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Cheriann
Sep 12th 2007, 06:16 AM
I've been wondering why the the Jews didn't associate with the Samaritans? (John 4:9) And wasn't the Jacob mentioned in verse 12 the same who later became Israel, son of Isaac? And what did Yeshua mean when He "You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews." (4:22)? What did they worship that they did know?
Can anyone give me some more insight? I would surely appreciate it.
Shalom
Cheriann

Fenris
Sep 12th 2007, 10:03 AM
Well, it's my understanding that the Jews were a couple of problems with the Samaritans. The first was that they were of questionable/unknown origin. Were they Jews or not? Who were they descended from? The answer is murky to this day. The second issue was that they had different beliefs than the Jews. Their holy Temple was not in Jerusalem and they did not believe in the Oral Law or the authority of rabbincal Judaism.

Steven3
Sep 12th 2007, 10:50 AM
Hi Cheriann :)

Although this event no doubt happened as its recorded the way John records it is full of parallels and hints. Particularly to how Jacob, travelling north, had like Jesus come to a well where he had met a woman Rachel) who was to become his wife (Genesis 29:10). Just as Rachel did not know that the stranger at the well was a kinsman, so this woman of Shechem initially didn't recognise that here was a kinsman-stranger who could satisfy with living water. The parallel is with the thirst of Rachel's sheep - it was Jacob who pulled water for Rachel. When Jesus says he is “the gift of God” (John 3:16), and “living water” this is double level, with both literal and symbolic meaning there was fresh running water at the bottom of Jacob’s well but Jesus was offering the water of life, his teaching, and his words are Spirit (John 7:37-39).

The whole conversation is underlaid with double level comments not just from Jesus but, surprisingly, the woman too. Most people assume, like they assume of Nicodemus in John 3, that Jesus is talking to an idiot, but read a bit more carefully it seems that this woman, like Nicodemus, was a lot more insightful than modern readers who laugh at their dumbness. Anyone who thinks the woman was a fool hasn't read carefully - since if Jesus could give to her a pitcherful of fresh water, why would he be asking her for a drink? She would immediately know his meaning was figurative and respond in kind.


I've been wondering why the the Jews didn't associate with the Samaritans? (John 4:9) It dates back to Ezra in 530BC. When the Jews (the survivors of the Southern Kingdom) returned to Jerusalem and Judea the Samaritans (their brethren, the survivors of the Northern Kingdom, who had intermarried with Gentiles, tried to stop Ezra rebuilding the temple. They wrote an "accusation" (sitna, from satan Ez4:6) against Ezra to the Emperor and also bribed and corrupted Joshua and the other priests. The hostility dates from this point. When the woman came to the well for water, Jesus surprised her by asking for a drink because “Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.” The semi-Gentile origins of the Samaritans were despised by Jews, the Samaritan Pentateuch only had 5 books, so their rejection of Psalms and Prophets from the Scriptures was scorned, and their choice of Mount Gerizim as a holy site in place of Mount Zion was of course wrong. And the Pharisees in particular could not stand their "loose" and "lax" interpretation of food laws and the Sabbath.
And wasn't the Jacob mentioned in verse 12 the same who later became Israel, son of Isaac?Yes. The Northern Ten Tribes were called "Jacob" and "Ephraim", then later "Samaritans", the Southern 2 tribes were called "Judah" then later "Jews".

Sychar may be another name for the Samaritan capital Shechem (though most atlases show a small village Sychar on the slopes of Mount Ebal). The women says “our father Jacob” twice and he lived for a time in Shechem. Joseph and his brothers were buried in Shechem. A big crowd of people suggests Shechem not a village. It has been suggested that Sychar was a Judean slur for Shechem since it sounds like the Hebrew word for “a lie” (Samaritan religion), or “wanton” (see Isaiah 3: 16).


And what did Yeshua mean when He "You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews." (4:22)? What did they worship that they did know?

The main answer to this is that the promise of a Seed, Offspring to Abraham was repeated to Jacob - the Samaritans worshipped Jacob's God, but weren't ready for Jacob's Seed, Jesus.

When she says “I have no husband” there again is a double level of meaning: Rachel has no Jacob, the Samaritans' hoped for ‘Messiah has not yet come. Then when Jesus says "you have five husbands" it may well be true of the woman, but "You Samaritans have had five husbands" is on the deeper level a probable reference to the five Books of Moses which they accept - missing out on all the Messianic prophecies in Psalms and Prophet. And, Jesus continues, you Samaritans have come away from those 5 husbands to follow a false Messiah, one who is no Jacob.

It's at this point that we need Josephus, because without Jos. Ant. 18.4.1 we'd have no way of knowing that the Samaritans also had a false Messiah:

Josephus Antiquities 18.4.1. But the nation of the Samaritans did not escape without tumults. The man who excited them to it was one who thought lying a thing of little consequence, and who contrived every thing so that the multitude might be pleased; so he bid them to get together upon Mount Gerizzim, which is by them looked upon as the most holy of all mountains, and assured them, that when they were come thither, he would show them those sacred vessels which were laid under that place, because Moses put them there So they came thither armed, and thought the discourse of the man probable; and as they abode at a certain village, which was called Tirathaba, they got the rest together to them, and desired to go up the mountain in a great multitude together; but Pilate prevented their going up, by seizing upon file roads with a great band of horsemen and foot-men, who fell upon those that were gotten together in the village; and when it came to an action, some of them they slew, and others of them they put to flight, and took a great many alive, the principal of which, and also the most potent of those that fled away, Pilate ordered to be slain.

