Spiritual Samaritans: Old and New
Samaritans are mentioned in the Old and New Testaments. While the world in general likes to focus on the parable concerning "the good Samaritan," it does not seem to wish to focus on what the Samaritans generally spiritually represented. Do Samaritans represent true Christianity or something else? The Bible, which is the basis for doctrine (2 Timothy 3:16) and gives us the answer.
Old Testament Samaritans
Samaria was an area north of Jerusalem. The first mention of Samaria in the Bible is I Kings 13:32, which discusses a pronouncement from "a man of God" (vs. 31), "For the saying which he cried out by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel, and against all the shrines on the high places which are in the cities of Samaria, will surely come to pass"; this is a complaint suggesting false worship.
After Israel lost a major war, Samaria became inhabited by primarily by non-Israelites,
"Then the king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Ava, Hamath, and from Sepharvim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel" (2 Kings 17:24).
These idolators were first called Samaritans in II Kings 17:29,
"However every nation continued to make gods of its own, and put them in the shrines on the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in the cities where they dwelt."
There was something unusual about this group of people,
"They feared the LORD, yet served their own gods--according to the rituals of the nations from among whom they were carried away. To this day they continue practicing the former rituals; they do not fear the LORD, nor do they follow their statutes or their ordinances, or the law and commandment which the LORD had commanded children of Jacob, whom He named Israel, with whom the LORD had made a covenant and charged them, saying, 'You shall not fear other gods, nor bow down to them; but the LORD, who brought you up from the land of Egypt with great power and an outstretched arm, Him you shall fear, Him you shall worship, and to Him you shall offer sacrifice. And the statutes, the ordinances, the law, and the commandment which He wrote for you, you shall be careful to observe forever; you shall not fear other gods. And the covenant that I have made with you, you shall not forget, nor shall you fear other gods. But the LORD your God you shall fear; and He will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.' However they did not obey, but they followed their former rituals. 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 17:33-41).
Thus the Samaritans in the Old Testament are clearly described as a group of people who did not truly worship the true God, who did not keep his commandments, and who included pagan rituals in their worship.
God was not pleased with the Samaritans. The prophet Hosea wrote:
Then the iniquity of Ephraim was uncovered, and the wickedness of Samaria. For they have committed fraud. (Hosea 7:1)
Your calf is rejected, O Samaria! My anger is aroused against them--How long until they attain to innocence? For from Israel is even this: A workman made it, and it is not God; But the calf of Samaria shall be broken to pieces. (Hosea 8:5-6)
Samaria is held guilty, for she has rebelled against her God. They shall fall by the sword, Their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child ripped open. (Hosea 13:16)
It should be noted that when the children of Israel worshiped the golden calf in Exodus, they claimed they were actually worshiping the true God (Exodus 32:8)--God was not pleased with that either (vs. 9).
It is interesting to note that while a mixture, the Samaritans themselves claimed to be from the tribe of Joseph.
A Midrash from 300-500 A.D. (Genesis Rabbah Sect. 94, ) relates about an encounter between a Jewish rabbi and a Samaritan. The story that developed includes the following dialogue:
R. Meir asks the Samaritan: What tribe are you from?
The Samaritan answers: From Joseph.
R. Meir : No!
(RABIN MISHNAH STUDY GROUP Mishnah study in the religious climate of Masorti (Conservative) Judaism by Rabbi Simchah Roth. BET MIDRASH VIRTUALI of the Rabbinical Assembly in Israel. February 27th 2003 / I Adar 25th 5763 [Sotah 083] http://www.bmv.org.il/shiurim/sotah/sot083.html accessed 01/20/17)
Notice also the following:
Until the middle of the 20th century it was customary to believe that the Samaritans originated from a mixture of the people living in Samaria and other peoples at the time of the conquest of Samaria by Assyria (722–721 BCE). The Biblical account in II Kings 17 had long been the decisive source for the formulation of historical accounts of Samaritan origins. Reconsideration of this passage, however, has led to more attention being paid to the Chronicles of the Samaritans themselves. With the publication of Chronicle II (Sefer ha-Yamim), the fullest Samaritan version of their own history became available: the chronicles, and a variety of non-Samaritan materials. According to the former, the Samaritans are the direct descendants of the Joseph tribes, Ephraim and Manasseh, and until the 17th century CE they possessed a high priesthood descending directly from Aaron through Eleazar and Phinehas. They claim to have continuously occupied their ancient territory and to have been at peace with other Israelite tribes until the time when Eli disrupted the Northern cult by moving from Shechem to Shiloh and attracting some northern Israelites to his new followers there. For the Samaritans, this was the 'schism' par excellence.( "Samaritans" in Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1972, Volume 14, col. 727, as cited in Louvish M. Religious life and communities. Keter Books, 1974, p. 61).
