The Samaritan Update

“Mount Gerizim,

All the Days of Our Lives”

March/ April 2015                                                                                                                                           Vol. XIV - No 4


In This Issue


·         Future Events

·         Passover Bus

·         Two Documents

·         Amram b. Salamah

·         Jacob b. Aaron

·         High Priests

·         Exhibition Reminder

·         Inscription

·         Auction Results

·         Museum Tourists

·         Ben-Zvi photos

·         Recent Publications

·         Future Publication

·         Schorch Publications

·         Past Lecture

·         From the Editor

·         Links

·         Old News

·         Biblio


Your link to the Samaritan Update Index


Future Events

It has been 3654 years since the entrance into the Holy Land

This counting began on the Sixth Month of the Year of Creation (Samaritan’s typical calendar)  

1st day of the 13th Month 3653- March 19, 2015

1st day of the 1st Month 3654 – April 18, 2015

 Passover Sacrifice Saturday evening- May 2, 2015

Conclusion of the Festival of Unleavened Bread- May 9, 2015

Shavuot- June 28 2015

Festival of the First Day of 7th Month 3654- Oct. 13, 2015

Day of Atonement- Oct. 22, 2015

Festival of Succot- Oct. 27, 2015

Festival of the 8th day of Succot 3654- Nov. 3, 2015

[Calculated by: Priest Yakkiir ['Aziz] b. High Priest Jacob b. 'Azzi – Kiriat Luza, Mount Gerizim]





Samaritan Passover Buses From Jerusalem


The Passover Sacrifice will be Saturday evening, May 2, 2015.

If you are in Jerusalem and would like to see the event firsthand, there is a bus leaving at 3 p.m. from Nablus Rd 76. The cost is nothing, just 100 NIS per person, but the experience you shall remember for the rest of your life.


Buses are organized/ sponsored from Call or email your reservations early! 054 4370 443

See the Flyer for more information!



Samaritans Receive Two Documents from the Turkish Ambassador


Samaritan Priest Abdullah and priest Hosni, museum director and the men of the community at the opening of the Turkish school for girls celebrate in the city of Nablus. (March 29, 2015 Samaritan Museum Facebook post.)

The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Education, Mrs. Khawla Shakhshir and representatives from the mayor of Nablus and the governor and the men of the city. Also attending the ceremony of the Turkish ambassador to Turkey in Ramallah, Mr. Mustafa Sarnıç and Director General of the Agency Coordinating and Turkish cooperation / tikka and a large number of Turks. At the end of the ceremony, the Turkish Ambassador gave the high priest two documents to the Samaritans dated back about two hundred years ago.


The two Turkish documents date back to the year 1313 AH (c. 1895 C.E.). The content of one (shown directly below) is the transfer of the High Priesthood from the priest ‘Imran ibn Ishaq after seventeen years of service because of his old age and his illness to his nephew the High Priest Jacob Aaron. The document is signed by each of the elders: Jacob Aaron, Khadr the Samaritan priest, Israel Sarawi, Abdul Latif Isma‘il, Murjan al-Salamah, Isma‘il Israel Joseph, son of al-‘Abd, Rizq al-Yousuf, Ephraim al-Salamah, Amin Shalaby, Salamah Ben Su‘aifann and Nimr Sadaqa.








Amram ben Salamah HP #119 (1857–1874)


(Photo: Amran/Amram, center behind child. Source: The Texas Doctor and the Arab Donkey: or, Palestine and Egypt as viewed by Modern Eyes. By Joseph Marstain Fort (b.1828- d.1906), Chicago: Donohue & Henneberry, 1893, p. 458. [This maybe the only photo of Amram, if it is indeed Amram. The author of the above mentioned book made his pilgrimage in 1891, as Amram had long since passed away. There is a strong resemblance to Jacob but Amram and Jacob were cousins. The source of this photo is unknown.])


Amram b. Salamah (b.1809 - d. 1874)b. Tabiah b. Isaac b. Abraham b. Isaac b. Sedaqa b. Tabiah b. Abraham b. Joseph b. Tabiah. Amram took on many of the duties as 2nd priest to his father High Priest Salamah, as early as 1826. Amram’s father retired as High Priest in 1855, but officially he was still High Priest till his death in 1857. According to Samaritan halakha, the High Priest remains in office till he dies. Like his father, Amram retired in 1859 as High Priest, but still remaining High Priest per halakha. Jacob b. Aaron took over the duties as High Priest.


Amram wrote and restored ageing manuscripts and worked as a teacher. He was always cordial in greeting foreigners, anxious to speak about his people and their history. Among some of the people he met was the English Prince of Wales (King Edward VII) in 1862 and author Mark Twain in 1867.


 Amram married Hanuniah barat Jacob b. Sedaqah (1795-1848), Danfi family) in 1826. The couple had two daughters. Perah (b. 1841- d. 1901) married Shelah b. Abraham b. Shelah (b.1830- d.1862) in 1865 and the younger sister Zaharah married in 1865 to Pinhas b. Isaac b. Salamah (b.1841- d.1897).

Amram raised his nephew Jacob b. Aaron, from the year he was born in 1840, when Jacob’s father, Aaron b. Salamah (?-1840) passed.


Amram remarried and had two sons, Isaac b. Amram (1855-1916) and Salama b. Amram (1863-1931).


Yacob ben Aharon ben Shalma ben Tabya ben Ishak HP #120 (1874–1916)









(The earliest photo above left was taken said to be taken in 1887, yet the far right photo is said to be taken in 1880. Second from right dates to around 1903.)

Also known as Jacob b. Aaron, (b.1840 - d.1916). The same year he was born, his father Aaron B. Salamah died. He was raised by his uncle, Amram b. Salamah (HP). He took over the duties as High Priest in 1859.

Jacob had seven children by 1909, three died in infancy. Jacob’s son, Ab Hisdab (Hasda) was born in 1883 and passed in 1959.

Jacob was a teacher and principle at the Samaritan school as well as a writer and translator.

Jacob’s son, Ab Hisda (b.1883- d.1959) was also a teacher, writer, translator. Jacob and his son were among the photos of The National Geographic Magazine January, 1920 article, ‘The Last Israelitsh Blood Sacrifice,’ by John D. Whiting.

The Samaritan High Priests

The last of the Priests of the line of Eleazar, son of Aaron, brother of Moses, that were among the Samaritans died out in 1624 C.E.. Therefore the remaining priests today are from the line of Ithamar, the son of Aaron, brother of Moses. Zedekiah was the first priest of the Ithamar sons.

The following Samaritan priesthood genealogy is from the Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly Statement, January 1904, page 73.


     Zedekiah (the first Priest-Levite) 1623/4 to 1650 C.E.


       Isaac, Pr.-Lev.


        Abraham, Pr.-Lev.


                             I                                               I

                Levi, Pr.-Lev.                                    Isaac


                                                 Tabvah, or Ghazal, Pr.-Lev, (born 1732, died 1786)


                                                 Shalmah, or Solomon, Pr.-Lev. (b. 1783 [? Earlier}, d. 1857



                             I                                               I                                         I

                        Aaron                     Amram, Pr.-Lev. (b. 1809, d.?)            Isaac

                             I                                               I                                         I

                                                                 _____________                      ________

            Jacob, Pr.-Lev. (b. 1841)             I                         I                     I               I

                             I                               Isaac               Shalmah       Phinehas    Sarûr

                             I                                   I                                               I

                   three sons                        Amram                                    five sons




Reminder: Samaritan Photography Exhibition


[ Above: a photo of the Samaritan Pentateuch by Dale Lazar]


The Israelite Samaritans and the Festival of Unleavened Bread: Photographs by Dale Lazar


May 4, 2015  - July 24, 2015

Mr. Tsedaka's visit, his first to Pittsburgh, introduces the upcoming exhibition, The Israelite Samaritans and the Festival of Unleavened Bread: Photographs by Dale Lazar, on view at the American Jewish Museum of the Greater Pittsburgh Jewish Community Center, May 4, 2015 through July 24, 2015. For more information regarding this exhibition, contact Melissa Hiller at 412.697.3231 or .

Location: JCC of Greater Pittsburgh, 5738 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15217


Cost: This exhibit is free and open to the public

Visit Dale Lazar’s website:



Istitude Centrale per il Catalogo e la Documentazione


Istitude Centrale per il Catalogo e la Documentazione posted a Samaritan Inscription from Nablus on their website


Photo: Andrè - inv.H008137 Nablus - iscrizione samaritana 1908-1910


Is this a Samaritan inscription? What can be determined from the photograph?

