|Regions with significant populations|
|Israel (Holon)||460 (2021)|
|West Bank (Kiryat Luza)||380 (2021)|
|Modern spoken languages:|
Israeli Hebrew, Levantine Arabic
Samaritan Hebrew, Samaritan Aramaic
|Related ethnic groups|
|Jews; other Semitic-speaking peoples (Levantine Arabs, Assyrians, Mandaeans, etc.)|
|Part of |
Samaritans (//; Samaritan Hebrew: ࠔࠠࠌࠝࠓࠩࠉࠌ, romanized: Šā̊merīm, transl. Guardians/Keepers [of the Torah]; Hebrew: שומרונים, romanized: Šōmrōnīm; Arabic: السامريون, romanized: as-Sāmiriyyūn) are an ethnoreligious group who claim to originate from the ancient Israelites. They are native to the Levant and adhere to Samaritanism, an Abrahamic and ethnic religion.
The Samaritans claim descent from northern Israelite tribes who were not deported by the Neo-Assyrian Empire after the destruction of the Kingdom of Israel. They believe that Samaritanism is the true religion of the ancient Israelites, preserved by those who remained in the Land of Israel during the Babylonian captivity; this belief is held in opposition to Judaism, the ethnic religion of the Jewish people, which Samaritans see as a closely related but altered and amended religion brought back by Judeans returning from Babylonian captivity. Samaritans consider Mount Gerizim near Nablus (biblical Shechem), and not the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, to be the holiest place on Earth.
Once a large community, the Samaritan population shrunk significantly in the wake of the bloody suppression of the Samaritan Revolts against the Byzantine Empire (mainly in 525 CE and 555 CE). Mass conversions to Christianity under the Byzantines, and later to Islam following the Arab conquest of the Levant, also reduced their numbers significantly. In the 12th century, the Jewish traveler Benjamin of Tudela estimated that only around 1,900 Samaritans remained in the regions of Palestine and Syria.
As of 2022, the total Samaritan population stands at less than 1,000 people. The Samaritan community is divided between Kiryat Luza on Mount Gerizim and the Samaritan compound in Holon. The head of the community is the Samaritan High Priest. Samaritans in Holon primarily speak Israeli Hebrew, while those in Kiryat Luza speak Levantine Arabic; for the purposes of liturgy, the languages of Samaritan Hebrew and Samaritan Aramaic are used, written in the Samaritan script. There is also a small number of Samaritans living outside the Levant, in Brazil and in Catania (Sicily), Italy.
Samaritans have a standalone religious status in Israel, and there are occasional conversions from Judaism to Samaritanism and vice-versa, largely due to interfaith marriages. While Israel's rabbinic authorities consider Samaritanism to be a sect of Judaism, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel requires Samaritans to undergo a formal conversion to Judaism in order to be officially recognized as Halakhic Jews. Rabbinic literature rejected Samaritans unless they renounced Mount Gerizim as the historical Israelite holy site. Samaritans possessing only Israeli citizenship in Holon are drafted into the Israel Defense Forces, while those holding dual Israeli and Palestinian citizenship in Kiryat Luza are exempted from mandatory military service.
In Samaritan Hebrew, the Samaritans call themselves Shamerim (שַמֶרִים), which according to the Anchor Bible Dictionary, is derived from the Ancient Hebrew term meaning 'Guardians/Keepers/Watchers [of the Torah/Law]'.
Historically, Samaria was the key geographical concentration of the Samaritan community. In Modern Hebrew, the Samaritans are called Hebrew: שומרונים, romanized: Shomronim, which also means 'inhabitants of Samaria', literally, 'Samaritans'.
That the etymology of the Samaritans' ethnonym in Samaritan Hebrew is derived from Guardians/Keepers/Watchers [of the Law/Torah], as opposed to Samaritans being named after the region of Samaria, has in history been supported by a number of Christian Church fathers, including Epiphanius of Salamis in the Panarion, Jerome and Eusebius in the Chronicon and Origen in The Commentary on Saint John's Gospel, and in some Talmudic commentary of Tanhuma on Genesis 31, and Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer 38, p. 21.
Ancestrally, Samaritans claim descent from the tribe of Ephraim and tribe of Manasseh (two sons of Joseph) as well as from the Levites, who have links to ancient Samaria (now constituting the majority of the territory known as the West Bank) from the period of their entry into Canaan, while some Orthodox Jews suggest that it was from the beginning of the Babylonian captivity up to the Samaritan polity under the rule of Baba Rabba. There were Samaritans from the tribe of Benjamin until 1968. According to Samaritan tradition, the split between them and the Judean-led Southern Israelites began during the biblical time of the priest Eli when the Southern Israelites split off from the central Israelite tradition.
In the Talmud, a central post-exilic religious text of Rabbinic Judaism, the Samaritans are called Cuthites or Cutheans (Hebrew: כותים, Kutim), referring to the ancient city of Kutha, geographically located in what is today Iraq. Josephus's Wars of the Jews also refers to the Samaritans as the Cuthites. In the biblical account, however, Kuthah was one of several cities from which people were brought to Samaria, and they worshiped Nergal. Modern genetics partially support both the claims of the Samaritans and the account in the Hebrew Bible (and Talmud), suggesting that the genealogy of the Samaritans lies in some combination of these two accounts. This suggests that the Samaritans remained a genetically isolated population.
According to Samaritan tradition, Mount Gerizim was the original Holy Place of the Israelites from the time that Joshua conquered Canaan and the tribes of Israel settled the land. The reference to Mount Gerizim derives from the biblical story of Moses ordering Joshua to take the Twelve Tribes of Israel to the mountains by Shechem (Nablus) and place half of the tribes, six in number, on Mount Gerizim, the Mount of the Blessing, and the other half on Mount Ebal, the Mount of the Curse.
Samaritans claim they are the true Israelites, descendants of the Northern Israelite tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, who survived the destruction of the Kingdom of Israel (Samaria) by the Assyrians in 722 BCE.
Samaritan historiography places the basic schism from the remaining part of Israel after the tribes of Israel conquered and returned to the land of Canaan, led by Joshua. In its account, after Joshua's death, Eli the priest left the Tabernacle which Moses erected in the desert and established on Mount Gerizim and built another one under his own rule in the hills of Shiloh.
A terrible civil war broke out between Eli son of Yafni, of the line of Ithamar, and the sons of Pincus (Phinehas), because Eli son of Yafni resolved to usurp the High Priesthood from the descendants of Pincus. He used to offer sacrifices on an altar of stones. He was 50 years old, endowed with wealth and in charge of the treasury of the Children of Israel. ...
He offered a sacrifice on the altar, but without salt, as if he were inattentive. When the Great High Priest Ozzi learned of this, and found the sacrifice was not accepted, he thoroughly disowned him; and it is (even) said that he rebuked him.
Thereupon he and the group that sympathized with him, rose in revolt and at once he and his followers and his beasts set off for Shiloh. Thus Israel split in factions. He sent to their leaders saying to them, Anyone who would like to see wonderful things, let him come to me. Then he assembled a large group around him in Shiloh, and built a Temple for himself there; he constructed a place like the Temple (on Mount Gerizim). He built an altar, omitting no detail—it all corresponded to the original, piece by piece.
At this time the Children of Israel split into three factions. A loyal faction on Mount Gerizim; a heretical faction that followed false gods; and the faction that followed Eli son of Yafni in Shiloh.
Further, the Samaritan Chronicle Adler, or New Chronicle, believed to have been composed in the 18th century using earlier chronicles as sources states:
And the Children of Israel in his days divided into three groups. One did according to the abominations of the Gentiles and served other gods; another followed Eli the son of Yafni, although many of them turned away from him after he had revealed his intentions; and a third remained with the High Priest Uzzi ben Bukki, the chosen place.
The emergence of the Samaritans as an ethnic and religious community distinct from other Levant peoples appears to have occurred at some point after the Assyrian conquest of the Israelite Kingdom of Israel in approximately 721 BCE. The records of Sargon II of Assyria indicate that he deported 27,290 inhabitants of the former kingdom.
