Samaria and surrounding area

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1 Kings 13:32 For the saying which he cried by the word of Yahweh against the altar in Bethel, and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria, will surely happen."

1 Kings 16:24 He bought the hill Samaria of Shemer for two talents of silver; and he built on the hill, and called the name of the city which he built, after the name of Shemer, the owner of the hill, Samaria.

1 Kings 16:28 So Omri slept with his fathers, and was buried in Samaria; and Ahab his son reigned in his place.

1 Kings 16:29 In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel: and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years.

1 Kings 16:32 He reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria.

1 Kings 18:2 Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. The famine was severe in Samaria.

1 Kings 20:1 Ben Hadad the king of Syria gathered all his army together; and there were thirty-two kings with him, and horses and chariots: and he went up and besieged Samaria, and fought against it.

1 Kings 20:10 Ben Hadad sent to him, and said, "The gods do so to me, and more also, if the dust of Samaria shall suffice for handfuls for all the people who follow me."

1 Kings 20:17 The young men of the princes of the provinces went out first; and Ben Hadad sent out, and they told him, saying, "Men are coming out from Samaria."

1 Kings 20:34 Ben Hadad said to him, "The cities which my father took from your father I will restore. You shall make streets for yourself in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria." "I," said Ahab, "will let you go with this covenant." So he made a covenant with him, and let him go.

1 Kings 20:43 The king of Israel went to his house sullen and angry, and came to Samaria.

1 Kings 21:1 It happened after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.

1 Kings 21:18 "Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who dwells in Samaria. Behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, where he has gone down to take possession of it.

1 Kings 22:10 Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah were sitting each on his throne, arrayed in their robes, in an open place at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them.

1 Kings 22:37 So the king died, and was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria.

1 Kings 22:38 They washed the chariot by the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood where the prostitutes washed themselves; according to the word of Yahweh which he spoke.

1 Kings 22:51 Ahaziah the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned two years over Israel.

2 Kings 1:2 Ahaziah fell down through the lattice in his upper chamber that was in Samaria, and was sick. So he sent messengers, and said to them, "Go, inquire of Baal Zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I will recover of this sickness."

2 Kings 1:3 But the angel of Yahweh said to Elijah the Tishbite, "Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and tell them,'Is it because there is no God in Israel, that you go to inquire of Baal Zebub, the god of Ekron?

2 Kings 2:25 He went from there to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria.

2 Kings 3:1 Now Jehoram the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned twelve years.

2 Kings 3:6 King Jehoram went out of Samaria at that time, and mustered all Israel.

2 Kings 5:3 She said to her mistress, "I wish that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! Then he would heal him of his leprosy."

2 Kings 6:19 Elisha said to them, "This is not the way, neither is this the city. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek." He led them to Samaria.

2 Kings 6:20 It happened, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said, "Yahweh, open the eyes of these men, that they may see." Yahweh opened their eyes, and they saw; and behold, they were in the midst of Samaria.

2 Kings 6:24 It happened after this, that Benhadad king of Syria gathered all his army, and went up and besieged Samaria.

2 Kings 6:25 There was a great famine in Samaria. Behold, they besieged it, until a donkey's head was sold for eighty pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a kab of dove's dung for five pieces of silver.

2 Kings 7:1 Elisha said, "Hear the word of Yahweh. Thus says Yahweh,'Tomorrow about this time a measure of fine flour will be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.'"

2 Kings 7:6 For the Lord had made the army of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great army: and they said one to another, Behold, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come on us.

2 Kings 7:18 It happened, as the man of God had spoken to the king, saying, "Two measures of barley for a shekel, and a measure of fine flour for a shekel, shall be tomorrow about this time in the gate of Samaria;"

2 Kings 10:1 Now Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. Jehu wrote letters, and sent to Samaria, to the rulers of Jezreel, even the elders, and to those who brought up the sons of Ahab, saying,

2 Kings 10:12 He arose and departed, and went to Samaria. As he was at the shearing house of the shepherds on the way,

2 Kings 10:17 When he came to Samaria, he struck all who remained to Ahab in Samaria, until he had destroyed him, according to the word of Yahweh, which he spoke to Elijah.