The name associated to the photo is Andrè with the years 1908-1910. The black and white photograph clearly shows a Hebrew inscription with what appears to be Samaritan writing. It appears that the background was plastered or cut into natural rock as indicated from the right side of the inscription. Above the inscription appears to be a masonry joint between two cut stone blocks. In the bottom left there is a circular hole. Holes like these were made in an organized excavation to support planks for carrying away the dirt of an excavation. The bottom of the photo where the black line is shown, should be a little more information, but it has been cropped in this photo. Most likely still used in the website description as so revealed. Other photos on this website from Andrè does indeed show this information, as you can see later on as you read on. The location of this inscription (left) is said to be in Nablus from the years 1908-1910 but there is no further information. There has been no indication or references from the past of the same photographed inscription on or close to Mount Gerizim or Nablus in those years past or present.

There is no further information concerning the name of Andrè, who may have been the either the photographer or person that donated the photos from his collection.

The years mentioned 1908-1910 happen to coincide with the site of the first American undertaking of the Harvard Expedition in Samaria, in 1908-1910. The site of the Harvard excavation could possibly be the area where the photograph had been taken which is not that far from Nablus. We can confirm that the photographer of the above inscription also took photos at the Harvard Samaria excavation. It is also of interest that in 1908 there were excavations underway at Gezer by Mr. Macalister, the location where the calendar inscription was discovered.

Two photographs shown below are also from Andrè and appear to be the tent, altar and steps of the Temple of Augustus that was built by Herod the Great from the Harvard Samaria excavation.


Similar photos shown below are from Harvard Excavations at Samaria, 1908-1910 (Vol. II) Reisner, George Andrew, & Clarence Stanley Fisher, David Gordon Lyon, London: Humphrey Milford, Oxford University Press 1924. The photos are from plate 17 on page 55 and plate 18c on page 56.  In both photographs a tent is seen just as in Andrè’s photo.



Reisner, George Andrew, & Clarence Stanley Fisher, David Gordon Lyon. Harvard Excavations at Samaria, 1908-1910 London: Humphrey Milford, Oxford University Press 1924

Further we can see a better photo with the tent in Plate 86 b and c (shown below) on page 125 (Vol. II). (The photo to the left, when inspected closer, you will see the excavation holes in the side walls). Comparing the photos of Andrè and Reisner, we can see a similarity between the photos with the steps and tent.


But we still do not know who this Andrè is? But maybe Andrè, is an Italian name for the English name of Andrew, the leader of the Harvard excavations, George Andrew Reisner (Nov. 5, 1867 – June 6, 1942), an American archaeologist of Ancient Egypt and Palestine. So is it possible that Andrew and Andrè are in fact the same person.


Questions still remain. Where is this inscription? Was it really in Nablus? Did the inscription go to Constantinople where the excavation permit originated, to Harvard or some place else? Why was it never mentioned? What date did it originate? Was it inscripted by the Samaritans after the temple was destroyed? What was written on it? Was there something controverial in the inscription? Was Gerizim mentioned in it? And, was it actually Samaritan or an earlier inscription?


‘According to Turkish law all antiques found in the empire are the property of the government. This law was observed scrupulously by the Harvard Expedition. All moveable objects worth moving were sent to Constantinople or delivered to the commissioner for transmission.’ The Harvard Excavations at Samaria by David G. Lyon in Art and Archaeology, volume 7, No. 5-6, June, 1918, page 205.

Also see more images at the website at Istitude Centrale per il Catalogo e la Documentazione.   


The photo to the left is also said to be from Nablus. But it may infact be from the Harvard excavation, yet to be comfirmed.


So far thes photos are the only source that has brought numerous questions. There may be an answer somewhere in all the records of the excavation. See


There appears to have been a total of 652 photographs taken at the Samaria excavation from 1907-1910. It appears that the American Colony of Jerusalem took the photographs. I have found an article in the Illustrated London News 1912 issue, where as they are credited with some excavation photos. Rachel Hallote in her article ‘Photography and the American Contribution to Early “Biblical” Archaeology, 1870-1920,’ says that the Library of Congress has “twenty thousand glass and film photographic negatives”, which may have some of these photos.


You can also see more photos from the article, ‘The Harvard Exedition to Samaria, by David Gordon Lyon in Harvard Theological Review, vol. 2 (1909) which also shows the tent.


There is one search result that is puzzling; The Independent, Vol. 70

‘Dr. Reisner, who has been in charge of the excavations at Samaria, has returned, and he brings no confirmation of the report sent to the world by Professor Yahuda, of a Hebrew seminary in Berlin, that there had been discovered in Samaria, a hundred tablets of Ahab’s time, with a letter from a king of Assyria, and a list of Ahab’s palace furniture. It is all moonshine, but we do not so much blame Dr. Yahuda, for he got it out of a Hebrew paper Ha-Or, published in Jerusalem, and there it rose out of growing gossip about the inscribed pots-herds with old Hebrew characters, which are interesting and valuable but not to the extent claimed for the imaginary tablets. But such discoveries are not improbable, and the beginning is hopeful.’


Of interest is the source of money by Jacob H. Schiff who donated for the Samaria excavation. He also donated a collection of Samaritan manusctipts to Harvard. It is also mentioned that Schiff donated Samaritan Biblical manuscripts to the New York Public Library in 1909.


The Editor



Auction Results

The following auction items were shown in the last issue of The Samaritan Update.


Auction: Books, Manuscripts, Rabbinical Letters Kedem Public Auction House Ltd Auction: March 11, 2015, Jerusalem, Israel


Lot 444- Deleil Alaseil Alei Almaseil Samaritan manuscript (in Arabic) – Nablus, 1886: Realized Price: $1,500.00

Lot 445: Samaritan manuscript- Prayers and Piyutim- Nablus 1898 Realized Price: $1,500.00

Lot 446: Kitab Al-Kafi- Samaritan manuscript (in Arabic) – Nablus, 1865 Realized Price: $2,000.00



German Tourists Visit the Samaritan Museum in March (2015 Samaritan Museum Facebook Post)



Yitzhak Ben-Zvi and his son Amram visitng Samaritans in Nablus in 1934

This photo is has a copyright and is a good example of the wonderful collection from the album of Ben-Zvi tours, Rahel in Israel and its neighbors and can be viewed at



Right to left: Leah Brown, Feldman, Izhak Avi Amram (the son of Shlomo) High Priest of the Samaritans from 1917 to 1932, Izhak Ben-Zvi and his son Amram, on a visit with the Samaritans in Shechem (Nablus). Source:


These photos have a copyright and have a wonderful history. Visit this great website! The list below is incomplete, see all the photos at


Yitzhak Ben-Zvi with Professor Protopopov visiting Samaritans in Nablus 1910

Professor Protopopov left-right Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, the professor's wife, Hsumronim- Naji, Amram, Avisba. Sitting in a family charity

Description: Standing, right to left: Russian Professor Protopopov, Izhak Ben-Zvi, the professor's wife; three Samaritans: Naji, Amram and Aviseva; and seated, a youth from the Zedakah family, during a visit to the Samaritan community in Shechem (Nablus).


Yitzhak Ben-Zvi and his son Amram visitng Samaritans in Nablus in 1932

Right-left (?), Amram Ben-Zvi, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, the priest Jacob ben Uzi, Leah Brown

Description: Left to right:?, Amram Ben-Zvi, his father Izhak Ben-Zvi, Samaritan priest Ya'akov Ben-Uzi, Leah Brown and three unknown, during a visit of Izhak Ben-Zvi and his son Amram to the Samaritan community in Shechem (Nablus).


Pit Samaritan altar on Mount Gerizim in 1932
Silhouette image of Ben-Zvi

Description: The shadow of Izhak Ben-Zvi superimposed on a stone-lined pit in which the Samaritan sacrifice was cooked, on Mount Gerizim, during a visit of Izhak Ben-Zvi and his son Amram to the Samaritan community in Shechem (Nablus).


Pit Samaritan altar on Mount Gerizim in 1932
Description: A stone-lined pit in which the Samaritan sacrifice was cooked, on Mount Gerizim, during a visit of Izhak Ben-Zvi and his son Amram to the Samaritan community in Shechem (Nablus).


British officers with the Samaritans in Nablus in 1932

Description: British officers with Samaritans, during a visit of Izhak Ben-Zvi and his son Amram to the Samaritan community in Shechem (Nablus).


Samaritan Passover sacrifice in Nablus (date unknown, most likely 1932)

Description: Inside a circle of Samaritans during the Passover sacrifice ritual in Shechem (Nablus)


Yitzhak Ben-Zvi and Rachel Nablus visit (1930-1936)

Left-right Rahel, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, both Samaritans and an unidentified person

Description: Right to left: Rahel Yanait Ben-Zvi and her husband Izhak Ben-Zvi, with two Samaritans in traditional dress and a man in a suit between them, sitting on a stone ledge near Shechem (Nablus).


