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Being the Alexander Robertson Lectures, delivered 
before the University of Glasgow in 191 6 


Rev. J. E. H. THOMSON, D.D. 















The present volume contains the substance -of a course of 
lectures delivered in the spring of 19 16, before the University 
of Glasgow, on the Alexander Robertson Foundation. There 
has been no attempt to retain the lecture form, as much 
more was required for an adequate discussion of the subject 
than could be compressed into the compass of six lectures. 
Besides there were many sides of the questions at issue, 
which did not lend themselves to treatment in the form of 
an address. The writer would take the opportunity to thank 
anew the Divinity Faculty for suggesting to the Senate of 
Glasgow University his nomination to the above lecture- 
ship, and the University Court for his appointment to it. 
Under the conditions of the lectureship the present work 
ought to have been published in the spring of the year 
following; but on economic and other grounds connected 
with the War, the University kindly permitted delay in the 
hope that matters would improve. So far, however, from 
things improving by the signing of the armistice and the 
practical ending of the War, they have become worse. As 
the prospect of any improvement in the conditions of book- 
publication appeared to be rather remote, and for the writer 
time was passing, it seemed better to risk the disadvantage 
of issuing a book on a Biblical subject, at a time like the 
present, when the English-speaking public are obsessed by 
the Great War and its consequences, than wait any longer. 

At the best, even in normal circumstances, a book like 
the present interests only a very limited public. Not many 
even among Biblical students, know much about the 
Samaritans or the relation in which their rites and cere- 
monies stand to those of the Jews ; and of these, very few 
manifest any wish to increase their knowledge. Conse- 


quently it is with considerable diffidence that the writer 
approaches the public with a treatise on this subject. A 
little consideration shows that notwithstanding the neglect 
under which it has suffered, it has an important bearing on 
questions in regard to the criticism of the Old Testament. 
The writer's excuse for intervening is that the present 
work represents the results of independent study pursued 
somewhat intermittently for nearly thirty years, and in 
circumstances more favourable to acquiring information than 
are possessed by many. A somewhat lengthened residence 
in Palestine, repeated visits to Nablus, and presence at the- 
celebration of the Samaritan Passover, vitalised to the 
writer ideas derived by him from other sources. Further, 
personal inspection of a considerable number of Samaritan 
MSS., including codices of the Torah, was kindly permitted 
him by the authorities of the British Museum ; the Bodleian 
Library, Oxford ; the University Library, and the Libraries 
of Trinity College and Westminster College, Cambridge. 
Through the kindness of the custodians of the Bibliotheque 
Nationale, Paris, he was also enabled to examine the leading 
codices possessed by them, including that brought to Europe 
by Pietro della Valle in 1616. One thing which this last 
privilege revealed to the writer was the very decided 
difference which subsists between the form of Samaritan 
characters in type, and those most common in manuscript 
The difference of the shape these letters assume in Walton's 
Polyglot — derived from the Paris Polyglot — from the true 
form is considerable ; out of sight worse, and further from 
the original is that adopted in Germany from Gesenius 
downward to Petermann's Grammar. In Nicholls' Grammar 
the alphabetic forms are better as nearer Walton's. Con- 
fusions of letters easily explicable by the MS. type of 
character are utterly incomprehensible to one who only 
knows the conventional form adopted at Gotha and Leipzig. 
One unfortunate result of the independent way in which 
he has carried on his study of this subject is that the writer 
finds himself, in his conclusions, in opposition on the one 
side to traditional orthodoxy, and on the other to the still 
more uncompromising orthodoxy of the dominant critical 
school. The supercilious contempt with which the latter 


regard every opinion that has not been "made in Germany" is 
scarcely creditable to British scholarship. Especially is this 
so in regard to the present subject, as most of the recent 
German writers on Samaritan subjects have been Jews, in 
whom the passage of twenty centuries and more has not 
dulled the edge of their animosity, nor lifted at all the veil 
of their prejudices. 

For assistance in correcting proof, the writer would 
return thanks to the Rev. Dr James Robertson, Professor 
emeritus of Oriental Languages, Glasgow University ; Rev. 
Dr James Kennedy, Librarian, New College, Edinburgh ; 
Dr John Hutchison, Rector emeritus, Glasgow High School; 
Rev. Dr Charles Jerdan, Greenock, Senior Clerk, U.F.C. 
General Assembly. He has further to thank the Rev. 
W. B. R. Wilson, Dollar, for compiling an index, and 
E. Russell, Esq., for general suggestions. The writer would 
also acknowledge the kindness of Professor W. B. Stevenson 
in bringing to his notice not a few facts and authorities, 
which might otherwise have escaped him ; to Professor 
A. R. S. Kennedy for assistance in books; and to Dr Cowley, 
Oxford, for kind answers to inquiries in regard to matters, 
authoritative information on which was not open to the 
writer. He would express his gratitude to Dr Rendel Harris 
and to his friend the Rev. J. C. Nicol, M.A., Eccles, for 
information as to the Samaritan codices in the Rylands 
Library, Manchester. The kindness of the librarians of the 
Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, and of New College, 
Edinburgh, must not be forgotten. Above all he would 
tender his thanks to his wife for her assistance in preparing 
the manuscript for the Press. 

In regard to books, the writer would acknowledge his 
indebtedness to Dr Montgomery's Samaritans, especially 
to the copious list of literature appended ; to various articles 
of Dr Cowley, and to Dr Mill's Modern Samaritans. 

In transliterating Hebrew words, Dr Davidson (Hebrew 
Grammar) has been followed, with this exception that tz 
is used for ^ tzade instead of c. 







y\^ The Home and the People \ 

II.^The History of the Samaritans 
\\\y Mosaism in Northern Israel . 
iv.^prophetism in northern israel 

V/The Ritual of Samaritan Worship ** 
VI. Samaritan View of Sacred History . * 
VII. The Theology of the Samaritans y . 
VIII. The Evolution of the Samaritan Script 
IX. /The Language and Literature of the Samaritans 236 

X. Comparison of the Samaritan Pentateuch with 


XL The Relation of the Samaritan Recension of . 

the Pentateuch to the Septuagint . .319 

XII. The Bearing of the Foregoing Argument on 

Pentateuchal Criticism .... 352 

Appendices :— 

Catalogue of Manuscripts (Codices), complete and fairly 

complete, of the Samaritan Torah in Europe and America 387 

Description of the Nablus Roll ..... 396 

The Relation of the Minoan Alphabet to the Semitic . . 404 

Naville's Theory of the Original Language of the Old 

Testament ....... 4 12 

Index ......... 425 




The testimony of any person or persons as to the social 
habits of any nation, still more as to their religious 
observances, will be valuable in so far as it can be shown 
that by their prolonged residence in the country of that 
people they are in a position to possess first-hand knowledge. 
As, however, it is in regard to religion that men are most 
reticent, even residence in a country would not be enough 
to guarantee adequate knowledge. If proof were given of 
participation in the same religious rites as those of the 
people in question, that would be a warrant for further 
confidence. In primitive days, religion was connected with 
race; the religious observances even of one family differed 
from those of another, and the ritual of each was carefully 
concealed from all others. To prove that those on whose 
testimony reliance is placed are of the same race and 
practised the same rites as those concerning which informa- 
tion is desired, is to make assurance doubly sure. Hence 
in the present chapter we shall consider first the home of 
the Samaritans, whose testimony to the religion of Israel 
we would evoke, and next the race to which they belonged. 
There is this additional suitability in the above order that 
unlike most peoples whose country is generally named from 
them, as England the land of the English, the Samaritans 
are named from their country ; they are the people of 
Samaria. Their religious rites and observances they claim 
to be theirs in virtue of their race. 



The Home of the Samaritans. 

As the Samaritans claim to be descended from the tribes 
that followed Ephraim when they rebelled agains t the rule 
of the Davidic family, the whole of the territory of these 
Northern tribes has to be regarded as their home ! The~ 
name Samaria, however, was first applied only to the city 
erected by Omri for the capital of his kingdom. According 
to the Scripture narrative ( i Kings xyi,_24) the city was 
named after the original owner of the hill on which it was 
built ; as his name wag ^hpmp r it was called .^hnmprnr^ oj 
probably originally Shamrain (Burney, Kings, 204) ; this, 
hellenised, became .ftamaria. Its situation on the top of a 
bold headland is at once one of great beauty, and what was 
of greater importance in the capital of a kingdom, of great 
military strength as against the primitive artillery of the 
ninth century B.C. The military wisdom of the choice was 
proved by the fact that though several times besieged by 
the Syrians it was never captured by them, and by the 
further fact that only after it was besieged three years did it 
surrender to Sargon. With its special advantages it is not 
to be wondered at that it remained the capital of the 
Northern Kingdom even after the dynasty of its founder 
had been overthrown. In course of time the name was 
extended to the whole territory of which it was the capital. 
This is specially the usage of the prophets. In a similar 
way, Babylon (Babel) is not always the city, it is occasionally 
the province, e.g., Dan. iii. 1. _ t Samari a in thi s wider sense, 
as including the whole territory of the Nor thern tribes, 
extended from the slopes o£ Hfi rmon and the Lebanon on 
the north, the transjordanic lands of Reuben, Gad, and the 
half tribe of Manasseh on the east, and south to a line that 
appears to have varied, passing slightly south of Bethel, the 
boundary of the kingdom of Judah. It may be doubted 
whether, even in the palmy days of Jeroboam II., the 
territory embraced "the entering in of Hamath," the 
ambitious limit of the land claimed by Solomon (1 Kings 
viii. 65). 

The provinces east of Jordan were held by a very 
uncertain tenure. The Stone of Mesha of Moab tells of the 


claims he made on the territories of Reuben and Gad ; and 
the narratives in Kings relating the contests concerning the 
possession of Ramoth-Gilead which Israel had to maintain 
against the Aramaean kingdom in Damascus show how 
precarious a hold the King of Israel had on what was 
beyond Jordan. The fact that even after Ahab had inflicted 
on Benhadad of Damascus more than one crushing defeat 
(i Kings xx.) Ramoth-Gilead is still in the hands of Syria, 
implies that Bashan, which lay north of it and nearer 
Damascus, also was left in the possession of Syria. Although 
Elijah is a Gileadite yet his activity is mainly restricted to 
the west of Jordan. The kingdom of Jeroboam II. may 
have included the east of Jordan ; but if so his successors 
soon lost it. The advance of Assyria tended to cut short 
the coasts of Israel. The Ninevite Empire appears to 
have absorbed Bashan, Gilead, and the rest of the eastern 
territories in the reign of Tiglath Pileser (i Chr. v. 26). 

The northern province of Galilee, physically resembling 
the east of Jordan in the fact that it is intersected with 
numerous ravines, very deep and precipitous, was like 
it frequently assailed by invaders. The Aramaeans of 
Damascus did not attempt so much to hold it in permanent 
possession as they did Gilead, but they seem to have made 
frequent raids. In the troublous times which succeeded the 
death of Jeroboam II., Tiglath-Pileser first reduced the 
Israelites to the condition of tributaries, and then carried 
away all the principal inhabitants of the northern portions 
of Galilee, Abel-Maacah, Ijon, Hazor, and the rest. It is to 
be presumed that inhabitants from other portions of the 
Assyrian Empire were brought partly to fill up the blank 
left by the removal of so many of the inhabitants and loss 
of others by the ravages of war, and partly to act as a 
garrison against those who were left in the land. Although 
the deportation of inhabitants only from the northern portion 
of Galilee is recorded, it would seem that at this time the 
whole province of Galilee passed from under the rule of the 
monarchs of Samaria. 

To the south was Judah. whirh. haH never hpf> n yn^ 
the rule, q/ the kin^s of Samaria . As has been said, the 
boundary between these two kingdoms, Ephraim and Judah, 


was somewhat indefinite as to the precise line, but the 
difference in the characteristics of the two territories is 
marked to the traveller. Judah is in the main a mass of 
round, barren, stony hills. Though without the frequent 
and marked wadies which characterise Galilee, still there 
are some ; and the deepest of these go down towards the 
Salt Sea. It is mainly pastoral, though even for sheep and 
goats at the present time the pasturage is by no means 
rich or abundant. The early notes of its history all impress 
on the reader that the " hill country of Judea " was for the 
pasturing of sheep. David was a shepherd ; his quarrel- 
with Nabal took place when that worthy was shearing sheep ; 
and Absalom invites his father and brothers to his sheep- 

" shearing, when he has determined to take vengeance on 
Amnon. At a far later date there were shepherds watching 
by their flocks at night. 

In course of time, the name Samaria became restricted to 
the portion of Palestine between the plain of Esdraelon and 
the land of Judah. Politically it appears to have formed 

\* a separate province under the kings of Assyria. When 
Sargon, who succeeded Shalmaneser, finished the siege which 
his predecessor had begun, he set a governor over the land ; 
there is at least a possibility that Hezekiah was the unnamed 
viceroy. At first like Ahaz his father he was the faithful 
vassal of Assyria. The summons he sends to all Israel to 
come to the Passover implies the existence of no authority 
that could interfere ; therefore it would seem that Hoshea 
had already been deposed and Samaria taken. 

The contrast between the middle province and those to 
the north and south is very marked. From the sea, across 
the plain of Sharon, the hills of Samaria rise terrace upon 
terrace till they culminate in the twin , ^heights o f Ebaland 
GeCBJg The aspect of this western front is like that of" 
Palestinian hillsides generally, somewhat sterile, but within 
this girdle of hills it is very different. To the traveller 
riding through the district of Samaria, following most likely 
a bridle-path along the front of low hills, there open out at 
every turn views or glimpses of rich holms that only need 
cultivation to laugh with abundant crops. Even as it is, 
with all the misgovernment of the Turk, villages are frequent, 


surrounded by cultivated fields and orchards of almond, 
citron, and orange trees. Besides, there is in every fold of 
the hillside the ubiquitous olive. A feature of the province 
is the number of small plains that are shallow lakes in 
January, in February dry up, and in May are bearing crops. 
There is to the east the wide plain of Mokhna and to the 
west down to the sea that of Sharon. In regard to the 
latter, it is doubtful to what extent the seacoast was assigned 
to Ephraim. Even in the days of the dynasty of Omri which, 
judged by the statements of Mesha, on his stela, was very 
powerful, the Philistines possessed the plain, for to appeal to 
the God of Ekron is to pass beyond Israel (2 Kings i. 6). 
It is in Ezion-geber on the Red Sea that Ahaziah joins with 
Jehoshaphat in building ships, not at Joppa or Akka on the 
Mediterranean (1 Kings xxii. 48; 2 Chron. xx. 36). The 
characteristics of the province itself which strike the traveller 
as in contrast with those of the south and the north, are the 
want of the rolling sterile hills of Judea, and of the frequent, 
deep, and precipitous gorges of Galilee ; it is, in the language 
of Isaiah, full of " fat valleys " with numerous vineyards and 
many winefats. 

Not only was the central portion of Palestine the most 
beautiful and most fertile, it had much, perhaps most of 
historic interest attaching to it. Especially was this the 
case in regard to the central valley of Shechem in which the 
remnant of the nation is still to be found. In Shechem it 
was that Abraham first encamped, and there was he 
privileged to receive his first revelation of God. His next 
place of encampment was still within the central province ; 
he placed his tent on " a mountain between Bethel and Hai " 
(Gen. xii. 8). When Jacob came back to Canaan from 
Padan-Aram, he purchased " a parcel of a field from the 
children of Hamor where he had spread his tent" (Gen. 
xxxiii. 19). There too, Joshua, when he was old, called 
together all the elders of Israel, their heads and their judges 
to present themselves before God to renew their covenant 
with the Lord (Josh. xxiv. 1). There at an earlier period 
had Joshua fulfilled the command of Moses, and had built 
on Mount Ebal an altar to the Lord, and " wrote there a 
copy of the law of Moses, in the presence of the children of 


Israel." There, too, he placed the elders of one half of the 
tribes of Israel on the slope of Mount v Gerizin\ , and the 
other half on the slope of Moun t Ebal, the one to recite the 
blessings, the other the curses written in Deuteronomy. At 
the mouth of the valley where it opens out into the plain of 
Mokhna is, according to a well-supported tradition, the tomb 
of Joseph. In the valley itself occurred the bloody episode 
of the slaughter of the sons of Gideon. From .the slope of 
[m. Jotham declaimed his parable. /Here, too, in 
Shechenpit was that Rehoboam met the tribes of Israel, and 
y his insolence lost the kingdom to the House of David.J In' 
this province, to the south-west, is Timnath-Serah where 
Joshua was buried. To the north in the territory of 
Manasseh is Ophrah of the Abiezrites, where was the 
threshing-floor of Gideon. In Mount Ephraim "between 
Ramah and Bethel " rose the palm-tree under which Deborah 
sat and judged Israel. Toward the south of Mount Ephraim 
was the Ramah where Samuel was born, and where in after 
years he dwelt. Nearly within sight of the valley of Shechem 
was Shiloh, where so long stood the central shrine of the Holy 
People, in which Eli ministered. 

To one looking from the mountains of Galilee across the 
plain of Esdraelon, the two mountains Ebal and Gerizim 
stand out prominent, and form the centre of the view which 
has Tabor Carmel and Gilboa for a foreground. Ebal, 
although the nearer and the higher, does not quite hide 
Gerizim from view. These peaks have equal prominence 
from the east of Jordan. It is no wonder that Moses singled 
out these mountains as those on which the law was to be 
engraved and on which the altar was to be built. It is no 
wonder that he selected the valley between these mountains 
as the place where the tribes were to recite the solemn 
curses and blessing s. These moun t ains were in the ve ry 
centre of the Promised Land ; what place more suitable could 
oe found in which Israel should renew their covenant with 
JHWH? If Deuteronomy was forged, the forger must 
have been endowed with a transcendent dramatic instinct 
to enable him to view the Land of Promise from a point, 
physical and moral, which would appeal to the Hebrew 
Lawgiver, looking at it from the east of Jordan, however 


little it might appeal to a Jew of Jerusalem. This is all 
the more remarkable that not till long afterwards was the 
artistic necessity of local colour recognised in literature. 
Shakespeare makes Hector quote Aristotle, and gives 
Bohemia a seacoast. It is difficult to imagine a Jerusalem 
Jew of the seventh century B.C. able to place himself so 
completely in the position of Moses. 

Su ch was the home of the Samarita n people when it was 
flourishing, such their home when the name bamaria was 

restricted to the middle province of Palestin e. Now it is 
further restricted. Little more than a century ago the 
Samaritan nation had several communities in Egypt and 
Syria, but now only in the valley of Shechem — only in a 
small quarter of the city of Nablus are any Samaritans to be 
found. It is true the valley of Shech em was the very heart 
of Sama ria, indeed"" of the whole land of Israel. Extremity 
-"~~a"fter~extremity has been lopped off, only in a single valve 
of the heart the life's blood remains. 

The valley of Nablus is one of the most beautiful places 
in Palestine. It runs nearly east and west, strictly speaking 
from nearly south-east to nearly north-west, between Ebal 
on the north and Gerizim on the south. To the traveller 
coming from the north, after he has passed Sebastiyeh on 
his right hand, there opens shortly to his left the broad 
glen of Shechem. It is a sea of verdure, not the pale verdure 
of the grass of the field, but the full rich green of the fig-tree 
and the pomegranate. It consists of numerous orchards and 
gardens, overshadowed with fruit-trees — citrons, oranges, and 
apricots. According to the season the traveller, as he 
passes along, sees peeping out from its dark green polished 
leaves the bright insistent red of the pomegranate flower, 
or earlier the white blossoms of the almond. The green of 
the mass of verdure is carried up the slopes of the mountains 
that bound the valley, by olive-yards and vineyards. Mainly 
on the slopes of Mount Gerizim is this seen, though Mount 
Ebal is not so sterile as some have imagined it to be. Above 
the belt of olives and vines rise the twin mountains, the 
highest in Central Palestine. If the traveller withdraws his 
eyes from the heights, and gazes along the tops of those green 
fruit-trees, he will note the minarets of the five mosques 


of the city, rising white out of the mass of dark green- 
ery. Four of these mosques were originally Christian 
churches ; one is claimed by the Samaritans as having been 
their principal synagogue. To one approaching Nablus 
from the south the view is somewhat different. The track 
leads round the base of Mount Gerizim to the left, and leaves 
Joseph's tomb and Jacob's well to the right ; it then passes 
westward through a mile or two of broad fertile fields. In 
front rise the green orchards, from which spring the minarets 
before spoken of. Nearer the city are heaps of ashes, the 
refuse of soap manufacture, the principal industry of the 
place. This valley owes its fertility and beauty to the 
moisture of the winter snows and rains which, stored up in 
the bosom of the two guardian mountains, is shed forth in 
springs and streams that flow out unstinted during the 
drought of the hottest summer. Heat and moisture are 
the twin sources of fertility. 

The modern city of Nablus is one of the most important 
in Palestine; its population is probably from twenty to 
twenty-five thousand. Like most Eastern cities there is a 
broad street, called the Suq or market, which traverses the 
city from east to west. The greater portion of this is 
vaulted, and is lighted by openings in the roof which are 
glazed. The length of the city is estimated by Guerin to be 
about three-quarters of a mile ; its breadth he reckons to 
be rather less than a third of a mile at its broadest. It is 
divided into quarters, as are so many cities in the East. 
These are traversed by streets leading off the Suq, which 
are narrow and crooked, full of dust and garbage in summer, 
and mud and garbage in winter. The largest of these 
quarters is the Haret Jasmineh. It is close beside the foot 
of Mount Gerizim, and the traveller, entering Nablus from 
the north, comes into it first. A lane leaves the Suq to the 
right and leads up to the Haret es Samireh — the Samaritan 
quarter. It is not strictly speaking a quarter of the city, it 
is too small ; it is merely a group of mean houses that cluster 
about the small dark synagogue, the last remaining shrine 
of the sons of Ephraim. This group of houses is the Ghetto 
of the small remnant of the Ten Tribes. 

From this quarter a bridle-path leads up to the top of 


Mount Gerizim. Very soon the path has crossed the belt 
of orchards and vineyards, and thereafter it skirts them for 
about two hours, riding at muleteer's pace. When the vine- 
yards are left the pathway becomes more rocky and the 
hillside is bare, covered only with grass and a few small 
bushes. A short pull brings the rider and his steed to 
the top of the mountain. The pathway ends at one of 
the higher portions of the plateau that forms the top of 
the mountain. From there it dips down to where there 
appear the green mounds that mark the ruins of ancient 
buildings. Most of the ruins in Palestine, at least of any 
antiquity, except on the seacoast, are represented by green 
mounds ; perhaps the friable nature of the stone of which 
they have been built explains this. At the opposite end of 
the platform, toward the south-east, the ground rises again ; 
on the highest point of this there is erected a wely, the 
tomb of a Mohammedan saint, Sheikh Ghanem. Like other 
buildings of this class it is domed and white. It overlooks 
the plain of Mokhna ; visitors are recommended to view the 
plain from its window. 

The slight depression in this platform represents the 
home of the Samaritan religion. Those green mounds, 
from which here and there appear traces of carved stones, the 
Samaritans claim to be the remains of their ancient temple. 
This claim can only be admitted with modifications. There 
have been numerous successive buildings erected one on the 
top of the other. There might be an ancient Canaanite High 
Place here. It is not improbable, although there appears 
no notice of it in Scripture, that an Israelite High Place 
would replace that of the Canaanites. Superimposed upon 
these in all likelihood was the temple erected by Sanballat. 
It was destroyed by John Hyrcanus (120 B.C.) and its 
rubbish added to the general heap. As the language 
of the Samaritan woman in her conversation with our 
Lord seems to imply that worship was at that time 
carried on in the sacred mountain, it is not improbable that 
Herod rebuilt the temple for the Samaritans when they 
were put under his rule. It may certainly be regarded as 
against this, that Josephus, when he relates the slaughter 
inflicted by Cerealis on the Samaritans, does not say 


anything of edifices having been destroyed by him. The 
Samaritans themselves credit Adrinus (Hadrian) with the 
destruction of their temple. He erected a temple to Jupiter 
on Mount Gerizim, as in Jerusalem he erected a temple to 
Venus. A coin of the period of the Antonines, struck in 
Flavia Neapolis (Nablus), represents on the reverse a 
temple with pillared portico on Mount Gerizim ; a stairway 
is shown going from the foot of the mountain to the top. 
A century later a coin of Volusianus shows the same design. 
It has been assumed that this was a heathen temple, but 
according to Josephus the temple in Jerusalem, as rebuilt 
by Herod, had porticos with pillars; if one may judge by 
other Herodian remains these pillars would be after Roman 
models. It might quite well be that Hadrian repaired the 
Herodian temple on Mount Gerizim and rededicated it to 

Dr William Thomson in The Land and the Book gives a 
plan of the ruins to be traced on the top of Gerizim, copied 
from that in the Pal. Explor. Quart. Statement, 1873, P- 66, the 
work of Sir Charles Warren : in a subsequent page there 
is a view of some of the structures. Guerin {Description de 
la Palestine: Samarie, xxv., pp. 424-445) has a careful 
description, accompanied by measurements, of the structures 
as he saw them in 1870. The most striking is the platform 
composed of large blocks of stone, called from their number 
thenasher bdlata, "the twelve stones." At first sight they 
appear to be native rock, part of the mountain ; but half a 
century ago Lieutenant Anderson proved by excavation 
that they were not part of the rock but had been placed in 
their present position. They are huge undressed blocks of 
limeston e. The Samaritans -» assert that these were the 
twelve stones wnicn Joshua commanded the children of 
Israel to take up out of the midst of Jordan and carry to 
the place where they lodged. The probability is that these 
stones were originally laid there to form a platform for the 
altar which preceded the erection of the temple by Sanballat. 
These stones were twelve^" accorH ing tr> the number of the _ 
tribes of Israel." Then tradition took the matter in hand 
and identified them with the stones taken out of Jordan. 
It is to be noted that there is evidence here that the 


Samaritans /cnew something of the contents of the book of 
Joshua. JJnis platform, according to Sir Charles Warren's 

r, isto the west of the mountain. 

Immediately to the east is a ruined structure which 
Guerin calls qalah, " the castle." It is a large four-sided 
enclosure of 79 metres by 64J metres (861 yards by 70), thus 
approximately a square. At each of the corners there are 
the remains of four square towers with one in the middle 
of the south wall. Sir Charles Warren's plan is presumably 
drawn accurately to scale. According to it the size of this 
structure differs considerably from the measurements of 
M. Guerin. Warren's figures are 200 feet by 150, that is 
to say, 67 yards by 50, so very much smaller. Round this 
platform, between the towers, Warren notes that he observed 
the remains of chambers. This may have marked off the 
hardm area of the Samaritan temple. It is, however, so 
much smaller than that at Jerusalem that one hesitates to 
affirm this confidently. In the centre of this enclosure there 
is figured by Sir Charles Warren the plan of an octagonal 
structure. This is described by M. Guerin. The walls are 
only to be traced by the irregularities of the ground. It 
has been built, he says, of cut stones regularly and 
throughout polished. It was doubtless covered over by a 
dome. There had been an apse to the east, and five side 
chapels, one directly south, the rest in the intermediate 
directions S.W., N.W., N.E., and S.E. The doorway was 
to the south. According to Warren's plan there were eight 
pillars supporting the dome. The diameter of this structure 
within, if the chapels and the apse be neglected is, according 
to Guerin, 23 metres (25] yards), and each side of the 
polygon, 9 metres (n yards). In this case Sir Charles 
Warren's figures agree with those of M. Guerin. When, 
however, Guerin says the depth of the recess of the apse is 
equal to the length of one of the sides of the polygon, the 
difference between the authorities is considerable; instead of 
the 9 metres of Guerin, Warren has 20 feet, little more than 
6 metres. The measures given in the Memoirs do not quite 
accord with either. Procopius describes a church erected 
by the Emperor Zeno on Mount Gerizim, and dedicated to 
the Virgin Mary, which seems to agree with this. M. Guerin 


deduces that the structure which rose upon this plan had a 
domed roof, a deduction that is confirmed by Sir Charles 
Warren's plan which, as we have said above, shows eight 
pillars. There is an obvious resemblance in this on the one 
side to the Mosque of Omar, the Qubbet es-Sakhra, and on 
the other to Saint Sophia. In Sir Charles Warren's article 
it is said that the floor had been partly of marble and 
partly of tiles. As we have indicated, there is a tendency 
to regard it as certain, that this church was erected on 
the site of the Samaritan temple. This, however, is not 
the Samaritan tradition. About 240 feet distant from the 
enclosure surrounding the Church of Zeno, according to the 
map of the Palestine Exploration Fund, is a site much 
more sacred to the Samaritans. It is like the rock that is 
seen in the Mosque of Omar, a platform of native rock of 
irregular shape and surface ; at its southern end is a 
depression, presumably for the reception of the blood of 
sacrificial victims. This may have been an altar in 
Canaanite times, and the human bones found in the pit near 
at hand may have been those of human victims. The 
Samaritan tradition is that it was over this, rock that their 
temple was buijt. This Sakhra or Holy Stone is the place, 
of all the sites on this sacred hill, which is most sacred ; no 
member of the Samaritan community approaches it but 
barefoot. It would be loss of time to describe the stone on 
which Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac, and the Seven 
Steps by which Adam descended when he was driven out 
of Paradise; for here, according to Samaritan tradition, 
was the Garden of Eden. 

Quite to the west of these structures is the portion of the 
sacred plateau which the Samaritans have purchased for the 
celebration of their Passover. They had been excluded from 
the top of Mount Gerizim for about forty years by the Turks, 
but through the intervention of the British Consul the right 
of visiting the sacred sites was restored to them. It ought 
to be noted that M. Guerin credits Louis Philippe with this 
interference on behalf of the Samaritans. Dr _ Montgomery 
{Samaritans, p. 141 ), gives a very different account of the rela- 
tion of the Orleanist sovereign to the persecuted remnant in 
Nablus. They appealed to him, but their appeal for State 


reasons remained unanswered. They were at all events, by 
whose influence so ever, allowed to purchase a portion of the top 
of the sacred hill, in order to consecrate it for the Passover 
celebration. In this plot they dug a trench and a pit which they 
lined with stones, so that, though filled up in the interval 
between the periods of observance, they could easily be re- 
opened. In a communication to the Palestine Exploration 
Quarterly (1903 p. 91) the Rev. Roland G. Stafford gives an 
account of the Passover observances dictated in Arabic by the 
Samaritan High Priest, which includes a rough diagram. 
There is in it no attempt at drawing to scale, or even at 
approximation to accuracy in the representation of the topo- 
graphical relation of the sites. The pit is represented by a 
square, in which is inserted the statement that this " furnace " 
was " taken from the time of Abraham " (Gen. xv. 17) ; in other 
words this pit was " the smoking furnace and burning lamp " 
which Abraham saw when God made a covenant with him 
after the slaughter of the kings. It is not of importance to 
Samaritan tradition that this was a vision furnace, or that 
the vision in which it was seen occurred in Hebron. 

No description of the home of the Samaritans would be 
complete without some account of the characteristics and 
appearance of Mount Ebal. It rises to the north of the 
valley of Nablus and attains a height of over 3000 feet. It is 
rather more rugged and difficult of ascent than is Mount 
Gerizim. Although the vineyards and olive-yards do not rise 
up the side of Mount Ebal so high as they do up the 
side of Mount Gerizim, still Ebal is not the desolate 
mountain, in comparison with Gerizim, that it has pleased 
the imagination of some travellers to describe it. Certainly 
the rocks are more in evidence, and riding up is more 
precarious on account of the liability of the horses to slip 
on the flat exposed surfaces of limestone. There are traces 
that in earlier days cultivation by terraces was carried up 
much higher. When the top is reached there are remains 
of pretty extensive ruins, evidently supposed by native 
tradition to be those of a fortress, as they are called qalah, 
" the castle." Guerin describes this structure as built of blocks 
of stone, very roughly cut ; he gives the measurements of 
the irregular square as thirty-two paces a side; this, 


reckoning a pace at 2§ feet, would make the size about 
80 feet square. Near by are other ruins supposed, at 
least by the natives, to be those of a church, as they call 
the heap khurbet keneiseh, " ruined church." The view from 
the top is superb. Away to the north rises to the right, the 
great mass of Hermon which even in midsummer justifies the 
name by which it is sometimes called, Jebel et-Telj, "the 
Mountain of Snow " ; to the left, peering over the nearer 
peaks of the Lebanon, overlooking the sea, is visible the 
white top of Jebel Sannin. To the west is the plain of 
Sharon, and beyond it the Great Sea of the Hebrews sparkles 
in the sunlight. Away over Jordan rising above the rest of 
the mountains of Gilead is Jebel Osha, which some regard 
as the true Nebo from which Moses saw the Promised Land, 
and south over the Dead Sea are seen the mountains of 
Moab ; while nearer hand the towers are visible that crown 
Mount Olivet. 

Such then is the home of the Samaritans that survive 
from the Ten Tribes, despite the persecutions they have 
endured at the hands of every power which has borne rule 
over Palestine. Here have they dwelt alongside of the Jews, 
according to their own account since Joshua conquered the 
land ; even on the Jewish account, since some seven centuries 
before Christ. Parallel with them they have obeyed the 
same law, observed the same customs, and celebrated the 
same festivals. As credible witnesses of the nature of the 
religion of the Jews they have every local advantage. 

_- The Samarita n People. 

As we have already seen, that while local identity is an 
important element in regard to testimony as to religion, 
identity of race is yet more important. The Samaritans 
themselves claim to be, like the Jews, the descendants of 
Ahraha m and of Jacob. The Tews , , in this followed by the 
Christians, regard the tribes which inhabited the north of 
Palestine as having been deported totally, and therefore to 
be sought anywhere but in the land given to their fathers. 
Few things have more occupied the imaginations of those 
peoples who possess the Scriptures of the Old Testament, 
whether Jews or Christians, than the fate of what are called 


"The Lost Ten Tribes." In the most diverse quarters have 
they been discovered. The Talmudic accounts are vague geo- 
graphically ; somewhere away to the east is all that is asserted. 
Very different in this respect are the views of the Christians 
who have occupied themselves with this question. Some find 
them in the Jews who are resident in China. Others think 
the Afghans to be the true descendants of the ten lost tribes. 
Not a few have been ready to recognise them in the much 
persecuted Nestorians of Mesopotamia. Most extraordinary 
of all is the notion that these lost tribes have reappeared in 
the Anglo-Saxon race. On views like these, of course the 
claims of the modern Samaritans to Israelite descent are not 
worthy of a moment's consideration. These ideas are derived 
from the seventeenth chapter of 2nd Kings, and in accord- 
ance with it, the Samaritans are regarded as the offspring of 
the mixed multitude of heathens, the colonists who, sent by 
the Assyrian monarchs, assumed, from the fear of lions, a 
certain reverence for JHWH, but at the same time continued 
the worship of their own gods. This is the view of the Jews 
of the present day. Earlier also in the Talmud the 
Samaritans are always spoken of as D'Ttta " Cuthaeans," since 
Cuthah was one of the places from which the colonists had 
been brought by the Assyrians. 

It cannot be denied that at first sight the statements in 
2 Kings xvii. seem to warrant this interpretation, but closer 
study of the narrative leads to the conclusion that certain 
modifications of the common view are needful. The common 
view implies that the whole population was removed, but in 
the narrative the statement is general and to be regarded 
as more sweeping than accurate. If all the prominent 
people — all that meant the nation in the eyes of the people 
of Israel themselves or in the eyes of neighbouring nations — 
were deported, that would satisfy the representations of the 
book of Kings. It is to be noted that the repeated state- 
ment that JHWH "removed Israel out of His sight" points 
rather to the deprivation of spiritual privileges than to 
physical removal to another land. It is certainly said that 
"Israel was carried away out of their own land"; but it is 
not said that all Israel was so deported : the removal, as we 
have said, of all the prominent persons, the heads of families, 


the priests, the prophets, would satisfy this statement. On 
the other hand when Hezekiah celebrated his great Passover 
(2 Chron. xxx. 1 ff.) he " wrote letters also to- JEphraim and 
Manasse h that they should come to the House of the Lord at 
Jerusalem," a fact to which we have already adverted in another 
connection. He further made a proclamation "throughout 
all Israel from Beersheba even unto Dan that they should 
come to keep the Passover . . . saying, ' Ye children of 
Israel, turn again unto the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, 
and Israel, and He will return to the remnant of you that 
have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria.' " What 
was the date of this Passover ? At first sight it would seem 
to be in the first year of Hezekiah's reign in Jerusalem. But 
by careful comparison of dates it would appear that his reign 
is computed according to two different reckonings. Parallel 
with this is the fact that while Sargon appointed a deputy over 
the kingdom of Israel, the name of the deputy is not given in 
Sargon's inscription. If Hezekiah were this deputy, then the 
apparent confusion of regnal years would be explained, and 
also the tone which he employs in writing to the inhabitants 
of the Israelite territory " from Beersheba even unto Dan." 
Hezekiah reckoned occasionally the years of his reign from 
his entrance upon his rule over all Israel. 1 It was quite 
natural that he should solemnis e his accession to a new 
dignity by celebrating ^J Passover^ to which all Israel were 
summoned. Thus this Passover is to be dated in thf> gjyth 
or seventh ye ar of his reign in Jerusalem. It is clear from 
"this summons that the " remnant that had escaped from the 
hands of the King of Assyria " was very considerable. In 
the account of the Passover kept by Josiah, more than three- 
quarters of a century later, given in 2 Chron. xxxv. 17, it is 
said, " The children of Israel that were present (marg. " found," 
han-nimtzc? hn) kept the Passover at that time " ; in the 
next verse the Chronicler speaks of "all Judah and Israel 
that were present " — a phrase which shows that he had the 
distinction between Judah and Israel before his mind. In 
perfect accordance with this is the testimony of Josephus 

1 The writer would acknowledge his indebtedness to Rev. R. B. Pattie, 
B.D., Glasgow, for the explanation here given of the apparent dis- 
crepancies of the chronological notes of Hezekiah's reign. 


{Ant. X. iv. 5) : <; After these things Josiah went also to all 
the Israelites who had escaped captivity and slavery under 
the Assyrians, and persuaded them to desist from their 
impious practices." From his statements elsewhere it is 
clear that Josephus would be under no temptation to justify 
the claims of the Samaritans to Israelite descent ; hence his 
admission in this instance of the existence of a considerable 
Israelite remnant is of all the greater value. 

Further, when we consider the object the Assyrians had 
in view in these deportations, the total removal of the people 
of one province to another becomes the more unlikely. 
Their object was to prevent rebellion against their rule on 
the part of any of the conquered peoples that manifested a 
tendency to revolt. To deport totally the population of one 
region to another, would not necessarily lessen the 
probability of rebellion to an)' serious extent ; it would 
merely change its geographical theatre. >f!\Ioreover when 
the methods of Mphnrh ^rlnezzar are considered (and his 
empire was in all essentials a continuation of that of Assyria), 
the view above indicated is confirmed. When he carried 
J udah into captivity he left the poor of the people "which 
had nothing, in the land of Judah, and gave them vineyards 
and fields at the same time," and put them under the hand 
of Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam (2 Kings xxv. 22 ff. ; Jer. 
xxxix. 10; xl. 5).| The probability is that the practice of 
Nebuchadnezzar was one which he had inherited from the 
kings of Assyria before him. Yet another thing ; those who 
believe that the total population of Israel was deported 
to the regions beyond the Tigris and Euphrates, must 
forget the difficulties of transportation in the days of Sargon. 
The population of Palestine must still have been very great, 
even after the fullest weight is given to the devastating 
effects of Assyrian methods of " frightfulness," and the 
lessening of the population in consequence. Menahem had 
in his dominions sixty thousand " might}' men of wealth" — 
a number that implies a general population of possibly 
two millions. Though the kingdom of Hoshea was less 
than that of Menahem by the loss of Galilee, still the 
population left in the land could not be less than half 
a million. A horde of captives of that size passing through 



Coele-Syria to Carchemish, and from thence down the 
Euphrates, would lay the whole country bare, and would 
empty of provisions the magazines of every store-city on 
its route. The consequence of this would be that the armies 
of Assyria would be unable to pass that way for some years 
to come. 

j We have further the direct evidence of Sargon's own 
/inscriptions — contemporary documents, records of the events 
/made when they happened. A monarch would be little 
/likely to minimise his own exploits when he had them 
/ recorded on the walls of his own palace. In his account of 
j the conquest of the land of Israel and capture of Samaria, 
Sargon does not claim to have carried away all the 
inhabitants of the land — he asserts only that he took 27,280 
of them. The population of the province of Samaria must 
have been vastly greater than that. If the numbers of the 
armies which the kings of Israel are recorded to have 
assembled are to be taken as not historic, yet the account 
of the tribute exacted by Tiglath-Pileser (Pul) has every 
appearance of being so, and the method Menahem took to 
raise the amount has every look of probability. As above we 
saw what population that involved — approximately twenty 
times the number Sargon says he carried away. We are 
not, however, reduced to arriving at a decision by deductions 
like those above. It is clear that Sargon carried away only 
a portion of the inhabitants, for he adds, " I changed the 
government of the country and set over it a lieutenant of 
my own " ; instead of a subject king like Hoshea, there was 
now to be an Assyrian viceroy, We-have- seen— that-it- -is 
not impossible t .hat Jie zekiah \y as_thaX_ yiceroy. ^Sargon 
continues, " The tribute of the former king I imposed upon 
them." The Ninevite king would not appoint a viceroy 
over empty fields, or expect them to pay him a tribute. 