Jewish tradition affirms the Assyrian deportations and replacement of the previous inhabitants by forced resettlement by other peoples but claims a different ethnic origin for the Samaritans. The Talmud accounts for a people called "Cuthim" on a number of occasions, mentioning their arrival by the hands of the Assyrians. According to 2 Kings and Josephus, the people of Israel were removed by the king of the Assyrians (Sargon II) to Halah, to Gozan on the Khabur River and to the towns of the Medes. The king of the Assyrians then brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avah, Emath, and Sepharvaim to place in Samaria. Because God sent lions among them to kill them, the king of the Assyrians sent one of the priests from Bethel to teach the new settlers about God's ordinances. The eventual result was that the new settlers worshipped both the God of the land and their own gods from the countries from which they came.
In the Chronicles, following Samaria's destruction, King Hezekiah is depicted as endeavouring to draw the Ephraimites, Zebulonites, Asherites and Manassites closer to Judah. Temple repairs at the time of Josiah were financed by money from all "the remnant of Israel" in Samaria, including from Manasseh, Ephraim, and Benjamin. Jeremiah likewise speaks of people from Shechem, Shiloh, and Samaria who brought offerings of frankincense and grain to the House of YHWH. Chronicles makes no mention of an Assyrian resettlement. Yitzakh Magen argues that the version of Chronicles is perhaps closer to the historical truth and that the Assyrian settlement was unsuccessful, a notable Israelite population remained in Samaria, part of which, following the conquest of Judah, fled south and settled there as refugees.
Rabbi Meir: What tribe are you from?
The Samaritan: From Joseph.
Rabbi Meir: No!
The Samaritan: From which one then?
Rabbi Meir: From Issachar.
The Samaritan: How do you figure?
Rabbi Meir: For it is written (Gen 46:13): The sons of Issachar: Tola, Puvah, Iob, and Shimron. These are the Samaritans (shamray).
Zertal dates the Assyrian onslaught at 721 BCE to 647 BCE and discusses three waves of imported settlers. He shows that Mesopotamian pottery in Samaritan territory cluster around the lands of Menasheh and that the type of pottery found was produced around 689 BCE. Some date their split with the Jews to the time of Nehemiah, Ezra, and the building of the Second Temple in Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile. Returning exiles considered the Samaritans to be non-Israelites and, thus, not fit for this religious work.
The Encyclopaedia Judaica (under "Samaritans") summarizes both past and present views on the Samaritans' origins. It says:
Until the middle of the 20th century it was customary to believe that the Samaritans originated from a mixture of the people living in Samaria and other peoples at the time of the conquest of Samaria by Assyria (722–721 BCE). The biblical account in II Kings 17 had long been the decisive source for the formulation of historical accounts of Samaritan origins. Reconsideration of this passage, however, has led to more attention being paid to the Chronicles of the Samaritans themselves. With the publication of Chronicle II (Sefer ha-Yamim), the fullest Samaritan version of their own history became available: the chronicles, and a variety of non-Samaritan materials. According to the former, the Samaritans are the direct descendants of the Joseph tribes, Ephraim and Manasseh, and until the 17th century CE they possessed a high priesthood descending directly from Aaron through Eleazar and Phinehas. They claim to have continuously occupied their ancient territory and to have been at peace with other Israelite tribes until the time when Eli disrupted the Northern cult by moving from Shechem to Shiloh and attracting some northern Israelites to his new followers there. For the Samaritans, this was the "schism" par excellence.— "Samaritans" in Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1972, Volume 14, col. 727.
Furthermore, to this day the Samaritans claim descent from the tribe of Joseph:
The laymen also possess their traditional claims. They are all of the tribe of Joseph, except those of the tribe of Benjamin, but this traditional branch of people, which, the Chronicles assert, was established at Gaza in earlier days, seems to have disappeared. There exists an aristocratic feeling amongst the different families in this community, and some are very proud over their pedigree and the great men it had produced.— J. A. Montgomery, The Samaritans, the Earliest Jewish Sect: Their History, Theology and Literature, 1907, p. 32
Dead Sea scrolls
The Dead Sea scroll 4Q372 records hopes that the northern tribes will return to the land of Joseph. The current dwellers in the north are referred to as fools, an enemy people. However, they are not referred to as foreigners. It goes on to say that the Samaritans mocked Jerusalem and built a temple on a high place to provoke Israel.
The narratives in Genesis about the rivalries among the twelve sons of Jacob are viewed by some as describing tensions between north and south. According to the Hebrew Bible, they were temporarily united under a United Monarchy, but after the death of Solomon, the kingdom split in two, the northern Kingdom of Israel with its last capital city Samaria and the southern Kingdom of Judah with its capital, Jerusalem. The Deuteronomistic history, written in Judah, portrayed Israel as a sinful kingdom, divinely punished for its idolatry and iniquity by being destroyed by the Assyrians in 720 BCE. The tensions continued in the postexilic period. The Books of Kings are more inclusive than Ezra–Nehemiah since the ideal is of one Israel with twelve tribes, whereas the Books of Chronicles concentrate on the Kingdom of Judah and ignore the Kingdom of Israel (Samaria).
The Samaritans claim that they were the true Israelites. 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. Both Jewish and Samaritan religious leaders taught that it was wrong to have any contact with the opposite group, and neither was to enter the other's territories or even to speak to the other. During the New Testament period, the tensions were exploited by Roman authorities as they likewise had done between rival tribal factions elsewhere, and Josephus reports numerous violent confrontations between Jews and Samaritans throughout the first half of the first century.
According to historian Lawrence Schiffman, throughout the Persian Period, Judeans and Samaritans fought periodically with one another. The Samaritans were a blend of all kinds of people—made up of Israelites who were not exiled when the Northern Kingdom was destroyed in 722 BCE—of various different nationalities whom the Assyrians had resettled in the area. The Assyrians did this as an attempt to ensure that Israel's national dream could not come true.[verification needed]
According to the Jewish version of events, when the Judean exile ended in 539 BCE and the exiles began returning home from Babylon, Samaritans found their former homeland of the north populated by other people who claimed the land as their own and Jerusalem, their former glorious capital, in ruins. The inhabitants worshiped the Pagan gods, but when the then-sparsely populated areas became infested with dangerous wild beasts, they appealed to the king of Assyria for Israelite priests to instruct them on how to worship the "God of that country." The result was a syncretistic religion, in which national groups worshiped the Israelite God, but they also served their own gods in accordance with the customs of the nations from which they had been brought.
According to Chronicles 36:22–23, the Persian emperor, Cyrus the Great (reigned 559–530 BCE), permitted the return of the exiles to their homeland and ordered the rebuilding of the Temple (Zion). The prophet Isaiah identified Cyrus as "the Lord's Messiah". The word "Messiah" refers to an anointed individual, such as a king or priest.
During the First Temple, it was possible for foreigners to help the Jewish people in an informal way until tension grew between the Samaritans and Judeans. This meant that foreigners could physically move into Judean land and abide by its laws and religion.
Ezra 4 says that the local inhabitants of the land offered to assist with the building of the new Temple during the time of Zerubbabel, but their offer was rejected. According to Ezra, this rejection precipitated a further interference not only with the rebuilding of the Temple but also with the reconstruction of Jerusalem. The issue surrounding the Samaritans offer to help rebuild the temple was a complicated one that took a while for the Judeans to think over. There had always been a division between the north and the south and this instance perfectly illustrates that. Following Solomon's death, sectionalism formed and inevitably led to the division of the kingdom. This division led to the Judeans rejecting the offer made by the Samaritans to centralise worship at the Temple.
The text is not clear on this matter, but one possibility is that these "people of the land" were thought of as Samaritans. We do know that Samaritan and Jewish alienation increased and that the Samaritans eventually built their own temple on Mount Gerizim, near Shechem.
The rebuilding of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem took several decades. The project was first led by Sheshbazzar (ca. 538 BCE), later by Zerubbabel and Jeshua, and later still encouraged by Haggai and Zechariah (520–515 BCE). The work was completed in 515 BCE.
The term "Cuthim" applied by Jews to the Samaritans had clear pejorative connotations, implying that they were interlopers brought in from Kutha in Mesopotamia and rejecting their claim of descent from the ancient Tribes of Israel.
According to many scholars, archaeological excavations at Mount Gerizim indicate that a Samaritan temple was built there in the first half of the 5th century BCE. The date of the schism between Samaritans and Jews is unknown, but by the early 4th century BCE the communities seem to have had distinctive practices and communal separation.
