Are the Samaritans descendants of Israel's lost tribes, and so rightfully considered Israelites?

Are the Samaritans descendants of Israel's lost tribes, and so rightfully considered Israelites?

From Mi Yodeya

The Samaritans themselves claim to be descended from the original Israelite inhabitants of northern Israel. The biblical account (II Kings 17:24ff) states that they are descended from foreigners imported into the land by Sennacherib after he had destroyed the northern Israelite state and exiled its people, but who learned the Torah from Israelite priests whom Sennacherib brought back at their request. Either way, then, the Samaritan scriptures must derive from earlier Israelite originals.

However, Ezra considered them foreigners and did not allow them to help in the building of the temple, or worship with the people of Judah. [1]

Which claim is correct?


Yes, the Samaritans are Israelites.

Samaria, the Samaritan kingdom, is in this context the Kingdom of Israel, i.e. the northern part of the Biblical United Kingdom of David and Solomon. The Samaritans, and other Jewish groups living in the Kingdom of Israel are listed as Israelites and descendants of Abraham in the Bible.

However, here is the Judean account from the Book of Kings of the the Assyrian rule over Samaria:

In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away unto Assyria, and placed them in Halah, and in Habor, on the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

And 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 dwelt in the cities thereof.

In other words, it is claimed that during the Assyrian period, all of the people of the Kingdom of Israel were replaced with people not descended from Abraham, and that the Samaritans later acquired the Jewish religion from the Kingdom of Judah.

The account of the Assyrian King Sargon in the Nimrud prism at first glance seems to agree:

I repopulated Samerina more than before. I brought into it people from countries conquered by my hands. I appointed my eunuch as governor over them. And I counted them as Assyrians.

However the prism also says that 27,290 persons were deported, and numbers in texts such as the prism, written to extol the power and might of a king, tend to be inflated. Still, 27,290 represents only a small fraction of the apparent population of The Kingdom of Israel at that time.

As such, the Nimrud prism does not support the claim that the people were replaced by foreigners. Instead it's likely that only the aristocracy was deported and replaced by people from other lands, in a "divide and conquer" style replacement.

This is typical of all ancient claims of one people coming in and replacing another, from the Exodus, to the claims of Anglo-Saxons invading England. Neither genetics not archeology tends to support these claims. There are seldom any cultural changes in the archeology, and the genetic influences are generally only in a small percentage of the population. This is true also for the Assyrian invasion, where there is continuity in occupation of the sites before and after the Assyrian invasion. [ref]

So there is truth in both accounts: People were deported, and other people brought in. But the claim that all of the people were replaced by foreigners is supported neither by the Assyrian accounts nor the archeology. Undoubtedly the vast majority of the people living in The Kingdom of Israel before the Assyrians arrived remained there, and the Samaritans therefore have as a good a claim to be Israelites as mainstream Jews do. This is also supported by genetic studies indicating that the Samaritans have a closer paternal genetic relationship to other Jews, than to non-Jewish middle eastern peoples..

However, when it comes to the question of whether the Samaritans are in fact descendants from one of the twelve tribes of Israel, this claim is much harder to verify, for the simple reason that we can't verify the existence of these twelve tribes.

It is claimed that Israel and Judah was made up of twelve tribes and that these tribes were united into one kingdom sometime before 1000BC, a kingdom that then was split up into Israel and Judah after the death of Solomon. But there is no way to verify this. The texts that claim this are written many hundreds of years after the claimed events took place, and there is no cultural difference between these tribes that is detectable in archeology. Hence, discussing if the Samaritans are descended from one of these tribes makes little sense.


In Jewish tradition, the Lost Tribes are not "lost" in the sense that your car keys might get lost. They are "lost" in the sense that a dead friend is "lost". What happened was that after Israel split into two countries, the Assyrians invaded the northern one in 740 BC and carted off the balance of the population (after the war) to Assyria as slaves. This population was never allowed to return, and after several generations became completely assimilated into the population and culture of Assyria. As far as the Jews are concerned, those people are totally lost to them.

However, there is another story. According the the Samaratans themselves, not everyone was carried off, and they are those folk's descendents. Genetic Studies don't refute the Samaratan's story.

The Assyrian accounting of things was that they deported the entire population, and repopulated the land with other people. This essentially matches the Jewish account.

Linguistically, the Samaratans definitely spoke a very closely related language to Hebrew. There doesn't seem to be much research looking into when the two diverged (I'm a great believer in language as a marker of culture, so for me this would be decisive).


This question is based on an "unforced error", due perhaps to a poor translation of Scripture1: Here is the relevant text from the Book of Ezra, Chapter 4, as I have translated it directly from the biblical Hebrew, which I know fluently, along with the help of some of the classical commentators and reliable modern translations to smooth the language:

  • 1) The enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the people of the Exile (the Jews of the Babylonian Exile, now under Cyrus's rule) were building a Sanctuary for Y-H, God of Yisroel.
  • 2) They approached Zerubabbel and the Chiefs of the Families and said to them, "Let us build with you, for like you, we will seek your God; it is to Him that we have been sacrificing since the days of Esar-haddon, king of Assyria, who brought us up here."
  • 3) But Zerubabbel, along with Yeshua and the rest of the family chieftains of Yisroel said to them, "It is not for you to build with us a House for our God; instead we, as a group, will build it for Y-H, God of Yisroel, as King Cyrus, King of Persia has commanded us."

So:

We will put aside the mistake of the questioner in attributing the refusal to build the Temple with "enemies of Judah and Benjamin" to Ezra2, when it was in fact the act of Zerubabbel - Cyrus's Jewish governer of the territory and the "Chiefs of the Families of Yisroel", and instead focus on this passage:

since the days of Esar-haddon, king of Assyria, who brought us up here.

Here, those who requested permission from Zerubabbel explicitely refer to themselves as Assyrians who were transported there: Explicitely not descendants of the Tribes of Yisroel.

That is the reason their request was rejected, and also why they are referred to as "enemies of Judah and Benjamin" in verse 1, a term that would not be used with respect to descendants of the Ten Tribes: It was not Zerubabbel who determined that they were not from the Ten Tribes - it was by their own admission. Thus, Zerubabbel and company continue:

instead we, together as a group, will build it to Y-H, God of Yisroel, as King Cyrus, King of Persia has commanded us

That is, Cyrus commanded the Jews who were under his jurisdiction - "we, as a group" - to build the House of God - it was not an order to be executed by the Assyrians.

Since the Samaritans themselves claim to be descendants of the original Ten Tribes, the reference to this account in the Book of Ezra has no bearing whatsoever on their claims.

As other answers have aptly demonstrated, there was at the time a mixture of peoples in the former Kingdom of Yisroel, some descended from Ten Tribes, including perhaps the contemporary Samaritans, and others who were Assyrians.

Be that is it may, the verses in Ezra under examination refer explicitly to Assyrians, and are irrelevant to the Samaritans' claims, so the question as stated, based on an alleged scriptural account of rejection of the contemporary Samaritans by "Erza" (Zerubabbel) is moot.

1Most translations of the Bible (perhaps anything later than the Septuagint) tend to be notoriously inaccurate, sometimes by intent, sometimes by mistake. I am not familiar with NT sources. As far as Hebrew sources go, I can recommend two noteworthy and quite accurate, well annotated translations: Tanach the Stone edition and The Living Torah : The Five Books of Moses and the Haftarot - A New Translation Based on Traditional Jewish Sources, with notes, introduction, maps. One should not make assumptions about what the Bible actually says without consulting sources as close to the original as possible.

2 Erza the scribe compiled, wrote and edited parts of the Book of Ezra-Nechemiah


Judah was the were the 2 southern tribes, thus called Jews.The Samaritans are connected to the 10 northern tribes so how can Samaritans be considered Jews. It is a similar belief, but still different.Christian & Islamic faiths are also Abrahamic but they are not considered Jewish, especially in the latter case.


Hebrew was a religious language.It was not an everyday language I have led to believe.The Hebrew language was, said to be revived, as it's everyday use was not common in Palastine after the early formation of Israel.Aramaic languages were spoken there, perhaps this was historically mostly the case.Perhaps a variety of languages were spoken within present day Israel, the same as most countries historically.If this was the case perhaps Samaritans did not use Hebrew as an everyday language as well, using a dialect of Hebrew as a religious ceremonial language only.


Are the Samaritans descendants of Israel's lost tribes, and so rightfully considered Israelites? - History

Finland and the Ten Tribes
The people of Finland on the whole meet the Ephraimite Criteria by which we determine Israelite Ancestry. Their earliest known traditions claimed Israelite origins. Other factors confirm the validity of such knowledge and suggest a descent from the Tribe of Issachar along with the presence of additional Tribal groups.

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1. Finnish Traditional Sources: The earliest Finnish historians apparently believed that their ancestors were descended from Israelites. These Traditions have been remarked upon by:

(a) S. Nickels, H. Kallas, P. Friedman. "Finland. An Introduction", U.K. 1968.
p. 19:
"Leaving aside the attempts of Finnish scholars of the early eighteenth century to prove that the Finns were descended from the Lost Tribes of Israel. "

(b) John H. WUORINEN, "A History of Finland," New York & London 1965.
p.12
"In common with the trend elsewhere in Europe, eighteenth century Finnish writers for instance, were inclined to establish among others, relationships with the Jews. The Lost Tribes of Israel furnished a tempting and convenient point of departure for imaginative interpretations and claims along this line."

An additional source has recently become known to us:

New Evidence of Finnish Israelite Origins!
Finnish Academic researchers, Pekka T. Lyyranen and Tuula-Hannele Ikonen, SOME MYTHS AND FACTS OF THE ORIGIN OF THE FINNS IN COMPARISON WITH THE ISRAELITES (2011) bring evidence indicating that the Finnish People descend from Israel.