We have already said that it was the intention of the 
Assyrians to remove from any province, the loyalty of 
which they suspected, all notables — every one who could 
prove a centre of rebellion, or a strength to it when it had 
begun. This was a plan that was admirably fitted to secure 
the end at which they aimed. When these persons arrived 
at their new abode they would find themselves surrounded 


by people whose language they did not understand, with 
whose customs they were unfamiliar, whose religion it might 
be they despised. Men in such circumstances, however 
great their ability or their hatred of the rule of Assyria, 
would be impotent for political disturbance. If those who 
had been the natural leaders of the nation into the bounds 
of which they had been introduced had been sent to replace 
them in the land whence they had come, then in both 
countries there would be leaders without followers, and 
followers without leaders. In the account of the captives 
that Nebuchadnezzar took with Jehoiachin (2 Kings xxiv. 
14) we have the classes of persons who were liable to 
deportation, " the princes and all the mighty men of valour 
... all the craftsmen, all the smiths." All metal workers, 
and generally all who could help in producing munitions of 
war, all scribes whose knowledge of the art of writing might 
be put to political uses — all the priests and the prophets, all 
who could give a religious sanction to rebellion would be 
carried away. 

We learn from the scenes portrayed on the Ninevite 
marbles that the captives were not debarred from conveying 
much of their property with them to their new abode. 
Consequently when they arrived at the new country assigned 
to them they would have much of the influence over their 
new neighbours that wealth always has over the poor, who 
alone would be left in the region to which they had come. 
Education and habit of command would tell despite the 
differences of language and religion, and the difficulties in 
the way of intercourse which these entailed. The influence 
of the colonists on the residuary inhabitants would be 
concurrent with the influence the residents would have on 
the colonists. The difficulty of language would be lessened 
in the case of South-Western Asia by the widely diffused use 
of Aramaic. This would tend to displace the native tongue, 
and profoundly modify it even in those cases when it did 
not drive it out. In religion the views of heathenism as 
to the local restrictions of divinities — gods who were gods of 
the hills and not of the valleys — would tend to make the 
religious views and practices of the otherwise despised 
remnant potent. Customs would also tend to assimilate. 


After all things are considered, when the residual popula ,- 
tion left in the land after the devastating campai gns of^t he 

"~ Assyrians is put at its lowest probable Figure, and on the 
Other hand the number of the intruded colonists reckoned 
at the highest, still the mass of the inhabitants would be 
Israelites. There would also be the small remnant of the 
Canaanites who still survived. From an imperfect inscription 
of Sargon (Schrader, Keilinsch. i. 268) it would seem that 
shortly after the deportation of such captive Israelites as he 
did remove, he sent colonists to occupy their places. The 
statement these colonists make, asre conjed in , F.7,ra j v £ 

shows that they regarded Esarhaddon as the monarc h 

responsible for their presence in Palestine. But in verse 10 of 
the same chapter they claim to have been brought thither 
by " the great and noble Asnapper," who is in all probability 
to be identified with Asshur-bani-pal. From this it may be 
deduced that the colonists were sent into Palestine by relays. 
This would tend to make the influence of the Israelite 
remnant more powerful ; the small number of scattered 
colonists would readily fall under the influence of their more 
numerous neighbours, so that by the time that the next band 
arrived the leavening with Jahveism had proceeded a good 
way. Thus it was said that the earlier English colonists 
in Ireland became in subsequent generations Hibernis 
Hiberniores. Moreover, the different relays did not in all 
likelihood come from the same places as their predecessors ; 
thus they would be separated from them by as great barriers 
of language, custom, and religion as from the original inhabi- 
tants. When on the weakening of the Assyrian Em pire 
Tosiah assumed d ominion over Northern Palestine^J iis treat- 
ment of the priests of the High Places implies that he 
regarded the mass of the inhabitants as Israelites over whom 
in virtue of his Davidic descent he could claim to be king, 
and whose worship at the High Places he could treat — indeed 
was bound to treat — as heretical ; and this according to the 
ideas of those days was equivalent to being treasonable. 
Josiah's reformation seems to have had a deep effect on the 
Northern Israelites. After Ishmael the son of Nethaniah 
had slain Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, it is recorded that 
" Fourscore men came from Shechem, from Shiloh, and 


from Samaria with offerings and incense in their hands to 
bring to the House of the Lord " (Jer. xli. 5) with all the 
signs of mourning, as it was only to the ruins of the Jerusalem 
temple that they could bring their offerings. These 
Ephraimites had accepted Josiah's reformation and had 
acknowledged the Solomonic shrine as their qiblah, and 
regarded even its ruined site as sacred so far as important 
sacrifices were concerned. These worshippers came to 
Mizpahlong after the Assyrian colonists had been established. 
It is necessary for a little to consider from whence these 
colorii s . ts were. hronp^ ht. Some it is recorded were brought 
from Rahj.-|r>n Historically, it is intrinsically very probable 
that citizens from Babylon would be deported to Palestine. 
As the sacred capital of the Assyrian Empire, as much older 
than Nineveh, the pride of the Babylonians was offended by 
the precedence over them taken by the more recent city in 
virtue of its being the Imperial residence. Incited to 
rebellion by Merodach-Baladan, and assisted in it by him, 
the Babylonians were in a state of chronic unrest. Senna- 
cherib, after numerous campaigns and victories over the 
Babylonians, interspersed with efforts at conciliation, 
determined to destroy the city wholly ; which destruction he 
set about systematically and thoroughly. This would be 
accompanied doubtless by extensive deportations. These 
in all likelihood had begun in the reign of Sargon, during 
which the intervention of Merodach-Baladan and his 
Chaldaeans began. Esarhaddon rebuilt Babylon and assumed 
the title of King of Babylon. Cuthah is identified by Dr 
Pinches as Kutu, a place in the neighbourhood of Babylon, 
devoted to the worship of Nergal. It would naturally follow 
the lead of Babylon and share in its vicissitudes. There is 
greater difficulty in the identification of Ava. From the 
names of the deities they worshipped, Conder would localise 
the Avites at Accad and therefore nearer Nineveh. It is 
scarcely possible that the Hamath of this passage can be 
the Hamath of Northern Syria; communication between 
it and Palestine was too easy for the purposes of the 
Assyrian deportation being carried out. Hamath, however, 
is a common Aramaic name ; probably it is in Mesopotamia 
that the Hamath of this passage is to be sought. There is 


some discussion as to the locality of Sepharvaim ; a number 
of commentators maintain that it is Sibrain in Syria, but 
the same political objections, that must be urged against 
Hamath of Syria, apply to Sibrain. The probability therefore 
is that the old identification of Sepharvaim with Sippara is 
after all correct. Tt would t h un r c r ™ that the b od y of the 

rnlnnigt^ w^i-p- Smites frr»m the region of Mesopotam ia. 

What has been said as to the inhabitants of Central Palestine 
applies also to the deportations of Tiglath-Pileser from 
Galilee, their place probably being supplied by colonists 
from the same quarters. 1 

It may be thought that it is antagonistic to the view 
above maintained that although the Israelite inhabitants of 
the Northern Kingdom were greatly reduced in numbers by 
the ravages of the Assyrians (those early apostles of " fright- 
fulness") in war, they still were the predominant element in 
the population, that the colonists appeal to Esarhaddon to 
be taught " the manner of the God of the Land," and the 
consequent mission of the priests to teach the knowledge they 
professed to desire. This, however, does not in reality dis- 
prove our assumption. Laying aside the possibility that this 
appeal was a covert petition to be reponed in their own land — - 
it must always be remembered that in every heathen religion 
ritual was all important. That a sacrifice should be acceptable 
to the deity to whom it was offered, it was imperative that in 
offering it the right gestures be used in the right order ; 
the correct titles given to the divinity when addressing him ; 
the proper terms of dedication used ; probably these were 
couched in archaic language. Every one of these elements 
was regarded as of the utmost importance. These the 
colonists would not be sure, that the simple peasantry could 

1 What has been said above exhibits the absurdity of the view 
maintained by Dr Paul Haupt that our Lord was not a Jew but of 
Aryan descent. He thinks that the deportations of Tiglath-Pileser were 
total, which they were not ; that the colonists sent to replace those 
carried away were Aryans, of which there is no proof ; the assertion of 
Dr Paul Haupt is scarcely evidence as to what happened twenty-five 
centuries ago. He assumes that, when Simon the Maccabee removed 
back to Judea such Jews as had settled in Galilee, he left none of 
Israelite descent. Of course Haupt maintains against Matthew and 
Luke that Christ was born in Nazareth not Bethlehem. 


know. Only the priests of JHWH would be the custodiers 
of such knowledge. As we have seen, priests and prophets 
would be among those deported, as they would be specially 
liable, among a fanatic race like the Israelites, to be leaders 
of revolt. In answer to the appeal of the colonists, a priest, 
or more probably priests were sent, and one of them made 
his abode in Bethel. As this was one of the principal 
schismatic shrines established by Jeroboam, it may be 
assumed that the worship taught was that of the High 
Places denounced by the prophets. 

The teaching of these priests seems to have been suc- 
cessful, if one may judge from the prominence given to the 
destruction of High Places, and the slaughter of the priests 
of them, in the account of Josiah's reformation and of the 
extending of it to the territory of Israel. "TWhen the inhabi- 
tants of Northern Palestine again come into notice, Zerubbabel 
had commenced rebuilding the temple at Jerusalem ; the 
Samaritans then claim to be allowed to share in the work as 
having been themselves worshippers of JHWH from the days 
of Esarhaddon. The wish to participate in the restoration of 
the Jerusalem temple implies that the colonists had been 
won over to adopt the views as to the superior sanctity of the 
gfop'"'" «->n lYf^jj^j Ziom implied in the prophetic reformation 
begun by H^zekiah , and by Losiah. resumed and extended to 
Israel. It may seem to contradict the predominance of the 
Israelite element that these correspondents of Zerubbabel 
claim to have been brought into the land of Israel by 
Esarhaddon. But the colonists, as we have seen above, from 
their wealth, education, and habits of command, would 
probably occupy a position of influence not altogether 
unlike that of the Norman nobles in England in the days 
of King John, who, although as to numbers very much the 
minority in England, yet claimed to be the spokesmen of the 
people whole. Their reference to Esarhaddon might be 
intended to meet objections based on the alien origin of 
these colonists; even they have been worshipping JHWH 
for more than a century and a half, as they did not belong 
to the races excluded from the House of JHWH for ever, 
they might claim to be received as proselytes ; the case of 
the Israelites by descent was beyond discussion. It is to 


be observed that their claim to be genuine worshippers of 
JHWH is not denied to them by Zerubbabel and Joshua 
the High Priest, only they assert that to the Jews and 
Benjamites alone had been entrusted, by the Persian king, 
the work of rebuilding the temple. 

As the relatively small infusion of Norman blood into 
England did not seriously alter the predominantly Teutonic 
character of the people, so the coming of the Assyrian colonists 
Hi d litt l e to dilute t he Israelite blood ot tne inhabitants ot 
Northern Palestine. Hence whatever claim identity of race 
may put forward to be heard as to religious practices or tenets 
of any people, the Samaritans can make that claim as to the 
religion of Israel. 

It is a matter of minor importance in regard to our 
argument, but still it is worthy of note that the personal 
appearance of the Samaritans suits our contention. They are, 
as a community, tall and fine looking. Their features represent 
the finest type of Israelite. In this view I am supported by 
severa l other observers. On this question, se e Montgomery , 
p. 26. 



If the history of the Samaritans showed that they were in 
constant friendship with the Jews, and that in all religious 
matters they followed their lead submissively ; if in short 
Samaritanism was merely a pale reflection, perhaps a little 
distorted, of Judaism, then the evidence of the Samaritans 
would not have the same value. If further they showed an 
easy facility in taking on the characteristics of those with 
whom they came in contact, ready to alter or modify their 
religious practices at the bidding of any predominant power, 
there would be a further lessening of the value of their 
testimony. If on the other hand there was a mutual 
jealousy and suspicion between the Jews and Samaritans, 
if each was willing to impute to the other the worst practices 
in conduct and the most erroneous doctrines in regard to 
creed, if each endeavoured to take the political attitude that 
would be most embarrassing to the other, in such circum- 
stances it is difficult to imagine any slavish following on 
either side. So far from being ready to adopt the opinions 
of those who had secured the Imperial power in South- 
western Asia, the Samaritans have been consistently 
persecuted by each of these in turn ; that there was an excep- 
tion during the time of the Seleucid supremacy we know 
only on the suspect evidence of Josephus. The religious 
independence of the Samaritans, alike in regard to the Jews s 
and in regard to their Gentile neighbours, is the thesis we 
hope to prove by the study of their history, of the 
persecutions they endured, and the vicissitudes they 
V" The history of the Samaritan people might be said to 

> '» 25 


. a begin with the revolt of the Northern tribes from the rule of 
the House of David under the leadership of Jeroboam. This 
was, however, only the final expression of a cleavage dating 
much further back in the history of Israel. It had been seen 
in the struggles for supremacy between David and the House 
of Saul, and in the ease with which Sheba the son of Bichri, 
on the very morrow of the overthrow of Absalom, secured a 

s/ following./ In the yet earlier days of the Judges, Judah 
and Simeon kept themselves aloof from the Northern and 
more advanced tribes. When Deborah and Barak delivered 
Israel from the yoke of the Canaanite oppressors, the 
Southern tribes did nothing ; what is more striking, they do 
not seem to have been expected to render any assistance. 
While the divisions of Reuben are commented on, and the 
Reubenites are taunted with their continuance by the sheep- 
folds, and contemptuous reference is made to the excuses 
advanced by Gilead, Dan, and Asher to cover their inaction, 
and Meroz is bitterly cursed, nothing is said of the absence 
of Judah and Simeon from the army of Barak. In the 
history of the period of the Judges, the Southern tribes have 
nothing of the prominence in the narrative that is given to 
Ephraim. /when Eli was judge there seem, from the 
prominence of Shiloh as the national shrine, to be signs of 
a tendency towards national unity. This was deepened 
under Samuel, until it found its final expression in the 
- national selection of Saul as king. \ Toward the latter years 
of the reign of Saul the tribe of Judah seems to have 
transferred its allegiance to David. On the death of Saul 
the difference between the North and South became open 
war. ^ Later the Northern tribes accepted David as their 
king/ The union of Israel achieved by his father, Solomon 
endeavoured to consolidate by the erection of the temple 
at Jerusalem. The ease with which the arrogant folly of 
Rehoboam broke it up, shows that the process of unification 
had not gone very deep nor been very thorough. 

The original difference between the two sections of the 
people, due to the predominantly pastoral character of the 
tribe of Judah, in contrast with the widely spread agriculture 
of Ephraim and Manasseh, and the tribes that possessed 
the pre-eminently fertile plain of Jezreel, was accentuated 


during Solomon's reign, and after it, by a religious difference. 
In the South, on account of the presence in their territory of 
the temple — the splendid national shrine — the priesthood 
occupied a position of influence which the priests of the 
Northern High Places, even those of Bethel or of Dan, 
never had. On the other hand, the prophets in the Northern ^ 
Kingdom had a political power which they had not in the 
South. Through their schools, the prophets could arrange 
concerted action all over the country. It would seem that 
these prophetic guilds carried organisation so far as to have 
a sanhedrin of elders for themselves (2 Kings vi. 32). There l^ 
was, however, nothing of this in the South, the Mouse of David 
reigned with priestly and prophetic sanction, and moreover 
had the prestige due to age and to the memory of the glory 
of David and the splendour of Solomon. In the North the 
violent changes by which dynasty succeeded dynasty, 
allowed none of them to become rooted in the traditions of 
the people, and there the kingly office never had the position 
to balance the influence of the prophets. All this tended \s* 
to produce a radical difference between the two branches of 
the Israelite nation. In the North the religion was essentially 
prophetism, while the ritual and consequently the priesthood 
occupied a strictly subordinate position. In the South the 
king was a sacrosanct person, he was the Lord's anointed, 
and the prophets affected the course of national politics not 
directly but as advisers of the king or princes. The High 
Priest, as presiding over the splendid shrine on Mount Zion, 
had a position second only to the king. In the North there 
was no such dignitary ; and further the king in Samaria had 
none of the sanctity of the Lord's anointed. There was 
no influence in the religious field to balance that of the 
prophets. Under Hezekiah and Josiah, when the Northern 
Kingdom had fallen, there certainly was an assimilation of 
the religious position of the Northern Kingdom to that of 
Judah. The High Places of Samaria were destroyed, their 
altars desecrated, and their priests slain, and all the remnant 
of Israel acknowledged the temple on Mount Zion as the 
national hearth. This assimilation was but short-lived ; 
with the death of Josiah after the battle of Megiddo, all 
this came to an end. The sovereigns that followed in the 


Southern Kingdom had little religious character and even 
less influence by which to maintain this assimilation, even 
if they had been in sympathy with it. 

/ ^C After the death of Josiah till the arrival of Zerubbabel 
and of Joshua the High Priest in Palestine, during the 
reign of Darius Hystaspis, we know nothing of Samaria or 
of the Samaritans. These two had come from Babylon 
authorised by Darius to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. 
As we have already seen, the Samaritans approached 
the Jews with an offer to assist them in their wofk-ri5u"t 
Zerubbabel rejected the offered help. /The leaders of the 
Northern Israelites identify themselves with the Assyrian 
colonists. The rejection of the proffered assistance by 
Zerubbabel was directly at variance with Josiah's compre- 
hensive invitation to the inhabitants of Northern Palestine 
to join in celebrating the Passover, and was a continuance 
of the feud in which Ephraim envied Judah and Judah 

^ vexed Ephraim. [This treatment roused the wrath of the 
Samaritans, and they informed the Persian local governors 
that the Jews intended to rebel. Certainly Zerubbabel's 
Davidic descent, taken in connection with some of the 
statements of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, made 
the accusation at least plausible. After something like 
/ three-quarters of a century, first Ezra arrived at Jerusalem 
and then Nehemiah. At this point of time the ^amaH^"^ 
were under the governorship of a countryman nf rh,fir own. 
Sanballat the H oronite, that is a na tive, of Tlerh -Horon L 
— Hisniaille is Assyrian and means " San (the Moon god) 
revivifies." This fact does not prove him not to be a 
genuine Israelite, any more than does the fact that 
Zerubbabel was also known by the Assyrian or Babylonian 
name Sheshbazzar, disproves his claim to Davidic descent. 

By the time that Ezra and Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem 
the feelings occasioned by Zerubbabel's refusal of the help of 
the Samaritans appear largely to have evaporated. The 
relations between the inhabitants of Judea and those dwell- 
ing in the territories of the Ten Tribes are of the friendliest 
description. There had been numerous intermarriages, a 
proof that the claim to Israelite descent was tacitly allowed. 
The fact that Eliashib had prepared a chamber for Tobiah 


in the temple, showed that Tobiah had claimed to be an 
Israelite and to have the right to worship at the central 
shrine, and that the High Priest had allowed both those 
claims. It is hardly possible that the term " Ammonite " 
applied to Tobiah was other than a nickname — a worshipper 
of Moloch would be little likely to desire to be called by a 
name which means "JHWH is Good." Such nicknames 
have been common in all ages ; thus Ludovico Sforza, Duke 
of Milan, in the end of the fifteenth century was called " II 
Moro," not because he was a Moor but because of his dark 
complexion. One may be permitted to doubt how far the 
excessive zeal of Ezra and Nehemiah was in accordance with 
the Divine plan, and how far it was due to the narrow 
legalist position which degenerated, some centuries later, 
into Pharisaism. 

These marriages, into which so many of the leading Jews )/ 
had entered, were declared by Ezra to be illegal. He 
apparently grounded this decision on the warning in Exod. 
xxxiv. 16, ^addicssLd Lu Lilt! Israelites, in prospect of entering 
Canaan, against taking the daughters of the land to their 
sons to wife, lest they should lead them to become idolaters. 
Those with whom these marriages had been contracted were 
neither Canaanites nor idolaters. <This nar row interpretation »/ 
of the Mosaic warning led to the religious schism which, 
perpetuated to the present day, has separated the Jews from 
the Samaritans. One instance of these intermarriages 
deserves special attention. In the book of Nehemiah 
(xiii. 28) we are told that " one of the sons of Joiada, the 
son of Eliashib the High Priest, was son-in-law to Sanballat 
the Horonite " ; Nehemiah adds, " therefore I chased him 
from me." Josephus {Ant. XI. vii. 2; viii. 2) says that a 
nephew of this man whom Nehemiah chased from his 
presence, a hundred years later, married the daughter of 
gr, " K,ll liit) *h~ dormer o f Samaria: this nephew Josephus 
ralk Managgpfr a nd his wife Nicaso. From the Assouan 
papyri there is, to a certain extent, a confirmation of the 
Biblical narrative, as they contain an appeal for assistance 
against their Egyptian oppressors addressed to the " sons of 
Sanballat," who occupy a position of influence in Samaria. 
This was in the reign of Darius Nothus. Josephus further 


relates that the elders of Jerusalem, indignant that a brother 
of the High Priest should marry a foreigner, " commanded 
Manasseh either to d ivorce his wife or n ot approach th e^. 

■ aiiar^ 7 we adds, "mere was now a great disturbance in 
Jerusalem, because many of the priests and Levites were 
entangled in these marriages." It seems an improbability, 
which amounts almost to an impossibility, that after the 
solemn public repudiation of such marriages only a century 
before, the practice should so soon become general again. 
Josephus makes Taddus (Jaddual — the brothe r of this 
Manasseh — contemporary with Alexander the Great, the 

" nepEew~of a man who was of marriageable age more than a 
hundred years before. This is not absolutely impossible, but 
from the fact that the High Priesthood followed the line of 
primogeniture, it is extremely improbable. Had Josephus 
been careful of chronology his statements would have 
deserved greater attention. He, however, is vague and 
inaccurate to an extraordinary degree. According to him, 
Nehemiah is the cup-bearer not to Artaxerxes but to his 
father Xerxes. By Xerxes, Nehemiah is sent to Jerusalem 
in the twenty-fifth year of his reign ; but Xerxes was 
assassinated in his twentieth regnal year. Moreover 
Josephus drops a whole century of history, making Darius 
Codomannus the successor of Artaxerxes Longimanus. The 
chronology of the Talmud, in this instance, is preferable to 
that of Josephus ; it makes, not Jaddua, but Simeon hatz- 
Tzaddiq the contemporary of Alexander the Great, and the 
interview with the conqueror, which Josephus describes as 
taking place with Jaddua, the Talmud assigns to Simeon 
(Yoma, 6ga). As the grandson nf Fi1i QC *"' K "'hnm N^h^minh 
drove from his presence is not named, the name Manass eh, 
which Josephus gi ves to his hypothetical nephew, may jjfi . 
assumed for the sake of convenience to designate the son-in- 
law of Sanballat. It seems not improbable that the consent 
which Josephus says he got from Darius Codomannus to 
build a temple on Mount Gerizim, he actually got from 
Qarius Nothus. The Israelites of Upper Egypt, when they 
appeal to the " sons of Sanballat," do so as to co-religionists ; 
hence the worship of JHWH must have been established in 
Samaria. Assuming that this was the case, then the worship 


set up by Manasseh would be in complete agreement with 
that in Jerusalem ; Mount Gerizim would repeat exactly the 
ritual of Mount Zion. 1 

When the Hellenic Empire succeeded that of Persia there 
was comparatively little change in the political status of the 
subject peoples. Under the Greeks as under the Persians 
they occupied a position of semi-independence. It is true 
that many cities became hellenised and adopted Greek 
constitutions, and also that the Diadochi (the successors of 
Alexander) had a liking for founding cities to which they 
gave their own names; these cities also were Greek. All 
this tended to spread the denationalising and hellenising 
influence of the Greek domination. This gradually sapped 
the independence of the subject peoples. At first Samaria 
seems to have fallen less under Hellenic influence than did 
Judea. There is a story told by Quintus Curtius (iv. 8) that 
while Alexander was in Egypt the Samaritans rebelled and 
burned alive Andromachus, the governor he had appointed 
over Coele-Syria. He hurried from Egypt and inflicted 
condign punishment on those guilty. As there is no trace 
of this in Josephus, although it was an occurrence which he 
would have delighted to record, as it reflected discredit on 
the Samaritans, and showed them as out of favour with the 
Macedonian conqueror, one may venture to doubt the truth 
of the statement. An assertion of Eusebius, as some inter- 
pret it, would indicate that Alexander's vengeance went 
further than could be deduced from what Curtius says ; his 
statement in his Chronicle, as in the Armenian version, is, 
" Demetrius, King of Asia, called Poliorcetes, took the city 
of the Samaritans which Perdiccas had built;" this implies 
that the city h?d been wholly destroyed by Alexander. The 
whole transaction is thus liable to doubt. 

There is more evidence of the relation of the Samaritans 
to the Jews in the similarity of the treatment meted out to 
them by Ptolemaeus Soter. Josephus relates that when he 

1 That Josephus is practically without any historical value in regard 
to the history of the Jews under the later Persian Empire, we shall have 
occasion to show later, Chap. IV., pp. in, 1 12. References in Rabbinic 
sources are not of much greater value. According to them, Darius 
and Cyrus were generals of Belshazzar, and Darius the Persian was the 
son of Esther. 


had taken Jerusalem he removed to Egypt not only Jewish 
but Samaritan captives and settled them there {Ant. XII. i. i). 
The notices of the Samaritans during the reigns of the earlier 
Diadochi are connected with military operations, and as the 
city of Samaria lay out of the line of march ordinarily 
followed by the Macedonian armies, they are rare. It 
became of more military importance in the time of Antiochus 
the Great. Polybius relates that after having captured 
Rabbath-Ammon and left a garrison in it, he sent Hippo- 
lochus with five thousand men to occupy positions about 
Samaria, " that they might take measures for the protection 
of all who acknowledged his authority " ; this occurred in the 
first Syrian campaign of Antiochus (Polyb. v. 71). In a 
fragment from a subsequent book it is related of his second 
Palestinian campaign that, having overcome Scopas, Antio- 
chus recovered Samaria and certain cities on the east of 
Jordan (Polyb. xvi. 39, quoted in Josephus' Ant. XII. iii. 3). 
From this it is obvious that Samaria, no more than Judea, 
was a factor of any importance in the struggle between the 
Lagids and the Seleucids for the supremacy in South-Western 
Asia ; notwithstanding that the lengthened sieges it had 
endured during the earlier periods of its history might have 
led to the city being appreciated as a place of strength. 
From all this nothing can be learned of the actual condition 
of the Samaritan people or their relation to the Jews in the 
matter of religion. 

The removal of Samaritans to Egypt by Ptolemaeus 
Lagi, along with the captives of the Jews, gave an oppor- 
tunity for their rivalry being carried into the diaspora of 
both peoples. When by the order of Ptolemaeus Phila- 
delphus the Septuagint translation was executed, there was, 
so far as Jewish tradition goes, no mention of the Samaritans. 
There seems, from statements in the Fathers, however, to 
have been a translation of the Samaritan Pentateuch referred 
to by them as the Samariticon. 

The principal occurrence in the controversy in Egypt 
between the Jews and the Samaritans is the dispute alleged 
to have been held between representatives of the two sections 
of Israel before Ptolemaeus Philometer, as recounted 
respectively by Josephus and Abu'l Fath. According to 


the former historian the Jewish representative, Andronicus 
the son of Meshullam, argued the Jewish case so convincingly 
that the Samaritans were never heard but were put to death 
out of hand. The account given by Abu'l Fath of course 
represents the discussion having a totally different conclusion ; 
according to the Samaritan authority the discussion took 
place on the occasion of the proposed translation of the Law 
into Greek. 

With the accession of Antiochus Epiphanes, and the 
ambitious projects he formed for the conquest of Egypt, 
Palestine assumed a new prominence. This was increased 
by the efforts of Epiphanes to coerce the Jews into abandoning 
their faith. Our principal authority for the history of the 
Samaritans at this time is necessarily Josephus. His evidence 
is always to be taken with a reservation as his bias against 
the Samaritans is unconcealed. This appears very markedly 
in his account of the position taken up by the Samaritans 
during the persecution of the Jews by Antiochus Epiphanes. 
Josephus declares it to be the general policy of the Samaritans 
to assert themselves Israelites whenever the Jews were in 
favour with the Imperial power, whatever it was, to which 
both races happened at the time to be subject ; but that 
whenever the Jews were out of favour, the Samaritans denied 
that they had any connection with them, but were the 
descendants of the Assyrian colonists. According to Josephus 
(Ant. XII. v. 5), when the Antiochian persecution began 
the Samaritans sent an epistle to Antiochus in which they 
addressed him as " God manifest " and claimed to be 
Sidonians, "the Sidonians living in Shechem." It is to be 
noted that in his account of the Samaritan negotiations with 
Alexander, Josephus says that they declared themselves " to 
be Hebrews, who were called ' the Sidonians of Shechem.' " 
It is possible they made the same addition to the claim to 
be Sidonians in this epistle. They explained their observ- 
ance of certain Jewish rites, such as the keeping of the 
Sabbath, and the special sacrifices which they offered on 
Mount Gerizim, by plagues which had befallen their fore- 
fathers. They made the assertion that the temple on Mount 
Gerizim had not been dedicated, and that the deity to whom 
it was erected was unnamed. It is somewhat confirmatory of 



the authenticity of this letter that its contents do not quite 
agree with the account given of the general Samaritan 
statements by Josephus. He asserts that the Samaritans 
claimed to be descendants of the Medes and the Persians, 
while in the epistle a different origin is claimed — that they 
are Sidonians. The assertion that the deity to whom their 
temple had been erected was unnamed, may be a reference 
to the incommunicable name of JHWH. Their further 
request to be allowed to call it the Temple of Zeus 
Hellenius may mean an identification of Zeus, the supreme 
God of the Greeks, with JHWH. This was quite in accordance 
with Hellenic modes of thought, as may be seen in Herodotus, 
who identifies the various members of the Egyptian Pantheon 
with the different deities of Olympus. The title given to 
Zeus — Hellenius, " the Grecian," implies some such philo- 
sophical identification. The temptation was great to escape 
by any subterfuge from the savage persecution which the 
Jews were enduring at the hands of Epiphanes. They 
probably continued their ritual observances according to the 
Law ; only when speaking to Greeks these sacrifices were 
declared to be offered to Zeus, while among themselves they 
acknowledged them as offered to JHWH. 

As a result of their politic action, the Samaritans were 
undisturbed during the Maccabaean struggle. While the 
Samaritans took no active part in the conflict, they seem 
to have harassed the Jewish inhabitants of Galilee at the 
instigation of the Seleucid rulers. Apollonius when he went 
"to fight against Israel" " drew a great host out of Samaria," 
if we may credit I Maccabees iii. 10. When the Jews 
had, under the Hasmoneans achieved independence, they at 
first respected the neutrality of the Samaritans. 1 With the 

1 Indeed one passage (2 Maccabees xv. 1) represents the 
Samaritans as standing to Judas in a relation of at least benevolent 
neutrality — " Nicanor hearing that Judas and his company were in the 
strong places about Samaria " (places under Samaria), etc. Judas could 
not have occupied these places without at least the connivance of the 
Samaritans. Certainly historical accuracy is not a strong point with 
this author, still this representation intimates that the occupation of 
places in the Samaritan province with the consent of the inhabitants 
was not inconceivable. The Samaritans were thus not at enmity with 
the Jews at that time. 


accession of John Hyrcanus this policy was changed; when 
the death of Antiochus Sidetes set him free from fear of 
interference from the side of Syria, fired by ambition he 
invaded Samaria and burned the temple on Mount Gerizim, 
which as stated above had been rededicatcd. Josephus, when 
he refers to this event in the introduction to the Wars, says 
that Hyrcanus, besides capturing Sikima (Shechem) and 
Garizin (Gerizim), subdued "the race of the Cuthaeans"; a 
statement that would imply that at all events for a time 
Samaria was incorporated with the kingdom of Hyrcanus. 
To what extent they conformed to the Southern ritual cannot 
be known ; even when they had no temple of their own, they 
do not seem to have worshipped in the temple in Jerusalem. 
Probably this state of matters continued during the reign of 
Alexander Jannasus and his widow — civil incorporation with 
Judca but religious independence. It is a singular fact 
that notwithstanding the fierce invasion of Hyrcanus, the 
Samaritan annals do not hold him up to execration, but 
declare that he renounced his Judaism and became a 

The position taken up by Galilee and its inhabitants 
in regard to the Jews and their religious revolt against 
Epiphanes is somewhat enigmatical. Judging by the policy 
pursued by the Sargonid kings of Assyria, the deportation 
of the inhabitants of Galilee attributed to Tiglath-Pileser 
would only extend to the more prominent personages ; the 
majority of the people who were left would be Israelites. 
The part they played in the Maccabaean War was strictly- 
subordinate. After Judas had conquered army after army 
and general after general of Antiochus, only then do the 
Galila:ans manifest their sympathy with the Jews by inform- 
ing Judas of the machinations and intended hostility of 
those of Tyre and Sidon and of the " foreigners resident 
in Galilee," hoi allogeneis Galilaias. Hostilities had begun 
before Simon, with three thousand picked men, arrived on 
the scene and put the enemies of Israel to flight and 
released the Jews, who had been made captives (Jos., Ant. 
XII. viii. i, 2). Thereafter Galilee formed part of the 
dominion of the Asmonasans first, and then of the Herodians. 
This maintained their political union with Jerusalem, to 


which also it would seem their religious allegiance had 
already been given. 

The historical background of this has probably to be 

i raced back to Assyrian times. After Tiglath-Pileser's 
leportation of the leading inhabitants and the intrusion 
f colonists from other parts of the Assyrian Empire, 
alilee would be placed under a separate governor. This 
ust have been continued under the Persians, as Sanballa t 
as {Tovernor only of Samari a ; a state of matters which 
emained unaltered under the Greek domination, alike of 
he Lagids and the Seleucids. As Josiah had assumed 
he rule over all Israel when the Assyrian Empire fell 
nto decrepitude, by destroying the local High Places and 
requiring the people to offer sacrifice in the temple at 
Jerusalem, he united them religiously with Judea. Jews 
came as colonists, attracted not only by the fertility of the 
province but also by the fact that in Galilee, as they would 
not be in Samaria, they would be surrounded by their 
co-religionists. This process continued under the Herodians. 
Joseph, the putative father of our Lord, is an example of 
this. In the Roman War against the Jews under Vespasian, 
Galilee is regarded as so much a stronghold of Judaism 
that it is assailed first by the Roman Generalissimo. Every 
town became a fortress and only surrendered after a pro- 
longed siege. 

As the province -of _ Galilee was under a separate rule 
from Judea^ the Israelites resident in it might readily escape 
the fury of Antiochus. When the temple had been 
desecrated by " the abomination of desolation " being set up, 
the only worship open to the Israelites was that of the 
synagogue ; consequently their rites could easily be concealed. 
They would have no motive to obtrude their faith on their 
Greek rulers, and so lead them to persecute. This may 
explain at once the Judaism of the Israelites of Galilee 
and their escape from persecution. 

The fact that they had those who were Jews by religion 
not only to the south of them in Judea but also to the north 
in Galilee, makes the resolution of the Samaritans to main- 
tain their religious independence all the more marked. 

It is more difficult to settle what was the precise relation 


of the Samaritans to Judea in the troublous times which 
followed. The quarrel between the two brothers, John 
Hyrcanus II., and Aristobulus, brought in the Romans, who 
would appear to have removed Samaria from under the 
dominion of the Jewish High Priest (Jos.,.-!;//. XIV. iv. 4; 
Wars, I. vii. 7). The sympathies of the Samaritans seem 
to have been more with the Romans than with the Jews, 
as is seen by the fact that when Alexander the son of 
Aristobulus escaped from the custody in Rome to which 
Pompey had consigned him, and having invaded Palestine and 
seized the government had commenced to slay such Romans 
as fell into his hands; the rest betook themselves to Mount 
Gerizim where they were besieged by Alexander. The 
Romans clearly thought that they had more chance of safety 
among the Samaritans than among the Jews. Their resist- 
ance was successful as Gabinius raised the siege by defeating 
Alexander. During this period the Samaritans were both 
politically and religiously separate from Judea (Jos., Ant. 
XIV. vi. 2). 

Uncler Herod, Samaria was once more united politically 
to Judea. The efforts he put forth to ingratiate himself 
prove that they did not relish being subject to any authority 
which had its seat in Jerusalem. To lead them to appreciate 
his rule and take kindly to it, Herod built a forum in Samaria, 
the remains of which are still standing, also a street of 
columns, the shafts of many of which still testify to the fact. 
He changed the name of the city to Sebaste, in honour of 
Augustus, in order to retain the favour of the ruler of the 
world. To curry favour further with Augustus, and at the 
same time please the Samaritans, he built a temple to the 
Emperor in Samaria. It is not impossible that Herod also 
rebuilt the temple on Mount Gerizim which had been burned 
by Hyrcanus. Although this is not recorded by Josephus, a 
reason may be found for his silence in his special hatred of 
the Samaritans^ jis the relig ious opponents of_Isracl There 
are several indications in the Gospels that in the days of our 
Lord the temple on Mount Gerizim was standing. When 
Herod's dominions were divided at his death, Archelaus 
received Samaria along with Judea. On the deposition of 
Archelaus, wh en Judea became a Roman province. Samaria 


still remained united with it in all matters of civil government. 
In regard to religion and worship the Samaritans alwa ys 
kej- rf themselves apart from the jews. The relation in whicn 
the two peoples stood to each other may be seen in the 
conversation which our Lord had with the Samaritan 
woman. Her assertion, however, that the Jews have no 
dealings with the Samaritans, is not to be taken to the foot 
of the letter. In the tract Masseketh Kuthim} in which are 
collected the various Talmudic dicta concerning the 
" Cuthaeans," it may be seen that they are regarded as closer 
to the Israelites than the Gentiles. There are singular and 
somewhat contradictory restrictions in commercial transac- 
tions ; while the Jews might not sell to Samaritans sheep 
for shearing, they might sell them if the sheep were to be 
slaughtered. One instance of restriction is due to the 
different way in which even in relatively ancient times the 
Samaritans reckoned the date of the celebration of the 
" Feast of Unleavened Bread." " We may not buy bread 
from a Samaritan baker at the end of Passover, until after 
three bakings." This period would need to be considerably 
increased now, as the date of the Samaritan Passover may 
be a month after that of the Jews. In religious matters the 
Jews acknowledged the Samaritans in some relations ; though 
the Jews would not receive Sin-Offerings or Guilt-Offerings 
from the Samaritans, they might accept Vows and Freewill- 
Offerings from them. More remarkable is the fact that the 
Jews held that a Samaritan might legitimately circumcise a 
Jewish child. This tract maintains the embargo which Ezra 
laid upon marriages with the Samaritans. A singular 
evidence of the difference put between the Samaritans and 
the Gentiles is quo ted by Montgomery from Aboda Zara {The 
Samaritans, y T 9 £^) " An Israelite who has his hair cut by a 
Gentile must look in a mirror, but if by a Samaritan he need 
not look in a mirror," lest the Gentile barber should cut his 
throat, a thing he could trust the Samaritan not to do. In 
civil matters while the Jews and Samaritans were united 
under the same Roman governor they each had a separate 
" Sanhedrin." The Romans wisely permitted to the races sub- 

1 It has been translated by Dr Montgomery with illustrations from 
other parts of the Talmud {The Samaritans, pp. 197-203). 


ject to them a very considerable amount of self-government. 
It is likely, that as the Jewish High Priest presided over the 
Jewish Sanhedrin, so the High Priest of the Samaritans 
presided over their Sanhedrin. When Pilate slew a large 
number of Samaritans, who, seduced by the promises of a 
fanatic prophet to show them the long concealed sacred 
vessels assembled in arms in the village of Tirathana, with a 
view to ascending Mount Gerizim, the Samaritan Sanhedrin 
made a successful appeal to Rome against him, and occa- 
sioned his recall from the government of Palestine. 

The political attitude of the Samaritans during the 
principate of Nero, when the Jewish revolt against the 
Romans began, is difficult to understand. Florus and the 
other Roman governors who, by Josephus's account, goaded 
the Jews into rebellion, appear on the whole to have been 
favourable to the Samaritans. Certainly under Felix they 
seem to have been restless and quarrelsome (Tac, Ann. xii. 
54), though it would seem that the governor was in part 
instigator. \When the Jews actually rebelled against the 
Romans, the Samaritans do not appear to have acted at 
all in concert with them.y On the other hand they do not 
seem to have manifestea any hostility towards them, when 
by doing so they might have hampered the Jews and so 
rendered valuable assistance to the Romans, who would 
not have been slow to reward it. Yet while Vespasian 
was engaged in the conquest of Galilee, they assumed what 
Vespasian regarded as a threatening attitude, so much so 
that he sent Cerealis against them. They had assembled 
in great numbers on Mount Gerizim, but they were in 
want of water and had not provided themselves with food ; 
yet when Cerealis, after a blockade of some length, advanced 
up the mountain and offered them terms they would not 
submit. The whole transaction has the appearance of being 
a hideous blunder. The fact that they had not seen to 
it that their cisterns were full, and that they had not a 
sufficiency of provisions, seems to disprove any hostile 
purpose. It would probably be some irregular religious 
gathering. Whatever the real meaning of their assembly, 
the end was tragic. When they would not listen to his 
overtures, Cerealis attacked them and slew eleven thousand 


and six hundred. It might be that they could not make 
Cerealis understand their object, and that he, acting on 
the maxim that seems to have guided the Romans in their 
dealings with those they called barbarians, " When in doubt 
kill," slew all he found on Mount Gerizim (Jos., Wars, III. 
vii. 32). He seems to have destroyed Shechem in the course 
of his operations, as Vespasian afterwards rebuilt it and 
called it after his own name Flavia Neapolis, from which is 
derived the modern name Nablus. In the days of Justin 
Martyr, who was born there, it appears to have become 
a purely Gentile city. After the massacre which they 
sustained at the hands of Cerealis, the Samaritans do not 
seem to have again come under the suspicion of the Romans 
during the course of the Jewish War. So far as may be 
deduced from the action of Vespasian in regard to the 
rebuilding of Shechem, the Samaritans appear to have been 
left at peace during the subsequent reign of the Flavian 

For the later history of the Samaritans under the Roman 
domination, the student has no longer the guidance of 
Tacitus or Josephus, however unreliable they may in some 
respects be, the one from ignorance, the other from national 
prejudice. After the assassination of Domitian, with which 
the Twelve Ccesars of Suetonius ends, the history of the 
Roman Empire has come down to us mainly in the short 
rhetorical biographies of the emperors, to be found in 
the Augustan Histories, and in the curt narratives of 
Dion Cassius — shortened in the case of the books relating 
to this period into the meagre epitomes of Xiphilinus. 
Illustrious as were the reigns of Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, 
Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius, from the unsatis- 
factory nature of the authorities which alone survive 
to us, little authentic is known of the history of the 
Empire during their rule. During this period, which 
Gibbon deems to have been a specially happy one for the 
inhabitants of the Roman Empire, although there are but 
the most cursory notices of the Samaritans, it may be 
assumed that they shared in the prosperity around them. 
Although the Samaritans could scarcely fail to be affected 
by the war occasioned by the claim of Bar-Cochba to be 


Messiah, it yet can hardly have been to the extent repre- 
sented by the Samaritan annals as will be exhibited in 
a subsequent chapter. Among the remains of buildings 
which may be traced on the top of Mount Gerizim, there 
are indications, as suggested in Chapter I., of a circular 
temple probably of the age of Hadrian, who had a favour 
for that shape. As it would be erected to some deity of 
the Olympian Pantheon, this would excite the fanaticism 
of the Samaritans, unless the deity were Zeus, and they 
like their ancestors in days of Antiochus, by identifying 
Zeus with JHWH contrived to adjust themselves to their 
circumstances. At the same time it must be noted that 
the Samaritan Joshua tells of a terrible persecution which 
the Samaritans endured at the hands of Adrinus (Hadrian). 
During the rule of the Antonines, when so many splendid 
synagogues were raised by the Jews, it is probable that 
the Samaritans were left at peace. The persecutions which 
Abu'l Fath records as befalling the Samaritans during the 
reign of Commodus are by no means improbable. Lampridius 
in his life of him represents Heliogabalus introducing into 
the temple of the God whose name he bore, Samaritanorum 
religiones. As a Syrian he knew enough for his compre- 
hensive syncretism to embrace within its compass not only 
the Jews and Christians but also the Samaritans. 