Why Gerizim? Because Moses, before his burial had told Israel to recite the blessings and curses of the Law at Shechem, with the blessings assigned to Gerizim (Deut. 27:12), and Joshua, the first "prophet like unto Moses", had obeyed (Josh. 8: 33); but in all Samaritan Pentateuch's there was no mention at all of Jerusalem, they had been altered to read “Gerizim” in connection with Melchizedek (Gen. 14:18) The Samaritans still survive in tiny numbers today and still have "Gerizim" in their Pentateuch instead of Mt. Moriah for the offering of Isaac (Gen. 22:2).

So, at the same time as Jesus was being rejected as Messiah in Judea, in Samaria the Samaritans were following an imposter who claimed ability to disinter from Mt. Gerizim (their sacred mountain) the sacred vessels of Moses. That is a claim (ignoring that we know that it is the wrong mountain) tantamount to a claim to be "the prophet like unto Moses" (Deut.18:15-19). So when the woman says “Lord, I perceive that thou art a prophet” she may have meant: “you are the Prophet like unto Moses, not the imposter we have been following”.

Then she asks if Jesus is the real prophet Moses foretold, is he going to change the appointment she thinks Moses made (how would she know otherwise?). Which is the temple where men should worship? Theirs on Gerizim, or the Jews' on Zion?

The answer Jesus gave would have shocked both Jews and Samaritans "the hour is coming when you will not worship the Father in this mountain, nor at Jerusalem" (compare Malachi 1: 11). Gerizim and Zion were both to be razed in A.D. 70, when both temples were reduced to rubble.

Nevertheless, Judaism was still better than Samaritanism: “You worship what you do not know", and they didn't. They were missing for example the Davidic promise in 2Sam

2 Samuel 7:12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.

There are other echoes. For example compare Joshua’s speech to the the twelve tribes when he gathered them together at Shechem. (Josh. 24:14 = John 4:24).

God bless :)
Steven

Cheriann
Sep 12th 2007, 02:19 PM
Hi Steven,
Thank you so much. Your'e answer has so much information I never even heard of!!

The main answer to this is that the promise of a Seed, Offspring to Abraham was repeated to Jacob - the Samaritans worshipped Jacob's God, but weren't ready for Jacob's Seed, Jesus.
But the Jews weren't ready for Jesus either, were they?

And the Pharisees in particular could not stand their "loose" and "lax" interpretation of food laws and the Sabbath.
Kinda reminds me of the way modern Christians view these things as well.

but in all Samaritan Pentateuch's there was no mention at all of Jerusalem, they had been altered to read “Gerizim” in connection with Melchizedek (Gen. 14:18)
I have some questions about this and the relationship to Messiah as well but I'll have to gather my thoughts and get back to it later.
Again, thanks for the insight Steven.

L'Shanah Tova!
Cheriann

Steven3
Sep 12th 2007, 02:34 PM
Hi Cheriann
Thanks :)
But the Jews weren't ready for Jesus either, were they?No, which is why Jesus is not too hard on her. In some ways the Samaritans had a better excuse than the Judeans:

Luke 12:47 And that servant who knew his master's will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. 48 But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.

Have a great day :)
S

gringo300
Aug 20th 2009, 05:06 PM
From what I've heard, Samaritanism teaches that Moses was the first, last, and only prophet. This would account for why they don't acknowledge anything after the first five books, which, if I understand correctly, are believed to have been written (or at least WRITTEN DOWN) by Moses.

danm
Aug 24th 2009, 10:58 AM
Brilliant post, thanks.

Dan.

thepenitent
Aug 24th 2009, 12:41 PM
I've been wondering why the the Jews didn't associate with the Samaritans? (John 4:9) And wasn't the Jacob mentioned in verse 12 the same who later became Israel, son of Isaac? And what did Yeshua mean when He "You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews." (4:22)? What did they worship that they did know?
Can anyone give me some more insight? I would surely appreciate it.
Shalom
Cheriann

Actually, we can go back a little further than Ezra, to 2 Kings 17, for the root of the problem. When evil Assyrian king Shalmaneser conquered Samaria (and all of Israel) he exiled all the Jews there and replaced them with various races of peoples from throughout the middle east. He figured this would prevent the Jews from repopulating the area and later re-taking control of the region of Samaria. These are the people who became known as Samaritans. The Lord didn't like having people live there who didn't know his ways to he sent in a bunch of lions to kill the people off. King Shalmaneser didn't like this so he sent back to Samaria one of the exiled Jewish priests to teach the people the Jewish ways and appease the lions and the Lord. Unfortunately what resulted was a sort of mongrel Judaism with the former pagan ways of these people mixed in with the Jewish ways. Judea, therefore, looked down on them for it from then on.

gringo300
Feb 28th 2012, 04:19 AM
I'm very confused about who the Samaritans are.

There's also a lot I don't understand about Jews.