalem at dates just 100 years apart. But it is conceivable that Josephus meant to discredit Samaritan pretensions by connecting the temple with Manasseh as a bribe for his apostasy.

— The same contempt is exhibited later; for instance, in the story, which first appears in the Book of Jubilees, and afterward in the Midrash, that Mt. Gerizim was considered sacred by the Samaritans because the idols of Laban were buried there; and in the Gospels, e.g., John viii. 48: “Thou art a Samaritan and hast a devil.” The animosity was reciprocated, as may be seen from some well-known stories, such as that the Samaritans used to light beacon-fires in order to deceive the Jews as to the appearance of the new moon (R. H. ii. 2), and from several incidents mentioned in the Gospels. Such being the state of feeling, it is not surprising to find the Samaritans in the time of Herod, and earlier, generally siding with the enemies of the Jews. They had their reward when the country passed into the hands of the Romans. Samaria was rebuilt and embellished by Herod (whose wife Mariamne was a Samaritan) and was named by him Sebaste (see Samaria). Under Vespasian a revolt was put down with great severity, and the city of Shechem was occupied by the Romans, who called it Flavia Neapolis, whence the modern name of Nablus.

— In the Mishnah it is evident that the differences have already become purely religious. The grounds for them are clear. If Manasseh, about 430, had brought with him from Jerusalem not only the Torah, but the system of belief and practise recognized there, that system must have been what is sometimes called Sadducean, or, more correctly, the old Israelitish creed as it was before the reforms of Ezra. At this point the religious development of the Samaritans was arrested. They adhered rigidly to the Torah, never admitted any of the prophetical teachings, never codified their canon law into a mishnah, and never developed their halakah to meet the necessities of altered conditions. It is therefore natural that while some of the Rabbis regarded them as “gere arayot,” others, seeing their careful observance of the common Torah, considered them to be “gere emet.” 

— The orthodoxy of the Samaritans is praised in similar terms with regard to their strictness in observing the commandments (Ḥul. 4a) and the rules relating to “sheḥiṭah” (ib.), “niddah” (Niddah 56b et seq.), contact with the dead (ib.), and purification. According to their own account in letters to Scaliger, Huntington, and others, they never postpone circumcision, even if the eighth day be a Sabbath; they allow no fire on the Sabbath; they recognize no system of “teḥum”; they force even children to observe the Yom Kippur fast; they make their “sukkot” of the trees mentioned in Lev. xxiii. 40, and do not follow the Jewish customs with regard to the lulab and etrog. On the other hand, they were-considered lax in observing the law of the levirate and of marriage generally, so that marriage with them was forbidden (Ḳid. 76a).

— In several of the points mentioned their practise approximates that of the Karaites. The agreement, which has often been noted, is due rather to similarity of cause than to direct influence of either system on the other. The one is a continuation of the old Israelitish religion; the other, a return to it. Both are consequent on a literal interpretation of the Law; and both, therefore, reject all traditional developments.

—  they reject all the Jewish books except the Pentateuch.

— Most noticeable is the great preponderance of males over females; indeed, this is one of the most serious problems confronting the Samaritans at the present time. Trustworthy evidence points to the fact that in modern times there has been but little if any intermarrying with the other peoples of Syria. The Samaritans themselves claim the perfect purity of their stock. Only as a last resort would they seek wives outside their own sect; and in this case they would naturally wish to marry among the people of the most closely allied religion, the Jewish. The Jews hate and despise the Samaritans with the greatest bitterness, and would do all in their power to prevent marriages between the two sects. Syrian Christians and “Moslems would be equally averse to intermarrying with the Samaritans, both on account of their natural antipathy to this sect, and on account of the hardships which women must endure according to the rules of the Samaritan religion. These two factors, the natural inclination of the Samaritans to marry strictly among themselves, and the difficulty of forming marriages with other sects of Syria, would combine to preserve the purity of the stock, and at the same time to promote degeneracy by close interbreeding.

— The Samaritans and the Karaites slaughter the Passover lamb not earlier than about one hour and a half before dark.

— The Samaritans consider the Feast of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread as two distinct festivals.

The Samaritans claimed that they were the true descendants of the “Ten Lost Tribes” taken as Assyrian captives. They had their own sacred precinct on Mount Gerizim and claimed that it was the original sanctuary. Moreover, they claimed that their version of the Pentateuch was the original and that Ezra had falsified the Hebrew text after the Babylonian exile. Such allegations arose mainly because in Deuteronomy 16:1-8 the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread were used interchangeably as a single composite festival (the Passover . . . of the flock and the herd) as Jews believe and not as two distinct festivals.

Says Wikipedia (Samaritans):

The Samaritans claimed that they were the true Israel who were descendants of the “Ten Lost Tribes” taken into Assyrian captivity. They had their own sacred precinct on Mount Gerizim and claimed that it was the original sanctuary. Moreover, they claimed that their version of the Pentateuch was the original and that the Jews had a falsified text produced by Ezra during the Babylonian exile.

Fred R. Coulter, Frank W. Nelte and John W. Ritenbaugh who all claimed similarly that Ezra edited and falsified the Pentatauch are not the firsts to do so. That credit goes to the Samaritans, their ancestors. Like father like son, the false accusations against Ezra and the Jews continues to this day . . .

“Ephraim compasseth me with lies,” Hosea 11:12

“And the head of Ephraim is Samaria,” Isaiah 7:9

~ by Joel Huan on November 9, 2020.

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