There seems, however, no doubt that the Romans 
differentiated between the Jews and the Samaritans to the 
disadvantage of the latter ; while the Jews were permitted 
to perform the rite of circumcision, in the case of the 
Samaritans the rite was brought under the sweep of an 
old edict against mutilation, i.e., castration, and so forbidden 
to them under severe penalties. The evidence of Origen 
{Contra Celsum, ii. 13) indicates that it was mainly because 
of the rite of circumcision that the Samaritans were perse- 
cuted ; the rite was permitted to the Jews but not to them. 
The fact that they sustained so many persecutions on 
account of the various rites of their religion proves their 
zeal, and further evidences the strenuous hold they retained 
on their faith. 

With the Christianisation of the Empire which followed 
the conversion of Constantine, a change for the worse came 


over the affairs of the Samaritans. In the persecutions 
which they had endured at the hands of Imperial Rome, 
there was alv/ays a political element, but the bitterer element 
of religious fanaticism was now added. The Church, which 
had so long been persecuted, now assumed the role of 
persecutor. Constantine himself did not persecute, possibly 
as his own conversion had been largely the result of political 
expediency, he had not the fanatic rage against those who 
differed from him, which filled the hearts of the bishops 
who had tasted the pains of persecution. He had seen 
the evil wrought by the persecutions of Diocletian, and was 
not likely to renew them. His son Constantius, who is 
called by Abu'l Fath Tahus, renewed the edict against 
circumcision. To this period would Dr Montgomery assign 
the episode of Garmun and Baba Rabba, although from 
the confused state of the chronology of the Samaritan annals 
it may be placed either a little earlier or a little later. 
The story as told in the Samaritan book of Joshua is as 
follows: When the eldest son of Nathanael, the High Priest, 
was born, he knew it was specially incumbent on him to 
have his son circumcised on the eighth day. It was then 
the Samaritan custom to perform the ceremony before the 
community assembled in the synagogue, but it was illegal 
by Imperial law to do so, and the penalty was death. 
Nathanael determined that the child should be carried to 
a cave, and that there before a select company he should 
be circumcised. In order not to attract attention, Nathanael 
sent a maid-servant with the infant in a basket to the cave. 
Garmun, whom Abu'l Fath calls " prefect," met the girl 
and said to her, " Do what thou intendest and fear not." 
She informed Nathanael, and when he heard he was afraid, 
but said, " Let us commit the matter to God." When the 
girl was returning, again Garmun met her and said : " Bring 
him up in peace, my girl." Nathanael, afraid of what the 
prefect would do, went to offer him a bribe. Garmun, 
however, would only take three pence, and he took these 
for the singular reason, lest he should be thought to be 
forming a plot against the High Priest. Dr Montgomery 
thinks that this Garmun was not a prefect but a bishop, 
Germanus, who, as Bishop of Neapolis, took part in several 


of the many Church councils of the reign of Constantius. 
The story indicates how the decree against circumcision 
was rendered ineffective through the connivance of those 
who, though government servants, did not believe in persecu- 
tion. It also shows how constant the Samaritans were to 
their faith. 

From the Church Fathers there is evidence in regard to 
the doctrinal position of the Samaritans. Although his 
testimony is not always satisfactory as not always accurate, 
Epiphanius testifies to the existence of the Samaritans as 
a sect, and gives some of the doctrines which he assumed 
that they taught. He mentions several heretical sects that 
sprang from them. Later Jerome notes the habits of the 
Samaritans in regard to several matters, as for instance 
that they, like the Jews, shun contact with Christians (in 
Esaiam Ixv. 3) ; he regards them as schismatics for their 
reverence of Gerizim in preference to Jerusalem (in Esaiam 
ix. 2). He draws conclusions from the form of the letter 
" tau " as written by them (in Ezechielem ix. 4). As 
Jerome was for many years resident in Palestine, and as 
a Biblical scholar was curious to learn everything that had 
any bearing on Scripture, his testimony as to the Samaritans 
and their tenets is of peculiar value. He says nothing 
of the Samaritans being persecuted in his day for their 
religion, or forbidden the rite of circumcision. It would 
seem that at that time the decrees against them had 
been allowed to fall into desuetude ; or perhaps they were 
held over the heads of the Samaritans in terror em in order 
that the magistrates might exact bakhshish. Still, in 
that case, some reference might have been expected to the 
fact that they were under the ban of the Empire, if things 
were so. 

With the permanent division of the Roman Empire into 
Eastern and Western, and still more when the Empire of 
the West fell, matters assumed a yet worse aspect for the 
Samaritans. While the Empire was still nominally Roman, 
) it really had become Byzantine. Under the new regime 
the Samaritans were subjected to a grinding but irregular 
^ persecution. These irritating acts of oppression, without 
seriously weakening them, excited riots which at times became 


important enough to be designated rebellions. While under 
Theodosius the Great the claim to exemption from the pay- 
ment of certain duties was allowed to the Samaritans and 
the Jews, and in general the scales of justice were held even 
in any contests between the Samaritans and their Christian 
neighbours, the reign of the second Theodosius saw the 
imposition of new and galling disabilities. Under the 
Theodosian Code the rights of testamentary disposition 
are in the case of the Jews and Samaritans limited, much 
as it was with the Roman Catholics in Ireland a couple 
of centuries ago ; they were not allowed to disinherit a 
child who had become a Christian, while the penalty of 
death was incurred by any Samaritan who induced a 
Christian to become a Samaritan. In order to limit the 
sect the more effectively, the Samaritans were not permitted 
to build new synagogues or even rebuild old ones. Along 
with Jews, pagans, and heretics, the Samaritans were deprived 
of the right to hold civic appointments. 

These harassing regulations were not consistently applied ; 
under one governor they would be as a dead letter, while 
under his successor only abundant bakhshish saved the 
community from suffering their utmost rigour. As was 
natural such treatment produced, as we have said, frequent 
riots. Quarrels arose on other accounts also ; Joseph, whose 
tomb is near Nablus, was a saint not only of the Samaritans 
and the Jews but also of the Christians. In their mania 
for getting sacred remains for their churches, the Christians 
wished to remove the bones of the Patriarch. The 
Samaritans resisted this sacrilege ; if we are to believe 
Abu'l Fath, they were helped in their efforts by miraculous 
portents. Towards the end of the fifth century of our era, 
in the reign of Zeno, the Samaritans rose in rebellion, and 
after massacring many of the Christian community, set up 
as king a certain robber named Justasa. At first they 
were so far successful that they captured Caesarea, and 
after the massacre of the Christian community there, 
celebrated a triumph. They were, however, soon overthrown 
by the Imperial forces. As a punishment for their rebellion 
the Samaritans were deprived of access to Mount Gerizim, 
and a church to the Virgin Mary replaced the temple. 


They were forced to submit. This attempt at rebellion is 
recorded with variations in the Samaritan annals. Abu'l 
Fath assigns as a reason for this rebellion the intention 
of the Christians to carry away the bones of Eleazar and 
Phinehas the High Priests. 

During the reign of Anastasius, the successor of Zeno, 
untaught by experience, the Samaritans made another up- 
rising. In it, led by a woman, they seized Mount Gerizim — 
which as above noted had been fortified against them — 
slew the garrison, and took possession of the church which 
had displaced the temple. Procopius the historian, who 
narrates these occurrences, was Governor of Palestine at the 
time. He quickly suppressed the uprising ; the leaders 
were put to death. 

The sovereign who was at first the most oppressive 
to the Samaritans was Justinian. The edict he issued in 
A.D. 527, de Hereticis et Manichceis et Saniaritis, was only a 
republication of earlier legislation against them, an indication 
that the penalties were not inflicted in strictness. Under 
Justinian the cruelly unjust law was administered with 
all severity. In two years these oppressive enactments 
produced a very serious uprising of the Samaritans. The 
account of this rebellion is given by Procopius. It spread 
through the whole territory of Samaria from Scythopolis 
to Caesarea, but had its centre in the hill country. The 
rebels seem to have wreaked vengeance on the Christians 
for the wrongs done to them by the legislation of Justinian. 
As they had done in the earlier rebellion in the reign of 
Zeno, the Samaritans set up a sovereign for themselves, 
whom they do not seem to have designated by the theocratic 
title of King, but more ambitiously named him Emperor. 
Like Justasa of the days of Zeno, this emperor, whose 
name was Julian, was a bandit. This rebellion ran a course 
very similar to that of the earlier rebellion which it resembled 
in so many other respects. In the beginning it had success, 
and emphasised that success by a triumph accompanied 
with games. This triumph was celebrated not in Samaria 
but in Neapolis. As in the earlier case, the opening victories 
were followed by overwhelming defeat, and the pseudo- 
emperor was beheaded. Later Justinian became more 


clement to the remnant of the Samaritan people. A con- 
siderable number of them had to assume a profession of 
Christianity ; Procopius says, in his chronique scandaleuse, 
The Secret History, that the majority did so. Some of 
these converts of fear bribed the governors to allow them 
to carry on their old hereditary rites. Notwithstanding 
the transitory clemency of Justinian, the Samaritans again 
revolted, and in Caesarea attacked and killed many of the 
Christians and burned their churches. The extreme of 
oppression was reached in the reign of Justin II.; the 
rescripts of that reign practically wholly outlaw them ; marry 
of the Samaritans fled to Persia. Singularly enough, although 
the Samaritans took refuge in Persia when Khosrou Purviz, 
the Persian King, conquered Palestine, the Samaritan 
chronicles tell that he crucified many of the Samaritans. 
Dr Montgomery argues that while the Persian conqueror 
was assisted by the Jews, he was opposed by the Samaritans. 
They appear to have welcomed Arqali (Heraclius) when 
he restored Palestine to the Empire. 

/ Vrhe present date is a suitable one at which to pause and 
review the past history. Since the time when the colonists 
were sent by Esarhaddon — and they seem to have been the 
majority of them — to the date of the conquest of Palestine 
by "the sons of Ishmael," there is a space of thirteen 
centuries ; nearly the same period separates the present 
time from that event. Two characteristics are to be noted ; 
in the first place continued opposition of the Jews to the 
Samaritans, amply reciprocated by the Samaritans ; next — 
from the beginning of our era to the end of the Roman rule 
in Palestine — the Samaritans have endured persecutions of 
ever-increasing severity, in which they were differentiated 
to their disfavour, from the Jews : the two features of 
Samaritan history are their pertinacious adherence to the 
faith they had inherited, and their independence of the Jews. 
After Heraclius had regained Palestine, if not with the 
assistance of the Samaritans at least with their concurrence, 
he did nothing to preserve it to the Empire. The truth is 
that in consequence of the corrupt administration of his 
predecessors, the Empire was utterly exhausted, so that his 
splendid campaigns against Persia, far from strengthening 


the Byzantine Roman Empire, really exhausted it only 
the more. At this point when the Persian Empire was 
exhausted with defeat and that of Byzantium equally 
exhausted by victories, a whirlwind from the desert smote 
both empires. 

Away on the further side of Arabia from Palestine or 
Persia, in Mecca and Medina, had sprung up a new religion. 
Mohammed had proclaimed himself a prophet, and after 
various vicissitudes had first fled to Medina then from thence 
conquered Mecca. The conquest of Arabia followed. The 
death of Mohammed did not quench the zeal of his adherents ; 
they passed the limits of Arabia and assailed Persia on the 
one side and the Empire of Byzantium on the other. After 
several campaigns lasting over a decade, during which external 
assault was helped by internal division and treachery, Persia 
was completely conquered and Yezgered compelled to flee the 
country. The date of the final battle was A. II. 22. While 
the struggle was going on to the cast the Moslems advanced 
to the conquest of Palestine. The conflict was waged with 
varying fortunes, but at length all Syria submitted to the 
Arabs. The Samaritans welcomed the advent of the 
Saracens ; they had no reason to desire a continuance of 
the oppressive rule of Constantinople. In consequence they 
were treated with a certain amount of favour by the con- 
querors. M. Lammens {Calif at de Yasid I er , chap, xxiii.) 
says, on the authority of Baladhuri, that the reason of the 
favour shown them was that they had acted as guides to the 
Moslem armies, especially in the east of Jordan. Indeed 
M. Lammens thinks that they assisted them in arms, but 
that it became a point of honour with the Arabs to deny 
that the followers of the Prophet accepted any assistance from 
unbelievers. Yet the exceptional privileges which they 
received from Abu Obeida, that their land should be free 
of every impost but the capitation, seems to imply special 
services rendered to deserve them. This was in the Khalifate 
of Omar. At the same time earlier they, along with all the 
inhabitants, had suffered from the raid of Amru ibn el 'Asi. 
When the idea of plunder gave way to the thought of perma- 
nent conquest, the inhabitants were no longer indiscriminately 
plundered, but were regarded as subjects ; and then it was 


that the services of the Samaritans were rewarded with 
special treatment. 

This favour lasted during the rule of the Ommeyads. 
With the reign of the Abbasides more fanatical ideas pre- 
vailed. The persecutions that resulted from the efforts at 
forcible conversion seem to have left deeper traces in the 
memories of the Samaritans than have the earlier acts of 
favour. Montgomery {Samaritans, p. 27 ff.) gives an 
account drawn from Samaritan sources, especially the 
supplements to Abu'l Fath, of the different disasters that 
befell the Samaritans under Moslem rule. While the 
Abbasides, fanatically orthodox as they were, treated with 
savagery all who refused to accept Islam, the Samaritans 
were not discriminated against; although they were not 
received into the position of quasi favour occupied by the 
Jews. On the death of Harun er Raschid, the khalifate 
was shared by his two sons Mamun and Amin, who soon 
quarrelled and declared war on each other. The opportunity 
afforded by this was seized by a pretender who claimed to 
be descended both from AH and Mo'awiyah ; he overran 
Syria and secured possession of Damascus. He appears to 
have set himself specially against the Samaritans ; three of 
their cities were destroyed by his orders. As an evidence 
of the change in the spirit of the Mohammedans from the 
time of the Ommeyads, a Moslem governor of Nablus was 
killed by his co-religionists for favouring the Samaritans. 
As a consequence the land was filled with corpses, and crimes 
passed unpunished. Matters reached a climax when the 
Khalif Mutawakkil prohibited the Samaritans from performing 
the rites of their religion. Thus, whether the legitimate 
rule of the khalifs had the authority or rebels had usurped 
the power, whether the orthodox Moslems were in the 
ascendant or heretical sects, the Samaritans were equally 
oppressed and persecuted. Some of them fled away to other 
lands ; the Samaritans assert that these fugitives came to 
the West, to Britain. Although with the fear of death 
before them some abjured the faith, others rather submitted 
to death. Dr Montgomery sums up the history of the 
period as " an almost unintermittent picture of the mis- 
fortunes of the miserable sect, persecuted by both orthodox 


and heretical parties of Islam," and harried by the wars that 
swept over the debatable land of Palestine. 

When the Crusaders, in their zeal to regain the places 
sacred to Christendom, swept in wave after wave from 
Europe into Asia, and at length set up the Latin Kingdom 
of Jerusalem, the Samaritans were again brought in contact 
with Christianity. Singularly enough the Samaritan annals 
do not give any account of their relation to the kings of 
Jerusalem. On the other hand the chronicles of the 
Crusades are completely barren of references to the 
Samaritans. Yet they must have come in contact with 
them. The Crusaders were great builders and erected many 
churches. In Sebastiyeh, the ancient Samaria, they erected 
a church to John the Baptist ; it is now a mosque. Four out 
of the five mosques in Nablus were originally Christian 
churches. They suffered in the campaigns which Saladin 
carried on against the Christians ; after the battle of Hattin 
Nablus was wasted. Sultan Baibars in his ruthless war 
against the Christians in Palestine made the Samaritans 
suffer also. They were devastated also by the invasions of 
the Kharezmians and the Mongols in the thirteenth century. 

More interesting and fruitful are the notices of the 
Samaritans to be found in the travels of the pilgrims, Jewish 
and Christian, during this period. The most interesting of 
these is the narrative of the Spanish Jew, Benjamin of 
Tudela, who travelled through Italy, Asia Minor, and 
Palestine about the middle of the twelfth century. His 
account of the Samaritans may be quoted : " Nablus the 
ancient Shechem in Mount Ephraim ... is situated in the 
valley between Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal. It is the 
abode of about one thousand Cuthaeans x who observe the 
Mosaic Law only, and are called Samaritans. They have 
priests, descendants of Aaron, the priest of blessed memory, 
whom they call Aaronim. These do not intermarry with 
any but priestly families ; but they are priests only of their 

1 The more common reading is "one hundred," but this is an 
impossible number, as Benjamin speaks of them claiming to be of the 
tribe of Ephraim and to have priests of the seed of Aaron. A mere 
handful of this size would not have a separate priesthood. More, the 
representations of other travellers suit the larger number. 



own law, and offer sacrifices and burnt-offerings in their 
synagogue on Mount Gerizim. They do this in accordance 
with the words of Scripture, ' Thou shalt put the blessing 
on Mount Gerizim,' and they pretend that this is the Holy 
Temple. On Passover and holidays they offer burnt- 
offerings on the altar, which they have erected on Mount 
Gerizim from the stones put up by the children of Israel 
after they had crossed the Jordan. They pretend to be of 
the tribe of Ephraim, and are in possession of the tomb of 
Joseph, the righteous, the son of our father Jacob, upon 
whom be peace, as is proved by the following passage of 
Scripture, ' The bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel 
brought up with them from Egypt, they buried in Shechem.' 
The Samaritans do not possess the three letters He, Heth, 
and Ain ; they have not the He of the name of our father 
Abraham, so they have no glory ; the Heth of our father 
Isaac, in consequence of which they are devoid of piety ; 
the Ain of our father Jacob, so they want humility. 1 Instead 
of these letters they always put an Aleph by which you 
may know that they are not of Jewish origin, because in 
their knowledge of the Law of Moses they are deficient in 
three letters. This sect carefully avoid being defiled by 
touching bones, corpses, or those killed by accident, or 
graves ; and they change their garments whenever they 
visit their synagogue, upon which occasion also they wash 
their body and put on other clothes. These are their daily 

The admission which Benjamin here makes, that the 
Samaritans observe the Mosaic Law, and that their priests 
are the children of Aaron, are points to be noted in this 
passage ; it seems to be an abandonment to a great extent 
of the position of orthodox Judaism that these Samaritans, 
who alleged themselves Israelites, were really Cuthaeans, a 
view to which he afterwards returns. It is singular to find 
Benjamin asserting that the Samaritans " offer sacrifices 

1 These letters occur each in the names referred to. He n in 
Abraham DJVOK and hod"X\7\ ; "glory" begins with n. Heth n occurs 

t t ; 

in Isaac pHV and is the first letter of /tesediun "piety." Ain jj occurs 
in Jacob a'pjp and it is the first letter of anava iTDy " humility." 


and burnt-offerings in their synagogue on Mount Gerizim " ; 
this certainly contradicts the Samaritan tradition which 
declares that the cessation of sacrifices dates from the return 
of the Samaritans from Harran — a mythical event it may 
be observed, but regarded as contemporary with the Jewish 
return from Babylon. In dating the cessation of sacrifice thus 
early, Samaritan tradition is clearly wrong, as at all events to 
the destruction of the temple on Mount Gerizim by Hyrcanus, 
sacrifices must have been offered. Even after that event 
our Lord tells the Samaritan leper to show himself to the 
priests (Luke xvii. 14), a command that would imply the 
offering of the cleansing sacrifices ordained by the Law. 
Still, as the Samaritan theologian Marqah, who was much 
earlier than Benjamin of Tudela, implies that no longer were 
sacrifices offered, this would indicate that the traveller had 
been led into a mistake by a too absolute credence of the 
statements of his dragoman. There is another confusion in 
regard to the " twelve stones " ; they are still shown but not 
as an altar. They are situated, as has been stated above, 
near the foundations of a building which is alleged by some 
to have been the ancient Samaritan temple. It must be 
presumed that Benjamin of Tudela did not climb to the 
top of Mount Gerizim to verify what were alleged to be 
facts, but was satisfied to accept as true what was told him. 

About a century after the visit of Benjamin of Tudela, 
Moses ben Nachman came to Palestine. When in Acco he 
found a Jewish coin of the Maccabaean period, the inscrip- 
tion on which he was unable to read, it was read to him 
by some Cuthaeans resident there. This is evidence of a 
Samaritan community being in Acco, and also that in the 
days of Nachmanides the Samaritans had a script similar to 
that found in the extant copies of the Law of the tenth 

Toward the middle of the fourteenth century the 
veracious traveller, Sir John Mandeville, in the course of his 
journey to the Holy Land, paid a visit to Nablus, or as he 
calls it Shechem, or Neapolis, and says that it is ten miles 
from Jerusalem. The distance is approximately forty Roman 
miles as the crow flies ; it may have been that he used a 
German mile. He makes the same assertion as does 


Benjamin of Tudela as to the Samaritans offering sacrifice 
on Mount Gerizim. It would appear that he had some 
intercourse with the Samaritans, as he is correct as to their 
theology, at a time when errors on this were common. He 
says, " They say that there is only one God, who created all 
things and judges all things." He seems to have been 
unaware of the limited extent of the Samaritan Bible ; he 
says, " They hold the Bible according to the letter, and use 
the Psalter as the Jews do." He refers to their claim to be 
the genuine Israelites. " They say that they are the right 
sons of God ; they say that they be the best belovecf of 
God, and that to them belongs the heritage which God 
promised to His beloved children." Probably neither Sir 
John nor his interpreter had any sufficient initial knowledge 
of the Samaritans when he visited Nablus and began his 
inquiries, and in consequence neither knew what questions 
to put, nor understood properly the answers given him to 
those he did ask. He mentions the red head-dress they 
were required to wear, but seems to regard it as a matter 
of choice. He is by no means conspicuous for accuracy, as 
may be gauged by the fact that he credits Rehoboam with 
setting up the golden calves at Bethel and at Dan. Though 
as to the Samaritans his evidence is fairly accurate, yet on 
the question of the sacrifices on Mount Gerizim it may not 
be pressed. 

About three hundred years after Sir John Mandeville's 
visit to Palestine, came Pietro della Valle to travel in the 
East. He was a Roman nobleman, and member of the 
literary and scientific society of Rome, the Umoristi. A 
disappointment in love led him to become a pilgrim. He 
visited Constantinople on his way to the Holy Land and 
stayed there thirteen months. The French Ambassador, 
M. de Sanci, in his desire to possess a copy of the Samaritan 
Pentateuch, directed the attention of Della Valle to the 
Samaritan people, and he visited their communities in Cairo, 
Gaza, Nablus, and Damascus. The narrative of his travels 
is written in an easy, interesting style. He gives an account 
of the various Samaritan communities which he had seen, 
especially of that in Nablus. He speaks of them as 
" Samaritan Jews whom the other Jews regard as heretics." 


He refers to their rebellion in the days of the Emperor 
Zeno, and how they had cut the throats of the Christians, 
and what vengeance the emperor exacted. He must have 
had some Jewish informant, as he speaks of the Samaritans 
as Cuthaeans. He devotes some time to the Biblical 
account of their origin, evidently from memory, for although 
it is generally correct it is not invariably so. From the fact 
that they had inherited errors, he declares "that they did 
not wish to read the other Biblical books, besides the book 
of the Law, that is to say, the five books of Moses. . . . The 
other books of Holy Scripture, which have been collected 
since, as the Prophets and the others, they do not receive 
and do not reckon them as canonical." He declares that 
" the priests of the race of Aaron" did not intermarry with 
the rest of the Samaritan community. This was the case 
not only in Xablus but also in Cairo. " When they met 
together," he says, " they sacrificed and performed all the 
ceremonies which were performed anciently in the Jerusalem 
temple, but according to the manner of the Samaritans." 
It is to be observed that Delia Yalle, like Benjamin of 
Tudela and Sir John Mandeville, asserts that the Samaritans 
offered sacrifices. His description of the dwellings of the 
Samaritans of Damascus is as follows : " They were houses 
outside the city, in gardens, splendid inside with gilding, 
but of little appearance outside;" this suggests a class of 
people desirous of being inconspicuous, a persecuted people, 
whose safety lay in being unnoticed. 

Near the end of the seventeenth century, in the earlier 
part of which Pietro della Yalle had visited Shechem, 
an English traveller, Henry Maundrel, starting from Aleppo, 
reached Xablus, or as he calls it Xaplosa, on the 24th of 
March 1697. He says that the Samaritans have upon 
Mount Gerizim " a small temple or place of worship, to 
which they still are wont to repair at certain seasons for 
the performance of the rites of their religion." What these 
rites were he did not ascertain. He informs his readers 
that the Jews asserted that the Samaritans worshipped 
a calf, but that he thinks " has more of spite than truth 
in it." He had a prolonged conversation with the Samaritan 
High Priest who, as is the wont of the Samaritans, accused 


the Jews of falsifying the text of the Pentateuch in putting 
Ebal for Gerizim as the mountain on which the Law was 
to be written, alleging the fact that Ebal was the mountain 
of cursing and Gerizim that of blessing, that therefore it 
would be more suitable that on the mountain of blessing 
the Law should be preserved ; the priest referred also to 
the superior fertility of Mount Gerizim, a superiority which 
did not impress the traveller as very striking. Maundrel 
consulted the High Priest as to the precise force of the 
words in the Pentateuch translated " quails " and " man- 
V^ d rakes ," and got answers which seem to have satisfied him. 
J In our rapid review of the history of the Samaritan 
people we have evidence from Scripture, from Josephus 
the Jewish historian, from Samaritan annals, from secular 
historians and from travellers, Christian and Jewish, which 
proves their continuous existence, at all events from the 
arrival of the Assyrian colonists in Palestine down to the 
present day. Even then if we had to do merely with 
descendants of those who received their knowledge of the 
Hebrew religion from the priests sent by Esarhaddon, 
their beliefs and practices would bear the impress of the 
faith and practice of a much earlier day. All the while 
there is evidence that there was an opposition, a rivalry 
between them and the Jews so great as to preclude any 
serious amount of borrowing by the Samaritans from that 
source. If the Samaritan claims be admitted, that they 
are the genuine children of Israel, and as has been shown 
the balance of evidence favours the view that despite the 
negligible admixture of foreign blood, the present Samaritans 
are the descendants of those who under Joshua conquered 
the land ; thus their ritual really represents an uninterrupted 
tradition from primitive times. According to the traditional 
view of the origin of the Pentateuch, they have been in 
possession of the Mosaic Law for above three thousand 
years ; according to the prevailing critical view, they have 
been concurring spectators of all the changes it has passed 
through since the return under Zerubbabel of the Jewish 
exiles, save what may have taken place in Babylon. There 
has been no break in the succession. After the fall of the 
Northern Kingdom the inhabitants of the territories of the 


Ephraimite tribes continued their observance of theceremonies 
of the Mosaic Law. They have circumcised their children 
even when obedience to the Mosaic precept meant rendering 
themselves obnoxious to the penalty of death ; year after 
year they have celebrated the Passover on Mount Gerizim 
when they might ; in their own houses when they were 
forbidden access to the sacred site. Throughout their long 
history they have been witnesses for the religion of Israel, 
and in many cases witnesses that have sealed their testimony 
with their blood. 

In some respects the Samaritans are better witnesses /s 
than the Jews, and their testimony has more evidential 
value. The line of their tradition has not been broken 
by banishment from their own land, as that of the Jews 
has been since the overthrow of Bar-Cochba's rebellion. ' 
For a considerable while after that event the Jews were 
excluded from Jerusalem altogether. From this fact, where 
their method of observance in regard to any ceremony differs 
from that of the Jews, there is a prima facie probability in 
favour of that of the Samaritans. Noticeably is this the 
case in regard to the Passover and the rite of circumcision. 
If Benjamin of Tudela is to be believed, supported as he 
is by Sir John Mandeville and Pietro della Valle, against 
the express testimony of the Samaritans themselves, then 
they were offering sacrifices and burnt offerings till the 
seventeenth century of our era ; maintaining thus the 
Levitical Law in its entirety. It must be noted that as 
to the date when bloody sacrifices ceased, Samaritan tradition 
is distinctly wrong ; they did not cease in the reign of 
Artaxerxes Longimanus. How long they continued to be 
offered after that time there seems to be no means of 

Were this a case of customary right pled before a court 
of law, the kind of evidence afforded by the Samaritans 
would be looked upon as exceptionally strong. It must 
be borne in mind that all law is founded primarily on custom. 
Were the question at issue one regarding " Right of Way," 
one in which evidence as to custom is most frequently 
called for, the testimony would be invaluable of one who 
not only had lived all his life in the district, and used 


the path in dispute, but could invoke family tradition that 
his father and grandfather had used the pathway, and had 
given him to understand that their use of it had never been 
challenged. Of such a kind then is the evidence that may 
be drawn from the ritual and beliefs of the Samaritans 
as to the Religion of Israel. 



Assuming the conclusion at which we have arrived to be 
correct, that even after the deportation of many of the 
Israelites and the advent of Assyrian colonists, the Israelites 
still formed the great majority of the inhabitants of Northern 
Palestine, it may be further assumed that the religious views 
and practices of the colonists would be very much tinctured 
by those of their neighbours. 1 

This religious likeness to the Israelites would be increased 
into practical identity by the instruction which the colonists 
received from the priest or priests sent by Esarhaddon. 
Hence as a preliminary to a study of the worship and 
religious beliefs of the Samaritans of later days it is necessary 
to consider the doctrines believed and the ritual observances 
practised by the Northern Israelite tribes. Although it 
might, from what has already been seen, be assumed that 
even after the separation of Israel into two distinct states, 
Jahweism continued to be the religion of the North as well 
as the South, yet it is well to fortify this conclusion by 
collateral evidence. 

One evidence of special cogency is the prevalence of 
proper names having JHWH as one of its elements. The 
eldest son of Jeroboam " who made Israel to sin " is " Abijah," 
i.e., "JHWH is my Father." All the sons of Ahab, another 
monarch concerning whom Judaean records would be little 
likely gratuitously to relate anything favourable, whose 

1 It would seem, if the evidence of Tolstoi may be trusted, that a 
somewhat similar thing has taken place in the Caucasus, where the 
Christian Cossacks have imbibed a great deal of the manners and 
morals of the Moslem natives. 



names have been recorded have all Jehovistic designations ; 
Joash ("whom JHWH supports") who is left governor of 
Samaria when his father leads his army to Ramoth-Gilead, 
Ahaziah ("whom JHWH upholds") who succeeds his father, 
and Jehoram ("whom JHWH exalts ") who in turn succeeds 
him. His steward is Obadiah "the servant of JHWH." 
The military commander who destroyed the House of Omri 
is Jehu ("JHWH is"); his father is Jehoshaphat ("JHWH is 
Judge"); his friend is Jehonadab ("whom JHWH impels"). 
The great Prophet of the Northern Kingdom is Elijah 
("JHWH is my God"). Of the prophets who prophe'sy 
before Ahab in Samaria before he sets out to Ramoth- 
Gilead only two are named, Zedekiah ("JHWH is just") 
and Micaiah ("who is like JHWH"). The fact that the great 
mass of the names that have come down to us from that 
period are Jehovistic is evidence of how widespread was the 
reverence accorded to JHWH among the subjects and in 
the household of Ahab. This phenomenon is all the more 
singular, that in the beginning of his reign, Ahab seems to 
have done more than merely tolerate the worship of Baal 
(i Kings xvi. 31), whose cult Jezebel had brought with her 
from Tyre. At the same time, not more than 7000 can be 
claimed as not having conformed in any measure to the 
worship of Baal (1 Kings xix. 18). The most probable 
explanation of this would seem to be that there was a deep- 
seated religious syncretism in Israel, natural to those whose 
attitude in acts of worship was political rather than theo- 
logical. To the statesman the worst of religious crimes is 
intolerance, to the prophets, the worst sin was tolerance. 
The same antagonism appeared, three-quarters of a mil- 
lennium later, in the disastrous quarrel between Judas the 
Maccabee and the Hasidim. 

There is a phenomenon connected with Hebrew names 
which requires to be noted. Before the time of David, 
names involving " Baal " as an element are fairly common. 
The cases in which these names occur are not in incon- 
spicuous families ; the son of Saul who succeeded him on the 
throne was really named Eshbaal, " the man of Baal " 
(1 Chron. viii. 33), though scribes changed the name to 
Ishbosheth, which has the impossible meaning " man of 


folly " (2 Sam. ii. 8) ; his grandson, the son of Jonathan, is 
called at first Meribbaal, "strife of Baal" (1 Chron. viii. 34), 
afterwards scribally altered to Mephibosheth, " destruction of 
folly " (2 Sam. ix. 6) ; also another son of Saul by his concu- 
bine Rizpah, called Mephibosheth in 2 Sam. xxi. 8, was in all 
likelihood really named originally as his nephew, Meribbaal. 
A son of David, born to him after he became king over all 
Israel, is named Beeliada, "whom Baal knows" (1 Chron. 
xiv. 7), though it is transformed to Eliada, "whom God 
knows "(2 Sam. v. 16). The name of no other foreign deity 
occurs as an element in Jewish names till Israel came under 
the dominion of an alien power. This indicates that Baal, the 
God of the Canaanites, was regarded by Israel as standing in 
a relation to them different from that in which did the deities 
of other heathen nations. To understand the reason of this 
it is necessary to go back to the conquest of the land. 

When the Israelites crossed the Jordan we must assume 
that the numbers ascribed to them in the books of Numbers 
and Joshua are greatly in excess of reality. Instead of 
entering Canaan with a warlike host of more than six 
hundred thousand men, probably the real number would 
be somewhere about the tenth of that figure. This would 
represent a population of about a quarter of a million. Judg- 
ing from the indications in the Tell Amarna tablets, Palestine 
was not densely peopled, probably the number of the inhabi- 
tants then did not seriously differ from the present figure 
that is approximately from three-quarters of a million to a 
million. The Israelite people as a whole would therefore 
be approximately equal to from a third to a quarter of the 
inhabitants which they found in Canaan. Had the native 
inhabitants formed a homogeneous mass the chance of the 
Israelites to effect the conquest of the land would have been 
slight. So far from this being the case they belonged, accord- 
ing to repeated numerations, to " seven " different nationalities. 
Some of the names that, from the connection in which they 
stand, might be reckoned national designations, seem rather 
to indicate the character of their dwellings. While the 
names the Amorite, the Hittite, and the Canaanite desig- 
nated peoples of distinct national types, the Hivites and 
Perizzites really meant villagers as distinct from inhabitants 


of walled towns. The Jebusites and the Girgashites seem 
to have been named from the locality in which they dwelt. 
The three leading nationalities appear to have been inter- 
mingled. A very similar state of things is seen in Palestine 
in the present day, where Kurd, Bedu, and Druse villages 
alternate irregularly. Un walled villages appear then to have 
been relatively few. The body of the population lived in 
small independent fortified towns ; most of them were 
monarchical, ruled over by a patesi or priest-king. Some 
of them appear to have been republics, as the league of 
the four cities of which Gibeon was the chief: it is the 
elders of the cities in question that treat with Joshua and 
the Elders of Israel. The towns belonging to the same 
race do not seem to have formed any league, each "city" 
was, as a rule, entirely independent and by itself. Such 
seems to have been the condition of matters in Babylonia 
when Assyria began to intervene in the affairs of Southern 
Mesopotamia. This rendered the conquest of the land much 
more easy of accomplishment to the Bent Israel. 

It is a mistake to imagine that the conquest of Canaan 
was completed by Joshua ; the territories assigned by him 
and Eleazar to the different tribes were really " spheres of 
influence " within which the conquests of each tribe were to 
be limited. The list of thirty-one cities enumerated with 
their kings (Josh, xii.) as conquered, does not imply that 
even in Joshua's lifetime they were permanently held. 
Jerusalem and Hebron although on that list have still to 
be conquered after Joshua's death (Judges i. 8, 10). The 
former, soon after its reconquest by Judah, must have been 
again regained by its original possessors, for in the story of 
the Levite and his concubine (Judges xix. 11), which is dated 
in the lifetime of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, Jerusalem is 
in the hands of the Jebusites. What the several tribes seem 
to have done, was to settle in the territory -assigned them, 
occupying such of the cities as they had captured, and 
whose inhabitants they had slain or expelled, watching for 
any favourable opportunity to increase their hold on the 

Alike worldly prudence, as surrounded by a hostile 
population, and loyalty to JHWH who had given them the 



land, ought to have led the Israelites to maintain a close 
union among themselves. So far from this being the policy 
followed, they scarcely ever, even in a limited degree, during 
the time of the Judges, seem to have recognised their national 
unity ; never indeed unless when some foreign oppressor 
forced on them the duty of mutual help. Even this did so 
only to a very limited extent. Reference has been made 
above to the evidence afforded by the song of Deborah of 
the divisions in Israel by the fact that the absence of Judah 
and Simeon from tjje army of Barak is not even made 
occasion of rebuke^ When Israel was delivered from the 
oppression of Midian by Gideon, he seems to have t>een 
followed only by the men of his own tribe, that ^ r Mnnrmnh 
"Nul unlywas every tribe to a great extent independent, even 
the internal unity of the tribe was loose and indeterminate. 
The separate walled villages act as independent republics, 
each under its own senate of " Sheikhs," or Elders. Meroz 
is cursed by Deborah apart from the tribe to which it 
belonged ; Gideon treats Succoth and Penuel as enemies 
although they are Israelite cities, a hostility which they had 
inaugurated. At the same time, taking the books of jUldgfia 
and Samue l as they stand, the brazen altar in front of the 
Tabernacle was regarded as the sacred hearth of the nation, 
and the Tabernacle itself, the national shrine. Wherever it 
was, the Tabernacle was the symbol of national unity ; to it in 
times of emergency gathered the Elders of all Israel (Judges 
xx. i). The union of the tribes of Israel was, like that of 
the Hellenic cities by means of the Amphyctionic Council, 
largely sentimental, but for any practical purpose useless, 
unless popular sentiment ratified the decisions of the Elders 
who represented it. 

Meantime the walled villages possessed by the Hebrews 
formed at first only an additional element in the congeries 
of nations which inhabited Palestine ; in consequence, 
however, of the victories of Joshua at Beth-Horon and 
the waters of Merom, it was in all likelihood the predominant 
element. On every side were the cities of the Canaanite, 
the Amorite, and the Hittite. These Canaanite and Amorite 
cities, as has been learned from the excavations at Gezer 
and Lachish, were, at this period, irregular collections of 


stone- built hovels, surrounded by earthen walls, with stone 
towers at the gates. Prominent in all of them was a High 
Place, with an altar, on which were offered gifts and sacrifices 
to the Baal of the city. Beside the altars rose monolithic 
matztzeboth, frequently if we may judge from Gezer, untrimmed 
stones of varying size, and fixed in stone sockets towered 
like masts the asheroth, sometimes round, sometimes square. 
Occasionally a covered building may have occupied some 
part of the sacred area, and also in other cases a secret cave 
beneath the floor where Thyestean banquets may have been 
held, and oracles delivered. In front of the gate of the city 
was the Maidan on which the riders exercised their horses, 
and within the gate a space, in which met the Elders of the 
city. Probably in the centre there was an open square, 
which formed the market-place. 

When Israel, from being nomads, came into a land of 
fixed habitations and appropriated lands ; when they took 
possession of cities which they had not built, and vineyards 
and olive-yards which they had not planted, the manners 
and customs of the original inhabitants would tend to have 
an important influence on them. Especially in matters of 
religion and worship would the influence of the earlier 
inhabitants be potent. The prominence of the High Place 
in each town they captured, and the idea deep-rooted in 
every savage mind of the local power possessed by the local 
deity must insensibly have affected them. It was against 
this influence that the Deuteronomic legislation was primarily 
directed. Surrounding influences were too strong, the 
Israelites did not cut down the asheroth, overthrow the matztze- 
both, or break down the altars of the local Baals. Strangers 
from neighbouring cities, or even survivors of the inhabitants, 
who had perhaps been spared as slaves by the Hebrews who 
now occupied the city, or who having escaped the first 
onslaught of the conquerors returned in more peaceful times 
to their former homes, these might easily lead the men and 
women of Israel to adopt features of the old cult. Not 
impossibly the features that were most abhorrent, the 
cannibal feasts and human sacrifices, might be kept secret. 

