June 10th, 2004  

Vol.  III - No.21

In This Issue

  • The Second Passover

  • Other Samaritan Photos

  • Feast of Weeks: Shavuot

  • A Biblical and Archaeological Perspective

  • The Asatir

  • The Reader's Circle

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Editor: Shomron

Co-Editor: Osher    


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Staff Photographer:    

               Eyal Cohen

Staff Translator:

            Guy Tsabary

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A. B. - Samaritan News


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begins Friday June 11th, 6:46pm to Saturday 12th, 6:47 p.m. Weekly Parshiyot-



with Genesis



18th 6:49pm- 19th 6:50pm

Weekly Parshiyot-



with Genesis


Samaritan Calendar

of Festivals

Samaritan Calendar

of Festivals

Memorial  of the Sinai Day June 23rd

Pentecost & Pilgrimage- June 27th Festival of the seventh month- Oct. 14th, 2004

Day of Atonement Oct 23rd, 2004

Succoth- Oct. 28th

Rejoicing of the Torah- Nov. 4, 2004



Studies and Related Conferences:

In Planning Stage


SES: In Haifa, July 5-8, 2004 organised by Menahem Mor,


A session at the EABS in Grooningen, July 25-28, 2004 organized by Ingrid Hjelm

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The Second Passover

From the Editor

 The second Passover is called Pessach Sheni, it is in accordance with Exodus  for those that were unable to fulfill the Passover in the first month. This day was June  3rd in relation to the second month of the Biblical calendar. This being thirty days from the Passover of the first month. Today there is no sacrifice on this day but special prayers to commemorate the day.

Other Samaritan Photos

From the Editor

 (The Samaritan photo were given to us by Benyamim Tsedaka. It is a recent visit of the Samaritans to Machpela.)


Feast of Weeks: Shavuot

   The Feast of Weeks is called Shavuot or also known as Pentecost. The counting of the 'omer starts on the first Sunday (the day after the Sabbath) after the Passover Sacrifice. As stated in Leviticus 23:15 of the Samaritan Torah, "And ye shall count unto you from the marrow after the Sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete." From the first day of the 'omer, seven weeks are counted and the festival of Shavuot will be celebrated on Sunday (day after the Sabbath) of the eighth week. Each week is designated in remembrance and given as the following;

1.      "Week of the crossing of the (Red) Sea" (Exodus 14:26-15:21)[May 9th-15th]

2.      "Week of the changing of the water of marah" (Exodus 15:22-26) [May 16th- 22nd]

3.      "Week of elim, where they found twelve water springs and seventy palm trees" (Exodus 15:27-16.3)[May 23-29]

4.      "Week of the manna, which fell down upon them from heavens in the desert" (Exodus 16.4-36)[May 30- June 5]

5.      "Week of the welling out of water from the rock" (Exodus 17.1-7)[June 6-12]

6.      "Week of the battles against 'Amaleq" (Exodus 17.8-17)[June 13-19]

7.      "Week of standing at Mt. Sinai" (Exodus 19.1 ff.)June 20-26]

   On the Wednesday before Shavuot, the giving of the Law in honored. This day is called ywm mqrth meaning the ‘Day of Scripture’ or ywm m’md hr Syny, the ‘Day of Standing on Mount Sinai.’ Services in the synagogue lasts for eighteen hours. On the day of Shavuot the second pilgrimage is made to the peak of Mount Gerizim. This falls on June 27th this year.


Have you purchased this book yet?

Jerusalem's Rise to Sovereignty: Zion and Gerizim in Competition by Ingrid Hjelm. Hardcover: 384 pages Publisher: T&T Clark International S; (November 2004) ISBN: 0567080854


(I have been told that the first volume  by Y. Magen on the discoveries on Mount gerizim is out but I have yet to locate further information. Should you know anything about it, please contact us at shomron@yahoo.com. The Editor)



A Biblical and Archaeological Perspective in Relation to the Israelite Location in the Land of Egypt Part 2

By Shomron

The Exodus that the Israelites had taken from Egypt has been debated for many years. Most people believe that the journey of the Israelite people began in the mist of the land of Egypt near the Nile River. Most people believe that the Israelites built the Egyptian pyramids, which is incorrect. Even the true location of mount Sinai has been a subject of controversy. No positive evidence has come to life in either case. All evidence has been purely speculation. Some believe that the Passover and the journey is clearly fiction. Many books and documentaries have given  proposed information on this subject, yet all have been speculative. But what is about to be written is also speculation but for me, it makes so much more sense than what I have seen in the past. No one to my knowledge has ventured in the direction I have gone concerning the location of Goshen of the Exodus. Because of the amount of information I will be given I will add them in parts to the future Samaritan Updates.

To get a clearer understanding of the area  we must begin to look back thru the borders of the tribes beginning with the sons of Noah for the land of Egypt and then a history in the book of Genesis.