Interestingly years ago (at least 5-6 years before I saw either of these Jewish sources nor did I get this from any group's writings, but the Bible only), I had come up with the view that certain prophecies related to Samaria were, in fact, pointing to the USA. The belief that Joseph, and specifically Manasseh were Samaritans, is consistent with my view.
As far as Chronicles go, various ones point to 2 Chronicles 34:9 as proof that there were descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh that remained in Samaria, and thus there could have been interbreeding of those from the Assyrians and the sons of Joseph.
New Testament Samaritans
Smith's Bible Dictionary says,
Certain other Jewish renegades had from time to time taken refuge with the Samaritans; hence by degrees the Samaritans claimed to partake of Jewish blood, especially if doing so was in their interest.
Not only did the Jews not consider Samaritans to be true Jews, the New Testament reports, "Jews have no dealings with Samaritans" (John 4:9). Notice that:
Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: 'Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel' (Matthew 10:5).
Thus, apparently Jesus considered the Samaritans to be like the Gentiles (after the resurrection Gentiles, as well some people living in Samaria, were called, Acts 9:31).
Jesus was quite clear of what He thought of the Samaritans and their false worship. When speaking to one (John 4:7) who suggested that Samaritans knew about worship (vs. 20) , Jesus declared, "
You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:22-24).
The Samaritans were condemned for not knowing what they worship. True worship does not involve physical pagan rituals, but involves worshiping in truth! Jesus did not consider the Samaritans form of worship to be acceptable. He also quoted from Isaiah to the Pharisees something that seems to fit what the Samaritans,
8 "These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
9 And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'" (Matthew 15:8-9)
It is possible to be a Samaritan and do something good (Luke 10:33,37).
But that does not mean that the Samaritan religion is acceptable to God? As shown in all the other scriptures, the answer is clearly no!
Are there any religious people like the Samaritans today? Are there those who use non-biblical rituals and ceremonies as part of their worship? Did Jesus predict that there would be false Christians?
21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!' (Matthew 7:21-23)
Therefore, even if some have signs or apparently do good works, if they practice lawlessness Jesus says He never knew them. Jesus also said,
"Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie--indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you" (Revelation 3:9).
Thus the false Christians are essentially referred to as false Jews! This happens a lot in the USA, and we are seeing a tendency to see even more 'lawlessness.' Lawless is a mark of Antichrist.
There are many today who claim to worship Christ. They claim it is acceptable to God to use non-biblical practices to worship Him. They claim that any holidays they come up with are at least valid to God as God's Holy Days as listed in Leviticus 23 (for a related article, please read Is There an Annual Worship Calendar in the Bible?).
They claim they do not have to keep the commandments of God in order to be Christians. Apparently they have not understood Revelation 12:17, "And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ", which shows those that have the testimony of Jesus Christ keep the commandments of God. Like the Samaritans of old, they do not know what they worship. Sadly, they do not wish to worship God in truth. Thus, many who practice false Christianity seem to be modern Samaritans.
Many relgious leaders teach lawlessness (see Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants and The Mark of Antichrist).
Samaria in Prophecy
Because it is a 'melting pot' that included peoples from the area in the Bible known as Samaria, it appears that the United States of America may fulfill some of the biblical prophecies that mention Samaria (see Anglo - America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel).
Notice the following:
Samaria was one of the capitals of Northern Israel and possibly its most important city. (Davidiy Y. The Tribes, 4th edition. Russell-David Publishers, 2011, p. 242)
From the West of England and from Wales, Scotland, and Ireland the United States of America received approximately 87% (sic. 87%) of its British immigrants in its formative period#. In other words, early American society was formed largely by groups from the Tribe of Manasseh. Even today, more than half the white population of the U.S.A. may trace its ancestry back to Britain and Ireland with the British side being slightly larger than that of Northern and Southern Ireland origin. (Davidiy, p. 426. #Kephart, apparently a reference to-- Calvin Kephart, "Races of Mankind, Their Origin and Migration," N.Y. 1960, pp.437-438).
While the USA was overwhelmingly made up of descendants of Manasseh centuries ago, because of immigration and other matters, it is more mixed. Perhaps not mixed quite like ancient Samaria, but enough so that references related to Samaria sometimes have applicability to it now.
Yair Davidiy reported that some believe that the term America (which most say comes from the explorer Amerigo Vespucce, actual derived from the term Machir, which itself was a derivative of Manasseh (Davidiy, pp. 400-401). While the Western Hemisphere is referred to as North, Central, and South America, when the term 'Americans' is used, this is normally universally to refer to those of the USA.