The effect on the Israelites of the religions of the 
inhabitants of the land into which they had come being so 


obvious and well known, some study of these religions is 
necessary. While all the nationalities in Palestine at the 
time of the conquest are named separately, occasionally they 
are compendiously termed Canaanites (Josh. xvii. 13 ; Judges 
i. 9, etc.). When dealing with the question of religion 
in Canaan we cannot assume that the pantheon of the 
Canaanites and their ritual of worship were precisely the 
same with those of the Amorites and I littitcs. At the 
same time the assimilative influences which effected so much 
in regard to the Israelites must have been at least as potent 
in the matter of these other nationalities. Further there is 
another side to be noted ; inquirers have to beware of 
depending too much on hellenised interpretations of the 
beliefs of Tyre and Sidon. These are all late, written after 
the people had been to a great extent hellenised, and 
moreover are presented in a Hellenic dress for a Greek 
audience. The first phenomenon that meets the student is 
the prevalence of the name " Baal," followed by a place-name. 
But "Baal" means in such a connection "Lord of," 
" possessor of," e.g., Baal-Gad (Josh. xiii. 5), Baal-Hazor (2 
Sam. xiii. 23). On the other hand there are occasions in 
which the name "Baal" stands for the Supreme God, the 
rival of JHWH. Thus in the dramatic scene on Carmel, 
the question which jiU^h would put to the test was whether 
B aal or JHWH was to be reckoned the Supreme Deity. 
So, too, Jehu's proclamation (2 Kings x. 18) implies that he 
intended to place Baal in the place of JHWH ; at least that 
was what he intended the Baal-worshippers to understand. 

This is not the place to discuss the historic evolution of 
religion and worship in general, or of the religion and 
worship of Canaan in particular. In regard to the latter 
there are, as has just been noted, special difficulties; these 
it is possible may be lessened by future excavations. While 
this is so, some of the phenomena connected with the relation 
of Israel to the worship of Baal would appear to be simplified 
if the local Baals were regarded as due to a species of 
religious degeneration. The u niversal JiaaL. the Lord of 
all, was worshipped with different ri tes in the different 
wailed villages. Myths would naturally arise to explain them, 
which would involve Baal ; the myths of different places 


would conflict, till the Baal of one city would be held as a 
different person from the Baal of another. A similar process 
has gone on in Romanist countries as to the Virgin. 
Whatever their avowed creed, the peasantry act as if the 
Virgin of one shrine were personally different, endowed with 
different attributes from " Our Lady " of another. Another 
process may have been at work, analogous to the fetichism 
of West Africa. The Africans believe in a great Being too 
great to be approached with prayer or offering, and too 
good to work them any ill ; but they believe also in far lesser 
beings, genii loci, inhabiting trees, rocks, pools, or even 
more insignificant objects as an oddly shaped stone. 
Unlike the great Spirit, the spirits that dwell in these objects 
are malevolent and easily offended, but may, if properly 
propitiated, prosper the undertakings of their votaries. 
(R. H. Nassau, Fetichism in West Africa; Andrew Lang, 
The Making of Religion?) Again we find an analogy in 
Romanism. In Roman Catholic countries more prayers are 
directed to the Holy Mother and the other saints than to 
God the Father or to Christ. A similar process appears to 
have taken place in Egypt where, according to Dr Wallis 
Budge, there was belief in a Supreme God, the Creator of 
all things, of whom the lower gods were attributes or 
symbols. In India, if the student of religion compares the 
theology of the Vedic hymns with the absurdities of modern 
Hinduism, he sees the same process. It would be difficult 
for the Jew, if animated at all with the harmonistic ideas 
to be seen so strongly in Herodotus, to avoid identifying 
JHWH and Baal. This would at once explain the ease 
with which the Israelites were seduced into Baal-worship, 
and how they came to introduce the name of Baal into the 
designations they gave their sons. 

i There seem to have been impure rites connected with 
the worship of the Baalim. The scenes at Baal-Peor imply 
that whoredom was connected with Baal-worship, although it 
is not stated. Human sacrifices followed by feasts on the 
victims seem proved indubitably by Dr Macalister's 
discoveries at Gezer. The fact that such elements were 
liable to come in, would be a valid reason for the prophetic 
denunciation of the sacrifices offered on the High Places. 


If different modes of worship were in any way liable to arise, 
in consequence it might be, of the previous Canaanite or 
Amorite worship, then Polytheism would be a present 

Not improbably there would be strange ideas of the 
persistence, near the scenes where they had been worshipped, 
of the Baalim and Ashtaroth of earlier days ; this, too, would 
form a danger to be met. Any misfortune befalling a 
person of a superstitious nature would be interpreted as due 
to the malevolence of the deity of the High Place whose 
dignity had not been respected, and this would result in a 
secret resumption of the idolatrous rites at his shrine. All 
these dangers, neither small nor few, might well account for 
the vehemence of the prophetic denunciation of the worship 
of the High Places. The influence of the Canaanite religion 
would tend to be all the stronger that there probably would 
be much of resemblance between the ritual of the one and 
the other ; their ordinary sacrifices would be made with the 
same victims — oxen, sheep, and goats ; the ordinary feasts 
of the people of the land would be arranged to suit the 
periods of the agricultural year, and according to the Mosaic 
Law the main feasts had a like relationship. This very 
resemblance would make the necessity for prophetic 
denunciation more urgent. 

All this would suit perfectly with the common critically 
assumed origin of Deuteronomy. The prophets, painfully 
impressed with the evils which might result from the worship 
on the High Places, wishing to get a higher religious 
sanction for their condemnation of these irregular religious 
centres, invoked the memory of Moses, and compiled a book 
in his name, which represented the great lawgiver, before 
his death, giving final instructions to the people he had led. 
These discourses not only commanded the destruction of 
every place in which there had been a heathen shrine, its altars 
to be thrown down, its asheroth felled, and its matztzeboth 
overturned, but that there should be only one sanctuary for 
Israel. Only towards the very end of the Jewish monarchy 
were the prophets impelled to compose those discourses, 
when political destruction as the penalty of religious apostasy 
was impending. The roll containing them was hid, and as 




intended, duly found. The discovery of the " Book of th e 
Law" in the reign of josi ah, is tfte rirst appe aran ce and 
publication ot this pseu do-Mosaic legislation . It is beside 
the question to denounce this action of the prophets as 
immoral ; they might imagine themselves inspired by the 
same Divine influence as had inspired Moses, and commanded 
to supply precepts omitted by the legislator. The book of 
Ecclesiastes is a standing example of the same literary 

While it would occupy too much time to discuss 
adequately the intricacies of the Deuteronomic controversy, 
and would obscure the main line of the present argument, still 
there are difficulties in the way of accepting this hypothesis 
in its entirety which we would now submit. According to 
the critical hypothesis of which this, the assumed origin of 
Deuteronomy, forms an integral part, this book was the 
earliest book of ritual law. 1 /'Previous to this, ritual acts of 
worship had been performed according to rules traditionally 
handed down only among the priesthoods If that is so, how 
is it that Hilkiah says, " I have found the book of the Law? " 
If he had said, " I have found a book of precepts by Moses," 
that would have been the natural language of a man who 
only now discovered the existence of a book of legislation. 
His language implies that he knew the existence of Law- 
books, but that this was a copy specially individualised. If 
a copy of the Law had been placed at the foundation of the 
temple when it was built by Solomon, and if in the structural 
repairs instituted by Josiah the very copy which had been 
so placed was discovered, that would satisfy the language of 
Hilkiah. More important is the statement that first in 
Deuteronomy was the doctrine of the one sanctuary 
promulgated, and by implication that this one sanctuary was 
that in Jerusalem. But in the first place, it is not accurate 
to maintain that in this pseudo-Mosaic legislation sacrifices 
are absolutely forbidden to be offered in any other place 
than the central shrine. In Deuteronomy (xii. 21) it is 
permitted the worshipper, should he be too far from the 

1 Only a very inconsiderable portion of JE was legislative. The 
great mass of it was narrative both before and after the " Book of the 
Covenant." What of legislation there is is not ritual. 


chosen sanctuary, if he wished to offer sacrifice, to kill the 
bullock or sheep of his offering within the gates of his city. 
When the sacrifice could not be offered at the door of the 
Tabernacle, the offering would be made most naturally on 
the local High Place. If it be objected that in the passage 
referred to the reference is to a private feast ; it may be 
answered that originally a feast and a sacrifice were regarded 
as nearly synonymous terms, the same thing only looked at 
from different points of view; thus in I Sam. ix. 12, Saul is 
told that the Prophet Samuel is to be found on his way to 
the feast on the High Place, and the guests are expected 
to wait till he came "because he doth bless the sacrifice." 
Subordinate shrines are thus anticipated in the book of 
Deuteronomy itself. The discoveries in Assouan and 
Elephantine confirm thisyyThe Hebrew community in Upper/ 
Egypt, in the days of the later Persian monarchs, believed 
that they were worshipping JHWH according to the Mosaic 
Law, although they had erected a temple for themselves. 
They have no hesitation in appealing to the Jewish High 
Priest at Jerusalem for his good offices against the oppression of 
their neighbours, nor have they any feeling that the existence 
of their temple is derogatory to the dignity of that on Mount 
Zion. It is to be observed that the community is largely 
composed of Jews, to whom the supremacy of the Jerusalem 
Temple would specially appeal^ Later, in the days of the 
Ptolemies, Onias erected a temple to the God of Israel at 
Leontopolis. When he did so, far from thinking that he 
transgressed the Law by so doing, he believed that all Jews 
would welcome what he had done. When the Jerusalem 
Temple had been desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanes, by 
his action they should have a shrine in which to worship, one 
in which the legitimate High Priest ministered. 

The clearest evidence of the permission of subordinate 
shrines in the Deuteronomic Code, is that regulations are 
laid down in regard to them. With reference to these, it is that 
the Israelite is commanded (Deut. xvi. 21, 22) "Thou shalt 
not set up a post {asherah) of any kind of wood beside the 
altar of JHWH thy God, which thou shalt make thee; 
nor erect an obelisk {matztzebah) which JHWH thy God 
hateth." This cannot refer to any altar or shrine which the 


nation as a whole shall set up. All that precedes refers not 
to national action but to what individual persons or com- 
munities ought to do. Although the chapter begins with 
the celebration of the three great feast s in which It "\va s 
expected that every male shoulda ppear before the Lord , 
with verse 1 8 directions are given/not to the nation in 

mass but to individual communities: "Judges and officers 
shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, etc." In the verse 
following the judges so to be appointed are exhorted 
personally : " Thou shalt not wrest judgment, etc." In verse 
20 the people are addressed individually : " That which' is 
altogether just shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live and 
inherit the land, etc." Then immediately, in that connection, 
follows the passage in question. It is continued in the 
opening verse of chapter xvii. : " Thou shalt not sacrifice to 
JHWH thy God bullock or sheep wherein is blemish." 
This cannot refer to the general national sacrifices only, 
but also to what sin-offerings, etc., individual worshippers 
presented before God. Consequently we must assume that 
the direction given in the passage under consideration is 
addressed to a limited village or city community. On any 
other hypothesis why was this exhortation given at all? 
If we assume, in accordance with the critical view, that 
Deuteronomy was composed to meet the tendency to 
worship in the High Places and induce, indeed compel 
the people to sacrifice only in Jerusalem in the temple 
there, this exhortation is scarcely intelligible. That 
temple and its altars were already old when the book of 
the Law was found. Did Hilkiah, or whoever composed 
Deuteronomy, contemplate the possibility of Josiah setting 
up either asherah or matztzebah within the courts of the 
temple? Deuteronomy thus regulated the concomitants 
of worship in the local shrines. There certainly were no 
asheroth about the temple, although a plausible case might 
be made out for regarding Jachin and Boaz, the two brazen 
pillars in the temple court, as aesthetically representing the 
matztzeboth of the Canaanite shrines. The regulation s just 
noted referred to the commands in Exod. xx. 24, 25 which 
like the passage before us contemplates a multiplicity of 
altars. " An altar of earth shalt thou make unto me, and shalt 


sacrifice thereon thy burnt-offerings . . . and if thou wilt 
make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn 
stone ; " beside such an altar the Israelite was to set up 
neither asJierah nor matztzebah. What the Law regulates it 

By the reigning hypothesis it is assumed that according 
to the Deuteronomic prophets the temple on Mount Zion 
is the one and only shrine in which sacrifice is to be 
offered. On this assumption it is singular that there is 
no reference, direct or indirect, to Jerusalem. Had 
Deuteronomy been composed, as is alleged, with the in- 
tention of enjoining worship on Mount Zion . and on it 
alone, it might have been expected that the writer would 
have indicated clearly the place intended, if he did not, as 
did the Samaritan interpolator with Mount Gerizim, directly 
name it. The Psalmists had no diffidence in asserting that 
"JHWH loveth the gates of Zion more than all the 
dwellings of Jacob." "JHWH hath chosen Zion, He hath 
desired it for His habitation." Why did this Jew, when 
his aim was to make Zion the one sanctuary, hesitate to 
point it out? It is not from his dramatic instinct keeping 
him back from assuming that Moses knew anything of 
the places to the west of Jordan, for the writer does not 
feel himself hindered from representing Moses naming Ebal 
and Gerizim ; " Thou shalt put the blessing on Mo unt 
Gerizim, and th e curse upon M ount Ebal " (Deut. xi. 2Q). 
When the command is given to record "all the words of 
this Law " on the stones which were to be " plastered with 
plaster," the writer does not hesitate to say that these 
stones were to be set up " in Mount Ebal " (Deut. xxvii. 4). 
All this suggests that when this book was written, whoever 
was the author, the place of the central shrine was not 
fixed ; it was still " the place which the Lord thy God 
shall choose" (Deut. xii. 5; xv. 20; xviii. 6, etc.). It 
was recognised that the bent Israel should maintain their 
national unity, if they were to fulfil their function in the 
evolution of religion, and further that the most natural 
way to do so was to have one great national altar, the 
sacred hearth of the nation, with its accompanying shrine ; 
yet the place best suited for this had not been determined. 


Were it not that it would render the action of David and 
Solomon in choosing Zion as their temple to JHWH 
unintelligible, as well as the action of Jeroboam and his 
successors in the Northern Kingdom, a case might be 
made out for maintaining that the designation of Gerizim 
as the place chosen, instead of being, as generally believed, 
an interpolation, was part of the original text. In the 
face of a direct precept like that found in the Samaritan 
Recension, a man of David's piety would not have consecrated 
the top of Mount Zion for the future sanctuary ; nor would 
Solomon have built the temple there. But even had they 
been capable of this, Jeroboam would certainly have embraced 
the opportunity of getting Divine sanction for his revolt, 
and naturally would have concentrated worship in the shrine 
on Mount Gerizim, which had been named by God by the 
mouth of Moses, instead of setting up Holy Places in Bethel 
and Dan. This applies to all the dynasties which succeeded 
that of Jeroboam. The original text therefore can have 
contained no distinct designation of Gerizim or any other 
site as the place which JHWH "had chosen to put his name 

What then was the worship on the High Places? 

It was the worship of JHWH; it was totally distinct 
from the worship of false gods. It is said of Ahab (i Kings 
xvi. 31) "As if it had been a light thing to walk in the 
sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat ... he went and served 
Baal and worshipped him." It has been already shown 
that there must have been at one time something like an 
identification of Baal and JHWH ; yet notwithstanding 
it is a heinous addition to Ahab's guilt that he worshipped 
Baal. As to the kings of David's House, it was regarded 
only as a slight abatement of the eulogy that they "did 
right in the sight of the Lord " that the " High Places " were 
not taken away; thus "the High Places were not removed ; 
nevertheless Asa's heart was perfect with the Lord all 
his days" (1 Kings xv. 14). Very different are the terms 
in which Manasseh is denounced. " He reared altars for 
Baal, and made an asherah, as did Ahab, King of Israel, and 
worshipped all the host of Heaven" (2 Kings xxi. 3). 
When the priest or priests have been sent from Esar- 


haddon to "teach them (the colonists) the manner of the 
God of the land " (2 Kings xvii. 27), it would be the 
worship of the High Places that they taught; yet the 
writer of the book of Kings gives no indication that he 
regarded the teaching as ritually defective. He assumes 
that those who had been "brought from Babylon, from 
Cuthah, and from Hamath, etc.," had been truly instructed 
in the way to worship aright the God of Israel, but that 
alongside of this they continued the false worship which 
they had brought with them from Mesopotamia. It is 
in perfect harmony with this, that when they claim to be 
allowed to join the Jews in the erection of the temple 
at Jerusalem, on the ground that for more than a century 
and a half they have worshipped JHWH (Ezra iv. 2), 
their claim is refused ; it is not denied that they have 
done so, but it is maintained that only to the Jews was 
permission given to build "the temple to JHWH, God 
of Israel." Again, while the prophets Hosea and Amos 
rebuke Northern Israel for worship of other gods, and for 
worship at the High Places, it is as different things. Judah 
is warned, " Come ye not to Gilgal, neither go ye up to 
Bethaven (Bethel), nor swear JHWH liveth " (Hosea iv. 
15); a warning which assumes at once that this worship was 
wrong, and that it was a worship offered to JHWH. Earlier 
a little even than this, the Prophet Amos rebukes the 
Northern Israelites for breaches of ritual order, in terms 
which imply that they knew and professed to follow the 
Priestly Code (Amos iv. 4, 5). The worship of the 
Ephraimite tribes was really a worship of JHWH, although 
it was at the same time a worship on the High Places. 

While from general considerations the conclusion above 
stated has been arrived at, the special nature of the worship 
has also to be considered. The most glaring difference 
in the worship of Northern Israel from that of Judea was 
the introduction of the "golden calves" which Jeroboam 
set up in Bethel and in Dan. This question is one of no 
little difficulty ; what was the precise import of the worship 
of the calves? It has been supposed to be a transference 
of Apis worship to Israel ; that Jeroboam had become 
enamoured of this worship during his lengthened stay in 


Egypt. But against this is the fact that neither in the 
case of the Bull Apis nor of the Bull Mnevis is there any 
word of the statue of the bull being worshipped, it is the 
bull itself that is regarded as the symbol of deity. Another 
theory which has received a considerable amount of German 
support is that the " ox" was an accepted symbol of JHWH. 
The episode of the golden calf in the desert might seem to 
support this view. In this way Jeroboam was returning to 
the older mode of worship. If this is correct it would seem 
that the Mosaic authorship of the decalogue must be aban- 
doned. But all tradition regards him as the author of the 
" Ten Words." And it seems equally impossible to exclude 
the second commandment from the ten. 1 If the command- 
ment against idolatry is not due to Moses, what figure of 
such imposing stature among succeeding Israelites can be 
imagined — what person of so great authority and influence — 
as could introduce a precept at once so drastic and so opposed 

1 It has been assumed as incontestable that Ephod and Teraphim 
were images, and that their use in worship was regarded as legitimate. 
In regard to both these assumptions a most interesting article by Pro- 
fessor M'Fadyen appeared in the May (1916) issue of the Expositor. He 
shows conclusively that in every case where the word " ephod " occurs it 
retains its primary meaning of a garment, a sacerdotal garment certainly, 
one so connected with worship that clothed in it the wearer was able 
to give Divine responses. In regard to "ephod," the description in 
the book of Exodus of that garment as part of the dress of the High 
Priest is a guide to what an " ephod " was like. Before one would be 
at liberty to maintain that it was anything else than a garment, at 
least one passage must be produced in which the word cannot be a 
garment. The contention is more restricted ; it is maintained that it 
not only does not mean a garment, but that it does mean an image. 
One of the passages in which the word is supposed to mean an image 
is 1 Sam. xxi. 9, in which the sword of Goliath is said to be " wrapped 
in a cloth behind the ' ephod.' " Of course it might mean an image in 
that connection, but it might also mean half a dozen things besides. 
Such a sacred garment would have a special place where it was kept, 
either hanging up or folded away, and behind that place was the sword 
of Goliath laid. Another passage is Judges viii. 27 ; Gideon, after 
getting the earrings of the prey and their purple raiment " made an 
'ephod' thereof and put it in his city, in Ophrah." The fact that purple 
raiment went to the composition of this "ephod" is demonstrative 
evidence that it was a garment not a statue. The next passage is more 
vague. It is also found in the book of Judges (xvii. 4, 5). Micah 
makes with the money which he had received from his mother "a graven 


to every surrounding tendency ? The decalogue is attributed 
to E, an Ephraimite living about 800 B.C. Elijah might 
have been the legislator so far as personal influence goes, 
but there is nothing iconoclastic, in the strict sense of the 
word, about his mission, still less is there anything legislative. 
But is there a necessity after all to regard the introduction 
of the "calves" into the worship of JHWH as contradicting 
the second commandment? Again we may appeal to the 
history of Romanism. In every Romanist place of worship 
of any importance on the Continent, or for that matter in 
Britain or in America, there are statues of the Virgin and 
the saints ; it may be that even with no sense of incongruity 
the decalogue stands engraved in Latin on the walls of some 
of these churches. Is there no possibility to find a solution 
in this case along a line similar to that which enables the 
Romanist to harmonise his prayers to the saints, and the 
candles burnt before their images, with the commandment 

image and a molten image," and quite separate from them is the " ephod 
and teraphim." Of course Wellhausen and Kuenen allege interpolations, 
and Vatke and Bertheau, two narratives united by a redactor ; by such 
hypotheses documentary evidence may be divested of all value. In the 
following chapter, vv. 14, 17, 18, 20, the same words occur and the same 
distinction is maintained. In none of the other passages is there even 
the semblance of evidence for the contention that " ephod " means an 

There is greater plausibility in the contention that " teraphim " 
means images ; the word is so translated in the Authorised Version in 
the earliest passage in which it occurs. The incident in Gen. xxxi. 19, 
34, throws no light on the form of the "teraphim." As little illumina- 
tive in this regard is the passage concerning Micah, save to this extent 
that the "teraphim" was not an idol, however intimately it might be 
connected with idol-worship. There is greater appearance of evidence 
that the "teraphim" had a human form in 1 Sam. xix. 13. Michal took 
the teraphim and placed it in the bed to make the messengers of her 
father think that David lay there. Professor M'Fadyen points out that 
only the bust need have been shown. The theory he favours is that it was 
a mask which a priest officiating at these High Places wore. A similar 
use of the mask to that indicated in this hypothesis is found in the West 
Coast of Africa, where certain secret societies have private sacred rites 
in which their officials are masked. Hence there is no evidence of 
generally accepted image-worship to be drawn from the ephod and 
teraphim, and therefore no proof against the knowledge of the second 
commandment or of its Mosaic origin. 


against image-worship ? The Romanist makes a distinction 
in kind between the worship he offers to these statues and 
_ that which he offers to God. Tudaism before the time of the 
intro duction of Christianity began to give more prominen ce 
to the doctrines ronrerninpr angels ; but the belief in the 

existence a nd activities of angels was alre ady long deep in 
t he secret heart of Israel. Tt has been asserted tnat tK e 
ews brought the doctrine of angels with them from Babylork. 
The Talmudic assertion is that they brought the names of 
the angels from thence. The very earliest documents, of 
the Pentateuch have repeated references to angels. In the 
case of Jacob's vision, attributed to E, the angels are repre- 
sented as numerous. The word designating them is D^NpD 

mala'chim, " messengers " ; but in Gen. iii. 24 (attributed 
to J) another word appears D" 1 ?")? kerubhim, "cherubim." 

N **i-With the further evolution of doctrine the functions fulfilled 

by these spiritual beings became more defined in statement. 

They were supposed to be intermediaries between God and 

man. The doctrine was latent in Israel at all times, that 

\ God did not speak, even to His chosen people, directly but 

jonly through the intermediation of angels. So Stephen 

I in his speech before the Sanhedrin (Acts vii. 53) said that 

1 the Jews had received the Law (ek Siarayas ayyeXwv) " fci^ 

>£he ministration ofangek." Similar to this is what Paul says 

ifTThe Epistle to the (ialatians, speaking of the Law, that it 

was Siarayeh & 1 ayye\a>v, "ordained by angels " (Gal. iii. 19). 

So also the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews speaks of 

the Law as 6 SS ayyeXcov XaXrjOeh Xoyo?, " the word spoken 

by angels" (Heb. ii. 2). Though the mediation of a plurality 

of angels is not mentioned in the Old Testament, almost all 

the theophanies appear also to have been really angeloph- 

anies. When God appears to Mos es in the "b urning 

bush" (Exod. Hi. 2) 1L Is 1 iJaid, "the angeTot JhWh appea"red 

■ u nlu him" , so ltl the bo ok of j udges of Gid eon (vi. J2,cf. 14). 

of Manoah (xiii. 21, cf. 22). Another word than mala'cliim 

is frequently used in connections which appear to make 

" angels " the more natural rendering, i.e., D^x E lphiyi, the 

word usually rendered " God, L "- Especially in the Psalms is 
this the case. Thus, according to the Authorised Version, in 


Psalms viii. 5 — a rendering supported by the Septuagint, the 
Peshitta, the Vulgate, and the Targum. There are, however, 
other cases where the same word is used and might be 
rendered in the same way, e.g., Psalms lxxxii. 1 ; xcvii. 9 ; 
cxxxviii. 1. It is to be observed that Jeroboam uses this 
word when he says in the consecration of the golden 
calves, "Behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up 
out of the land of Egypt" (r Kings xii. 28). A fair case may 
be made out for regarding his statement as meaning, "these 
are the intermediaries of God, the angels who led your 
fathers in the wilderness." If this hypothesis is co rrect it 
will explain the comparative mildness^-ai— ti^e-_prophetic 
-■ d e nu nciations of this idol atry . Elijah did not call fornre 
from Heaven to split into fragments those idolatrous 
symbols ; nor did bears out of the forest come at the curse 
of Elisha to devour the priests who ministered before them. 
It might have been thought that when the Prophet of Judah 
came to Bethel to rebuke Jeroboam, not only would the 
altar on which he had been burning incense have been rent 
(1 Kings xiii. 3) but also that the gilded image itself would 
have shared in its downfall. It is true it is said that 

(Jeroboam offered sacrifices " unto the calves that he had 
made" (1 Kings xii. 32); we must, however, remember that 
the narrative is from a Judaean record and therefore biased. 
Moreover, there might be differences in the victims sacrificed, 
or the mode in which they were offered, which would excuse 
a distinction being made similar to that suggested by the 
Romanists in regard to the saints. It was a dangerous 
innovation, but does not seem to have been as fruitful of 
evil as might have been anticipated. It was a first step 
towards polytheism, but it was not followed by a second. 

No indication is anywhere given as to the precise figure 
these gilded calves presented. The probability is that 
M e alvea" ia a na me— gi ven in mntrm^ t ; in all likelihood 
" bulls" would have been more accurately descriptive. This 
at once suggests on the one side the winged human-headed 
bulls of Nineveh, and on the other the " cherubim," the 
winged attendants on Deity in Ezekiel's vision. When 
they are called "golden," it is not to be understood that 
the statues of these " bulls " or " calves " were made of solid 


gold ; there would be a core of wood or stone overlaid with 
gold. These statues could scarcely be quite identical with 
the Ninevite winged human-headed bulls, because they were 
usually in pairs, and were not strictly statues but were really 
bas-relief; the material whether wood or limestone was too 
brittle for the legs to bear the body in a free statue. The 
difficulty would be solved were the bovine figure represented 
kneeling, in the attitude to be seen in the oxen that form 
part of the capitals of the columns in Persepolis and Susiana. 
Figures of bullocks of fine limestone in that attitude were 
found in excavating the foundation of a building in Sidon 
about a score of years ago. 

, The mo de in which these " calves " formed part of_worsh ip_ 

is somewhat doubtfu L There has already been reference * 
made to sacrifices being, offered by Jeroboam to the calves. In 
this statement, besides the theological difficulties involved, 
there is great uncertainty as to the nature of the sacrifices 

! offered, and the ritual observed. A much more difficult 
passage is that in Hosea xiii. 2b, rendered in both English 
versions, " They say of them, Let the men that sacrifice 
kiss the calves." It may, however, be translated, " Saying, 
They who slay men in sacrifice, kiss calves." This is the 
rendering adopted by Orelli, following the Peshitta, the 
Vulgate, and Luther. The Septuagint has had a different 
reading, and therefore gives a different point to the passage : 
" Sacrifice men, for bullocks fail ; " ordinary victims fail of 
effect, resort to human sacrifice. There are two points to be 
noted ; the victims, and the mode of expressing adoration. 
That human sacrifice was ever practised in Northern Isx agJL 
is extremely impr^bn^ 1 ^ Whil^ th<* artipri p f Ahaz in the 

Southern K ingdom in making "his son pas s throughthe_fjxe " 

(2 Kings xvi. 3), burning "his c hildren in ^ hf> fi rp " (^Chr^ 
xxviii. 3) make s human sacrifice in the King dom of the Ten 
Tribes not impossible, y et if it were practised in the kingdom 
of Jeroboam II. the silence of the prophetic historians in 
regard to it is inexplicable ; they say that he " did evil in the 
sight of the Lord," but this is not particularised as one of 
the enormities of which he was guilty. With the exception 
of this obscure passage, there is no indication of such a 
practice existing in Israel. We should prefer to retain the 


more ordinary interpretation, which regards the statement 
as a ritual regulation addressed to those who would offer 
sacrifice, " Let them kiss the calves." This brings us to 
consider " kissing the calves " as an act of adoration. In 
this, Romanism supplies an analogy ; the toe of the bronze 
statue of St Peter in Rome has almost been kissed away by 
the osculation of worshippers. While sacrificing to JHWH, 
the worshipper was required to show honour to the " calves " 
as representing the angelic intermediaries by whom the Law 
had been given. {Thus the passage before us supports the 
idea, indicated above, that the " calves " were symbols of ' 
subordinate beings to whom a lower form of worship wasj 

As to the ordinary ritual worship of the tribes of ' 
Northern Israel, the kind of altar, theimode of sacrifice, and 
the victims offered are made plain, to a certain extent, by 
Elijah's sacrifice on Mount Carmel. There had been an 
altar on Mount Carmel, but it had fallen into disrepair owing 
to neglect. That original altar had conformed to the 
regulation of Exod. xx. 25 ; it had been made of unhewn 
stones as it is of such that Elijah rebuilds it. Probably the 
further condition had been evolved in the generations which 
had passed, that it should be constructed of twelve stones, 
" according to the number of the sons of Jacob." The victim, 
a bullock, indicates that the animals sacrificed were those 
designated to this service by the Levitical Law. The most 
striking abnormality is that Elijah acts as sacrificing priest ; 
there is no hint that he belongs to the tribe of Levi. On the 
other hand, we do not know to what extent the inspired 
prophet might supersede the priest ; the prophet could 
depose kings, it might seem a slight matter to supersede 
Levitical priests ; further the priesthood of the High Places 
might not be regarded as subject to such strict regulations 
as was that of the central shrine. It is further clear that the 
victim was burnt, it was a whole burnt sacrifice. Another 
peculiarity is to be noted ; this sacrifice takes place at the 
time when the minhah was offered. A meat-offering or 
minhah accompanied the lamb offered every morning and 
evening. As a note of time it is used by Ezra (ix. 4) ; 
he was astonied " until the evening sacrifice " 2iyn nroc& iy 


'ad leminhath hatarebh. From this it would appear that the 
evening sacrifice was so regular among the Northern tribes 
that they calculated time by it ; probably morning sacrifice 
was as well established. This would mean that on all the 
High Places actually in use, every morning and evening 
would rise the smoke of the offering. 

There is yet another source of information, the prophecy 
of Amos. Although a native of the Southern Kingdom, the 
mission of Amos was to the Israelites of the northern portion 
of Palestine. He denounces the various sins and short- 
comings of the inhabitants, of rulers and ruled, of priests and 
people. In one special passage he denounces their short- 
comings in the matter of worship. After a severe rebuke of 
the wives of the rulers of the nation (Amos iv. i), whom he 
calls " Kine of Bashan that are in the mountain of Samaria, 
which oppress the poor, which crush the needy, who say to 
their lords, ' Bring and let us drink,' " and a denunciation of 
the judgment of God on them, the prophet proceeds to take 
up matters of religion, as if these transgressors or their 
husbands wished to compound for their sins. He declares 
that though they visit the shrines for worship they transgress. 
Whether it means that it was transgression even to sacrifice 
there, or whether it is that when in Bethel or at Gilgal they 
transgressed, as seems to suit the connection, does not matter 
for the present purpose, which is to ascertain what their 
worship actually was. 

The first description of their worship is that they " bring 
ff) sacrifices every morning." In this they were in agreement 
with the Southern Israelites ; in Jerusalem morning by 
morning a lamb was sacrificed. If that is what is referred 
to, then this merely completes the evidence afforded by the 
narrative of Elijah's sacrifice at Carmel, which was timed 
by the hour of the evening sacrifice. There is this difference, 
however, in Elijah's sacrifice at Carmel the mention is not 
of an offering in which victims were slain, but to the 
unbloody " meat-offering " ; still as in the " evening sacrifice " 
a lamb was slain and offered on the altar along with an 
appropriate minhah, " meat-offering," the difference cannot 
be reckoned of importance. In that case the meaning would 
be that despite their oppression of the poor, they maintained 


an elaborate system of daily sacrifices. There is a point to 
be noted, however, the lamb of the morning sacrifice was 
called l olah, " a whole burnt-offering " ; but this is zebah, " a 
sacrifice," which after being consecrated and slain was used 
for food ; they changed what was a daily confession of sin 
and prayer for pardon into a feast. In any case there is 
implied an identity of the sacrificial ritual of Samaria with 
that of Jerusalem. The next element of rebuke is more 
difficult to understand : " bring . . . your tithes after three :) 
days." Whatever the force of this, it is clear that the 
Samaritans under Jeroboam II. did obey the law of tithes. 
There is less difficulty as to the sense of the next clause ; 
Amos accuses them of offering ° a sacrifice of thanksgiving V) 
with leaven." This clause is technical, and to be interpreted 
accordingly. The rffin todah, "thank-offering," was funda- 
mentally the same as the " trespass-offering," but in addition 
there were to be offered " unleavened cakes mingled with 
oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes 
mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried," and besides this, 
leavened bread was to be offered (Lev. vii. 12, 13). It might 
seem that there was nothing irregular in all this ; but again 
a technical word comes in, "iBj? qitteer, " to burn incense," 

but nothing leavened was to be burned. The connection 
suggests that the Samaritans introduced this as an improve- 
ment on the legal method. According to what was enjoined 
in the Law, while the unleavened cakes were placed upon 
the altar, but not burnt, the leavened cakes were not even 
offered on the altar, but one was given to the offering priest ; 
the rest were eaten at the sacrificial meal (Keil, Minor 
Prophets, i. 271, Eng. trans.). The last characteristic which 
Amos brings up for condemnation is that the Samaritans 
" proclaim freewill offerings and publish them." The idea 
seems to be that the worshippers were called upon to 
offer " freewill offerings " (riillJ nedabotli), and when they had 

come forward, their liberality was made known by public 
proclamation. As a sacrifice meant a feast, the public 
proclamation probably meant a public invitation to it. The 
principal point, however, which has to be considered is the 
fact that the technical word is used, which shows that the 


prophet expected that the Northern tribes not only had 
the same religious ideas, but expressed them in the same 
technical language. In the following chapter, vv. 21, 22, more 
technical terms connected with ritual occur. J H VV H declares, 
" I despise your feast days (M'an haggechevi) and I will not 

smell in your solemn assemblies (MTnxy l atztzerothechem)" 

In the following verse He declares He will not receive 
their "burnt-offerings" (nfry 'oloth), " meat-offerings (DftfaD 

minhothecherri), peace-offerings {xbv shelem (sing.) ). It is to 

be observed that all these terms occur in P, and one of them, 
minhahy in P alone, in the technical sense. What has to be 
noted is, that a man who has no connection with either the 
priesthood or the schools of the prophets, not only himself 
knows all these technical terms but expects his audience of 
the Ephraimite tribes to be equally well acquainted with 
them. All these technical terms to which we have referred, 
belonged to the worship of JHWH in the highly organised 
form in which it is recorded in those portions of the 
Pentateuch designated by P. As conclusive evidence that 
the worship of the High Places, as found in Israel of the 
North, was worship of JHWH, one has only to turn as 
already noted, to Hosea iv. 15^, "Come ye not to Gilgal, 
neither go ye up to Beth-aven (Bethel), nor swear, the Lord 
(JHWH) liveth"; in these Northern shrines, Gilgal and 
Bethel, it was the custom to swear by JHWH. 

Another part of sacrificial worship was the burning of 
incense. The composition of the aromatic powder to be burned 
was somewhat elaborate; it was regarded as sacred, any 
use of it for ordinary purposes was looked upon as sacrilege, 
any imitation of it was forbidden. Night and morning was - 
the incense burned before JHWH in the temple at Jerusalem. 
This was part of the worship on the High Places when that 
ritual became systematised, as is seen by the fact that 
Jeroboam "stood by the altar to burn incense" when the 
" Man of God out of Judah " (1 Kings xiii. 1) came to rebuke 
him and denounce Divine vengeance on his shrines. It is 
to be observed that in Bethel as at Jerusalem there is an 
Altar of Incense ; in Egyptian wall-paintings incense is 
offered to Deity in a spoon-like censer, or in a cup-like vessel 


either held in the hand or presented on those spoons already 
mentioned ; no altar appears to be used. Incense burning 
does not seem to be so prominent in Assyrian worship, if 
one may judge from the monuments. It is clear, then, 
that Jeroboam, even while breaking away from the established 
modes of worship, wished to retain the most obvious features, 
so that the extent of the breach might be minimised. 
Jeroboam, however, assumed to himself this part of the 
priest's office, to burn incense ; the sin of Uzziah in later 
days (2 Chron. xxvi. 16) would seem to indicate a tendency 
in monarchs at that time to claim this priestly function as 
part of the royal prerogative. 

As worship involves not only a consecrated place, 
consecrated offerings, and consecrated actions and language 
but also consecrated persons, the singular institution of the 
Nazirites has to be noticed. Priests were always consecrated 
personages, but the Nazirite was not consecrated as was 
the priest for the performance of any special office ; he rather 
was himself like a consecrated sacrifice. The Law of the 
Nazirite is elaborately laid down in Num. vi. 1-2 1, a 
passage attributed to P. The existence of the order is 
assumed in the book of Judges (xiii. 14; xvi. 17), and also in 
Amos (ii. 11, 12). The first two of these passages, those in 
Judges, are connected with the history of Samson. The 
part of Amos in which the reference to them occurs is 
directed against the sins of Israel, by which the Northern 
tribes are meant. While the institution then was well 
known in Israel, it was also extant in Judah, as is seen in 
Lam. iv. 7 : " Her (Jerusalem's) Nazirites were purer than 
snow, they were whiter than milk, they were more ruddy in 
body than rubies, etc." The order of Nazirites was common 
to both North and South. 

To sum up the foregoing argument ; the Northern tribes 
retained not only the worship of JHWH, but also to a 
great extent all the ordinances of worship to be found in 
the Southern Kingdom. There are two prominent points 
of difference, one negative, the want of a central shrine ; 
the other positive, the golden calves. Set up by Jeroboam 
in Bethel and Dan, they seem to have been erected else- 
where also ; at all events, it seems most natural to regard 



"Samaria" in Hosea viii. 5, 6, as referring to the city, not 
the province. If we are correct in our opinion, the worship 
given to " calves " was lower in kind than that given to 
JHWH.; they were the instruments of His will, His angels. 
The Ephrairmtc tribes had thus the Law in all its complete- 
ness, at latest when Amos issued his warnings to them. 

In the argument just concluded it will be seen that we 
have assumed, for the sake of broadening the discussion, the 
correctness of the critical position, that Northern Israel wor- 
shipped only by the High Places. We have not considered the 
alternative possibility, that pious Israelites continued to visit 
Jerusalem and worship at its temple. Yet to the attentive 
reader the books of Kings and Hosea show not a few 
evidences of the existence of such a tendency. The purpose 
Jeroboam had in setting up the Golden Calves was to wean 
the people from this habit, lest the religious precedence given 
to the City of David might lead to the re-establishment of 
the Davidic dynasty in the Northern tribes (1 Kings xii. 
26-31). This purpose does not seem to have been completely 
achieved, as Baasha appears to have found himself obliged 
to adopt more forcible measures (1 Kings xv. 17 ; cf.2 Chron. 
xv. 9, 10). An indication of the same tendency may be seen 
in the reign of Jehoshaphat (2 Chron. xix. 4). Even when the 
Northern Kingdom is most flourishing, under Jeroboam II., 
Hosea regards the worship on Mount Zion as that which 
alone is legitimate (Hosea iv. 15 ; x. 11 ; xi. 12); with him 
the House of David are the Lord's Anointed (Hosea iii. 5). 
The attitude which Elisha assumes to Jehoshaphat, as com- 
pared with that to Jehoram, in the expedition against Moab, 
confirms this (2 Kings iii. 14). Unless the prophets and others 
of the pious of Ephraim and Manasseh were in the habit of 
worshipping on Mount Zion, the high esteem in which Elijah 
is held among the Jews is inexplicable. This unity in worship 
will explain also the preservation by them of the books, 
historic and other, of the Northern prophets. For further 
discussion of this subject, see Chapter XII., p. 383. 



