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Samaria

Samaria


Samaria [Sama’ria] This city was built by Omri, king of Israel, and came into prominence by becoming the capital of the Kingdom of the ten Tribes.

It was situated on the side of a hill, and was adorned and fortified by the kings of Israel. Ben-hadad, king of Syria, besieged Samaria in the reign of Ahab, but by the intervention of God it was not taken. 1 Kings 20: 1-34. In the days of Jehoram it was again besieged by Ben-hadad, and the Famine became so great that they were on the point of capitulating when some lepers brought word that the enemy had fled, and abundance of provision was to be found in the camp. 2 Kings 6: 24-33; 2 Kings 7: 1-20.

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Samaria

It was besieged again by Shalmaneser, about B.C. 723, but held out for three years, being eventually taken by Sargon. The people were now carried into Captivity. 2 Kings 18: 9-12. Among the Assyrian inscriptions there is one in which Sargon says, “The city of Samaria I besieged, I captured; 27,280 of its inhabitants I carried away.” It was partly re-peopled by the colonists imported by Esar-haddon. Samaria was again taken by John Hyrcanus, who did his best to destroy it.

The city was rebuilt by Herod the Great, and named Sebaste (the Greek form of Augusta) in honour of his patron the emperor Augustus; but on the death of Herod it gradually declined. It is now only a miserable village, called Sebustieh, 32 17 N, 35 12′ E, but with some grand columns standing and relics of its former greatness lying about.

THE DISTRICT OF SAMARIA is often alluded to in the N.T. It occupied about the same territory as that of Ephraim and Manasseh’s portion in the west. It had the district of Galilee on the north, and Judaea on the south. Luke 17: 11; John 4: 4; Acts 1: 8; Acts 8: 1-14; Acts 9: 31; Acts 15: 3.


Original text taken from the New and Concise Bible Dictionary published by G. Morish, London

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