The Samaritan Update

“Mount Gerizim,

All the Days of Our Lives”


January / February 2017                                                                                                Vol. XVI - No 3

In This Issue


·         Samaritan numbers

·         Congratulations

·         Samaritan Keyboard

·         4 Shehadeh articles

·         Clarification

·         Damascus images

·         American Colony

·         From the Editor

·         Old articles

·         Biblio

Your link to the Samaritan Update Index

On January 1, 2017, the Samaritan Community numbered 796.


Future Events

It has been 3655 years since the entrance into the Holy Land

 (Samaritan’s typical calendar) 



The Eleventh Month 3655 - Friday Evening, January 28, 2017

The Twelfth Month 3655 - Sunday Evening, February 27, 2017

The First Month 3655 - Monday Evening, March 28, 2017

Passover Sacrifice - Monday Evening between the sunsets [7:11 PM] - April 10, 2017


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


The Samaritan number increase yearly


In the fifth century CE the Israelite Samaritans numbered in the Land of Israel and abroad almost 1,500,000 - record number.

In 1917, the community numbered only 141 persons, 80 males and 61 females.

In 1.1.2016 in Mount Gerizim and the State of Israel the community numbered 785 people.

Over 2016, 12 children have been born in the community - 5 males and 7 females; 3 brides from outside the community joined by marriage to three young men, one from Mount Gerizim and two from Holon, Israel; 4 died, three males and one female.

Total number in 1.1.2017 - 796 persons, 381 of them in Mount Gerizim and 415 in the State of Israel, 414 males and 382 females.

Distribution by Personal status: Married - 372; Bachelors - 218; Bachelorettes - 170 - ages 1-78. Widowers -7; Widows- 24; 2 males divorced – 0 female divorced.

Be multiply and fruitful in the Promised Land.

Benyamim Tsedaka
”A.B. - The Samaritan News“

A Son was born to Shifa and Rajaee Altif in Mount Gerizim, Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Congratulations to the parents and family!!!



 On November 30th 2016 Kobi Cohen married Jenya Lunyova from Komdomolsk, Poltava Oblast. They now reside in Holon. Congratulations to the couple!!!


Improved free version of the Samaritan keyboard for Windows

Thanks to collaboration with graphic designer Christophe Silvestre, there's a more improved free version of the Samaritan keyboard for Windows (1.01 release) that includes full diacritical support and fixes a lower number UNICODE issue with a RTL / LTR toggle in some applications. Thanks to the late Yoram Gnat (z"l) for the work on the open source font.

Jim Ridolfo


Four New Articles from Haseeb Shehadah

Read article here


Read article here

Read article here


Read article here



Clarification on the site at Byzantine and Early Islamic Khirbet Dayr-Sharaf, Neapolis, Palestine

El estado de la cuestión de Khirbet Dayr-Sharaf en las épocas bizantina e islámica. Neapolis (Palestina)


Loay Abu Alsaud, Assistant Professor of Archaeology in An-Najah National University, Department of Tourism and Archaeology, Nablus, Palestine.


The aim of this study is to provide information on the most significant archaeological site in the Nablus area, demonstrating the presence of Samaritan archaeology in the landscape surrounding the city during the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods. The study of the site had previously been based on three different sources of information, those being descriptions of archaeological ruins and findings at the site, references in literature and inscriptions engraved in stone at the site. The Samaritan synagogue is not the only one in the region, there being others in various sites in the Nablus area. In documenting the site it was necessary to bear in mind that the site had formerly been looted for antiquities, and the fact that there has been a lack of interest in the site on the part of Israel, as it does not form part of their historic tradition. In addition, the site is located in zone C according to the Oslo Agreement of 1993 between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in which Palestinian lands were divided into zones A, B and C. The fact that Khirbet Dayr Sharaf is in zone C, means it comes under Israeli military control, preventing Palestinians from undertaking archaeological excavation without agreement from Israel; restoration and management of the site as well as any research or investigation of the archaeological remains also come under this ruling. Due to this, the site is currently in a state of abandonment and susceptible to further deterioration.



“Damascus was a cosmopolitan city during the Mamluk period (1250–1516). This Damascene niche contains typical Mamluk decorative elements, including slender rose columns, marble insets of simple geometric shapes, and relief decoration on the arch’s spandrels. It comes from the reception hall or ‘qa‘a’ of a Jewish Samaritan house, dating to the end of the Mamluk period, and its inscriptions are from the Old Testament. The Samaritan niche resembles a classic Mamluk ‘mihrab’ (a prayer niche in a mosque), which was the model for all domestic niches in Damascus’s houses.” — Professor Nasser Rabbat, co-curator of “Syria: A Living History”

Currently on display in our “Syria: A Living History” exhibition, on now until February 26, 2017. For more information, please visit: #SyriaLivingHistory

Inscription Panel
Damascus, Syria, 16th century
Stone, carved and painted
On loan from Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Vorderasiatisches Museum

Niche from a Samaritan House (Detail of a Digital Reproduction) Damascus, Syria, 16th century
On loan from Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Museum für Islamische Kunst

Aga Khan Museum


Jerusalem’s American Colony and Its Photographic Legacy BY TOM POWERS

[See page 34]

At Easter-time in 1914, Lewis Larsson, John Whiting, and Lars Lind traveled to Nablus. There, after gaining the confidence of the local Samaritans, they became probably the first photographers ever to document the colorful Samaritan Passover ceremony atop Mount Gerizim, as well as other aspects of Samaritan life. Their work was published in book form in Sweden in 1917 and somewhat later would result in their third National Geographic article, ―The Last Israelitish Blood Sacrifice‖ (January 1920). There is an interesting side-light to this Samaritan involvement, one which may help explain the access they gained to an otherwise closed community: In the wake of the visit to Nablus, John Whiting, with his diplomatic connections (he was at that time between stints as consul), seems to have helped establish contacts between the Samaritan community and the U.S. State Department and other American officials—and philanthropists, the upshot of which was a package of economic aid to the Samaritans!