Their evidence is based on:

a. The Opinions of early Finnish and other Scandinavian Scholars.
Early Scandinavian historians traced the Finnish People to the Tribes of Israel and/or recognized affinities between the Finnish Language and Ancient Hebrew.
e.g. The 17th century Swedish linguist, theologian, and Bishop Enevaldus Svenonius showed links between Finnish and Hebrew.
The Finnish linguist of the holy languages, theologian Daniel Juselius traced the Finns to Ancient Israel (1712).
The Swedish scholar of medicine, botanist and ornithologist Olof Rudbeck in the 17th and 18th century assumed that the Finns were "referable to the remains of the Tribes of Israel".
The Swedish nobleman and historian, Olof von Dalin, believed that the ancient Finns descended ultimately from the Lost Tribes of Israel (1745).
The Finnish historian Johannis Bilmark argued that the Finns are descendants from the Northern Kingdom of Israel, refugees from Assyria.
The Finnish historian A. G. Koranter in 1848 following research in Savo in the Eastern part of Finland argued that the Finns are descendants from ancient Israelite Tribes. His study was based on the names of places.

b. Historical Provenance.
Most of the Finns are proven to have come from the bend of the Volga near the Caspian Sea. This was an area associated with the Ten Tribes. [It was from this region that the early Israelite Scythians and Khazars first appeared.]

c. Linguistics.
In Finnish vocabulary, etc, there are traces of Hebrew.

d. Hebrew Customs.
Finnish folk-practices are similar to Hebrew or Jewish ones, e.g. the Finns kept, like Jews, Saturday as the Sabbath.
Mammi, Finnish unleavened bread, is eaten at Easter which is supposed to be at Passover.
The nomenclature of fabrics and home items reflect Hebrew or Jewish origins.
An old wedding tradition (still carried out in Finland in the 20th century) exists where the bridal couple stand under a canopy called in Finnish a huppu. This is similar to Jewish weddings where the couple also stand under a canopy called in Hebrew a huppah (chuppah).

e. Genetics.
It is claimed that DNA links exist between Finns, Samaritans, and Jews. This includes certain inherited afflictions.
f. Subjective Feeling.
Cultural similarities, similar values, and affinities of many Finns for Israel and the Jews all suggest common origins.

g. The Names of God Almighty!
The Finnish name for God was Yummella (in Finland), or Yuma (Udmurts A once red-haired but not now Mongolian people in East Russia who speak a Finnish dialect), or Ymar (Tseremisses, i.e. Finnish speakers in Volga region).

(2). Finland and Switzerland.
We came to the conclusion that both Finland and Switzerland were influenced by the Tribe of Issachar.
The Alemans (also referred to as Alans or intermixed with Alans) were amongst the early settlers of Switzerland.
Alemans may also have been important in the early settlement of Finland as suggested by a Finish web-site.
See:
"Brit-Am Now"-336
Allemans in both Switzerland and Finland
#2. Questions on Issachar
http://britam.org/now/now336.html

In "The Tribes" Finland is identified with Issachar though contingents from Gad and Simeon were also present.

(4) Marshall Mannerheim , Issachar , and the Ten Tribes
Marshall Mannerheim (1867-1951), Finnish Military leader and national hero, in a speech was reported to at least once have expressly referred to the Finns as "Sons of Issachar".
"Sons of Issachar, stand and die, but let only scorched earth fall into the hands of the enemy"

Source: Richmond Norman STUART, "One of Isaac's Sons", The Covenant Message, September 1976, Johannesburg, South Africa.
See Also:
Yair DAVIDIY, "Marshall Mannerheim Identified the Finns With Issachar!", Tribesman, issue no. 4, p. 19.

The veracity of this source has been denied by a certain Mikael Wahrn, who is a citizen of Finland. Mr. Wahrn says that the speech in question is the equivalent of an urban legend and that no reliable records exist of Mannerheim ever having made such a statement.

Benjamin Turkia a citizen of Finland now living in Israel gave us a Finnish-language (which unfortunately we cannot read) magazine and told us that it contains an article confirming the said beliefs of Marshall Mannerheim.
One way or other this is a minor side issue. The question is whether or not a significant portion of the Finnish people descend from Israelites.

Our first king was, according to mythology, called " Kaleva ", which
resembles very much the name Caleb.
http://victorian.fortunecity.com/christy/32/etu.html
With kindest regards,
Lari Jeremias Kemil?nen

A researcher known as Ricardo Lopez Crespo (and also as Arrano Beltza and other names) reports that:

#The Finns claim their ancestors to have been the Kalevas ( Chalybes / Khalubes ), " Kolbias , Kalpamiehi ? [and] Karelian Kylfings " <26>
[<26> Osmo Joronen , "Early History of the Finnish People", 1998-2002]of Kalevala , their initial dwelling place. ' Khalups ' is the singular of Khalubes <27>. [<27> "The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language", Fourth Edition. Copyright 2000 by the Houghton Mifflin Company,
definition of "chalybeate" "The World & I", November 1987, Vol. 2, page 512,] Eloise and Lauri Paananen , article "The Living Kalevala"-"Kaleva is the ancient ancestor of all Finns. The book about Kaleva's descendants is the " Kalevala " or "Land of Kaleva ". Kaleva's [people] were called Kalevalanders , Kalevalaiset , or Suomalaiset . Kaleva is known in [Russian] as Golova , in Estonian as Kalev or Kalevi , in proto-Baltic as Kalevijas , [and] in Lithuanian as Kalvis . " #

This would link the Finns to Caleb of Judah. It should be noted however that the clans of Yair were linked to both Menasseh and to Caleb of Judah. Yair is generally associated with Ireland and Scotland but an offshoot may have reached Scandinavia. Irish legend frequently makes claims in that direction and during the Bronze Age contacts did exist.

(6). The identification of Finland
From the above we have links between the Finns and Issachar along with Dan, Gad, Simeon, Judah, and Manasseh.
Issachar is deemed to predominate.


(7) The Physical Aspects
The female mtDNA of the Finns seems to be similar to that of Sweden and Western Europe.
The autosomnal DNA and the physical characteristics are those of West Europeans.
The YDNA is N. This is a major haplogroup and brother to R of west and east Europe.
Brit-Am has claimed that ALL other haplogroups in effect devolve from R
see:
The DNA War Against Brit-Am. Nazi Vermin Attack Brit-Am DNA Explanation.
http://britam.org/war.html
What applies to R is even MORE pertinent to N.


In fact Y haplogroups N and O (NO) may be considered the father groups to R with R and Q (most Amerindians as well as 5% of Ashkenazi Jews and in low numbers amongst various Asiatic peoples) deriving (via K and P) from NO. All other haplogroups may be descended from NO since all other haplogroups are encompassed by NO and NO is differentiated from them through its possession of additional information. Mutations usually lead to loss of information and therefore mutations of NO result in haplogroups lower down on the scale. In our other writings we have made the same point but have emphasized instead the primacy of R since the differences between NO and R are not that great and most Europeans belong to R through R1b or R1a and therefore may more easily relate to the point we are making.
There is an environmental aspect to the determination of DNA haplogroups!

# Haplogroup N has a wide geographic distribution throughout northern Eurasia, from Norway to China. Its highest frequency occurs among the Finnic and Baltic peoples of northern and eastern Europe, the Ob-Ugric and Northern Samoyedic peoples of western Siberia, and the Siberian Turkic-speaking Yakuts .[6]#

The subclade N1c1 is defined by the presence of markers M178 and P298. (It was previously known as N3a.) N1c1* has higher average frequency in Northern Europe than in Siberia, reaching frequencies of approximately 60% among Finns and approximately 40% among Latvians and Lithuanians.[19] It's also more diverse in Northern Europe than in Siberia.[20]

Other bearers of different clades of N include some Chinese, and different minorities amongst Mongolian and Turkic peoples.

It is thought that in Finland at one stage there was a genetic bottleneck so that most of the people are descended from very few ancestors.

Also of interest are the Lapps or Sami people.
The Sami speak a language related to Finnish.
The females have the same mtDNA as the women of the Berbers in North Africa. Similarities with the mtDNA of the Basques in Spain have also been claimed.
The Y(male)DNA is similar in general to that of the Fins though in its details quite differentiated.
Historically the Lapps are not Fins and are quite different from them. In fact an analysis of the similarities and differences of YDNA between Sami and Fins could well be used to illustrate the effects of environment in determining DNA!
Physically the Sami (Laps) are of mixed white and mongoloid type.
Customs and namesakes among the Laps may indicate ancient Persian and Israelite contacts.
S. Gusten Olsen, "The Incredible Nordic Origins", (1981), quotes sources to the effect that that ancestors of the Finns and Scandinavians were few in number.
They came in contact, says Olsen, with the Lapps and bequeathed to them characteristics that indicate Middle East ancestry.
They themselves then lost these same characteristics and the only remembrance we have of them is what the Lapps retained.
The possibility of this suggestion would appear to be strengthened by a modern linguistic theory that virtually says the same and holds that the Fins of Finland received the Finish Language through contact with Laps or groups related to them.

( 8). Finland in Bible Codes
http://www.britam.org/codesarticles/CodesFinland.html
Finland in Biblical Codes was linked to Joseph.
Suomi, the official Finnish Name for Finland, was also linked to Joseph and Machir grandson of Manasseh.

Issachar in Biblical Codes gave us FINI and Suomi several times over and in interlocked format.
It also gave us Joseph though at lower significance.
This could indicate a strong element from Joseph amongst the Fins but with Issachar predominating.

Other proofs confirm the Israelite Ancestry of the Finish People. This additional evidence deals with Biblical and Historical aspects of the subject and is treated separatedly though much is already available in our work "The Tribes" especially the chapter on Issachar.
In addition, though only 5% of the Finish people today use Swedish as their mother tongue as much as 20% may be of Swedish origin. A separate article (in preparation) dealing with Sweden would also be applicable to Fins of Swedish descent.

(9) Conclusion and Note on Purpose of this Series
We identify an important element amongst the Finnish people as descended from Israel and tend to identify them with the Tribe of Issachar while recognizing possible contributions for other tribes.
Additional proofs and evidence of Israelite Ancestry exists. In this present series however we are concentrating on traditions that the peoples concerned themselves had. Other factors are also spoken of mainly in order to place the traditions in some kind of perspective.

Note:
There are, and have been in the past, negative elements in Finland. Amongst the ruling and intellectual elites are those who aggressively and actively support treacherous Quisling groups in the State of Israel and Palestinians who work for the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel. Bad eggs exist everywhere. They are also found amongst Israelites. Many Finns appear open to the idea that they descend from Israelites, though only a very few wax enthusiastic. Some seem quite antagonistic to the notion. The possibility exists that only a portion of the Finns really are descended from Israelites. It is this section however that we need to reach out to.
The same point applies to all other peoples identifiable as pertaining to a Biblically significant degree to the Ten Tribes of Israel.