2 Kings 10:35 Jehu slept with his fathers; and they buried him in Samaria. Jehoahaz his son reigned in his place.

2 Kings 10:36 The time that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty-eight years.

2 Kings 13:1 In the three and twentieth year of Joash the son of Ahaziah, king of Judah, Jehoahaz the son of Jehu began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned seventeen years.

2 Kings 13:6 Nevertheless they didn't depart from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, with which he made Israel to sin, but walked therein: and there remained the Asherah also in Samaria.)

2 Kings 13:9 Jehoahaz slept with his fathers; and they buried him in Samaria: and Joash his son reigned in his place.

2 Kings 13:10 In the thirty-seventh year of Joash king of Judah began Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned sixteen years.

2 Kings 13:13 Joash slept with his fathers; and Jeroboam sat on his throne: and Joash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel.

2 Kings 14:14 He took all the gold and silver, and all the vessels that were found in the house of Yahweh, and in the treasures of the king's house, the hostages also, and returned to Samaria.

2 Kings 14:16 Jehoash slept with his fathers, and was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel; and Jeroboam his son reigned in his place.

2 Kings 14:23 In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel began to reign in Samaria, and reigned forty-one years.

2 Kings 15:8 In the thirty-eighth year of Azariah king of Judah did Zechariah the son of Jeroboam reign over Israel in Samaria six months.

2 Kings 15:13 Shallum the son of Jabesh began to reign in the thirty-ninth year of Uzziah king of Judah; and he reigned for a month in Samaria.

2 Kings 15:14 Menahem the son of Gadi went up from Tirzah, and came to Samaria, and struck Shallum the son of Jabesh in Samaria, and killed him, and reigned in his place.

2 Kings 15:17 In the nine and thirtieth year of Azariah king of Judah began Menahem the son of Gadi to reign over Israel, and reigned ten years in Samaria.

2 Kings 15:23 In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekahiah the son of Menahem began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned two years.

2 Kings 15:25 Pekah the son of Remaliah, his captain, conspired against him, and struck him in Samaria, in the castle of the king's house, with Argob and Arieh; and with him were fifty men of the Gileadites: and he killed him, and reigned in his place.

2 Kings 15:27 In the two and fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekah the son of Remaliah began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned twenty years.

2 Kings 17:1 In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah began Hoshea the son of Elah to reign in Samaria over Israel, and reigned nine years.

2 Kings 17:5 Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years.

2 Kings 17:6 In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away to Assyria, and placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

2 Kings 17:24 The king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Avva, and from Hamath and Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they possessed Samaria, and lived in the cities of it.

2 Kings 17:26 Therefore they spoke to the king of Assyria, saying, "The nations which you have carried away, and placed in the cities of Samaria, don't know the law of the god of the land. Therefore he has sent lions among them, and behold, they kill them, because they don't know the law of the god of the land."

2 Kings 17:28 So one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and lived in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear Yahweh.

2 Kings 18:9 It happened in the fourth year of king Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria, and besieged it.

2 Kings 18:10 At the end of three years they took it: in the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken.

2 Kings 18:34 Where are the gods of Hamath, and of Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and Ivvah? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand?

2 Kings 21:13 I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab; and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down.

2 Kings 23:18 He said, "Let him be! Let no man move his bones." So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet who came out of Samaria.

2 Kings 23:19 All the houses also of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made to provoke Yahweh to anger, Josiah took away, and did to them according to all the acts that he had done in Bethel.

2 Chronicles 18:2 After certain years he went down to Ahab to Samaria. Ahab killed sheep and cattle for him in abundance, and for the people who were with him, and moved him to go up with him to Ramoth Gilead.

2 Chronicles 18:9 Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah sat each on his throne, arrayed in their robes, and they were sitting in an open place at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them.

2 Chronicles 22:9 He sought Ahaziah, and they caught him (now he was hiding in Samaria), and they brought him to Jehu, and killed him; and they buried him, for they said, He is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought Yahweh with all his heart. The house of Ahaziah had no power to hold the kingdom.

2 Chronicles 25:13 But the men of the army whom Amaziah sent back, that they should not go with him to battle, fell on the cities of Judah, from Samaria even to Beth Horon, and struck of them three thousand, and took much spoil.

2 Chronicles 25:24 He took all the gold and silver, and all the vessels that were found in the house of God with Obed-Edom, and the treasures of the king's house, the hostages also, and returned to Samaria.