[From the Editor: The photos that were taken may have been at different times, since John D. Whiting (1882-1951) says in The Last Israelitish Blood Sacrifice, that he had been to four (4) Samaritan Passovers, two before WW1 and two after. His first visit was as a youth and then in 1914 (see page 41 of the NGM)


From the Editor

I received an issue (#3634, 8.8.1996) of the Samaritan A.B.- The Samaritan News in Sept. 1996 on my first visit to Mount Gerizim. It was given to me by some person (Samir Chalil Altif is the name address) that was inside a temporary building set up for the excavations by Magen and his team. They had just two open areas and were just beginning their major work. Later, an Israeli soldier took the A-B, but I managed to rip off this corner which is now a memory.


 Samaritan Documents Relating to Their History Religion and Life, John Bowman, Pennsylvania: The Pickwick Press, 1977, p. 50-1

Al-Ma’on: in Hebrew that is the name for ‘homeland’. A home is not a home except for him who lives in it; and there is on one in the higher world who dwells in it and is no one in the higher world who dwells in it and is considered worthy of worshipping God other than them (the angels). As to their form, it is said to be divided into two groups; one of them, it is said, is of a unique shape. There is nothing in existence similar to compare with them, and they are those who are called the “Cherubim” and no mortal has seen them except the Apostle according to His saying (Exalted is He), “And he beholds the form of the Lord”.

It is said that their shapes are like those of human beings; a statement which is unacceptable in two respects: one of them is that had it been like that, His saying: “And he beholds the form of the Lord”, would have no meaning or point but His (form), because everyone can see human forms. The other is the fact of created beings coming into existence from God in the beginning without a comparable form. So when Wisdom decreed to give them a dwelling in the noble tabernacle erected by the hand of the Apostle, God (Exalted is He) commanded him that he should show their likeness to the artificers so that they should know that there were two cherubim, and the Veil, and that the likeness thereon be comparable to what was described to him, so that the Angels would yearn for their image because every kind likes most its own shape and form. And this is all that research and knowledge could attain in the knowledge of the form of the upper world.’

This was part of the discourse concerning the Angels from the Samaritan Abu’l Fath


Of interest mentioned in Bowman’s book, on page 265 is something quit unique;

‘The Hebrew work Tebah ark has the same consonants as Taheb. The Samaritan has a literal faith in the verbal inspiration of the Pentateuch. If one changes the order of the consonants in tbh (ark) to thb (Taheb) on is not interfering with the letters, but only with their order. To the Samaritan it would appear that there is a real indication of a Divine message to be conveyed to us by this accidental fact that the word ark in Hebrew and the word for the (Samaritan) Messiah in Aramaic (Taheb) have the same consonants though a different order.’


Concerning the dating of the Samaritan tin scrolls that were sold to tourists.

It appears that the dating of the small tin scrolls goes back at least to the spring of 1901 and 1904. [The date of Edward Kirk Warren’s (4.7.1847-1.16.1919) visit to the Samaritans is 1901 so written in the article, ‘The Samaritans’ in The Acorn Vol, XXVIII, No. 10, February 6, 1919, page 20]

‘The attendants at the Nablus synagogue sell little tin facsimiles of the case with brief extracts from the texts inside, in imitation of the original.’

Barton, William E. The Old World in the New Century: Being the Narrative of a Tour of the Mediterranean, Egypt and the Holy Land, With Some Information About the Voyage and Places Visited for the Benefit of Those Who have made the Journey and Wish to remember it: Those Who Hope to Make the Journey and Wish to Prepare for it; And Those Who cannot make the Journey and Wish to Read about it. Boston and Chicago: The Pilgrim Press, 1902 Page 207


‘As we left the synagogue, boys implored us to purchase little tin and paper models of the Pentateuch, or scraps of inscribed imitation vellum which they assured us were of great antiquity and value. A franc or less would purchase these “antiques,” and they made interesting mementoes, though nothing more.’ A Pilgrimage to Jerusalem: The Story of the Cruise to the World’s Fourth Sunday-School Convention, held in the City of Jerusalem, and of a Ride through Palestine, Charles Gallaudet Trumbull. Philadelphia: The Sunday School Times Company 1905 P. 236

This photograph shown below of High Priest Jacob was taken in 1904 as seen in Trumbull’s book A Pilgrimage to Jerusalem, between pages 282 and 283.