For a picture gallery of people from Finland
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For More on Finland, see:
Queries About Finland.
For articles on other nations see:
The Earliest West European Beliefs in their Israelite Origins: Countries Index

The name "Ephraim" in Hebrew Letters as Seen
by Satellite in the Hills of Ephraim

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Please Stop Using the “Good Samaritan” Parable

The story of the good Samaritan occurs in the Gospel of Luke 10:25-37. How many Christians know the parable in full is unknown, but the phrase “good Samaritan” has become a common and consistently used idiom in modern culture. Strangers who help others are designated as “good Samaritans,” laws that punish onlookers from not intervening during a crime are known as “Good Samaritan Laws,” and there are countless organizations and hospitals named after this idiom as well. But like so many idiomatic expressions, the origin and the original meaning of the phrase is lost on so many.

We should begin with some background on Samaritans. Jewish tradition tells that after the death of King Solomon, the kingdom was divided into two political entities, known as the Northern Kingdom, Israel or Samaria and the Southern Kingdom of Judah. Samaria was located between Galilee and Judea. The tales of the kingdoms are told in the 1st and 2nd books of Kings as well as in the prophets in the Tanakh. The Northern Kingdom came under attack from the Assyrian Empire, led by Tiglath-pileser III, who ruled from 745-727 BCE, Shalmaneser V, who ruled from 727-722 BCE, and finally Sargon II, who ruled from 722-705 BCE. It was under Sargon II’s ruling that the Northern Kingdom of Israel fell, at least according to Sargon II who “claims credit in his own inscriptions” Sargon’s accounts also “speak of either 27,280 or 27,290 exiles and of the capture of chariots…he also claims to have rebuilt Samaria ‘better than it was before.’” What is most important for the purposes of our discussion is that when Assyria captured the Northern Kingdom of Samaria, the law of Assyria was followed which led to the mass exile of Jews, and the replacement of them by other cultures within the Assyrian empire.

This was a strategy to ensure loyalty to the area and hope to prevent uprisings. Because this was done, the members of the Southern Kingdom of Judah, and the Jews that followed, considered Samaritans to have lost their Jewish purity. From then, Samaritans were no longer considered Jewish but another group entirely, which created great tension between the two groups. As Sandmel summarizes:

The Jews and the Samaritans regarded each other as false pretenders to the ancient heritage of divine choice and revelation. The Samaritans were, from the viewpoint of the Jews, the descendants of alien tribes transported into the northern kingdom of Israel after the Assyrians had exiled the ten northern Israelite tribes from the region in the eighth pre-Christian century.

With the stage now set, we can read the parable. The account begins with “an expert in the law”, often described as a “lawyer” but most likely a Pharisee who decides to “test” Jesus. We should immediately be reminiscent of the wording from Matthew 22:35, which states “One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’” We are reminded that the author of the Gospel of Matthew changed an innocent question posed by a Jew in Mark 12:28: One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, ‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’” The Gospel of Luke, which contains the Good Samaritan parable follows Matthew’s interpretation, posing the Pharisee as malicious and attempting to discredit Jesus, and “by testing Jesus, the lawyer takes Satan’s role.” The Jew’s question, in Luke, however, differs from the question in Mark and Matthew, but the idea is the same with Jesus responding with the question asked within Mark and Matthew. While the accounts in Mark and Matthew discuss the words of Deuteronomy 6:4-5, “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might,” Luke’s account adds another quote from the Torah, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” These words are taken from Leviticus 19:18: “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your countrymen. Love your fellow as yourself: I am the LORD.” A similar edict appears in Leviticus 19:34: “The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I the LORD am your God.”

Jesus answers the Pharisee by telling him that his view is correct, that these two particular laws, from Deuteronomy 6 and Leviticus 19 are the most important commandments in Jesus’ view and should be, according to Jesus, the most important for his followers. I will note that far too many Christian laypeople do not actualize these phrases as coming from the Torah, and believe them to be of Jesus’ own invention. The words of Deuteronomy 6 are still said twice daily in Jewish prayers today and are considered the “watchword of the Jewish faith” as for Leviticus 19, it was considered by R. Akiva of the 1st century as “an all-embracing principle in the Torah,” and serves as the defining pillar of Judaism’s social justice work in modern times.

However, It is the Jew’s follow-up question of “who is my neighbor” which brings on the parable of the Good Samaritan. On the surface, the parable looks as though Jesus is simply choosing people at random, i.e. priest, Levite, and Samaritan, as characters in his parable to demonstrate that when one sees a stranger in danger or in need, it is commanded to love that person by providing help. However, the true meaning is much darker, and must be uncovered so as to educate Christians of the anti-Jewish and now antisemitic rhetoric. The parable tells of two Jews of certain classes passing by the man, “A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.” The priest, also known as a “ Kohein ” is classified as a Jew who can trace his lineage back to Aaron, the great priest of the Torah. It is still a status symbol in today’s Jewish world, and with it comes certain restrictions of purity. It is considered the highest of the hierarchy of lineage which contains Coheins, Levites, and Israelites. The “Levite” is one who traces his lineage back to one of the priestly assistants to Aaron, and constitutes the second highest in the hierarchy. While the reader would expect Jesus to choose the Israelite as the third passerby, he instead chooses the enemy of the Jews, who the Jews consider to be impure and outside of Judaism altogether, the Samaritan. There are several things at work here in the parable. While some have come to believe that the Priest and the Levite disregard the man in need because of purity laws, these laws only concern touching of corpses, not those alive. Indeed, the Priest and the Levite have no excuse as to why they would not help the man on the side of the road, according to Jesus, except a disregard for those in need and, more importantly, a disregard for the commandment to “love your neighbor.” Here, Jesus paints the highest Jews of status as arrogant, uncaring, and hypocritical to their own view of the law indeed, Jesus points to the Jew’s adherence to laws of morality only in theory and not in practice. It is the Samaritan, the member of an impure tribe in the view of Jesus’ audience, that follows the law to the letter, loving the man as himself, and caring for him when the Jews of pure stock would not.

The point of the parable is not to praise the Samaritan nor demonstrate how and why to care for those in need. Rather, it is to discredit the Jewish hierarchy, the Jews’ adherence to their own laws, and claim that it is the non-Jew, the enemy of the Jews, the Samaritan, who shows mercy and love to neighbors. The parable is, indeed, a anti-Jewish polemic which can be, and has been, used to paint Jews as lesser than those of the followers of Jesus (who eventually became Christians), and adds to the antisemitic and supersessionist ideals stemming from Christianity from antiquity to the modern era.

So, I humbly ask that all stop using the “Good Samaritan” as an idiomatic expression in secular or religious circles, as it is not a compliment, but a condemnation of an entire group of people.


Are the Samaritans descendants of Israel's lost tribes, and so rightfully considered Israelites? - History

"The Samaritans. Do Traditions of British and French Kinship Reflect Ancestral Connections?"
The Samaritans are non-Israelites settled by the Assyrians in Israel. Some Israelites intermixed with them. They believe they descend from the Ten Tribes and have traditions that they are related to the English, French, and others in India.

Duration ca. 34 minutes

The Samaritans are descended from non-Israelites whom the Assyrians settled in Israel in place of the Ten Tribes who were exiled (2-Kings 17:24). They came to consider themselves Israelites. Legends about the Ten Tribes may in some cases be traced to Samaritan offshoots.