Two written in Samaritan mortar in the wall (date unknown)

Inscriptions on clay bumps on the side of the house

Description: Samaritan writings on protusions in the mud on the wall of a home, possibly talismans (good luck charms).


Isaac the father of Amram ben Shlomo Samaritan High Priest in Nablus (date: 1917-1932)

Priest wearing a dark coat stands next to a Torah Ftoham three grenades at the end of the rods on them rolled parchment. The book stands on a table covered with an embroidered curtain center Address

Description: Izhak Avi Amram (the son of Shlomo) who served as the High Priest of the Samaritans from 1917 to 1932 (after his cousin Ya'akov) with the ancient Abisha Torah scroll. Acording to historical research it was written by a Samaritan in Damascus in the 12th to 13th century AD, although Samaritan tradition claims it is from the time of Joshua-13th century BC


Samaritans in Nablus (date: 1930-1936)

Description: Two Samaritan men with a non-Samaritan women between them, in Shechem (Nablus).


Ben Zvi with the Samaritans in Nablus (1930-1936)
Mshmul right-Ben-Zvi, an unidentified friend, the two Samaritans

Description: Right to left: two Samaritans, a friend of Izhak Ben-Zvi, Izhak Ben-Zvi (in the light colored jacket).


Stone tablets of the stairs Mount Gerizim (1935)

Description: Izhak Ben-Zvi (in the center) with a Samaritan and another man, near stone tablets from the steps to Mount Gerizim in Shechem (Nablus).


The remains of the ancient complex on Mount Gerizim, the Byzantine church or the Samaritan temple (1934)

Description: The remains of an ancient complex on Mount Gerizim in Shechem (Nablus), either a Byzantine church or a Samaritan temple.


Samaritan High Priest Nablus (1917-1932)

Description: A profile portrait of the Samaritan High Priest from Shechem (Nablus), probably Izhak Avi Amram the son of Shlomo, who served as the High Priest of the Samaritans from 1917 to 1932 (after his cousin Ya'akov).


Guests at the Samaritan Passover sacrifice on Mount Gerizim in Nablus (1934)

First row second from right Leah Brown

Description: Leah Brown (front row, second from the right) with a large group of guests watching the ritual of the Samaritan Passover sacrifice on Mount Gerizim in Shechem (Nablus).




Isaac Kalimi, Early Jewish Exegesis and Theological Controversy: Studies in Scripture in the Shadow of Internal and External Conflicts.
(Jewish and Christian Heritage Series 2; Assen: Van Gorcum, 2002)

Reviewed by Francis Landy University of Alberta



Recent Publications

Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Qumran, Septuagint; Collected Essays, Volume 3

Emanuel Tov, Hebrew University, Jerusalem

Publication date: March 2015

Thirty-three revised and updated essays on the textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Qumran and the Septuagint, originally published between 2008 and 2014 are presented in this volume, the third volume of the author’s collected writings. All three areas have developed much in modern research, and the auhor, the past editor-in-chief of the international Dead Sea Scrolls publication project, is a major speaker in all of them. The scrolls are of central importance in the modern textual research and this aspect is well represented in this volume. Among the studies included in this volume are central studies on coincidence, consistency, the Torah, the nature of the MT and SP, the diffusion of manuscripts, and the LXX of Genesis.



The Samaritan Version of Saadya Gaon S Translation of the Pentateuch: Critical Edition and Study of Ms. Bl Or7562 and Related Mss. (Biblia Arabica) Hardcover – April 13, 2015

by Tamar Zewi (Author)

Brill Academic Publishers; Mul Cri edition (April 13, 2015)


Should you read this book, please write a review.



 ‘Der Samaritanische Pentateuch in der Geschichte des hebräischen Bibeltextes’

By Stefan Schorch in Verkündigung und Forschung. Volume 60, Issue 1, Pages 18–28, ISSN (Online) 2198-0454, ISSN (Print) 0342-2410, DOI: 10.14315/vf-2015-0104, March 2015


Jews Have no Dealings With Samaritans: A Study of Relations Between Jews and Samaritans at the Time of Jesus Christ

By CNM Naseri, in Lwati: A Journal of Contemporary Research, Volume 11, No. 2 (2014) 75-88.




Relations between Jews and Samaritans were at the level of conflicts during the time of Christ. These conflicts are reflected especially in the Gospels (see John 8:48; Luke 9:53-54). Understanding the nature of the relations between these two groups will therefore assists students and interpreters of the New Testament appreciate and comprehend the negative signals emitted by these biblical texts. The work is a historical-critical method of study applied to biblical texts in their synchronic forms. It implies an inquiry into who the Samaritans were; what their beliefs and practices were and why there was such enmity between them and the Jews. The study identifies the non-recognition of the Jewish origin of the Samaritans as the basis for the conflicts. It also identifies the intricacies of religion and politics in the diversification of the conflict, highlights some instances of class distinctions and religious conflicts in modern society as contemporary equivalents of the Samaritan-Jewish conflicts. It recommends respects for the dignity of the human person, emphasis on, and widening of the borders of kinship and the encouragement of multi-culturalism as the foundations for building a less discriminatory society.


A History of Biblical Israel: The Fate of the Tribes and Kingdoms from Merenptah to Bar Kochba

By Axel Knauf & Philippe Guillaume

Equinox Publishing 01/05/2015

Chapter 8. From Artaxerxes I to Ptolemy I

Axel Knauf, Philippe Guillaume

Abstract: The difficulties encountered by the Achaemenids in Egypt spur the construction of a Persian fortress at Jerusalem with an adjacent sanctuary (the second ‘Second Temple), as well as the destruction of Bethel and the construction of a cultic centre at Mount Gerizim. Such renewed imperial interest in the Levant set the stage for the formation of the Torah and the rise of a common identity based on Biblical Israel operative across the empire.


Von »Israeliten« zu »Ausländern«: Zur Entwicklung anti-samaritanischer Polemik ab der hasmonäischen Zeit by Benedikt Hensel in Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft. Volume 126, Issue 4, Pages 475–493, ISSN (Online) 1613-0103, ISSN (Print) 0044-2526, DOI: 10.1515/zaw-2014-0029, December 2014


Published Online: 2014-12-01

Abstract: In Josephus and in certain biblical traditions (Ezra/Neh; II Reg 17,24 ff.) the Samaritans are designated as »foreigners« who would have had nothing in common with Israel, so that violent conflicts would have developed between the two groups in the Persian and early Hellenistic periods. The article analyses the non-biblical sources in which the »foreigner-polemic« is attested. After its origins in Hasmonaean times (Sir 50,25), this polemic first becomes more extensive in Josephus (»Cuthaeans«). But it only found general circulation and full development in the Amoraic period (3rd cent. AD). It involves a purely literary polemic (»Othering«), since from a religious and cultural point of view Samaritans and Jews were only marginally distinct until the Byzantine period. Both belonged to »Israel«. The development of anti-Samaritan polemic is a further proof that conflicts between the Gerizim and Jerusalem communities only began in the 2nd cent. BC.


Résumé: Les Samaritains sont désignés comme »étrangers« par Fl. Josèphe et par certaines traditions bibliques (Esdr. – Néh.; II Rois 17,24ss.): ils n’auraient rien en commun avec Israël, d’où les conflits violents qui se seraient développés entre ces deux groupes à l’époque perse et proto-hellénistique. Cette étude analyse les documents extra-bibliques qui font référence à cette polémique des »étrangers«. Après son apparition à l’époque hasmonéenne (Sir. 50,25), cette polémique est exposée plus largement chez Fl. Josèphe (»Cuthéens«). Elle ne se généralisera, pleinement exposée, qu’à l’époque amoréenne (3ème siècle ap. J.-C.): il s’agit alors d’une polémique purement littéraire, car du point de vue de l’histoire de la religion et de la culture, Samaritains et Judéens ne se distinguent guère jusqu’à l’époque byzantine. Les deux appartiennent à »Israël«. Cette évolution de la polémique anti-samaritaine constitue un témoignage supplémentaire que les tensions entre les communautés du Garizim et de Jérusalem ne débutent qu’au 2ème siècle av. J.-C.