‘..and the young men were busy selling little models of the Pentatuch for all they could get out of them.’ The Hoosier Girl Abroad, a Diary of Seventy-Seven Days Attending the World’s Fourth Sunday School Convention, in Jerusalem, 1904 by Anna Robinson Black, Terre Haute, Ind.: C.W. Brown, 1904, Page 100


It should also be mentioned that Prof. Frederic Samuel Goodrich of Albion, Michigan was treasurer of the Samaritan Committee visited the Samaritans in 1914


 Mr. Edward Kirk Warren (photo left) ‘secured a remarkable set of lantern slides showing the life of the present day Samaritans, and giving many views of the Samaritan Passover.‘


The Medical Missionary, Vol, XXIII no. 5, May 1914 p.129

We are pleased to give in this number a report of an address by Mr. E. K. Warren relating to a-movement to preserve the remnant of the Samaritan nation which will be read with interest. A number of prominent men have taken an interest in this movement, and a Samaritan Committee has been organized to take the oversight of the work of assisting this remarkable people so miraculously preserved. A school has been established in this little community, and is doing a good work. Means are needed for its support, and other efforts are being made and projected in their behalf. This is not an effort to convert this little company to the Christian faith, but to conserve them as faithful witnesses for the veracity of the Bible. The committee will be happy to communicate with any who may be interested in this project, and to afford any information. Donations will be gratefully received. The officers are, Mr. E. K. Warren, Three Oaks, Mich., chairman; Prof. F. S. Goodrich, Albion, Mich., secretary.

The Medical Missionary, Vol, XXIII no. 5, May 1914 p.130-131

In conjunction with the visit of Mr. English was that of the genial and brotherly Sunday-school leader, Mr. E.K. Warren, for many years chairman of the executive committee of the World's Sunday School Association. Mr. Warren has acted very prominently in promoting at least three of the last World's Conventions. A few years before the great Jerusalem meeting, Mr. Warren visited the Samaritan colony consisting of the few genuine survivors of the northern kingdom of Israel. These people live at Nablus, ancient Shechem, and number about one hundred and fifty souls. They existed in the depths of poverty and destitution, and yet adhered very tenaciously to their ancient religion and its customs. Mr. Warren induced the high priest of this colony with others to attend the Jerusalem convention where they were introduced. He has conceived a great interest in this unique people as the conservators of evidence of the authenticity of the Scriptural record, and has done much for them to bring them before the world in this capacity, and also to improve their condition.


The Medical Missionary, Vol, XXIII no. 5, May 1914 p.149- 154


E. K. WARREN [Taken from an address in the Sanitarium Chapel.]

First permit me to say that my education and early experience has come to me largely through the Sunday school. My early home was in the forests of Michigan, where there was organized a little Sunday school and of that Sunday school I have been a member for more than fifty years, having been elected superintendent for life some years ago. When a boy of twelve or thirteen, I was a member of the young men's class, consisting of five girls and myself. During this changing period of my life, I was held in the Sunday school by a loving mother and a superintendent that had strength of character and the good sense necessary to keep me there, and so many things in my after life have hinged upon this fact, that I wish to emphasize it and the value of attendance upon Sunday school and the study of God's word.

In regard to the Samaritans of whom I am to speak, most people are ready to confess that they know but little. We know of the allusions made to them in the gospels, of the Parable of the good Samaritan, of Jesus visiting with the woman at the well, and the Samaritan city, of his rejection at the Samaritan village where he and his disciples sought entertainment and of the fact that the Jews and Samaritans had no dealings with each other.

There are certain things told us also in the Old Testament about them, but since the Scriptural days, they have passed comparatively out of our sight. We refer to them as among the lost tribes. Do they exist today? If so, where are they? What are they doing? What is the environment? What have they to look forward to for encouragement?

[photo left] Tent on the Jericho Road.

Permit me to answer these questions catechetically as follows:

They do exist today. They are planted right where they have been for the past two or three thousand years. They are not doing much of anything. Their circumstances are those of the most object poverty, and obscurity, and from a human view point there is not much in the future that serves to encourage them. But it is not sufficient for us to judge of such matters from the human view point alone. Let us rather seek to discover God's purpose and blessing in the solution of such questions. To my mind there is a great "mine" of Bible study for us in the circumstances of these unique people, all undiscovered and unused, and yet ready to be brought forth and utilized in confirming our faith in the Bible that God has given us. They are living exhibits of the truthfulness of the Scriptures. To many people nowadays, the Bible is an old book becoming obsolete, a sort of "back number" as we express it, because of the many claims and assertions of modern science and investigation, but in these people we have an absolute, living example in the year 1914, a positive testimony of the truthfulness of the Bible record from the call of Abraham, down to the present moment, and is it not worth our while to recognize this wonderful testimony and to have a part in preserving this living exhibit for its value in relation to Bible truth?

My first introduction to this people was that of many other travelers. Fourteen or fifteen years ago, with Mrs. Warren and our children, we were journeying through Palestine from Jerusalem to Damascus on horseback, and palanquin. We came to the ancient Shechem, modern Nablus with Mt. Gerizim on one hand and Mt. Ebal on the other.

On the summit of Mt. Gerizim the passover is still celebrated by the people year by year. Among the objects which we were taken by our dragoman to see, was the little Samaritan synagogue and the squalid quarters in which the Samaritans were living. We were hurried through the process, as only two hours were given to us in connection with these people, but I made the acquaintance of the priests at this time, and three years later I made some effort to cultivate a closer acquaintance with them, giving to some of my friends letters of introduction to the high priest. As chairman of the Central Committee having charge of the world's Sunday school convention in Jerusalem, it grew on me to utilize this people in that great meeting. I invited the priest and some of his leading men to come to the convention, which they did. The convention was held in a tent pitched outside of the walls, and within a stone's throw of Calvary. Coming into this peculiar environment they received a welcome from the individuals and bodies assembled in the convention. The high priest sat upon the platform with two or three of the principal men of the nation. They had come from their home by the ancient caravan as they preserved in all things the ancient order of living enjoined upon the Levites, washings, the purification, and all the other ceremonials. They do not live in hotels, for this would be contaminating. They lived in their tents and thus they were able to preserve with strictness their ancient modes of living.