Site Contents by Subject Home Research Revelation Reconciliation Publications Site Map Contents in Alphabetical Order This Site The Samaritans from a Brit-Am Lost Ten Tribes Perspective. Samaritan Film ActressSophie Tzdaka Origins. Biblical Account Reflected in Assyrian Inscriptions The Twelve Tribes of Israel divided into two separated Kingdoms. The majority were in the north in the Kingdom of Israel which was conquered by the Assyrians and all of its inhabitants transferred to different parts of the Assyrian domain. After the Ten Tribes had been exiled, Then the king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah , Ava , Hamath , and from Sepharvaim , and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel and they took possession of Samaria and dwelt in its cities (2-Kings 17:24). Assyrian Records Echo the Biblical Account: The Assyrians describe how they defeat the Israelites of Samaria and deported them. They then brought in other peoples to colonize the vacated area. # The inhabitants of Samaria/ Sa]merina , who agreed [and plotted] with a king [hostile to] me, not to do service and not to bring tribute [to Ashshur ] and who did battle, I fought against them with the power of the great gods, my lords. I counted as spoil 27,280 people, together with their chariots, and gods, in which they trusted. I formed a unit with 200 of [their] chariots for my royal force. I settled the rest of them in the midst of Assyria. I repopulated Samaria/ Samerina more than before. I brought into it people from countries conquered by my hands. I appointed my eunuch as governor over them. And I counted them as Assyrians. # ( Nimrud Prisms, COS 2.118D, pp. 295-296). # The new heathen settlers were known as "Samaritans" after the capital of the former kingdom of northern Israel, "Samaria", that the Assyrians placed them in. They are also referred to in Rabbinical Literature as "Cuthim" (singular, "Cuthi") after Cutha in Babylon were some of them had come from. The Samaritan settlers in Samaria were soon attacked by a plague of wild lions. Bands of wild lions in those times entering settlements and attacking the inhabitants are also recorded elsewhere in the Middle East. The climate was different at that time. There was more vegetation and forestry covering. Not only lions but even herds of wild elephants were to be found in the region of Syria. The attacks by lions were consequently reported to the king of Assyria. The reason for the predations of these feline beasts against the Samaritan settlers was given as that they "Know not the manner of the God of the land" (2 Kings 17:24). It was decided to send an Israelite Priest to teach them the former religion of the area. (2-Kings 17:25) And it was so, at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they did not fear the LORD therefore the LORD sent lions among them, which killed some of them. 26 So they spoke to the king of Assyria, saying, "The nations whom you have removed and placed in the cities of Samaria do not know the rituals of the God of the land therefore He has sent lions among them, and indeed, they are killing them because they do not know the rituals of the God of the land." 27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, "Send there one of the priests whom you brought from there let him go and dwell there, and let him teach them the rituals of the God of the land." 28 Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the LORD. So they feared the LORD, and from every class they appointed for themselves priests of the high places, who sacrificed for them in the shrines of the high places. They feared the LORD, yet served their own gods, according to the rituals of the nations from among whom they were carried away (2 Kings 17: 32-33) . So these nations feared the LORD, yet served their carved images also their children and their children's children have continued doing as their fathers did, even to this day (2 Kings 17:41) .. Israelite and Jewish Contacts with the Samaritans Some of the Samaritans intermarried with some few of those northern Israelites whom the Assyrians had not exiled (Midrash Eliyahu Zuta 21). Jews from Judah also to some degree later intermixed with them. When Ezra led the return of Jewish Exiles to Judah the Samaritans approached him and offered to assist in rebuilding the Temple (Ezra 4). Ezra rejected the offer. The Samaritans then joined up with the heathens round about who did what they could to impede the Temple construction and associated Jewish resettlement in Jerusalem and its surroundings. Eventually the Samaritans were conquered by the Hasmonean-Maccabees and subjected to Jewish rule. They came under heavy Jewish influence, both Orthodox-Pharisaic and sectarian. There was a period when they were considered to be on the same level in many ways as regular Jews even though they rejected much of the Oral Traditions and explanations of Biblical Verses. It was then discovered that a group amongst them secretly still worshipped a pagan god in the shape of a dove. After that associations between Jews and Samaritans became more restricted and henceforth they were classified as being on the same level as all other non-Jewish Gentiles. They themselves upon occasion could be violently anti-Jewish. According to Josephus, when the Jews were powerful the Samaritans emphasized their "Hebraic" connections but when the Jews were persecuted they claimed to be of Phoenician (Canaanite) stock. They were once very numerous and numbered in the millions though today there are only a few hundred left. They use a form of writing derived from the old Israelite "Phoenician" (Paleo-Hebrew) script. In the 1850s the Arabs (under Turkish rule) planned a massacre of the Samaritan community. Jewish settlers however prevailed upon the British Consul to intervene on their behalf and thus they were saved from extermination. Influence on Early Christianity and on the Jewish Karaite Movement Early Christianity in some opinions was influenced by the Samaritans. Ernest L. Martin and others wrote on this matter. Ernest L. MARTIN, "The People That History Forgot. The Mysterious People Who Originated The World's Religions", U.S.A., 1993. The claims of Martin are supported by the reported tendency of Samaritans to convert to Christianity with relative alacrity. See Also: The Samaritans by Alan David Crown, 1989, p.215. So too, the Jewish Karaite sect may have had Samaritan antecedents both through the Sadducees some of whom intermarried with Samaritans and also in Mesopotamia where the Karaites in their historical format originated. The ideology and psychological outlook are similar. They are based on resentment of mainstream Orthodox Judaism. Belief in Israelite Origins and in Kinship with the British and French In the course of time the "Samaritans" came to identify themselves as the Israelite Tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. The Samaritans still highly revere Joshua ben Nun (from the Tribe of Ephraim) and regard him as their founder. They believed their priests were descendants of Pinchas son of Elazar son of Aaron brother of Moses. Batsheva BONNE, "A Genetic View of the Samaritan Isotope", Boston University, 1965, Bonne p.7. In the past, priestly families from Judah had intermarried with them and in some matters they may have preserved genuine traditions. Mills (1864) writes: "There was a tradition amongst them which has yet hardly died out that large numbers of their brethren were dwelling in various parts of the world in England, France, India, and elsewhere". Bonne p.33, Ernest L. MARTIN, p.38 brings the same quotation in the name of a Dr. Mimpriss, 1865. [It is worth noting that the Druze of Israel and Lebanon had similar traditions and also regarded themselves as having kinfolk amongst the Jews, British, French, and in India.] We see that the Samaritans attempted to identify themselves as northern Israelites from the Tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. Some few of them may indeed have been descended from the ancient Israelites and this may explain their claimed link to England and France. At one stage the Samaritans numbered in their millions though now they have been reduced to a few hundred. There was once a Samaritan Diaspora. Some of them may have gone to Africa and intermixed with the natives thus giving rise to certain reported traditions and customs. Encounters with Yair Davidiy Yair Davidiy (founder of Brit-Am, Movement of the Ten Tribes) during his 18 month regular IDF Service (1975-76) spent about a month in Schechem (Nablus) and became acquainted with some of the Samaritans living near there. They have their own particular features found also amongst part of the local Arab Moslem population. Many of them have a double lobe on their ears as a result of frequent intermarriage. Apart from that, they seem fairly easy to get along with, pleasant of disposition, and moderately intelligent. Some of them have red hair. They seem basically pro-Israeli in their political outlook though a veteran more senior Druze Border Guard whom I spoke with looked on them with a strongly suspicious reservation. (Appendix 1) Was the Samaritan Belief in English Kinship the Result of Christian Missionary Deceit in the 1600s? Response to H.23 by Jim Ridolfo http://rid.olfo.org/2010/03/response-to-b-10-rhetoric-in-circulation-tracing-the-paths-of-discourse-in-the-public-sphere/ Extracts: in 1671, British scholar Robert Huntington visited Palestine and tricked the Samaritans into believing that he represented their "long lost brethren" from Europe. This deceit then set in motion another wave of epistles, this time addressed to their brothers in England (5). When the epistles arrived in England, they were not immediately delivered to Huntington: The first epistle came into the hands of Thomas Marshall of Oxford, who in 1675 addressed a Hebrew epistle to the Samaritans, which informed them that the writers were of the race of Kapheth its substance was a pious attempt to proselytize the sect for the Christian Messiah. Huntington forwarded this letter, accompanied by one from himself. (6) Samaritan letter of response Translated from the Samaritan by Jim Ridolfo 3.15.2010 # In the name of Y-H-V-H, our G-d and the G-d of our fathers, we begin (this letter) with the reminder of his name in our hands. May peace be upon you, my dear brother, with love close to my heart: May G-d protect you and may you have many more days! I give you notice that your letter reached us, and that there has been from us much joy, and what you said was already in our hearts. In this letter, you proposed to us questions in Arabic about the Hebrew language. This language, the Hebrew language, is known to my brothers and we believe in the Law of Moses and what it prescribes. You say, my brother, that he is among you anyone of us brothers who keep the Law of Moses, our prophet is the one thing that we do not believe, consequently we have sent to you a Torah (to your country). You are to us our brothers. # Huntington's deceit in pretending to be one of their long lost Brethren is propagated long after his death. After the exchanges of 1675, the exchange of epistles continues with other scholars from Paris and England well into the 19th century. Because of Huntington's deceit, these 19th century epistles continued to reflect the belief that the Samaritans had long lost brothers in Paris and England. Consequently, the 150 years after Huntington's lie the Samaritans continued to address their epistles to the Samaritans of Paris, England, etc. Extracts: Although historically they were a large community, up to more than a million in late Roman times, then gradually reduced to several tens of thousands up to a few centuries ago, their unprecedented demographic shrinkage has been a result of various historical events, including most notably the bloody repression of the Third Samaritan Revolt (529 CE) against the Byzantine Christian rulers and the mass conversion to Islam in the Early Muslim period of Palestine.[5][6] According to their tally, as of November 1, 2007, there were 712[1] Samaritans living almost exclusively in two localities, one in Kiryat Luza on Mount Gerizim near the city of Nablus (Shechem) in the West Bank, and the other in the Israeli city of Holon.[7] There are, however, followers of various backgrounds adhering to Samaritan traditions outside of Israel especially in the United States. Much of the local Arabic population of Shechem is believed to be descended from Samaritans who converted to Islam. As of November 1, 2007, there were 712[1] Samaritans half of whom reside in their modern homes at Kiryat Luza on Mount Gerizim, which is sacred to them, and the rest in the city of Holon, just outside Tel Aviv.[7][28] There are also four Samaritan families residing in Binyamina, Giv'at Ada, Matan and Ashdod. Until the 1980s, most of the Samaritans resided in the Samarian town of Shechem/Nablus below Mount Gerizim. They relocated to the mountain itself near the Israeli settlement neighborhood of Har Brakha as a result of violence during the First Intifada (1987-1990). Consequently, all that is left of the Samaritan community in Shechem/Nablus itself is an abandoned synagogue. The Israeli army maintains a presence in the area.