2 Chronicles 28:8 The children of Israel carried away captive of their brothers two hundred thousand, women, sons, and daughters, and took also away much spoil from them, and brought the spoil to Samaria.

2 Chronicles 28:9 But a prophet of Yahweh was there, whose name was Oded: and he went out to meet the army that came to Samaria, and said to them, Behold, because Yahweh, the God of your fathers, was angry with Judah, he has delivered them into your hand, and you have slain them in a rage which has reached up to heaven.

2 Chronicles 28:15 The men who have been mentioned by name rose up, and took the captives, and with the spoil clothed all who were naked among them, and arrayed them, and shod them, and gave them to eat and to drink, and anointed them, and carried all the feeble of them on donkeys, and brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees, to their brothers: then they returned to Samaria.

Ezra 4:10 and the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Osnappar brought over, and set in the city of Samaria, and in the rest of the country beyond the River, and so forth.

Ezra 4:17 Then sent the king an answer to Rehum the chancellor, and to Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their companions who dwell in Samaria, and in the rest of the country beyond the River: Peace, and so forth.

Nehemiah 4:2 He spoke before his brothers and the army of Samaria, and said, What are these feeble Jews doing? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, seeing they are burned?

Isaiah 7:9 and the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah's son. If you will not believe, surely you shall not be established.'"

Isaiah 8:4 For before the child knows how to say,'My father,' and,'My mother,' the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will be carried away by the king of Assyria."

Isaiah 9:9 All the people will know, including Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria, who say in pride and in arrogance of heart,

Isaiah 10:9 Isn't Calno like Carchemish? Isn't Hamath like Arpad? Isn't Samaria like Damascus?"

Isaiah 10:10 As my hand has found the kingdoms of the idols, whose engraved images exceeded those of Jerusalem and of Samaria;

Isaiah 10:11 shall I not, as I have done to Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols?

Isaiah 36:19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they delivered Samaria from my hand?

Jeremiah 23:13 I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied by Baal, and caused my people Israel to err.

Jeremiah 31:5 Again you shall plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria; the planters shall plant, and shall enjoy its fruit.

Jeremiah 41:5 that there came men from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria, even eighty men, having their beards shaved and their clothes torn, and having cut themselves, with meal offerings and frankincense in their hand, to bring them to the house of Yahweh.

Ezekiel 16:46 Your elder sister is Samaria, who dwells at your left hand, she and her daughters; and your younger sister, who dwells at your right hand, is Sodom and her daughters.

Ezekiel 16:51 Neither has Samaria committed half of your sins; but you have multiplied your abominations more than they, and have justified your sisters by all your abominations which you have done.

Ezekiel 16:53 I will turn again their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, and the captivity of your captives in the midst of them;

Ezekiel 16:55 Your sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate; and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate; and you and your daughters shall return to your former estate.

Ezekiel 23:4 The names of them were Oholah the elder, and Oholibah her sister: and they became mine, and they bore sons and daughters. As for their names, Samaria is Oholah, and Jerusalem Oholibah.

Ezekiel 23:33 You shall be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, with the cup of astonishment and desolation, with the cup of your sister Samaria.

Hosea 7:1 When I would heal Israel, then the iniquity of Ephraim is uncovered, also the wickedness of Samaria; for they commit falsehood, and the thief enters in, and the gang of robbers ravages outside.

Hosea 8:5 Let Samaria throw out his calf idol! My anger burns against them! How long will it be until they are capable of purity?

Hosea 8:6 For this is even from Israel! The workman made it, and it is no God; indeed, the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces.

Hosea 10:5 The inhabitants of Samaria will be in terror for the calves of Beth Aven; for its people will mourn over it, Along with its priests who rejoiced over it, for its glory, because it has departed from it.

Hosea 10:7 Samaria and her king float away, like a twig on the water.

Hosea 13:16 Samaria will bear her guilt; for she has rebelled against her God. They will fall by the sword. Their infants will be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women will be ripped open."

Amos 3:9 Proclaim in the palaces at Ashdod, and in the palaces in the land of Egypt, and say, "Assemble yourselves on the mountains of Samaria, and see what unrest is in her, and what oppression is among them."

Amos 3:12 Thus says Yahweh: "As the shepherd rescues out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so shall the children of Israel be rescued who sit in Samaria on the corner of a couch, and on the silken cushions of a bed."

