Samaritan


Samaritan
Samaritanism, n.
/seuh mar"i tn/, n.
1. an inhabitant of Samaria.
3. (often l.c.) one who is compassionate and helpful to a person in distress.
4. any of the dialects of Aramaic spoken by the Samaritans in ancient Israel and until recently still spoken in Nablus.
adj.
5. pertaining to Samaria or to Samaritans.
[bef. 1000; ME, OE < LL samaritanus < Gk samarít(es) dweller in SAMARIA + -anus -AN]

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Member of a now nearly extinct Jewish community.

Calling themselves Bene-Yisrael ("Children of Israel"), or Shamerim ("Observant Ones"), they claim to be related to those Jews of ancient Samaria who were not deported from Israel by the Assyrians in 722 BC. The Pentateuch (first five books of the Old Testament) is their sole norm of religious observance. Jews who returned to their homeland after the Babylonian Exile would not accept their help in building the Second Temple of Jerusalem. Consequently, in the 4th century BC the Samaritans built their own temple in Nābulus, at the base of Mount Gerizim, in the present-day West Bank. The modern population (about 500 persons) is distributed between Nābulus and the city of Ḥolon in Israel. All live in semi-isolation, marrying only within their own community. They pray in Hebrew but have adopted Arabic as their vernacular.

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      member of a community of Jews (Jew), now nearly extinct, that claims to be related by blood to those Jews of ancient Samaria who were not deported by the Assyrian conquerors of the kingdom of Israel in 722 BC. The Samaritans call themselves Bene-Yisrael (“Children of Israel”), or Shamerim (“Observant Ones”), for their sole norm of religious observance is the Pentateuch (first five books of the Old Testament). Other Jews call them simply Shomronim (Samaritans); in the Talmud (rabbinical compendium of law, lore, and commentary), they are called Kutim, suggesting that they are rather descendants of Mesopotamian Cuthaeans, who settled in Samaria after the Assyrian conquest.

      Jews who returned to their homeland after the Babylonian Exile would not accept the help of the dwellers of the land, who were later identified as the Samaritans, in the building of the Second Temple of Jerusalem. Consequently, in the 4th century BC, the Samaritans built their own temple in Nāblus (Shechem), at the base of Mount Gerizim, some 25 miles (40 km) north of Jerusalem. The low esteem that Jews had for the Samaritans was the background of Christ's famous parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25–37).

      Since the 1970s their population has held at about 500; they are somewhat evenly distributed between Nāblus, which is also the residence of the high priest, and the city of olon, where a synagogue is maintained, just south of Tel Aviv–Yafo. All live in semi-isolation, marrying only within their own community. They pray in Hebrew but adopted Arabic as their vernacular after the Muslim conquest of AD 636.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Samaritan — ► NOUN 1) a member of a people inhabiting Samaria, an ancient city and region of Palestine, in biblical times. 2) (good Samaritan) a charitable or helpful person. [ORIGIN: with biblical reference to the story of the Samaritan who helped a man in… …   English terms dictionary

  • Samaritan — noun aid, aider, altruist, assister, befriender, benefactor, champion, defender, friend, good neighbor, help, helper, helping hand, kind person, ministering angel, ministrant, patron, philanthropist, protector, savior, succorer, sympathizer, well …   Law dictionary

  • Samaritan — O.E., inhabitant of Samaria, a district of Palestine, from L.L. Samaritanus, from Gk. Samareia (see SAMARIA (Cf. Samaria)). Figurative use with reference to the good Samaritan is first recorded 1630s, from Luke x:33 …   Etymology dictionary

  • Samaritan — [sə mer′ə tən, səmar′ə tən] n. [ME < OE < LL(Ec) Samaritanus < Gr Samareitēs < Samareia, Samaria < Aram shamerayin < Heb shomron] 1. a person born or living in Samaria 2. a person who comes to the aid of another: see GOOD… …   English World dictionary

  • Samaritan — Sa*mar i*tan, a. [L. Samaritanus.] Of or pertaining to Samaria, in Palestine. n. A native or inhabitant of Samaria; also, the language of Samaria. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Samaritan — Not to be confused with Sarmatians. Samaritans redirects here. For the charity, see Samaritans (charity). For other uses, see Samaritan (disambiguation). Samaritans שומרונים Samaritans on the …   Wikipedia

  • Samaritan — n. & adj. n. 1 (in full good Samaritan) a charitable or helpful person (with ref. to Luke 10:33 etc.). 2 a member of an organization which counsels people in distress by telephone or face to face. 3 a native of Samaria in West Jordan . 4 the… …   Useful english dictionary

  • samaritán — a m (ȃ) knjiž. kdor iz usmiljenja, sočutja pomaga bolnemu, onemoglemu človeku: postal je samaritan vsega taborišča; samaritan in človekoljub / usmiljeni samaritan …   Slovar slovenskega knjižnega jezika

  • Samaritan — noun Etymology: Middle English, from Old English, from Late Latin samaritanus, noun & adjective, from Greek samaritēs inhabitant of Samaria, from Samaria Date: before 12th century 1. a native or inhabitant of Samaria 2. [from the parable of the… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Samaritan — n. a good Samaritan ( a person who helps those in need ) * * * a good Samaritan ( a person who helps those in need ) …   Combinatory dictionary


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