[28] . there has been a history of genetic disease within the group due to the small gene pool. To counter this, the Samaritan community has recently agreed that men from the community may marry non-Samaritan (primarily, Israeli Jewish) women, provided that the women agree to follow Samaritan religious practices. Defendants of the Samaritans Criticize the Brit-Am Approach. Shalom Vekol Tov [And all the best] Yair Davidy. I read with great interest your chapter on the Samaritans. On facebook I the pleasure of communicating with Ben Sedaka, who out of Holon is the spokesperson for the community of Shomronim [Samaritans]. He is of course Educated, A very nice man and a source of great information on the Samaritans Community and its history. Soon he with the help of respected scholars will be publishing. The Israelite Samaritan Version of the Torah: First English Translation Compared with the Masoretic Version [Hardcover] # Benyamim Tsedaka (Editor), Sharon Sullivan (Editor), James H. Charlesworth (Introduction), Emanuel Tov (Foreword) ere, for the first time in English, Benyamim Tsedaka presents the Samaritan version of the Pentateuch, a text of growing interest and importance for biblical studies. Tsedaka's expert English translation is presented parallel to the more familiar Masoretic [traditional Rabbinical] text, a format that highlights the more than six thousand differences between the Samaritan and Masoretic versions. Extensive margin notes provide further help and explanation, and detailed indices tie the Samaritan Torah to the Septuagint [Greek] versions and the Dead Sea Scroll texts. # 1. The reason I bring him up is because Samaritans have recieved a lot of bad press in the Tanach. We know what the Tanach says about them but few Jews know what the Shomronim [Samaritans] really say about themselves and not just the Torahs version of events. 2. Whether they have Assyrian blood in their vein, a little or a lot, I believe that they are the rightful heirs to the house of Joseph. All the accounts in 2 Kings should be taken with a grain of salt. Lions runnin around chewing up people as a punishment is a little farfetched in some ways, and this is not Torah, it is Historia, it is the opinion of the writer of 2 Kings. Remember, the Northern Tribes from the start set up the Twin Calfs of Bet El and Torah took second place to the machinations of the Kings and their foreign wives. And in the South I seem to remember a lot of Asherah worship going on. The point is dear Yair, is that the animosity against them has to be put to rest. We are told they will be received back when they recognize Jerusalem as the place of the Holy Temple. They have their own reasons for Har Gerizim being the actual Har Hakadosh and the true place that Hashem meant for us to build the Temple and in fact, I understand a lot of Jewish items were concealed under the grounds of Har Gerizim by the South when they were under siege by the enemy. In fact, when the world calls us occupiers, the Samaritans are the only ones who can say, a lot of Israel left, but we Samaritans were still here when the Arabs came around and stole our Northern Territory and our brothers to the South territories that we have been custodians of, if not on paper then by our sheer presence here. The Arabs have made Shechem, a violent hotbed of Arab Nationalism. 3. When I was in Yeshivah I was told that since the Sadducees and Karaites didnt believe in a Torah Baal Peh [Literally Torah from the mouth i.e. Rabbinical Oral Tradition], which in and of itself is not an honest statement, but that they take things literally, so when they put the Shel Rosh [head piece of the tefillin-phylacteries] on the head they literally put it between the eyes and end up dead or damaged from running into walls because the way they do it it blocks their vision. But one thing my Rabbinic teachers never thought of, was that since Sadducess and Karaites didnt believe in Oral Law as expounded by the Rabbinate, they didnt put on Teffilin at all. So I came away with a lesson that one way the Rabbis dealt with sectarian movements was to fabricate stories about their religous practice. But thats an aside. 4. You quote a book by Ernest L. Martin. I have read the mans works, his last, the Temples that Jerusalem forgot, in which he puts a strong case together for the Western Wall being the remains of the Fortress of Antonia which housed the Roman Garrison in Jerusalem and uses pretty damning evidence such as that by Josephus who wrote about Jerusalem when the battle was over and the city desolate, Josephus declares that the only thing visible that still stood was the structure that housed the Roman Garrison, Fort Antonia. Had their been such a thing as the Kotel he certainly would have mentioned that when talking about the garrison, but the desolation was complete, so the only possible answer that he has and explains, is that the Temples were South of Al Aqsua over the Gihon Springs where they had the water for cleansing the Temple and grounds and a well for the priests could have a water supply. This puts him at odds with Leen Ritmeyer, an architect who has done a lot of hard work detailing as much minutiae of the Temple Mount, its buildings, its stairways, its ruins etc and holds that the Dome of the Rock is where lies the holy of holies. But was forced by the Muslims to eventually stop his research. 5. I guess what I mean to say, that in gathering the lost tribes of our nation together, we will have differences as we do with the Samaritans on certain issues. We must start to appreciate that not all the lost tribes are going to allow themselves to be what they feel is humiliating requests to conversions to something they already believe in which is Torah. Im sure if we did a DNA test on the Mitochondrial side of a lot of the very same Rabbinic leaders, we will find a lot of non-jewish cells in their system. How much of the Rabbinate needs a "conversion" I wonder. 6. You are working hard to bring home our lost bretheren wherever possible, but as your article on the Samaritans demonstrate, they will not be rolls royces of the Israelite nation, and in my opinion, these Rabbis are not converting these people "just in case" They are taking Israelites and trying to make them into Jews. They need to be taught Torah, but we cannot nor should not demand recognition of the Oral Law, which if you ask the Beta Israel, the Bnei Manasseh from India and all these Israelite people who always knew who they were but having left during the first temple period they know nothing about Oral Law and therefore we should ask ourselves, is it coincidence that that majority of those of Israelite descent, may know the Torah backwards and forewards, but the Oral law is foreign to them and that maybe we Jews need to start rethinking our place in the greater scheme of things. Im not saying the Talmud is a lie or a phony set of legal jurisprudence and cultural records, but we should recognize that as much as we would like to believe, the Talmud is simply a record of the Israelite justice system as it served our ancestors and can be brought up to date as it has been to address issues relevant today. But to take tribes like the Ethiopian Jews or Samaritans, who even after being taught by a Cohen dont recognize an Oral tradition from Sinai then we must sit down and discuss how the tribes will interact. We will be back to internecine warfare when an Ethiopian follows a commandment of the Torah and is guided by their elders the Khest and then along comes a Rabbi from Chabad or some Hassidic sect and tells the person that his elders words are meaningless and have no place in judaism. But it wont matter because they are not Jews and were never proccessed into believing everything that the Mishna says somehow has it secret origins in a Mesorah that is unprovable. I hope you understand what Im trying to convey. 2 Jews 3 opinions, God willing he blesses your work then what, X amount of Israelites returning leading to Y amount of opinions. Oh and I purchased your latest edition of the tribes and look foreward to see how you have polished it up. With all Sincerity and Kavod to You and your Hashkafa Yair Davidy i remain yours truly Brit-Am Reply: Ilan Shalom, Your e-mail reached us just as we had received correspondence from Larry on the same subject and with a similar attitude. Larry is the one responsible for The Samaritan Update. http://thesamaritanupdate.com/ The original illustrations in our Samaritans article were derived from Larry's site. Larry however thought that we had spoken disparagingly of the Samaritans so he asked that his photos be removed. And so they were. We replaced them with others and also moderately upgraded the presentation of the article. Our notice to this effect is what you are now reacting to. In this article by a German magazine it is claimed that the Samaritan version of the Torah and of history is true whereas that of the Jews is not. Well, tickle me pink! For the last few hundred years British savants have studied this question quite thoroughly and seem to have unanimously concluded that the Jewish account is the correct one and that the Masoretic Text (of traditional Jews) is the most reliable. We should not really care what others say on this point and neither do we. Nevertheless, it is nice to know that not everybody is blinded by their own prejudices and lusts. Now to reply to a few points from your letter which I have taken the liberty of numbering. [1. The Tanaach in our possession is the word of the Almighty. We are not interested in laboring this point overduly since it is not our field BUT we have merited to have it made known to us in numerous ways. The Samaritans may be very nice but their texts are not reliable. Sorry. [2. Mesopotamian records show that herds of lions in those days did roam the area and on occasion entered human settlements spreading terror. Lions were numerous. Tiglathpileser of Assyria claims to have killed (in organized hunts) up to 800 lions at a time. His men would actually bring the lions together and attack them with weapons and trained mastiff dogs. Then the king would ceremoniously finish them off. This was thought to have a magical significance. See: Living in Ancient Mesopotamia by Norman Bancroft Hunt, 2003, p.76. http://www.amazon.com/Living-Ancient-Mesopotamia-World/dp/0816063370 Samaria (northern Israel) had been devastated by the Assyrians and many of its inhabitants butchered. Packs of wild lions would have had plenty to feast on. They may also have developed a taste for human flesh and a diminishing of the natural fear of mankind that otherwise made them wary. [3. Karaites Vary and May Have Said Anything! In principle Karaite doctrine says that every individual Karaite was to be free to invent his own interpretations of the Law and keep it as he felt fit. In practice different groups of Karaites adopted common interpretations. They often imitated the Rabbinical Jews or they took Rabbinical teachings and deliberately did the exact opposite. Some of them may have put on tefillin or their own version of them. The commandment of tefillin is found in: Deuteronomy 6: 6 'And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. The word translated as frontlets in Hebrews is Totafot. This an unusual word of complex origins. One of its word roots appears to be "TOF" connoting inflated, or hollow. It also means drum or an empty enclosed leather container. In this container were to be placed the Torah Passage. This is tefillin. This is what tefillin are. [4. Ernest L. Martin is not the only authority on the Samaritans! We quoted from Ernest L. Martin concerning the Samaritans. Martin mainly quotes from others. Other works such as The Samaritans by Alan David Crown, 1989, p.215. http://books.google.co.il/books/about/The_Samaritans.html also say the same thing. Crow incidentally mentions that many Samaritans settled in Sicily. Perhaps the alleged Jewish-type customs of the Mafia are actually Samaritan? Concerning the Temple and the Western Wall etc we would not agree with Martin. Leen Ritmeyer, from the little we know, appears to be closer to the mark and his findings are the most respected. [5. Unbroken Matriarchal Lineages. You suggest that many Orthodox Jews on their mother's side going back far enough may not have an unbroken Jewish lineage? There are many things we do not know. Halachically it may not matter. Maimonides seems to say that if a person believes themselves Jewish, purifies themselves, acts and identifies as a Jew then in effect we take them to be Jewish. This is therefore what they are, or become. Someone who converts merely has their adherence to the Jewish people confirmed by the community. This could be considered the same thing in another way. This, I think, is what the Law implies. Anyway it is not something we know that much about or feel qualified to adjudicate upon. As far as the Lost Ten Tribes and foreign admixtures are concerned we rely on Ezekiel. 21 'Thus you shall divide this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel. 22 It shall be that you will divide it by lot as an inheritance for yourselves, and for the strangers who dwell among you and who bear children among you. They shall be to you as native-born among the children of Israel they shall have an inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. 23 And it shall be that in whatever tribe the stranger dwells, there you shall give him his inheritance,' says the Lord God [Ezekiel 47:21-23]. [6. Judah and Joseph are Different! Concerning your last point we have an entirely different take on the subject. The Lost Ten Tribes are now mainly amongst Western Peoples. The other groups from Asia etc are not really from the Ten tribes. They may become genuine converts to Judaism. In such a case they should toe the line according to what Rabbinical Law says. The same applies to everyone else. We do not see any problem with this. Someone who wants to be Jewish and join the club needs to meet the given requirements. The Ten Tribes are in a club of their own and do not have to join up. It may however be necessary for some kind of Renewal of the Covenant to take place. We can leave the resolution of this matter to future generations and /or the Messiah. For the time being what needs to be done is to spread knowledge as to who and where the Lost Ten Tribes really are! To Make an Offering to Brit-Am, Movement of the Ten Tribes: Or (outside of North America) send a check to: Brit-Am POB 595 Jerusalem 91004 Israel The name "Ephraim" in Hebrew Letters as Seen by Satellite in the Hills of Ephraim Correspond with us Send Comments or Criticisms You may not always receive an immediate answerbut anything you say will be considered and appreciated Send us an e-mail