According to most modern scholars, the split between the Jews and Samaritans was gradual historical process extending over several centuries rather than a single schism at a given point in time.
Until the arrival of Alexander the Great in the near east in 332 B.C.E., there is little information about the Samaritans. At this point they built a temple on Mt. Gerizim which resulted in the Samaritans and Jews growing further apart. Much of the anti-Samaritan polemic in the Hebrew Bible and extra-biblical texts (such as Josephus) originate from this point and on.
Not much is known about the Samaritans after the death of Alexander the Great, until the rise of the Seleucid empire c. 200 BC.
Antiochus IV Epiphanes and Hellenization
Antiochus IV Epiphanes was on the throne of the Seleucid Empire from 175 to 163 BCE. His policy was to Hellenize his entire kingdom and standardize religious observance. According to 1 Maccabees 1:41-50 he proclaimed himself the incarnation of the Greek god Zeus and mandated death to anyone who refused to worship him. In the 2nd century BCE, a series of events led to a revolution by a faction of Judeans against Antiochus IV.
The universal peril led the Samaritans, eager for safety, to repudiate all connection and kinship with the Jews. The request was granted. This was put forth as the final breach between the two groups. The breach was described at a much later date in the Christian Bible (John 4:9), "For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans."
Anderson notes that during the reign of Antiochus IV (175–164 BCE):
the Samaritan temple was renamed either Zeus Hellenios (willingly by the Samaritans according to Josephus) or, more likely, Zeus Xenios, (unwillingly in accord with 2 Macc. 6:2).— Bromiley, 4.304
Josephus Book 12, Chapter 5 quotes the Samaritans as saying:
We therefore beseech thee, our benefactor and saviour, to give order to Apolonius, the governor of this part of the country, and to Nicanor, the procurator of thy affairs, to give us no disturbances, nor to lay to our charge what the Jews are accused for, since we are aliens from their nation and from their customs, but let our temple which at present hath no name at all, be named the Temple of Jupiter Hellenius.— Josephus
Shortly afterwards, the Greek king sent Gerontes the Athenian to force the Jews of Israel to violate their ancestral customs and live no longer by the laws of God; and to profane the Temple in Jerusalem and dedicate it to Olympian Zeus, and the one on Mount Gerizim to Zeus, Patron of Strangers, as the inhabitants of the latter place had requested.— II Maccabees 6:1–2
Destruction of the temple
During the Hellenistic period, Samaria was largely divided between a Hellenizing faction based in Samaria (Sebastia) and a pious faction in Shechem and surrounding rural areas, led by the High Priest. Samaria was a largely autonomous state nominally dependent on the Seleucid Empire until around 113 BCE, when the Hasmonean ruler John Hyrcanus destroyed the Samaritan temple and devastated Samaria. Only a few stone remnants of the temple exist today.
Early Roman era
Under the Roman Empire, Samaria became a part of the Herodian Tetrarchy, and with deposition of the Herodian ethnarch Herod Achelaus in early 1st century CE, Samaria became a part of the province of Judaea.
Samaritans appear briefly in the Christian gospels, most notably in the account of the Samaritan woman at the well and the parable of the Good Samaritan. In the latter, it is only the Samaritan who helped the man stripped of clothing, beaten, and left on the road half dead, his Abrahamic covenantal circumcision implicitly evident. The priest and Levite walked past. But the Samaritan helped the naked man regardless of his nakedness (itself religiously offensive to the priest and Levite), his self-evident poverty, or to which Hebrew sect he belonged.
The Temple of Gerizim was rebuilt after the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Romans, around 136 CE. A building dated to the second century BCE, the Delos Synagogue, is commonly identified as a Samaritan synagogue, which would make it the oldest known Jewish or Samaritan synagogue. On the other hand, Matassa argues that, although there is evidence of Samaritans on Delos, there is no evidence the building was a synagogue.
This period is considered as something of a golden age for the Samaritan community, with its population thought to number up to a million.
According to Samaritan sources, Eastern Roman emperor Zeno (who ruled 474–491 and whom the sources call "Zait the King of Edom") persecuted the Samaritans. The Emperor went to Neapolis (Shechem), gathered the elders and asked them to convert to Christianity; when they refused, Zeno had many Samaritans killed, and re-built the synagogue as a church. Zeno then took for himself Mount Gerizim, where the Samaritans worshiped God, and built several edifices, among them a tomb for his recently deceased son, on which he put a cross, so that the Samaritans, worshiping God, would prostrate in front of the tomb. Later, in 484, the Samaritans revolted. The rebels attacked Sichem, burned five churches built on Samaritan holy places and cut the finger of bishop Terebinthus, who was officiating the ceremony of Pentecost. They elected a Justa (or Justasa/Justasus) as their king and moved to Caesarea, where a noteworthy Samaritan community lived. Here several Christians were killed and the church of St. Sebastian was destroyed. Justa celebrated the victory with games in the circus. According to John Malalas, the dux Palaestinae Asclepiades, whose troops were reinforced by the Caesarea-based Arcadiani of Rheges, defeated Justa, killed him and sent his head to Zeno. According to Procopius, Terebinthus went to Zeno to ask for revenge; the Emperor personally went to Samaria to quell the rebellion.
Some modern historians believe that the order of the facts preserved by Samaritan sources should be inverted, as the persecution of Zeno was a consequence of the rebellion rather than its cause, and should have happened after 484, around 489. Zeno rebuilt the church of St. Procopius in Neapolis (Sichem) and the Samaritans were banned from Mount Gerizim, on whose top a signaling tower was built to alert in case of civil unrest.
According to an anonymous biography of Mesopotamian monk named Barsauma, whose pilgrimage to the region in the early 5th century was accompanied by clashes with locals and the forced conversion of non-Christians, Barsauma managed to convert Samaritans by conducting demonstrations of healing. Jacob, an ascetic healer living in a cave near Porphyreon, Mount Carmel in the 6th century CE, attracted admirers, including Samaritans who later converted to Christianity. Under growing government pressure, many Samaritans who refused to convert to Christianity in the sixth century may have preferred paganism and even Manicheism.
Under a charismatic, messianic figure named Julianus ben Sabar (or ben Sahir), the Samaritans launched a war to create their own independent state in 529. With the help of the Ghassanids, Emperor Justinian I crushed the revolt; tens of thousands of Samaritans died or were enslaved. The Samaritan faith, which had previously enjoyed the status of religio licita, was virtually outlawed thereafter by the Christian Byzantine Empire; from a population once at least in the hundreds of thousands, the Samaritan community dwindled to tens of thousands.
The Samaritan community dropped in numbers during the various periods of Muslim rule in the region. The Samaritans could not rely on foreign assistance as much as the Christians did, nor on a large number of diaspora immigrants as did the Jews. The once-flourishing community declined over time, either through emigration or conversion to Islam among those who remained. According to Milka Levy-Rubin, many Samaritans converted under Abbasid and Tulunid rule.
By the time of the Muslim conquest of the Levant, apart from Palestine, small dispersed communities of Samaritans were living also in Arab Egypt, Syria, and Iran. Like other non-Muslims in the empire, such as Jews, Samaritans were often considered to be People of the Book, and were guaranteed religious freedom. Their minority status was protected by the Muslim rulers, and they had the right to practice their religion, but, as dhimmi, adult males had to pay the jizya or "protection tax". This however changed during late Abbasid period, with increasing persecution targeting the Samaritan community and considering them infidels which must convert to Islam. The tradition of men wearing a red tarboosh may go back to an order by the Abbasid Caliph al-Mutawakkil (847-861 CE) that required non-Muslims to be distinguished from Muslims.
During the Crusades, Samaritans, like the non-Latin Christian inhabitants of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, were second-class citizens, but they were tolerated and perhaps favored because they were docile and had been mentioned positively in the Christian New Testament.
While the majority of the Samaritan population in Damascus was massacred or converted during the reign of the Ottoman Pasha Mardam Beq in the early 17th century, the remainder of the Samaritan community there, in particular, the Danafi family, which is still influential today, moved back to Nablus in the 17th century.
The Nablus community endured because most of the surviving diaspora returned, and they have maintained a tiny presence there to this day. In 1624, the last Samaritan High Priest of the line of Eleazar son of Aaron died without issue, but according to Samaritan tradition, descendants of Aaron's other son, Ithamar, remained and took over the office.
