Samaritan Temple Remains at Mount Gerizim

Samaritan Temple remains (Mt. Gerizim)

Samaritan Temple Remains on Mount Gerizim

The New Testament makes no attempt to hide the immense hostility that existed between the Jews and the Samaritans. Passover ceremonies continue to this day by the Samaritan locals on this mountain.

Ancient Samaritans

The only place in the entire Old Testament where the word "Samaritan" appears is in 2 Kings 17:29 where it refers to a person of the Kingdom of Northern Israel:

"However every nation continued to make gods of its own, and put them in the shrines on the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in the cities where they dwelt." Ė 2 Kings 17:29

In later Hebrew writings the word Samaritan speaks of the people of the district of Samaria in central Israel. They came from intermarriages of certain Israelites with the colonists from Babylon and other parts of Mesopotamia and Syria. These colonists had been placed there by the Assyrian kings Sargon II and Esarhaddon, after the Northern Kingdom of Israel had been conquered and the stronghold at Samaria fell to the Assyrians. It resulted in thousands of Israelites being deported away, never to be heard from again, and colonists being chosen by the Assyrians and placed in Samaria along with a governor.

Later when the Temple at Jerusalem was being rebuilt, the Samaritans offered to help but their offer was rejected. As a result they not only tried to prevent the rebuilding of the temple and the city walls but, in the time of Nehemiah, built a temple themselves on Mount Gerazim near Shechem. These disputes resulted in further hostile relations between the Samaritans and the Jews. The Jews, for example, would not allow the Samaritans to sacrifice in the Temple at Jerusalem and considered marriages between Samaritans and Jews illegal. Also because of the fact that the Samaritans were considered "half Jews" and "a mixed race", many conflicts existed between the Jews and the Samaritans during the time of Christ.

Jesus and the Samaritans:

During the ministry of Jesus Christ, there were three Samaritans who stand prominent:

The Good Samaritan
The Samaritan Leper
The Samaritan Woman at the Well

The good Samaritan showed exceeding kindness by doing as much as he possibly could by helping his neighbor who was in need.

The Samaritan leper, when he realized he was healed, immediately went to Jesus, glorified God and gave thanks, is an outstanding example of gratitude.

The Samaritan woman at Jacobís well listened to Jesus and believed what He told her. Then she went to tell others about Him.

Jesus went out of His way to show that Samaritans were among those who exercised compassion, gratefulness and faith. They were hated by the Jews but what Christ came for was much more important than their walls of separation.

Jesus said "I have come to seek and to save that which was lost" and His message of the "gospel" (good news) was one that would penetrate far deeper than man had ever seen before.

Jesus would not submit to the tyranny of those who were closing the door to God. Jesus came preaching the kingdom of God, and Judaism had become a dead system of works that blinded men from the truth and placed heavy burdens on Godís sheep.

The ministry of Christ began with the Jews and yet He excluded no one. He ministered to Samaritans, to gentiles and to anyone who was willing to believe the truth.

To understand what Jesus thought about the Samaritans, and the attitude of Jesus to the lost, is to understand Godís heart for mankind. No one is excluded, and no matter how lost they seem, and how deep sin has entered into their lives Jesus loves them and He came to die for their sins.

The Samaritans were despised among the Jews along with the tax collectors and prostitutes. The Jewish religious authorities made certain that these would be excluded from all fellowship and even eternal life. But when Jesus appeared on the scene, He revealed Godís true heart for all mankind. He was not ashamed to violate man-made hostile traditions.

He touched lepers, even though they were considered unclean.

He talked to the Samaritan woman, which was considered illegal.

He passed through Samaria, even though everyone else went around.

He made companions of tax collectors and sinners, even though they were hated and despised.

Jesus, by the look in His eye and the tone of His voice, gave every man and woman hope. Those who had been looked down upon previously, when they heard the words of Jesus, were suddenly transformed and knew that they had been accepted by God. The attitude of Jesus toward sinners and the forgiveness that He offered was a treasure that could only be found by those who had truly realized that they were in desperate need of salvation.


John 8:48 - Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?

Luke 17:16 - And fell down on [his] face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.

Luke 10:33 - But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion [on him],

Ezekiel 16:55 - When thy sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to your former estate.

Ezekiel 16:53 - When I shall bring again their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, then [will I bring again] the captivity of thy captives in the midst of them:

Ezekiel 16:51 - Neither hath Samaria committed half of thy sins; but thou hast multiplied thine abominations more than they, and hast justified thy sisters in all thine abominations which thou hast done.

1 Kings 20:34 - And [Benhadad] said unto him, The cities, which my father took from thy father, I will restore; and thou shalt make streets for thee in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. Then [said Ahab], I will send thee away with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and sent him away.