The belief in Deity is wide as the race ; the cases in which 
it has been alleged that certain races are totally without 
the idea of a god have been discovered to be due to defective 
observation on the one side, and on the other to the instinctive 
reticence of the savage in presence of possible ridicule. 
Very various, and in most cases very vague are the ideas 
entertained as to the nature and attributes of the god or 
gods, but under whatever disguise the belief is there. There 
is generally present as a supplementary belief the assumption 
that the Deity can, and ought to be approached with acts 
of' worship, mainly some form of sacrifice. As universal 
is the belief that Deity can in turn reveal Himself to his 
worshipper. In short, in all races there is the assumption, 
to use the words of the Apostle James, that if "we draw 
nigh to God He will draw nigh to us " ; if the worshipper 
approached Deity with sacrifices and offerings, He in turn 
would draw near to His worshipper in revelations of His 
will. Hence we find in every country that over against the 
priest, with his knowledge of the ritual of worship that 
would be acceptable to Deity, stands the prophet, with 
his claim of being able to find out and communicate the 
will of Deity, and incidentally the future, whether as 
dependent on the will of the deities, or as known by him 
from his superior powers and opportunities though hidden 
from men. The prophet might assume the guise of a 
medicine man, or a wizard, or haruspex. Sometimes the 
same individual was at once prophet and priest After 
the victim was slain, he might profess to tell from its 
entrails what the will of the Deity was, or as at Delphi might 
pass into a chamber, and there come directly under the 


influence of the Deity, and thus be able to express in words 
what the god willed. In these cases, although the person 
was the same, the function was distinct. Another method 
of Divine revelation which was not restricted to officials, 
whether priests or prophets, was dreams ; here the prophet 
appeared in the guise of the interpreter of dreams. 

It will be seen that prophecy in Israel was no isolated 
phenomenon, but that in this, as in the possession of priests, 
Israel was on all fours with other peoples. At the same 
time, no one can fail to recognise how immeasurably the 
Hebrew prophets excel in spiritual and moral purpose _all 
the augurs, haruspices, and diviners of antiquity, still 
more the medicine man of modern heathenism. The 
question now presses : Is the Hebrew prophet an evolution 
from the medicine man, or is he a survival from a purer 
day, and the medicine man a degeneration from the prophet ? 
The most commonly held view is the former. This question 
cannot be absolutely determined, as history does not reach 
back to the origin of institutions. If the commonly held 
view is correct, it would necessarily follow that the earlier 
the notices of the prophets, the closer would be their 
resemblance to the medicine man. As the present investiga- 
tion has to do with Israel and prophecy within that nation, 
inquiry may be restricted to the phenomena presented by 
it. Abraham is called a prophet (Gen. xx. 7) ; he certainly 
is never represented as resorting to incantation to gain a 
knowledge of the will of God, nor is he represented as 
invoking Divine direction by lot, a mode of learning the 
Divine will afterwards so common. It may be observed 
that the narrative in which Abraham is thus designated 
is attributed to E, the Ephraimite document. Moses is 
also a prophet, indeed the greatest of the prophets (Deut. 
xxxiv. 10) ; it is never related of him that he used en- 
chantments. In Num. xii. 6, which is claimed for the 
Ephraimite document, the ordinary method by which 
JHWH revealed Himself is stated ; " If there be a prophet 
among you I, JHWH, will make myself known unto him 
in a vision, and in a dream will I speak with him." There 
is no word in this of anything approaching incantations 
to prepare for receiving a revelation, still less is there any 


idea of wresting a revelation from the Almighty by donning 
a special dress, or going through any performances with 
pebbles, bones, or shells. So, too, with Samuel, he has not 
to go through any process to wrest from God the secret of 
whom He purposes to set up as king ; God reveals it to 
him that the youth whom JHWH has chosen will come to 
him ; and when he does come God informs him of the fact. 
Though Saul's servant expects that "the Man of God" 
will be able and willing to tell them about the strayed asses, 
he says nothing to intimate that he expects the revelation 
even on that trivial matter would be given as the result 
of an incantation. In regard to none of the prophets of 
Israel is there any indication that the prophet used any 
other means than prayer to get a Divine revelation. Most 
frequently the revelation came to them without any wish 
of theirs; Jonah indeed fled from the presence of JHWH 
to escape declaring the message God had given him. The 
only trace of any affinity of the prophet with the medicine 
man and his methods is in regard to Balaam. It is said of 
him (Num. xxiv. i) : " He went not as at other times to seek 
enchantments," implying that he on the previous occasions 
had done so. He is a degenerate, who though in a way 
believing in JHWH, yet thought He might be bribed by 
offerings or cajoled by enchantments to curse Israel. It 
does not occur to him, as it would to a Hebrew prophet, 
to call upon Balak and the Moabites " to break off their sins 
by righteousness," to give up the hideously impure rites of 
their worship. He recognises all the while that it is 
righteousness and purity that gain the favour of God, hence 
his advice to put temptation in the way of Israel that the 
people may sink to the Moabite level and lose Divine favour. 
It may then be regarded as clear that, whatever the case 
with other races, the Israelite prophet was not evolved 
from the medicine man. 

The function of the heathen prophet, as of the medicine 
man of the savage, is in the case of plague or distress of 
any kind to inform the worshipper what sacrifices he must 
offer to propitiate deity so that the evil shall depart from 
him. He and the priest are thus closely allied. In the 
religion of Israel they occupied a clearly contrasted position. 


While the signs that guided the augur told what enter- 
prises might be engaged in with hope of a prosperous 
issue, what days were lucky and what days unlucky, there 
was nothing moral in it all ; to the Hebrew prophet the 
moral was everything. When distress of any kind visited 
a people, the prophet pointed out the moral reason for 
it, and required a moral not a ritual remedy. At the same 
time there is no antagonism between the prophet and the 
legitimate priest. In the Southern Kingdom, while the 
people are sternly rebuked for trusting in ritual as a means 
of pleasing God rather than in rectitude, there is yet no 
opposition between the two orders. Of the three most 
voluminous prophets, two are priests . Teremiah and Ezekiel ; 
the third, Isaiah,, though he denounces all trust in ritual, 
and demands " To what purpose is the multitude of your 
sacrifices to me?" (Is. i. n), yet when he has to choose 
" faithful witnesses " one of the two is declared to be a priest, 
and the other has a name that was a popular one with 
the priesthood (Is. viii. 2). Not that there is not denuncia- 
tion of the priests and abundance of it, but the prophets 
share in the condemnation. Isaiah not only declares that 
the priests but also that the prophets "err through strong 
drink" (Is. xxviii. 7); further he condemns "the prophet 
that teacheth lies" (ix. 15). Jeremiah, priest though he is, 
denounces with fierce frequency the sins of the priests, 
yet with unvarying regularity unites the prophets with them 
in his condemnation (ii. 8 ; vi. 13 ; xiii. 13 ; xiv. 18 ; xxiii. 1 1, 
and other passages) ; consequently both classes unite in 
opposing Jeremiah, and in endeavouring to compass his 
death (xxvi. 7-1 1). So far from the prophets being in 
opposition to the priests, Jeremiah declares " The prophets 
prophesy falsely and the priests bear rule by their means " ; 
indeed of the two the prophets were the more guilty. So 
too Ezekiel, though with less frequency and vehemence, 
if he declares that " the priests have violated the Law," he 
has already asserted that " there is a conspiracy of the 
prophets" (Ezek. xxii. 25, 26). In the minor prophets, too, 
both prophets and priests are condemned. Micah, the con- 
temporary of Isaiah, condemns both classes for their love 
of money : " The priests teach for hire and the prophets 


divine for money" (Micah iii. n). Zephaniah, the con- 
temporary of Jeremiah, while he denounces the priests because 
they " have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence 
to the Law," also declares the prophets to be "light and 
treacherous persons" (Zeph. iii. 4). 

On the other hand, by the prophets of the Southern 
Kingdom the priests are frequently directly or by implica- 
tion highly commended. In the second Isaiah, it is repre- 
sented as one of the crowning glories of restored Israel that 
they " shall be named the priests of the Lord " (lxi. 6) ; and 
further that JHWH shall say, " I will also take of them for 
priests and for Levites (lxvi. 21). Jeremiah in showing 
forth the blessings that shall accompany the restoration of 
Judah declares, " I will satiate the soul of the priests with 
fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, 
saith the Lord " (Jer. xxxi. 14). The latter chapters of the 
prophecies of Ezekiel are occupied with ritual arrangements, 
the form of the renewed temple and the duties and privileges 
of the priests in connection with it. Joel calls the priests 
" the Lord's ministers," declares that they mourn on account 
of the desolation wrought by the plague of locusts, but gives 
no hint that any shortcoming of theirs had in any special 
way been the occasion of it. In the prophecies of Haggai 
and Zechariah, the priests, and above all the High Priest, are 
specially honoured. So far then as the Southern Kingdom 
is concerned, there is no antagonism between the two classes, 
prophets and priests. 

In the Northern Kingdom, the prophets seem to have 
drawn to themselves all that was properly religious — assuming 
even what were correctly speaking priestly functions. On 
Carmel, when putting to the test the right of JHWH to the 
worship of Israel, F.lijah u tterly ignores the priests, whether 
of the schismatic High Places or of the legitimate shrine at 
Jerusalem, and himself assumes the function of sacrificing 
priest. It may certainly be urged that all the circumstances 
were exceptional, and that in such a case that might be done 
in regard to sacrifices which would not have been thought of 
in a normal state of matters. Certainly earlier in the history 
of Israel, Samuel repeatedly offers sacrifices himself; further 
when Saul, on account of Samuel's delay, takes upon himself 


at Gilgal to offer sacrifice Samuel blames him and announces 
that in consequence his rule over Israel should be merely 
personal (i Sam. xiii. 13). The case of Samuel is not quite 
parallel with that of Elijah, as he was a Kohathite, a member 
therefore of the same family of Levites as was Aaron (1 
Chron. vi. 33-38). It is certainly the case that Elkanah his 
father is called (1 Sam. i. 1) "an Ephrathite" = Ephraimite ; 
that designation, however, may be held as asserting merely 
that he was born within the territory of that tribe. Still 
although he was a Levite, Samuel was not an Aaronite. ,It 
seems, however, to have been acknowledged that in abnormal 
circumstances the Levites might be called upon to perform 
priestly functions, as in Hezekiah's Passover (2 Chron. xxix. 
34). Samuel's assumption of the priest's office appears to 
have been habitual. When Saul and his servant come to the 
unnamed city in the land of Zuph, and determine to consult 
Samuel about the strayed asses, they find that there is to be 
a sacrifice in the High Place of the city and that Samuel is to 
be celebrant (1 Sam. ix 12). That he should act as sacrificing 
priest appears, from the language of the woman at 
whom Saul had made his inquiry, to be quite the usual 
practice. Again, when Samuel comes to Bethlehem to anoint 
David ; while the elders of the city are anxious as to the 
motive that brought him to sacrifice among them they are 
not surprised that he should come to offer sacrifice. The 
fact that Samuel was by birth of a family closely related to 
that of the Aaronites lessens the cogency of any argument 
from him as to prophetic practice. 

What cannot fail to strike the student of the books of 
Kings, so far as the history of the Northern Kingdom is 
concerned, is the way in which the prophets ignore the priests. 
We have already noted the fact of Elijah's supersession of the 
priesthood on Carmel, but further there is no reference to 
his ever meeting a priest at all. Elisha equally ignores the 
priesthood. There must have been numerous priests as there 
were numerous shrines, but the prophetic activity and-th^ 
priestly were on different planes. When the age of(Amos 
is reached attention is directed to ritual, and failures in 
regard to it commented on, as has been shown above. 
Whether or not it is in consequence of this, the priesthood 


will no longer allow itself to be ignored. Amaziah, as repre- 
sentative of the priesthood, challenges Amos for speaking 
against Bethel, and when he had failed to excite the wrath of 
King Jeroboam against the prophet endeavours to frighten 
him away. Amos treats the threats and the accusation with 
something very like contempt (Amos vii. 10-17), and there- 
after pays little attention to Amaziah or his underhand 
efforts at the court. (^Hosea)who followed Amos treats the 
priests with little respect ; he accuses them of murder and 
lewdness (vi. 9), declares them to " have been a snare on 
Mizpah, and a net spread on Mount Tabor" (v. 1). There is, 
however, one passage (iv. 4) which, on the ordinary interpreta- 
tion, gives a more favourable impression of the position of 
the priests — " Thy people are as they that strive with the 
priest." It is frequently held as meaning " Thy people are 
utterly regardless, they will even quarrel with the priests/' 
Some have suggested another reading (Sir G. A. Smith, Min. 
PropJi., in loc), but the meaning does not seem to be more 
satisfactory. The verses preceding show the evil condition 
morally into which the people had fallen, and in consequence 
the judgments of God are manifest. " Therefore shall the 
land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall 
languish." Then follows : " Yet let no man strive nor reprove 
another," all efforts at amending them by reproof will be 
resultless ; " thy people," the followers of the prophets, would 
be engaged in as fruitless a task as striving with a priest. The 
priests were so set in their ways and so sure of their ground 
that they could easily baffle anyone that strove with them. 
The relation of the prophets to the priests seems to be that 
of contempt, which generally resulted in the former ignoring 
the latter. 

An interesting line of investigation is the extent to 
which the influence of the prophets superseded that of the 
priests in the religious consciousness of the people. While 
the book of Tobit is late and unhistorical, it may truly repre- 
sent the way in which some of the pious in Israel maintained 
the faith by going to Jerusalem ; yet it probably would be 
few who could do so (Tob. i. 6). A case that might seem to 
support this, is that of the fourscore men that came from 
Shechem and Shiloh with offering's " to brine: them to the 


house of the Lord." This, however, only affords evidence of 
the attitude of the pious in Israel after Josiah had extended 
his reformation to the territory of the Northern tribes. There 
is of course the fact that " divers of Asher and Manasseh and 
of Zebulon humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem " to 
attend the Passover celebrated by Hezekiah. It must, how- 
ever, be remembered that they came at the express invitation 
of the king, and even then were exceptional. Besides these 
doubtful instances there appear few indications of the Northern 
tribes regularly honouring the Davidic shrine on Mount Zion 
with their offerings. 

In considering the place assumed by the prophets to the 
religious community of Northern Palestine, it must be 
remembered that the references will necessarily be few and 
incidental. Annalists recording events, having in view only 
the immediate descendants of their contemporaries, would say 
nothing about the ordinary and habitual. It is only when 
something out of the ordinary and therefore deemed worthy 
of commemoration is connected with the habitual that any 
notice of it is introduced. A succinct account of the reign of 
our late king, comparable in length with the narrative of 
the reigns of Jotham of Jerusalem, for example, or of 
l ehoahaz of Samaria, would in all probability make no 
mention of railways or motor cars, unless some disaster 
connected with these modes of progression had to be referred 
to. There is a striking passage which indicates that religious 
dues which, according to the Levitical Law, were paid to the 
priests, came in the Northern Kingdom to the prophets. In 
2 Kings iv. 42, it is said, "There came a man from Baal- 
Shalisha, and brought the Man of God bread of first-fruits." 
According to Lev. xxiii. 20, t he first - fruits ("Q 3H bikkur) 
were t he perquisite of the priest : but in this case the man 
from Baal-Shalisha brings them not to the priest but to the 
Man of God, the prophet in Gilgal. The incident is 
introduced merely to bring out the miracle which jilisha^ 
wrought, which made th e " twenty loaves of barley and ea rs 
of corn " provision for " a hundred men." We may deduce 
from the purely incidental way in which it is narrated that 
it was no isolated or out-of-the-way action on the part of the 
man who brought the first-fruits, but was an instance of a 


common practice. Although there is no evidence to support 
it, yet analogy would suggest that much of the tithe went to 
the support of the schools of the prophets. There might in 
short be something of the rivalry between the priests and 
Levites on one side and the prophetic communities on the 
other that existed in the Middle Ages between the Secular 
Clergy and the preaching Friars. 

When the first-fruits were brought to the priest he was 
to " wave the first-fruits, a wave offering before the Lord " ; 
but there is no reference to this when the man of Baal- 
Shalisha brought his first-fruits to Elisha ; the priestly share 
in the dedication is unnoticed. It seems further as if there 
were evidence of a system of non-priestly worship connected 
with the prophets. The most important reference is purely 
incidental. When the son of the Shunamite woman died, 
" She called to her husband and said, Send me, I pray thee, 
one of the young men and one of the asses, that I may run 
to the Man of God and come again. And he said, Wherefore 
wilt thou go to him to-day? (2_ Kings iv. 22, 23) it is neither 
New Moon nor Sabbath." He would have regarded her 
request as quite natural had it been made on either of these 
days : hence there is implied that religious people in Northern 
Palestine had a practice of visiting the prophets of the Lord 
on New Moon and on the Sabbath, presumably, as these were 
consecrated days, for some sort of religious service. We have 
no information as to the nature of this service, but it cannot 
have been sacrificial, or the Shunamite's husband would have 
remarked on the absence of a victim. The nature of the 
worship can only be conjectured. Yet by following out 
analogies these conjectures may be regarded as having a 
certain amount of probability. It may be assumed that prayer 
was an essential part of this prophetic worship, as prayer is a 
natural part of worship at alliimgs ; and as the prophets 
were men of prayer. WhenQilisIm is about to raise the 
Shunamite's son, he prays ; when his servant is terrified 
by the sight of the Syrians surrounding Dothan again Elisha 
prays that his servant's eyes be opened. Further as the 
primary function of the prophet was exhortation, it is also 
likely that on the occasion of such a gathering this would 
not be foregone. When one examines the writings of the 


literary prophets, one finds it obvious that all the oracles 
imply speech to a listening audience, an audience who had 
come to hear ; such an audience, in short, as is implied in 
the gathering of the pious. If it may be assumed, as is 
indicated by the structure of the prophecies which have 
come down, that they were spoken, it is difficult to imagine 
where an audience could be collected except in a house. 
For safety all the inhabitants of Palestine were gathered 
together in towns ; and the traffic of the narrow streets of 
an Eastern town would be seriously interrupted if a speaker 
collected round him even a dozen auditors. A larger 
number might be collected in the suq or market-place, but 
there, besides the difficulty of finding a place sufficiently 
elevated to command the audience, the presence of a number 
of people not there for business would be even more 
objectionable than in the streets. When (Ezra} wished to 
read the Law publicly he had a pulpit of wood set up from 
which to address the assembled people (Neh. viii. 4). It is 
observed that it is in " the broad place that was before the 
water-gate " that Ezra had gathered them together. There 
would thus have to be some preparation before an 
audience could be addressed. The prophet appears to have 
received those who wished to hear the message of God in 
a house, presumably his own, as may be seen from Ezek. 
xxxiii. 30-32. " They speak one to another, every one to 
his brother, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word 
that cometh forth from the Lord. And they come unto thee 
as the people cometh, and sit before thee as my people, and 
they hear thy words, but they will not do them : for with 
their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth 
after their covetousness. And lo thou art to them as a 
very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice and can 
play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but 
they do them not." From this it is clear that it was 
regarded as the mark of God's people to come and sit before 
the prophet as pupils before a teacher. If then the pious of 
the people were accustomed to come to hear the exhortation 
of the prophets, it would most likely be that they would do 
so on days when no work could be done, that is to say, on 
Sabbaths and New Moons. 


Although there is no distinct evidence of it, it may be 
surmised that music formed part of the worship. It is 
initially probable from the prominence given to music in 
all worship. Ij * +^ p n-»rrmi>Wc arpn U nt of the Dedicati on^ 
of Solomon's T emple, music h ^ a prnmjnent pi am, — J' The 
'J^eVites arrayed in white linen having cymbals, psalteries, 
and harps . . . and with them a hundred and twenty priests 
sounding with trumpets" (2 Chron. v. 12). Further, music 
was supposed to have an effect on the mind of the prophet, 
rendering him more sensitive to the Divine influence (2 Kings 
iii. 15). From the incident to which we have just referred, 
the music would not improbably be partly instrumental. 

Another element may have been present. The prophets 
assume in their audience a knowledge of the Law, both its 
precepts and its histories. So far as these precepts regarded 
ritual we have already noted them. The technical terms of 
ritual would naturally be preserved among the priests, but 
Amos, in whose prophecies these terms are most found, did 
not address himself to priests especially. Indeed if Amaziah's 
may be regarded as a type of the priestly attitude to Amos, 
it is one of antagonism. By blaming his audience for failure 
in matters of ritual, and expressing his reproof in technical 
language, the prophet assumes that they were in a position 
to know these terms and what they meant We cannot 
imagine that reading was by any means a general accom- 
plishment in Northern Palestine. If they could not read, 
the audience of the prophets must have learned these terms 
by hearing the Law read. 1 

1 If the reading of the LXX. is to be adopted, there would be no doubt 
in the matter. "And they read the Law without, and called for public 
professions ' ; (Amos iv. 5). This would indicate that it was considered 
indecorous and savouring of ostentation to read the Law in the street ; 
it was to be read indoors. However, as the question in the rest of the 
passage is about sacrifices, the Massoretic reading is superior ; m'lFI 

todah, "offerings of thanksgiving," is a rare word, and rn'in torak, "the 

Law," a common one; moreover, jop qara means not only "to 

proclaim" but also "to read"; as there was only one letter which 
required to be changed to read yun /tutz, "without," instead of }'»n 

hametz, "leaven," that would be regarded as a mistake and altered 


There are more references to the narratives in the Law. 
It might be said that great general facts, like the Egyptian 
slavery and the march through the desert, might be 
conveyed down by tradition. National tradition does not 
retain memories of events that are dishonouring; the fact 
that they had been slaves in Egypt was not one on which 
they could glorify themselves. Had it been left to tradition, 
the Israelites would have identified themselves with the 
" Shepherd Kings," and represented themselves as dominating 
Egypt. The reader need only be referred to the Book of 
Jubilees to see what Jewish imagination can effect in 'the 
way of self-glorification ; and that, too, despite the records. 
Yet there is no fact in their past history so frequently 
referred to by the prophets and Psalmists as Israel's deliver- 
ance from the Egyptian bondage. Thus Hosea xi. i, " I 
have called my son out of Egypt"; xii. 13, "By a prophet 
JHWH brought Israel out of Egypt"; ix. 10, "I found 
Israel like grapes in the wilderness." In Amos the number 
of the years of the wilderness wanderings is expressly 
mentioned (v. 25), "Did ye bring unto me sacrifices and 
offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel ? " 
In this last case the reference to the wilderness wanderings 
does not direct attention to anything of which the people 
might feel pride, rather very much the reverse. If we may 
regard Psalms lxxx., lxxxi., as Ephraimite in origin, as the 
avoidance of all mention of Judah or Jerusalem seems to 
indicate, not only is the deliverance from Egypt referred to, 
but also the episode of Meribah in which Israel's rebelliousness 
was peculiarly manifested. It seems unlikely that tradition 
would retain memories so little to the credit of the people. 

But further there are references to special events. In 
Hosea xii., the leading incidents of the life of the patriarch 
Jacob are referred to : v. 3a, " He took his brother by the 
heel in the womb " icf. Gen. xxv. 26 ; vv. 3b, 4a) ; " In his 
manhood he had power with God, yea, he had power over 
the angel and prevailed" {cf. Gen. xxxii. 24-2S). In regard 
to this passage, it has to be noted that the verb rnb> sarah, 
which is translated in Genesis "Thou art a prince," occurs 
in this passage in Hosea, and is rendered " had power " ; 
this verb is found only in these two passages. Further the 


word b'y yakol, " to prevail," occurs both in the Genesis 
narrative and in Hosea's reference to the incident. These 
resemblances can most easily be explained by regarding 
Hosea as referring to a written document, the words of 
which were known. Certainly it is said in Hosea xii. 4^, " he 
wept and made supplication to Him," and there is no word 
of weeping in the Genesis narrative ; yet in the earlier part 
of this chapter (xxxii. 7-12) there is given Jacob's prayer, 
which surely has tears at the back of it ; at any rate it is 
without doubt supplication. In the last clause of this verse 4 
there seem to be references to the two visits Jacob paid to 
Bethel : " He found him at Bethel, and there He spake with 
us;" in the first Jacob was alone, in the next he had his 
family with him {cf. Gen. xxviii. 13-19; xxxv. 10-12). The 
whole episode of Jacob's residence with Laban is summed 
up in Hosea xii. 12: "And Jacob fled into the country of 
Syria, and Israel served for a wife, and for a wife he kept 
sheep." Hosea thus expected his audience to be thoroughly 
acquainted with the history of the patriarch whom they 
claimed as their ancestor, even to the words of the narrative. 
Another event in itself very striking and hence, it is to be 
admitted, likely to be preserved by tradition was the destruc- 
tion of the cities of the plain. These cities and their over- 
throw are frequently referred to in the prophets Isaiah, 
Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, as well as the two prophets of the 
Northern tribes to which we have mainly restricted our 
attention. Though politically divided the two portions of 
the Israelite nation stood related to each other in regard to 
religion, as distinct from ritual, much as do America and 
Britain ; hence the prophetic usage in the one kingdom may 
be regarded as holding with regard to the other also. Hosea 
(xi. 8) mentions Admah and Zeboim, the two less prominent 
of these cities. Amos speaks of Sodom and Gomorrah as 
overthrown of the Lord (Amos iv. 11); and in doing so he 
uses the verb ^sn haphak. This word occurs ninety-five times 
in Scripture; of these in sixteen it means "overturn" or 
" overthrow," and seven of these cases refer to " the cities 
of the plain " ; and of their destruction no other word is 
used. The figure implied may be seen from 2 Kings 
xxi. 13, "a man wipeth a dish, wiping it, and turning it 


upside down (T]Bn haphak). The narrative of the overthrow 
does not supply any features that make that figure a specially 
happy one. Of the numerous Hebrew words meaning M to 
destroy," that this and this alone should be used implies that 
it is a stereotyped usage ; a usage, the fixity of which can 
most easily be understood by it having been read in a written 
narrative. Another incident, the knowledge of which is 
assumed, is the seduction of Israel to sin by the Midianites 
and Moabites. Hosea says (ix. 10), "They went to Baal- 
Peor and separated themselves unto that shame." Micah 
also refers to what preceded that fall, the intercourse between 
Balaam and Balak (Micah vi. 5). The audience of the 
prophets was thus expected to know the historical contents 
of the Law till the people reached the banks of the Jordan. 

The knowledge expected of them is not restricted to the 
historical narratives in the Torah. Thus there is the promise 
given to Israel by Hosea (ii. 15, 17), " I will give her . . . the 
valley of Achor for a door of hope." Here there is reference 
to the crime of Achan, and the suffering of Israel in conse- 
quence until the iniquity was removed by the punishment of 
the wrong-doer in the valley of Achor. By that execution 
the valley of Trouble became a door of Hope. A knowledge 
of the contents of the book of Joshua was thus taken for 
granted. There is an equally incidental reference to a later 
event in Hosea x. 9, " O Israel thou hast sinned from the 
days of Gibeah." This implies a knowledge of the unsavoury 
episode of the Levite whose concubine was murdered in 
Gibeah ; when all Israel was gathered together to put away 
the sin, even though it should mean the extinction of one of 
the tribes of Israel. Another reference to history is interest- 
ing from the light it throws on the Messianic hopes of Israel. 
" Afterward shall the children of Israel return and seek 
JHWH their God, and David their king" (Hosea iii. 5). 
The authenticity of this last clause has been impeached 
but without valid reason. Sir George Adam Smith would 
be willing to drop " David," but the parallelism requires the 
proper name here to balance the name JHWH in the clause 
preceding. After he has been in his grave a couple of 
centuries and more, David is regarded as the Theocratic 
King by the pious. This is all the more remarkable from the 


contrast in which it stands to the views of David later enter- 
tained by the Samaritans, as shall be shown in the sequel. 
Cognate with this is the passage in Amos quoted by the 
Apostle James to the Council of Jerusalem, " In that day 
will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen . . . that 
they may possess the remnant of Edom, and all the nations 
which are called by my name" (Amos ix. u, 12). The 
glories of the Davidic Kingdom must have been known. 
The tradition of the Northern Kingdom would not be eager 
to retain in memory the glory of the founder of the dynasty 
against which they had rebelled, any more than we might 
expect Americans to preserve in careful honour the memory 
of the Hanoverian sovereigns of England. 

The above hypothesis is put forth tentatively, and in full 
recognition of the weakness of each individual strand in the 
argument, yet with some confidence that cumulatively the 
force of it is not inconsiderable. In fact the prophetic worship 
was in all essentials that of the synagogue of later days. 
This being so an explanation will be to hand for the universal 
prevalence of synagogue worship among the Israelites in the 
age succeeding. If five times in every month all the pious of 
Israel were directly in contact with the prophets, and were 
open to be imbued with their sentiments, their influence would 
be incalculable. The religious party in a nation is always one 
to be taken account of; especially was this the case in Israel. 
They had fallen to a low ebb when there were only " seven 
thousand " who had not bowed the knee to Baal, but by 
the fiery energy of Elijah followed by the more pervasive 
influence of Elisha they had increased in numbers and in 

What tended to increase the influence of the prophets in 
the Northern Kingdom of Palestine was the fact that they 
were united in guilds ; or to give them the name usage has 
made popular, " schools of the prophets." No description of 
these "guilds" has been preserved, hence their constitution 
and characteristics must be deduced from the casual 
references of writers too familiar with them to think of 
speaking of them in any other way than incidentally. They 
seem to have originated with the Prophet Samuel. When 
David flees from Saul and takes refuge with Samuel in 



Naioth of Ramah, we see an organised community with a 
recognised head. This is the impression the reader gets 
from the narrative : " Saul sent messengers to take David : 
and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, 
and Samuel standing as head over them" (i Sam. xix. 20). 1 
The " Naioth " appear to have been temporary booths, 
possibly not unlike the reed dwellings that the Arabs 
occasionally erect for themselves. A sidelight is thrown 
on the structure of these "booths" by the incident related 
in 2 Kings vi. 1-7. A prophetic community found " the place 
where they dwelt too strait for them," and they determine 
either to remove en masse or to send out a colony. Their 
first step is to go to the valley of the Jordan to cut down trees. 
This shows that the buildings intended were wooden. In 
Palestine at the present time no permanent dwellings are of 
wood ; the lower storey of a house is vaulted, and only the 
second storey, if there is one, is roofed with wooden beams 
supporting brushwood overlaid with mud. The trees in- 
tended to be cut in this case must have been small, because 
there are in fact no really large timber trees to be found in 
the Jordan valley, and the beams they purposed cutting were 
such as a man could easily carry on his shoulder. These 
beams would form the posts round which the reeds would be 
wattled. Not unlikely the interstices would be filled up with 
mud. These " booths " would form a village, and in the 
centre of it a hall which would serve as a synagogue. The 
prophetic community were assembled together under the 
presidency of Samuel ; this implies a meeting-place. It is 
said that when the messengers of Saul came to Naioth " they 
saw the company of the prophets prophesying." It is difficult 
to understand precisely what this means. Graetz thinks 
that they were chanting and that Samuel acted as choir- 

1 The name given to the residence of these prophets is to be noted, 
" Naioth in Ramah." Ewald would directly regard this as meaning 
a school (Ewald, Hist, of Israel, iii. 49, Eng. trans.) ; in this view he 
has the support of the Targum which translates the term by fcOD^N JV3 

t t : 

Beth U/fihana, "the house of instruction." Graetz maintains that the 
"Bama" or High Place of Rama was outside the town and that 
David fled for refuge to that as an asylum (Graetz, Gesch. der Judeti, 
i. 203). The probability is it means "booths " as Driver conjectures 
(Driver, Sam. p. 124). Gesenius translates "habitations." 


master (Graetz, Gesch. der Juden, loc. cit). Although music 
seems to have had a peculiar suitability to the exercise of 
prophetic gifts, one would think there was more meant by 
prophesying than merely chanting. There appears to have 
been an element of excitement that proved infectious not 
only to Saul's messengers but to himself also. Similar 
phenomena have been frequently manifested in seasons of 
religious revival. 

The position of Samuel " standing as head over them " 
(i Sam. xix. 20, R.V.) is a thing to be noted specially. 
There had been prophets and prophesying before, but 
now for the first time they were organised with a head 
over them. If Samuel effected such a change in the constitu- 
tion of the prophetic order as is implied in the institution 
of the prophetic " guilds," the prominent place assigned him 
elsewhere in Scripture is explicable. 1 

Thus in Jer. xv. 1, Samuel is put in the same line 
with Moses : " Then said the Lord unto me, Though Moses 
and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be 
toward this people." Also in Psalms xcix. 6, he is put 
alongside of Moses and Aaron as representative of the 
worshippers, while Moses and Aaron were representatives 
of the priests. " Moses and Aaron among His priests, and 
Samuel among those that call upon His name." Jeremiah's 
exaltation of Samuel to the level of Moses, unless his 
eminence had already been acknowledged, would have pro- 
duced on Jeremiah's audience the same jar of incongruity 
that du Maurier's aesthete's coupling of Shakespeare with 

1 The reverse process has been suggested, viz., that the Deutero- 
nomist glorified Samuel through him to glorify the prophetic order, 
and declared him the founder of the order, and the anointer of the 
first two kings, but that originally he had been merely the local seer 
of an obscure town. If he were so obscure an individual why was 
he chosen as the originator of the prophetic order? Why was the 
origin of it not carried back to Moses ? Wellhausen and Kiinen recon- 
struct the history of this period to suit their hypothesis, irrespective of 
documentary evidence. Higher criticism is the only science (?) which 
occupies itself with fitting the facts to suit its theories, rather than 
its theories to suit the facts. When any statement which is found 
in the documents contradicts the theory, it is promptly ruled out of 
court and declared to be an interpolation, and ascribed to the 
Deuteronomist or some other redactor. 


Postlethwaite as a poet, or Velasquez with Maudle as a 
painter, does on a modern. If so, Samuel's memory did 
not owe its exaltation to the Deuteronomist, who at the 
earliest, if the critical hypothesis is right as to the origin 
of Deuteronomy, was a contemporary of Jeremiah. A great 
deal of the difficulty in understanding the history of Samuel 
arises from the impossibility which the Western intellect 
experiences in apprehending the naive conditions and habits 
of the primitive East. The head of the Corporation of a 
fairly sized city in Palestine was accustomed to collect dues 
in kind from the market women, and stuff the carrots and 
cucumbers exacted into his capacious garments. One 
knowing such things as that is less surprised at Saul being 
prepared to offer Samuel a sixpence for information about 
the strayed asses, and is less inclined to draw arguments 
from that as to the obscure position occupied by Samuel. 
How far the order of the prophets was organised under 
Samuel there is no evidence to show. That Samuel knew 
that a company of prophets would be met by Saul when 
he came to Bethel, and that they would have with them 
various instruments, implies a knowledge of probable move- 
ments which suggests an organism, the arrangements of 
which were regulated. Still the knowledge of the presence 
of the prophets might be given to Saul as an evidence of 
preternatural clairvoyance, to render credible to him " the 
matter of the kingdom " ; but the word hebhel translated 
" company " appears to be a technical use of a word which 
ordinarily means " a cord," and secondarily " torture," as 
cords were so frequently used for this purpose, hence all 
" pain." Another secondary meaning was " a territory," from 
cords being used to mark off boundaries. Only in the 
passage which we are considering does it mean "a 
company " ; the use then seems technical, and technical 
terms imply organisation. The extent to which this organi- 
sation was carried there is, as has been already said, no 
means of knowing. For the period of nearly two centuries 
which separates the age of Samuel from that of Elijah, 
though there are many indications of prophetic activity, 
there is little that can be called evidence of organisation. 
Nathan and Gad appear as prophets to be in a manner 


court officials. In the days of Solomon, although Nathan's 
ministry continued after the death of David, and Ahijah 
and Iddo also prophesied then, there is no evidence that 
these prophets had much influence in the immediate 
entourage of the king. Indeed Ahijah favoured Jeroboam 
who rebelled against Rehoboam. At the same time, in second 
Chronicles, these prophets are represented as the historio- 
graphers of the reign of Solomon (2 Chron. ix. 29). When 
the prophet of Judah came to Bethel to denounce Jeroboam's 
schismatic worship, we can more easily understand his yield- 
ing to the invitation of the old prophet of Bethel despite the 
Divine command, if the prophetic order were to some extent 
organised, and the Bethel prophet could give to him of 
Judah signs by word or attitude that he belonged to the 

When Elijah is about to ascend into Heaven, we have 
distinct notice of these prophetic communities in terms 
that indicate that they were well-established institutions. 
F'urther, Elijah appears to exercise a certain authority over 
them. When he has gone up to Heaven in a fiery chariot, 
the allegiance of the prophetic communities is transferred 
at once to Elisha. There does not appear to have been 
any method of election ; his close association with Elijah 
made the acknowledgment of Elisha as his successor some- 
thing of a foregone conclusion. 

There might almost seem to have been something of 
the nature of a revolution in the prophetic schools during 
Elijah's lifetime. The four hundred prophets who urged 
Ahab to go up against the Syrians at Ramoth-Gilead, and 
promised him victory, seem to have been under the 
presidency of Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah. They were 
not Baal-prophets for they prophesied in the name of JH WH ; 
but such men as Micaiah the son of Imlah, and also Elijah 
himself were apart from this organisation. Such prophets 
as Elijah and Micaiah may be regarded in the light of 
non-jurors. The death of Ahab in battle against the 
Syrians at Ramoth-Gilead, and the practical discomfiture 
of the armies of Israel and Judah before the troops of 
Benhadad, when the four hundred courtly prophets had 
promised the king complete victory in the name of JHWH, 


would serve to discredit them and exalt Micaiah and Elijah 
with those who followed them. 

Under Elisha the prophetic " guilds " are seen to be 
a powerful organised association. The individual com- 
munities are numerous ; two of them are in close proximity, 
Gilgal and Jericho ; these towns are only some three miles 
apart. There was another at Bethel a score of miles off. 
They are large, the community at Jericho can send out 
from their numbers "fifty strong men" (2 Kings ii. 16); 
the neighbour community of Gilgal finds its accommodation 
too scanty for its numbers, and has to send out colonists 
to found another dwelling-place (2 Kings vi. 1). Like the 
mediaeval monks they appear to have assumed a special 
dress (Zech. xiii. 4). It might almost seem as if the prophets 
put some mark on their faces by which it could be seen 
that they were of the " sons of the prophets," like the Hindu 
worshippers of Siva and Vishnu. After the battle of Aphek 
when a prophet comes to rebuke Ahab for his unseasonable 
leniency, he disguised himself by putting ashes on his face. 
When he relates his parabolic tale the king does not 
recognise him for anything else than he pretends to be, 
an ordinary soldier who has got into trouble with his 
superior officer, but he "took the ashes away from his 
face"; then it was that the king "discerned him that he 
was of the prophets" (1 Kings xx. 41). 1 

It is to be observed that it is not said that Ahab recognised 
the individual, but that he was of the prophetic order. If 
there was such a mark, there is no means of fixing what 
it was. That there is no notice of it elsewhere proves 
nothing ; no one, however many the stories of Indian life 
he has read, would be able to tell the difference between 
the distinguishing mark of the worshipper of Siva and that 
of the worshipper of Vishnu ; they are too well known to 
the writers for them to think of describing them. The " rough 
garment" which would-be prophets donned, as implied in 

1 So the Authorised Version; the Revised has "disguised himself 
with his headband over his eyes." The Authorised Version has followed 
the Vulgate and Luther ; the difference does not affect our argument, 
it only points to the fact that as among the Hindus the distinguishing 
mark was on the forehead. 


the words of Zechariah (xiii. 4), to notify their assumption 
of the prophet's office, may have been an imitation of Elijah 
with his girdle of leather. It may be noted that John the 
Baptist, the last of the prophets, " had his raiment of camel's 
hair and a leathern girdle about his loins." 

The constitution of individual prophetic communities 
must be considered. Each of these communities appears 
to have dwelt in a small village. Though in thus dwelling 
together they resembled the monks of later days, they were 
not strictly ccenobitic, as they had separate dwellings, each 
dwelling occupied by a family (2 Kings iv. 5, 6); if~one 
family got into debt it had no claim on the assistance of 
the rest of the community (iv. 1); they have no community 
of goods. At the same time 'they have common meals at 
which, when he is present, the " president " of the order 
acts as " house-father," presumably superseding for the 
time the head of the local community (2 Kings iv. 38). 
If we are right in the conclusions at which we arrived earlier, 
the dwellings in which the prophetic families were housed 
were slight insubstantial buildings, possibly wattle and daub. 
There would be a larger central building in which the 
community could assemble for worship, and at all events 
the male members for the common meal. There is much 
in all this that resembles the Essene community at Engedi, 
as described by Josephus (Jos., B. J. II. viii. 5); and Philo 
quoted by Eusebius {Prep. Evan. viii. 1 1 ; Eng. trans, iv. 
219); but in one particular the "schools of the prophets" 
differed from the Essene community beside the Dead Sea 
in this that as we have seen above they were not celibate. 

The prophetic communities were united into one organisa- 
tion, the head of which was a person to be considered in the 
kingdom. He is always attended by a special servant. 
While Carmel seems to have been his ordinary residence he 
had also a house in Samaria. Elisha is sometimes to be 
found in Gilgal sometimes in Dothan. He seems to have 
made frequent journeys between Carmel and Samaria (2 
Kings iv. 9). There is evidence that the organic develop- 
ment was carried yet further. In the account of the famine 
in Samaria during the siege by Benhadad, it is said : " Elisha 
sat in his house and the elders sat with him " (2 Kings vi. 32). 


These elders could not be the elders of the city ; for had these 
been the elders of the city thus in consultation with the 
prophet, independent of the king, it would have been regarded 
as constructive treason. Saul reckoned it evidence of con- 
spiracy against him that Ahimelech had consulted JHWH for 
David (i Sam. xxii. 13). It would seem necessary to assume 
that they were the elders of the prophetic order. The 
narrative, to which reference has just been made, reveals also 
something of the place in the political scheme of Northern 
Israel which the head of the prophets occupied. When 
Jehoram learns the state of distress to which Samaria is 
reduced, he first determines to execute the prophet, as if it 
were his blame that the Syrians were pressing Israel so 
hard. Then repentant he follows his messenger attended by 
the lords of his court (2 Kings vii. 2). It was Elisha who 
engineered the overthrow of the House of Omri, when he 
sent one of the sons of the prophets to anoint Jehu at 
Ramoth-Gilead (2 Kings ix. 1-3). When Elisha lay a-dying 
Joash came to him and declared him to be the " chariot of 
Israel and the horsemen thereof" (2 Kings xiii. 14). 