The land given to Noah (Genesis chapter 10) was divided into territories among his three sons Shem, Ham and Japheth. Shem’s territory, which included his sons and grandsons, was from Mesha, as thou goest unto Sephar a mount of the east. Japheth and his sons received the isles of the Gentiles. Ham’s parcel of land was divided to his descendants into four sections to Cush, Mizraim (Gen. 10:6), Phut and Canaan. Mizraim’s territorial bordered the land of Canaan (Exodus 23:31). The word Egypt never actually appears in the scriptures. The Hebrew word is Mitsrayim, this can be readily seen in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance # 4714that shows the spelling 'Mitsrayim.' The territory in question was the name of one of the sons of Ham, the grandson of Noah, Mitraim. Gerar was a border town of the land of the Canaan. One of Mizraim’s sons was Casluhim who was the father of the Philistim, which became the Philistines. This land was the border of the territory of Abimelech, king of the Philistines having had his residence at the border town of Gerar on the Gaza strip. This is where Isaac dwelt for a time and was told not to go any further. The Israelites were not lead into the land of the Philistines.

If the land were actually Egypt, it would state this name in the Hebrew Scriptures. The land of the Philistines to the south is where the Israelites dwelt before the journey to occupy the land of Canaan. The Israelites would inherent the land of Canaan which went from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar unto Gaza.

    The common concept that the Israelites built the pyramids began around 450 B.C., a Greek historian named Herodotus visited Giza. He was informed that a hundred thousand men built 2,000 years prior the pyramid of pharaoh Khufu. The builders of the pyramids were the local inhabitants. Harvard archaeologists Mark Lehner’s and Zahi Hawass confirm the pyramids were built by ordinary Egyptian citizens.

   Now when they Greeks translated the Pentateuch many years ago, they read the story of the Israelites being in bondage. The Israelite’s location would have been Gaza, while written without vowels, as the text originally read, ‘gz,’ the Greek translators thus connected the story from Herodotus’s Giza. Herodotus knew the royal fortress in Gaza, as Kadytis.

   An important fact connect should also be observed, the Egyptian control of the region in the land of Canaan and to the north. According to scholars, there were many Egyptian influences in the region. The domination of the Egyptians for some four hundred years lasted till the mid-twelfth century B.C.E. The most important of all the Egyptians forts was the main seat of the chief governor of Canaan in Gaza. This administrator may have been a royal leader in his own rights but was translated to the word Pharaoh. The correct translation appears to be ruler.

    There is a map carved into the wall of the temple of Amum at Karnak, Egypt. It illustrates a road leading from the easternmost branch of the Nile Delta (the Pelusaic branch, which is dry today) to the Egyptian fort to Gaza in Canaan. The Egyptians named this road the “Horus Road”. This road is the road mentioned in the Bible as “the road of the land of the Philistines”. Along this road were built mud-brick fortresses. The walls were wide and some were two stories tall. Two sites along the coast have been excavated, one at Tel Mor and the other at Jaffa. The name of Ramesses II was found on the doorjambs at the Jaffa fortification that originated from the 16th century B.C.E. Jaffa is mentioned in the Tell el-Amarna tablets as the Egyptian district of their store house. The Jaffa fortification was the site

   In the reliefs of Seti I (c. 1300 B.C.E.) Gaza is called, “the [town of] Canaan.” Reference in the Taanach and Tell el-Amarna tablets designates this as the Egyptian administrative seat. 

   The southern boundary of the land of Canaan was from the river of Egypt (Mizraim) unto the great river. This river is the Wadi el-Arish that extends to present Tel Aviv-Jaffa. It can be seen in the Israelite southern boundary as the river of Egypt. According to Amihai Mazar, this area was well suited for herding and agriculture.


Section from The Asatir,

the Samaritan Book of the Secrets of Moses

Together with the Pitron or Samaritan Commentary

Written and translated by Moses Gaster, 1927.

 The Pitron, Chapter X,  page 263:

And in that time there was a wizard whose name was M'aris, and his dwelling place was in the town 'Arad. And when he heard of the children of Israel coming to the town, he fled from there to Midian. And there was Pe'or who was asked by the children of Moab to call Bileam, the son of Beor, the son of Sditis, the son of Path, the son of 'Amingf, the son of Laban, the owner of the Terafim, who was from the town of S'ar; for he had these Terafim from Ksht, the king of Moab, from Kain the murderer: and God knows! And Balak the king off Moab sent messengers to Bileam, to petor, which is on the river of the land of the children of Ammon, to summon him with these words, "Come and curse for me the people of Israel." And this happened in the sixth month. And Bileam undetstood and knew the Book of Signs and he worshipped these seven angels viz:the god of fire, the god of the firmament, the god of water, the god of the heavenly luminaries, the god of holiness, the god of the winds and the god of the corners of the heaven. And he used to call them by the following names, and such are their names. 1, Him Hml, 2. Hhml Haml, 3. H'amal Hmnl, 4. Hsprh Hsmim, 5. Hlk Lil Hlk Lb, 6. Hlin Hntr, 7. Hlpgr.