Zusammenfassung: Die Samaritaner werden bei Josephus und in bestimmten biblischen Traditionen (Esr/Neh; II Reg 17,24 ff.) als »Ausländer« bezeichnet, die mit Israel nichts gemein hätten, woraus sich heftige Streitigkeiten zwischen beiden Gruppen in persischer und früh-hellenistischer Zeit entwickelt hätten. Der Artikel analysiert die nicht-biblischen Evidenzen, in denen sich die »Ausländer«-Polemik belegen lässt. Nach Anfängen in der hasmonäischen Zeit (Sir 50,25) wird die Polemik erst bei Josephus breiter ausgeführt (»Kuthäer«). Allgemein verbreitet und voll ausgeformt wird diese allerdings erst in amoräischer Zeit (3. Jh. n. Chr.). Es handelt sich um eine rein literarische Polemik (»Othering«), denn religionswie kulturgeschichtlich unterscheiden sich Samaritaner und Judäer bis in byzantinische Zeit nur marginal voneinander. Beide zählen zu »Israel«. Die Entwicklung der anti-samaritanischen Polemik ist ein weiterer Beleg dafür, dass sich Streitigkeiten zwischen Garizim- und Jerusalemer Gemeinde erst im 2. Jh. v. Chr. entwickeln.


Is the Samaritan Pentateuch a Sectarian Text?

by Edmond L. Gallagher Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft. Volume 127, Issue 1, Pages 96–107, ISSN (Online) 1613-0103, ISSN (Print) 0044-2526, DOI: 10.1515/zaw-2015-0007, March 2015


Abstract: Wissenschaftler kennzeichnen den Samaritanischen Pentateuch (SP) auf Grund einiger Abweichungen zum masoretischen Text (MT) üblicherweise als einen sektierischen Text. Diese Stellen heben den Kult auf dem Garizim besonders hervor. Neuerdings verstehen Wissenschaftler einige der besonders als sektiererisch klassifizierten Stellen durchaus nicht als sektiererisch, auch wenn der SP weiterhin als tendenziös und sektiererisch eingeordnet wird. Dieser Artikel untersucht die Gründe für die Verwendung dieser Kennzeichnungen mit Blick auf den SP und fragt nach dem Nutzen solcher Klassifikationen.


Résumé: Scholars routinely describe the Samaritan Pentateuch (SP) as a sectarian text, owing to the presence of a few variants in the SP in comparison with the Masoretic Text (MT). These particular readings are thought to highlight the Gerizim cult in a way peculiarly appropriate to Samaritanism and inappropriate for Jewish texts. But scholars now interpret some of the most prominent »sectarian « elements of the SP as not sectarian at all, even while continuing to label the SP tendentious and sectarian. This paper examines the reasons for applying these terms to the SP and queries the usefulness of describing it in this manner.


Zusammenfassung: Les chercheurs décrivent systématiquement le Pentateuque samaritain comme un texte sectaire, en raison de quelques variantes dans le Pentateuque samaritain par rapport au texte massorétique. Ces lectures spécifiques ont pour but d’accentuer dans le Pentateuque le culte au mont Garizim et ceci de manière particulièrement adaptée au courant samaritain mais inadéquat du point de vue du judaïsme. A présent cependant, plusieurs chercheurs interprètent quelquesuns des plus importants éléments dits »sectaires« du Pentateuque samaritain comme n’étant pas sectaires du tout, même s’ils continuent à étiqueter le Pentateuque samaritain comme tendancieux et sectaire. Cet article examine les raisons pour lesquelles on applique ces termes au Pentateuque samaritain et s’interroge sur l’utilité de le décrire de cette manière.



D’Abraham à la conquête: L’Hexateuque et l’histoire d’Israël et de Juda

Par Thomas Römer Recherches de Science Religieuse 2015/1 (Tome 103) pp. 35-53



L’histoire des origines d’Israël telle qu’elle se présente dans le Pentateuque, allant des Patriarches jusqu’à l’Exode, est une construction éphémère de l’époque perse. Si c’est l’époque perse qui est décisive pour la naissance de l’Hexa- et puis du Pentateuque, les différents éléments qui constituent cette histoire remontent à quelques siècles plus haut et reflètent les contextes historiques des royaumes d’Israël et de Juda. Certaines de ces traditions, comme l’histoire de Jacob et celle de l’Exode, proviennent du Nord. Bien qu’elles aient été « judaïsées » par la suite, leur enracinement nordique n’a pas été entièrement occulté et a même pu servir le compromis entre Samaritains et Judéens.



From Abraham to the conquest

The history of the origins of Israel as presented in the Pentateuch, moving from the Patriarchs to Exodus, is an ephemeral construction of the Persian era. Although the Persian period is decisive for the birth of the Hexateuch and Pentateuch, the various elements that make up this history go back some centuries and reflect the historical contexts of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Some of these traditions, such as the story of Jacob and of Exodus are from the north. Even though they were subsequently “Judaized”, their northern roots were not entirely concealed and may well have served as a compromise between Samaritans and Judeans.



Future Publication


Samaritan scholar and co-editor of the Samaritan A-B News Benyamim Tsedaka is expecting to publish his new Hebrew book on comparing Israelite history according to Samaritan tradition in comparison with the Tanach in May 2015. More information to come in the next issue of the Samaritan Update.



Publications from Stefan Schorch


The Samaritan Pentateuch A Critical Editio Maior

Ed. by Schorch, Stefan

6 volumes


Das Buch Genesis in Series: Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 339, De Gruyter. X, 304 pages in German. Publication date: 2004


Aims and Scope: Beside the Masoretic text, the orally transmitted Samaritan reading tradition is the most important source for the vocalisation of the Torah. The author points to parallel developments in Qumran, and sees the development of the Samaritan tradition from the 2nd century BC as part of the creation of specific group identities within Judaism, and examines its transmission. In addition, the work offers a comprehensive analysis of the more than 400 textually relevant differences in vocalisation between the Samaritan and Masoretic traditions in the Book of Genesis.


Volume III, Leviticus

De Gruyter. 224 pages in Hebrew and English. Publication date: November 2015


Aims and Scope: A critical edition of the Samaritan Pentateuch is one of the most urgent desiderata of Hebrew Bible research. The present volume on Leviticus is the first out of a series of five meant to fill this gap. The text from the oldest mss. of SP is continuously accompanied by comparative readings, gathered from the Samaritan Targum and the oral reading, as well as MT, the DSS, and the LXX, creating an indispensable resource for Biblical research.


The Samaritans, History, Texts, and Traditions

Series: Studia Samaritana 8 Studia Judaica 75

De Gruyter. 330 pages in English. Publication date May 2017



Past Lecture

How Ancient Scribes Inserted Larger Passages into Older Texts Editorial Techniques in Light of Empirical Evidence International Workshop in Münster, 17-19 March 2015 Organized by Changes in Sacred Texts and Traditions, The Academy of Finland's Centre of Excellence, in Collaboration with the Faculty of Protestant Theology, University of Münster

15:00-16:00 Stefan Schorch (Halle/Philadelphia) The Garizim-commandment in the Samaritan Pentateuch



From the Editor


I have been thinking about the Holy Rock that the Samaritans visit on their pilgrimage on the summit of Mount Gerizim and the site of the old temple ruins. And I have been wondering, why didn’t the cult that built the temple incorporate this stone inside the temple, like the rock in Jerusalem? The only answer that comes to me, is that this would have caused a major conflict, since the existing worshippers to Mount Gerizim must have used this site for their pilgrimages during that time period and before, like the Samaritans still do today.  So is this real evidence that there were in fact two cults that worshipped on Mount Gerizim?


If you read the May/June 2014 issue of The Samaritan Update, you may recall the many different coins that exhibit the Roman temple on Mount Gerizim. I knew there were a good number of different minted coins from the period of Phillip, the Roman ruler (244-249 C.E.) in my study (see pdf). I was surprised that the count of different minted stamps was a total of 34 from Philip. There still could possibly be even more. But why was there so many different stamped coins at this time. When I looked back at John Bowman’s Samaritan Documents Relating to Their History, Religion and Life (1977), I found on page 160 the following:

‘And at that time Pillippus the king took from ‘Akbon all the wealth which Baba Raba had left, in the presence of the companions of Levi his son.’


Is this evidence of Baba Raba of this period ? What other possiblity could there be for such reshaping of the currency at that time? I cannot recall any other time that would indicate such a change in the minting of coins.


We know from the exidence that coins were minted from rulers over Samaria like Hadrian (117- 138 C.E., Antonius Pius (138-161), Marcus Aurelius (161-180 C.E.), Commodus (180-192 C.E.) Macrinus (217-218 C.E.) and Elagabalus (218-222 C.E.) and then Severus Alexander (222-235 C.E.). Each of these rulers minted cions with a temple on Mount Gerizim, which means that they had at least one mint there and most likely, minted the coins from the tax money they received from the people. It also states in Bowman’s book on page 149, ‘Then Alexander died and he had not been able to take tax from Israel.’ This was not Alexander the Great. This was Severus Alexander who was the Roman Emperor from 222-235 C.E. This gives a time period of 9 years(244C.E.- 235C.E.= 9) between Severus and Pillip in which Samaria was independent.


