In This Issue
Notes and Extracts
Religious Denominations of the
From the Editor
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National Photo collection: For the first time on the
internet, in honor of Israel's jubilee, the State of Israel's national
photo collection is open and available to the general public!
Years of events, people, landscapes, peace and war, industry and
Type in keywords and the picture will appear before you.
http://184.108.40.206/topsrch/defaulte.htm (Wonderful photos)
shown to the left was
produced in the 1920's by Verlag von b. Harz, Berlin. The etching is
by E. M. Lilien of the Bezalel School of Art in Jerusalem. It is
number 40 of the series, entitled Samaritanischer Hohepriester Mit
Thora. The image was taken from the book, Erez Israel Und Sein Volk.
Can you recognize the man in the etching? Hint: He was a High Priest
Library of Congress
for a book cover!) (right photo)
Samaritan high priest and his sons with the most ancient copy of the
REPRODUCTION NUMBER: LC-USZ62-93716
(b&w film copy neg. of half stereo) MEDIUM: 1
photographic print on stereo card : stereograph. REATED/PUBLISHED: c1911
Underwood & Underwood.
How To Order Copies of This Item
Notes and Extracts From the Semitic manuscripts in the John Rylands
V. In the Samaritan Nablus Two
Centuries Ago. By Edward Robertson,
D.Litt., D.D. Reprint from the "Bulletin of the John Rylands Library,"
Vol. 22, No. I, April, 1938. (Selection from page 11-2)
From now on to the end of September they enjoyed the
summer days in their earthly paradise, looking forward to the first
day of Tishri (October) when the civil year began,- the New Year, with
its Feast of Trumpets. The trumpet was not blown in the Synagogue (as
is the Jewish practice), but on that day they went to the synagogue
for a long service lasting about six hours. And then nine days later,
the 10th of Tishri, came the greatest day in their religious calendar,
the Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Two hours before sunset the
whole congregation of Israel, men and women, purified themselves by
ablutions; and at least half an hour before sunset the last meal had
been eaten preparatory to the great Fast. From this time until half an
hour after sunset twenty-five hours later no food nor drink passed
their lips. The male members of the congregation repaired to the
Synagogue to pass the night in solemn darkness, reciting parts of the
Pentateuch interspersed with prayers and ancient hymns, until the dawn
broke. With the morning light it was the practice of some to make a
pilgrimage to the tomb of Joseph, returning at noon to the Synagogue
when the service was resumed. As the afternoon slowly passed and the
long service drew to a close came the great event of the day. The
ceremonial presentation to the assembly of the Sacred Scroll,
purporting to have been written by Abishua, great-grandson of Aaron.
When it was brought forth by the priest all prostrated themselves
before it and then pressed forward to kiss or handle the part
unrolled, exhibiting the Aaronic blessing [Numbers vi, 24-27]. Thus,
in the words of the letter of Muslim in the year 1734, "they chastised
their souls from evening to evening, men as well as women and
children, great and small, except the babes that sucked at their
mothers' breasts." And so ended in the dark of the evening their
revelry of repentance.
Five days later came the feast of tabernacles when in
the courtyard of their homes they made themselves booths, as
prescribed in Leviticus [xxiii, 40], and dwelt in them seven days.
they ceased from work on the first of these days and on the eighth
day. On the first day they made a pilgrimage to the summit as they did
on the Feasts of Unleavened Bread and Pentecost, that the command
might be fulfilled: "Three times (Page 12) in the year all the males
shall appear before the Lord" [Exodus xxiii, 17]. Muslim's letter
tells us that on each of the seven days they stood at the foot of
Mount Gerizim and prayed there with joy and with a happy heart evening
and morning. The eighth day, the day of solemn rest, they called 'Asereth,
and regard as the seventh and last festival of the calendar. The Jews,
on the other hand, have a two-days' festival. On the first they offer
a prayer for rain during the Musaf service. The second is the
Simhath Torah, the rejoicing of the Law, when they finish the
reading in the Synagogue of the last portion of the law, and begin at
genesis, and when their scrolls are produced and carried round the
Synagogue seven times.
