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Charles Buck Theological Dictionary


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An ancient sect among the Jews, whose origin was in the time of king Rehoboam, under whose reign the people of Israel were divided into two distinct kingdoms, that of Judah and that of Israel. The capital of the kingdom of Israel was Samaria, whence the Israelites took the name of Samaritans. Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, having besieged and taken Samaria, carried away all the people captives into the remotest parts of his dominions, and filled their place with Babylonians, Cutheans, and other idolaters. These, finding that they were exposed to wild beasts, desired that an Israelitish priest might be sent among them, to instruct them in the ancient religion and customs of the land they inhabited. This being granted them, they were delivered from the plague of wild beasts, and embraced the law of Moses, with which they mixed a great part of their ancient idolatry. Upon the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity, it appears that they had entirely quitted the worship of their idols. But though they were united in religion, they were not so in affection with the Jews; for they employed various calumnies and stratagems to hinder their rebuilding the temple of Jerusalem; and when they could not prevail, they erected a temple on Mount Gerizim, in opposition to that of Jerusalem. (

See 2 Kings 17:1-41 : Ezra 4:5-6 :) The Samaritans at present are few in number, but pretend to great strictness in their observation of the law of Moses. They are said to be scattered; some at Damascus, some at Gaza, and some at Grand Cairo, in Egypt.

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Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Samaritans'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. 1802.

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