I even looked in Jeffrey M. Cohen’s book, A Samaritan Chronicle (Brill, 1981) page 70, ‘These “Seventy” also gave the priest Baba Rabbah all manner of military assisteance; they turned over to him the revenue…” Further on page 78 and 79, the issue of paying tax to foreign kings was halted and contributions went to Baba’s army. So it would appear that Baba had a large treasury.


Of interest on page 70 of Cohen’s book is the ‘Family of the Seventy.” The Seventy or LXX is interesting. Could this be the origin of the LXX text? Could these be the remnants of the sect of Menasseh that came from Jerusalem and built a temple on Gerizim? Remember John Hyrcanus (reigned from 134 until his death in 104 BCE) destroyed the Gerizim temple. It had only been 300 years or so, which means that they were most likely ancestors of the temple that had remained in the land. It is clear on page 70, that the Seventy was a sect, a different sect in which Baba belonged, ‘Whenever they came across a priest from among those priests of the “Family of Seventy” who erred in religious law, in administering justice or in civil affairs, they would hasten to consult their own High Priest.”


This Seventy sect is interesting for one very interesting fact, we have the Septuagint which is also called the LXX. Here we have the ‘Family of the Seventy’ and the ’72 Elders.’ Both originated in close to the same time period. The legend of the LXX dates of the 3rd century BCE., while the Gerizim Seventy, if I am permitted to call them that, date their origin from the same period of Sanaballat from the period of Alexander the Great.



Also, I have been thinking that there needs to be a good serious book by someone or a group concerning all of the Samartian inscriptions. It would make for a great book! This issue was relized after I had post the article in the last issue of The Samaritan Update on the inscription in the UK, which no one appears to be interested in studing. I wish to thank Haseeb Shehadeh for determining the Samaritan Hebrew inscription being Genesis, chapter 21, verses 4-14.





Samaritan Museum Website

The Samaritan Museum website; has a collection of audios (MP3) on page 5


List of Articles on Synagogues By Yosef Tabori

See list Samaritan synagugoes


Bernardinus De Moor Comments on the Use and Abuse of the Samaritan Pentateuch

Chapter II:11: Cautions concerning the Use of the Samaritan Pentateuch



America’s lost tribes and the new Samaritans by Eli Kavon (The Jerusalem Post)

Is this really the Torah God gave Moses at Sinai? (Part 2) by Roger Price (Jewish Journal)

Samaritans Play it Cool with their Jewish Neighbors by Gedalyah Reback (Arutz Sheva, Israel National News.)

The Highest Peak in Nablus: archarological sites first occupation.. “Jews Samaritans” demanding power to protect them. (in Arabic) Alwantan Voice

Top 10 must do experiences over Easter and Passover in the Holy Land by Elisa Moed (Jerusalem Post)

10. 8th Experience the Samaritan Passover – May 2, 2015  
Jews celebrate Passover beginning on April 3 however the Samaritans will not begin their Passover celebration until a month later, May 1. The reason in the calendar discrepancy is due to the fact that Jews begin calculating from the first year of creation while the Samaritans use the year that Joshua Bin-Nun entered Israel as their first year. Consequently, leap years are not parallel resulting in a Samaritan celebration occurring one month later. 

Approximately 760 Samaritans who live in Holon and Mt. Gerazim will begin celebrating Passover on the eve of May 1 and the actual sacrifice will occur after Shabbat ends, on the eve of May 2, 2015. The venue is the community of Kiryat Luza on top of Mt. Gerazim, which overlooks biblical Shechem or modern day Nablus. 


Buckingham Palace

Shared publicly -  Feb 19, 2015

This photograph depicts what is believed to be one of the oldest books in existence, dating from between the 12th and 14th centuries. It is known as The Abisha Scroll and is an early manuscript of the Samaritan Pentateuch (a version of the first five books of the Old Testament). The scroll was viewed by the Prince of Wales during his royal tour 1862 - The photograph can be seen at our exhibition 'Cairo to Constantinople' at The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace. 


Our Beans

By Ed Gallagher Thursday, March 5, 2015

4QLev-d, 4QDeut-n, and the Pre-Samaritan Tradition

A comment in Emanuel Tov's Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible (3d ed.) surprised me: he lists the scrolls belonging to the Samaritan Pentateuch group of texts found at Qumran, and he says that "possibly also 4QLev-d" should be classed among them (91). I thought that Leviticus stood out from the other books of the Samaritan Pentateuch as the one that did not feature any major expansions of text.
Let me explain: the Samaritan Pentateuch (SP) is a version of the Torah that features several differences from the Jewish Torah. Among these differences are about forty major expansions to the Pentateuchal text, all consisting of material duplicated from elsewhere in the Pentateuch. For instance, in the Jewish Torah (Mosoretic Text--MT), God tells Moses to go warn Pharaoh that frogs are coming, and the next thing you read is that frogs are coming, but you never read that Moses went to warn Pharaoh. Well, in the SP, you do read that Moses warned Pharaoh; the text has been expanded with that conversation inserted. Similarly, when Moses reviews Israel's history in Deuteronomy 1–3, we encounter certain details that are not found in the MT version of Exodus or Numbers. The SP has those details inserted into Exodus and Numbers.

Continue reading:



The Samaritan Village (Tuesday, March 24, 2015) by Elisheva Smith

Hello Friends! I know I promised to tell you about our Succot adventure in Jerusalem and I will get to time. But first, I want to rewind a little and pause, because I feel like I went a bit too fast over the Samaritan Village last time. Continue reading.



TFAHR Photo Album- Zur Natan (Antesion), Israel

From The Texas Foundation for Archaeological& Historical Research


Associations in the Greco-Roman World: A Companion to the Sourcebook


Honors by a Society for Leaders Mentioning a Samaritan Member (III BCE) Piraeus - Attica

previous post for this sub-region  next post for this sub-region

Piraeus (Attica, Greece and Macedonia). IG II² 2943 + addenda (pt. 3.1 p. 348) = IJO I Ach41 = PHI 5200  = ID# 12116  IV-III BCE


Slab of Pentelic marble found at the Piraeus in 1879, now in the National Museum at Athens (inv. no. 8799; 94 x 40 x 8.5-9.0 cm). One member of this society is identified as a "Samaritan," but it is unclear whether this is an Israelite (who honors the Israelite God) or a non-Israelite from Samaria.

(central column): (illegible names ?)

(left column): (in a crown) Nikon son of Nikophon, (in a crown) Leptines son of Euperses,

(right column): (in a crown) Symmachos son of Dates, (in a crown) Ergasion the Samaritan.

(central column): (in a crown) . . . The society members (thiasitai)  (?) . . . crowned the supervisor (epimelētēs), Nikon son of Nikophon, and Hermogenes son of Hermaphilos, during his time as (?) secretary (grammateia), on account of moderation.

Translation by: Harland


{central column}

[— — —]ΕΝΟΙΣΑΣ̣[— — —] | [— — —]ν. |

{left column}

{in a crown:} Νίκων | Νικοφῶντος || {in a crown:} Λεπτίνης | Εὐπέρσ̣[ο]υ?

{right column} {in a crown:} Σύμμαχος | Δάτου | {in a crown:} Ἐ[ρ]γασίων | Σαμαρίτης

{central column}

{in a crown:} [οἱ θιασῶ]||τα̣[ι τὸ]ν ἐπ[ι]|μελητὴν ἐ|στεφάνωσαν Νί|κωνα Νικοφῶντ|ος, Ἑρμογένην || Ἑρμαφίλου γρα|μματέια σ|ω[φροσ]ύν|ης οὕνεκα.

ID number: 12116

Short link address:


Honors by Israelites for Menippos of Herakleia (ca. 250-175 BCE) Delos - Southwestern islands

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Delos (Southwestern islands, Aegean Islands). AGRW 222a = IJO I Ach 66 = NewDocs VIII 12b = SEG 32 (1982), 810 = PHI 215712  = ID# 1569  ca. 250-175 BCE


Slab of white marble with a large wreath.

The Israelites (i.e. Samaritans) on Delos who contribute towards the holy temple on (or: contribute towards sacred and holy) Gerizim honored Menippos son of Artemidoros from Herakleia, himself and his descendents, who furnished and dedicated from his own resources on account of a prayer (proseuchē) of God (or: in fulfillment of a vow to God; or: for the prayer-house of God) . . . (about two lines missing) and they crowned him with a gold crown and . . . (the rest of inscription missing).

