||This article appears to contradict the article Judea and Samaria Area#Terminology. (January 2013)|
Samaria (//), or the Shomron (Hebrew: שֹׁמְרוֹן, Standard Šomron Tiberian Šōmərôn ; Arabic: السامرة, as-Sāmirah – also known as جبال نابلس, Jibāl Nāblus ) is a mountainous region in the Southern Levant, based on the borders of the biblical Northern Kingdom of Israel. The name "Samaria" derives from the ancient city Samaria, the capital of the Kingdom of Israel. In modern usage it is roughly corresponding to the northern West Bank.
In the modern times, the term Samaria was revived by the British, who coined this to an official provincial term. During the Jordanian occupation, the area changed its name to the West Bank. During the 1967 Six-Day War, Samaria was captured by Israel from Jordan together with the rest of West Bank of Jordan, which had previously captured it in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. With Israeli occupation, the name Samaria was restored, to become part of an administrative Judea and Samaria area. Jordan ceded its claim to the area to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in November 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 to the Palestinian Authority. Palestinian Authority didn't recognize the term Samaria within its domain. In 2013, with the official transition from the Palestinian Authority to the State of Palestine, large parts of Samaria came to be internationally recognized under State of Palestine control.
According to biblical tradition, the name "Samaria" is derived from the individual [or clan] Shemer, from whom Omri purchased the site for his new capital city. (1 Kings 16:24).
To the north, 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 mountains. In Biblical times, Samaria "reached from the [Mediterranean] sea to the 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.
According to biblical tradition, the region known as Samaria was captured by the Israelites from the Canaanites and was assigned to the Tribe of Joseph. After the death of King Solomon (c.931 BC), the northern tribes, including those of Samaria, separated from the southern tribes and established the separate kingdom of Israel. Initially its capital was at Tirzah until the time of king Omri (c.884 BC), who built the city Shomeron (Samaria) and established it as its capital.
The region was conquered by the Assyrians in c. 722 BC, and reportedly much of its population was taken into captivity and deported.
Over time, the region has been controlled by numerous different civilizations, including Israelites, Babylonians, the classical Persian Empire, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders, and Ottoman Turks.
Post World War II
The modern history of Samaria begins when the territory of Samaria, formerly part of the Ottoman Empire, was entrusted to the United Kingdom to administer in the aftermath of World War I as a British Mandate of Palestine District of Samaria between 1918–1948.
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 of the Jordan river). The Jordanian-held West Bank came under the control of Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War. 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 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 (Areas 'A' and 'B').
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 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, Jenin, Tulkarm, Qalqilya, Salfit, Ramallah and Tubas Governorates as administrative centres for the same region.
The Shomron Regional Council administers the Israeli population and settlements throughout the area. Israeli settlements in the West Bank are considered by the international community to be illegal under international law, but the Israeli government disputes this.
New Testament reference
The New Testament mentions Samaria in Luke chapter 17:11-20, in the miraculous healing of the ten lepers, which took place on the border of 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 8:5-14, it is recorded that Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached there. In the time of Jesus, Iudaea of the Romans was divided into three toparchies, Judea, Samaria, and Galilee. 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, Samaria is called the "land of the Cuthim".
The Samaritans are an ethnoreligious group, named after and descended from ancient Semitic inhabitants of Samaria, since the Assyrian Exile of the Israelites. Religiously the Samaritans are adherents of Samaritanism, an Abrahamic religion closely related to Judaism. Based on the Samaritan Torah, Samaritans claim their worship is the true religion of the ancient Israelites prior to the Babylonian Exile, preserved by those who remained in the Land of Israel, as opposed to Judaism, which they assert is a related but altered and amended religion brought back by those returning from exile. It is commonly, though inaccurately, accepted that Samaritans are mainstream Jews.[dubious ]
Their temple was built at Mount Gerizim in the middle of fifth century BC and was destroyed by the Macabbean (Hasmonean) John Hyrcanus late in 110 BC, although their descendants still worship among its ruins. The antagonism between Samaritans and Jews is important in understanding the Bible's New Testament stories of the "Samaritan woman at the well" and "Parable of the Good Samaritan".
- Samaritan Revolts
- List of burial places of biblical figures
- Judea and Samaria Area
- Israeli settlements
- LDS.org: "Book of Mormon Pronunciation Guide" (retrieved 2012-02-25), IPA-ified from «sa-mĕr´ē-a»
- Harvard Expedition to Samaria, 1908–1910, Harvard University
- Nelson's Encyclopædia, v. IX, p. 204, (London, 1907)
- Harvard Expedition to Samaria, 1908–1910, Harvard University
- Israel Central Bureau of Statistics
- Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- "The Geneva Convention". BBC News. 10 December 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
- 2 Kings 17 and Josephus (Ant 9.277–91)
- Rainey, A. F. (November 1988). "Toward a Precise Date for the Samaria Ostraca". Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 272 (272): 69–74. doi:10.2307/1356786. JSTOR 1356786.
- Stager, L. E. (February–May 1990). "Shemer's Estate". Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research. 277/278 (277): 93–107. doi:10.2307/1357375. JSTOR 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.
- Tappy, R. E. (2206). “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 Exploration Society.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Samaria.|
- Entry for Samaria in 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica
- Shomron National Park (Sebastia) at Israel Nature and Parks Authority site
- Pictures of the ruins of Shomron
- S. Vailhé (1913). "Samaria". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.