Jews,Samaritans and Levites-what is the difference?

Hi all,
I understand they are three different tribes in the Bible and, as far as I understand, they follow the same God of Abraham. I just want to know what the difference is between these 3 tribes in relation to each other? Were they also God's chosen people of the Old Testament? Do Samariatns and Levites still exist to this day and what religion do they follow now? Christianity, Judaism or do they have a religion of their own?

Jewish voice

High Elder

Hi all,
I understand they are three different tribes in the Bible and, as far as I understand, they follow the same God of Abraham. I just want to know what the difference is between these 3 tribes in relation to each other? Were they also God's chosen people of the Old Testament? Do Samariatns and Levites still exist to this day and what religion do they follow now? Christianity, Judaism or do they have a religion of their own?

Eddybear

OC.Net Guru

Inquirer

Elder

Jews and Samaritans are not a tribe. A breakdown:

Israelites - all of the descendants of the patriarch Jacob. The people freed from Egypt and lead into the Land of Milk & Honey by Moses and Joshua.

Levites - one of the 12 tribes of the Israelites, descended from Jacob's son Levi. Because they did not participate in the idolatry of the Golden Calf (cf. Exodus 32), they were designated as the special priestly class of Israel.

Judeans - after the split in the Kingdom of Israel which happened due to Rehoboam (Solomon's son), the southern half became the Kingdom of Judah (because the Tribe of Judah held most of the land in its borders and thus was the dominate tribe of the southern kingdom). The northern Kingdom of Israel was mostly wiped out by the Neo-Assyrian Empire, and after their fall, the Judeans were responsible for repopulating the northern kingdom thus after that, the people of Israel were also known as Jews (because their kings were from the Tribe of Judah).

Samaritans - when the Babylonian Exile happened, many Jews were deported to Babylon, but a hefty number stayed. The ones that stayed had a parallel but very different religious practice from the Jews that were exiled and returned to Israel these were called Samaritans. They have their own Torah in the Samaritan dialect of Hebrew, which is in many aspects even more ancient than the current mainstream Hebrew (it never took on the "block letters" from the Babylonian alphabet). The Samaritan Torah, interestingly enough, says that God commanded them to worship on Mt. Gerizim, not in Jerusalem. In Jesus' time the Samaritans were widely hated by the mainstream Jews see the Parable of the Good Samaritan, whose point was to demonstrate that it's not one's heritage that counts but their actions (the shocking aspect was supposed to be that the hated Samaritan was a better neighbor than actual Jews).

PeterTheAleut

Hypatos

Outside of the Levites, the Jews are mostly of the tribe of Judah, whose society remained largely intact during their time of exile in Babylon. The other ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom were assimilated, in large part forcefully, into the races of the people around them when they were taken from Israel by the Assyrians. Those tribes are now largely considered lost from world history, except maybe for the Samaritans, who have historically considered themselves the descendants of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh that remained in the Land of Israel during the Exile.

As I understand the differences between the Jews and the Samaritans, the major bone of contention has been their geographical center of worship. The Samaritans believe that Mount Gerizim was the place God established to be His center of worship, while the Jews look to Jerusalem.

Lovesupreme

OC.Net Guru

To expand on Inquirer's answer: the priests of the temple were specifically descendants of Aaron, a Levite, and known as kohanim (כֹּהֲנִים, meaning "priests"). Levites not of this particular lineage still served various unique functions in the temple, such as washing the priest's hands or carrying the Ark of the Covenant. Both enjoyed offerings from the people, because they generally could not make a livelihood from working in the temple.

Today, those who have traced their lineage back to either the Levites or the priestly subset of Levites are accorded special honor but obviously do not serve in the temple, which is destroyed. Kohains (singular) are exempt from having to redeem their children using silver coins (a practice originally performed in the Temple), and have various restrictions on who they can marry and how close they can be to a dead body. They perform the priestly blessing on the other congregants during certain times of the year, and they also are the first to be called up for Torah readings. Levites are the second to be called up, and they also wash the hands of the priests before the blessing (if no Levites are present, a firstborn does instead).

You can usually (but not always) tell if someone has lineage to either of these groups by their last name:

Kohain: Cohen, Kohen, Kahn, Cowan, etc.
Levite: Levi, Levy, Lebo, Lev, Levine, etc.

DeniseDenise

Taxiarches

and quite interestingly they have done genetic research and there are Chromosomes passed down associated with each of these..


see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y-chromosomal_Aaron for a much better explanation

Mockingbird

Sr. Member

For more about the Samaritans:

Yeshuaisiam

Protokentarchos

Outside of the Levites, the Jews are mostly of the tribe of Judah, whose society remained largely intact during their time of exile in Babylon. The other ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom were assimilated, in large part forcefully, into the races of the people around them when they were taken from Israel by the Assyrians. Those tribes are now largely considered lost from world history, except maybe for the Samaritans, who have historically considered themselves the descendants of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh that remained in the Land of Israel during the Exile.

As I understand the differences between the Jews and the Samaritans, the major bone of contention has been their geographical center of worship. The Samaritans believe that Mount Gerizim was the place God established to be His center of worship, while the Jews look to Jerusalem.

Yes, good stuff PtA. From what I understand there wound up being two kingdoms. 10 tribes in the Northern Kingdom which is often called Israel or Ephraim. The southern kingdom of Judah which the tribe of Benjamin later assimilated into.

From what I understand, there were either remnants of that Northern Kingdom that didn't go into exile and remained, or a fraction returned but was never considered "God's People" by Judah (Jews).

Interestingly as PtA mentioned the northern kingdom and nobody knows what happened. the 10 lost tribes of Israel/Ephraim god the father "divorced" and technically nobody knows where they all went.

The following is just "thought/speculation" and holds no authority: Just mere for the fun of it.
It draws curiosity of why many Jews would consider this lost kingdom as gentiles. God divorced Ephraim/Israel. Interestingly Jesus said "I have come for my lost sheep". IF the tribes were scattered (along with the alien) through the nations, through the death of God (freeing one's bond to not re-marry according to Torah) and the re-birth of the gentiles (virgin bride), become a "union" once again? Looking through the codex sinaticus and strong's, the Greek of Hebrews 12:23 say's "The general assembly and church of the firstborn ones". (Ephraim of course getting the first born blessing from Jacob/Israel.) (KJV doesn't read this way) Could the church be the virgin bride of the "firstborn ones" re-married to God through the death of Jesus Christ if one considers the gentiles to be from Ephraim/Israel? Hah, it's fun anyway.

Andrewlya

Archon

Hi all,
I understand they are three different tribes in the Bible and, as far as I understand, they follow the same God of Abraham. I just want to know what the difference is between these 3 tribes in relation to each other? Were they also God's chosen people of the Old Testament? Do Samariatns and Levites still exist to this day and what religion do they follow now? Christianity, Judaism or do they have a religion of their own?

Andrewlya

Archon

Andrewlya

Archon

Jews and Samaritans are not a tribe. A breakdown:

Israelites - all of the descendants of the patriarch Jacob. The people freed from Egypt and lead into the Land of Milk & Honey by Moses and Joshua.

Levites - one of the 12 tribes of the Israelites, descended from Jacob's son Levi. Because they did not participate in the idolatry of the Golden Calf (cf. Exodus 32), they were designated as the special priestly class of Israel.

Judeans - after the split in the Kingdom of Israel which happened due to Rehoboam (Solomon's son), the southern half became the Kingdom of Judah (because the Tribe of Judah held most of the land in its borders and thus was the dominate tribe of the southern kingdom). The northern Kingdom of Israel was mostly wiped out by the Neo-Assyrian Empire, and after their fall, the Judeans were responsible for repopulating the northern kingdom thus after that, the people of Israel were also known as Jews (because their kings were from the Tribe of Judah).

Samaritans - when the Babylonian Exile happened, many Jews were deported to Babylon, but a hefty number stayed. The ones that stayed had a parallel but very different religious practice from the Jews that were exiled and returned to Israel these were called Samaritans. They have their own Torah in the Samaritan dialect of Hebrew, which is in many aspects even more ancient than the current mainstream Hebrew (it never took on the "block letters" from the Babylonian alphabet). The Samaritan Torah, interestingly enough, says that God commanded them to worship on Mt. Gerizim, not in Jerusalem. In Jesus' time the Samaritans were widely hated by the mainstream Jews see the Parable of the Good Samaritan, whose point was to demonstrate that it's not one's heritage that counts but their actions (the shocking aspect was supposed to be that the hated Samaritan was a better neighbor than actual Jews).


CHAPTER 1 NOTES

1. Alfred Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, pp. 14, 16

2. Heinrich Graetz, History of the Jews, vol. 1, p. 265

3. Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, bk. 11, ch. 5, sec. 2. The phrase &ldquobeyond [the] Euphrates&rdquo would have meant beyond the headwaters of the Euphrates&mdashacross the Caucasus Mountains. The Israelites, by Josephus&rsquo time, had migrated out of the Middle East and had mostly resettled in areas around the Black Sea. The apostle James also plainly confirms that the ten tribes had not disappeared from history. He addresses his epistle &ldquoto the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad&rdquo (James 1:1).


Are the Samaritans descendants of Israel's lost tribes, and so rightfully considered Israelites? - History

Ever since the Assyrians exiled the Lost Tribes of Israel in the eighth century B.C., the mystery of what happened to the ten tribes has deepened inexorably with time. Where did they go? Are the claims by contemporary groups who say they are descended from the Lost Tribes legitimate? Here, we present an abbreviated history of the Lost Tribes and modern-day claims of descent. Excerpted with permission from Beyond the Sambatyon: The Myth of the Ten Lost Tribes, a CD-ROM released by MAXIMA New Media in 1995. (For more information on the CD and an accompanying book, see Resources.)


Map depicting the Sambatyon River.
Beyond the Sambatyon
Over 2,700 years ago, the Assyrians exiled the ten tribes of the Kingdom of Israel. The ten tribes would have returned at once to the Holy Land had not the Lord encircled them with the legendary river, the Sambatyon. All week long, every week, the great and terrible river Sambatyon seethes with wild rapids, churning great rocks in billows up to the heavens. On the Sabbath, however, the river rests from its fury. But the ten tribes cannot cross because of their great piety and their reverence for the day of rest. And so, to this day, the search for the ten lost tribes continues. beyond the Sambatyon.

Historical Introduction
"In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and he carried them away to Assyria and placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of Medes." In the years 722-721 BC, the Ten Tribes who comprised the northern Kingdom of Israel disappeared. Conquered by the Assyrian King Shalmaneser V, they were exiled to upper Mesopotamia and Medes, today modern Syria and Iraq. The Ten Tribes of Israel have never been seen since. Or have they?


Abraham, center, with grandson Jacob, left.
Let us begin our story from the beginning, with Abraham the Patriarch, or better yet with his grandson Jacob. Jacob was renamed Israel when God appeared to him when he was leaving Padn-Aram and blessed him. Jacob produced twelve sons, each of whom became the father of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Reuven, Shimon, Levi, Yehuda, Issachar, Zevulun, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Joseph, Benjamin. In the Land of Canaan, each of the twelve Israelite tribes settled a different region on either side of the Jordan River.

