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The Mixed Population Brought In to Samaria
The mixture of people who had now populated the highland region of Samaria were known as the "Samaritans," and were far fewer in number than before the Assyrians had overrun the area.
Samaria. Samaria was the capital of the Northern
Kingdom of Israel. It was situated on a "well rounded" hill 300 feet high, in a
rich and beautiful valley of surpassing beauty, crowned with luxurious palaces
and gardens. Isaiah called it a "glorious beauty." It was surrounded on three
sides by mountains, as impregnable as it was beautiful.
It was founded by Omri (886-875 B.C.). According to the Bible (I Kings 16:24) , the city was named after Shemer, whose land was purchased by King Omri so that he might build a residence there and probably a religious center for the Canaanites in his kingdom seeing that King Omri had his main residence in Jezreel and Bethel was considered the religious capital of the Northern Kingdom.
Archaeology has shown that Samaria was built on virgin soil, as the Bible says, during the 9th century B.C. Jacobís well can still be seen there, 100 feet deep, 9 feet in diameter and one of the few places where an exact spot can be identified connected with the story of Jesus.
Until the time of King Jehu it was a center of Baal worship. All traces of Canaanite culture were wiped out by King Jehu (842-814 B.C.).
In 722 B.C. Samaria was captured, after a 3 year siege, by the Assyrians and the people were led off into captivity and their places taken by colonists.
The Assyrians had a
policy of transferring conquered peoples and in 722 B.C. when they conquered the
Northern Kingdom of Israel they deported many of the original inhabitants of
Samaria and the surrounding region and replaced them with a mixture of people
from the east. From Babylon, Avva, Hamath, Sepharvaim and Cuth (the Samaritans
are often referred to in rabbinic literature as Cuthim).
The re-populating was not done all at once. In settling the affairs of that hostile region more than one band of colonists was brought in. Heathen colonists were introduced by Sargon in 721 and again in 715 B.C. (2 Kings 17:24), by Esarhaddon, 680 B.C. (Ezra 4:2), and finally by Osnapper, (Ashurbanipal), the last great Assyrian emperor (669-626 B.C.), who added people from Elam, etc., to the population.
A Mixed Race. The Samaritans were a racially mixed society and the Jews considered their religion a pagan system (Ezra 4:2). Their blood would become more and more mixed with Jewish blood by the intermarriage with surrounding Israelites, who saw many similarities and familiar worship that had been in former times. By the time of Christ, the Samaritans were severely despised by the Jews and to be called a "Samaritan" was to be numbered with the tax collectors and sinners.
John 4:39 "And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him..."
Table of Contents
The Eighth Century BC
Tiglath Pileser III
King Menahem of Israel
Pekah Slays Pekahiah
The Syrian League
King Ahaz of Judah
Assyria Attacks Damascus
Assyria Attacks Israel
Israel is Deported
The 10 Lost Tribes of Israel
Plague of Lions
Kingdom of Judah
"Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them from His sight; there was none left but the tribe of Judah alone. . And the LORD rejected all the descendants of Israel, afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them from His sight." (The Book of 2 Kings)
When Your Enemies Are The Size Of Assyria - A Heart Message
Isa 10:5-7 "Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger And the staff in whose hand is My indignation. I will send him against an ungodly nation, And against the people of My wrath I will give him charge, To seize the spoil, to take the prey, And to tread them down like the mire of the streets. Yet he does not mean so, Nor does his heart think so; But it is in his heart to destroy, And cut off not a few nations."
The Northern Kingdom consisted of 10 of the tribes (excluding Judah and Benjamin). It lasted for about 210 years until it was destroyed by Assyria in 722 BC. Its capital was Samaria. Every king of Israel was evil. In the northern kingdom there were 9 dynasties (family lines of kings) and 19 kings in all. An average of 11 years to a reign. 8 of these kings met death by violence.
The epitaph written over every one of its kings was:
I King 15:34 "and he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin by which he had made Israel to sin."
It was king Ahab who introduced Baal worship to them.
I King 16:30-33 "Now Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD, more than all who were before him. And it came to pass, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians; and he went and served Baal and worshiped him. Then he set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a wooden image. Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him."
The last king was Hoshea (2 Ki 17). The petty wars of the past, wars with Syria and Edom, Ammon and Philistia, were now to give way to war on an ominous new scale. A world empire was being gathered into the ruthless hands of the Assyrians. The ruthless and cruel Assyrians (under Sargon II) besieged Samaria for 3 years and finally it fell, Israel was doomed. The Assyrians hauled them away into captivity (722 BC).
But the Lord always reminded them of why judgment came:
II Ki 17:7-23 "For so it was that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and they had feared other gods, and had walked in the statutes of the nations whom the LORD had cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made.
Also the children of Israel secretly did against the LORD their God things that were not right, and they built for themselves high places in all their cities, from watchtower to fortified city. They set up for themselves sacred pillars and wooden images on every high hill and under every green tree. There they burned incense on all the high places, like the nations whom the LORD had carried away before them; and they did wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger, for they served idols, of which the LORD had said to them, "You shall not do this thing."
Yet the LORD testified against Israel and against Judah, by all of His prophets, every seer, saying, "Turn from your evil ways, and keep My commandments and My statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets." Nevertheless they would not hear, but stiffened their necks, like the necks of their fathers, who did not believe in the LORD their God. And they rejected His statutes and His covenant that He had made with their fathers, and His testimonies which He had testified against them; they followed idols, became idolaters, and went after the nations who were all around them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them that they should not do like them.
So they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, made for themselves a molded image and two calves, made a wooden image and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and soothsaying, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger.
Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them from His sight; there was none left but the tribe of Judah alone. . And the LORD rejected all the descendants of Israel, afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them from His sight. For He tore Israel from the house of David, and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. Then Jeroboam drove Israel from following the LORD, and made them commit a great sin. For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them, until the LORD removed Israel out of His sight, as He had said by all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away from their own land to Assyria, as it is to this day."
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