It should probably be mentioned that portions of Bible prophecy seem to tie the descendants of Manasseh as being prophetic Samaria. Notice, for example, the following:
8 The Lord sent a word against Jacob,
And it has fallen on Israel.
9 All the people will know —
Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria —
Who say in pride and arrogance of heart:
10 'The bricks have fallen down,
But we will rebuild with hewn stones;
The sycamores are cut down,
But we will replace them with cedars."
11 Therefore the Lord shall set up
The adversaries of Rezin against him,
And spur his enemies on,
12 The Syrians before and the Philistines behind;
And they shall devour Israel with an open mouth.
For all this His anger is not turned away,
But His hand is stretched out still...
21 Manasseh shall devour Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh;
Together they shall be against Judah.
For all this His anger is not turned away,
But His hand is stretched out still. (Isaiah 9:8-12,21)
1"When I would have healed Israel,
Then the iniquity of Ephraim was uncovered,
And the wickedness of Samaria.
For they have committed fraud;
A thief comes in;
A band of robbers takes spoil outside.
2 They do not consider in their hearts
That I remember all their wickedness;
Now their own deeds have surrounded them;
They are before My face.
3 They make a king glad with their wickedness,
And princes with their lies. (Hosea 7:1-3)
So, we see that Ephraim and Samaria are separate and at the end Ephraim and Manasseh (who was referred to as Samaria) as separate. Hence, while Ephraim is not Samaria, sometimes it appears that Manasseh is (cf. Hosea 7:1-7). Isaiah 9 seems to suggest that the some of peoples who are alluded to in Psalm 83 (discussed later) will also harrass Ephraim and Manasseh after they have suffered. Isaiah 9 ties the identity of Manasseh in with prophetic Samaria; Obadiah 17-18 seems to as well.
In addition to intermingling in that occurred in ancient Samaria, Samaria was part of the old territory of Manasseh:
The hill of Samaria was in the tribal territory of Manasseh, but apparently was not significantly inhabited until the time of King Omri (Ahab's father). For the next 160 years, the city was the capital of the northern kingdom, apparently reaching a size of 150 acres (as large as Jerusalem in Hezekiah's time). Samaria is well situated with steep slopes on all sides. (Samaria (Sebaste). http://www.bibleplaces.com/samaria.htm viewed 02/19/14)
23 Omri became king over Israel, and reigned twelve years. Six years he reigned in Tirzah. 24 And he bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver; then he built on the hill, and called the name of the city which he built, Samaria, after the name of Shemer, owner of the hill. (1 Kings 16:23-24)
Northern Samaria is often referred to by its biblical tribal designation: Manasseh. (Killebrew A. Biblical peoples and ethnicity: an archaeological study of Egyptians, Canaanites, Philistines, and early Israel, 1300–1100 B.C.E. Society of Biblical Lit, 2005, p. 159)
Notice that Isaiah 9:9-10 ties the arrogant Samarians in with making declarations to rebuild. After the attacks of 9/11/2001, various US politicians made statements consistent with the "we will rebuild" declaration. For example, notice the following quote that then Senator Tom Daschle made to Congress on 9/12/2001 related to the 9/11/2001 attack:
We will rebuild, we will recover.
Others have made similar statements. But notice that God calls those leaders arrogant. While the USA has rebuilt in the area known as 'ground zero,' the USA is not finished being subject to attacks and ultimately, despite having the strongest military, it will be taken over (cf. Daniel 11:3).
The following also seems to be directed against the USA:
9 'Assemble on the mountains of Samaria; See great tumults in her midst, And the oppressed within her. 10 For they do not know to do right, 'Says the Lord, 'Who store up violence and robbery in their palaces.'" 11 Therefore thus says the Lord God: "An adversary shall be all around the land;He shall sap your strength from you,And your palaces shall be plundered." 12 Thus says the Lord: "As a shepherd takes from the mouth of a lion Two legs or a piece of an ear, So shall the children of Israel be taken out Who dwell in Samaria — In the corner of a bed and on the edge of a couch! 13 Hear and testify against the house of Jacob,"Says the Lord God, the God of hosts, 14 'That in the day I punish Israel for their transgressions, I will also visit destruction on the altars of Bethel; And the horns of the altar shall be cut off And fall to the ground. (Amos 3:9-14)
While most in the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand believe that they will be protected by the USA, notice the following:
1 Woe to you who are at ease in Zion, And trust in Mount Samaria, Notable persons in the chief nation, To whom the house of Israel comes! 2 Go over to Calneh and see; And from there go to Hamath the great; Then go down to Gath of the Philistines. Are you better than these kingdoms? Or is their territory greater than your territory? 3 Woe to you who put far off the day of doom,Who cause the seat of violence to come near; 4 Who lie on beds of ivory, Stretch out on your couches, Eat lambs from the flock And calves from the midst of the stall; 5 Who sing idly to the sound of stringed instruments, And invent for yourselves musical instruments like David; 6 Who drink wine from bowls,And anoint yourselves with the best ointments, But are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph. 7 Therefore they shall now go captive as the first of the captives, And those who recline at banquets shall be removed. 8 The Lord God has sworn by Himself, The Lord God of hosts says: "I abhor the pride of Jacob, And hate his palaces; Therefore I will deliver up the city And all that is in it." (Amos 6:1-8)
Those who think that they will be able rely on the USA, possibly referred to as Mt. Zion above, will be severely disappointed at a time in the future. And this includes those in the USA.
