The Samaritans were a mixed race, the outcome of marriages between Israelites and colonists imported into Samaria by the King of Assyria, when he invaded the latter’s land and took the ten tribes into captivity.
As a result of plagues sent by God, the King of Assyria, out of fear, employed an Israelitish priest to teach the imported Assyrians the Hebrew religion. Intermarriages became the order of the day, and a bitter feud arose between the Samaritans and the Jews (Ezra iv.1-6; John iv. 9).
The Samaritans now number less than one hundred persons, who live at Shechem (Nablus), where they have two, if not three, very ancient copies of the Pentateuch. They keep up an annual sacrifice of the Passover on Mount Gerizim, and, with some variations, keep up an observance of the Law of Moses.
F. G. J.