Ezekiel 16:46 - And thine elder sister [is] Samaria, she and her daughters that dwell at thy left hand: and thy younger sister, that dwelleth at thy right hand, [is] Sodom and her daughters.

Ezekiel 23:4 - And the names of them [were] Aholah the elder, and Aholibah her sister: and they were mine, and they bare sons and daughters. Thus [were] their names; Samaria [is] Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah.

1 Kings 16:29 - And in the thirty and eighth year of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel: and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty and two years.

Amos 3:9 - Publish in the palaces at Ashdod, and in the palaces in the land of Egypt, and say, Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria, and behold the great tumults in the midst thereof, and the oppressed in the midst thereof.

2 Kings 23:18 - And he said, Let him alone; let no man move his bones. So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet that came out of Samaria.

Obediah 1:19 - And [they of] the south shall possess the mount of Esau; and [they of] the plain the Philistines: and they shall possess the fields of Ephraim, and the fields of Samaria: and Benjamin [shall possess] Gilead.

2 Kings 18:9 - And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Hezekiah, which [was] the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, [that] Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria, and besieged it.

2 Kings 7:1 - Then Elisha said, Hear ye the word of the LORD; Thus saith the LORD, To morrow about this time [shall] a measure of fine flour [be sold] for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.

2 Kings 17:26 - Wherefore they spake to the king of Assyria, saying, The nations which thou hast removed, and placed in the cities of Samaria, know not the manner of the God of the land: therefore he hath sent lions among them, and, behold, they slay them, because they know not the manner of the God of the land.

2 Kings 6:25 - And there was a great famine in Samaria: and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass's head was [sold] for fourscore [pieces] of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove's dung for five [pieces] of silver.

2 Kings 14:23 - In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel began to reign in Samaria, [and reigned] forty and one years.

2 Chronicles 22:9 - And he sought Ahaziah: and they caught him, (for he was hid in Samaria,) and brought him to Jehu: and when they had slain him, they buried him: Because, said they, he [is] the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the LORD with all his heart. So the house of Ahaziah had no power to keep still the kingdom.

Isaiah 10:11 - Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols?

Micah 1:5 - For the transgression of Jacob [is] all this, and for the sins of the house of Israel. What [is] the transgression of Jacob? [is it] not Samaria? and what [are] the high places of Judah? [are they] not Jerusalem?

2 Chronicles 28:15 - And the men which were expressed by name rose up, and took the captives, and with the spoil clothed all that were naked among them, and arrayed them, and shod them, and gave them to eat and to drink, and anointed them, and carried all the feeble of them upon asses, and brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees, to their brethren: then they returned to Samaria.

Hosea 10:5 - The inhabitants of Samaria shall fear because of the calves of Bethaven: for the people thereof shall mourn over it, and the priests thereof [that] rejoiced on it, for the glory thereof, because it is departed from it.

2 Chronicles 28:9 - But a prophet of the LORD was there, whose name [was] Oded: and he went out before the host that came to Samaria, and said unto them, Behold, because the LORD God of your fathers was wroth with Judah, he hath delivered them into your hand, and ye have slain them in a rage [that] reacheth up unto heaven.

2 Kings 17:6 - In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor [by] the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

2 Chronicles 18:9 - And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah sat either of them on his throne, clothed in [their] robes, and they sat in a void place at the entering in of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them.

1 Kings 22:10 - And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah sat each on his throne, having put on their robes, in a void place in the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them.

1 Kings 22:51 - Ahaziah the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned two years over Israel.

2 Kings 7:18 - And it came to pass as the man of God had spoken to the king, saying, Two measures of barley for a shekel, and a measure of fine flour for a shekel, shall be to morrow about this time in the gate of Samaria:

2 Kings 21:13 - And I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab: and I will wipe Jerusalem as [a man] wipeth a dish, wiping [it], and turning [it] upside down.

2 Chronicles 28:8 - And the children of Israel carried away captive of their brethren two hundred thousand, women, sons, and daughters, and took also away much spoil from them, and brought the spoil to Samaria.

Ezra 4:17 - [Then] sent the king an answer unto Rehum the chancellor, and [to] Shimshai the scribe, and [to] the rest of their companions that dwell in Samaria, and [unto] the rest beyond the river, Peace, and at such a time.

Micah 1:6 - Therefore I will make Samaria as an heap of the field, [and] as plantings of a vineyard: and I will pour down the stones thereof into the valley, and I will discover the foundations thereof.


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Bibliography on Ancient Images

The Art of Ancient Egypt, Revised by Robins, 272 Pages, Pub. 2008


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