The Samaritans, to whom the Jews were bitterly hostile, were descendants of the foreign settlers imported into Northern Palestine by the Assyrians toward the end of the eighth century BC. Under Hoshea, Israel's last king, 27,290 people of the ten tribes were deported to distant parts of the Assyrian empire under the direction of Esar-haddon of Assyria. Israel in turn was resettled with Assyrian captives from other conquered territories, thereby mingling their religious and cultural traditions. As conquerors did in these days, they had transported the greater part of the population and had settled strangers in the land. A mongrel race descended from the old Jewish remnant left there who intermarried with the heathen Assyrian conquerors and the other stranger races planted there. Their worship was partly Jewish, partly idolatrous, an admixture of Judaism and heathen superstitions. They lost their racial purity and that for a Jew was an unforgivable crime.

The Samaritan sect was founded by a group of Jews who were excluded from the Temple at Jerusalem, because they had married foreign wives. Angered by this they went to Samaria where they built a rival temple on Mount Gerizim. To this temple, they carefully brought from Jerusalem a copy of the Bible but only the Pentateuch, the Samaritan Bible never grew beyond the five books of Moses. In time they became a new people, the Samaritans and rejected all other Old Testament books including the writings of the prophets.

The temple on Mount Gerizim was the center of legitimate worship for the Samaritans and was opposed to the Jewish Temple at Jerusalem. They considered that they alone held the deposit of patriarchal religious faith and this caused constant and rabid hostilities between the Samaritans and the Jews. Only the Pentateuch of Moses is valued by them as holy scripture and the only legitimate worship is the rival temple at Mount Gerizim, in their view, hallowed by the ancient tradition of the patriarchs and located in the heart of their country.

The north was immeasurably stronger, wealthier, and more promising than its southern neighbor but vividly portrays the destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel and Ephraim. Enmity went back in its origin to the split between the Northern kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah after Solomon's death and had since then grown to an extreme degree. The exacerbation between Jews and Samaritans was always at its worst during the anniversaries of the national feasts; and it often broke into acts of open hostility. In consequence of this, the caravans of Galilean pilgrims seen in many instances to have chosen the route on the east of Jordan. The Jews accused the Samaritans of wilfully molesting their harmless travellers. Samaritans were looked upon as religiously unclean, because of their intermarriage with pagans, but more so as followers of a satanic heresy.

The land was fair, and could have been much more richly developed with its fertile soil and more abundant water than in the southern part. With good farming, they would plant great fields of wheat, raise fine vegetable gardens and luxurious orchards, but no outsiders liked to buy their grain or fruit. Good Jews would walk far out of their way to go around Samaria. Only Romans would befriend them.

Jesus led his five followers straight to this forbidden province of Samaria, fifty miles north of Jerusalem. To return to Galilee, Jesus chose the road which ran through the center of Palestine and therefore across Samaria. He could have taken the road east of the Jordan, but according to Josephus, the former was the one more often taken by Galileans travelling to and from Jerusalem. Once within its borders, He did not rest until He had reached its most historic spot, the well of Jacob, at the eastern base of Mount Gerizim, where the earliest of Israelite patriarchs had worshipped. The well that Jesus visited, like all frequented wells in the East, was doubtless sheltered by a little alcove, in which were seats of stone. This was the land which Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Everyone thought of this spot as the oldest well in the world and near by, so the devoutly piously believed, was the actual grave of Joseph.

Christianity that was first preached in Jerusalem was carried by Greek-speaking evangelists to Samaria, the seacoast Palestinian towns, and as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch. The Samaritans were a mixed lot but Jesus showed us that they are accepted. However imperfectly, their law was based upon the same rules as the rest of Israel, the Law of Moses. One of those laws is that the children shouldn't suffer for the sins of the fathers. The Jews made a mockery of this and the self-righteous hypocrisy was exposed by Jesus in His dealing with the Samaritans.
[289, 309, 319, 320, 324, 325, 328, 334, 355, 373, 380, 402]

The Lord has given Christians the grace to reconcile the children to their Fathers

As One Body

  • We prepare for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb
  • Harvest the Fruit of the Latter Rain
  • Follow Him as the Army of the Lord into His Glory

Help To Prepare A Holy Bride!

Issue Oriented Discussion Newsletter

Index | Search This Site | Aristide.Org | The Latter Rain | Babylon the Great | The Kingdom | The Nicolaitans | Jezebel
The Baptism With the Holy Ghost | The Grand Delusion | World Trade Org | Liberation Theology | Jay Atkinson | Alphabetical Index