Translation by: Harland


[οἱ ἐν Δήλῳ] | Ἰσραηλῖται οἱ ἀπαρχόμενοι εἰς ἱερὸν ἅγιον Ἀρ|γαριζεὶν ἐτίμησαν (vac.) Μένιππον Ἀρτεμιδώρου Ἡρά|κλειον αὐτὸν καὶ τοὺς ἐγγόνους αὐτοῦ κατ̣ασκευ||άσαντα καὶ ἀναθέντα ἐκ τῶν ἰδίων ἐπὶ προσευχῇ τοῦ | θ̣ε̣[οῦ] ΤΟΝ[ - - - ] | ΟΛΟΝΚΑΙ̣Τ̣Ο[ - - ca. 6-8 - - καὶ ἐστεφάνωσαν] χρυσῷ στε[φά]|νῳ καὶ [ - - - ] | ΚΑ[ - - - ] || Τ[ - - - ]

ID number: 1569

Short link address:


Honors by Israelites for Jason of Knossos (ca. 150-50 BCE) Delos - Southwestern islands

 previous post for this sub-region  next post for this sub-region

Delos (Southwestern islands, Aegean Islands). AGRW 222 = IJO I Ach 67 = NewDocs VIII 12a = SEG 32 (1982), 809 = PHI 215712  = ID# 4510

 ca. 150-50 BCE abbreviation guide


Slab of white marble with a large wreath.

The Israelites (i.e. Samaritans) on Delos who contribute to the temple on (or: to sacred) Gerizim crown with a gold crown Sarapion son of Jason from Knossos because of his beneficence towards them.

Translation by: Harland


οἱ ἐν Δήλῳ Ἰσραελεῖται οἱ ἀ|παρχόμενοι εἰς ἱερὸν Ἀργα|ριζεὶν στεφανοῦσιν χρυσῷ | στεφάνῳ Σαραπίωνα Ἰάσο||νος Κνώσιον εὐεργεσίας | ἕνεκεν τῆς εἰς ἑαυτούς.

ID number: 4510

Short link address:



The Palestine Exploration Fund, Quarterly Statement, January, 1900

Third Report on the Excavation at Tell es-Sâfi.’  By F.J. Bliss, PHD. (page 16) Page 28

‘Excavations at Tell es-Sâfi. Lists of Casts and Moulds. Received from Dr. Bliss, September, 1899

11. C. jar-handle, Samaritan inscription. T.S. Not deep.


The Palestine Exploration Fund, Quarterly Statement, October, 1899, Page 326.










American Journal of Archaeology

General Meeting, January 2-4, 1914

6. Professor J. Frederick McCurdy, of the University of Toronto, A New Hebrew Seal and a Samaritan Inscription. No abstract of this paper was received.


[Unable to locate this article]


Israel Antiquities Authority

Hadashot Arkheologiyot: Excavations and Surveys in Israel

Volume 127 Year 2015

Set She’an, Tel Iztabba 17/03/2015 Final Report

By Ya’aqov Har’el

The excavation area was located c. 50 m south of a former excavation at Khirbat Majdal, where a settlement from the Byzantine period (sixth–seventh centuries CE) was exposed; it included numerous installations, dwellings and a large public building with an apse that was identified as a Samaritan synagogue (E. Ayalon 2002. Horvat Migdal (Zur Natan): An Ancient Samaritan Village. In E. Stern and H. Eshel (eds.). The Book of Samaritans. Jerusalem. Pp. 272–288).

Cont’d reading



Old News


The Washington Herald, November 29, 1914, page 24

The Last of the Good Samaritans

But 170 Members of “The Faithful” Remain, Huddled Together at Nablous, in Palestine, Despised and Hated By All Their Neighbors.

By Archie Bell.

[Drawing below by (Harry?) Hohnhorst]


“The Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans,” declared the woman whom Jesus met at Jacob’s well. That was nearly two thousand years ago, but it is as true today as when the words came from her mouth. And today, in addition to the Jews, the same thing might be said of the Christians and Mohammedans with whom the remnants of a once-proud nation rub elbows in the affairs of their daily life. The Samaritan is a thing despised on the face of the earth by Jew and infidel. The end of all things has almost come for him. There are 170 members of the faithful huddled together in little white-domed housed around their only remaining synagogue, at Nablous, a very modern and very fanatical Mohammedan city in the middle of Palestine. Nablous is the Shechem of the Bible and in the valley beyond its gates lies Jacob’s well. On the distant hilltop is Sabasteih, the ruins of the beautiful metropolis of Samaria and once a stronghold of Herod the Great. The Samaritan of today may look from his roof at sunset and see them, as he can see Mount Gerizim, which he considers the place “chosen of the Lord.” All of these places have lost their former glory. They seem to have reached the end before “God’s Chosen People.” The little group of Samaritans, poverty-stricken, degenerate in appearance and despised, huddle around the diminutive white synagogue and vow that they will remain faithful to the end.

“The struggle is almost over; God may He be exalted, only knows how long and we shall be no more; but we shall remain faithful,” says Jacob, son of Aaron, High Priest of the tribe, and the graybeards at his side on a little stone bench on his housetop repeat the vow; “we shall remain faithful.”

In the tone of their voices there is the sorrow of centuries, the decay of pride and the wail of blasted hope. Also there is a faint echo of what must once have been bravery, when Samaritans were men among men and when they could force their wills. Now they seem to be resigned to the fate that awaits them and is rapidly overtaking them.


[You can continue reading the article or see the same words in Archie Bells’s book The Spell of the Holy Land]



Welshman, Friday, November 26, 1841, Carmarthen, Vol. 10, No. 514, (page 4)

Present State of the Samaritans

Since the days of Pocock this sect has gradually dwindled away, and will probably soon become extinct. The Samaritans are now reduced to a very small community; there being only 30 men who pay taxes, and few, if any, who are exempt; so that their whole number cannot be reckoned at over 158 souls. One of them is in affluent circumstances; and, having been for a long time chief secretary of the Mutesellim of Nabullus, became one of the most important and powerful men of the province. He had recently been superseded in his influence with the governor by a Copt, and now held only the second place. He was called el-‘Abd es Samary. The rest of the Samaritans are not remarkable wither for their wealth or poverty. The physiognomy of those we saw was not Jewish; nor indeed did we remark in it any peculiar character, as distinguished from that of other natives of the country. They keep the Saturday as their Sabbath with great strictness, allowing no labour nor trading, nor even cooking or lighting a fire. On Friday evening they pray in their houses; and on Saturday have public prayers in their synagogue at morning, noon, and evening. They meet also in the synagogue on the great festivals, and on the new moons; but not every day. The law is read in public, not every Sabbath-day, but only upon the same festivals. Four times a year they go up to Mount Gerizim (Jabal et l’ur), in solemn procession to worship; and then they begin reading the law as they set off, and finish it above. These seasons are- the feast of Passover, when they pitch their tent upon the mountain all night, and sacrifice seven lambs at sunset; the day of Pentecost; the feast of Tabernacles, when they sojourn here in booths built of branches of the arbutus; and lastly the great day of Atonement in autumn. They still maintain their ancient hatred against the Jews; accuse them of departing from the law in not sacrificing the Passover, and in various other points, as well as of corrupting the ancient text; and scrupulously avoid all connection with them.



The Times Dispatch, September 09, 1906 [page 8] [Richmond Va. USA]

Last of Samaritans Seek Aid in London;

Only Two Hundred Members Now Left of a Famous Jewish Tribe; Harried by Turks

London, Sept. 8

In an unpretentious house in Commercial road, East, four men who are as strange to London as London is strange to them are staying. They are the representatives of a dying race- the Samaritans.

Of extraordinary stature, gaunt, dignified and silent, and clad in the robes of their priestly office, their names might have been taken, like their creed, from the Pentateuch. They are Ishak ben Amram ha-Cohen ha-Levi, Shafeek ben Jacob ha-Cohen ha Levi, Nage ben Khader ha-Cohen ha-Levi and Shelbee ben Jacob Shelabee.

They have with them books and manuscripts of priceless worth. Among these is a scroll- one of three that have been used in their synagogue for untold centuries. They also carry with them ancient prayer books and a time-worn copy of the chronology of their departed priests.

The Samaritans have come to England to attempt to raise funds on which the tribe, harried and taxed by the Turks, may live. They are the bearers of a letter of introduction from the Bishop of Jerusalem to the Bishop of London, and they hope to secure an audience with the King. Ishak ben Amram is the son of the high priest who showed the King, then Prince of Wales, the famous scrolls of the tribe.

