7560 Samaritans, the
The people of the northern kingdom of Israel, named after its capital city established by Omri. At the time of the NT, Samaritans were despised by Jews, on account of their intermarriage with Gentiles after the fall of the northern kingdom in 721
Samaria as the name of the northern kingdom
The fall of Samaria
Samaria’s population deported 2Ki 17:6-18 Sargon II of Assyria completed the siege begun by Shalmaneser V, deporting (according to his own annals) over 27,000 of Samaria’s inhabitants. See also 2Ki 18:11-12
Religion in Samaria after its fall
Syncretism arises in Samaria 2Ki 17:25-41 Those resettled brought their own gods with them, but also worshipped the
Samaritans and the restoration of Jerusalem
Samaritans offer to rebuild the temple with the returning exiles but are rejected Ezr 4:1-5 The response of the Samaritans to this rejection, based on the Jews’desire to keep the faith pure, reflects the double-mindedness of their offer.
Samaria’s religious background by the time of the NT
Samaria had established its own temple Jn 4:20 The Samaritans built their own temple on Mount Gerizim. It was later destroyed by the Jews, which led to a hardening of attitudes between the two groups.
Samaritan Scriptures contained only the Pentateuch Jn 4:22 Jesus Christ highlights the limited revelation of the Samaritans. Since their Scriptures contained only the Pentateuch, they were expecting a Messiah that they could know little about.
Samaritan and Jewish attitudes to one another Jn 4:9 Samaritans were seen as being very lax in their religious observance, and Jews would not therefore share drinking vessels with them. By NT times the gulf between Jew and Samaritan was quite wide and bitter. See also Lk 9:51-56 The three-day journey from Galilee to Jerusalem involved overnight accommodation, which the Samaritans generally refused, causing many Jews to travel on the eastern side of the Jordan.
Samaritans and the ministry of Jesus Christ
Initially Jesus Christ instructs his disciples not to go to the Samaritans Mt 10:5-6
Jesus Christ is opposed by some Samaritans See also Lk 9:51-56
Jesus Christ heals a Samaritan leper Lk 17:11-19
Jesus Christ tells a parable about a good Samaritan Lk 10:30-37 For the Jews, the concept of a “good” Samaritan would have seemed very strange; but Jesus Christ shows that love and faith is not restricted to Israel’s boundaries.
Samaria and the ministry of the early first Christians
The risen Christ includes Samaria in the church’s mission Ac 1:8
The apostles pray for the gift of the Spirit for the Samaritan converts Ac 8:14-17 The delay in their reception of the Spirit until the apostles came from Jerusalem may have been God’s way of removing the old Jewish-Samaritan divide in the infant church.
The Samaritan church grows Ac 9:31
|7216||exile in Assyria|
|7233||Israel, northern kingdom|
|8452||neighbours, duty to|