The Samaritans
The SamaritansIndex to the Samaritans

The Assyrian Captivity


Shalmaneser IV and Sargon II

The Northern Kingdom of Israel scoffed at Isaiah’s warnings about Assyrian invasion as "childish" and Isaiah’s reply was that they would find Assyrian bondage as monotonous as his warnings.

In 722 B.C. Shalmaneser IV, who had been reigning for about five years, laid siege to Samaria. Then his successor, Sargon II, finally took the city and laid claim to the victory. The siege lasted a full 3 years.

According to Assyrian records Sargon carried off 27,290 inhabitants. He took fifty chariots as "the portion of his royalty" and received the same tribute as "the former king." It seems clear that Sargon did not make the land desolate nor did he depopulate it. But he did put an end to its independence and set over it an Assyrian governor. In 720 we find Samaria, with Arpad, Simyra, and Damascus, joining in the revolt headed by Hamath.

The captivity seems to have been limited to Samaria and the surrounding region. In Hezekiah's time (2 Chron 30:11), in Josiah's time (34:9), and even in Jeremiah's time (Jer 41:5) there were Israelites in the Northern Kingdom who worshipped the Lord at Jerusalem.

The 27,290 captives taken away by Sargon II, according to Biblical and historical records, were of the city of Samaria and its vicinity. The areas south of it remained Jewish, and even in the far north the area of Galilee must have been considered a Jewish region since it was during Jesus’ day.

The Samaria of Josephus encompassed what was formerly the territory of Ephraim, but the Cuthaean Samaritans "possessed only a few towns and villages of this large area" and western Manasseh.


The Samaritans

 The Samaritans

"If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water." (John 4:10)


The Samaritans in the Bible

bib9.jpg In the New Testament the Samaritans were considered inhabitants of the district of Samaria. (see Map). They descended from the exchange of population effected by the Assyrians after their conquest of the Northern Kingdom in 722 B.C. Pursuing their policy of transferring conquered peoples, the Assyrians deported many of the original inhabitants of the Northern Kingdom and replaced them with a mixture of people from the east: from Babylon, Avva, Hamath, Sepharvaim and Cuth (deriving from the latter, the Samaritans are often referred to in rabbinic literature as Cuthim).


Who Were They?
Brief History
The Northern Kingdom
The Assyrians
The Captivity
A Mixed Race
Their Religion
The Samaritan Pentateuch
Jews and Samaritans
Intertestamental Period
New Testament Samaritans
Jesus and the Samaritans
Historical Quotes
Modern Samaritans


The Samaritans

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