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SAMARIA (/sə.ˈmɛər.i.ə/ ; Hebrew : שֹׁמְרוֹן‎‎, Standard _Šomron_, Tiberian _Šōmərôn_; Arabic : السامرة‎‎, _as-Sāmirah_ – also known as جبال نابلس, _Jibāl Nāblus_) is a name for the mountainous, central region of the ancient Eastern Mediterranean , based on the borders of the biblical Northern Kingdom of Israel
Israel
, and especially the Israelite tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh . The name "Samaria" is derived from the ancient city of Samaria
Samaria
, the capital of the northern Kingdom of Israel
Israel
.

Since 1967, Samaria
Samaria
has been used by Israeli officials to refer to the north of the West Bank
West Bank
, as the administrative Judea and Samaria Area . Jordan
Jordan
ceded its claim to the area to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in August 1988. In 1994, control of Areas 'A' (full civil and security control by the Palestinian Authority ) and 'B' (Palestinian civil control and joint Israeli-Palestinian security control) were transferred by Israel
Israel
to the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority and the international community do not recognize the term "Samaria"; in modern times, the territory is generally known as part of the West Bank
West Bank
.

CONTENTS

* 1 Etymology * 2 Geography

* 3 History

* 3.1 Ancient * 3.2 New Testament
New Testament
references * 3.3 Modern history

* 4 Archaeology * 5 Samaritans
Samaritans
* 6 See also * 7 References * 8 Bibliography * 9 External links

ETYMOLOGY

Village in Samaria
Samaria
overlooking historic pool

According to the Hebrew Bible , the Hebrew name "Shomron" is derived from the individual _Shemer_, from whom King Omri
Omri
purchased the site for his new capital city (1 Kings 16:24). In modern times, Samaria was one of six administrative districts of the Mandatory Palestine
Mandatory Palestine
. Following the occupation of the West Bank
West Bank
by Israel
Israel
in 1967, the Israeli right began to refer to the territories by their biblical names and argued for their usage on historical, religious, nationalist and security grounds.

The fact that the mountain was called Shomeron when Omri
Omri
bought it may indicate that the translation "watch mountain" is an earlier etymology of the name. In the earlier cuneiform inscriptions, Samaria is designated under the name of "Bet Ḥumri" ("the house of Omri"); but in those of Tiglath-Pileser III and later it is called Samirin, after its Aramaic name.

GEOGRAPHY

To the north, Samaria
Samaria
is bounded by the Jezreel Valley ; to the east, by the Jordan Rift Valley ; to the west, by the Carmel Ridge (in the north) and the Sharon plain (in the west); to the south, by the Jerusalem
Jerusalem
mountains. In Biblical times , Samaria
Samaria
"reached from the sea to the Jordan
Jordan
Valley", including the Carmel Ridge and Plain of Sharon. The Samarian hills are not very high, seldom reaching the height of over 800 metres. Samaria's climate is more hospitable than the climate further south.

The mountain ranges in the south of the region continue into Judaea without a clear division.

HISTORY

ANCIENT

Map of Israeli settlements administered by the Shomron Regional Council in the West Bank
West Bank

According to the Hebrew Bible, the Israelites
Israelites
captured the region known as Samaria
Samaria
from the Canaanites and assigned it to the Tribe of Joseph . After the death of King Solomon
Solomon
(c. 931 BC), the northern tribes, including those of Samaria, separated from the southern tribes and established the separate Kingdom of Israel
Israel
. Initially its capital was Tirzah until the time of King Omri
Omri
(c.884 BC), who built the city of Shomron and made it his capital.

In 726–722 BC, the new king of Assyria, Shalmaneser V
Shalmaneser V
, invaded Canaan
Canaan
and besieged the city of Samaria. After an assault of three years, the city fell and much of its population was taken into captivity and deported. Little documentation exists for the period between the fall of Samaria
Samaria
and the end of the Assyrian Empire.

It seems likely that many returned in 715 BC due to slave revolts that Assyrian king Sargon was enduring. Tremper Longman III suggests that Ezra 4:2, 9-10 implies that later Assyrian kings also returned more Israelites
Israelites
to Samaria.

In the Bible, Samaria
Samaria
was condemned by the Hebrew prophets for its "ivory houses" and luxury palaces displaying pagan riches.

In AD 6, the region became part of the Roman province of Judaea , after the death of king Herod the Great
Herod the Great
.

