Who Were The Samaritans?
Posted by foryourfaith on May 7, 2011
In 539 BC, when the Jews were permitted to leave Babylon for their home in the west, they did not return to a deserted land. Though large numbers of the native peoples of Israel and Judah had been deported by the conquering Assyrians and Babylonians, other peoples from the far reaches of the Assyrian empire had also been displaced. The two groups lived side by side, colonists intermarrying with native Israelites. The offspring of these marriages became known as Samaritans.
However, Samaritans worshipped the God of Israel, understood Moses to be the true prophet of God, and held the Torah (the Pentateuch) to be the only divine law. This ancient sect exists to the present day. Primarily a religious community, they live near Mount Gerizim, which they believe is the chosen place of God; there they celebrate the Passover. Among their sacred objects is a Pentateuch scroll that they believe dates from the time of Joshua, in the early years of the conquest of Canaan.
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