During a later period, a monarchy was established, but with the death of King Solomon, the state was divided in two. The tribes split along territorial and political lines, with Judah and Benjamin in the south loyal to the Davidic house, and the rest of the tribes in the north ruled by a succession of monarchies. The southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin constitute the historical forbears of most of the Jewish People as it is known today. And the Ten Tribes of the Northern Kingdom? It appeared that they had been eliminated for eternity. But the prophet Ezekiel envisioned a different tomorrow: "Behold I will take the children of Israel. and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their land. And they shall be divided into two kingdoms no more."

Across centuries and continents, the prophetic words instilled hope that one day, brethren would join brethren, and together rebuild the kingdom of God. But first. the Ten Lost Tribes had to be found.

Benjamin of Tudela
Benjamin of Tudela
Benjamin, son of Jonah, was determined to see the world. In 1165, in an age when travel meant peril on road and sea, he set out from his native Tudela, Spain on an extended voyage. He spent several years visiting Jewish communities in the East and West. The great medieval Jewish traveler is familiarly known as Benjamin of Tudela. We know little about him other that what emerges in his famous Book of Travels. In whichever community he visited, and even in those he didn't, Benjamin recorded his observations, many of which are quite imaginative.

When visiting in Persia and in the Arabian peninsula, Benjamin came across Jewish tribesmen whom he was convinced were descendants of the Lost Israelites. The self-sufficiency and fierceness of these tribesmen deeply impressed him. He writes as follows:

During his visit to Arabia he came across the largest Jewish settlement in the region, the Jews of Kheibar. "These tribesmen," he writes, "are of the tribes Reuven and Gad, and the half-tribe of Menasseh. Their seat of government is a great city surrounded by the mountains of the North. The Jews of Kheibar have built many large fortified cities. The yoke of the gentiles is not upon them. They go forth to pillage and to capture booty in conjunction with the Arabs their neighbors." The diary of Benjamin, son of Jonah—translated into so many languages—inspired many in their quest for the independent kingdoms of the Ten Lost Tribes.


Hatred Between Jews and Samaritans

Hatred between Jews and Samaritans was fierce and long-standing. In some ways, it dated all the way back to the days of the patriarchs. Jacob (or Israel) had twelve sons, whose descendants became twelve tribes. Joseph, his favorite, was despised by the other brothers (Gen. 37:3-4), and they attempted to do away with him.

But God intervened and not only preserved Joseph’s life, but used him to preserve the lives of the entire clan. Before his death, Jacob gave Joseph a blessing in which he called him a “fruitful bough by a well” (Gen. 49:22). The blessing was fulfilled, as the territory allotted to the tribes of Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim (“doubly fruitful”) and Manasseh, was the fertile land that eventually became Samaria.

Later, Israel divided into two kingdoms. The northern kingdom, called Israel, established its capital first at Shechem, a revered site in Jewish history, and later at the hilltop city of Samaria.

In 722 B.C. Assyria conquered Israel and took most of its people into captivity. The invaders then brought in Gentile colonists “from Babylon, Cuthah, Ava, Hamath, and from Sepharvaim” (2 Kin. 17:24) to resettle the land. The foreigners brought with them their pagan idols, which the remaining Jews began to worship alongside the God of Israel (2 Kin. 17:29-41). Intermarriages also took place (Ezra 9:1-10:44Neh. 13:23-28 ).

Meanwhile, the southern kingdom of Judah fell to Babylon in 600 B.C. Its people, too, were carried off into captivity. But 70 years later, a remnant of 43,000 was permitted to return and rebuild Jerusalem. The people who now inhabited the former northern kingdom—the Samaritans—vigorously opposed the repatriation and tried to undermine the attempt to reestablish the nation. For their part, the full-blooded, monotheistic Jews detested the mixed marriages and worship of their northern cousins. So walls of bitterness were erected on both sides and did nothing but harden for the next 550 years.

There are countless modern parallels to the Jewish-Samaritan enmity—indeed, wherever peoples are divided by racial and ethnic barriers. Perhaps that’s why the Gospels and Acts provide so many instances of Samaritans coming into contact with the message of Jesus. It is not the person from the radically different culture on the other side of the world that is hardest to love, but the nearby neighbor whose skin color, language, rituals, values, ancestry, history, and customs are different from one’s own.

Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans. With whom do you have no dealings'

The Word in Life Study Bible, New Testament Edition, (Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville 1993), pp. 340-341


The Samaritans

Although the "Remnant" theory has been much abused, with successive remnants falling into pride and despising those left behind, the idea is nevertheless Biblical. Noah was called out because he was faithful, and was saved from the flood. Abraham was called out from among the faithful line of Shem, and God made a covenant with him and his descendants, through the line of Isaac and Jacob. The twelve sons of Jacob and their descendants became the twelve tribes of Israel and were given the Torah during the days of Moses. Ten tribes rebelled during the days of Jehoshaphat and went to Samaria, separating themselves from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Judah was the dominant tribe so that those who remained in Jerusalem and the surrounding area were called Judeans. They were subsequently known as Jews. The ten separated tribes were subjugated by the Assyrians, assimilated, and some of them taken captive. The Judeans, because of their unfaithfulness, were invaded and besieged, and many of them were taken captive into Babylon, but they returned after 70 years. At the time of Yeshua, the ten tribes were known as the Samaritans, and they had their own place of worship on Mount Gerizim. They were excluded from the Temple worship in Jerusalem, except for small minorities from some of the tribes who renounced the Samaritan worship and joined themselves to the Judeans.

When Yeshua came, many people believed in him during his early ministry, but there was opposition from the Jewish religious leaders, who denounced him as an agent of the devil. He proceeded to train his own disciples as the leaders of a new Messianic remnant which subsequently became known as the Church, and at the same time he prophesied the physical destruction of the nation of Israel, an event which came to pass in AD 70.

This latest Messianic remnant maintained its Jewish identity throughout most of the first century, but became swamped with Gentiles who wanted to observe the Word of God on their own terms. The Christians lost touch with their Jewish roots, with obvious consequences for their understanding of the life and teaching of Yeshua, but they have been faithful insofar as they have preserved the written text of the New Testament. Some Messianic Jews today describe this as a miracle. They say "We abandoned Yeshua, but God miraculously raised up a remnant from among the Gentiles who preserved the New Testament for us, so that 2,000 years later we could learn about our Messiah".

In recent times, tensions have occurred between Gentile Christians and Messianic Jews. Some Christians would prefer the Jews to make a straightforward conversion to Christianity, abandoning Shabbat and all the Biblical festivals and switching over to Sunday worship, Christmas, Easter and all the rest of it. Some Messianic Jews reject this, insisting that they should observe Judaism as it was practiced by the first century church. The Messianic Jews, having at last received the New Testament that has been preserved for them, can understand it better than the Gentiles because they recognise its Jewish context. Some Gentiles resent this, saying "You have been absent for 2,000 years and you think you know better than us?". There is rivalry and sometimes outright hostility. Some Christians consider themselves to be the "Israel of God", and do not recognise any alternative, Judaistic Israel. This problem is discussed in more detail in my article entitled The Elect Remnant of Israel. The article also discusses in greater detail the Biblical Remnant concept.

History of the Samaritans

From the Tanakh (Old Testament)

975 BC. The history of the Samaritans begins with the rebellion against King Rehoboam, the son of King Solomon and grandson of King David. Solomon had placed heavy burdens upon them, but Rehoboam attempted to make it even worse, saying:

My little finger shall be thicker than my fathers loins . I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. (1 Kings 12:10-14).

Many of the Israelites objected and followed a rebel leader called Jeroboam, who set up his kingdom in Shechem and built altars for idolatrous worship in Bethel and Dan. At first only the tribe of Judah remained in Jerusalem, but then many of the fighting men of Benjamin joined them (1 Kings 12:20-21). Throughout the remainder of the two books of Kings, the ten rebel tribes are called "Israel" and those who remained with Rehoboam and his successors were called "Judah".

730 BC. Hoshea began to reign as king of Israel, but Salmaneser, king of Assyria invaded Samaria and subjugated him, allowing him to rule for a while as a puppet king. Then the king of Assyria (probably Sargon the son of Salmaneser) took Israel away into captivity. (II Kings 17:1-6). It is likely that only a proportion of them were taken away, because the policy of the Assyrians at that time was to subjugate nations by taking away the leaders and skilled workers from a number of different places and moving them around, creating unworkable ethnic mixtures.

The same chapter tells how the king of Assyria brought men from a number of different places to Samaria, but some of them were devoured by lions because they were worshipping their own gods. So they sent for an Israelite priest to be brought back from captivity to teach them how to worship the Lord. They practiced a form of mixed worship. They worshipped the Lord and they also worshipped their own gods. (II Kings 17:24-41).

The same policy of subjugation by ethnic mixture was practiced by the Babylonians and was inflicted on the Judeans some time later. (II Kings 24:14 and 25:12).

623 BC (approx). Although there was enmity between the Israelites and Judeans, there was a time of reconciliation during the days of Josiah, king of Judah. The Israelites who were left behind in Samaria were allowed to join together with the Judeans in the celebration of Passover. (II Chr. 35:17-19).

535 BC. The people who lived in Samaria offered to help with the building of the Temple, claiming that they also worshipped the Lord. (Ezra 4:1-3). Although there was some credibility to this claim, they were considered to be an unreliable religious and political mixture and were identified as the “adversaries of Judah and Benjamin” . The Jews refused to allow them to help build the Temple, saying they would build it themselves.

445 BC. Sanballat opposed the building of the wall of Jerusalem in the days of Nehemiah, and asked for help from the army of Samaria. (Nehemiah 4:1-2).

Ministry of Yeshua to the Samaritans

The following references from the Gospels are arranged in chronological order, according to the Harmony of the Gospels given in Thomson’s Chain Reference Bible.

On his first visit to Samaria, Yeshua spoke to a woman who had come to draw water at a well, and many Samaritans believed in him. (John 4:3-43).