By the late Ottoman period, the Samaritan community dwindled to its lowest. In 19th century, with pressure of conversion and persecution from the local rulers and occasional natural disasters, the community fell to just over 100 persons.
The situation of the Samaritan community improved significantly during the British Mandate of Palestine. At that time, they began to work in the public sector, like many other groups. The censuses of 1922 and 1931 recorded 163 and 182 Samaritans in Palestine, respectively. The majority of them lived in Nablus.
Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian rule
After the end of the British Mandate of Palestine and the subsequent establishment of the State of Israel, some of the Samaritans who were living in Jaffa emigrated to Samaria and lived in Nablus. By the late 1950s, around 100 Samaritans left the West Bank for Israel under an agreement with the Jordanian authorities in the West Bank. In 1954, Israeli President Yitzhak Ben-Zvi fostered a Samaritan enclave in Holon, Israel, located in 15a Ben Amram Street. During Jordanian rule in the West Bank, Samaritans from Holon were permitted to visit Mount Gerizim only once a year, on Passover.
In 1967, Israel conquered the West Bank during the Six-Day War, and the Samaritans there came under Israeli rule. Until the 1990s, most of the Samaritans in the West Bank resided in the West Bank city of Nablus below Mount Gerizim. They relocated to the mountain itself near the Israeli settlement of Har Brakha as a result of violence during the First Intifada (1987–1990). Consequently, all that is left of the Samaritan community in Nablus itself is an abandoned synagogue. The Israeli army maintains a presence in the area. The Samaritans of Nablus relocated to the village of Kiryat Luza. In the mid-1990s, the Samaritans of Kiryat Luza were granted Israeli citizenship. They also became citizens of the Palestinian Authority following the Oslo Accords. As a result, they are the only people to possess dual Israeli-Palestinian citizenship.
— John D. Whiting
The National Geographic Magazine, Jan 1920
Today, Samaritans in Israel are fully integrated into society and serve in the Israel Defense Forces. The Samaritans of the West Bank seek good relations with their Palestinian neighbors while maintaining their Israeli citizenship, tend to be fluent in Hebrew and Arabic, and use both a Jewish and Arab name.
Demographic investigations of the Samaritan community were carried out in the 1960s. Detailed pedigrees of the last 13 generations show that the Samaritans comprise four lineages:
- The priestly Cohen lineage from the tribe of Levi.
- The Tsedakah lineage, claiming descent from the tribe of Manasseh
- The Joshua-Marhiv lineage, claiming descent from the tribe of Ephraim
- The Danafi lineage, claiming descent from the tribe of Ephraim
Y-DNA and mtDNA comparisons
Recently several genetic studies on the Samaritan population were made using haplogroup comparisons as well as wide-genome genetic studies. Of the 12 Samaritan males used in the analysis, 10 (83%) had Y chromosomes belonging to haplogroup J, which includes three of the four Samaritan families. The Joshua-Marhiv family belongs to Haplogroup J-M267 (formerly "J1"), while the Danafi and Tsedakah families belong to haplogroup J-M172 (formerly "J2"), and can be further distinguished by the M67 SNP—the derived allele of which has been found in the Danafi family—and the PF5169 SNP found in the Tsedakah family. However the biggest and most important Samaritan family, the Cohen family (Tradition: Tribe of Levi), was found to belong to haplogroup E. This article predated the change of the classification of haplogroup E3b1-M78 to E3b1a-M78 and the further subdivision of E3b1a-M78 into 6 subclades based on the research of Cruciani, et al.
A 2004 article on the genetic ancestry of the Samaritans by Shen et al. concluded from a sample comparing Samaritans to several Jewish populations, all currently living in Israel—representing the Beta Israel, Ashkenazi Jews, Iraqi Jews, Libyan Jews, Moroccan Jews, and Yemenite Jews, as well as Israeli Druze and Palestinians—that "the principal components analysis suggested a common ancestry of Samaritan and Jewish patrilineages. Most of the former may be traced back to a common ancestor in what is today identified as the paternally inherited Israelite high priesthood (Cohanim) with a common ancestor projected to the time of the Assyrian conquest of the kingdom of Israel."
Archaeologists Aharoni, et al., estimated that this "exile of peoples to and from Israel under the Assyrians" took place during ca. 734–712 BCE. The authors speculated that when the Assyrians conquered the Northern Kingdom of Israel, resulting in the exile of many of the Israelites, a subgroup of the Israelites that remained in the Land of Israel "married Assyrian and female exiles relocated from other conquered lands, which was a typical Assyrian policy to obliterate national identities." The study goes on to say that "Such a scenario could explain why Samaritan Y chromosome lineages cluster tightly with Jewish Y lineages, while their mitochondrial lineages are closest to Iraqi Jewish and Israeli Arab mtDNA sequences." Non-Jewish Iraqis were not sampled in this study; however, mitochondrial lineages of Jewish communities tend to correlate with their non-Jewish host populations, unlike paternal lineages which almost always correspond to Israelite lineages.
There were 1 million Samaritans in biblical times, but in recent times the numbers are smaller. There were 100 in 1786 and 141 in 1919, then 150 in 1967. This grew to 745 in 2011, 751 in 2012, 756 in 2013, 760 in 2014, 777 in 2015, 785 in 2016, 796 in 2017, 810 in 2018 and 820 in 2019.
Half reside in modern homes at Kiryat Luza on Mount Gerizim, which is sacred to them, and the rest in the city of Holon, just outside Tel Aviv. There are also four Samaritan families residing in Binyamina-Giv'at Ada, Matan, and Ashdod. As a small community physically divided between neighbors in a hostile region, Samaritans have been hesitant to overtly take sides in the Arab–Israeli conflict, fearing that doing so could lead to negative repercussions. While the Samaritan communities in both the West Bank's Nablus and Israeli Holon have assimilated to the surrounding respective cultures, Hebrew has become the primary domestic language for Samaritans. Samaritans who are Israeli citizens are drafted into the military, along with the Jewish citizens of Israel.
Relations of Samaritans with Israeli Jews, Muslim and Christian Palestinians in neighboring areas have been mixed. Samaritans living in both Israel and in the West Bank enjoy Israeli citizenship. Samaritans in the Palestinian Authority-ruled territories are a minority in the midst of a Muslim majority. They had a reserved seat in the Palestinian Legislative Council in the election of 1996, but they no longer have one. Samaritans living in the West Bank have been granted passports by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
One of the biggest problems facing the community today is the issue of continuity. With such a small population, divided into only four families (Cohen, Tsedakah, Danafi, and Marhiv, with the Matar family dying out in 1968) and a general refusal to accept converts, it is common for Samaritans to marry within their extended families, even first cousins. There has been a history of genetic disorders within the group due to the small gene pool. To counter this, the Holon Samaritan community has allowed men from the community to marry non-Samaritan (primarily, Israeli Jewish) women, provided that the women agree to follow Samaritan religious practices. There is a six-month trial period before officially joining the Samaritan community to see whether this is a commitment that the woman would like to take. This often poses a problem for the women, who are typically less than eager to adopt the strict interpretation of biblical (Levitical) laws regarding menstruation, by which they must live in a separate dwelling during their periods and after childbirth. There have been a few instances of intermarriage. In addition, all marriages within the Samaritan community are first approved by a geneticist at Tel HaShomer Hospital, in order to prevent the spread of genetic disorders. In meetings arranged by "international marriage agencies", a small number of women from Russia and Ukraine who agree to observe Samaritan religious practices have been allowed to marry into the Qiryat Luza Samaritan community in an effort to expand the gene pool.
The Samaritan community in Israel also faces demographic challenges as some young people leave the community and convert to Judaism. A notable example is Israeli television presenter Sofi Tsedaka, who has made a documentary about her leaving the community at age 18.
The head of the community is the Samaritan High Priest, who is the 133rd generation since Ithamar, a son of Aaron the priest's line from 1624 CE onward; before then, the line of priesthood went through Elazar, son of Aaron the priest. The current high priest is Aabed-El ben Asher ben Matzliach who assumed the office on April 19, 2013. The High Priest of every generation is selected by the eldest in age from the priestly family and resides on Mount Gerizim.