Over time, the region has been controlled by numerous different civilizations, including Israelites
Israelites
, Babylonians , the classical Persian Empire , Ancient Greeks , Romans , Byzantines , Arabs
Arabs
, Crusaders
Crusaders
, and Ottoman Turks .

NEW TESTAMENT REFERENCES

The New Testament
New Testament
mentions Samaria
Samaria
in Luke 17:11–20, in the miraculous healing of the ten lepers , which took place on the border of Samaria
Samaria
and Galilee. John 4:1–26 records Jesus' encounter at Jacob\'s Well with the woman of Sychar, in which he declares himself to be the Messiah. In Acts 8:2 it is recorded that the early community of disciples of Jesus
Jesus
began to be persecuted in Jerusalem
Jerusalem
and were 'scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria'. Philip went down to the city of Samaria
Samaria
and preached and healed the sick there. In the time of Jesus
Jesus
, _Iudaea_ of the Romans was divided into the toparchies of Judea, Samaria, Galilee and the Paralia . Samaria occupied the centre of _Iudaea_ (John 4:4). (_Iudaea_ was later renamed _Syria Palaestina_ in 135, following the Bar Kokhba revolt .) In the Talmud
Talmud
, Samaria
Samaria
is called the "land of the Cuthim".

MODERN HISTORY

The modern history of Samaria
Samaria
began when the territory of Samaria, formerly part of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
, was entrusted to the United Kingdom to administer in the aftermath of World War I as a Mandatory Palestine District of Samaria
Samaria
between 1918–1948. The 1947 UN partition plan called for the Arab state to consist of several parts, the largest of which was described as "the hill country of Samaria
Samaria
and Judea."

As a result of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War , most of the territory was unilaterally incorporated as Jordanian -controlled territory, and was administered as part of the West Bank
West Bank
(west of the Jordan
Jordan
river). The Jordanian-held West Bank
West Bank
came under the control of Israel
Israel
during the 1967 Six-Day War . Jordan
Jordan
ceded its claims in the West Bank (except for certain prerogatives in Jerusalem) to the PLO in November 1988, later confirmed by the Israel– Jordan
Jordan
Treaty of Peace of 1994. In the 1994 Oslo accords , the Palestinian Authority was established and given responsibility for the administration over some of the territory of West Bank
West Bank
(Areas 'A' and 'B').

Samaria
Samaria
is one of several standard statistical districts utilized by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics . "The Israeli CBS also collects statistics on the rest of the West Bank
West Bank
and the Gaza District. It has produced various basic statistical series on the territories, dealing with population, employment, wages, external trade, national accounts, and various other topics." The Palestinian Authority however use Nablus
Nablus
, Jenin , Tulkarm , Qalqilya , Salfit , Ramallah and Tubas
Tubas
governorates as administrative centers for the same region.

The Shomron Regional Council
Shomron Regional Council
is the local municipal government that administers the smaller Israeli towns (settlements ) throughout the area. The council is a member of the network of regional municipalities spread throughout Israel. Elections for the head of the council are held every five years by Israel's ministry of interior, all residents over age 17 are eligible to vote. In special elections held in August 2015 Yossi Dagan was elected as head of the Shomron Regional Council.

Israeli settlements in the West Bank
West Bank
are considered by the international community to be illegal under international law , but the Israeli government disputes this. In September 2016, the Town Board of the American Town of Hempstead in the State of New York , led by Councilman Bruce Blakeman entered into a partnership agreement with the Shomron Regional Council
Shomron Regional Council
, led by Yossi Dagan , as part of an anti- Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign.

ARCHAEOLOGY

Samaria
Samaria
ruins, 1925

The ancient site of Samaria
Samaria
-Sebaste covers the hillside overlooking the Palestinian village of Sebastia on the eastern slope of the hill. Remains have been found from the Canaanite , Israelite , Hellenistic , Herodian , Roman and Byzantine era.

Archaeological finds from Roman-era Sebaste, a site that was rebuilt and renamed by Herod the Great
Herod the Great
in 30 BC, include a colonnaded street, a temple-lined acropolis, and a lower city, where John the Baptist
John the Baptist
is believed to have been buried.

