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Samaritan

The Bible

Bible Usage:

Dictionaries:

  • Included in Eastons: No
  • Included in Hitchcocks: No
  • Included in Naves: No
  • Included in Smiths: No
  • Included in Websters: Yes
  • Included in Strongs: Yes
  • Included in Thayers: Yes
  • Included in BDB: No

Strongs Concordance:

 

Webster's 1828 Dictionary
Samaritan

SAMAR'ITAN, adjective

1. Pertaining to Samaria, the principal city of the ten tribes of Israel, belonging to the tribe of Ephraim, and after the captivity of those tribes, repeopled by Cuthites from Assyria or Chaldea.

2. Denoting the ancient characters and alphabet used by the Hebrews.

SAMAR'ITAN, noun

1. An inhabitant of Samaria, or one that belonged to the sect which derived their appellation from that city. The Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans.

2. The language of Samaria, a dialect of the Chaldean.


Easton's Bible Dictionary
Samaritan Pentateuch

On the return from the Exile, the Jews refused the Samaritans participation with them in the worship at Jerusalem, and the latter separated from all fellowship with them, and built a temple for themselves on Mount Gerizim. This temple was razed to the ground more than one hundred years B.C. Then a system of worship was instituted similar to that of the temple at Jerusalem. It was founded on the Law, copies of which had been multiplied in Israel as well as in Judah. Thus the Pentateuch was preserved among the Samaritans, although they never called it by this name, but always "the Law," which they read as one book. The division into five books, as we now have it, however, was adopted by the Samaritans, as it was by the Jews, in all their priests' copies of "the Law," for the sake of convenience. This was the only portion of the Old Testament which was accepted by the Samaritans as of divine authority.

The form of the letters in the manuscript copies of the Samaritan Pentateuch is different from that of the Hebrew copies, and is probably the same as that which was in general use before the Captivity. There are other peculiarities in the writing which need not here be specified.

There are important differences between the Hebrew and the Samaritan copies of the Pentateuch in the readings of many sentences. In about two thousand instances in which the Samaritan and the Jewish texts differ, the LXX. agrees with the former. The New Testament also, when quoting from the Old Testament, agrees as a rule with the Samaritan text, where that differs from the Jewish. Thus Exodus 12:40 in the Samaritan reads, "Now the sojourning of the children of Israel and of their fathers which they had dwelt in the land of Canaan and in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years" (comp. Galatians 3:17). It may be noted that the LXX. has the same reading of this text.


Smith's Bible Dictionary
Samaritan Pentateuch

a recension of the commonly received Hebrew text of the Mosaic law, in use among the Samaritans, and written in the ancient Hebrew or so-called Samaritan character. The origin of the Samaritan Pentateuch has given rise to much controversy, into which we cannot here enter. The two most usual opinions are

  1. That it came into the hands of the Samaritans as an inheritance from the ten tribes whom they succeeded.
  2. That it was introduced by Manasseh at the time of the foundation of the Samaritan sanctuary on Mount Gerizim. It differs in several important points from the Hebrew text. Among these may be mentioned

  3. Emendations of passages and words of the Hebrew text which contain something objectionable in the eyes of the Samaritans, On account either of historical probability or apparent want of dignity in the terms applied to the Creator. Thus in the Samaritan Pentateuch no one in the antediluvian times begets his first son after he has lived 150 years; but one hundred years are, where necessary, subtracted before, and added after, the birth of the first son. An exceedingly important and often-discussed emendation of this class is the passage in (Exodus 12:40) which in our text reads, "Now the sojourning of the children of Isr'l who dwelt in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years." The Samaritan has "The sojourning of the children of Isr'l [and their fathers who dwelt in the Land of Cannaan and in the land of Egypt ] was four hundred and thirty years;" an interpolation of very late date indeed. Again, in (Genesis 2:2) "And God [?] had finished on the seventh day," is altered into "the sixth " lest God's rest on the Sabbath day might seem incomplete.
  4. Alterations made in favor of or on behalf of Samaritan theology, hermeneutics and domestic worship.


Easton's Bible Dictionary
Samaritans

The name given to the new and mixed inhabitants whom Esarhaddon (B.C. 677), the king of Assyria, brought from Babylon and other places and settled in the cities of Samaria, instead of the original inhabitants whom Sargon (B.C. 721) had removed into captivity (2 Kings 17:24; comp. Ezra 4:2, 9, 10). These strangers (comp. Luke 17:18) amalgamated with the Jews still remaining in the land, and gradually abandoned their old idolatry and adopted partly the Jewish religion.