The high priest being called upon, stepped forward, holding in his hand a manuscript from which he read in Hebrew to that great body of people assembled in the name of Jesus Christ, from all over the world, an address of welcome to Jerusalem and Palestine. After he had finished reading, a man stepped forward and receiving the manuscript from the hand of the priest, said to the audience, "The high priest has extended to you an address of welcome written in Hebrew, to you who have come here to this convention in the name of the Lord Jesus, and I, a converted Jew, am to interpret it to you in English."

[photo] Samaritan children.

In order that we may see more clearly the significance of that scene, let us think of the marvelous talk Jesus had with the woman at the well; how he sought to level down the barriers which separated men. presenting God as the father of all men, the Gospel as a means of salvation to all men. It is remarkable that it was to this poor Samaritan woman that Jesus first announced himself as the "Messiah of God," and the people who brought from our Saviour's lips that wonderful confession, are certainly worth our while.

In the years that have followed that remarkable convention at Jerusalem, I have given any assistance that I could to this people. Dr. Wm. E. Barton, of Oak Park. 111., has visited them and has translated some of their history into the English language, and other travelers have also been of assistance in bringing this people out of their obscurity. There are less than one hundred and fifty of them remaining and there are more men than women. They are gradually dying out, preserved through all these centuries by God's providence for some great purpose. To me, they are like the wounded man left half dead by the wayside who was rescued by the "good Samaritan" and it now becomes our privilege to act the part which the Samaritan acted in the days of our Saviour; "the priest, and the Levite," and the nations of the earth pass by and leave them lying there, a living testimony to the truths of God's word throughout all its historical bearing.

In making some of the earlier preparations for the world's Sunday school convention in Zurich, I had some correspondence with the high priest thinking that it might be wise to reproduce in some measure what took place in Jerusalem. In response to my communication, I received a large sheet of paper or parchment written on one side in Arabic and signed by the high priest and sixteen other men. It read as follows:

Nablus, Feb. 6, 1913. "To Our Dear Friend Mr. Warren:

"I sent you a letter before this in which, according to your kind request, I explained to you plainly the needs of our Samaritan congregation. I have lately received from your friend, Mr. Jacob, in Jerusalem, a letter in which he says that you have asked him to let me know that my presence in the Sunday school convention with some of our congregation will better serve our interests; and to ask me whether our religion allows us to travel. In reply to your kind invitation I am sorry to say that the time of the meeting of the convention will be the time of the celebration of our Passover. To leave its celebration is a breach of God's covenant. Neither can we celebrate it in any other place than Mt. Gerizim. Another thing is that my old age does not help me to travel; and those

of my congregation who are very much attached to their sacred religion do not agree to my leaving my office.

[photo is not as described] Tomb of Patriarch Joseph.

"As you are the first to offer to help our congregation, which is waiting with hard patience on your kindness for help to enable her to improve her wretched condition, therefore they offer up their intense prayers for you. And the congregation, one and all, put the matter into your hand and ask you to be their representative in the coming convention and to set forth our impediment and excuse for not being able to be present. We hope that you will avail yourself of a good opportunity during the meeting of the convention and set before the whole members the pitiful state of our congregation with its poverty and misery —things which break the heart.

"I and my congregation thank you very much. We have sent you this letter and petition signed by the chief men of our congregation who unite in supplication for your safety and well being.

"With kindest regards and respect, we are yours truly."

(Signatures and Seals.)

I presented this document to the Sunday school convention and regard it as invaluable as a remarkable historical document, produced by a nation more than 4,000 years of age, appointing me as a representative to plead their cause be

fore the Christian representatives of all the nations of the world.

Many of the members of this convention, including Mr. H. T. Heinz, of Pittsburg, were making extended journeys into the Orient, the Far East and around the world. There were also representatives in the convention from the Far East. Professor Goodrich, of Albion, with thirty or forty others, was contemplating a visit to Palestine. I urged these people to take pains to become as thoroughly familiar with the conditions of the Samaritans as possible. I provided him with letters of introduction to the high priest. When Prof. Goodrich and his party reached Jacob's well, they found a delegation consisting of the three priests standing there to receive them. They extended to them a cordial welcome and showed them all they could of their present situation, and of their past history, led them up Gerizim, and showed them the sacred place where they hold the passover every year. Though subject to the ridicule of the Moslems and many strangers, they go about their regular performance of their ancient customs and usages.

Our effort in their behalf is to enable them to maintain their standing as Samaritans. They are too valuable to be lost. God has in a remarkable manner preserved these people as genuine witnesses of the authenticity and reliability of the Bible record.

Among other things which they showed this party, was an ancient manuscript said to have been written by the son of Eleazer, the high priest, only four generations from Aaron, which is undoubtedly the oldest Hebrew manuscript in existence. They rightfully hold this manuscript to be above all price. At this convention, a Samaritan committee was organized, of which Prof. F. S. Goodrich was made secretary and treasurer, and I was appointed chairman; the object of this committee is to assist the Samaritans in maintaining their national life and in exhibiting to the world the precious treasures which they hold. They needed a school among other things and a school has been "organized by our committee and is being carried forward in their midst. A letter received from the high priest this morning, informs me that there are twenty-four boys and young men in the men's department, and an effort is being made to rent a building for a girl's department.