The Harvard excavation of Samaria, which began in 1908, was headed by Egyptologist George Andrew Reisner . The findings included Hebrew, Aramaic, cuneiform and Greek inscriptions, as well as pottery remains, coins, sculpture, figurines, scarabs and seals, faience, amulets, beads and glass. The joint British-American-Hebrew University excavation continued under John Winter Crowfoot in 1931–35, during which some of the chronology issues were resolved. The round towers lining the acropolis were found to be Hellenistic, the street of columns was dated to the 3–4th century, and 70 inscribed potsherds were dated to the early 8th century.

In 1908–1935, remains of luxury furniture made of wood and ivory were discovered in Samaria, representing the Levant's most important collection of ivory carvings from the early first millennium BC. Despite theories of their Phoenician origin, some of the letters serving as fitter's marks are in Hebrew.

SAMARITANS

The Samaritans
Samaritans
(Hebrew: Shomronim) are an ethnoreligious group named after and descended from ancient Semitic inhabitants of Samaria, since the Assyrian exile of the Israelites. Religiously, the Samaritans
Samaritans
are adherents of Samaritanism, an Abrahamic religion closely related to Judaism
Judaism
. Based on the Samaritan Torah , Samaritans
Samaritans
claim their worship is the true religion of the ancient Israelites
Israelites
prior to the Babylonian exile , preserved by those who remained in the Land of Israel
Israel
. Their temple was built at Mount Gerizim in the middle of 5th century BC, and was destroyed under the Macabbean ( Judean
Judean
) king John Hyrcanus late in 110 BC, although their descendants still worship among its ruins. The antagonism between Samaritans
Samaritans
and Jews is important in understanding the Bible's New Testament
New Testament
stories of the " Samaritan woman at the well " and " Parable of the Good Samaritan ". The modern Samaritans, however, see themselves as co-equals in inheritance to the Israelite lineage through Torah, as do the Jews, and are not antagonistic to Jews in modern times.

SEE ALSO

* Archevites * Samaritan Revolts
Samaritan Revolts
* List of burial places of biblical figures * Ahwat * Judea and Samaria Area

REFERENCES

* ^ LDS.org: "Book of Mormon Pronunciation Guide" (retrieved 2012-02-25), IPA -ified from «sa-mĕr´ē-a» * ^ _A_ _B_ " Samaria
Samaria
- historical region, Palestine". * ^ "Open Collections Program: Expeditions and Discoveries, Harvard Expedition to Samaria, 1908–1910". _ocp.hul.harvard.edu_. * ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". _www.etymonline.com_. * ^ Mercer Dictionary of the Bible. p. 788. Watson E. Mills, Roger Aubrey Bullard. Mercer University Press, 1990 * ^ Emma Playfair (1992). _International Law and the Administration of Occupied Territories: Two Decades of Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip_. Oxford University Press. p. 41. On 17 December 1967, the Israeli military government issued an order stating that "the term 'Judea and Samaria
Samaria
region' shall be identical in meaning for all purposes . .to the term 'the West Bank
West Bank
Region'". This change in terminology, which has been followed in Israeli official statements since that time, reflected a historic attachment to these areas and rejection of a name that was seen as implying Jordanian sovereignty over them. * ^ _Hussein surrenders claims on West Bank
West Bank
to the P.L.O.; U.S. peace plan in jeopardy; Internal Tensions_. John Kifner, New York Times, 1 August 1988 * ^ _A_ _B_ Neil Caplan (19 September 2011). _The Israel-Palestine Conflict: Contested Histories_. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 18–. ISBN 978-1-4443-5786-8 . * ^ "This Side of the River Jordan; On Language", Forward, _Philologos_, 22 September 2010. * ^ Essaid, Aida. _Zionism and Land Tenure in Mandate Palestine_. * ^ Alan Dowty (11 June 2012). _ Israel
Israel
/ Palestine_. Polity. pp. 130–131. ISBN 978-0-7456-5612-0 . * ^ _ Singer, Isidore ; et al., eds. (1901–1906). "Samaria". Jewish Encyclopedia
Jewish Encyclopedia
_. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company. else--> * ^ Nelson's Encyclopædia, v. IX, p. 204, (London, 1907) * ^ Free, Joseph P.; Vos, Howard Frederic (24 July 1992). "Archaeology and Bible History". Zondervan – via Google Books. * ^ Becking, Bob (1 January 1992). "The Fall of Samaria: An Historical and Archaeological Study". BRILL – via Google Books. * ^ "2 Kings 17 Ellicott\'s Commentary for English Readers". _biblehub.com_. * ^ Longman, Tremper; Garland, David E. (26 January 2010). "1 Samuel - 2 Kings". Zondervan – via Google Books. * ^ _A_ _B_ "The Ivories from Samaria: Complete Catalogue, Stylistic Classification, Iconographical Analysis, Cultural-Historical Evaluation". _www.research-projects.uzh.ch_. * ^ "Open Collections Program: Expeditions and Discoveries, Harvard Expedition to Samaria, 1908–1910". _ocp.hul.harvard.edu_. * ^ Acts 8:4-8 * ^ UN partition resolution Archived 2006-10-29 at the Wayback Machine . * ^ " Israel
Israel
Central Bureau of Statistics". * ^ "Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs". * ^ "The Center for Regional Councils in Israel". _Website_. * ^ Hebrew. " Shomron Regional Council
Shomron Regional Council
Website". * ^ "The Geneva Convention". BBC News. 10 December 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2010. * ^ Lazaroff, Tovah (16 September 2016). "In anti-BDS stand, Hempstead New York signs sister city pact with settler council". Retrieved 24 July 2017. * ^ Michael Hamilton Burgoyne and Mahmoud Hawari (May 19, 2005). "Bayt al-Hawwari, a _hawsh_ House in Sabastiya". _Levant_. Council for British Research in the Levant, London. 37: 57–80. doi :10.1179/007589105790088913 . Retrieved 2007-09-14. * ^ "Holy Land Blues". _ Al-Ahram Weekly _. 5–11 January 2006. Retrieved 2007-09-14. * ^ Wiener, Noah (6 April 2013). "Spurned Samaria: Site of the capital of the Kingdom of Israel
Israel
blighted by neglect". Biblical Archaeology Society. Retrieved 23 January 2014. * ^ _The Archaeology of Palestine_, W.F. Albright, 1960, p. 34 * ^ Albright, W. F. (24 July 2017). "Recent Progress in Palestinian Archaeology: Samaria-Sebaste III and Hazor I". _Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research_ (150): 21–25. doi :10.2307/1355880 – via JSTOR. * ^ Albright, pp.39–40 * ^ 2 Kings 17 and Josephus (Ant 9.277–91) * ^ "Keepers: Israelite Samaritan Identity Since Joshua bin Nun".

