Are there still Samarians

Keyword: Samaritans

Samaritans are the people who live in the central Palestinian mountains in and around the city of Samaria.

In 722 BC The Assyrians had conquered this area and consolidated it into an administrative unit, the province of Samaria. In order to prevent uprisings in defeated countries from the outset, the Assyrians often resettled the population. So here too: The upper class of the Israelites was brought to Assyria and replaced by foreign peoples from other subject countries. (2 Kings 17: 5-6, 2 Kings 17:24)

A mixed population of remaining Israelites and foreigners now lived in Samaria. They worshiped both the God of Israel and the gods from the various countries of origin (2 Kings 17:24-41). Of the Judeans who returned from exile in Babylon, the Samaritans were not recognized as Israelites, and their help in rebuilding the temple was rejected (Ezra 4: 1-5).

Around 440 BC BC there was a renewal movement in Jerusalem: Ezra and Nehemiah, among other things, turned against mixed marriages between Israelites and non-Israelites, especially among the priests. A group of priests (some of whom led such mixed marriages themselves) then left the temple in Jerusalem and joined the Samaritans. They founded their own sanctuary on Mount Gerizim. This led to the final separation of the Samaritans from the Jerusalem community. Because for the Judeans it was irrevocably clear that the Jerusalem temple is the only lawful place to offer sacrifices to God.

The Samaritans saw themselves as keepers of the old faith. They interpreted Mount Garizim as the place prescribed for worship in Deuteronomy 12: 5-12. They only recognized the five books of Moses as holy scriptures. They rejected later writings, especially the books of the prophets. They accused the Judeans of having distanced themselves from the old Israelite faith during the time of the Babylonian exile.

128 BC BC the temple on the Gerizim was destroyed by the Hasmonean Hyrkan. Nevertheless, the Samaritans stuck to the importance of the mountain. The Roman rule over Samaria from 63 BC. BC gave the pagan population and also the Samaritans greater independence.

The Samaritans, like the Jews, expected a savior. In contrast to the Jews, however, not a king, but a prophet like Moses.

At the time of Jesus, the Samaritans were considered to be false believers among the Jews. They and their country were despised and shunned by the pious. Jesus, on the other hand, did not evade the Samaritans. According to the Gospel of Luke, on the way from Galilee to Jerusalem, he passed through the middle of the Samaritan territory and did not shy away from meeting Samaritans (Luke 9: 52-56). They too can come to believe (Luke 17: 11-19; John 4: 1-42). The story of the good Samaritan (Luke 10: 29-37) reminds all pious people that even those who are not expected can show exemplary charity.

Even today there is a small religious community of Samaritans.

Capital of the northern kingdom of Israel, ruled by the Assyrians in 722 BC. Conquered.