The Medical Missionary Vol. XXIII, No. 6, June 1914 p. 176-177



As concerning the Samaritan nation and the efforts to assist them in appearing in their proper character before the world, concerning which Mr. E. K. Warren spoke in our last number, we give here an abstract of the communication sent by Mr. Warren as Chairman of the Samaritan Committee to the Samaritan high priest Jacob, son of Aaron, under date of October 7, 1913. "Dear Friend:

"While you have not heard from me directly, I have given much thought and attention to the plans which I hope will be laid for the assistance of the Samaritan nation. In order that you may quite fully understand our desire and object in assisting your people I wish to make the following statement of our purpose:

"From the time that I first visited your congregation in 1901, I have taken much interest in your people, in devising -ways in which we might extend practical brotherly assistance to your nation. One of the first steps in this direction was inviting you with some of your members to the World's Sunday School Convention in Jerusalem. This called the attention of a large number of Christians from all parts of the world to your people and somewhat to their condition. This visit has been followed by correspondence and by the visit of some of my friends to your people, among them Dr. Wm. E. Barton, who have in many ways manifested a great interest in your people. You have showed your appreciation of this interest by appointing me the representative of the Samaritan congregation or nation at the World's Sunday School Convention in Zurich.

"From that time I have given the matter a great deal of thought and spoken of it much in personal conversation and also in public, seeking to awaken as wide an interest in your people as possible.

'' The first public meeting in behalf of this enterprise was held in the main salon of the steamer Canopic. This meeting was well attended and a great deal of interest was taken by those present. An offering toward the fund of the Samaritan Committee was taken.

"At the Zurich Convention, I took the opportunity for a brief presentation of your needs and our hope of being able to render practical assistance and also your request for a school, together with a statement of the manner in which your nation is preserving the ancient worship of Israel. A special meeting was held during the convention in the interests of your people. About three hundred were present, some of whom had recently visited your community, including Principal Rexford of Canada, and Professor F. S. Goodrich, of Michigan. This company you and your associates met and welcomed at Jacob's Well and I appreciate the hospitality and courtesy which you bestowed upon them. This company, fresh from their visit to you, greatly helped in awakening an interest in your people.

"We formed there what is to be known as the Samaritan Committee, of which Prof. F. S. Goodrich, of Albion, Michigan, was chosen Secretary and Treasurer and E. K. Warren, of Three Oaks, Michigan, was chosen Chairman, and the further working out of plans was delegated to this committee.

'' Let me say here that it has not been in the minds of the members of this committee or of others with whom I have consulted to in any way interfere with or question your religious belief. Our committee is organized for the purpose of serving your nation in the same-spirit that the good Samaritan went to the assistance and relief of the man who had fallen among thieves, as given in the Parables of our Lord Jesus Christ. So far as the religious instruction in the school is concerned, this will be in your care as high priest, either to give the instruction, or to designate those who shall give it. Our present thought is that the Arabic, Samaritan and Hebrew languages shall be taught in your school. You have asked that the English language be included, but on further consideration we have thought it best to start the school in the languages above mentioned. It is our desire that the girls receive such education as is suited to them as well as the boys, and this I understand to be satisfactory to your people. Our reason for not including the English language in your school may be stated as follows:

"The Samaritans stand as the sole representatives of the Northern kingdom as the Jews stand for the Southern kingdom. The Samaritans have preserved a continued line of the priesthood and have maintained at the cost of suffering and sacrifice your worship on Gerizim, and thus the preservation of your people intact as a nation, is a most valuable consideration from a historical and religious point of view to all people and the line of education and effort to be made until the Lord more clearly shows the way, is found in the preservation of the Samaritan nation as such. It is important that there should not creep in among your people any division, but that from the least to the greatest, every- man, woman and child shall stand for the unity of the Samaritan nation.

"I am stating these hopes and purposes of the Committee in order that you and your people may grasp your portion of the responsibility of this effort which I believe is of great interest, not only to the Samaritans, Jews and Christians, but to all people of the world.'

"Sincerely your friend,                                                            "E. K. Warren."


The Medical Missionary Vol. XXIII, No. 7, July 1914 p. 195-197



Mr. E. K. Warren, who, with others, has become interested in the remnant of the ancient Israel or the Northern Kingdom, as differentiated from the Southern or Judean kingdom, has furnished our columns with much that is of interest concerning the modern remnant of that people as it now exists in Nablus, and there is very much of thrilling interest that centers in that little company and their unique history, extending as it does away back to the immediate descendants of David.

But the object of this article is to speak of the Samaritans as they are represented in the Old and New Testaments. We have become more or less tinctured with the prejudices exhibited by the Jews toward their neighbors. To the self-righteous Pharisees they were but despicable "dogs," with whom no communication was to be held. The Samaritans aspired to participation in the Jewish religion, but were met with the severest rebuffs at each attempt at affiliation made by them. At the time of the Restoration, after the seventy years' captivity, the Samaritan tribes came forward with offers of assistance in the work of rebuilding, and they offered the plea that they worshipped the same God as the Jews and had faithfully preserved that worship through many years of discouragement, but their offer was forcibly rejected. Perhaps it ought to have been rejected.