After the return from the Captivity, the Jews in Jerusalem refused to allow them to take part with them in rebuilding the temple, and hence sprang up an open enmity between them. They erected a rival temple on Mount Gerizim, which was, however, destroyed by a Jewish king (B.C. 130). They then built another at Shechem. The bitter enmity between the Jews and Samaritans continued in the time of our Lord- the Jews had "no dealings with the Samaritans" (John 4:9; comp. Luke 9:52, 53). Our Lord was in contempt called "a Samaritan" (John 8:48). Many of the Samaritans early embraced the gospel (John 4:5-42; Acts 8:25; 9:31; 15:3). Of these Samaritans there still remains a small population of about one hundred and sixty, who all reside in Shechem, where they carefully observe the religious customs of their fathers. They are the "smallest and oldest sect in the world."


Smith's Bible Dictionary
Samaritans

Strictly speaking, a Samaritan would be an inhabitant of the city of Samaria, but the term was applied to all the people of the kingdom of Isr'l. After the captivity of Isr'l, B.C. 721, and in our Lord's time, the name was applied to a peculiar people whose origin was in this wise. At the final captivity of Isr'l by Shalmaneser, we may conclude that the cities of Samaria were not merely partially but wholly depopulated of their inhabitants in B.C. 721, and that they remained in this desolated state until, in the words of (2 Kings 17:24) "the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon and front Cuthah, and from Av. (Ivah,) (2 Kings 18:34) and from Hamath, and front Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Isr'l and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof." Thus the new Samaritans were Assyrians by birth or subjugation. These strangers, whom we will now assume to hare been placed in "the cities of Samaria" by Esar-haddon, were of course idolaters, and worshipped a strange medley of divinities. God's displeasure was kindled, and they were annoyed by beasts of prey, which had probably increased to a great extent before their entrance upon the land. On their explaining their miserable condition to the king of Assyria, he despatched one of the captive priests to teach them "how they should fear the Lord." The priest came accordingly, and henceforth, in the language of the sacred historian, they "Feared the Lord, and served their graven images, both their children and their children's children- as did their fathers, so do the unto this day." (2 Kings 17:41) A gap occurs in their history until Judah has returned from captivity. They then desire to be allowed to participate in the rebuilding of the temple at Jerusalem; but on being refused, the Samaritans throw off the mask, and become open enemies, frustrate the operations of the Jews through the reigns of two Persian kings, and are only effectually silenced in the reign of Darius Hystaspes, B.C. 519. The feud thus unhappily begun grew year by year more inveterate. Matters at length came to a climax. About B.C. 409, a certain Manasseh, a man of priestly lineage, on being expelled from Jerusalem by nehemiah for an unlawful marriage, obtained permission from the Persian king of his day, Darius Nothus, to build a temple on Mount Gerizim for the Samaritans, with whom he had found refuge. The animosity of the Samaritans became more intense than ever. They are sid to have done everything in their power to annoy the Jews. Their own temple on Gerizim they considered to be much superior to that at Jerusalem. There they sacrificed a passover. Toward the mountain, even after the temple on it had fallen, wherever they were they directed their worship. To their copy of the law they arrogated an antiquity and authority greater than attached to any copy in the possession of the Jews. The law (i.e. the five books of Moses) was their sole code; for they rejected every other book in the Jewish canon. The Jews, on the other hand, were not more conciliatory in their treatment of the Samaritans. Certain other Jewish renegades had from time to time taken refuge with the Samaritans; hence by degrees the Samaritans claimed to partake of jewish blood, especially if doing so happened to suit their interest. Very far were the Jews from admitting this claim to consanguinity on the part of these people. The traditional hatred in which the jew held the Samaritan is expressed in Ecclus. 50.25,26. Such were the Samaritans of our Lord's day; a people distinct from the jews, though lying in the very midst of the Jews; a people preserving their identity, though seven centuries had rolled away since they had been brought from Assyria by Esar-haddon, and though they had abandoned their polytheism for a sort of ultra Mosaicism; a people who, though their limits had gradually contracted and the rallying-place of their religion on Mount Gerizim had been destroyed one hundred and sixty years before by John Hyrcanus (B.C. 130), and though Samaria (the city) had been again and again destroyed, still preserved their nationality still worshipped from Shechem and their impoverished settlements toward their sacred hill, still retained their peculiar religion, and could not coalesce with the Jews.