Amos 4:1 Listen to this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who tell their husbands, "Bring us drinks!"

Amos 6:1 Woe to those who are at ease in Zion, and to those who are secure on the mountain of Samaria, the notable men of the chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel come!

Obadiah 1:19 Those of the South will possess the mountain of Esau, and those of the lowland, the Philistines. They will possess the field of Ephraim, and the field of Samaria. Benjamin will possess Gilead.

Micah 1:1 The word of Yahweh that came to Micah the Morashtite in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.

Micah 1:5 "All this is for the disobedience of Jacob, and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the disobedience of Jacob? Isn't it Samaria? And what are the high places of Judah? Aren't they Jerusalem?

Micah 1:6 Therefore I will make Samaria like a rubble heap of the field, like places for planting vineyards; and I will pour down its stones into the valley, and I will uncover its foundations.

Luke 17:11 It happened as he was on his way to Jerusalem, that he was passing along the borders of Samaria and Galilee.

John 4:4 He needed to pass through Samaria.

John 4:5 So he came to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son, Joseph.

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. You will be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth."

Acts 8:1 Saul was consenting to his death. A great persecution arose against the assembly which was in Jerusalem in that day. They were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except for the apostles.

Acts 8:5 Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and proclaimed to them the Christ.

Acts 8:9 But there was a certain man, Simon by name, who used to practice sorcery in the city, and amazed the people of Samaria, making himself out to be some great one,

Acts 8:14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them,

Acts 8:25 They therefore, when they had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the Good News to many villages of the Samaritans.

Acts 9:31 So the assemblies throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace, and were built up. They were multiplied, walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 15:3 They, being sent on their way by the assembly, passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles. They caused great joy to all the brothers.


sa-ma'-ri-a, (shomeron; Samareia, Semeron, and other forms):

(1) Shechem was the first capital of the Northern Kingdom (1 Kings 12:25). Jeroboam seems later to have removed the royal residence to Tirzah (1 Kings 14:17). After the brief reigns of Elah and Zimri came that of Omri, who reigned 6 years in Tirzah, then he purchased the hill of Samaria and built a city there, which was thenceforward the metropolis of the kingdom of Israel (1 Kings 16:24). Here the hill and the city are said to have been named after Shemer, the original owner of the land. There is nothing intrinsically improbable in this. It might naturally be derived from shamar, and the name in the sense of "outlook" would fitly apply to a city in such a commanding position. The residence, it was also the burying-place, of the kings of Israel (1 Kings 16:28; 1 Kings 22:37 2 Kings 10:35; 2 Kings 13:9, 13; 14:16).

Toward the western edge of the Ephraimite uplands there is a broad fertile hollow called Wady esh-Sha`ir, "valley of barley." From the midst of it rises an oblong hill to a height of over 300 ft., with a level top. The sides are steep, especially to the Samaria. The greatest length is from East to West. The surrounding mountains on three sides are much higher, and are well clad with olives and vineyards. To the West the hills are lower, and from the crest a wide view is obtained over the Plain of Sharon, with the yellow ribbon of sand that marks the coast line, and the white foam on the tumbling billows; while away beyond stretch the blue waters of the Mediterranean. On the eastern end of the hill, surrounded by olive and cactus, is the modern village of Sebastiyeh, under which a low neck of land connects the hill with the eastern slopes. The position is one of great charm and beauty; and in days of ancient warfare it was one of remarkable strength. While it was overlooked from three sides, the battlements crowning the steep slopes were too far off to be reached by missiles from the only artillery known in those times-the sling and the catapult. For besiegers to attempt an assault at arms was only to court disaster. The methods adopted by her enemies show that they relied on famine to do their work for them (2 Kings 6:24 f, etc.). Omri displayed excellent taste and good judgment in the choice he made.

The city wall can be traced in almost its entire length. Recent excavations conducted by American archaeologists have uncovered the foundations of Omri's palace, with remains of the work of Ahab and of Herod (probably here was Ahab's ivory palace), on the western end of the hill, while on the western slope the gigantic gateway, flanked by massive towers, has been exposed to view.