Samaritan origins of Palestinian Muslims in Nablus
Much of the local Palestinian population of Nablus is believed to be descended from Samaritans who converted to Islam. According to the historian Fayyad Altif, large numbers of Samaritans converted due to persecution under various Muslim rulers, and because the monotheistic nature of Islam made it easy for them to accept it. The Samaritans themselves describe the Ottoman period as the worst period in their modern history, as many Samaritan families were forced to convert to Islam during that time. Even today, certain Nabulsi family names such as Al-Amad, Al-Samri, Maslamani, Yaish, and Shaksheer among others, are associated with Samaritan ancestry.
For the Samaritans in particular, the passing of the al-Hakim Edict by the Fatimid Caliphate in 1021, under which all Jews and Christians in the Southern Levant were ordered to either convert to Islam or leave, along with another notable forced conversion to Islam imposed at the hands of the rebel ibn Firāsa, would contribute to their rapid unprecedented decrease, and ultimately almost complete extinction as a separate religious community. As a result, they had decreased from nearly a million and a half in late Roman (Byzantine) times to 146 people by the end of the Ottoman period.
In 1940, the future Israeli president and historian Yitzhak Ben-Zvi wrote an article in which he stated that two thirds of the residents of Nablus and the surrounding neighboring villages were of Samaritan origin. He mentioned the name of several Palestinian Muslim families as having Samaritan origins, including the Al-Amad, Al-Samri, Buwarda and Kasem families, who protected Samaritans from Muslim persecution in the 1850s. He further claimed that these families had written records testifying to their Samaritan ancestry, which were maintained by their priests and elders.
Samaritanism is centered on the Samaritan Pentateuch, which Samaritans believe to be the original and unaltered version of the Torah that was given to Moses and the Israelites on Mount Sinai. The Samaritan Pentateuch contains some differences from the Masoretic version of the Torah used in Judaism; according to Samaritan tradition, key parts of the Jewish text were fabricated by Ezra. The Samaritan version of the Book of Joshua also differs from the Jewish version, which focuses on Shiloh. According to Samaritan tradition, Joshua built a temple (al-haikal) on Mount Gerizim and placed therein a tabernacle (al-maškan) in the second year of the Israelites' entry into the land of Canaan.
According to Samaritan scripture and tradition, Mount Gerizim, located near the Biblical city of Shechem (on the southern side of modern-day Nablus, West Bank), has been venerated as the holiest place for the Israelites since the conquest of Canaan by Joshua, long before the Temple in Jerusalem was established under Davidic and Solomonic rule over the United Kingdom of Israel. This view differs from Jewish belief which views the Temple Mount in Jerusalem as the holiest site in the world to worship God. It is commonly taught in Samaritan tradition that there are 13 references to Mount Gerizim in the Torah to prove their claim of holiness in contrast to Judaism, which relies solely on the later Jewish prophets and writings to back their claims of the holiness of Jerusalem.
Other Samaritan tradition books include the Memar Marqah (The teachings of Marqah), the Samaritan liturgy known as "the Defter", and Samaritan law codes and biblical commentaries.
Samaritans outside the Holy Land observe most Samaritan practices and rituals such as the Sabbath, ritual purity, and all festivals of Samaritanism with the exception of the Passover sacrifice, which can only be observed at Mount Gerizim.
According to Samaritans, it was on Mount Gerizim that Abraham was commanded by God to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice. In both narratives, God then causes the sacrifice to be interrupted, explaining that this was the ultimate test of Abraham's obedience, as a result of which all the world would receive blessing.
The Torah mentions the place where God chooses to establish His name (Deut 12:5), and Judaism takes this to refer to Jerusalem. However, the Samaritan text speaks of the place where God has chosen to establish His name, and Samaritans identify it as Mount Gerizim, making it the focus of their spiritual values.
The legitimacy of the Samaritan temple was attacked by Jewish scholars including Andronicus ben Meshullam.
In the Christian Bible, the Gospel of John relates an encounter between a Samaritan woman and Jesus in which she says that the mountain was the center of their worship. She poses the question to Jesus when she realizes that he is the Messiah. Jesus affirms the Jewish position, saying "You [that is, the Samaritans] worship what you do not know," although he also says, "a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem."
- There is one God, YHWH or in Samaritan language "Shehmaa", the same God recognized by the Hebrew prophets.
- The Torah was given by God to Moses.
- Mount Gerizim, not Jerusalem, is the one true sanctuary chosen by Israel's God.
- Many Samaritans believe that at the end of days, the dead will be resurrected by the Taheb, a restorer (possibly a prophet, some say Moses).
- Resurrection and Paradise. Samaritans accept the resurrection of the dead on the basis of Deuteronomy 32 also known as the Song of Moses, a tradition that is traced back to their sage Marqah.
- The priests are the interpreters of the law and the keepers of tradition; scholars are secondary to the priesthood.
- The authority of post-Torah sections of the Tanakh, and classical Jewish Rabbinical works (the Talmud, comprising the Mishnah and the Gemara) is rejected.
- They have a significantly different version of the Ten Commandments (for example, their 10th commandment is about the sanctity of Mount Gerizim).
The Samaritans have retained an offshoot of the Ancient Hebrew script, a High Priesthood, the slaughtering and eating of lambs on Passover eve, and the celebration of the first month's beginning around springtime as the New Year. Yom Teru'ah (the biblical name for "Rosh Hashanah"), at the beginning of Tishrei, is not considered a New Year as it is in Rabbinic Judaism. The Samaritan Pentateuch differs from the Jewish Masoretic Text as well. Some differences are doctrinal: for example, the Samaritan Torah explicitly states that Mount Gerizim is "the place that God has chosen" to establish His name, as opposed to the Jewish Torah that refers to "the place that God chooses". Other differences are minor and seem more or less accidental.
Samaritans, from a photo c. 1900 by the Palestine Exploration Fund.
The Samaritan, engraving, c, by Ephraim Moses Lilien. 1920
Entrance to a modern Samaritan synagogue in the city of Holon, Israel
Relationship to Rabbinic Judaism
Samaritans refer to themselves as Benai Yisrael ("Children of Israel") which is a term used by all Jewish denominations as a name for the Jewish people as a whole. They, however, do not refer to themselves as Yehudim (Jews), the standard Hebrew name for Jews.
The Talmudic attitude expressed in tractate Kutim is that they are to be treated as Jews in matters where their practice coincides with Rabbinic Judaism but as non-Jews where their practice differs. Some claim that since the 19th century, Rabbinic Judaism has regarded the Samaritans as a Jewish sect and the term "Samaritan Jews" has been used for them.
Samaritan law is not the same as Halakha (Rabbinic Jewish law). The Samaritans have several groups of religious texts, which correspond to Jewish Halakha. A few examples of such texts are:
- Samaritan Pentateuch: There are some 6,000 differences between the Samaritan Pentateuch and the Masoretic Jewish Pentateuch text; and, according to one estimate, 1,900 points of agreement between it and the Greek LXX version. Several passages in the New Testament would also appear to echo a Torah textual tradition not dissimilar to that conserved in the Samaritan text. There are several theories regarding the similarities. The variations, some corroborated by readings in the Old Latin, Syriac and Ethiopian translations, attest to the antiquity of the Samaritan text.
- Historical writings
- Hagiographical texts
- Samaritan Halakhic Text, The Hillukh (Code of Halakha, marriage, circumcision, etc.)
- Samaritan Halakhic Text, the Kitab at-Tabbah (Halakha and interpretation of some verses and chapters from the Torah, written by Abu Al Hassan 12th century CE)
- Samaritan Halakhic Text, the Kitab al-Kafi (Book of Halakha, written by Yosef Al Ascar 14th century CE)
- Al-Asatir—legendary Aramaic texts from the 11th and 12th centuries, containing:
- Haggadic Midrash, Abu'l Hasan al-Suri
- Haggadic Midrash, Memar Markah—3rd or 4th century theological treatises attributed to Hakkam Markha
- Haggadic Midrash, Pinkhas on the Taheb
- Haggadic Midrash, Molad Maseh (On the birth of Moses)
- Defter, prayer book of psalms and hymns.