While the prophetic order occupied such a prominent 
place in the Kingdom of Samaria, it fills no space at all in 
the politics of the Davidic Kingdom. There is only the 
incidental notice in Amos vii. 14 to prove that the "schools 
of the prophets " even existed in Judea ; indeed even that 
reference may be regarded as doubtful. When Amos says 
that he has not been in the prophetic schools, he does not 
necessarily refer to any schools, if such there were, in Judea, 
since his province as a prophet was the Northern Kingdom 
and the assailant he is answering belongs to Israel ; it may 
well be that it was the schools in Samaria to which he 
referred. While individual prophets had great personal 
influence in the court at Jerusalem, none of them could send 
a messenger prophet to anoint a claimant to the throne as 
did Elisha. Both the priesthood and the kingship were 
more powerful in the South ; both king and priest could 
claim Divine sanction to their authority. The priests were 
the descendants of Aaron " who was called of God " (Heb. v. 
4): the king could claim to be the anointed of JHWH. In 
the North, the priests had been chosen by Jeroboam "of the 


lowest of the people" (i Kings xii. 31): and of the successive 
dynasties which flitted across the stage in the Ephraimite 
Kingdom none remained long enough to enjoy anything of 
the prestige of the race of David, to whom the pious even 
of the Kingdom of Israel gave a certain quasi allegiance 
(Hosea iii. 5). 

Arguing from analogy, these prophetic communities would 
not be idle. While like the Essenes the ordinary industries 
of the cornfield and the vineyard occupied certain of them, it 
seems likely that they would find literary occupation also. 
The monks of the Middle Ages afford an analogy ; to them 
we owe the preservation of all our Latin classics. Still more 
striking is the analogy of the construction of the Anglo- 
Saxon Chronicle by the monks of the various monasteries 
in England. As has been shown above there is evidence of 
a mode of worship conducted by the prophets, not unlike 
that of the later synagogue ; further from the knowledge 
which the literary prophets expected to be familiar to their 
audience, and from references involving terms that implied 
the intervention of writing, it seemed prob able thai- readie r 
of the Law was part of this service, and not unlikely portions 
of the prophetic historical books were read also. Who wrote 
these books so read ? It would seem only in accordance 
with analogy that it should be the bne Nabhiim, " sons of the 
prophets." As is well known to every one who has any 
knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures, the most important of 
the books classified as historical in the Septuagint, and 
following it in all modern versions, were by the Jews 
attributed to the prophets. If the prophets were the 
historiographers the attribution would be intelligible, but if 
not, not. In Chronicles the authorities for the various reigns 
are usually the writings of the successive prophets. Thus the 
authorities for the history of David are the books of Samuel, 
Nathan, and Gad (1 Chron. xxix. 29); for that of Solomon, 
Nathan, Ahijah, and Iddo (2 Chron. ix. 29) ; Shemaiah and 
Iddo for the reign of Rehoboam (2 Chron. xii. 15). It 
might be maintained that the books of Samuel and Kings 
had no connection with the writings of the prophets quoted, 
but this is met by 2 Chron. xxxii. 32 : " The rest of the acts 
of Hezekiah, and his goodness, behold, they are written in 


the vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, in the book of the 
Kings of Judah and Israel." Assuming that this is correct, 
the account of the reign of Hezekiah given in the book of 
Kings was written by Isaiah. But there are embodied in 
the canonical book of Isaiah, four chapters parallel with those 
in Kings ; to a great extent the one is the dittograph of the 
other. 1 

The consideration of the books so reckoned by the Jews 
confirms the attribution. Joshua was regarded as a prophet, 
hence his book was in the Canon. In the book of Judges 
prophets, men of God, continually intervene. The prophetic 
character is most observable in the four continuous books 
called in the Septuagint " the Four Books of Kings " — Samuel 
and Kings of the Hebrew Bible. The first book of Samuel 
begins with the birth of the prophet ; throughout the book 

1 From this it follows, if the authority of the (Qhronicleryis to be 
accepted, that, against the practically unanimous judgment oTcritics, the 
historical chapters of Isaiah are authentic. The same critical authorities 
deny the historical value of Chronicles, declaring these books not to 
have been compiled till after the reign of Alexander the Great because 
Jaddua, who is alleged by Josephus to have met Alexander, is mentioned 
in Neh. xii. n ; and Nehemiah is assumed to be part of the book 
of Chronicles, or to be from the hand of the same author. All the 
evidence for this vouchsafed by Dr Driver is to say that the author is 
"to all appearance identical with the Chronicler" (Driver, Introd., Lit. 
O. T. } p. 511). Cornill (Introd., Can, Books of O. T., p. 249) would prove 
it from the identity of the first verses of Ezra with the last of Chronicles. 
" Hence the conclusion long ago deduced is that the book of Ezra- 
Nehemiah is the continuation of Chronicles, and originally formed in con- 
junction with it one continuous historical work, so that the Chronicler 
would thus be the final author also of Ezra- Nehemiah." That it is the con- 
tinuation of Chronicles may be admitted without agreeing to the identity 
of authorship. The repetition of the last verses of Chronicles in the 
beginning of Ezra rather points the other way ; an author would feel 
himself under no obligation in continuing a narrative to repeat what he 
had already written, juxtaposition in the manuscript would be deemed 
enough. It might, however, occur to a continuator to tack on his work to 
that which he was continuing by some such device. If that is so, Ezra- 
Nehemiah might be written a century after Chronicles. Even if the 
critical assumption be granted, certain names might be added to the 
priestly genealogy long after the book itself was completed, a possibility 
which Canon Driver acknowledges {lib. cit. p. 512, n. 2), and practically 
abandons the probative force of these names by adding " the other marks 
of late composition still remain," but without, however, having the frank- 


he is prominent and even after his death he intervenes. In 
second Samuel, which is occupied with the reign of David, 
the numerous campaigns of the successful warrior are not 
narrated with anything like the fulness with which his sin in 
the matter of Uriah the Hittite, and the rebuke he sustains 
at the mouth of Nathan the prophet, are recorded ; or his sin 
in numbering the people, and the terrible threefold alternative 
offered him by God through the Prophet Gad. Prominence 
of prophetic action is seen very markedly in first and second 
Kings. Nearly a third of the space of these two books is 
taken up with events occurring during the reign of the 
dynasty of Omri. So powerful is that dynast}- that to 
Assyria Jehu, who overthrew it, is regarded as Jahna pal 
Khutnri, " Jehu the son of Omri." From the stele of Mesha 

ness to omit this clause from his argument. But was Jaddua the contem- 
porary of Alexander ? This meeting of the High Priest and Alexander is 
declared by these same critics to be unhistorical, when evidence is brought 
from it for the authenticity of Daniel. The sole evidence that it was 
Jaddua who met Alexander is Josephus, who as is well known drops a 
whole century from his history at this point, identifying Darius Codo- 
mannus with his great-grandfather Darius Nothus. As already mentioned 
the Talmud relates the same incident (Yoma, 69^), but says it was Simeon 
hatz-Tzaddiq, according to Josephus, the grandson of Jaddua. But further 
to repeat an historical argument given elsewhere (see pp. 29-30 and 111- 
112), Jaddua was the nephew of Manasseh whom Xehcmiah chased from 
his presence because he had married the daughter of Sanballat of Samaria. 
This occurred in 432 B.C. Is it likely, especially when we consider the 
Jewish custom of early marriage, that a nephew of this Manasseh should 
a century later be idling the office of High Priest, a dignity that in 
ordinary circumstances went by primogeniture? There is thus no 
evidence for the lateness of Chronicles to be deduced from Neh. xii. 
11 ; consequently no suspicion of its historicity can be based on that. 
Indeed if the canon laid down by Josephus be applied, not only 
Chronicles but Ezra-Nehemiah would have to be dated long before 
Alexander: he declares {Contra Apio/icm, i. S) that only those histories 
written before the death of Artaxerxes the son of Xerxes were received 
into the Jewish Canon. That this represents the principle on which the 
authorities, whoever they were, selected the sacred books may be, if 
not proved, at least rendered probable, by considering the books 
included in the Canon and those excluded from it. Although their 
critical decisions as to date and authorship might be greatly at fault, the 
rule which Josephus lays down appears to be that which regulated their 
selection. Hence the evidence of the Chronicles as to the prophetic 
origin of Kings may be accepted. 


of Moab we learn something of the prowess of Omri and his 
son Ahab, how they had conquered Moab when his father 
reigned. At the battle of Karkar the Assyrian King, 
Shalmaneser H^ sustains a check from the league of monarchs 
of whom Ahab of Israel was one. Nothing of all this is told in 
the books of Kings ; they are occupied with what Elijah and 
Elisha did and said, and the monarchs are taken account of 
only when their activity crosses the line of that of the 
prophets. The sin of Ahab in the matter of Naboth's 
vineyard is more important than the alliance which he made 
with Benhadad, and the check which Assyria sustained in 
consequence. Though the dynasty of Jehu lasted twice the 
number of years that did that of Omri, yet the history of it 
only occupies half the space in the book of Kings. There 
are no outstanding prophetic figures round which to collect 
narratives. To gather the civil history of Israel from the 
prophetic histories, is like attempting to reconstruct from the 
pages of Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History the political history 
of the Roman Empire from the death of Augustus to the 
accession of Constantine. 

i — ' Although the influence of the prophets was so much 
greater in the Kingdom of Israel than in that of Judah, yet 
/ the Samaritans have not one of the books which owe their 
[origin to the prophets. Though -Elijah, whose deeds fill so 
large a space in the history as recorded in Kings, was a 
Northern prophet, and his greatness so impressed the 
Kingdom of Judah that the Jewish people believed that he 
would precede the Messiah, yet the Samarita ns have no worthy 
traditions of him, or of Elisha (see p. 158).^ The contents of 
the prophetic books might, one should have thought, have 
secured their acceptance among the Samaritans. They speak 
of Joshua as King Joshua in the late production which goes 
by the title of " the Samaritan Book of Joshua " ; yet the 
ancient canonical book of Joshua they do not possess. 
Everything about Joshua was fitted to ensure admiring 
memory on the part of the Israelites of the North ; he was 
an Ephraimite, he was a successful warrior, and his grave 
was among them. So obvious have all these things proved, 
that the Samaritans have had to concoct a book compiled 
partly from the canonical Joshua and partly from the wild 


efforts of Samaritan imagination. If we pass to the book 
of Judges it is only to find further reasons why the prophetic 
books should have shared with the Pentateuch the reverence 
of the Samaritans. The Judges whose prowess is given in 
most detail are all members of the tribes that were part of 
the larger Samaria. Barak belonged to Naphtali ; his 
colleague and inspiration, Deborah, " dwelt under the palm- 
tree in Mount Ephraim " (Judges iv. 4, 5); Gideon belonged 
to Abiezer in the tribe of Manasseh (vi. 11). It was from 
Gilead that Jephthah went forth to deliver Israel from the 
tyranny of the Ammonites (xi. 1). Samson belonged to the 
tribe of Dan (xiii. 1, 2). The two episodes which form an 
appendix to the book of Judges are both connected more or 
less closely with the Ephraimite tribes. Micah, the theft of 
whose idols by the Danites is the subject of the first of these, 
" was a man of Mount Ephraim." It was in Mount Ephraim 
that the Levite sojourned, the murder of whose concubine 
occasioned the action against Gibeah related in the second 
of them. The first of these episodes was perpetuated in the 
memory of the North by the shrine set up in Dan by 
Jeroboam. And the reference in Hosea already noted 
shows how the second had impressed the inhabitants of 
Samaria (Hosea ix. 9). The opening chapters of first Samuel 
are occupied with transactions which take place in Mount 
Ephraim and Shiloh. If the rest of that book and second 
Samuel is occupied with the adventures of David, which 
mainly took place in Judah, yet the books of Kings are 
fully more occupied with the history of the Northern 
Kingdom than with that of the South, except at the end of 
second Kings when the Northern Kingdom had passed out of 
existence. It is in these books of Kings that, as already 
noted, the history of the great prophets of the North, Elijah 
and Elisha, is narrated. What can be the reason, then, of the 
Samaritans excluding these books from their Canon, and 
only retaining the Priestly Book, the Torah? 

History, as it seems to us, supplies the answer to this, 
as it does to many similar problems. When the Assyrians 
removed all those who would naturally be occasions or 
centres of rebellion, the prophets would certainly be among 
those most carefully chosen for deportation. The colonists 


would sedulously guard against the advent of any prophets 
from the South to excite the " natives " to rebellion. More- 
over, the Southern prophets never had the influence that 
those of the North possessed ; the schools of the prophets 
were inconspicuous institutions in Judah, if they existed at 
all. Isaiah and Micah found their sphere of activity in their 
own neighbourhood. In the days of Jeremiah the case of 
Judah occupied the attention of the prophets to the exclusion 
of everything else. Moreover, during the long reign of 
Manasseh, the prophets and all that prophecy stood for 
were thrust into the background. Hence the likelihood of 
the prophets of Judah filling the blank left in Israel by the 
deportation of their own prophets is reduced to a minimum. 
When the colonists desired from Esarhaddon that they be 
instructed in " the manner of the God of the land," he sent a 
priest, or priests, to teach them, as the whole idea of worship 
among the Assyrians was ritual : the prophetic side of the 
religion of Israel, and above all the prophetic worship, was 
a thing that would never be thought of by the Assyrian 
monarch. The prophets and their schools in Palestine would 
be regarded by the Assyrian government much as an associa- 
tion of Dervishes in Egypt would be looked upon by that of 
Britain. With the priests would be sent a book of the Law. 
Esarhaddon and his son Asshurbanipal were diligent col- 
lectors of religious formulae and ritual directions as is seen 
by the contents of their library. No other books would be 
sent — the prophetic books, which told of the deeds of the 
Judges and of the imperial glories of the times of David and 
Solomon least of all. The antagonism of the Israelite priests 
to the prophetic order precludes any chance of those sent to 
teach the correct ritual with which to worship JHWH ever 
suggesting to their pupils, the colonists, or to the people left 
in the land that there were other sacred books. This would 
explain why the Samaritans have none of the historical books, 
though they contain the narratives of the marvels wrought 
by Elijah and Elisha, nor the works of the literary prophets, 
although Hosea, whose prophecy is the first given in the book 
of the twelve minor prophets, belonged to the North. 

The alternative explanation is that Manasseh, to give 
him the name which Josephus assigns him, only brought the 


Torah when he came to Samaria to his father-in-law. There 
are two theories as to the date at which the son-in-law of 
Sanballat fled to Samaria ; one which accepts the chronology 
of Josephus with its omission of a century and its confusion 
of Artaxerxes Longimanus with Artaxerxes Ochus, and 
Darius Nothus, the son of the former, with Darius Codo- 
mannus, the successor of the latter ; the other identifies 
Manasseh with the grandson of Eliashib whom Nehemiah 
tells us he drove from his presence because of his marriage 
with the daughter of Sanballat (Neh. xiii. 28). The Assouan 
papyri prove, as stated above, Chap. II. pp. 29-30, that there 
was a Sanballat in Samaria contemporary with Nehemiah 
the cup-bearer of Artaxerxes Longimanus, as appeal is made 
by the oppressed Israelites in Assouan to the " sons of 
Sanballat " who have a position of authority in Samaria ; 
this appeal is made in the reign of Darius Nothus, the son 
and successor of the Artaxerxes of Nehemiah. Although it 
is not impossible, nor indeed improbable that there was a 
second Sanballat, grandson of the first, it yet is highly 
improbable that, after the drastic measures which Nehemiah 
and Ezra took against those who had married other women 
than Jewesses, within a century " many of the priests and 
Levites had entangled themselves in such marriages," and 
that again a son of the High Priest should have married a 
daughter of Sanballat of Samaria and, like his uncle, have 
been driven forth with those who had done like him. 

While Josephus (Ant. XI. v. 1-5, 7, 8) largely incorpor- 
ates the narrative of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, he 
dates the occurrences under the reign not of Artaxerxes but 
under that of his father Xerxes, whose invasion of Greece is 
related by Herodotus. In so doing he comes into conflict 
with the history of the reign of Xerxes as given by Diodorus 
Siculus and other authorities. In the seventh year of his 
reign, according to Josephus, Xerxes commissioned Ezra, 
apparently from Babylon, to go to Jerusalem for the restora- 
tion of the worship of the God of Israel there. But according 
to Herodotus (ix. 108, 109), Xerxes was either in Sardis, 
whither he betook himself after his defeat at Salamis, or at 
Susa, to which capital he proceeded after a delay of eighteen 
months or two years. His stay in both places was disgraced 


with scandalous intrigues. Nehemiah, Josephus says, was 
cup-bearer to Xerxes, and was sent by him to Jerusalem in 
his twenty-fifth year ; but Xerxes had been assassinated in 
the twentieth year of his reign. It only emphasizes the 
blunder to read of the twenty-eighth year of Xerxes. 

The narrative of Josephus, besides, does not hang together ; 
Sanballat gets the favour of Alexander {Ant. XI. viii. 4), and 
having permission from him erects the temple on Mount 
Gerizim. When Alexander goes to Jerusalem immediately 
after the seven months' siege of Tyre, during the course of 
which Sanballat had gained over Alexander and joined him 
with seven thousand of his countrymen, an unexplained 
change takes place. In connection with this visit Josephus 
relates the meeting of Alexander with Jaddus (Jaddua) the 
High Priest, and the favour with which he henceforward 
regarded the Jews. Then after he had " settled matters in 
Jerusalem, he led his army to the neighbouring cities. The 
Samaritans seeing that Alexander had so greatly honoured 
the Jews determined to profess themselves Jews." Neither 
the Samaritans nor Alexander seem to be aware of any 
treaty made by Sanballat, although the seven thousand men 
are mentioned as present. The truth is, the story related by 
Josephus is, as far as Jaddua is concerned, not historical. 

If the second possible date of Manasseh's migration is 
assumed other difficulties emerge. It is to be observed that 
in the Biblical record there is no word of Manasseh's 
departure to his father-in-law when Nehemiah chases him 
from his presence, although it is extremely probable. Of 
course there is no word either that he took the Torah with 
him, or had any need to do so. According to the ordinarily 
received critical theory, the Priestly Code had been but 
recently brought from Babylon by Ezra. In accordance with 
an overstrict interpretation of this code Manasseh had been 
deprived of the priesthood, yet on this theory he carries 
this Priestly Code with him to Samaria. The difficulties in 
regard to this action of Manasseh we consider elsewhere. 
If, however, it be assumed that he did convey the Pentateuch 
to the remnant left from the Assyrians, and to the descendants 
of the colonists whom the Assyrians had introduced other 
difficulties emerge. Why did he not take the prophetic 


books with him also ? He would wish to ingratiate himself 
with the people among whom he was to make his abode. 
The book of Joshua, as has been seen above, was one in 
which the Samaritans who claimed to be Ephraimites would 
be specially ready to delight, as it recorded the deeds of 
an Ephraimite through whose prowess and conduct Israel 
had conquered the Canaanites. The difficulty is not lessened 
but increased if the critical hypothesis be adopted, according 
to which the canonical book of Joshua was the result of 
the same process of compilation and redaction, which it 
is alleged is seen in the Pentateuch. When he took the 
five books why did Manasseh leave the sixth, which would 
be at least as interesting ? The motives that would naturally 
have led to the conveyance of the book of Joshua to Samaria 
would apply to all the historico-prophetic books, with the 
exception of the last nine chapters of second Kings. Indeed 
the omission of the seventeenth chapter of that book might 
have been enough to bring the whole into harmony with 
the feelings of Northern Israel; especially if there had been 
an editorial variation on the monotonous condemnation of 
the kings of Samaria. There was no antagonism between 
the priestly and the prophetic orders in Judah then ; Haggai 
and Zechariah, prophets though they were, encouraged Joshua 
the High Priest in rebuilding the temple and restoring the 
sacrificial ritual. Manasseh had thus no conceivable sub- 
jective motive for excluding the books associated with the 
prophets; as little could there be any external motive. If 
Manasseh was able to persuade the Samaritans to abandon 
their customary rules of sacrificial ritual and adopt the 
Pentateuchal Law, he would have had small difficulty in 
getting them further to accept as sacred oracles the whole 
prophetic literature. On the assumption that Manasseh 
brought the Law to Samaria, it is impossible to explain 
why he did not bring also at least the historical books 
associated with the prophets. 

If, however, the Samaritans had, when he came to them, 
the Pentateuch already, and had sacrificed, as they had 
claimed in the days of Zerubbabel to JHWH in accordance 
with its precepts for a couple of centuries and more, but 
had not, for such reasons as have been indicated above, 




admitted the other books, the action of Manasseh can easily 
be understood. As they had accepted him as High Priest, 
to the supersession of their own priests, the successors, 
possibly the descendants, of those sent by Esarhaddon, 
he for his part was willing to be content with the limited 
Canon of the Samaritans. It would thus seem that the 
hypothesis which we have advanced is the only one which 
will explain the phenomena. 




In a previous chapter it has been shown that the ritual 
followed by the Northern Israelite tribes, although the 
sacrifices were offered at the " High Places " by irregular 
priests, was mainly the same as that in the central shrine 
in Jerusalem, in which legitimate Aaronite priests officiated. 
The priests sent by Esarhaddon would doubtless care- 
fully adhere to this ritual. They would have the guid- 
ance of the sacred Torah, with which, as we have seen 
reason to believe the Assyrian authorities would be careful 
to provide them to keep them right. When, on the fall 
of the Ninevite Empire Josiah assumed, as Davidic king, 
the rule over all Israel, it is. recorded that "the altar that 
was at Bethel which Jeroboam the son of Nebat had made 
he brake down, and burned the High Place, and stamped 
it small to powder and burned the asherah. And all 
the houses of the High Places that were in the cities 
of Samaria which the kings of Israel had made, Josiah 
took away, and did unto them according to all that he had 
done in Bethel. And he slew all the priests of the High 
Places that were there upon the altars" (2 Kings xxiii. 15, 
19, 20). It will thus be seen that sacrificial worship upon 
the High Places had spread over all the land, and priests 
were attached to each of these local shrines. This must 
have followed as the result of the teaching of the priests 
sent by Esarhaddon. To meet this the reformation of 
worship, which had begun in Jerusalem, Josiah extended 
over the whole of Palestine. The death of Josiah at Megiddo 
would tend to throw the sanctity given to Jerusalem into 
abeyance. The subsequent fall of the city and the destrue- 


tion of the temple were fitted to destroy it altogether. The 
action of the eighty men mentioned in Jeremiah (xli. 5) as 
bringing, with the signs of mourning, "offerings and incense 
to the House of JHWH, who had come from Shechem, 
Samaria, and Shiloh, proves, however, that the belief in 
a central shrine was not dead. Whether their intention 
was, as seems most probable, to lay their offerings on the 
site of the brazen altar amid the ruins of the temple, or if 
it is maintained as it is by some that Jeremiah had conse- 
crated the High Place of Mizpah to take the place for the 
time of the ruined temple, it was to the central shrine they 
brought their gifts, and so still the belief is there. 1 When 
the society that had gathered round Gedaliah the son of 
Ahikam was broken up by his murder, the practice would 
cease. With Ishmael's act of treachery, and the migration 
to Egypt of the "captains" under Johanan, son of Kareah, 
all civil government ceased, and so all safety for travellers. 

There is no direct evidence to guide the investigator 
in deciding what form worship took in the province of 
Samaria during the half century or so that elapsed between 
the death of Gedaliah and the issuing of the decree of Cyrus, 
and the coming of Zerubbabel in accordance with it. It 
probably was a renewal of the worship on the High Places 
as the " adversaries of Judah and Benjamin " — the colonists 
sent from Assyria — claim to have sacrificed to JHWH since 
the days of Esarhaddon. As we have seen reason to believe 
that these colonists were only a minority, probably a small 
minority of the inhabitants of Samaria and Galilee, yet 
as we also saw they probably would be the wealthier and 
more influential portion of the community ; they thus might 
presume to represent the whole people — the native Israelites 
as well as themselves. It is to be noted that their worship 
of JHWH is by sacrifice. Further, and more important 
for our argument, it is to be noted that by their appeal 
to be allowed to assist in building the temple at Jerusalem 

1 Mizpah does not seem to have been a High Place of such special 
eminence that it should be supposed to take the place of the ruined 
temple. Mizpah was but little out of the way to Jerusalem from 
Shechem and Shiloh, and the governor was there to whom it was 
well to be respectful. 


.they acknowledged that their mode of worship was only 
to be regarded as a temporary expedient, to cease, or at all 
events to fall into the background, when the temple on Mount 
Zion was erected and legitimate sacrifices offered there once 
more. Though after their destruction by Josiah the High 
Places had been restored, yet his reform had not been 
without effect ; even while they offered sacrifices and burned 
incense on the High Places they acknowledged in their 
hearts that Jerusalem was the place where men ought to 
worship. Unless we assume some such feeling as this, the 
action of the Samaritans is unintelligible. There was nothing 
to hinder them ignoring the Jews and continuing to offer 
sacrifices on the High Places, according to the teaching 
of the priests sent by Esarhaddon. Certainly this had been 
broken in upon by Josiah, but his reign over all Israel had 
been but short, and they had been obliged to go back to 
this worship while the Jerusalem Temple lay in ruins. There 
was nothing to hinder them continuing to sacrifice in the 
High Places unless the belief that legitimate sacrifices could 
only be offered on Mount Zion. It would seem that they 
acknowledged the Deuteronomic Code as binding. We have 
already seen from the technical language used by Amos 
that the Israelites of the North knew the Priestly Code as 
well. Consequently it must have been the whole Torah 
which was brought by the priests from the east. 

It was clearly a later development when the Samaritans 
came to believe that Mount Gerizim was the place chosen 
by God for the one national shrine of Israel. It was a 
further step when this belief was made the disfingulShmg 
tenet of Samaritanism. Not impossibly it was Manasseh 
who first promulgated this doctrine. In Deuteronomy 
although the Divine purpose that Israel should have one 
national altar was declared, and the duty of reverencing it 
was impressed on the people, the choice of the place was at 
some future time to be made by God. When the choice 
was to be made, or how the place chosen was to be indicated, 
was not revealed. It was open to any one to maintain that 
Gerizim rather than Zion was the place God meant. 
Certainly the selection of the valley which divided Mount 
Gerizim from Mount Ebal as the place where the people were 


to be assembled — when one half the tribes should stand on 
the slopes of Gerizim to recite the blessings and the other 
half on the opposite slopes of Ebal to recite the curses of 
the Divine Torah — might not unnaturally be supposed to 
point to one or other of these twin mountains as " the place 
which the Lord your God shall choose out of all your tribes 
to put His name there" (Deut. xii. 5). The further fact 
that on Gerizim was the blessing to be put (xi. 29) would 
naturally suggest that it, of the two, was that most favoured. 
The selection of Ebal as the mountain on which the stones 
with the Law engraved on them were to be set up, seemed 
to contradict what had preceded, so that the falsification of 
the record seemed a not unnatural suggestion. That being 
amended, some bolder falsarius introduced the name Gerizim 
as the place Divinely selected. This interpolation probably 
occurred not later than the days of Manasseh, not impossibly 
at his instance as suggested above. 

In the interval between the repulse which the Samaritans 
received from Zerubbabel and the arrival among them of 
Manasseh, the Samaritans, colonists and natives alike, fell 
back on the worship of the High Places, and sacrificed on 
them : a worship without sacrifice would be unintelligible 
at least to the Assyrian colonists. At the same time there 
seem to have been proffers of friendship, and manifestations 
of a willingness on the part of the authorities in Jerusalem 
to reconsider the action of their predecessors. Nor were 
there wanting indications of a continued wish on the part 
of the Samaritans to share in the worship of the Jerusalem 
temple. Only on this supposition can it be understood how 
Tobiah, who bore the nickname of " the Ammonite," could 
have a chamber in the temple itself. 1 The intermarriages 
between the Samaritans and the priestly caste in Jerusalem 
confirm the truth of the above suggestion. 

With the arrival of Ezra first, and then of Nehemiah 
in the reign of Artaxerxes, all this friendly intercourse 
ceased, and the Samaritans were once more excluded, and 
this time finally, from the temple at Jerusalem. It may be 

1 Nicknames of this kind are not uncommon. We have referred 
above to the case of Ludovico Sforza, called // Moro, the Moor, because 
of his complexion, although of pure Italian descent. 


that some vague remembrance of this is the reason why 
Samaritan tradition, as handed down by Abu'l Fath, declares 
that sacrifices ceased in the reign of Surdi (Artaxerxes), 
when the Israelites returned from captivity. According to 
the story of Abu'l Fath, when the Persian King would offer 
sacrifices on Mount Gerizim, it is revealed that JHWH no 
longer desires bloody sacrifices, but that henceforth prayer is 
to be regarded as the only sacrifice acceptable to Him. All 
this looks like a confused remembrance of the real events. 
When in the reign of Artaxerxes the final company of 
returning Jewish exiles under Ezra arrived at Jerusalem, 
they opposed the Samaritans having access to the temple 
there. Still more vehement became this opposition when 
Nehemiah came as governor and backed it up. Of course 
it was successful, and the Samaritans ceased to be able to 
offer legitimate sacrifices. Until the temple was erected on 
Mount Gerizim, and they could transfer their allegiance 
thither, to the pious Samaritans legitimate sacrifice had ceased. 
That sacrifice was revived on Mount Gerizim is certain, at 
all events when Marjaescrr retired to Samaria, and the 
temple was erected. v^Josephu^/ who relates the flight of 
Manasseh and the occasion of it, and would have been glad 
had he been able to record that he never offered sacrifice 
on the altar in tho srhi~m,a,ti r li?r"P, 1p i does not make such 
an assertion, implies that Manasseh did act as sacrificing 
priest. In the time of our Lord, sacrificial worship and 
burning of incense continued on Mount Gerizim. The 
Samaritan woman, to repeat what has been already noted, 
when she says, " Our fathers worshipped in this mountain," 
implies, from what she adds of the Jewish claim that men 
ought now to worship in Jerusalem, that the descendants of 
these Samaritan fathers still sacrificed there (John iv. 20). 
In the case of the ten lepers cleansed by our Lord (Luke 
xvii. 11-19), the Samaritan, as well as the nine Jews with 
him, is told to show himself to the priests, presumably to 
offer the sacrifices incumbent on the cleansed leper. 

At all events sacrifices have now long ceased, possibly 
the cessation began during the Roman persecutions ; 
certainly they do not seem to have been offered under the 
Mohammedans. But as already noted elsewhere, Benjamin 


of Tudela and Sir John Mandeville assert that in their day 
the Samaritans offered sacrifice on Mount Gerizim. Against 
this, as just mentioned, is the statement of Abu'l Fath, that 
all sacrifices ceased in the Persian period. Though the 
date is wrong, yet as he wrote in the fourteenth century, the 
very same century in which Mandeville visited Palestine, 
and only two centuries after the visit of Benjamin of Tudela, 
probability is in favour of his view. He was himself a 
Samaritan, and spoke from within ; further, he had no 
motive to deny that sacrifices were offered, had they been ; 
the evidence of Abu'l Fath must be preferred to that of those 
European travellers, to this extent at all events, that in his 
day sacrifices had so long ceased that the occasion of their 
cessation had passed out of memory. 

As with the Jews, so now at all events with the 
Samaritans, public worship has become entirely that of the 
synagogue. The contrast between the present conditions of 
the cognate nationalities is very great. While the Jews 
have synagogues in every city of importance in the civilised 
wnrlr^ thr Sa ma ritans now have only on e, that ; n N^hlng 
Formerly the Samaritans had many more than this one 
synagogue. Pietro della Valle found synagogues of the 
Samaritans in Cairo, Gaza, and Damascus, in addition to 
that in Nablus ; others are referred to by other authorities 
as existing elsewhere. These synagogues have all been 
destroyed, and the communities that worshipped in them 
massacred by the Mohammedans ; that in Gaza was anni- 
hilated only in the first quarter of last century. As has 
just been said, the one solitary synagogue left to the 
Samaritans is to be found in the small quarter of the city 
in which they dwell, a poor despised remnant. The cluster 
of cramped houses, which form the Samaritan quarter , is 

afed in the snnrh-west of Nablus, on the slope of the 

?f Mount Gerizir n- In going to the synagogue the 
visitor passes through a small neglected garden to a stairway 
much like that by which an ordinary house is reached in 
those irregularly built Palestinian towns, in which the houses 
cling to the sides of steep hills. After mounting the stair 
the visitor enters a small white-washed apartment with a 
stone floor, which is covered with matting. Dr Mills says 


it is 37 feet 5 inches in length ; he does not state the 
breadth, but if his plan has been drawn to scale, that must 
be about 19 feet. As the synagogue is lighted merely by 
a small window in the roof, and the visitor has just left the 
dazzling light of the Syrian sun, his feeling is of obscurity 
almost amounting to darkness. In ordinary cases the 
visitor is not permitted to pass much beyond the threshold, 
but is met by the priest and shown one or two of the 
manuscripts which they possess. These manuscripts are 
brought out of a recess called the muzbah^ox altar . As 
already mentioned, the Samaritans, like the modern Jews, 
regard prayer as taking the place of the sacrifices formerly 
offeTec Tor) the vinnhah pf rjieir temple, so now they offer 
their prayers towards this representative of the ancient altar. 
Pendent from the vaulted roof there hangs in front of the 
sacred altar a veil of white linen damask, on which are sewn 
pieces of coloured linen cut so as to form a pattern. The 
synagogue is so planned that the worshippers, in turning 
their faces to the veiled recess, turn them also towards 
Mount Gerizim, the Qiblah of the Samaritans. As the 
altar cloth in an Anglican church is changed according to 
the festival, or the saint, to whom the Sunday is consecrated, 
so is the veil in the Samaritan synagogue in accordance with 
their festivals. Behind this veil only the High Priest and 
the second High Priest are allowed to go. As already 
indicated, within this recess are preserved the copies of the 
Torah possessed by the Samaritans. They claim that this 
muzbah is of the exact dimensions of the altar which Moses 
made. While internally the measurements of the recess 
are much below the dimensions given in Exodus (xxvii. 1), 
if the measurements are made externally the discrepancy 
is not so great. Mysteriously there hang in the synagogue 
chandeliers, much like those found in Mohammedan 
mosques ; as the Samaritans only visit their synagogue on 
Sabbath when it is illegal to kindle a light, it is difficult to 
see what purpose these chandeliers serve. 

The ritual observed by the Samaritans in their synagogue 
worship is in all essential points very much the same as that 
of the Sephardim, the originally Spanish Jews who came 
to Palestine fleeing from persecution. Like all Orientals on 



entering a sacred place, the Samaritans put off their shoes 
when they go into their synagogue. They assign as a reason 
for this action that Moses was commanded to remove the 
shoes from off his feet " for the place on which thou standest 
is holy ground." Dr Mills mentions that when the Samaritans 
enter the synagogue, they put on a religious dress of white 
calico ; these dresses are kept in the synagogue. The Jew s 
use the Tallith in a similar way ; this the Samaritans do not 
use^'-They have three services on the Sabbath ; the first on 
FrHrffint nnrnffl. vi'hfin fi r " M * fV> ^^ J^ws^ the Sabbath begins ; 
the next and longest early on Saturday morning ; thelast on 
Saturday afternoon, a little befor e sunset. With tarbush on 
head Lliiy ait ciu&s-llgg ed on the ground unless when the 
sacred name occurs, then they prostrate themselves. When 
in the reading of the Law certain phrases are pronounced, 
every one brings his hand down over his face and beard. 

The essential part of the service is, with the Samaritans 
as with the Jews, the reading of the Law. It is divided into 
portions, analogous to the Jewish perachotk, called qatzin. 
These divisions are so arranged that the whole Law is read 
through in course of a year. It ought to be said that 
strictly speaking on the Sabbath t he priest d oes not read the 
passag e for the day, bu t recites it . Dr Mills describes his 
tone as being harsh and barking ; that must have been an 
individual peculiarity as no other observer has noticed this. 
Liturgic prayers are also recited to which responses are given. 
They do not make use of the Psalms, but they have certain 
hymns sung to weird tunes ; to these they attribute great 
antiquity, declaring that the seventy elders whom Moses 
appointed each composed a tune. They do not introduce 
instrumental music into their worship, indeed do not cultivate 
it, as they usually hire Mohammedan musicians when they 
have festivals in which they desire such an accompaniment. 

Among the Askenazim not only is the synagogue used 
daily for prayers, but it also becomes something of a club in 
which the Jews belonging to it meet, some to read, some to 
talk ; each synagogue having a library, more or less extensive, 
of theological literature. Unless on festivals the Samaritans 
do not visit their synagogue during the week, except when 
tourists are conducted to see it. 


The Samaritans observe the Sabbath with greater 
strictness than do the Jews. The Jews have devised various 
modes of evading the extreme strictness of the legal enact- 
ments ; of none of which do the Samaritans avail themselves. 
The Law forbids the kindling of a fire on Sabbath ; the Jews 
employ Gentiles to do this for them, as also to do other things 
which, conducive to comfort, are forbidden to a Jew. By the 
device of erubin, the Jew can extend the bounds of his house 
indefinitely, and from these reckon his Sabbath day's journey. 
The Samaritan's only Sabbath day's journey is from his 
house to the synagogue. From Friday evening at sunset to 
the sunset of Saturday, no light is to be seen in any 
Samaritan dwelling. During that period no work is done, 
not even opening a letter. They expect the Law to be 
observed with equal strictness by all within their gates. The 
Samaritans do not, as do the Jews, introduce the Sabbath by 
repeating the Qiddush, nor close it with the Habdalah. As 
the Rabbinists ascribe the introduction of these ceremonies 
to the days of Haggai and Zechariah, this, were the authority 
of the Talmud of any value, would imply that the Samaritans 
had received not only the Law but the synagogal reading of 
it before the time of Ezra. 

To a nomadic, pastoral people, the phases of the moon 
were of necessity a matter of special interest and importance. 
Moonlight meant the need of careful watching against 
possible marauders, on the one hand, and on the other the 
opportunity of commodious march, if a change of camp were 
desired. The reappearance of the faint sickle of light would 
necessarily be greeted with rejoicing. The festival of New 
Moon must have been very early celebrated by the Jews, 
nomads as they originally were. The solemnities enjoined 
by the Law are to be found in Num. x. 10; xxviii. II. 
Singularly, these regulations are attributed to the latest 
stratum of the Priestly Code. Naturally it might have been 
expected that a ceremony so very ancient would have been 
among the first to have its details legally fixed. As it is, 
the existence of the feast is assumed in the passages which 
have been referred to as already well known. In i Sam. 
xx. 24, it is the occasion of a family festival at which all the 
members of the king's household are expected to be present, 


and the absence of David a thing to be resented. It is to be 
observed that ceremonial purity is necessary to taking part 
in it. When the Shunamite woman, as we have said in a 
previous chapter (2 Kings iv. 23), wishes to go to Elisha, her 
husband implies that her desire would have been intelligible 
had it been New Moon. Ezekiel and both the first and 
the second Isaiah assume this solemnity as one regularly 
maintained. Hosea mentions it as a sign of the desolation 
coming upon Israel that her New Moons would cease (Hos. 
ih 11). Amos refers to the New Moon as a religious service 
of which the ungodly were easily wearied. Blowing of trumpets 
was an important part of this solemnity. In Psalm Ixxxi. 3, 
the call is made to " Blow up the trumpet in the New Moon." 
This is the more interesting as this Psalm has originated in 
the Northern Kingdom ; Israel, Jacob, and Joseph are named, 
but there is no word of Judah or Zion. The celebration of 
New Moon is retained by the Samaritans but without the 
blowing of trumpets. Alike under the Christian and 
Mohammedan rule the Samaritans would find it expedient 
to make their acts of worship as little conspicuous as possible. 
Now the whole service is confined to the synagogue. They 
call the feast Rosh Hodesh, " the beginning of the month." 
Although now the date of the New Moon is fixed astro- 
nomically, watchers are appointed who announce when they 
have seen it. Thereafter on the following afternoon they 
assemble in the synagogue. The service consists of a 
recitation of certain prayers and reading of the portions of 
the Law which bear on the solemnity. During the service 
the ancient roll of the Law is exhibited for the reverence of 
the worshippers : the whole service lasts about two hours. 
The Samaritans regard this festival as set apart specially 
for the worship of JHWH as the Maker of all things. 

To the Samaritans as to the Jews, the most important 
annual festival is "the Passover." In comparing the Jewish 
Passover ritual with the Samaritan, it ought to be remem- 
bered that the feast of the modern Jews which they call the 
" Passover " is not, strictly speaking, a celebration of the 
ancient feast of deliverance, it is rather an observance which 
keeps that feast in remembrance ; in the hope that soon they 
may keep it in its fulness in Jerusalem. The Samaritans 


maintain that they have celebrated the Passover with its 
true rites from the beginning. It is certainly the case that, 
with the exception of forty years during which they were 
debarred from celebrating it on their sacred mountain, they 
have done so, consequently the Samaritan mode must bear a 
closer resemblance to the ancient celebration than the Jewish. 
Yet there are many points in which the Samaritans have 
diverged from the way the feast was observed in the days of 

One of these points is the mode of reckoning the date on 
which the Passover is to be held. The Samaritan year, like 
the Jewish, consists of twelve lunar months, alternately of 
twenty-nine and thirty days. While in both too great 
divergence from the solar year is avoided by the introduc- 
tion of a second Adar as an intercalary month, yet, as the 
Samaritans have not adopted the Metonic cycle, the Veadar 
is not interpolated according to a fixed principle, but by 
comparison with the Greek Christian Calendar. As a result 
of this the date of the Samaritan Passover frequently differs 
from that of the Jews. Sometimes, as in the year 1898 when 
the present writer saw it, the Samaritan Passover was the 
later by nearly a calendar month. The method by which 
the Samaritans fix the date on which they ought to hold the 
Passover is, according to a communication which the present 
writer had from the High Priest, stated in the following 
words : " It is to be held on the evening before the Full 
Moon of the Greek Nisan." Nisan mainly coincides with 
our April, but as the Greek Christian Calendar is pre- 
Gregorian, there is a difference of twelve days between the 
first of our April and the first of the Greek Nisan ; conse- 
quently the Samaritan Passover occurs, at the earliest, on the 
evening before the full moon after 12th April. The result is 
that there is very considerable difference between the times 
at which it is celebrated when these are reckoned according 
to our Western calendars. When Dean Stanley saw it, the 
feast fell on the 1 3th April, but when the present writer saw 
it the date was 5th May. As the Calendar of Meton, which 
adjusted the relation of the lunar to the solar year by a cycle 
of nineteen years, dates from 432 B.C. and is adopted by 
the Jews, its adoption must go back to the Greek period. 