Under the influence of Jezebel, Samaria naturally became a center of idolatrous worship. Ahab "reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made the Asherah" (1 Kings 16:32 f). Jehoram his son put away the pillar of Baal (2 Kings 3:2), and within the temple Jehu made an end at once of the instruments of idolatry and of the priests (2 Kings 10:19 f). There are many prophetic references to the enormities practiced here, and to their inevitable consequences (Isaiah 8:4; Isaiah 9:9; Isaiah 10:9; Isaiah 28:1; 36:19 Jeremiah 23:13 Ezekiel 23:4 Hosea 7:1; Hosea 13:16 Amos 3:12 Micah 1:6, etc.).

Under pressure of Damascus Omri conceded to the Syrians the right to "make streets in Samaria" (1 Kings 20:34).

Ben-hadad II besieged the city, but suffered ignominious defeat (1 Kings 20:1-21; Josephus, Ant, VIII, xiv, 1). Persistent attempts by the Syrians to reach the city in the time of Jehoram were frustrated by Elisha (2 Kings 6:8; Josephus, Ant, IX, iv, 3). At length, however, Ben-hadad again invested the city, and the besieged were reduced to dire straits, in which, urged by famine, scenes of awful horror were enacted (2 Kings 6:24). A mysterious panic seized the Syrians. Their deserted camp was discovered by despairing lepers who carried the good news to the famished citizens of the plenty to be found there. Probably in the throat of the great western gateway occurred the crush in which the incredulous captain was trampled to death (1 Kings 7; Josephus, Ant, IX, iv, 5).

Here the 70 sons of Ahab were slain by Jehu in the general destruction of the house of Ahab (2 Kings 10:1). In Samaria, the Chronicler tells us, Ahaziah in vain hid from Jehu (2 Chronicles 22:9; compare 2 Kings 9:27). Pekah brought hither much spoil from Jerusalem and many captives, whom, at the instance of the prophet Oded, he released (2 Chronicles 28). The siege of Samaria was begun by Shalmaneser in the 7th year of Hoshea, and the city was finally taken by Sargon II at the end of 3 years, 722 B.C. (2 Kings 17:5; 2 Kings 18:9 f; Ant, IX, xiv, 1). This marked the downfall of the Northern Kingdom, the people being transported by the conqueror. That this was not done in a thoroughgoing way is evident from the fact recorded in the inscriptions that two years later the country had to be subdued again. Colonists were brought from other parts to take the places of the exiles (2 Kings 17:24 Ezra 4:10). Alexander the Great took the city in 331 B.C., killed many of the inhabitants, and settled others in Shechem, replacing them with a colony of Syro-Macedonians. He gave the adjoining country to the Jews (Apion, II, 4). The city suffered at the hands of Ptolemy Lagi and Demetrius Poliorcetes, but it was still a place of strength (Josephus, Ant, XIII, x, 2) when John Hyrcanus came against it in 120 B.C. It was taken after a year's siege, and the victor tried to destroy the city utterly. His turning of the water into trenches to undermine the foundations could only refer to the suburbs under the hill. From the only two sources, `Ain Harun and 'Ain Kefr Rima, to the East of the town, the water could not rise to the hill. The "many fountains of water" which Benjamin of Tudela says he saw on the top, from which water enough could be got to fill the trenches, are certainly not to be seen today; and they have left no trace behind them. The city was rebuilt by Pompey and, having again fallen under misfortune, was restored by Gabinius (Josephus, Ant, XIV, iv, 4; v, 3; BJ, I, vii, 7; viii, 4). To Herod it owed the chief splendor of its later days. He extended, strengthened and adorned it on a scale of great magnificence, calling it Sebaste (= Augusta) in honor of the emperor, a name which survives in the modern Sebastiyeh. A temple also was dedicated to Caesar. Its site is probably marked by the impressive flight of steps, with the pedestal on which stood the gigantic statue of Augustus, which recent excavations have revealed. The statue, somewhat mutilated, is also to be seen. Another of Herod's temples West of the present village was cleared out by the same explorers. The remains of the great double-columned street, which ran round the upper terrace of the hill, bear further testimony to the splendor of this great builder's work (Josephus, Ant, XV, vii, 3; viii, 5; BJ, I, xxi, 2). It was here that Herod killed perhaps the only human being whom he ever really loved, his wife Mariamne. Here also his sons perished by his hand (Josephus, Ant, XV, vii, 5-7; XVI, iii, 1-3; xi, 7).