Origin of the Samaritans

A few words concerning the origin of this people will be in place here. After the division of the kingdom succeeding the days of Solomon there follows a continuous record of strife, internal and external, during a history that is characterized by apostasy and unfaithfulness, and at many times the most astounding wickedness and idolatry. The people and the land were given into captivity and were reduced to abject submission. But they were restive under such subjection and gave their captors no small trouble. In order to forestall these outbreaks of insubordination the king of Assyria. Esarhaddon, determined to remove the people of the Samaritan kingdom to his Eastern provinces where they could be more easily kept under surveillance, and to fill the vacant places with people from those countries into which the people of Israel were taken. The (to some people) troublesome question of what became of the "lost ten tribes" is thus settled.

Not a clean sweep was made in this transportation, for only the more wealthy and influential people were transported, while many of the indigent toilers were left in the land of Samaria. The people who were moved in sought to affiliate with the religious customs of the country to which they had come, but God did not accept their uncouth attempts to imitate his worship, and trouble resulted to them. They then sent back to their old country and begged that one of the priests of Israel be sent to teach them how to conduct the worship acceptably. This was done, and the worship was established on Mount Gerizim, where, until after the days of Christ, it was carried on, and where to this day it is still perpetuated. These Syrians .sought amalgamation with the people of Israel, and thus the Samaritans became, as a whole, a mixed race—the blood of Israel was blended with that of the people of Mesopotamia, and this mixture became very obnoxious to the Jews. It is recorded of this people who came from the East that "They feared the Lord, and served their own gods," doubtless not knowing into whose hands they might fall next. This sort of a religion seems to have satisfied them through all the years, though probably there were many devout hearts who looked eagerly for the Messiah and desired better relations to God. The purity of the race has been preserved by this remnant already spoken of, who were of the priestly or Levitical tribe, and did not intermarry with the Syrian strangers.

At the Time of the Saviour

The relations between the Jews and Samaritans had settled down to a chronic hatred cherished on both sides; all communications were barricaded by the Jews who steadfastly refused comity with them. But the glimpses we have of these people in the New Testament record, if considered, would place them in a more favorable situation than were their proud and self-satisfied neighbors. Jesus and the apostles frequently traversed Samaritan territory, and did not fail to give to the people the light of saving grace. It is worth remembering that the first effort of Jesus to propagate his teachings, except by personal contact. so far as is recorded, was to the people of Sychar where he assented to an earnest invitation to tarry with them for two days in which many were led to believe.

Meeting the Samaritan woman at the well, he astonished his disciples by engaging in conversation with "the woman;" for it was not customary for a man of standing to spend much time in conversation with women, especially a Jewish teacher with Samaritan women. Jesus did not recognize their conventionalities which ignored the rights of all men to light and life. Indeed, it was to this despised woman that he first announced who he was. Others had confessed the truth, but to her astonished sense this gracious Teacher, who searched her life and heart with eyes of loving critic(ism, declared himself to be the long-expected Messiah, the Saviour of the world. He announced the coming of the time when the barriers which had so long debarred people from the light and salvation provided by Heaven were to be swept away and the open door of hope and mercy would welcome all the earth.

And He Was a Samaritan

When the lepers were healed, but one bethought himself to offer thanks for the great blessing that had come to them, "and he was a Samaritan." The Saviour had an appreciation of the superior disposition of the Samaritans when he stated that beautiful parable that has so charmed all succeeding generations that the name "Good Samaritan" is a common term in all Bible language. The priest of holy orders, and the Levite of sanctimonious standing, had no feeling of pity for the poor wretch who was unknown to them all, but the Samaritan recognized in him a brother in dire need, and at his own discomfort undertook to relieve him.

According to the Saviour's commission Judea was first to have the Gospel offered her, and then it was to go to Samaria, and thence to "the uttermost parts of the earth." After the awful rejection of the Gospel by the Jewish leaders which resulted in the death of Stephen, and the first general persecution of Christians. Philip went to Samaria and there preached and healed, and the record says, "The people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spoke . . .

"And There Was Great Joy in That City"

After their prejudices had been removed by divine power, Peter and John took great delight in preaching to the Samaritans, and no doubt a large ingathering of souls resulted. It is true that the Saviour at one time felt the prejudice of the people at the Samaritan village where he and his weary disciples applied for entertainment, and though the hot indignation of the Jewish disciples, especially of John, resented the insult, Jesus rebuked the spirit which would have burned up the whole community, and "went to another village." These people were but following out the prevailing embargo of relations imposed upon them by the Jews themselves. Jesus could have patience with them for he '' came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them."

We sometimes fall into the way of despising people just because others despise them, without really knowing what or why we are doing. From all that we can gather from the New Testament references to the Samaritans, they were a hospitable, kind people, given to acts of kindness, grateful and appreciative of anything that was done for them and especially grateful to anyone who would afford to them the ordinary recognition to which as human beings they were certainly entitled. They were very susceptible to the Gospel, and doubtless many of them in those early days embraced the faith of the Saviour.


The Medical Missionary Vol. XXIII, No. 8, August 1914 p. 227

The article appearing in our July number entitled "The Samaritans of Bible Times" has attracted some attention and there have been inquiries for it, so that a reprint has been published and may be obtained in desired quantities by addressing this office.


Proceedings of the Church Missionary Society for Africa and the East. Ninety-Fourth Year, 1892-93 London: Church Missionary House, 1893. p. 68-69


A quiet year is reported by the Rev. J. Huber; the schools, Bible depot, classes, and visiting were conducted without opposition or interference by the local authorities. Unhappily there was no medical missionary at Gaza during the greater part of the year, but this need has now been supplied by the arrival of Rev. B. Sterling.