Probably they did so early in that period, as in the 
Maccabaean struggle the years are given according to the 
Seleucid era and the months have Macedonian names. The 
Samaritans must then have broken away from the Jews 
during the Greek period. The Samaritan dependence on the 
Calendar of the Greek Church must date from the times of the 
Byzantine emperors, therefore too late to have any bearing 
on the question of the relative date of the Samaritan schism. 

Connected with this is another peculiarity in which the 
Samaritans differ from the Jews, i.e., the adjustment of the 
Passover to the Sabbath. With the Jews the Passover Law 
supersedes that of the Sabbath, with the Samaritans it is the 
reverse. With the Samaritans should the Passover fall on 
the Sabbath, then it is celebrated on the preceding day ; not 
at sunset on the Friday, the day before, when according to 
Eastern reckoning, the Sabbath began, but at midday. This 
was the case when Dr Mills was present at the observance in 
i860. The Jews had an arrangement by which they avoided 
the Passover occurring on the day preceding the Sabbath. 
The Samaritan adjustment — it at all events is clear — is quite 
independent of the Jewish ; therefore it must be dated after 
the separation. Other differences will be considered in con- 
nection with the actual observance of the solemnity. 

Some day before the 14th Nisan, which has been arranged, 
as has been said above, to fall on the evening before the full 
moon of the Greek Nisan, the whole Samaritan community, 
except those ceremonially unclean, shut up their dwellings in 
Nablus and ascend Mount Gerizim. They encamp in a cup- 
like hollow to the west of the mounds that cover the ruins 
of the ancient Samaritan temple. The tents are arranged 
approximately in a circle, while apart, separated by a 
hundred yards or so from the rest, is one solitary tent. 
What strikes the observer is the dazzling whiteness of the 
tents. Like the Jews, before Passover, the Samaritans either 
cleanse specially, or renew most of their domestic utensils ; 
probably the tents share in this cleansing and renewal. The 
tent pitched apart from the others is so placed that any 
worshipper becoming mortally ill, may in the article of 
death be removed thither, by the hands of Moslems, lest the 
sacred camp should be defiled by the presence of death. 


The need for this was seen in the Passover celebration at 
which the writer had the fortune to be present ; a woman 
whose death seemed imminent was removed to this tent by 
some Moslems who were there as sight-seers. Her death 
was not so near as was anticipated, as she was still living on 
the afternoon of the following day. It is a singular com- 
mentary on this practice that the Samaritans assert that no 
one ever dies on Mount Gerizim, during the stay of the 
people on it for the Passover. 

On the morning of the day preceding the Passover, a 
trench of some ten or twelve feet long, and a couple of feet 
broad and deep 1 is dug to the north-east of the encampment ; 
it is filled with brushwood as fuel. Next, a pit which has 
been lined with stones is opened ; into it, too, brushwood is 
cast. Both are kindled, and throughout the day the fire is 
kept up, replenished with fuel from time to time. On the 
trench are placed a couple of caldrons full of water. Between 
these and the encampment there are laid on the ground a 
number of thin posts, each with a cross-piece affixed to it 
near the top. Near these posts is to be seen the group of 
lambs which are to be sacrificed ; the number of these is 
usually seven. They must all have been born in the month 
Tishri of the preceding year ; they are usually purchased on 
the ioth of the month just before going up to the mountain. 
Towards the afternoon some fifteen or twenty men of the 
Samaritan community, headed by the High Priest, take up a 
position near the mounds that mark the ruins of the temple. 
The High Priest stands on a low stone, while the rest of the 
worshippers form a semicircle in front of him. He then 
recites liturgic prayers and passages from the Torah bear- 
ing on the festival ; in this the other worshippers join, but 
they all read from books. At certain points in the reading 
the worshippers draw their hands over their faces and stroke 
their beards ; this action, as has been noted, they use in their 
synagogue worship. The hymns introduced into the service 
are chanted in a musical recitative. 2 

1 See Chap. I., p. 13. 

2 No importance would seem to be attachable to the colour of the 
garments even of the High Priest, as different observers have given 
different accounts of this. 


After they have finished chanting, the worshippers leave 
the temple mounds and move in a body to the point on the 
hill where are the caldrons and the smoking pit The 
lambs are now brought forward, each lamb held by one or 
two men. The " congregation " form themselves into a small 
circle round the men with the lambs, the High Priest also 
being within the circle. The recitation is now recommenced, 
and continues until the sun nears the horizon, when the 
words are repeated, " And the whole assembly of the congre- 
gation of the children of Israel shall kill it (the Passover lamb) 
in the evening." At once all the lambs are thrown on their 
sides by the young men holding them ; then the shohet 
passes rapidly along from lamb to lamb cutting the throat of 
each with two deft strokes. In less than a minute with 
scarcely a struggle the lambs lie dead. Round the High 
Priest gather the men who have just held the lambs to kiss 
his hands, the older men of the congregation the High Priest 
kisses on the cheek. The men now sit down in groups 
round each lamb, while boiling water is brought from the 
caldrons and poured over the lambs to soften the skin ; they 
then begin to pluck off the wool. In a little while the wool 
is all plucked off, and the skin is left bare as the palm of the 
hand and as white as parchment Next, the lambs are affixed 
by. their hind legs to the thin posts to which we have already 
referred, and rapidly disembowelled ; the feet are quickly 
removed, and the right foreleg, the priest's portion, is cut off. 
Dr Mills says that they are burnt along with the entrails. 
The liver, which is kept separate in the disembowelling, is 
thrust into the body of the lamb. While this is going on, 
the High Priest continues his chant. As group after group 
finishes, the lambs are twisted round the posts referred to 
and laid one after another on a hurdle. When this has been 
completed the High Priest takes up his position beside the 
carcases and begins anew to chant. The shohet then goes to 
the side of the pit in which fire has been kept burning all 
afternoon, and those who had previously held the lambs come 
forward and stand beside the heap of carcases. The shohet 
standing beside the fire calls out in Arabic, wahed, " one " ; a 
lamb from the heap is handed to him and by him the long 
post or spit is thrust into the glowing pit in such a way that 


it stands upright. He then calls out fnain, " two," and the 
next is carried to the pit and thrust into it ; and so on until 
the whole seven are placed. Care is taken that none of the 
lambs rests on the wall of the pit lest it should be in the 
slightest degree broiled. The top of these posts or spits 
comes within three inches or so of the level of the ground. 
When all this is duly completed the hurdle is brought and put 
on the mouth of the pit; on it is then placed grass, and there- 
upon mud, till not the slightest puff of smoke or steam escapes. 

When the lambs are thus disposed of the High Priest retires 
to his tent ; the chanting meanwhile is continued under the 
leadership of the second High Priest. While this is going 
on a huge sheet is spread on the space between the caldrons 
and the temple mounds. 

At the expiry of a period of time marked by the comple- 
tion of the chanting of certain hymns, the Pligh Priest who 
has retired to his tent is informed and comes from it to the 
pit. At the same time the second High Priest distributes 
the unleavened bread and hyssop — the bitter herbs of Exodus. 
Seven new baskets, resembling those in which carpenters 
carry their tools, are brought forward. The pit is now 
uncovered, and the lambs are taken up one by one and 
deposited in the baskets. When brought up the lambs 
appear burnt black. When, as frequently happens, one of 
the lambs falls off the spit in being brought up, one of the 
worshippers descends into the pit to bring up the fragments. 
The baskets with the roasted lambs are taken to the sheet 
and placed at separate points on it. Groups of men gather 
round each lamb ; some squat on the ground, others sit on their 
heels, while others again stand and stoop over those sitting. 
In accordance with the command in Exod. xii. 1 1, every man 
was girt as if for a journey, with shoes on feet and staff in 
hand. To those of the women and children who are seated 
outside portions of the lambs are conveyed ; also portions 
are carried to the tents for such of the women and children 
as have not come out. The unleavened bread and hyssop 
are now made use of along with the lambs. When they have 
finished eating, every fragment of bone, wool, or flesh is 
gathered together and burnt in obedience to the command 
that nothing be left " until the morning." 



Dr Mills says that when any of the community, either 
from illness or ceremonial impurity, are unable to observe 
the Passover at its proper date, " they may do so on the same 
day of the following month, that is the month Iyyar." This 
presumably means that the date is adjusted to the second 
month of the Greek Christian Calendar, as that of the regular 
Passover is to the first. This permission is in accordance 
with the provision for a similar contingency to be found in 
Num. ix. 9-12. Dr Mills adds: "This Passover is not 
celebrated on Mount Gerizim." 

There are several features in this celebration of the 
Passover in which it differs from the Jewish practice as 
related in the Talmud. Many of these points are of such 
minuteness that they are manifestly the product of Rabbinic 
refinements ; these may be passed over. Some equally 
minute features have been introduced by the Samaritans, as 
for instance, that the lambs should have been born in the 
month Tishri of the preceding year ; this may be mentioned 
as showing the independence of the tradition represented by 
the Samaritans. What confirms this is the fact that the 
Samaritans reckon the date on which the Passover should be 
celebrated in a different way from the Jews, and the further 
fact that while with the Jews, the Sabbath law has to give 
way to the regulations regarding the observance of the 
Passover, with the Samaritans as mentioned already, it is 
the Passover that gives way to the Sabbath. On the other 
hand they have none of the Jewish regulations which prevent 
the Passover from being observed on Monday, Wednesday, 
or Friday. It has been thought that the Samaritans had, at 
the bidding of Ezra, revolutionised the worship they had 
received from the priest sent by Esarhaddon " to teach them 
the manner of the God of the land," and introduced the Priestly 
Code. The way in which the Samaritans have adjusted 
matters shows a complete independence of the Jews. At the 
same time it has to be observed that in fixing a second 
opportunity for observing the Passover, they follow an 
injunction which is found in Num. ix. 9-12, a passage 
declared to belong to the latest stratum of priestly legislation. 

The point in the twenty-four hours at which the lambs 
should be slain is differently interpreted by the Samaritans 


and the Jews. The phrase which designates the time in 
Exod. xii. 6 is a peculiar one, D^nyn pa (bin ha'arbayim), 
" between the two evenings " ; it is found only in the middle 
books of the Pentateuch. The Jews take this to mean " the 
afternoon," from midday to sunset ; the Samaritans regard it 
as meaning precisely at sunset, as if the one evening were 
while the sun neared the horizon and the other the gradually 
decreasing light which follows set of sun. This, too, is a case 
in which the independence of the Samaritans is obvious. It 
would seem further that the Samaritan interpretation is the 
more natural and primitive. The reason the Samaritans have 
for celebrating the Passover on the midday of Friday, when 
otherwise it would fall on the Sabbath, has not transpired. 

In the actual roasting of the lambs, there are points in 
the Samaritan practice which are worthy of notice. The 
description given by Justin Martyr in his Dialogue with 
Trypho, of the spit used in roasting the Paschal lamb suits 
the spit at present used by the Samaritans. He sees in the 
shape which results from the small cross-piece the symbol of 
the cross of our Lord. Justin assumes that he describes what 
had been wont to take place in the temple in Jerusalem 
while it was yet standing ; in this he possibly was right. At 
least he does not record any correction of his description by 
Trypho : the old practice is continued by the Samaritans. 
The roasting of all the lambs of the community in a common 
oven points to a practice which must have originated in a 
village community, and in a country where fuel was scarce. 
In this it may be noted that there is a break away from the 
mode in which the first Passover was celebrated. The killing 
and roasting must, in that case, have all taken place within 
the house. The Samaritan method seems to point to a time 
in which in the Northern Kingdom every village had its 
bamah, " High Place," and its common oven. The use of a 
pit as an oven appears to be a primitive trait. If we com- 
bine the Biblical notices with what is found in Josephus, the 
Jewish Passover may be realised in a manner. The lambs were 
slain in the temple between three and five in the afternoon, 
and carried to the houses of the worshippers where they were 
roasted. The Samaritan mode points to a different origin. 
It is the case that for forty years the Samaritans were ex- 


eluded from their Holy Mountain, and had to celebrate their 
great feast in their own quarter ; how this was done there is 
no means of knowing, as no European observer seems to have 
been present on any occasion during the period of their 
banishment. While it is most probable, it is not absolutely 
certain, that the rites they used after their return were 
precisely the same as those of the period before their 
banishment. One feature has apparently been dropped 
within very recent times. Dr Petermann and Professor 
MacEwen, as also some other observers, speak of the blood 
being taken and applied to the forehead of the onlooking 
children, and sprinkled on the sides of the tent doors ; later 
observers have noted nothing of this. Dr Montgomery says 
on the authority of Moulton that this practice was given up 
on account of the Moslems. 

Closely connected with the Passover, with the Samaritans, 
as with the Jews, is the Feast of Unleavened Bread. During 
the whole period of the " Days of Unleavened Bread " they 
are in tents on the top of Mount Gerizim. All leaven is 
removed from their tents. The unleavened cakes, masat 
(the Hebrew matzoth) are thin, almost as thin as parchment, 
and baked without salt ; save for this last peculiarity they 
resemble the bread of the Arabs. This feast lasts from the 
13th Nisan to the 21st. On that day, " the great day of the 
Feast," they form a procession and go through the village of 
Makkada. Dr Montgomery says that when the procession 
reaches the sacred site they halt, having read through the 
book of Deuteronomy on their way. Dr Mills represents the 
reading of the Law as taking place on Mount Gerizim, and 
speaks of special emphasis being given to the blessing of 
Joseph (Gen. xlix. 22-26). Colonel Warren identifies the 
village of Makkada with the Cave of Makkedah, where the 
kings defeated in the battle of Bethhoron hid themselves. 
The Samaritans make more of this feast than do the Jews ; 
the additions seem to be late. 

Like the Jews, the Samaritans celebrate the Feast of 
Pentecost, called in Deuteronomy (xvi. 10) "the Feast of 
Weeks " ; it was essentially a freewill offering, " the tribute 
of a freewill offering of thine hand according as the Lord thy 
God hath blessed thee." It is reckoned as seven weeks from 


Passover, that is, forty-nine days, or inclusively, fifty days, 
hence its name " Pentecost," in Arabic, khamsin. There is a 
difference between the Jewish and the Samaritan method of 
reckoning the weeks. The Samaritans count them in accord- 
ance with Lev. xxiii. 1 1, from "the morrow after the Sabbath," 
the day when the priest had offered, as a wave-offering, the 
sheaf of the first-fruits of the harvest ; that is from the first 
Sabbath in Passover week. The Jews reckon from the 
morrow of the Passover, regarding the Passover itself as a 
Sabbath. As in their reckoning of the weeks of Pentecost 
the Sadducees agreed with the may be regarded 
as the primitive ; when the Jews diverged it is impossible to 
say. Among the Samaritans this feast is celebrated by a 
service in the synagogue, followed by a procession to Mount 
Gerizim, where the priest recites the passage for the day 
which contains the law concerning harvest. In the syna- 
gogue prominence is given to the decalogue, during the 
reading of which candles are held round the desk while the 
priest reads. 

Both Jews and Samaritans have a civil as well as a 
sacred year. The civil New Year is celebrated on the ist 
of Tishri, approximately the ist of October. With the Jews 
this is a time of great rejoicing, everyone appears in his most 
gorgeous raiment ; in the synagogue a trumpet is blown, in 
accordance with Lev. xxiii. 24, whence it is called the " Feast 
of Trumpets." In some places where a sea is in sight they 
turn their backs toward it and cast a stone over their shoulders, 
in symbol of their sins cast behind their back into the depth 
of the sea, in order to begin the New Year with a clean sheet. 
With the Samaritans it is regarded as a season for repentance, 
and for preparation for the Great Day of Atonement. In 
harmony with this idea it is sanctified by a prolonged service 
in the synagogue which lasts six hours, during which the 
whole Law is read. It is regarded as a Sabbath and no work 
is done on it. Bearing on this difference in mode of celebra- 
tion, and on the idea behind it is Ezra's action as recorded in 
Neh. viii. 9, " Ezra the priest said unto all the people . . . 
1 Mourn not nor weep.' For the people wept when they heard 
the words of the Law." It seemed no easy matter to get the 
people to give over their weeping, for Ezra had to repeat his 


exhortation and the Levites had to go among the people to 
still them. This day, the first day of the seventh month, i.e., 
Tishri, was the commemoration of setting up anew the altar 
" upon his bases " (Ezra iii. I, 3) nearly a hundred years before. 
The primitive idea evidently was the Samaritan one to look 
upon it as a day for repentance and sorrow for sin in prepara- 
tion for Kippor, "the Great Day of Atonement." The Jewish 
habit of casting their sins behind their backs indicates the 
same notion still surviving. 

As with the Jews, so with the Samaritans the principal 
event of the month Tishri is the Great Day of Atonement 
on the tenth day. In the annual series of solemnities it 
is next in importance to the Passover. As sacrifices have 
long ceased to be offered by the Samaritans, there is no 
ceremony analogous to that of the Scapegoat. As further 
they have no longer either brazen altar or Ark of the Covenant ; 
nor is there any longer a Holy of holies, if the Samaritans 
ever had that, into which the High Priest can go bearing the 
blood to sprinkle it on the Mercy-seat ; all the ceremonies 
of the day are resolved into prayer and fasting. In this 
they are unlike the Jews, who retain a suggestion of the 
sacrificial element so prominent originally in the Great Day 
of Atonement ; on the eve of the 10th of Tishri, among the 
orthodox Jews, for every man a cock, for every woman a 
hen is killed. Among the Samaritans there is no similar 
survival. On the afternoon of the 9th of Tishri — the day 
preceding the Great Day of Atonement — every member of 
the Samaritan community solemnly bathes in running water. 
Thereafter they all partake of a meal which must be finished 
half an hour before sunset. From that time till after sunset 
the following day, neither food nor drink may be partaken of. 
Even infants have to share in this rigid fast ; neither age 
nor sickness procures exemption. Dr Mills adds : " The 
day is looked forward to with no little anxiety." 

Half an hour before sunset, the whole body of the 
Samaritan community assemble in the synagogue and begin 
the recitation of the Law. Throughout the whole night, in 
total darkness, proceeds this recitation, partly spoken, partly 
chanted, amid great excitement. The recitation of the Law- 
is mingled with liturgic prayers and penitential hymns. In 


early morning the worshippers form a procession to visit 
the tombs of their prophets. These are not as might be 
supposed Elijah and Elisha, Hosea and Jonah, prophets 
who by birth and mission belonged to the Northern tribes ; 
these are not reverenced nor even known. The position 
occupied by Moses in the theology of the Samaritans pre- 
cludes any other being regarded in the light of what is 
ordinarily reckoned a prophet. In a subordinate way Aaron 
is reckoned a prophet, but neither his tomb nor that of 
Moses can be visited. Tombs in the neighbourhood of 
Nablus are assigned to Joseph, Eleazar, Ithamar, Phinehas, 
Joshua, Caleb, and the seventy elders, especially prominent 
among these being Eldad and Medad. On the morning 
of the Day of Atonement these tombs are visited, and some- 
thing like worship is offered at each tomb to the saint Who 
slumbers beneath. About noon they return to the synagogue 
and resume the recitation of the Law. 

When the afternoon is well gone, and the last chapters 
of Deuteronomy have been recited with appropriate prayers, 
there comes the concluding solemnity of the day — the 
exhibition of the Law. The two priests who have been 
reciting the Law alternately now go behind the veil which, 
as mentioned above, hangs before the sacred recess, and 
bring out the two oldest copies of the Law in their wrappings 
of light blue velvet, embroidered with texts from the Law 
in Samaritan characters. These are opened out and the 
silver cases in which they are enclosed are seen. These 
in turn are thrown open and the venerable rolls are revealed. 
The priests take them out and hold them up to view, then 
all the congregation prostrate themselves with prayers and 
hymns. After some time spent in repeated prostrations, 
the people press forward to touch, to stroke, or even in 
favoured circumstances to kiss the sacred roll. When these 
rolls are replaced in their coverings, the liturgy of prayer 
and chanting continues till after sunset ; then the solemnity 
of Kippor, or, as the Samaritans pronounce it, Kibburim, 
is ended. The latter part of the service has a resemblance 
to the Jewish simhath-torah (rejoicing of the Law), which, 
however, is connected not with the Day of Atonement but 
with the Feast of Tabernacles. 


On the day following the Great Day of Atonement, the 
Samaritan community commences to prepare for the Feast 
of Tabernacles, which is held on the 15th of the same month. 
They begin to construct booths in their courtyards of branches 
from the palm, the citron, the terebinth, and the willow. 
As the Law requires, the whole community dwell for seven 
days in these booths. On each of these days service is held 
in the synagogue, morning and evening ; during the day they 
form a procession and ascend Mount Gerizim " in honour of 
JHWH." No servile work is done during this week, nor 
is business of any sort transacted. As with the Jews, " the 
eighth day "(Num. xxix. 35) is held as a specially solemn 
one. They assemble in the synagogue, when the priest 
recites a liturgy special to the day. With this end all the 
primitive feasts for which a claim for being of Mosaic 
appointment may be made. Like the rest of the 
Samaritan solemnities it is greatly simpler than its Jewish 

The Samaritans celebrate a Feast of Purim, not as do 
the Jews on the 14th Adar, but on the latter three Sabbaths 
of Shebat, the month preceding. As the Samaritans have 
annexed to themselves so much of Jewish history, it would 
not have been surprising had their traditions declared that 
they along with the Jews were the objects of Haman's 
conspiracy. With them, however, it has nothing to do with 
Esther or Haman ; according to the Samaritans it com- 
memorates the commission of Moses to deliver Israel out 
of Egypt. It follows from this that they do not regard the 
name as having any connection with "lots," or with the 
Persian word pareh, " to divide." They say that the word 
purim means " rejoicings." It may have a connection ety- 
mologically with -^a pa'ar, "to flourish, to ornament"; it 
certainly occurs at the time when flowers are most abundant 
in Palestine. The Samaritans admit that there is no 
authority for this feast in the Law. It is possible that 
Purim is really a primitive, perhaps even a Canaanitish feast, 
to which a sacred meaning was given ; much as the Roman 
Saturnalia baptised unto Christ became our Christmas. It 
is to be noted that the Samaritan Feast of Purim coincides 
very nearly with the Jewish Rosh-hash-Shana PAitanoth, 


"the New Year of the Trees," both in date and general 
character ; both occur in " Shebat," and both are festivals 
of joy. 

Besides these public services, in which the whole people 
take part, there are rites that are connected more with the 
individual and with family life. Of these the most important 
among the Samaritans, as with the Jews, is circumcision . 
On the birth of a son a messenger is sent to announce the 
fact to the father, if he is not at hand. xAlthough the 
Samaritan nation is perishing for lack of mothers, it is at 
the birth of a son that there is rejoicing. Thereafter, on 
the eighth day, comes the initiatory rite of circumcision. 
With the Samaritans it is observed with greater simplicity, 
and at the same time with greater strictness than among 
the Jews. Among these latter, as may be seen in the 
Jewish Encyclopedia, it is a rite of great complexity. Some 
of the features have been added recently for hygienic reasons, 
as the placing of all the instruments in boiling water, and 
the use of sterilised lint in dressing the wound. The main 
ritual differences are (i) The presence among the Jews of 
Sandakim, " sponsors," one of whom holds the child while 
it is being circumcised ; with the Samaritans there are no 
Sandakim ; with them the mother holds the child. Cere- 
monially both mother and child are unclean, consequently 
so would any one be who held the child. (2) The cruel 
addition of the " rent," regularly practised by the orthodox 
Jews, is omitted by the Samaritans as by the Karaite Jews. 
(3) The Samaritans, in this also in agreement with the 
Karaites, perform the rite on the eighth da)' even though 
that day should be a Sabbath. Among the orthodox Jews 
the rite may be postponed, by Sabbaths and feasts even, to 
the twelfth day. (4) With the Jews it is a special official, 
a mohel who operates ; he is generally a Rabbi. With the 
Samaritans it is the priest who circumcises. (5) With the 
Jews it is generally performed in the synagogue, with the 
Samaritans now it is performed in the family ; anciently 
as the story of Germanus shows, it was performed in the 
synagogue. At this ceremony, as with the Jews, the child 
receives its name ; also as with the Jews, the Samaritan 
child gets two names, one a sacred name, usually Biblical, 


the other a Gentile name, necessarily Arabic, with a surname 
by which he is known to the public. 

The marriage ceremony is like all Samaritan ceremonies 
simpler than the Jewish ; there is no canopy, no breaking 
ojjbh g glass. When the day arrives whicE has been appointed 
for the wedHingjj^siially a Thursd ay, the luckiest day in the 
week in the estimation of the Samaritan s, the priest sends 
two messengers to bring the bride to the house of the bride- 
groom, where the ceremony is performed by the priest, 
the two messengers being official witnesses. The service 
consists in reading appropriate portions of the Law in 
Hebrew ; in the same language liturgic prayers are recited, 
and hymns suited to the occasion are chanted. With the 
Samaritans there is not as with the Jews a ceremony of 
betrothal ; however, a few days before the marriage the 
priest sends the bride from the bridegroom her betrothal 
ring. As among all Orientals marriage is a matter of 
business arrangement, not affection, the essential part of the 
marriage is the reading of the contract and the accepting of 
its terms by the two parties. The choice is restricted as 
they may not marry any but one of their own creed. 
Although there is nothing in their creed to forbid it, 
polygamy is practically unknown among the Samaritans ; 
probably the fact that women are in the minority may to 
some extent account for this. Divorce is also rare for 
possibly the same reason. The marriage of an uncle with 
his niece, common among the Jews, is forbidden to the 
Samaritans. The Levirate Law, which is still among the 
Jews regarded as theoretically binding, though neglected 
in practice, is held and practised among the Samaritans ; 
but with a distinct and important variation. The Samaritans 
maintain that were a man to marry the widow of his uterine 
brother the command in Lev. xviii. 16; xx. 21, would be 
transgressed. Instead of a man having to marry his 
widowed sister-in-law, the most intimate and trusted friend 
of the deceased is expected to make the widow his wife. 
This he is required to do unless he has already two 
wives ; a position of things which practically can never 
occur. It ought to be noted that here, as in so many 
other points, the Samaritans are in agreement with the 


Karaite Jews. The Jews have still in a restricted way the 
Halitza ceremony, referred to in Ruth iv. 7, by which the 
brother-in-law is relieved of his obligations ; this, however, 
the Samaritans have not. It is clear from Matt. xxii. 24-28, 
and the parallel passages, Mark xii. 18 ff., Luke xx. 27 ff., 
that the Jews of our Lord's day interpreted the Levirate 
Law in the same way in which it was understood in the days 
of Ruth, and as it is by the Jews of the present day. The 
Samaritan interpretation of " brother " must be regarded as 
a secondary formation due to a desire to harmonise the 
passages in Leviticus with Deut. xxv. 5-10. The custom 
of Levirate marriage appears to be primitive (Gen. xxxviii. 
8- 1 1 ). As is the case generally in the East, and indeed 
among the Jews wherever they may be, marriage takes place 
at an early age, the husbands being from fourteen to sixteen 
years old, and the brides from ten to twelve. To conclude 
concerning marriage ; there is a marriage feast at which 
music is performed, usually by Moslem musicians. The bride- 
groom is expected to be particular to attend the synagogue 
on the following Sabbath, when a special prayer is recited on 
his behalf. 

It is sometimes said that the Samaritans do not bury 
their dead themselves, but employ Moslems or Christians to 
perform the rites of sepulture. This opinion appears to have 
been a deduction from the fact that the Samaritan remnant 
claim that they are all priests. Historically the priestly 
family, the Aaronic family, died out more than a couple of 
centuries ago; hence even their High Priest is strictly speaking 
only a Levite. In reality only the High Priests, first and 
second, are debarred from touching a dead body ; at the same 
time it is true chat the Samaritans generally employ Christian 
or Moslem undertakers. On the occasion of serious illness 
selected passages from the Law are read, round the bed, not 
by the priest lest he should be rendered unclean by the 
patient dying, but by some one appointed for the purpose. 
When the Samaritan is in articulo mortis he is expected to 
gather up the last remnants of his strength to repeat the creed 
of the Israelite: Elwem Eloenu Elwem aed t " JHWH is our 
God, JHWH is One." When it is seen that recovery is not to 
be hoped for, bystanders begin to recite the Law and continue 


until death comes. When this has supervened the body is 
carefully washed in clean water, as with the Jews. After this 
purification is completed the recitation of the Law is resumed, 
and continued to Num. xxxi. Along with these readings 
certain prayers are also recited. The body is then wrapped 
in a shroud and placed in a coffin. It is to be observed that 
the Samaritans are the only natives of Palestine who enclose 
their dead in coffins. They do so, they say, because the body 
of their father Joseph was put in a coffin in Egypt (Gen. 1. 
26). Dr Mills says: "They do not pray on behalf of ^the 
dead . . . believing that at death the individual's fate is 
forever settled " {Modern Samaritans, p. 205). This, however, 
is scarcely accurate, at least for the Samaritans of a somewhat 
earlier date. Heidenheim {Deutsche Vierteljahrschrift, i. p. 
420) has preserved a prayer distinctly for the soul of one 
departed. Either the extant Samaritans have abandoned 
the opinions of their fathers, or the prayer represents merely 
a sectional view. Confirmatory of Dr Mills' statement is the 
fact which he mentions that the Karaite Jews, who agree 
with the Samaritans on so many points, like them omit the 
Jewish qaddish which, though its contents do not bear this 
out, is supposed to benefit the dead. It may be that, knowing 
Dr Mills' Protestantism and consequent disbelief in the 
validity of such prayers, his informant out of Oriental 
politeness professed to agree with him. One thing is certain 
there is no formal ritual of mourning, they do not sit so many 
days on the earth as do the Jews ; nor is it their custom, like 
the Mohammedans, to revisit the graves of their friends and 
inform them of the events of the past year. The present 
Samaritan cemetery is situated to the west of the city. 
Their ancient burying-place, Dr Mills was informed, was not 
far from the eastern end of the valley. 

Besides those ceremonies connected with the individual 
which occur only once in a person's earthly existence, there 
are daily rites^of religion. The Samaritans have not the 
Jewish ceremonial washing, which has more to do with ritual 
than with cleanliness ; their first religious act is the repetition 
in Hebrew of a long morning prayer, a similar prayer is offered 
at night. Besides these, there are ceremonial purifications 
such as those in Lev. x. and xv., e.g., touching a dead body, 


or coming in contact with the ceremonially unclean, or with 
the carcases of unclean animals ; there are also those cases 
connected with sex. The leading distinctive characteristic 
of the Samaritan ceremonies, when compared with those 
of the Jews which correspond with them, is their greater 
simplicity ; therefore it may be presumed that they represent 
a condition of things much more primitive than is found even 
in the Mishna. It is a question that presses ; why did the 
Samaritans, when they had taken the Priestly Code with all 
its additions from the Jews, not continue to follow them in 
their further developments ? If it should be said, that the 
burning of the temple on Mount Gerizim by John Hyrcanus 
made a breach that was ineffaceable, then why did not the 
Samaritans extend to the memory of Hyrcanus a hatred 
similar to that which the Jews have for Titus? Samaritan 
tradition on the contrary declares that John became a convert 
to the Samaritan faith ; this probably is an echo of his 
conversion to Sadduceanism. Indeed Abu'l Fath fails even 
to chronicle the fact that John Hyrcanus did burn the temple 
on Gerizim. 

The following summary of the differences between Jews 
and Samaritans in Passover ritual, was communicated to 
the writer by Professor Dalman :— 

(i) In both the lambs are a year old, but the Jews count 
from the Nisan of the previous year, which makes the lambs 
quite a year old ; the Samaritans reckon from Tishri, the 
lambs being thus just six months old. 

(2) Among the Samaritans, women and children partake 
of the lamb ; Jews admit that it was originally so with them, 
now it is a permitted privilege to them not an enjoined 

(3) The Samaritans reckon " betwixt the evenings " from 
the sky becoming yellow before sunset, till the red has quite 
disappeared after sundown ; with the Jews it meant afternoon 
and before nightfall. 

(4) With the Samaritans the slaying of the lambs takes 
place beside the pit-oven in which they are to be roasted ; 
among the Jews the lamb was slain in the temple and 



removed for roasting. It is possible that this is an accidental 
difference, due to the circumstances of the Samaritans. 

(5) The Samaritans allow the blood to flow, but dip 
hyssop in it for sprinkling ; the Jews did not sprinkle after 
the first celebration in Egypt. The Jews do not slay the 
lamb now. 

the lamb, 
the skin. 

the Samaritans 

(6) While the Jews flayed 
pluck off the wool and leave on 

(7) To disembowel the lamb it is fastened to an upright 
post supported by two men. The Jews fastened it to a 
cross-beam supported by posts. 

(8) The burning of what remains was by the Jews left 
over to the following day ; the Samaritans do it that night. 



UNLIKE every form of heathenism or Nature religion, 
Judaism, like its two daughter faiths, Christianity and 
Islam, claims to be essentially historic. That God had 
called Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees, and led him into 
the land of Canaan ; further, that when he had entered into 
the land, God had revealed Himself to him, and promised 
it as an inheritance to his seed ; these were regarded as 
definite historic events, and upon these primarily the whole 
religion of Israel rested. The next stage in the evolution of 
the religion of Israel was connected indissolubly with another 
event or series of events. Israel having gone down into 
Egypt, and having been oppressed there, had been led out 
of the " House of Bondage " with signs and wonders by 
Moses : that God had appeared to them in cloud and fire 
on Mount Sinai, and had there given Israel a Law: that 
God had led them through the wilderness, and brought the 
people to the east bank of Jordan, in sight of the land 
promised to their fathers, these were facts on the historic 
reality of which the religion and the national existence of 
Israel rested. The enactments of the Torah, moral or ritual, 
had their validity and sanction from their historic setting. 
But the history of the Torah terminates with the encamp- 
ment of Israel in the plains of Moab over against Palestine, 
the death of Moses, and the appointment of his successor, 

If the claim of Israel to be the people chosen of God — 

the people in whom all the nations of the earth were to be 

blessed — was true, their history could not end at this point. 

The initial promise given to Abraham that his seed should 



inherit Canaan, a promise that had been given again to his 
descendants in Egypt, had not been fulfilled. All the wonders 
wrought in Egypt and at the Red Sea, all the marvels of 
the journey through the wilderness would be meaningless 
displays of power unless there were something more. The 
crossing of the Jordan, and the conquest of the Land of 
Promise under the leadership of Joshua, is a necessary 
sequel to the encampment in the plains of Moab. But even 
this cannot be the end. If Israel is the peculiar Treasure of 
JHWH, the people cannot be suffered to be lost in the 
chaos of nations dwelling in Canaan. If the function of 
Israel was to preserve for the world faith in the One 
Supreme God, who had revealed Himself to Abraham — and 
this was the belief of the Samaritans as well as of the Jews — 
then even when they had gained their inheritance and been 
planted in Canaan they would still need to be preserved that 
they should not be seduced by the practices of the heathen 
around them, or overwhelmed by their military prowess, and 
so their testimony be lost. From the analogy of the previous 
Divine dealings with Israel, the subsequent history would 
be also sacred, as the history of the intercourse of JHWH 
with His people and the discipline through which He passed 
them to fit them for the function which He had assigned 

The agents whom God used to confirm Israel in their 
covenant relationship were the prophets. On the one 
hand their exhortations to faithfulness to the God who 
had brought them up out of Egypt, and their denunciations 
of any failure to maintain purity of worship and morals, 
tended to keep them in the right way ; but also on the other 
hand by recording the history they showed how faithfully 
JHWH had fulfilled His side of the Covenant, and therefore 
how great was His claim on the faithfulness of Israel. The 
advent of the Prophet as a functionary in the Divine treat- 
ment of Israel was foretold in Deut. xviii. 15: "The Lord 
thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst 
of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me ; unto him ye shall 
hearken." While this prophecy found its absolute and 
complete fulfilment in the Mission of our Lord, the whole 
prophetic order was in a lesser degree also its fulfilment. 


The order was itself a prophecy which found its fulfilment 
in Christ. As may be learned from Josephus {contra 
Apioneni), the belief of Israel in the truthfulness of their 
history was grounded on the fact that the writings in which 
its events were recorded, were the work of prophets. As 
might be expected from their authorship, these writings 
regard the history of Israel from the Divine standpoint ; 
it was a record of JHWH's providential dealings by which 
He always preserved in Israel a seed to serve Him. These 
prophetic records begin with the book of Joshua, and are 
continued in Judges, Samuel, and Kings. As has already 
been seen, none of these books occur in the Canon of the 
Samaritans. A probable reason for this has been indicated 
in a previous chapter. 

While the Samaritans maintain that the Pentateuch 
alone is sacred and canonical, they seem conscious to some 
extent of the incompleteness of their Canon, if they would 
successfully maintain the claim which they make to be the 
true Israel. The history of the people chosen of God could 
not end on the east of Jordan, in sight of " the land flowing 
with milk and honey " which had been promised to them 
before they left Egypt, but not put in their possession. To 
complete the sacred record, not only must the promise be 
related, but also it must be told how that promise was 
fulfilled. Hence it would seem to be needful to maintain 
that at one time the Samaritans must have had some 
authoritative account of the conquest of the land. The 
high esteem in which the Samaritans hold Joshua, placing 
him just behind Moses and calling him King, confirms this 
probability. In the hymns in which most of the theology 
of Samaria has been preserved to us, we have references to 
events which took place in the conquest. The fact that 
when Esarhaddon sent priests to teach the colonists " the 
manner of the God of the land " they were not accompanied 
by prophets, as has been said above, may have had something 
to do with the want of prophetic literature among the 
descendants of the Northern tribes. Further there must be 
borne in mind the wholesale destruction of Samaritan 
manuscripts from the days of Hyrcanus downward, not 
to speak of the earlier havoc wrought by the Assyrian 



conquerors. The repeated inquisitions for manuscripts 
*J\ ordered by the Christian emperors of Byzantium, followed 
by their destruction, are especially to be deplored. 

At the same time there have come to us several books 
which contain the traditional beliefs of the Samaritans as to 
the course of the Divine dealings with them. They are all 
late, none of them earlier than the tenth century of our era, 
yet they may be regarded as containing the genuine tradi- 
tions of the Samaritans as to their sacred history. As might 
be anticipated from their being the product of Orientals, the 
records are twisted and modified to enforce a moral lesson, 
or flatter national vanity. Still when allowance has been made 
for this, their general agreement may permit the inquirer to 
assume that in these writings we have the ideas entertained 
by the Samaritans of the tenth Christian century, of the 
course of the Divine discipline of Israel. 

The earliest of these is a meagre chronicle discovered by 
Neubauer while on a visit to Palestine. It is quoted as 
authoritative by Abu'l Fath who refers to it as Tolideh. It 
begins with a mode of calculating the feasts, and then proceeds 
to give the succession of the Samaritan High Priests, starting 
the genealogy with Adam. It is in Hebrew and in Samaritan 
characters. As the list of High Priests terminates with the 
tenth century, that century may be assigned as that of its 
composition. It is accompanied by an Arabic version. At 
various points notes are added as to contemporary events ; 
the Babylonian captivity is said to have occurred during the 
pontificate of Aqabiyah ; the arrival of Alexander of Macedon 
happened in that of Hizqiah. More interesting to us as 
Christians is the statement that " in the days of Jehonathan 
was put to death Jesu, son of Mariam son of Joseph the 
carpenter, in Jerusalem in the days of Tiberius, King of 
Rome, by the hand of Palita the governor." Although 
Eleazar son of Amram (1149) claims to be the author, yet 
from the habit the Samaritan scribes have of completing such 
genealogies and bringing them up to date, the earlier portion 
of Tolideh may go back to a time before the "rule of the Sons 
of Ishmael " ; so the Samaritans designate the Mohammedan 

More important because much fuller though later is what 


is known as the Samaritan book of Joshua. It was published 
by Juynboll in Leyden in 1848 from a codex which is in the 
Library of Leyden University. It had belonged to Joseph 
Scaliger, having been sent to him from Samaria. The 
language is Arabic but the script is Samaritan. It is 
divided into fifty chapters ; the first twenty-five of these 
agree fairly well with the course of the history given in the 
canonical book of Joshua ; it begins the record of events from 
the story of Balaam. Although it cannot justly be called a 
mere midrash, as Dr Montgomery regards it, there are 
midrashic additions and details. The twelve chapters 
which follow relate the history of Shobach, the son of 
Haman, King of Persia, which is certainly a typical midrash. 
With chapter xxxviii. begins a new division of the book. It 
opens with a long .account of the happy condition of Israel in 
the period of Ridwani (of Divine Favour). There follows a 
compendious account of the rulers from Joshua. Only two 
of the nine Judges, which are all that the author recognises, 
'Abil (Othniel) and Shimsham (Samson) are named. With 
the latter the " age of" Ridwani (Favour) ends. Eli built a 
temple at Shiloh and left Mount Gerizim ; in anger at the 
action of the people JHWH removed His Tabernacle and hid 
it in a cave. What follows has the appearance of discon- 
nected scraps ; there is an account of Eli and Samuel and of 
the death of the former on learning of the captivity of the 
ark ; then an account of Buchtinosor (Nebuchadnezzar) who 
is called King of Persia, follows ; without any reference to 
intervening monarchs Alexander the Great is next intro- 
duced ; another hand continues the narrative with an account 
of Adrinus (Hadrian) and his destruction of Jerusalem. The 
whole ends with the story of Germanus and Baba Rabba. 
Dr Juynboll thinks it has been written in Egypt ; he would 
date it at the middle of the fourteenth century. 