It is commonly thought that this city was the scene of Philip's preaching and the events that followed recorded in Acts 8, but the absence of the definite article in 8:5 makes this doubtful. A Roman colony was settled here by Septimius Severus. From that time little is known of the history of the city; nor do we know to what the final castastrophe was due. It became the seat of a bishopric and was represented in the councils of Nicea, Constantinople and Chalcedon. Its bishop attended the Synod of Jerusalem in 536 A.D.

The Church of John, a Crusading structure beside the modern village, is now a Moslem mosque. It is the traditional burying-place of John the Baptist's body.

(2) he Samareia: A town mentioned in 1 Maccabees 5:66 as on the route followed by Judas from the district of Hebron to the land of the Philistines. The name is probably a clerical error. The margin reads Marisa, and probably the place intended is Mareshah, the site of which is at Tell Sandachannah, about a mile South of Belt Jibrin.

W. Ewing


(shomeron; he Samareitis chora): The name of the city was transferred to the country of which it was the capital, so that Samaria became synonymous with the Northern Kingdom (1 Kings 13:32 Jeremiah 31:5, etc.). The extent of territory covered by this appellation varied greatly at different periods. At first it included the land held by Israel East of the Jordan, Galilee and Mt. Ephraim, with the northern part of Benjamin. It was shorn of the eastern portion by the conquest of Tiglath-pileser (1 Chronicles 5:26). Judah probably soon absorbed the territory of Dan in the Samaria. In New Testament times Samaria had shrunk to still smaller dimensions. Then the country West of the Jordan was divided into three portions: Judea in the South, Galilee in the North, and Samaria in the middle. The boundaries are given in general terms by Josephus (BJ, III, iii, 1, 4, 5). The southern edge of the Plain of Esdraelon and the lands of Scythopolis, the city of the Decapolis West of the Jordan, formed the northern boundary. It reached South as far as the toparchy of Acrabatta (modern `Aqrabeh), while on the border between Samaria and Judea lay the villages of Annath and Borceos, the modern Khirbet `Aina and Berqit, about 15 miles South of Nablus. The Jordan of course formed the eastern boundary. On the West the coast plain as far as Acre belonged to Judea. The country thus indicated was much more open to approach than the high plateau of Judah with its steep rocky edges and difficult passes. The road from the North indeed was comparatively easy of defense, following pretty closely the line of the watershed. But the gradual descent of the land to the West with long, wide valleys, offered inviting avenues from the plain. The great trade routes, that to the fords of Jordan and the East, passing through the cleft in the mountains at Shechem, and those connecting Egypt with the North and the Northeast, traversed Samarian territory, and brought her into constant intercourse with surrounding peoples. The influence of the heathen religions to which she was thus exposed made a swift impression upon her, leading to the corruptions of faith and life that heralded her doom (Jeremiah 23:13 Hosea 7:1, etc.). The Assyrians came as the scourge of God (2 Kings 17:5-23). Their attack centered on the capital. Shalmaneser began the siege, and after three years the city fell to Sargon II, his successor. With the fall of Samaria the kingdom came to an end. Following the usual Assyrian policy, great numbers of the inhabitants were deported from the conquered country, and their places taken by men brought from "Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Avva, and from Hamath and Sepharvaim," cities which had already bowed to the Assyrian power (2 Kings 17:24).

It appears from the Assyrian inscriptions that the number carried away was 27,290. The number afterward deported from Judah was 200,000, and then the poorest of the land were left to be vinedressers and husbandmen (2 Kings 25:12). It is evident that a similar policy must have been followed in Samaria, as 27,290 could certainly not include the whole population of the cities and the country. But it would include the higher classes, and especially the priests from whom the victors would have most to fear. The population therefore after the conquest contained a large proportion of Israelites. It was no doubt among these that Josiah exercised his reforming energy (2 Kings 23:19 2 Chronicles 34:6 f). Here also must have been that "remnant of Israel," Manasseh and Ephraim, who contributed for the repair of the house of God (2 Chronicles 34:9). These people, left without their religious guides, mingling with the heathen who had brought their gods and, presumably, their priests with them, were apt to be turned from the purity of their faith. A further importation of pagan settlers took place under Esar-haddon and Osnappar (Ezra 4:9, 10). The latter is to be identified with Assur-bani-pal. What the proportions of the different elements in the population were, there is now no means of knowing. That there was some intermarriage is probable; but having regard to racial exclusiveness, we may suppose that it was not common. When the Jews deny to them any relation to Israel, and call them Cuthaeans, as if they were the descendants purely of the heathen settlers, the facts just mentioned should be borne in mind.