- Samaritan Haggadah
Christian sources: New Testament
Samaria or Samaritans are mentioned in the New Testament books of Matthew, Luke, John and Acts. The Gospel of Mark contains no mention of Samaritans or Samaria. The best known reference to the Samaritans is the Parable of the Good Samaritan, found in the Gospel of Luke. The following references are found:
- When instructing his disciples as to how they should spread the word, Jesus tells them not to visit any Gentile or Samaritan city, but instead, go to the "lost sheep of Israel".
- A Samaritan village rejected a request from messengers travelling ahead of Jesus for hospitality, because the villagers did not want to facilitate a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, a practice which they saw as a violation of the Law of Moses. Two of his disciples want to 'call down fire from heaven and destroy them,' but Jesus rebukes them.
- The Parable of the Good Samaritan.
- Jesus healed ten lepers, of whom only one returned to praise God, and he was a Samaritan.
- Jesus asks a Samaritan woman of Sychar for water from Jacob's Well, and after spending two days telling her townsfolk "all things" as the woman expected the Messiah to do, and presumably repeating the Good News that he is the Messiah, many Samaritans become followers of Jesus. He accepts without comment the woman's assertion that she and her people are Israelites, descendants of Jacob.
- Jesus is accused of being a Samaritan and being demon-possessed. He denies the latter accusation, but does not deny the former that seems to be meant to accuse him of not having Jewish beliefs.
- Christ tells the apostles that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon them and that they would be his witnesses in "Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
- The Apostles are being persecuted. Philip preaches the Gospel to a city in Samaria, and the Apostles in Jerusalem hear about it. So they send the Apostles Peter and John to pray for and lay hands on the baptized believers, who then receive the Holy Spirit (vs. 17). They then return to Jerusalem, preaching the Gospel "in many villages of the Samaritans".
- Acts 9:31 says that at that time the churches had "rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria".
- Acts 15:2–3 says that Paul and Barnabas were "being brought on their way by the church" and that they passed through "Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles". (Phoenicia in several other English versions).
The rest of the New Testament makes no specific mention of Samaria or Samaritans.
- "The Samaritan Update". The Samaritan Update. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
Total [sic] in 2021 - 840 souls
Total in 2018 – 810 souls
Total number on 1.1.2017 - 796 persons, 381 souls on Mount Gerizim and 415 in the State of Israel, of the 414 males and 382 females.
- "Samaritan | Definition, Religion, & Bible". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 15 October 2021.
- Deuteronomy 16:6 (Samaritan Version) "Has Chosen"
- UNESCO World Heritage Centre (11 October 2017). "Mount Gerizim and the Samaritans". Retrieved 24 December 2020.
- Levy-Rubin, M. (2000). "New evidence relating to the process of Islamization in Palestine in the Early Muslim Period - The Case of Samaria". Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient. Springer. 43 (3): 257–276. doi:10.1163/156852000511303.
- Ehrlich, Michael (2022). The Islamization of the Holy Land, 634-1800. Arc Humanity Press. p. 33. ISBN 978-1-64189-222-3. OCLC 1310046222.
- Fattal, A. (1958). Le statut légal des non-Musulman en pays d'Islam [The legal status of non-Muslims in Islamic countries] (in French). Beirut: Imprimerie Catholique. pp. 72–73.
- Crown, Alan David; Pummer, Reinhard; Tal, Abraham, eds. (1993). A Companion to Samaritan Studies. Mohr Siebeck. pp. 70–71. ISBN 9783161456664.
- "Contact: the AB Institute for Israelite Samaritan Studies". Israelite Samaritan Information Institute. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
- Friedman, Matti (18 March 2007). "Israeli sings for her estranged people". Yahoo! News. Associated Press. pp. (Sun March 18, 2007, 2:45 PM ET). Archived from the original on 26 March 2007.
Today there are precisely 705 Samaritans, according to the sect's own tally. Half live near the West Bank city of Nablus on Mt. Gerizim [...]. The other half live in a compound in the Israeli city of Holon, near Tel Aviv.
- Rosenblatt, Dana (14 October 2002). "Amid conflict, Samaritans keep unique identity". CNN.com.
- Angel Sáenz-Badillos; translated by John Elwolde. (1993). A History of the Hebrew Language. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-55634-7.
- "Conversion to Israelite Samaritans". Retrieved 9 November 2021.
- Tsedaka, Benyamim (12 May 2015). "1 May 2015 Brazil and Sicily Have New Israelite Samaritan Communities". Israelite Samaritan Information Institute. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
- Sela, Shulamit (1994). "The Head of the Rabbanite, Karaite and Samaritan Jews: On the History of a Title". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. University of London. 57 (2): 255–267. doi:10.1017/S0041977X00024848. S2CID 162698361.
- According to Rabbinic literature in the polemical book of Tractate Kutim, Samaritans are rejected amongst them unless they renounce Mount Gerizim as their Holy Site as it is stated: "When may they be received into the Jewish community? When they have renounced Mount Gerizim and acknowledged Jerusalem and the resurrection of the dead." Tractate Kutim 2:8
- Freedman, David Noel (1996) . The Anchor Bible Dictionary. Vol. 5. New York: Doubleday. p. 941.
- Gesenius Biblical Hebrew Dictionary. "Biblical Hebrew Lexicon entry#SMRI". Blue Letter Bible. King James Version.
- Ibn Manzur (1979). "entry SMR". Lisan al Arab. Vol. 21. Al-dar al-Misriya li-l-talif wa-l-taryamar. ISBN 978-0-86685-541-9.
- "Gessinius Lexicon Hebrew entry#H8104". Hebrew. Blue Letter Bible.
- Pummer, Reinhard (2002). Early Christian Authors on Samaritans and Samaritanism: Texts, Translations and Commentary. Mohr Siebeck. pp. 123, 42, 156. ISBN 978-3-16-147831-4.
- Coggins, R. J. (1975). Samaritans and Jews: the origins of Samaritanism reconsidered. Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 978-0-8042-0109-4.
- Saint Epiphanius (Bishop of Constantia in Cyprus) (1 January 1987). The Panarion of Ephiphanius of Salamis: Book I (sects 1–46). BRILL. p. 30. ISBN 978-90-04-07926-7.
- Keseling, Paul (1921). Die chronik des Eusebius in der syrischen ueberlieferung (auszug) [The Chronicles of Eusebius in Syriac Tradition (excerpt)] (in German). Druck von A. Mecke. p. 184.
- Origen (1896). The Commentary of Origen on S. John's Gospel: The Text Rev. with a Critical Introd. & Indices. The University Press.
- Grunbaum, M.; Geiger, Rapoport (1862). "Mitgetheilten ausfsatze uber die samaritaner" [Communicated essay on the Samaritans]. Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft (in German). Harrassowitz. 16: 389–416.
- "Families of the Israelite Samaritans: Levi, Menasseh, Itamar . ". Israelite Samaritan Information Institute. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
- Fried, Lisbeth S. (2014). Ezra and the Law in History and Tradition. University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 978-1-61117-410-6.
- Burgess, Henry (2003). Journal of Sacred Literature and Biblical Record, April 1855 to July 1855. Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7661-5612-8.
- Wars of the Jews 2:6: "So he took Medaba and Samea, with the towns in their neighborhood, as also Shechem, and Gerizzim; and besides these, [he subdued] the nation of the Cutheans, who dwelt round about that temple which was built in imitation of the temple at Jerusalem; he also took a great many other cities of Idumea, with Adoreon and Marissa."
- Lipschitz, Oded; Knoppers, Gary N.; Albertz, Rainer (2007). Judah and the Judeans in the Fourth Century B.C. Eisenbrauns. pp. 157, 177 n. 13. ISBN 978-1-57506-130-6.
- (2 Kings, 17:30). "According to the rabbis, his emblem was a cock".
- "Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - 2 Kings 17:30".
- Shen, P.; Lavi, T.; Kivisild, T.; Chou, V.; Sengun, D.; Gefel, D.; Shpirer, I.; Woolf, E.; Hillel, J.; Feldman, M. W.; Oefner, P. J. (2004). "Reconstruction of Patrilineages and Matrilineages of Samaritans and Other Israeli Populations From Y-Chromosome and Mitochondrial DNA Sequence Variation" (PDF). Human Mutation. 24 (3): 248–260. doi:10.1002/humu.20077. PMID 15300852. S2CID 1571356.