Some time later, Yeshua wanted to visit a Samaritan village and sent messengers ahead of him to prepare the way, but he was not received because he was going to Jerusalem. (Luke 9:51-56). This is in contrast to his previous visit (John 4:3-43) when he was welcomed, probably because he was going in the opposite direction, away from Jerusalem. The disciples wanted him to call down fire from heaven to consume them, but he rebuked the disciples and said he had not come to destroy people but to save them. The disciples were having to un-learn their anti-Samaritanism (the predecessor of a modern-day phobia called anti-semitism). Note: Luke describes this journey to Jerusalem in great detail, so that Yeshua doesn’t actually get there until Luke 19.

On his next attempt to pass through Samaria, on his way to Jerusalem, Yeshua was able to get through. He healed ten lepers, but only one of them came back to thank him. (Luke 17:11-19). They might not have all been Samaritan, but the one who came back was Samaritan. I wonder if the number ten is an allusion to the ten tribes?

Yeshua's visits to Samaria, and his obvious concern for them, made him the subject of anti-Samaritan attack, and he was accused of working for the devil. (John 8:48-49)

Continuing on his way to Jerusalem, Yeshua gave the parable of the Good Samaritan, to show that they are the neighbours of the Jews and that neither he nor the Samaritans should be targets for anti-Samaritan abuse. (Luke 10:29-37).

Ministry of the Early Church to the Samaritans

During the very early days of the Church, before they had even considered preaching to the Gentiles, and before Peter's visit to Cornelius (Acts 10), they had a ministry among the Samaritans. There was persecution in Jerusalem so that many of the believers were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Philip went to Samaria and preached, and many people believed (Acts 8:1-8). At that time they normally preached only to the Jews (Acts 11:19), but they made an exception in the case of the Samaritans because of their claims to Israelite descent, and because Yeshua had been favourable to them.

One of the Samaritan believers, a sorcerer called Shimon, turned out to be a heretic. He offered money to the apostles in return for spiritual power, but was sharply rebuked. (Acts 8:9-24). Although this is a sad event, the appearance of a heretic among the Samaritans does not lessen the revival. Most revivals produce a few heretics, and we just have to avoid being taken in by them. He didn't influence the Apostles, and they continued preaching in many villages of the Samaritans. (Acts 8:25).

First to the Jews, then to the Samaritans .

When Yeshua gave the Great Commission, he instructed his disciples to go to the called-out remnants in reverse order:

But ye shall receive power, after the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8).

This indicates clearly an order of priorities, and is not just a list of places they would pass through on their journey away from Jerusalem. It is confirmed by the Apostle Paul:

. to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (Rom. 1:16)

Jerusalem and Judea were considered to be the same, as this was the home of the Judeans who had remained faithful to King David and his successors, and had returned from Babylon. The Samaritans were next in order of priority, because they had been faithful until the days of Rehoboam and then rebelled. After that comes the Gentiles who were never under the covenant of Abraham in the first place, but were under the covenant of Noah. The command was initially misunderstood, and was taken to mean they should preach to the Jews and Samaritans wherever they might happen to be in the world. However, the experience of Cornelius proved that this was not so, and the Gentiles were to be included.

First to the Christians, then the Jews, then the Samaritans .

If we believe that the Christians are the latest remnant, and the Jews have been left behind for the last 2,000 years, then the principle of ministering to population groups in reverse order needs to be taken a step further. Considering the number of Christians who have fallen by the wayside during the last decade and the churches that are emptying and being sold off, we should be going first to those who at one time used to be Christians, or at least had some Christian heritage. Then we go to the Jews. As for the Samaritans, they are largely assimilated among the Gentiles and to some extent they might have contributed to the so-called "Judeo-Christian" culture that we have today. There is still a small group of Samaritans who live in Nablus and celebrate the feasts of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles each year on Mount Gerizim. Finally, we go to the Gentiles who have had no contact with Judeo-Christian culture at all.

What Happened to the Jews left behind in Babylon?

During the days of Nebuchadnezzar, Jerusalem was besieged and Jehoiachin, king of Judah, was taken captive into Babylon, together with his armed men and the smiths and craftsmen, a total of 10,000 people. Jehoiachin's uncle Mattaniah was appointed as a subjugated puppet king over the poorer people who remained, and his name was changed to Zedekiah, but he rebelled against the king of Babylon. (2 Kings 24:8-20).

Jerusalem was again besieged and Zedekiah fled by night with all his armed men but he was captured. The city and Temple were burnt, the walls broken down, and all the people remaining in Jerusalem were taken captive into Babylon, except for an even smaller number of the poorest people, who were left behind to look after the farms and vineyards under the supervision of a Jewish governor called Gedaliah. He encouraged the Jews to serve the Babylonians, as an act of appeasement, but he was assassinated, and the people fled to Egypt. (2 Kings 25:1-26).

After 37 years in captivity, Jehoiachin was taken out of prison and was given a position of authority among the kings of Babylon. (2 Kings 25:27-30).

After a total of 70 years of captivity, the Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem, according to the decree given by king Cyrus. The number who returned with Zerubbabel was about 50,000 people including servants (Ezra 2:64-65, Neh. 7:66-67). There is no record of the total number of people taken captive into Babylon, but it was a national deportation and the number taken captive is likely to be much greater than the number who returned. Nehemiah spoke of the "remnant" that were left of the captivity, meaning the population had been depleted. (Neh. 1:1-3). He also said that the city was large and great, but the people were few. (Neh. 7:4). They prospered and built houses while in Babylon, and there is no record of slaughter on a genocidal scale, so it appears that many of the people who went to Babylon settled there and never came back. The 50,000 people who came with Zerubbabel are described as "those who came up first" (Neh. 7:5). When the Temple had been rebuilt and rededicated, Ezra came up from Babylon with an additional 1,496 males, and there must also have been some females. He noticed that there were no Levites among them, and he was concerned that there would be a shortage of priests for the Temple service, so he sent for some Levites and 220 of them came up with the rest of the people. Considering that even the Levites had to be coaxed into coming up to Jerusalem, it makes you wonder how many others were still left behind in Babylon and what happened to them.

It would be easy to denounce them as rebellious, but we have to remember that after 50 years of the history of modern Israel, the majority of worldwide Jewry still has not gone there. It's a big upheaval, uprooting whole families, closing businesses and moving children to a new culture when they are half-way through their education. The same situation must have existed after 70 years in Babylon. God was doing something new, but some of the Jews were left behind because they were unable or unwilling to go up to Jerusalem. Does this mean they were excluded from God's purposes and forgotten? We know that Yeshua was favourable to the Samaritans, but did he also remember the Jews left behind in Babylon? He never mentioned them specifically, at least there is nothing recorded in the Gospels, but some of his disciples must have gone there because a church was established.

The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you, and so doth Marcus my son. (1 Peter 5:13)

So the same principle applies, that when God does something new, He remembers those left behind last time round and does not miss anybody out.


Is mankind descended from the 12 tribes of Israel?

We Gentiles are not biological descendants of Israel. We are all descendants of Adam and Eve. But speaking in today's terms of being, biologically related, no. We are related in one sense: Abraham was the Father of Faith and we are children of faith.

The Israelites were to be a tribe of priests.
Prophet: One who relays God's word to man.
Priest: One who speaks to God on man's behalf.
King: One who is to rule man under God.

The Law was given. An unprofitable law to the salvation of man. The Old Testament are literal events brought forth from God to be recorded for the edification of man. And we are to learn of the law, realize through it God's idea of right and wrong and come to the realization of how imperfect we are, and that through no acts of our own can we be saved.

These ceremonies of Israelites could not provide salvation. Could not cleanse and purify a man and make him acceptable to God. But through faith and belief, righteousness was imputed upon man in place of such, and one was pardoned temporarily till the death of Christ who was the true lamb and sacrifice for all men to come after him, but also those before him.

The New Testament teaches a new way and introduces to us the church and the fact that salvation was not only for the first chosen (Hebrews), but also for the Gentiles. The Ten Commandments were not washed away. But two were added. Love thy neighbor and love God with all thy might, etc.

Actually if we loved as we should in obedience, we keep all the laws. For how then could we lie on another, steal from them, commit adultery, covet, murder, and so on. So to keep the law of love is to keep all the commandments as a whole.

But there are the Israelites of Old and Church of the New. They are the vine. We are grafted in. They were first, we are last.

And The 12 tribes were descendants of Jacob. They were not to mess with other peoples, to enter-marry. When they did they were

to be excommunicated. Any Israelite line diluted to a great degree is no longer Israelite by law anyway. Samaritans are good examples of this. They were mixed Jews and considered to be dogs by the Jews.

They are a people and a special people. And with the penalties they are paying for prior sins they committed why would one want to insist their related? The things our Israelite brethren suffer and have suffered so long is heart wrenching.

But if you read the book of Hebrews you find that priesthood had problems. And it was an unprofitable one. And another had to come forth. A new order, new law, new way. Jesus is the head and high priest of the new. The laws have been changed (not done away with). He is the head and the church the body or new order under him. And a profitable one at that. There is a lot more to priesthood in that book but we are keeping it very slight right here. I'm speaking of Melchisedec who was not born and shall never die and so on . He was the spiritual/spirit head over the first and Jesus over the second Heb 7. And to replace the first there was of necessity a new law, new head/High priest.

If we were Israelites we'd be suffering the same penalties as they and be under the first law. Law and priesthood of bondage. For through it, once you sinned the penalty was death. Eternal death. But through the new order, new way, under the new head there is mercy and grace. And grace is unmerited favor. And through these we are saved.

Three peoples are represented in Noah's three sons and came forth from those three: Shem= Israelites and priesthood from which Jesus would come forth from.

Japheth = Gentiles and/or overcomers = secondary order or secondary priesthood (I John 5:4 Rev 3:22). I like the comparison between Gen 3:22 and Rev 3:22.

Ham-Canaan = All the rest, or non-overcomers. Those who reject the Father and the Son. And in the case of the two priest hoods, that which is last is greater than the first.

Comments for Is mankind descended from the 12 tribes of Israel?

No law was ever changed. It will never change until heaven and earth pass away according to The Messiah. Love thy neighbour as thyself and Love the Lord thy God with all your heart and mind and strength were not additions but a summary of the ten commandments.

The Israelites were not forbidden to marry other peoples but were forbidden to marry the Canaanite since they worshipped false gods and committed other sins. That was the only condition. It was not a "race" issue as Joseph married an Egyptian and Moses an Ethiopian.

The ancient Israelites (The priestly nation) are still here on earth, exiled from the land into the four corners of the world. They still suffer until they come to realise their sins but first they must identify themselves. as of now, they suffer for lack of knowledge.