These are the seven angels whom Bileam served and worshipped. And when Bileam consented to go with the prince of Balak and he rode on his ass, he boosted and said, "Behold, this ass will go which ever way I wish it without anyone showing it the way." And when he said these words, an angel of the Lord (the holy God) stood in the road with a sword drawn in his hand, and the ass strayed from the way and went back into a field, and Bileam smote the ass to turn it back on to the road; and then the ass lay down under Bileam and the wrath of Bileam was kindled, and he smote the ass with his rod. And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass and the Lord opened the eyes of Bileam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and he bowed himself down and he prostrated himself. And the angel said, "Beware that thou dost not turn aside from the word which I will speak unto thee." And Bileam went with the princes of Balak. The angel who commanded him to build the first seven altars [was Hanhl.] Three times he built the altars, and afterwards he told us the origin of Bileam, that he was from Aram Naharaim which is the city of Nahor. and it is proven by Holy Writ that this was the town of Nahor, (Gen. XXIV. 10) where it is said, "Aram Naharaim (Mesopotamia) which is the city of Nahor." And in the Asatir it is said that his genealogy (chain) was from Aram. When he stood befor the altars, the first angel came and told him what he was to say, and then came the god of fire; and then Bileam refused to curse the people and said, "I will not curse for the Lord has not cursed them. And I will not execrate whom God hath not cursed them. And I will not execrate whom God hath not execrated!" And he blessed them. And afterwards there came to him the god of firmament, who changed his vision so that he saw Israel in Paradise. When he saw these sights, he said, (Numb. XXIII. 10) "Let me die the death of the righteous and let my last end be like it."


The Reader's Circle

Hebrew Illuminated Bibles of the IXth and Xth Centuries (Codices Or. Gaster, Nos. 150 & 151); and Samaritan Scroll of the Law of the XIth Century (Codex Or. Gaster, No.350)... Gaster, Moses 1856-1939 Book Description: London1901: Printed By Harrison and Sons. Original Marbled Boards. Good. 38.2cm. 52p. Together with eight plates of facsimiles of these manuscripts and of fragments from the Geniza in Egypt. Published for the first time. Reprinted from the "Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archaeology", June 1900. The colored plates added here are only published in a separate edition.

Bet Eked Sepharim
Ch. B. Friedberg, Book Description: Israel: Baruch Friedberg, 1950. Hard Cover.  9 X 6.5 Inches. This is a four volume set. Bet Eked Sepharim - bibliographical, Lexicon of the whole Hebrew and Jewish-German Literature, inclusive of the Arab, Greek, French-Provencal, Italian, Latin, Persian, Samaritan, Spanish-Portuguese and Tartrarian works printed in the years 1474-1950 with Hebrew Letters, together with a register of the authors and a table of content. The books are written in Hebrew.

British Library Journal (volume 21 Number 1, Spring 1995) Miscellanea Hebraica Bibliographica
Hill, Brad Sabin Book Description: London: British Library, 1995. quarto. Contains several articles related to Jewish books, such as Notes on Samaritan Typography; Charles II's Hebrew Books; A Catalogue of hebrew printers; a supplumental list of judeo-persian manuscripts; yiddish manuscripts at the british library; and a few other articles.

Aro, Jussi Book Description: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Kirjapaino Oy Helsinki 1964.

Davy, Charles Book Description: London T. Wright for T. Cadell 1772. First edition, printed in Caslon type. (See DNB p.512). Educated at Caius College, Cambridge, and author of this book on writing, a book on literature and various musical studies. The three foldout plates are present. The first plate compares the letters of the Greek, Hebrew, Samaritan, and Syriac languages. The second plate compares these letters to those of Persia, Arabia and Egypt. Split along front hinge. Shelfmark on titlepage, sparodic foxing, and occasional marginal chips. Binding is 8vo., modern cloth backed boards. (vi), x, 126, (2) pages.

The Book of the Words. [Sephar H'Debarim : cover title.]
PIKE, Albert, 1809-1891.] Book Description: Np : A. M. 5638 [1878]. First edition, limited to 150 copies. 23.5cm, pp 176, [3];  Pike tried to trace the etymology of the words used in these rituals. In all but the earliest of the Scottish Rite ceremonies, he replaced the Hebrew with Samaritan letters. Although no evidence has survived, indicating Pike's preference for the Samaritan script, one might speculate that he did so in order to make the rituals seem more authentic to their original milieu, i.e., the age of Solomon.

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