- Genetics and the Jewish identity By DIANA MUIR APPELBAUM, PAUL S. APPELBAUM, MD \ 02/11/2008, Jerusalem Post
- "Samaritan | Definition, Religion, & Bible | Britannica". www.britannica.com. Retrieved 2022-05-25.
- The Keepers, An Introduction to the History and Culture of the Samaritans, by Robert T. Anderson and Terry Giles, Hendrickson Publishing, 2002, pages 11–12
- 2 Kings 17.
- Josephus, Antiquities 9.277–91
- See the wording of 2 Kings 17 which mentions Shalmaneser in verse 3 but the "king of the Assyrians" from verse 4 onward.
- 2 Kings 17:24
- 2 Kings 17:25–33
- Magen, Yitzakh (2007). "The Dating of the First Phase of the Samaritan Temple on Mt Gerizim in Light of Archaeological Evidence". In Lipschitz, Oded; Knoppers, Gary N.; Albertz, Rainer (eds.). Judah and the Judeans in the Fourth Century B.C.E. Eisenbrauns. pp. 157–212 .
The author of Chronicles conceals the information that is given prominence in Kings, and vice versa. [...] The books of Ezra and Nehemiah adopt a narrow sectarian approach that seeks to maintain the uniqueness and racial purity of the exiles in Babylonia, while Chronicles is more broad-minded and views the Israelite nation as a great people that includes all the tribes, both Judah and Israel.
- 2Chronicles 34:9
- Jeremiah 41:5
- Yitzakh Magen, "The Dating of the First Phase of the Samaritan Temple on Mt Gerizim in Light of Archaeological Evidence", in Oded Lipschitz, Gary N. Knoppers, Rainer Albertz (eds.) Judah and the Judeans in the Fourth Century B.C., Eisenbrauns, 2007 pp. 157–212. p. 186.
- Magen, Yitzakh (2007). "The Dating of the First Phase of the Samaritan Temple on Mt Gerizim in Light of Archaeological Evidence". In Lipschitz, Oded; Knoppers, Gary N.; Albertz, Rainer (eds.). Judah and the Judeans in the Fourth Century B.C.E. Eisenbrauns. pp. 157–212 .
- Magnar Kartveit (2009). The Origin of the Samaritans. BRILL. pp. 168–171. ISBN 978-9004178199. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
- Michael D. Coogan, "A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament" page 363, 2009.
- Bechtel, Florentine (1911). "The Books of Paralimpomenon (Chronicles)".
- Mark A. Powell, "Introducing the New Testament: A Historical, Literary, and Theological Survey" 'Ch.01 The People of Palestine at the Time of Jesus', Baker Academic, 2009.
- Schiffman, Lawrence H. (1991). From Text to Tradition: A History of Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism. NJ: Ktav Publishing House.
- Isaiah 45:1
- Haggai 1
- Zechariah 4:9
- Magen, Yitzhak (2007). "The Dating of the First Phase of the Samaritan Temple on Mount Gerizim in the Light of the Archaeological Evidence". In Oded Lipschitz; Gary N. Knoppers; Rainer Albertz (eds.). Judah and Judeans in the Fourth Century BC. Eisenbrauns. ISBN 9781575061306.
- Bourgel, Jonathan (November 2019). "The Samaritans during the Hasmonean Period: The Affirmation of a Discrete Identity?". Religions. 10 (11): 628. doi:10.3390/rel10110628.
- L. Matassa, J. Macdonald; et al. (2007). "Samaritans". In Berenbaum, Michael; Skolnik, Fred (eds.). Encyclopaedia Judaica (2nd ed.). Detroit: Macmillan Reference. pp. 718–740. ISBN 978-0-02-866097-4. As quoted by Department of Near Eastern Studies, University of Michigan and Encyclopedia.com
- John 4:9;27
- "Jesus and the Samaritan Woman / A Samaritan Woman Approaches:1". Christiancourier.com. Retrieved 25 February 2010.
- See: Jonathan Bourgel, "The Destruction of the Samaritan Temple by John Hyrcanus: A Reconsideration", JBL 135/3 (2016), pp. 505-523; . See also idem, "The Samaritans during the Hasmonean Period: The Affirmation of a Discrete Identity?" Religions 2019, 10(11), 628.
- "Topical Bible: Nakedness". Bible Hub. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
- White, L. Michael (1987). "The Delos Synagogue Revisited Recent Fieldwork in the Graeco-Roman Diaspora". Harvard Theological Review. 80 (2): 133–160. doi:10.1017/s0017816000023579. S2CID 162810274.
- Matassa, Lidia (2007). "Unravelling the Myth of the Synagogue on Delos". Bulletin of the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society. 25: 81–115.
- See: Jonathan Bourgel, "The Samaritans in the Eyes of the Romans: The Discovery of an Identity", Cathedra 144 (2012), 7–20 (in Hebrew). Bourgel The Samaritans in the Eyes of the Romans The Discovery of an Identity Cathedra 144 2012 7-20 יונתן בורגל השומרונים בראי הרומאים והשפעת השלטון הרומי על היחסים בין יהודים לשומרונים
- Malalas, 15.
- Procopius, Buildings, 5.7.
- Alan David Crown, The Samaritans, Mohr Siebeck, 1989, ISBN 3-16-145237-2, pp. 72-73.
- Nau, ‘Re´sume´’, ROC 9 (1914), 114–15.
- Vita Jacobi, text and trans. in Pummer, 326–31
- Sivan, H. (2008). Palestine in late antiquity. Oxford University Press. p. 172
- Procopius, Anecdota. 11.26
- Pummer 1987 p.4.
- Reinhard Pummer, The Samaritans, BRILL, 1987 p.17.
- Benjamin Z. Kedar, "The Frankish period", in The Samaritans, ed. Alan D. Cross (Tübingen, 1989), pp. 86-87.
- Schreiber, Monika (28 May 2014). The Comfort of Kin: Samaritan Community, Kinship, and Marriage. p. 46. ISBN 9789004274259.
- Ireton, Sean (2003). "The Samaritans - The Samaritans: Strategies for Survival of an Ethno-religious Minority in the Twenty First Century". Anthrobase. Retrieved 29 November 2007.
- Mills, E. (1933). Census of Palestine 1931. Vol. I. Alexandria: Government of Palestine. p. 87.
- "The Political History of the Samaritans". Zajel / An-Najah National University. 24 January 2005. Archived from the original on 19 January 2012.
- "Good Samaritans". The Jewish Week. 5 April 2011.
- "Samaritan". Jerusalem Cinematheque – Israel Film Archive.
- "FamilyTreeDNA - Israelite Samaritans".
- Shen, P.; Lavi, T.; Kivisild, T.; Chou, V.; Sengun, D.; Gefel, D.; Shpirer, I.; Woolf, E.; Hillel, J.; Feldman, M.W.; Oefner, P.J. (2004). "Reconstruction of Patrilineages and Matrilineages of Samaritans and Other Israeli Populations From Y-Chromosome and Mitochondrial DNA Sequence Variation" (PDF). Human Mutation. 24 (3): 248–260. doi:10.1002/humu.20077. PMID 15300852. S2CID 1571356.
- Cruciani, F.; La Fratta, R.; Torroni, A.; Underhill, P. A.; Scozzari, R. (April 2006). "Molecular Dissection of the Y Chromosome Haplogroup E-M78 (E3b1a): A Posteriori Evaluation of a Microsatellite-Network-Based Approach Through Six New Biallelic Markers". Human Mutation. 27 (8): 831–832. doi:10.1002/humu.9445. PMID 16835895. S2CID 26886757.
- Yohanan Aharoni, Michael Avi-Yonah, Anson F. Rainey, Ze'ev Safrai, The Macmillan Bible Atlas, 3rd Edition, Macmillan Publishing: New York, 1993, p. 115. A posthumous publication of the work of Israeli archaeologist Yohanan Aharoni and Michael Avi-Yonah, in collaboration with Anson F. Rainey and Ze'ev Safrai.
- Barbati, Gabrielle (January 21, 2013). "Israeli Election Preview: The Samaritans, Caught Between Two Votes". International Business Times. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
Totaling 760 people between Kiryat Luza and Holon -- up from 150 people in 1967 but down from an estimated 1 million during Biblical times
- Tsedakah, Benyamin. "Israelite Samaritan Families Today".