(selection from page 18-9)
When Ibrahim spoke of his dream presaging him Paradise he
was giving expression to a thought and a desire continually in the
minds of the Samaritans. In the petition with which they closed every
piece of writing they invariably at this time asked God to grant the
freedom of 'The Garden.' The Samaritan conception of Paradise is
indicated in a few lines of poetry attached to the end of a poem in
one of the codices. They are independent of the poem to which they are
appended both in theme and metre, and it is not clear why they have
been placed there at all. Although brief, they are none the less
interesting. I give them in translation. (Page 19)
"O traveller to the Garden fair
Pray tell me what you found in
place so rare?
Why there you'll see where'er
you look around
A glistening pearl and
It there for you the manna will
And there the quails pursue
their cumbrous way.
And in the midst of all a
All gleaming white, where Moses
sits at home,
His great green mantle
Its borders broidered with the
name of God.
And in his hand, clear sparkling
in the light,
A pen of sliver wherewithal to
For he it is who faithful doth
What deeds are done by servants
of the Lord."
The curse of the book borrower is not confined to any age
or place. The Samaritans suffered from the forgetful borrower, as
witness the following lines found at the end of a codex:-
"Beware my friend, when you a book would lend,
For in this world on man you can't depend.
His word you
cannot take- if lend you must,
Then take a
pledge and keep it safe in trust.
deny and ready with excuse
The man with
turban big but conscience loose,
beware, his fate is very plain,
he'll go and there he will remain."
leaving the subject of their literature, we may draw attention to
rhymes which Samaritan scribes, when they had finished transcribing a
manuscript, often added at the end. It was their way of asking the
reader to forgive any mistakes in the transcription.
"My writing in this book will now remain,
The hand that writes the grave will soon contain.
By God I aks
you, reader of this book,
To pray that
He my faults may overlook.
the Lord will me with mercy crown,
Moses who to honour books came down."
The foregoing is the one most
commonly found, but sometimes another is added:
"And if you find a fault, and it excuse,
His eye of favour God will not refuse.
O blame not him in whom is fault, but say
How great is God who faultless is alway!"
(This entire article will soon appear at
Religious Denominations of the World
by Vincent L. Milner, Philadelphia; J. W. Bradley (Publisher),
1860. page 425-6.
were an ancient sect among the Jews, whose origin was in the time of King
Rehoboam, under whose reign the people of Israel were divided into two
distinct kingdoms, that of Judah and that of Israel. The capital of the
kingdom of Israel was Samaria, whence the (Page 426) Israelites took the name
of Samaritans. Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, having besieged and taken
Samaria, carried away all the people captives into the remotest parts of
his dominions, and filled their place with Babylonians, Cutheans, and
other idolaters. These, finding that they were exposed to wild beasts,
desired that an Israelite priest might be sent among them to instruct them
in the ancient religion and customs of the land they inhabited. This being
granted them, they were delivered from the plague of wild beasts, and
embraced the law of Moses, with which they mixed a great part of their
ancient idolatry. Upon the return of the Jews from the Babylonish
captivity, it appears that they had entirely quitted the worship of their
idols. But though they were united in religion, they were not so in
affection with the Jews; for they employed various calumnies and
stratagems to hinder their rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem. See 2 Kings xvii.; Ezra iv., v., vi. The Samaritans at present are few in number, but
pretend to great strictness in their observance of the law of Moses. They
are said to be scattered; some at Damascus, some at Gaza, and some at
Grand Cairo, in Egypt.
From the Editor
years there has been many brief articles on the Samaritan-Israelites in
various publications. Most of which are of quote from scriptures as is
shown in case above. Their writings always are at fault. Just as above, it
states, "Samaritans were an ancient sect among the Jews," First the term
Samaritans can refer to anyone living in the land of Samaria; secondly
they are not or never were a sect of the Jews. Miss information is
misleading and not acceptable, by any honest standards. 'Israelites took
the name of Samaritans.' is not necessarily true to the case in question.