BIBLIOGRAPHY

* Rainey, A. F. (November 1988). "Toward a Precise Date for the Samaria
Samaria
Ostraca". _Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research_. 272 (272): 69–74. JSTOR 1356786 . doi :10.2307/1356786 . * Stager, L. E. (February–May 1990). "Shemer's Estate". _Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research_. 277/278 (277): 93–107. JSTOR 1357375 . doi :10.2307/1357375 . * Becking, B. (1992). _The Fall of Samaria: An Historical and Archaeological Study_. Leiden; New York: E. J. Brill. ISBN 90-04-09633-7 . * Franklin, N. (2003). "The Tombs of the Kings of Israel". _Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins_. 119 (1): 1–11. * Franklin, N. (2004). "Samaria: from the Bedrock to the Omride Palace". _Levant_. 36: 189–202. doi :10.1179/lev.2004.36.1.189 . * Park, Sung Jin (2012). "A New Historical Reconstruction of the Fall of Samaria". _Biblica_. 93 (1): 98–106. * Tappy, R. E. (2006). “The Provenance of the Unpublished Ivories from Samaria,” Pp. 637–56 in “I Will Speak the Riddles of Ancient Times” (Ps 78:2b): Archaeological and Historical Studies in Honor of Amihai Mazar on the Occasion of his Sixtieth Birthday, A. M. Maeir and P. de Miroschedji, eds. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns. * Tappy, R. E. (2007). “The Final Years of Israelite Samaria: Toward a Dialogue between Texts and Archaeology,” Pp. 258–79 in Up to the Gates of Ekron: Essays on the Archaeology and History of the Eastern Mediterranean in Honor of Seymour Gitin, S. White Crawford, A. Ben-Tor, J. P. Dessel, W. G. Dever, A. Mazar, and J. Aviram, eds. Jerusalem: The W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research and the Israel
Israel
Exploration Society.

EXTERNAL LINKS

_ Wikimedia Commons has media related to SAMARIA _.

* Entry for Samaria
Samaria
in 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica
1911 Encyclopædia Britannica

.