Dr. Gaster, the Hebrew scholar and Jewish rabbi, said yesterday that the Samaritans represent the last remnant of the oldest Jewish sect on earth. “There are only 200 of them left,” he said.

“They cannot speak English, or, indeed, any European language, but convers either in Arabic or in very difficult Hebrew.

“They believe only in the five books of Moses, and regard us as schismatics.”

“I am now endeavoring to arouse interest in them, and hope that soon a room will be placed at their disposal for an exhibition of their wonderful treasures. I am using my influence with the Royal Asiatic Society to this end. Probably, too, the Biblical Archaeological Society will take them up.”


The Pacific Commercial Advertiser, (Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands) December 17, 1906 [page 6]


Poverty of Samaritans

London, Nov. 13.- The manuscript of the Pentateuch, dating from 1050, A.D., which four Samaritans are trying to sell in London, is one of two which were especially venerated at Nablus. One claims antiquity which suggests that it is the original translation into the Samaritan dialect from the Hebrew Pentateuch 2250 years ago. This sacred document is not shown except to royal persons, although a rich American tourist once overcame the scruples of a high priest by a fee of $350.

The second manuscript is the one described of the priceless master roll. It is enclosed in a metal case beautifully inlaid with silver, which is 500 years old. It is ornamented with two brass objects similar to those traditionally decorating the Ark of the Covenant. The Samaritan Community, which now numbers about 250 adheres stanchly to the beliefs and traditions which from unknown antiquity has divided them from the orthodox Hebrews. They regard all the latter’s sacred books except the Pentateuch as heretical and now, no more than in the days of Christ, are there dealings between the two communities.

The Samaritans are very poor, subsisting on petty trades, and the local authorities fleece and oppress them. They are thus perpetually poor, and it is now said that their very existence as a separate community is threatened unless they are able to raise a large sum of money. To obtain this High Priest Isaac, who is here, has been directed to try and sell the manuscript of the Pentateuch although to him and his fellow priests the act is sacrilegious.

It is asserted that he made the first offer to England, because of Mr. Finn, the former British Consul at Jerusalem once helped the community by protecting the ancient Annual service on the summit of Mount Gerizim. He would also prefer to sell the manuscript to a Christian country, because the Christian Messiah called the Samaritans good.


Evening Star, (Washington, D.C.) July 22, 1922 [page 8]

Claim Temple Bible Written 13 Years After Moses.

Revise Views as to Other People Entering Heaven.

By Junius B. Wood (Special Correspondence of the Star and Chicago Daily News.)

Nablus, Palestine, June 20.- Never having seen any bona fide Samaritans, I motored over the parched rock-strewn hills from Jerusalem today to see all that remains of the powerful race sent from Babylon twenty-five centuries ago to populate the Holy Land. I elicited the information that today there are only 156 real Samaritans- men, women and children. The high priest said that during the war fifty were conscripted by the Turks and never returned. He was insistent, too, that the tribe was increasing, rather than dying out, since it had only sixty members 200 years ago.

The Samaritans assert that they are the real Jews, the only chosen people, and that they alone are privileged to enter the kingdom of heaven. Since recently the Samaritans have learned that there are several million other persons in the world- the high priest has made three trips to London; they now agree that the worthy in the rest of the world may enter paradise as their servitors. Being good to them in this world is the chief requisite for a menial job.

Lecture on the Roof.

The Samaritan high priest, Jacob Aaron, and his brother Isaac, both distinguished by the Samaritan purple turbans and the latter by the most luxuriant crop of whiskers in Palestine were at the hotel before I had finished lunch. They were ready to escort me to the Samaritan quarter, one of the least prosperous corners of the town nestling at the base of the mountain. Through devious streets, many of them long dark, arched tunnels under the buildings, we reached a wooden gate, climbed some stone steps and were in a little 10 by 12 court- the world center of the Samaritans.

“Won’t you come into our house, please.” A soft girlish voice invited from one of the roofs surrounding the court. However, the fringe of black, ivy-like tendrils around the face from which that voice issued dispelled all romance- it was the high priest’s son, Abou Il Hasan, who had spoken. He learned English in the Samaritan school.

The high priest’s brother started a lecture. It was as unending as an automatic piano filled with nickels. Only by my shouting could he be halted occasionally to answer a question.

Men Exceed Women.

Since the war, he told me, there are twenty more men than women. There is one of their strictest customs. The high priest’s office is hereditary. They Samaritans by marriage, as intermarriage among their dwindling numbers is one of their strictest customs. They do not approve of Zionism or of other Jews, but consider all others apostate. They have a language and a script of their own, alleged to be the same as in the time of Solomon, but they speak Arabic for local necessities. As Nablus is fanatically Moslem and even the Zionists have refrained from locating any of their people or even Jewish policemen in that district, the Samaritans still are unmolested.

The Bible in the little bare stone temple, with a single chair, is their chief exhibit. But the wily Samaritans have two Bibles, one a comparatively modern work, which they prefer to exhibit to be pawed over by casual visitors. The one I saw was in a round brass case, opening on two hinges, bound in green brocade and rolling on tow sticks mounted with large brass handles. The lecturer said it was written thirteen years after Moses and this year is 2,578 years old. After being handled that long it is in a remarkable state of preservation. The high priest’s father translated its dead Hebrew script into Arabic and the Rev. William E. Barton of Oak Park, Ill., has it translated and published in an English pamphlet, which, Abou Il Hasan explained, is sold in Chicago for 25 cents. He said the brass cover was 500 years old.

Pose for Camera.

The trio consented to be photographed. When they were marshaled on another roof, a fourth venerable with a sparse white beard joined the group. Evidently no Samaritan has ever become a barber. Abou El Hassan’s gentle voice suggested that a cash contribution would be proper for the photographic privilege. The hills of Nablus encourage and architecture where the roof of one house serves as a courtyard for its higher neighbor. A red-haired Samaritan matron with a fat white naked baby and a stouter black-haired girl came down the steps to watch the picture taking. I suggested a photograph of the fair Samaritans. Abou asked them and they said their husbands might be angry. Anyway, there was a more generous display of neck and breast than is approved by puritanical postal inspectors and the film was not wasted. The Samaritan women wear veils as Moslems, because of custom and because their skin is fair and their features different from the other inhabitants.

When I started to leave the Samaritan center I found that my pipe, which had left on the coping outside the temple, had gone before me. Its removal does not prove the insecurity of property under the British mandate or affect the merits of the Zionist movement, but it brings doubts, to me at least, as to whether all Samaritans deserve the prefix “good.”





Agate, Margaret M.

Egypt, the Sinaitic Desert, and the Holy Land  Paisley 1904, see pp. 216-17.


Arnold, Werner

‘die Arabischen Dialekte von Jaffa und Umgebung’Vol. 38,  Approaches top Arabicx Dialects, A Collection of Articles presented to Manfred Woidich on the Occasion of his Sixieth Birthday, Eds. Martine Haak, Rudfolf deJong & Kees Versteegh. Brill, 2004, pp. 33- 46


Ashkenazi, D., Taxel, I. and Tal, O. 2015. Archaeometallurgical Characterization of Late Roman- and Byzantine-Period Samaritan Magical Objects and Jewelry Made of Copper Alloys. Materials Characterization 102: 195-208.


Berlin, Andrea M.

‘Archaeological Sources for the History of Palestine: Between Large Forces: Palestine in the Hellenistic Period’ The Biblical Archaeologist, Vol. 60, No. 1, Hellenistic Palestine: Between Large Forces (Mar., 1997), pp. 2-51


Bowen, John

Memorials of John Bowen, LL.D., Late Bishop of Sierra Leone, Compiled from His Letters and Journals by His Sister. London: James Nisbet, 1862


Eliassof, H.

“Three Jewish Sects; I. The Samaritans.” The Sentinel vol. 025 no. 05, 1917, pp 6, 21-22;  vol. 025 no. 06, 1917 pp. 6, 18; vol. 025 no. 07, 1917 pp 7, 15.


Ellison, H. L.

Judea in the Late Persian Period’ in From Babylon to Bethlehem, The Jewish People from the Exile to the Messiah. Exeter: Paternoster Press, 1976


Charvit, Yonel

‘Catalogue of Oil Lambs from Zur Natan.’ Publication of the Texas Foundation for Archaeological and Historical Research; Reports on Tfahr Excavations at: Zur Natan, Israel Silistra, Bulgaria and Ulanci, Macedonia. Houston, Texas, December 1994, pp. 22-26.