The Samaritan-Israelites call themselves Israelites or Shamerim as in
those that observe the law or Keepers of the Law. Is this not
right, R. Anderson and T Giles? "The name Samaritans most likely was formed from an
eponymous 'Shemer' or from the locality 'Shomron'," (The Samaritans
by Moses Gaster, p. 4) as one scholarly opinion has it. As it says above, 'carried
away all the people captives;' this is a false statement that has been
proven that that only less than 18,000 people
transplanted outside of Israel. The number that remained in the land
must have been enormous. Furthermost, 'they were delivered
from the plague of wild beasts, and embraced the law of Moses, with which
they mixed a great part of their ancient idolatry;' if they mixed pagan
idolatry with the Laws of Moses the Lions would have still been a problem
in the land!!! This part, I never made any rationalistic sense of! But yet the
statement is made, 'it appears that they had entirely quitted the worship
of their idols.' The main issue here is that there were since the time of
Samson, three basic religions, those worshipped in Jerusalem (from Shiloh), those that worshipped at Gerizim (Northern
tribes respectively) and the Israelites that adopted pagan worship and
ways. These northern pagan worshippers are most likely the ones that wanted
to help the Jews rebuild their Temple in Jerusalem. Surely, the
worshippers at the original place did not want the Jerusalem Temple
rebuilt. It would be redundant! But at the very least Vincent L. Milner called them
Rare Samaritan Bibliographies:
"Religious Denominations of the World: Comprising A General View of
the Origin, History, And Condition of the Various Sects of Christians,
The Jews and Mahometans, As Well As the Pagan Forms of Religion Existing
in the Different Countries of the Earth; With Sketches of the Founders
of Various Religious Sects, From the Best Authorities" By Vincent L.
Milner, Published by J. W. Bradley, Philidelphia,
1860,.......Samaritans. ( See above full article)
? History of the Christian Church to the
by Prof. Kurtz with
Emendations and Additions by Alfred Edersheim, T. &T. Clark,
Edinburgh, 1860. Chapter: The Samaritans
The Handwriting of God in Egypt, Sinai, & the Holy Land, by
Rev. D.A. Randall,
Philadelphia: John E. Potter And Company 1862. Index:
Samaritan Pilgrims, Samaritan, Samaritans, etc.
Leon Modena (1571-1648),The
History of the Present Jews Throughout the World. Being An
Ample, the Succinct Account of Their Customs, Ceremonies, and
Manner of Living, at this time... To which are Subjoined Two
Supplements, One concerning the Samaritans, the other of the
Sect of the Carraites. From the French of Father Simon, with his
Explanatory Notes. By Simon Ockley.... London: By Edm.
1916 ORIGINS OF THE ISLAMIC STATE 2Vols. RARE
PART II SYRIA ,Chapter XIV The Samaritans.
1968 –1969 reprints of the original 1916 - 1924 English translations of
this ninth century text. The books are: The Origins of The Islamic State
(or History of Muslim Conquests). Being a Translation From The Arabic
Accompanied With Annotations Geographic And Historic Notes of The Kitab
Futuh Al-Buldan of Al-Imam Abu-l 'Abbas Ahmad Ibn-Jabir Al-Baladhuri.
Part 1 is by KITAB FUTUH HITTI, and was originally published in 1916 by
Columbia University Press. The 1968 reprint published by AMS
Press. Part 2 is by FRANCIS CLARK MURGOTTEN, and was originally
published in 1924 by Columbia University Press, The 1969 reprint
published by AMS Press.
INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
BY HENRY M. HARMAN, D.D., LL.D., PROFESSOR OF GREEK AND HEBREW IN DICKINSON
COLLEGE; First volume in the series, LIBRARY OF
BIBLICAL AND THEOLOGICAL
LITERATURE EDITED BY
GEORGE R. CROOKS, D.D.,
JOHN F. HURST;
NEW YORK: PHILLIPS & HUNT,
CRANSTON & STOWE. First published in 1878, this was
the first volume in a wide-ranging series that eventually
expanded to nine volumes. XVIII. THE SAMARITAN PENTATEUCH