The Church Services in this bigoted Mohammedan city are (Nablous) attended by between thirty and forty souls, and classes are held, as at the other stations, in the schoolroom and in the homes of the Protestant Christians for the study of the Scriptures. The schools contain 46 children, of whom 24 are Protestants, 33 Greek, 5 Jews, and 4 Samaritans. Of the Samaritans Miss E. G. Reeve says :—

The Samaritan remnant lives here, 140 in number. They are a tall fair- haired race, and interesting in their antiquity. They observe the law of Moses most scrupulously, and recognize the Pentateuch only as the Word of God. The High Priest came to visit me, and when I questioned him as to his opinion of Jesus of Nazareth, he replied that Moses had foretold that a prophet should arise and call himself Messiah, and that prophet should be “crucified.” This statement I could not accept, and I gave him the Bible, asking to what passage he referred. He hesitated, so I showed him Deut. xviii. 19, and he then read verse 20 : “Even that prophet shall die.” And that was all the ground he had for saying it had been foretold by Moses that Jesus should be crucified. I asked if the yearly Passover sacrifice took away sin. He replied, “No ; that sacrifice is merely commemorative. We expect to purge our sin by prayer, to enter heaven by prayer, and by the intercession of Moses.” One longs for this interesting people, that the veil may be lifted from their hearts.


Samaritan Passover Encampment on Mount Gerizim page 208 in Missionary Journeys through Bible Lands; Italy, Greece, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor and other countries, Including a Description of Religious and Social Conditions in Palestine and Syria, Personal Missionary Experiences, and a Discussion of Missionary Methods by Smith, F. G. (Frederick George 1880-1947) Anderson, Indiana: Gospel Trumpet Company, 1915




WHEN the Assyrians seized the land of Israel and carried away captive the flower of its people, they filled their places with various folk from the East. See Ezra iv. 9 fol. The religious condition resulting was a queer admixture of Eastern heathenism and Hebrew faith.

The efforts of Zerubbabel and Joshua to rebuild the temple after the return from Babylon was greeted by an offer of help from this hybrid community, the Samaritans,—an offer unceremoniously rejected. This led to serious opposition from the Samaritans; and later when Ezra arrived on the scene of the restored and struggling community, he applied such severe tests that the Samaritans were driven out and established a new sect who held that Gerizim was the center of the religious world instead of Jerusalem. From that day onward “there were no dealings between the Jews and the Samaritans.” But the latter had the Pentateuch, and were not without a Messianic hope. See John iv. 25. The pamphlet under review is an interesting witness to the persistent survival of a prejudice. At Nablous exists to-day a handful of this ancient community, born in strife, nurtured in hate, maintaining, as they did in the time of Christ, that Gerizim, not Jerusalem, is the religious world's Mecca, and patiently waiting for the Messiah.

The Messianic hope here outlined is based on the nineteenth chapter of Deuteronomy, said by the author not to be found in the scriptures of the Jews. This hope of the coming prophet is supported by ten reasons, though it would be hard for a modern mind to find either reasons or reasoning in this rabbinical output. In reply to questions put by Mr. Barton, who writes an introduction to the pamphlet, the author says further that the Messiah will be a prophet, but not in any sense a Son of God; that the promise of the seed of the woman has no Messianic significance whatever; that there is nothing in prophecy to indicate whether or not the Messiah will be of the priestly line; that the Passover will continue after the Messiah has come. The pamphlet is well illustrated, and will prove a very interesting half-hour's reading. J. H. STEVENSON. Vanderbilt University.


*The Messianic Hope of the Samaritans. By Jacob, son of Aaron, High Priest of the Samaritans. Translated from the Arabic by Abdulla Ben Kori, Professor of Arabic at the Pacific University. Edited, with an Introduction, by William Eleazer Barton. Reprinted from The Open Court, May and September, 1907. Price, 25 cents.

The Methodist Review Quarterly Edited by Gross Alexander, April, 1909 P. 388-9



A Visit to Bible Lands

Chapter 14.

By The Rev. C. J. Helmich



Nablus, ancient Shechem, a flat-roofed city, save for a few modern red-tile, gable-roofed buildings has a population of 20,000, 800 of whom are Christian (Catholic). Our noon-day meal awaits us in “The Palestine Hotel” and is quite elaborate even of not up to American standards, and certainly the best the proprietor could do. From the second story balcony of the Hotel we see Ebal and Gerizim rise as sentinels, the latter disclosing an old building on its summit close to the spot where the Samaritans still off the Passover Sacrifice.

Samaritan Quarters.

The little Samaritan section of Nablus, with its 120 survivors living under filthy, crowded conditions, with streets narrow and winding, has a strange appeal nevertheless. Remember this is Saturday, the Jewish and Samaritan Sabbath. In the courtyard of the Synagogue we wait until a priest arrives to open one lock on the triple-barred door of the tiny synagogue. The other two priests have to be disturbed from a service elsewhere in order to unlock their third of the door. We are permitted to view the ancient scroll of the Law- the Pentateuch (said to have been copied by the third son of Aaron) priced by the Senior Rabbi at a fabulous sum. The favor to us is exceedingly great it itself, so that the taking of pictures is not allowed on the Sabbath. Here then is the community of that diminishing band of Samaritans, living a narrow, self-centered life.

Two words, conservative and exclusive, sum up what we have seen. The Samaritan tradition certainly is being doggedly maintained. Leaving the stifling confines of Samaritanism, we return to the Hotel….