God seems to give a few reasons why those who are now the descendants (the Anglo-Saxons) of Israel will be punished:
6 Thus says the Lord: "For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because they sell the righteous for silver, And the poor for a pair of sandals. 7 They pant after the dust of the earth which is on the head of the poor, And pervert the way of the humble. A man and his father go in to the same girl, To defile My holy name. 8 They lie down by every altar on clothes taken in pledge, And drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their god. (Amos 2:6-8)
27 As a cage is full of birds, So their houses are full of deceit. Therefore they have become great and grown rich. 28 They have grown fat, they are sleek; Yes, they surpass the deeds of the wicked; They do not plead the cause, The cause of the fatherless; Yet they prosper, And the right of the needy they do not defend. 29 Shall I not punish them for these things?' says the Lord. 'Shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?' (Jeremiah 5:27-29)
The Anglo-Saxons sin, are wealthy, have wicked deeds, and sell out morality for money. Also notice that they are wearing clothes taken in pledge. This would seem to mean that they have imported most of their clothes with pledges--debt that they will not pay back.
3 O My mountain in the field,
I will give as plunder your wealth, all your treasures,
And your high places of sin within all your borders.
4 And you, even yourself,
Shall let go of your heritage which I gave you;
And I will cause you to serve your enemies
In the land which you do not know;
For you have kindled a fire in My anger which shall burn forever. (Jeremiah 17:3-4)
What heritage have the Anglo-nations let go of? Well, basing their laws on the Bible and forgetting that they are descended from Israel!
Notice also the following:
16 Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up. (Hosea 13:16, KJV)
Notice also the following from Isaiah:
5 "Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger
And the staff in whose hand is My indignation.
6 I will send him against an ungodly nation,
And against the people of My wrath
I will give him charge,
To seize the spoil, to take the prey,
And to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
7 Yet he does not mean so,
Nor does his heart think so;
But it is in his heart to destroy,
And cut off not a few nations.
8 For he says,
'Are not my princes altogether kings?
9 Is not Calno like Carchemish?
Is not Hamath like Arpad?
Is not Samaria like Damascus?
10 As my hand has found the kingdoms of the idols,
Whose carved images excelled those of Jerusalem and Samaria,
11 As I have done to Samaria and her idols,
Shall I not do also to Jerusalem and her idols?'" (Isaiah 10:5-11)
'Samaria' above is being distinguished from those of Jerusalem (the Jews). This is shown in other scriptures (cf. Ezekiel 16:1, 46, 23:4; Micah 1:1-6)
How do we know that the Anglo-nations in general, and the USA in particular, and not just the land of Judea are the target of some of the punishments? Well, other than the reference to Samaria above (which was not part of Judea), another reason is found in Daniel 11:39:
39 Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain. (Daniel 11:39)
The "he" is the final King of the North, the Beast of Revelation 13. The "strongest fortresses" in the world belong to the USA, and to a lessor degree, its Anglo-allies (see also USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses). The current nation of Israel does not have the strongest fortresses. And dividing the Anglo-lands would bring much more gain, than the land of Judea (see also Will the Anglo-Nations be Divided?). As many Bible commentators realize, at the time of the end there is no power that resembles the USA. Isaiah warns that "The fortress also will cease from Ephraim" (Isaiah 17:3)--but unlike Manasseh, Ephraim simply does not have the strongest fortresses. Some would call this attack World War III (WWIII; see also World War III: Steps in Progress).
The USA has some similarities to ancient Samaria and some prophecies related to 'Samaria' seem to be directed towards the USA (see Anglo - America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel and also Germany in Biblical and Catholic Prophecy).
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Bob Thiel, 2001/2013/2014/2016/2017 0120 (c)