- Schreiber, Monika (28 May 2014). The Comfort of Kin: Samaritan Community, Kinship, and Marriage. p. 411. ISBN 9789004274259.
- Patience, Martin (6 February 2007). "Ancient community seeks brides abroad". BBC News. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
- Ferguson, Jane (8 January 2013). "West Bank Samaritans fight extinction". Mount Gerizin: Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
- "European women give hope to Samaritans". The Times of Israel.
- Steinberg, Jessica. "A former Samaritan faces the music of her complicated roots". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
- "The Samaritan High Priests". The Samaritans. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
- Leviticus 21:10
- Ben Zvi, Yitzhak (8 October 1985). Oral telling of Samaritan traditions: Volume 780-785. A.B. Samaritan News. p. 8.
- "Who are the Samaritans and why is their future uncertain?". The Economist. 19 October 2016.
- Deuteronomy 33:4
- Fried, Lisbeth S. (2014). "8". Ezra and the Law in History and Tradition. University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 978-1-611-17410-6.
Samaritan and Islamic scholars, as well as several of the Church Fathers, argue that Ezra falsified the Bible when he rewrote it and that the Torah we have now could not be the same as the one that Moses dictated.
- "Faith of the Israelite Samaritans: Four unique principles". Israelite Samaritan Information Institute. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
- Pummer, Reinhard (2011). "The mosaic Tabernacle as the Legitimate Sanctuary of the Biblical Tabernacle in Samaritanism". In Fine, Steven (ed.). The Temple of Jerusalem: From Moses to the Messiah: In Honor of Professor Louis H. Feldman. BRILL. pp. 125–149, 125–131. ISBN 978-9-004-19253-9.
- Bowman, John (2004). The Samaritan Problem: Studies in the Relationships of Samaritanism, Judaism, and Early Christianity. Wipf and Stock Publishers. p. 35. ISBN 978-0-915-13804-3.
The Samaritan Tolidah Chronicle assumes a period of 260 years for the “Time of Divine Favour”. ..A few years ago Abram Spiro suggested that if we calculate 360 years backwards from the point of time of the destruction of the Samaritan temple by John Hyrcanus, then we arrive at 388 B.C. as an entirely possible date for the construction of the Samaritan temple on Mt Gerizim. Thus Spiro considered the 260 “years of divine favour” to be the time in which the Samaritan s possessed a temple, and he thought they had projected this back into the time of Moses since they had no ancient history.
- The Israelite Samaritan Version of the Torah: First English Translation Compared with the Masoretic Version. Eerdmans publishing company. 26 April 2013. p. 28. ISBN 978-0802865199.
- Deuteronomy 11-12 Deuteronomy 27:4 (Samaritan Version) "And You shall set up these stones which I command you today on Aargaareezem (Mount Gerizim)"
- "Tourism". www.grizimtour.com. Archived from the original on June 14, 2008.
- Genesis 22:2
- John 4:21–22
- The Israelite Samaritan Version of the Torah: First English Translation Compared with the Masoretic Version. Eerdmans publishing company. 26 April 2013. p. 485. ISBN 978-0802865199.
- James VanderKam, Peter Flint, The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls: Their Significance For Understanding the Bible, Judaism, Jesus, and Christianity, A&C Black, 2nd ed. 2005 p.95.
- Timothy Michael Law, When God Spoke Greek: The Septuagint and the Making of the Christian Bible, Oxford University Press, USA, 2013 p.24.
- Isac Leo Seeligmann, The Septuagint Version of Isaiah and Cognate Studies, Mohr Siebeck 2004 pp.64ff.
- Samaritan Documents, Relating To Their History, Religion and Life, translated and edited by John Bowman, Pittsburgh Original Texts & Translations Series Number 2, 1977.
- זבח קרבן הפסח : הגדה של פסח, נוסח שומרוני (Samaritan Haggada & Pessah Passover / Zevaḥ ḳorban ha-Pesaḥ : Hagadah shel Pesaḥ, nusaḥ Shomroni = Samaritan Haggada & Pessah Passover), Avraham Nur Tsedaḳah, Tel Aviv, 1958
- Matthew 10:5–6
- Luke 9:51–53
- Luke 10:30–37
- Luke 17:11–19, esp. 17:16
- John 4:4-42
- John 8:48
- Acts 1:8
- Acts 8:1–25
- Anderson, Robert T.; Giles, Terry (2002) . The Keepers: An Introduction to the History and Culture of the Samaritans. Hendrickson Publishing. ISBN 978-1-56563-519-7.
- Anderson, Robert T.; Giles, Terry (2005). Tradition kept: the literature of the Samaritans. Hendrickson Publishing. ISBN 9781565637474.
- Bowman, John (1975). The Samaritan Problem. Pickwick Press.
- Coggins, R. J. (1975). Samaritans and Jews: The Origins of Samaritanism Reconsidered. Growing Points in Theology. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
- Crown, Alan David (2005) . A Bibliography of the Samaritans: Revised Expanded and Annotated (3rd ed.). Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-5659-2.
- Gaster, Moses (1925). The Samaritans: Their History, Doctrines and Literature. The Schweich Lectures for 1923. Oxford University Press.
- Heinsdorff, Cornel (2003). Christus, Nikodemus und die Samaritanerin bei Juvencus. Mit einem Anhang zur lateinischen Evangelienvorlage [Christ, Nicodemus and the Samaritan Woman at Juvencus. With an appendix to the Latin Gospel template]. Untersuchungen zur antiken Literatur und Geschichte (in German). Vol. 67. Berlin/New York. ISBN 3-11-017851-6.
- Hjelm, Ingrid (2000). Samaritans and Early Judaism: A Literary Analysis. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. Supplement Series, 303. Sheffield Academic Press. ISBN 978-1-84127-072-2.
- Macdonald, John (1964). The Theology of the Samaritans. New Testament Library. London: SCM Press.
- Montgomery, James Alan (2006) . The Samaritans, the Earliest Jewish Sect. The Bohlen Lectures for 1906. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock. ISBN 978-1-59752-965-5.
- Mor, Menachem; Reiterer, Friedrich V.; Winkler, Waltraud, eds. (2010). Samaritans: Past and Present: Current Studies. Studia Samaritana, 5 & Studia Judaica, 53. Berlin: De Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-11-019497-5.
- Pummer, Reinhard (1987). The Samaritans. Leiden: E. J. Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-07891-8.
- Purvis, James D. (1968). The Samaritan Pentateuch and the Origin of the Samaritan Sect. Harvard Semitic Monographs. Vol. 2. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
- Thomson, J. E. H. (1919). The Samaritans: Their Testimony to the Religion of Israel. Edinburgh & London: Oliver and Boyd.
- Zertal, Adam (November 1989). "The Wedge-Shaped Decorated Bowl and the Origin of the Samaritans". Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (276): 77–84. doi:10.2307/1356853. JSTOR 1356853. S2CID 163900813.
This section's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. (July 2015)
- Israelite Samaritan Information Institute
- The Samaritans
- The Samaritan Update
- Society for Samaritan Studies
- "Samaritans" in The Jewish Encyclopedia
- "Good Samaritans: Israel's smallest religious minority offers Jews a glimpse of what might have been" Archived 2018-11-20 at the Wayback Machine by Benjamin Balint, Tablet Magazine
- "The Origin and Nature of the Samaritans and Their Relationship to Second Temple Jewish Sects", David Steinberg
- "Samaritans" Archived 2013-01-29 at the Wayback Machine (theory on the Samaritan–Jewish tensions), Jona Lendering
- "Guards of Mount Gerizim", Alex Maist
Books and other information
- The Samaritans: The Earliest Jewish Sect, by James A Montgomery
- "Bibliography", James A Montgomery
- Samaritan Museum, "Gerizim" (English language)
- "The Messianic Hope of the Samaritans" by Jacob, Son of Aaron, High Priest of the Samaritans, Chicago, 1907
- "Josephus' attitude towards the Samaritans" from Studies in Hellenistic Judaism by Louis H. Feldman
- Samaritan Holidays & Feasts in the Land of Israel
- "Samaritans in Nablus and the West Bank", Rüdiger Benninghaus