The Wachovia Moravian (Winston-Salem, N.C., Vol. LI, No. 6, June 1932, p. 11, 12






Bonnard, Christophe. 

Asfår Asāṭīr, le "Livre des Légendes", une réécriture araméenne du Pentateuque samaritain : présentation, édition critique, traduction et commentaire philologique, commentaire comparatif : Asfår Asāṭīr (Asfar Asâtîr) the "Book of Legends", an Aramaic rewriting of the Samaritan Pentateuch : presentation, critical edition, translation with philological commentary, interpretative commentary. Thesis 2015,


Crown, Alan D.

The Samaritans, their Literature and the Codicology of their Manuscripts, Bulletin of the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society 1996-97, Volume 15. Pp. 87-104


Durward, J.T.

Holy Land and Holy Writ, Wisconsin: The Pilgrim Publishing Company 1913


Elton, Benjamin J.

Why is Samaritan Bread Like Pork? A neo-Structuralist Reading of Shevi’it 8:10


Evans, Jane D.

From Mountain to Icon: Mt. Gerizim on Provincial Coins from Neapolis, Samaria in Near Eastern Archaeology 74:2 (2011) p. 170-182


Finkel, Joshua

“Jewish, Christian, and Samaritan Influences on Arabia in The Macdonald Presentation Volume New York: Books For Libraries Press, Inc. 1968, pp. 145-166


Hensel, Benedirkt

Juda und Samaria. Zum Verhältnis zweier nachexilischer Jahwismen_FAT 1 (110)_Inhaltsverzeichnis und engl. 2016 Summary


[Judah and Samaria. On the Relationship of Two Post-Exilic YHWH-Communities.]
Published in German.
Benedikt Hensel presents in this volume new insights on the emergence of the Old Testament and Judaism. Starting with the Mt. Gerizim Yahwists, who were later identified as “Samaritans”, the author investigates their relationship to their Judean counterparts in the post-exile period (600–100 BCE) by using all the currently available Samarian archaeological, iconographic, numismatic and epigraphical sources. He also simultaneously evaluates the literary testimonies of the Old Testament and later Jewish traditions, esp. Ezra-Nehemiah, the books of the Chronicles and 2 Kings 17. The religious-sociological and -political developments hereby demonstrated lead to the conclusion that there were two Yawhistic communities in Judah and Samaria existing side-by-side and in communication with one another in post-exile Palestine.


Hjelm, Ingrid

Lost and Found? A Non-Jewish Israel from the Merneptah Stele to the Byzantine Period in History, Archaeology and the Bible Forty Years After “Historicity” Routledge, 2016


Huang, JengZen

A Quantitative Study of the Vocalization of the Inseparable Prepositions in the Hebrew Bible. Thesis – University of Toronto 2015


Levy, David B

14, 19th & 20th C Extraordinary Scholar Librarians In Their Historical Context and the Post-modern Risk of Extinction of the Scholar librarian


Merrony, Mark W.

Socio-economic aspects of the Byzantine mosaic pavements of Phoenicia and northern Palestine Thesis 2002


Rambach, A. D’Ottone

Manuscripts as Mirrirs of a Multilingal and Multicultrual Society. The Case of the Damascus find in Convivencia in Byzantium? Cultural Exchanges in a Multi-Ethnic and Multi-Lingual Society, edited by B. Crostini-S. La Porta, Trier, Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, 2013 (Bochumer Altertumswissenschaftliches Colloquium; Bd. 96), pp. 63-88

Abstract: This paper is the text of a conference I gave in Dublin in 2010. My first paper dedicated to the find of the Qubbat al-khazna was published, with my late colleague prof. Paolo Radiciotti (02.10.1961-02.04.2012), as early as 2008 (see "Nea Rhome" 5). I was pleased to see how inspiring our 2008 article has been: some colleagues used it extensively in 2011. 
In the year 1900, inside the Qubbat al-khazna (the Umayyad Great Mosque courtyard), an important discovery was made: there were found documents related to the very same mosque, certificates of pilgrimage to Mecca, Qur’anic fragments, Arabic and Turkish literary texts, parchment fragments in Latin language and script, as well as Latin fragments in Greek script, fragments in old French, Hebrew (also Samaritan texts), Armenian, Coptic, Syriac, Aramaic, as well as in Greek – attested both in Greek language and script and in Arabic language and Greek script. The entire ensemble of manuscripts dates back to the period spanning from the Late Antiquity to Modern times."


Scott, Jennie

A Pilgrimage to Canaan, Iowa: Perkins Bros. Co. 1908


Seaton, Daniel P.

The Land of Promise, or the Bible Land and Its Revelation: Illustrated with Several Engravings of Some of the Most Important Places in Palestine and Syria. Philadelphia: Publishing House of the A,M.E. Church 1895


Tigchelaar, Eibert

Post-2002 Dead Sea Scrolls Fishy Fragments- or Forgeries?


Trumbull, Charles Gallaudet

A Pilgrimage to Jerusalem: The Story of the Cruise to the World’s Fourth Sunday-School Convention, held in the City of Jerusalem, and of a Ride through Palestine, Philadelphia: The Sunday School Times Company 1905


Zeron, Alexander

‘Einige Bemerkungen Zu M. F. Collins, the Hidden Vessels in Samaritan Traditions"’ in Journal for the Study of Judaism, Volume 4, Issue 2, pages 165 – 168 Publication Year : 1973



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