After the Assyrian conquest we are told that the people suffered from lions (2 Kings 17:25). Josephus (Ant., IX, xiv, 3) says "a plague seized upon them." In accordance with the ideas of the time, the strangers thought this due to the anger of the tutelary deity of the land, because they worshipped other gods in his territory, while neglecting him. Ignorant of his special ritual ("manner"), they petitioned the Assyrian king, who sent one (Josephus says "some") of the priests who had been carried away to teach them "how they should fear the Lord." How much is implied in this "fearing of the Lord" is not clear. They continued at the same time to serve their own gods. There is nothing to show that the Israelites among them fell into their idolatries. The interest of these in the temple at Jerusalem, the use of which they may now have shared with the Jews, is proved by 2 Chronicles 34:9. In another place we are told that four score men "from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria," evidently Israelites, were going up with their offerings to the house of the Lord (Jeremiah 41:5). Once the people of the country are called Samaritans (2 Kings 17:29). Elsewhere this name has a purely religious significance.


Of the history of Samaria under Assyrian and Babylonian rulers we know nothing. It reappears at the return of the Jews under Persian auspices. The Jews refused the proffered assistance of the Samaritans in rebuilding the temple and the walls of Jerusalem (Ezra 4:1, 3). Highly offended, the latter sought to frustrate the purpose of the Jews (Ezra 4:4 Nehemiah 4:7; 1Es 2:16). That the Samaritans were accustomed to worship in Jerusalem is perhaps implied by one phrase in the letter sent to the Persian king: "The Jews that came up from thee are come to us unto Jerus" (Ezra 4:12). Perhaps also they may be referred to in Ezra 6:21. Idolatry is not alleged against the "adversaries." We can hardly err if we ascribe the refusal in some degree to the old antagonism between the North and the South, between Ephraim and Judah. Whatever the cause, it led to a wider estrangement and a deeper bitterness. For the history of the people and their temple on Gerizim, see SAMARITANS.

Samaria, with Palestine, fell to Alexander after the battle of Issus. Antiochus the Great gave it to Ptolemy Epiphanes, as the dowry of his daughter Cleopatra (Josephus, Ant, XII, iv, 1). John Hyrcanus reduced and desolated the country (Josephus, BJ, I, ii, 6). After varying fortunes Samaria became part of the kingdom of Herod, at whose death it was given to Archelaus (Josephus, Ant, XVII, xi, 4; BJ, II, vi, 3). When Archelaus was banished it was joined to the Roman province of Syria (Josephus, Ant, XVII, xiii, 5; BJ, II, viii, 1).

Samaria is a country beautifully diversified with mountain and hill, valley and plain. The olive grows plentifully, and other fruit trees abound. There is much excellent soil, and fine crops of barley and wheat are reaped annually. The vine also is largely cultivated on the hill slopes. Remains of ancient forests are found in parts. As Josephus said, it is not naturally watered by many rivers, but derives its chief moisture from rain water, of which there is no lack (BJ, III, iii, 4). He speaks also of the excellent grass, by reason of which the cows yield more milk than those in any other place.

There is a good road connecting Nablus with Jaffa; and by a road not quite so good, it is now possible to drive a carriage from Jerusalem to Nazareth, passing through Samaria.

W. Ewing

SAMARIA, is the name of both a district and a city in that district. The kingdom of Samaria included all the territory of all the tribes n. of Benjamin and Judah, but in our Savior's time, it included only that part s. of Galilee. See Map No. 5. The exact boundaries of Samaria are not known, but it seems that Samaria was cut off, at one time, from the Mediterranean shore, Judea claiming that part. The n. boundary included En-gannim, now Jenin, and ran along the Mt. Carmel range, toward the northwest. The s. boundary, probably, ran along the valley of Deir Ballut n. of Lebonah, eastward and just n. of Akrabeh which was probably the Akrabatta of Josephus (B. Judah, Bk. 111. 5.) at whose toparchy Samaria ended. The city was on a hill 34 ms. n. of Jerusalem, 1454 ft. above the Mediterranean, 5 ms. n. w. of Shechem, and now a little village.
Strong's Greek
G4540: Samareia

Samaria, the name of both a city and a region in Palestine

Salt Sea
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