C.R.C. (Conder, Claude Reignier)

Sychar and Sychem


Dray, Yeshua

‘The Oil Presses of Zur Natan.’ Publication of the Texas Foundation for Archaeological and Historical Research; Reports on Tfahr Excavations at: Zur Natan, Israel Silistra, Bulgaria and Ulanci, Macedonia. Houston, Texas, December 1994, pp. 14-15.


אשל, אסתר ; אשל, חנן ; Eshel, Esther ; Eshel, Hanan

A Fragment of a Samaritan Inscription from Yavne (Jamnia) / שבר של כתובת שומרונית מתל יבנה

Summary:Recently we learned of a small fragment of a Samaritan Inscription of the Decalogue found at Yavne (Jamnia) in 1975, which is in private hands. This fragment is the second Samaritan Inscription found at this site. Based on the historical sources that testify to the existence of a Samaritan community in Yavne, these inscriptions should be dated somewhere between the Byzantine period and the Crusader period, but in view of the paleographic data it seems that the new fragment should be dated towards the beginning of this time span. 

Language: Hebrew Is Part Of: Tarbiz / תרביץ, 1 January 2005, Vol. עד (ב), pp.313-316 

Identifier: ISSN: 03343650 Source: Archival Journals (JSTOR) 


Fine, Steven

Synagogues in the Land of Israel


Gallagher, Edmond L.

Is the Samaritan Pentateuch a Sectarian Text? Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 2015 -


Gaster, Moses

“The Passing of a Nation” The Sentinel vol 074, no. 1, 1929 p. 9, 46-47.


Goirein, David

“The Passover Sacrifice” The Euclid Ave. Temple Bulletin Vol. XV No. 29, Cleveland, April 10, 1936. p. 3-4


Gudme, Anne Katrine de Hemmer (University of Copenhagen)

No# “For Good Remembrance before God in this Place” – an Analysis of the Votive Inscriptions from Mount Gerizim (2009)

Out of Sight, Out of Mind? Dedicatory Inscriptions as Communication with the Devine. 2012


Haefeli, Leo

#2052 “Les samaritains dans le Coran" in Revue sémitique 16 (1908): 419-429


Harvianen, Tapani & Haseeb Shehadeh and Harry Halén

Samaritan and Karaim Commitments to Minyan, Abraham Firkovich, and the Poor of Trakai In English

Same article in Hebrew


Heath, Dunbar Isidore & A. Lowy and Hyde Clarke

‘Discussion’ Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland Vol. III, London: Trubner & Co. 1874 p. 205- 208


Hendel, Ron

The Idea of a Critical Edition of the Hebrew Bible: A Genealogy’ Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel 3 (2014), pp. 392-423


Jamitovsky, Itzhak

Changes and Developments of the Samaritan Settlement in the Land of Israel during the Hellenistic-Roman Period. MA Thesis (Hebrew) 2004


Joosten, Jan

The Septuagint and the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament: A Conversation


Jewish Telegraphic Agency

“Isaac ben Amram, High Priest of Samaritans, Calls on Palestine High Commissioner; Will Write History of Sect.” The Sentinel, vol. 056 no. 13, 1924 p. 2.

“Samaritans Preserve Old Holy Scrolls” The Sentinel. Vol. 063, no. 07, 1926 pp. 26.


Krek, Miroslav

‘Middle Eastern Manuscripts in North American Collections. (Continued)’ Mela Notes 31, Winter, 1984 pp. 5- (mostly 12-) 14.


Lamm-Bray, Debbie

Overview of Samaria


Laugh, Philip A.

“My Visit to the Lost Ten Tribes” The Sentinel, vol. 073 no. 03, 1929 p. 7, 45


Massey, William

The Origin and Progress of Letters. An Essay, in Two Parts. London, printed for J. Johnson, 1763


Meltzer, Julian Louis

“Ancient Samaritan Synagogue Near Latrun is Discovered by Israeli Trench Diggers” The Euclid Ave. Temple Bulletin Vol. XXVIII No. 5, Cleveland, Nov. 16, 1948. p. 3.


Mendel, Anat & Leore Grosman

Unpublished Hebrew and other Northwest Semitic inscriptions from Samaria studied with a 3-dimensional imaging technology


Mordecai, David

“Exotic Passovers” The Sentinel vol. 122 no. 1, 1941 p. 6, 29.


Neidinger, William J.

‘A Brief History of the Samaritans.’ Publication of the Texas Foundation for Archaeological and Historical Research; Reports on Tfahr Excavations at: Zur Natan, Israel Silistra, Bulgaria and Ulanci, Macedonia. Houston, Texas, December 1994, pp. 3-4.


Neidinger, William J. & Eulah Matthews and Etan Ayalon

‘Excavations at Zur Natan: Stratigraphic, Architectural and Historical Report.’ A Publication of the Texas Foundation for Archaeological and Historical Research; Reports on Tfahr Excavations at: Zur Natan, Israel Silistra, Bulgaria and Ulanci, Macedonia. Houston, Texas, December 1994, pp. 5-14.


Nodet, Etienne

(Review) The Samaritans in Flavius Joshephus (Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism, 129), par Reinhard Pummer. Tübingen, Mohr-Siebeck, 2009

(Review) Judah and the Judeans in the Fourth Century B.C.E., par Oded Lipschits, Gary N. Knoppers & Rainer Albertz (eds), Winona Lake, Eisenbrauns, 2007


Noegel, Scott B.

The Samaria OstracaThe Ancient Near East: Historical Sources in Translation.” London: Blackwell (2006), 396-399.


Römer, Thomas

D’Abraham à la conquête, Recherches de Science Religieuse 1/2015 (Tome 103), p. 35-53


Rosenblum, S.

“Jewish Colonies in Palestine” The Sentinel vol. 055 no. 06, 1924 p. 8.


Schattner-Rieser, Ursula

Prä-, Proto- und Antisamaritanisches in den Qumrantexten, in: St. Beyerle/J. Frey, Qumran Aktuell, Neuchkirchner Verlag, Neurkirchen 2011.

The Samaritan Israelite Torah-Book Presentation of TSEDAKA, B., with Sullivan Sh., First English Translation of the Samaritan Pentateuch, Eerdmans 2013, erscheint in: Theologische Literaturzeitschrift , Theologische Literaturzeitung 140/4, 2015, 363-366.

Schorch, Stefan

Der Samaritanische Pentateuch in der Geschichte des hebräischen Bibeltextes’ erkündigung und Forschung Vol. 60, Issue 1 (March 2015) pp. 18-28

Samaritan Hebrew blessing before reading from the Torah

Samaritan Hebrew recitation of the text for the Passover offering (Exod 12)


Shehadeh, Haseeb

A Non-Moselm Arabic Word’ Studia Orientalia 55:17 Helsinki 1984

(Book Review) “Und das Leben ist siegreich!” Mandäische und samaritanische Literatur. Im Gedenken an Rudolf Macuch (1919–1993) / “And Life is Victorious!” Mandaean and Samaritan literatures: In memory of Rudolf Macuch (Ed. Rainer Voigt). Studia Orientalia Electronica, Vol. 1, 2013 pp. 36-40


Stade, Bernhard

‘Der Name der Stadt Samarien und seine Herkunft’ zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche wissenschaft, v. 5, pp. 165-175. Giessen 1885


Thomson, J.E.H. and Theodore Roberts, J.O. Corrie, Moses Gaster, Mr. Rouse, T.G. Pinchas, A.H. Finn, Harold M. Wiener, Mr. Mackinlay, A.S. Geden, H. Langhorne Orchard and Chancellor Lias

#4812 “The Pentateuch of the Samaritans: When they Got It, and Whence.” JTVI 52, 1920 PP. 142-176


Unger, M.

“A Visit to the Samaritans.” The Sentinel, vol. 071 no. 06, 1928 p. 10


Wiener, Harold M.

Contributions to a New Theory of the Composition of the Pentateuch

The Recensional Criticism of the Pentateuch




Additional Bibliography of the Samaritans


Magen, Y. 2008a. Gerizim, Mount. NEAEHL (Sup): 1742-1748.


Magen, Y. 2009. The Temple of YHWH at Mt. Gerizim. EI 29: 277-297 (Hebrew; English summary: 291*).


Naveh, J. and Magen, Y. 1997. Aramaic and Hebrew Inscriptions of the Second-Century BCE at Mount Gerizim. 'Atiqot 32: 37-56 (Hebrew; English summary: 9*-17*).

Peleg, Y. and Greenfeld U. 2007. Ritual Baths in Samaritan Settlements in Samaria. JSRS 16: 291-298 (Hebrew; English summary: XX-XXI).


Stern, E. and Magen, Y. 2002. Archaeological Evidence for the First Stage of the Samaritan Temple on Mount Gerizim. IEJ 52: 49-57.




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