By April 8, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

2 Kings 17: The Jewish View of Samaritan Origins

Ostracon from SamariaSamaritan origins were described in 2 Kings. Later Rabbis would call them “lion converts,” that is, converts against their will, and further argue against their Jewish status based on this account.

17-24 The king of Assyria brought (people) from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaim, 74 and he settled them in the towns of Samaria 75 in place of the Israelites; they took possession of Samaria and dwelt in its towns. 25 When they first settled there, they did not worship the Lord; so the Lord sent lions against them which killed some of them. 26 They said to the king of Assyria- “The nations which you deported and resettled in the towns of Samaria do not know the rules of the God of the land; therefore He has let lions loose against them which are killing them—for they do not know the rules of the God of the land.”

27 The king of Assyria gave an order- “Send there one of the priests whom you have deported; let him go and dwell there, and let him teach them the practices of the God of the land.” 28 So one of the priests whom they had exiled from Samaria came and settled in Bethel; he taught them how to worship the Lord. 29 However, each nation continued to make its own gods and to set them up in the cult places which had been made by the people of Samaria, each nation (set them up) in the towns in which it lived. 30 The Babylonians made Succoth-benoth and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima, 31 and the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak ; and the Sepharvites burned their children (as offerings) to Adrammelech and Anamelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. 32 They worshipped the Lord, but they also appointed from their own ranks priests of the shrines, who officiated for them in the cult places. 33 They worshipped the Lord, while serving their own gods according to the practices of the nations from which they had been deported. 34 To this day, they follow their former practices. They do not worship the Lord (properly). They do not follow the laws and practices, the Teaching and Instruction that the Lord enjoined upon the descendants of Jacob—who was given the name Israel—35 with whom He made a covenant and whom He commanded- “You shall worship no other gods; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them nor sacrifice to them. 36 You must worship only the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt with great might and with an outstretched arm; to Him alone shall you bow down and to Him alone shall you sacrifice. 37 You shall observe faithfully, all your days, the laws and practices; the Teaching and Instruction that I wrote down for you; do not worship other gods. 38 Do not forget the covenant that I made with you; do not worship other gods. 39 Worship only the Lord your God, and He will save you from the hands of all your enemies.” 40 But they did not obey, they continued their former practices. 41 Those nations worshipped the Lord, but they also served their idols. To this day their children and their children’s children do as their ancestors did.

74. Various cities in Babylonia and Syria.

75. A region in the central portion of the Land of Israel.

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