Another chronicle, by far the most valuable, is that of 
Abu'l Fath. It is an account of the history of the world from i- 
Adam downwards and till the establishment of the rule of 
" the Sons of Ishmael " beyond el-Hegira to the year A.D. 756. 
An account of his authorities is inserted in his narrative ; 
some of these are not open to us now, but in addition to those 
he mentions he has had access to the canonical books ; but he 


seems to have got this access directly or indirectly through a 
Greek medium, as may be seen from the form certain proper 
names assume. An example of this is Bukhtinosor, the 
Samaritan equivalent for Nebuchadnezzar, which has clearly 
been derived from the Greek N afiovxaSovoo-opos ; if the unac- 
cented first syllable is dropped, and the d sound sharpened into 
/ then the Samaritan form results ; this could not so naturally 
be derived from either of the Hebrew forms of the name. A 
similar instance is Elias for the Hebrew Eliyahu. The 
Annals of Abu'l Fath has been edited by Vilmar in Arabic 
from four codices. There are additions to these which carry 
the narrative considerably further down than does the original 
author. It is written in the medium Arabic which has been 
adopted by the American translators of the Bible into 
Arabic. A feature of Abu'l Fath is that he lays great stress 
on chronology, always giving the number of years from one 
critical point to another. He emphasizes the division of 
historic time into the two great periods of Ridwani (Favour) 
and Phanuta (Declension). The latter he divides into three : 
(i) from Eli to Alexander the Great ; (2) from Alexander the 
Great to Mohammed; (3) from Mohammed onwards. But his 
chronological statements do not always agree with each other, 
and are often very much at variance with facts. Still as he 
claims to have got his facts from the High Priest, the Annals 
may be regarded as authoritative as to the Samaritan view 
of sacred history. 

A more extensive chronicle was found by Adler and 
published by him in the Revue des Etudes Juives, with 
notes and a translation into French. The latter portion of 
it, whatever may be said for the earlier and what may be 
presumed to contain the more primitive elements, is very 
recent, terminating in the reign of Abdul Hamid and the 
year of our era 1900. It follows closely in the beginning 
the Tolideh published by Neubauer, but amplifies it from all 
manner of sources. Very little is given of the conquest of 
the land by Joshua ; it is merely said that it happened 
under the pontificate of Eleazar. As the first portion of the 
history has been derived from the Pentateuch, the narrative 
of events which follow the death of Joshua is drawn from the 
canonical books of Judges and Kings. Although there is 


nothing of the venomous hatred of Samuel and David which 
is to be seen in the Samaritan Joshua and Abu'l Fath, the 
writer appears to have made little use of the books of 
Samuel. Ezra, Nehemiah, and even Esther are mentioned. 
Of necessity the course of events is altered to suit Samaritan 
predilections. Ezra gets the Torah by stealing it from the 
Samaritans, and alters it in passages. Unlike all the other 
Samaritan historians this annalist relates the conquest of 
Samaria by Shalmaneser. He does not, however, omit the 
alleged deportation of "the children of Joseph" as well as 
those of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar ; it is to be observed that 
he gives the name of the Babylonian king in the form it 
assumes in Hebrew. The kings of Rome are mentioned in 
connection with the pontificates with which the reign of each 
was supposed to be contemporary. The writer has drawn from 
Hebrew sources written in the square character ; thus Paraq 
stands for Baraq in the list of the Judges; ti pi and 2 beth 
could only be confused in the square script. It is written in 
Hebrew with a considerable infusion of words borrowed from 
Arabic, Samaritan, and Aramaic. For the mediaeval period 
it depends largely on Abu'l Fath, and therefore its value as 
giving a view of what the Samaritans believed in regard 
to the course of sacred history is really secondary. 

More recently discovered than any of the above is the book 
which Dr Gaster published a few years ago under the belief 
that it stood in the same relation to the canonical book of 
Joshua that the Samaritan recension of the Pentateuch 
stands to the Massoretic. A very little examination shows 
that it is by no means ancient : DTiy k olam is used in the sense 

of world (Gaster, Josh. i. i), a meaning which that word 
has in Rabbinic, Aramaic, and Arabic, but never has in 
Scriptural Hebrew l : when Joshua is said to return " to his 
place " the word used is 133 cano which really means, when 

used of a person, "his office," as of Pharaoh's cup-bearer 
(Gen. xl. 13); the correct word would have been top® meqomo 

(Gen. xxxi. 55). It is perfectly true that Dr Gaster's book 

1 Although it has the authority of both English versions, the 
rendering of 'olam as "world," in Eccl. iii. n, is incorrect. The LXX. 
rendering is cudva. "The age " would be a more correct translation. 


of Joshua is not simply the Arabic of Juynboll's Samaritan 
book of Joshua translated into Hebrew : it is the canonical 
book copied by a Samaritan with modifications to give it the 
appearance of being an original recension. The scribe that 
copied must have done so from an exemplar in square 
character for he writes bashti instead of pashti\ as already 
remarked only in the square script is p liable to be confused 
with b. The introduction of the absurd episode of Shobach 
is itself enough to prove its recency. It appears to be a 
forgery written by some fairly well-educated Samaritan to be 
palmed off on the European public as the genuine Samaritan 
recension of the book of Joshua. Therefore for the purpose 
of the present inquiry it is practically valueless. 

Such are the authorities open to the student who would 
investigate the views of the Samaritans on the historic 
evolution of the Divine plan in regard to Israel. As might 
naturally be expected from the high respect accorded to 
Joshua, the history of the conquest of Canaan is that on 
which most effort is expended. In regard to this the 
Samaritan Joshua and the Annals of Abu'l Fath must be 
our most reliable sources. The latter is closer to the record 
as it is found in the canonical book of Joshua, while the 
Samaritan Joshua introduces speeches edifying and other- 
wise, and omits disagreeable facts ; the Annals are not guilty 
in either matter to the like extent. There is no doubt from 
the evidence extant that the Samaritans at the time the 
Annals were written, though they did not regard the Jewish 
Joshua as authoritative, yet looked upon its view of the 
events of the conquest as essentially correct. The Jordan 
was crossed on dry land by the dividing of the waters, and 
the people celebrated the Passover in Gilgal, which, however, 
Abu'l Fath calls Galilee. The visit of the spies to Jericho, 
its siege and capture are all related as in Scripture. The 
sin of Achan and the failure before Ai, which in the Annals 
is called Huti, is duly recorded. It may be observed that 
to make the guilt of Achan more heinous, in the Samaritan 
Joshua it is asserted that the gold which Achan stole was 
taken from the temple of the principal god of the city of 
Jericho, and the weight of it was enormous ; there is nothing 
of this in the Annals. The trick by which the Gibeonites 


became the allies of Israel is related, and also the battle of 
Beth-horon in accordance with the canonical narrative. The 
standing still of the sun at the command of Joshua is given 
in prose, not as in the canonical Joshua in verse. The 
incident of the cave of Makkedah is not omitted, nor the 
humiliation of the five kings whose necks were trod upon 
by the leaders of the tribes of Israel, with the hanging 
subsequent. The assigning of the territories to the different 
tribes is related in a summary, which does not designate 
as does the canonical Joshua the various cities to be found 
within the boundaries of each. The Samaritan account has 
the appearance of being handed on by hearsay through 
some person or persons who had read the Jewish book of 
Joshua. The Samaritan book of Joshua indulges in marvels 
in regard to the battle of the waters of Merom, or as the 
author designates it, Mairun ; the sun delays its setting and fire 
from Heaven falls on the assembled Canaanites and discomfits 
them. A feature is added to the account of the battle which 
would indicate some acquaintance on the part of the writer 
with the prophecy of Ezekiel. " A mighty river descended 
from the Blessed Mountain (Mount Gerizim) and watered 
all the plain"; in its waters "King" Joshua and all the 
princes of Israel purified themselves after the battle. What 
became of this river, how and when it disappeared, " Joshua " 
gives no hint. One more element is given to the picture 
of these early times, which throws a light on the beliefs of 
the Northern Israelites at least of later times. On the top 
of the Blessed Mountain was a temple erected, while at the 
same time the Tabernacle was also preserved there. 

At this point there is introduced both in "Joshua" and 
the Annals, as also more recently in Gaster's Joshua, the 
story of Shobach the son of Hamam, King of Persia. 
Hamam had been slain by Joshua among the other kings. 
Shobach determined to avenge his father and sent letters to 
all the kings of the earth. Among these kings was a giant 
the son of Japhet. All these kings — in number thirty-six — 
send a letter to Joshua full of threatenings, and saying, as 
guaranteeing their ability to make their threats good, that 
they have 60,000 cavalry, and infantry without number. 
Joshua assembles all the princes of the people and reads to 


them the answer which he is about to send to this challenge. 
It contains threats like those in the letter to which it is 
an answer, and to emphasize these he proceeds to give a 
narrative of all that God hath done for Israel in the past. 
When they receive the answer of Joshua the assembled 
kings are stupefied, so stupefied that speech fails them ; they 
are utterly overwhelmed at the prospect of the destruction 
awaiting them. But the mother of Shobach sends a message 
to them to be of good courage. She is a sorceress, and 
calling other magicians to her aid, she prepares to receive 
Joshua and his army. According to the Samaritan " Joshua," 
this army amounts to 300,000 men, but Gaster's Joshua puts 
it at the more moderate figure of 2000. When Joshua 
arrives at Ajalon, he and his army are surrounded and shut 
in by the magical arts of Shobach's mother, with seven walls 
of iron, and Joshua himself is struck with stupor. Eleazar 
the priest who had accompanied the Host of Israel sends a 
letter by a dove to Nabih, Joshua's cousin, who abode on 
the other side of Jordan, to inform him of the straits in which 
they are. When he learns the plight into which the Host 
of Israel have fallen Nabih hastens to their relief; the fire 
of God descends, and Nabih slays Shobach with a wondrous 
arrow, which, shot up into the air, comes down with such 
force that it pierces right through the whole body of Shobach 
and sinks twelve cubits into the earth. 

Juynboll says that this story is also found in the book 
"Juchasin," written in Spain in the year 1502 by Rabbi 
Abraham ben Samuel Zacut. A later Rabbi, R. Samuel 
Sholam, adds that he had seen this story in the Annals of 
the Cuthseans. As it is found in Abu'l Fath it might be 
thought that it was thence derived, but Juynboll points out 
that Shobach in "Juchasin " is made the son not of the King 
of Persia but of the King of Armenia. The only Shobach 
mentioned in Scripture is the Captain of the Host of Hadarezer, 
King of Syria, mentioned in 2 Samuel (x. 16-18) ; he is slain 
in battle by David. Whence the story — it traverses all the 
bounds of possibility too violently to be regarded as a 
legend — it is impossible to say ; it has all the marks of wild 
exaggeration which characterise the products of Arabian 
imagination. As it appears among the Moslems also, it 


may be dated some time after the Mohammedan conquest of 

The story of Shobach does not seem to be part of the 
original Samaritan book of "Joshua." It has been added 
by a later hand as the story of Susanna and the Elders, and 
that of Bel and the Dragon were to the canonical " Daniel." 
In style it is quite unlike the earlier portion of the book. 
There is a want of agreement between the narrative and 
the actions of Joshua. Although nothing is said of any 
campaign of Joshua beyond the limits of Canaan, yet the 
story assumes that he has killed Hamam, King of Persia. 
Notwithstanding that Persia was so far removed from Canaan. 
Shobach addresses the remnant of the " Canaanites " as if 
he were one with them. The introduction into the story 
of the Gibborim (Giants) who merely appear by letter might 
almost indicate that in this there are other elements to 
be traced, viz., that Joshua had a conflict with the Anakim 
related in some ancient book of legends in terms as wonder- 
ful as the story of Shobach. 

If the book of Joshua had been known among the 
Northern tribes before the deportation in which all the 
prophets and scribes, as well as all the wealthier inhabitants 
of the land and so all the reading public had been removed, 
the book would have to be handed down by tradition. It 
became the traditional memory of what had once been 
written. Such a history would explain many of the phenomena 
presented by the book before us, its additions of speeches 
intended to be edifying or instructive, and episodes which 
seem to glorify the hero. A similar phenomenon is seen 
if the earlier form of a Scotch ballad is compared with a 
later ; as for instance the later version, "The Three Ravens," 
compared with the grim original ballad, " The Twa Corbies." 
A similar process may be seen at work in the story-tellers 
of Arab villages to-day. It is certainly the case that similar 
results would have followed had some Samaritan read the 
Jewish book and related what he had read in a loose para- 
phrastic manner ; but the enmity between the nations 
renders that unlikely. 

If, as is maintained, the book of Joshua is the result of 
the same literary activity as produced the Torah, hence that 


there are the same component parts arranged in similar 
strata of J, E, D, and P, so that there is a Hexateuch rather 
than a Pentateuch ; then why did Manasseh only bring five 
of the six authoritative books 7 1 If, however, the Samaritans 
did not get the Law from Jerusalem, nor receive it from the 
hands of a runaway priest, banished for his transgression of 
that Law which he brought with him, but had long before 
received it through the priests sent by Esarhaddon, who 
did not bring, probably were not allowed to bring, the 
prophetic books with their tales of the valour of Barak, of 
Gideon, of Samson, and of the glories of David and Solomon ; 
this would explain the vague, confused knowledge of the 
history of post-Mosaic times, possessed by the Israelites of 
the North. As Joshua was the great hero of Ephraim, the 
leading tribe of the North, it was but natural that the 
memory of his deeds, and what was written in the book 
which treated of him, would be more permanent than any 
other portion of the prophetic tradition. 

After finishing the episode of Shobach, the compiler of 
the Samaritan "Joshua" introduces a description of the 
prosperity and holiness of the people under the rule of 
Joshua, which may be compared to the Talmudic account 
of the spiritual privileges enjoyed by the Jews under the 
pontificate of Shimeon hatz-Tzaddiq. " Then the Israelites 
observed the Sabbath, and the new moons, and the feasts ; 
celebrating the Sabbatic year, intermitting all cultivation of 
the earth for one complete year in seven, having neither 
sowing nor reaping ; yet everyone had enough. Further, 
the Israelites paid the tithe to the Levites of all their 
animals, fruits, and crops. Of these tithes the Levites in 
turn paid a tithe to the High Priest." All the requirements 
of the Law are compendiously gone over, with the assertion 
that then the Israelites fulfilled them. One case of obedience 
may be dwelt on, as it exhibits their strict interpretation of 
the Law of one Sanctuary. " Nor was there any sacrifice of 
goats, sheep, or oxen, save on the altar placed in the 
Blessed Mountain." These were the customs of Israel in 

1 If the critical hypothesis is correct that at first the Hexateuch was 
one book and only later was divided off, his conduct is even more 


the days of Ridwani, when JHWH was favourable to His 

After his death, Joshua was buried, says the book of 
the Samaritan "Joshua," in Kefr Ghwaira ; according to 
Abu'l Fath it was in " Temne which is Ghwaira." There 
were nine kings who, according to the Samaritans, followed 
Joshua. The first of these, according to "Joshua," was 'Abil 
the son of the brother of Caleb. The derivation of this from 
Othniel is due to a series of scribal blunders by a copyist 
of the Arabic text. In Abu'l Fath Othniel becomes 
Xathanel, a name that very frequently recurs in the lists 
of Samaritan High Priests. The first element in the name 
Othniel had early ceased to be used in Hebrew, consequently 
the name had become meaningless : hence the change to 
the similarly ending Xathanel, a name at once common and 
intelligible; a change made all the more easily that the 
Samaritans had ceased to distinguish the gutturals. Accord- 
ing to " Joshua " the next " King " is Tarfia. From the fact 
that he makes war against the Ammonites, he may be 
identified with Jephtha. The transmutation here, as in the 
case of 'Abil and Othniel, is to be explained by the trans- 
position of dots above and below in the initial and 
penultimate letters in the Arabic. Nothing is said of the 
pathetic story of his daughter, nor of his quarrel with the 
Ephraimites. No other name of the nine "Kings" who 
succeeded Joshua is given except the last, Shimsham 
(Samson). The united reigns of these nine amount to 215 
years ; this with the 45 years of Joshua's reign makes the 
total of the rule of Judges to be 2C0 years. A much more 
detailed account of the succession of the Judges is to be 
found in Adler's Chronicle. According to it the successors 
of Joshua are in order : Xathanel, Ehud, Pharaq (Paraq). 
Gideon and his defeat of the Midianites is recorded, but 
there is no mention of Abimelcch, or of his massacre 
of his brothers. The Judges which follow him are 
Tola, Jair, Jephtha : the last named is declared to have 
belonged to the tribe of Judah. According to the 
Chronicle, each successive "King" was appointed by the 
reigning High Priest. As may be seen, the Chronicle of 
Dr Adler is much closer to the canonical book of Judges 


than are either the Samaritan "Joshua" or the Annals of 
Abu'l Fath. 

When Shimsham was Judge, Eli, son of Japhani of the 
seed of Ithamar usurped the High Priesthood from Shishir 
the son of Uzzi, who at his father's death was a child ; he, as 
the descendant of Eleazar, in whose line the High Priesthood 
ought, by legitimate right, to have run, had the right to 
the dignity. Having left the temple on Mount Gerizim, 
Eli erected a temple in Shiloh, where he offered sacrifices 
on the altar he had set up. As a punishment to Israel for 
consenting to this, JHWH hid the Tabernacle, which Moses 
had made in the wilderness, in a cave. Thus began Phanuta, 
the period of Declension and disfavour. The history of Eli 
is known to the writer of "Joshua" and Abu'l Fath. In 
addition to the usurpation of which he is accused, he is 
declared to be a magician. The immorality of which his 
sons Hophni and Phinehas are guilty is recorded. The 
enemies of Israel, the inhabitants of Jaffa and Beit Jibrin, 
encouraged by the division of the people, assembled them- 
selves and advanced against Shiloh. As the army of Eli 
gives way before the foe, the golden Ark is sent to the 
camp. Nevertheless the Israelites are defeated, and the 
sons of Eli are slain, and the Ark of God taken. On receipt 
of the news Eli falls back and dies. This is, feature by 
feature, taken from the account in the first book of Samuel. 
The history of Samuel sustains a strange transformation. 
A boy of four years old, his father brings him to Eli to 
train for service in the temple, because he is so bad ! 
Samuel is a Levite, an Aaronite indeed, yet he is descended 
from Korah who rebelled against Moses and Aaron. There 
is nothing said of his victory over the Philistines, or the 
subsequent recovery of the Ark. As Samuel was educated 
by Eli to be a powerful magician, possibly the victory of 
Ebenezer would be put down to magic. One of his evil 
deeds is that he anointed Saul to be King. When Saul is 
slain Samuel adds to his criminality by anointing David. 
Abu'l Fath gives a compendious account of David and his 
history. The strongly sacerdotal character of the Samaritan 
religion, and consequently of their records, is shown by the 
fact that it is specially singled out as an enormity that 


David exercised the Priest's office and offered sacrifice. His 
sin in the matter of Uriah the Hittite is dwelt upon, but no 
word is said of his repentance. The subsequent immorality 
of David's family is also narrated as if it increased David's 
own criminality. The glamour that surrounds the name of 
Solomon in the East protects his memory to some extent, 
notwithstanding that he had endeavoured to change the 
Qiblah of the children of Israel from Gerizim to Jerusalem. 
His action in this matter is minimised by the statement that 
he erected the Jerusalem Temple on the foundations laid by 
David his father. Adler's Chronicle enters into more detail 
in regard to Solomon and his reign. His numerous wives 
and concubines are mentioned, and how in his old age they 
led him to worship false gods. 

The story of the rebellion of the Northern tribes against 
Rehoboam under the leadership of Jeroboam, is related by 
Abu'l Fath much in the very terms of Scripture. How when 
Rehoboam came to Nablus to receive the kingdom, he was 
desired by the people to lighten the burdens which Solomon 
his father had laid on them ; how he had asked a delay of 
three days ; how in the interval the old men who had been 
the servants of his father had counselled him to yield to 
the people's request then, assuring him if he did so they 
would be his servants forever; how, notwithstanding, he 
forsook the counsel of the old men, and answered the people 
roughly is all related, even to the unsuccessful mission of 
Adoram, almost in the terms in which the events are told in 
the book of Kings. The Samaritan historian must have had 
the canonical book before him when he wrote. The account 
given of Jeroboam follows in the beginning very much the 
succession of events to be found in Kings. Abu'l Fath makes 
Jeroboam the Wazir of Solomon, and tells that, being dis- 
contented he fled into Egypt. After he was selected by the 
Israelites at Nablus as king he set up two calves. This calf 
worship is attributed to his residence in Egypt. While in 
the Scripture narrative these calves are set up not only in 
Dan but also in Bethel, in the Samaritan records Bethel is 
replaced by Sebastiyeh (Samaria). The reason of this is 
easily seen ; Bethel according to the Samaritan belief was in 
Mount Gerizim. 


Whereas before this, after the secession of Eli, there 
were three sections of the people of Israel, now there were 
four. There were, first, the Samaritans, the people of Joseph 
and Phinehas who faithfully worshipped God on Mount 
Gerizim ; next there were the schismatic Jews who followed 
Eli to Shiloh and then David to Jerusalem ; and then those 
who followed the heathen remnant in the land and worshipped 
idols. Now to these was added a fourth class, those who 
followed Jeroboam and sacrificed to the calves. 

It might be thought that something of the stirring history 
which followed in Samaria would have left some trace ; the 
conflict between Tibni and Omri, and the almost imperial 
dominion of Jeroboam II. But there is no word of these in 
" Joshua," or in the Annals of Abu'l Fath. As the history is 
related in these authorities so much from the religious side, 
it might have been at all events supposed that the deeds of 
the great prophets Elijah and Elisha would have been dwelt 
on with interest. The great mysterious figure that rules over 
the imagination of the Jews to this day is only noticed in 
a travesty of his history. " This Elias was drowned in the 
Jordan and died ; and they claim that after his death he was 
taken up into Heaven and received the keys of Heaven that it 
should not rain upon unbelievers. And they say that he went 
to Sarafend (Zarephath, N.T. Sarepta) and found a woman 
baking bread, and when she was not looking stole the bread, 
and the baby child of the woman died from hunger ; when 
the woman came out and reproached Elias with the death of 
her son he called to the child and he got up " (Abu'l Fath, 
p. 54). Abu'l Fath then proceeds to moralise on the sin of 
lying in the name of God. The Greek form which the name 
of the prophet assumes is to be noted as an evidence of the 
source through which the story had come — not directly from 
the Hebrew, but through some garbled version from possibly 
Egyptian tradition. The form of the phrase as to shutting 
up Heaven suggests the two witnesses in Revelation (xi. 6). 
There is less said about Elisha, whose name also is hellenised 
into Elusus. It seems a clear evidence that the prophets had 
no influence on the Samaritan traditions, when the story of 
Elijah was only known through such an absurd version and 
the prophet designated by a Greek name. The reason which 


we have suggested elsewhere ma)- explain this. At all events 
an independence of the Jews is manifested in this as in other 
beliefs and practices of the Samaritans. 

Although Adler's Chronicle gives a fairly accurate account 
of the successive kings of Israel and Judah who reigned after 
the schism, it has been obviously derived from the canonical 
books of Kings : the Samaritan "Joshua" and the Annals of 
Abu'l Fath, which more truly represent Samaritan belief, 
overleap three centuries without notice, and immediately after 
the account of Jeroboam take up the conquests of Buchtinosor 
(Xebuchadnezzar). In the Tolidck (Neubauer's Chronicle) 
Nebuchadnezzar is made contemporary with the Samaritan 
High Priest Aqabiah. It is to be observed that in the 
genuine Samaritan Annals there is no reference to the siege 
of Samaria by Shalmaneser, or its capture by Sargon and 
the subsequent deportation of the leading inhabitants. The 
only deportation which they recognise is that of Xebuchad- 
nezzar. It is admitted that the primary objective of 
Nebuchadnezzar was Jerusalem. The story of its capture 
is drawn in a somewhat confused fashion from the canonical 
Scriptures. Yumaqim (Jehoiakim) first submitted to the King 
of Babylon, or of Persia according to "Joshua," and after 
an interval of twelve years, according to "Joshua" — three 
according to 2 Kings xxiv. I — rebelled. Nebuchadnezzar 
came again to besiege the city, and took it : he put out 
the eyes of Yumaqim. There is here an obvious confusion of 
Jehoiakim with his brother Zedekiah. X'ebuchadnezzar is 
said to have taken Yumaqim to Beisan, not far from the 
Jordan, and there blinded him. As to the actual fate of 
Jehoiakim there is some uncertainty : cf. 2 Kings xxiv. 
1-6 with 2 Chron. xxxvi. 6, and Jer. xxii. 19 ; xxxvi. 30. 
After the capture of Jerusalem, Abu'l Fath declares that 
the conqueror proceeded to Sebastiyeh (Samaria) the seat, 
according to Samaritan authorities, of the worship of the 
Golden Calf, and destroyed it. From there he came to Xablus, 
where he published a decree that after an interval of thirty 
days all the Samaritans must prepare to go into captivity. 
Aqabiah the High Priest, when this decree was promulgated, 
determined to secure the sacred vessels of the temple from 
desecration. In the days of Eli's secession, as noted above, 


the ancient Tabernacle was hidden away from the sight of 
Israel ; but when this takes place there is no mention of 
the sacred vessels. According to "Joshua," when Aqabiah 
thought about this, a cave suddenly opened before him in 
Mount Gerizim ; into this cave Aqabiah collected everything 
in the temple, and on the door of the cave he inscribed a full 
account of all the vessels placed within it. The cave closed 
up as miraculously as it had opened, and the inscription 
which the High Priest had written vanished. Only when 
the Thaheb (the Samaritan Messiah) shall appear will these 
vessels be found. 

It is not impossible that along with the Jews Nebuchad- 
nezzar may have carried away to Babylon some of the 
Northern Israelites. The territory of these Northern tribes 
had been taken possession of by Josiah, and the inhabitants 
appear to have acquiesced in his rule. Although it is 
unlikely that Pharaoh Necho would allow his vassal Jehoiakim 
to possess the extensive dominions assumed by Josiah, yet 
not improbably there was some connection maintained 
between the Israelites of the Northern tribes and Jerusalem. 
We have no information as to what arrangements Necho 
made for the government of his Asiatic dominions during 
the short time he possessed it : as little do we know of those 
made by Nebuchadnezzar when he wrested Syria from 
Egypt. Although no word of it appears in the Jewish 
records, which are wholly taken up with Jerusalem, it is by 
no means impossible that from the territory which had 
formerly been Samaria a deportation had taken place similar 
in extent to that from Jerusalem. When, as noted earlier, 
" fourscore men came from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from 
Samaria to bring offerings and incense to the house of 
JHWH" (Jer. xli. 5), they must have been representatives 
of a very considerable number of the inhabitants of the 
territory of the Northern tribes who were like-minded, and 
whose loyalty to Babylon might therefore be doubted. 
There is no likelihood that the rebellion of Zedekiah was an 
isolated act ; he would have as allies some of the neighbour- 
ing princes, who like himself were tributary to Babylon, and 
like him had been seduced by hope of help from Egypt to 
attempt to throw off the yoke. If Samaria was not under 


the rule of Jerusalem, still the tributary sovereign who ruled 
there would not improbably join in the confederacy against 
Babylon. If so, similar treatment would be meted out to the 
Samaritans as to the Jews. Should there be found as full an 
account of the campaigns of Nebuchadnezzar as of those of 
Sennacherib and Esarhaddon, discovered in Nineveh, many 
such questions might be decisively answered. It is therefore 
by no means impossible that a modicum of genuine tradition 
has mingled with imaginative variations on confused 
memories of the contents of the Jewish records. 

When the Israelites were carried captive by Nebuchad- 
nezzar, who it ought to be noted is regarded as King of 
Persia, they took with them the Sacred Roll of the Law 
which had been written out by " Abishua, the son of Pinhas, 
the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, at the door of the 
Tabernacle." This "great roll," as Abu'l Fath calls it, 
Aqabia hid in the meadow of Niniveh, merj Ninwe. The 
Israelites stayed many years in captivity, seventy according 
to Abu'l Fath in Persia and learned " Persian letters." This 
habit of regarding the King of Babylon as King of Persia 
indicates a date at latest in the period of the Sassanide 
domination. Colonists are sent to replace the deported 
inhabitants ; these, however, complain to Surdi (Artaxerxes), 
according to the Samaritans the successor of Buchtinosor, 
of the adverse circumstances in which they are placed. The 
result is that 300,000 of the Israelites are sent back into 
their own land, the Samaritans under the leadership of 
Sanballat and the Jews under that of Zurbil (Zerubbabel). 
When they reached Palestine the question had to be deter- 
mined as to where was the Israelite Qiblah, toward which 
place ought the Israelites to pray, toward Jerusalem or 
toward Mount Gerizim ? Zurbil and the Jews maintained 
that it was the former, whereas the Samaritans with Sanballat 
at their head held that it was the latter. The sacred books 
of the Jews named no place, but those of the Samaritans 
unequivocally designated Mount Gerizim. The king ordered 
the question to be decided by ordeal ; the Torah in each 
recension was to be thrown into the fire ; that which was 
unconsumed to be regarded as the true. The Jewish Torah 
was at once completely consumed but that of the Samaritans 



leaped three times from the flames. Before it was thrown in 
the third time Sanballat, after having prayed that he might 
be pardoned, spit upon the roll, presumably to render it less 
combustible. When the roll a third time leaped from the 
fire it was found that only the place on which he had spit 
had been consumed. One cannot help thinking that this 
midrash has been invented to explain the evidences presented 
by the Nablus Roll that it had been at one time exposed to 
the fire. Where an ember has burned a hole approximately 
round is explained by the story of the spitting. 

When Surdi (Artaxerxes) was convinced of the truth of 
the Samaritan religion he ordered that sacrifices should be 
offered on his behalf on the altar upon Mount Gerizim. 
Having received these orders the Samaritans drove away 
the heathen colonists who had been sent by Nebuchadnezzar 
and purified the temple. Nothing is said of the sacred 
vessels — it may be presumed that they were brought out of 
hiding by the High Priest. The Samaritans were preparing 
to offer many sacrifices of thanksgiving, but the High Priest 
was warned by God in a dream that bloody sacrifices were 
no longer to be offered during the period of Phanuta. 
Hence, according to Abu'l Fath, from the time of the 
captivity sacrifices have ceased to be offered. It need 
scarcely be reiterated that the cessation of sacrifices on 
Mount Gerizim has been antedated by something like a 

The annalist at this point inserts a list of the kings of 
Persia but a somewhat eccentric one. To Surdi (Artaxerxes) 
succeeds Kesra (Cyrus), his somewhat remote predecessor. 
His successor is Zerdusht (Zoroaster), a notion derived from 
the Oriental opinion that only kingly authority can introduce 
a religion. He is followed by Ahashverosh (Xerxes) ; to 
him succeeds Artahast (a variation on Artaxerxes) ; and 
then comes Darius, presumably Codomannus. A note may 
be added at this point that according to Neubauer's Chronicle 
a High Priest marries the daughter of Darius. " Joshua " 
makes Alexander the Great the immediate successor of 

The first period of Phanuta which began with the 
secession of Eli ends with the arrival of Alexander the 


Great. Both "Joshua" and Abu'l Fath annex the account 
Josephus gives of the meeting between Alexander and the 
High Priest, and how Alexander declared that in a dream he 
had seen a man habited as was the High Priest while he was 
yet in Pella, and that he had encouraged him to invade 
Persia. Only instead of Jaddua, the Samaritan chronicles 
have, of course, the Samaritan High Priest Hizqiah. The 
Talmud also has the story ; but according to it, as we have 
said above, the High Priest who meets Alexander is not 
Jaddua but Shimeon Hatz-Tzaddiq, his grandson, a version 
in better agreement with chronology. A story is told of 
Alexander in "Joshua" and Abu'l Fath which has all the 
characteristics of Talmudic wit. Alexander, led away by his 
flatterers, demands that a statue be erected to him on Mount 
Gerizim, and having issued this decree departs to Egypt for 
three years. The High Priest and all the rulers of the 
people are overwhelmed by the demand that they should 
desecrate the Blessed Mountain by erecting a statue and 
they pray to God. In a dream a way is revealed by which 
they may appease the king, and yet not break the law 
against the making of images : all the boys born during the 
king's absence are named " Alexander." When he is told 
of it the king is amused at the artifice and is satisfied. 
Following a story to be found in Quintus Curtius and 
Diodorus Siculus, Alexander is said to have been poisoned 
by Antipater (Abu'l Fath, p. 89), a thing Hogarth (Philip and 
Alexander, p. 276) does not regard as at all beyond credence. 
At this point, Adler's Chronicle introduces an account of 
an attempt by Ptolemy to secure the treasures in the temple 
on Mount Gerizim which was frustrated by Daliya the High 
Priest, a story which suggests derivation from that of the 
similar attempt of Heliodorus on the Jerusalem temple 
treasures in 2 Maccabees. Abu'l Fath refers to the story 
related by Josephus of the debate in the presence of Ptolemy 
Philometer as to the rival claims of Jerusalem and Gerizim 
(Jos., Ant XIII. iii. 4), but in the Samaritan version the 
conclusion is the reverse of that given by the Jewish 
historian ; not the Samaritans, but the Jews, are put to 
confusion. Certainly with the present text of the Samaritan 
recension, the supporters of the claims of Gerizim would have 



the advantage in any such discussion of having the Mountain 
actually named as that in which God's Name was to be 
placed. It is to be observed that according to Josephus' 
account, the Samaritans who had gracefully allowed the Jew 
to state his case first were never allowed an opportunity to 
represent theirs, but were put to death out of hand. 

That Josephus was to some extent known among the 
Samaritans is rendered probable by the account Abu'l Fath 
gives of the three sects of the Jews. He says that they are 
Pharisees, Sadducees, and Hasidim (p. 102), the last name 
being put instead of the Essenes. These the annalist 
practically identifies with the Samaritans. In this con- 
nection it may be noted that Epiphanius mentions the 
Essenes as a Samaritan, as well as a Jewish sect. The 
mention of the Sadducees and Pharisees necessarily suggests 
John Hyrcanus and his war against the Samaritans. Abu'l 
Fath asserts that though Hyrcanus conquered and destroyed 
Samaria, he was unable to take Nablus or to destroy 
the temple on Mount Gerizim. According to Josephus, 
Hyrcanus did destroy the temple on Mount Gerizim 
after it had stood 200 years (Jos., Ant. XIII. ix. 1). The 
annalist appears not to have got his account from Josephus, 
as he gives the name of the king not in the Greek 
but in Semitic form, Jehukhanan. His breach with the 
Pharisees and his becoming a Sadducee on account of the 
insult offered to the memory of his mother by Eleazar the 
Pharisee, gave occasion to the belief which seems to have 
been entertained by some Samaritans, as may be seen in 
Abu'l Fath, that after Hyrcanus became old he admitted the 
truth of the claims of the Samaritans to be the genuine 
Israelites, and offered sacrifices on Mount Gerizim, through 
the Samaritan priests, as he was not himself allowed to 
approach the Holy Mountain. 1 The obvious resemblance 
in some prominent doctrines between the Sadducees and the 
Samaritans probably occasioned this mistake. 

1 This statement seems to be at variance with Abu'l Fath's earlier 
assertion that sacrifices ceased in the days of Surdi (Artaxerxes). It 
may be that the offerings presented by Hyrcanus were minhoth, 
unbloody sacrifices. But finical attention to consistency is not a con- 
spicuous attribute of Oriental historians. 


After a slight leap over intervening events the period of 
Augustus is reached. Herod is referred to as having been 
made king by Augustus. Cleopatra is introduced as favouring 
the Samaritans and advancing to their aid against the Jews ; 
she is called the daughter of Dionysius. This is an echo of 
the truth for her father assumed the title of Dionysus 
(Bacchus). Cleopatra did certainly interfere in the affairs 
of Palestine, as it had been bestowed upon her by Antony. 
Augustus, however, took Alexandria and forced Cleopatra 
to put herself to death ; all the dominions possessed by her 
in Palestine, the land of the Philistines and the Mountain of 
Galilee, being given to Herod. Notwithstanding his efforts 
to conciliate the Samaritans, the fact that stands out in their 
memory is the slaughter that he wrought among them. Of 
this there is no evidence to be found in the pages of Josephus. 
This belief in Herod's cruelty to the Samaritans is possibly 
due to the annalist drawing his materials from Christian 
Greek sources. 

The influence of these authorities is very clearly seen 
in the account which Abu'l Fath gives of our Lord. 
" Jehaqam was High Priest thirty-two years, and in his 
days was born ham-Meshiach, son of Miriam, betrothed 
to Joseph the Carpenter." The title given to our Lord 
is the Hebrew word for " Christ " with the Hebrew article 
before it ; the word for " betrothed " is a hybrid word 
composed of Hebrew and Arabic elements. The birth 
of our Lord is treated as an event of importance and dated 
as occurring in the 1300th year of Phanuta ; that is 
250 years after Alexander the Great came into Palestine. 
As Alexander's march through Palestine on his way to 
Egypt took place 332 B.C., the Samaritan date is eighty-two 
years too early. Abu'l Fath continues : " He was born 
in Bethlehem and exercised His prophetic office in 
Nazareth." " Herodes," he further tells us, " purposed to 
slay ham-Meshiach, but He escaped from his hands." Abu'l 
Fath knows the names of some of the twelve Apostles, 
and tells of the destination to which they were sent. Boutros 
(Peter) was sent to Rome ; Andrew and Matthew were 
sent to the South ; Thomas to the land of Babel ; Philphos 
(Philip) to Qerouan and Africa ; James to Elia — can this be 


Elia Capitolina (Jerusalem) ? — and Simon to the land of the 
Berbers. Finally ham-Meshiach was crucified and His twelve 
disciples with Him in elQods (Jerusalem), while Tiberius was 
king in Rome. This happened during the High Priesthood 
of Jonathan, the son of Nethanel. Our Lord's baptism 
is known ; it is to be noted that the Baptist is declared 
to be a disciple of ham-Meshiach. This confused mixture 
of accuracy and inaccuracy shows very prominently Greek 
influence. All the names of the Apostles show that they 
have come to the annalist from a Greek source. Peter 
appears, in the Arabic transliteration of the name, as 
Boutros, instead of assuming as in the Peshitta its Aramaic 
form " Kefa." More remarkable are the forms which the 
names James and John assume — Ya'qobos and Yohannes. 
The termination in s shows that the Greek form has 
influenced the writer ; yet the insertion of the he in Yohannes 
and the ain in Ya'qobos shows that the Semitic form was 
not entirely forgotten. It ought to be noted that these 
phenomena are to be seen in the Palestinian Lectionaries 
discovered and published by Mrs Lewis ; these peculiarities 
are not manifested in the Peshitta. The Greek terminal 
s is seen in Tomas, which is used instead of Thauma of 
the Peshitta. Philphos, the form Philippos assumes, 
indicates that the Greek doubled p had been softened into 
ph; the ordinary Arabic equivalent for p is b as seen in 
Boutros (Peter), Boulos (Paul). While in the Lewis-Gibson 
Lectionaries most of these peculiarities are to be observed, 
the Hebraistic ham-Meshiach does not appear. Matti, the 
form which Matthew assumes, again is purely Hebrew ; this 
in the Lectionaries is Mattai. Had the text of Abu'l Fath 
been vowelled it is not impossible that it would have been 
the same. These peculiarities may be regarded as dating 
from pre-Mohammedan times. 

Although the Samaritans suffered so severely at the 
hand of Cerealis, during Vespasian's campaign against the 
Jews, there is no reference to this in any of the Samaritan 
annalists ; nor indeed is there any note of the capture 
of Jerusalem by Titus. In Adler's Chronicle Sianos 
(Vespasian) is said to have rebuilt Caesarea ; and in 
Neubauer's he is said to have destroyed Dora. One might 


have expected that the Samaritans would have gloated 
over the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the shrine 
which contended with that on Mount Gerizim for the 
dignity of being the Qibla of Israel. So far as Samaritan 
records are concerned the terrible tragedy of the siege 
and fall of Jerusalem might never have occurred. 

The war of Bar Cochba, of which so much less is known 
than of the campaign of the Flavian Emperor and his son, 
has impressed itself much more on the imagination of 
the Samaritans. All the legends gather round the name 
of Adrinus (Hadrian). Although it is doubtful whether 
the Jews were in possession of Jerusalem during the war 
of Bar Cochba, indeed whether the city had been rebuilt 
after its destruction by Titus, it is represented alike in 
the Annals of Abu'l Fath and in "Joshua" as undergoing 
a siege at the hands of Adrinus. Abu'l Fath and " Joshua * 
relate a midrash of the capture of Jerusalem which vies 
in absurdity with the Talmudic account of what occasioned 
the war related by Josephus, and the fall of Jerusalem. 
A Jew from Galilee passing through Samaria on his way 
to the temple at Jerusalem to offer two pigeons, lodged 
for a night in the house of two Samaritan brothers named 
Ephraim and Manasseh. These brothers removed the 
pigeons from the box in which the Jew was carrying his 
offering and in their place inserted two rats. The trick 
was discovered in the Temple Court. The Jewish authorities 
sent and seized the delinquents and compelled them to 
become slaves of the Jerusalem Sanctuary. When Adrinus 
besieged Jerusalem, these two revealed to Adrinus a sub- 
terranean passage by which one could enter and by which 
Jerusalem itself could be revictualled. According to 
" Joshua " this passage was stopped, and the inhabitants were 
reduced to such straits that as in the earlier siege under 
Titus they devoured each other; and they were compelled 
to surrender. Hadrian when he entered the temple saw 
images, presumably the figures of the Cherubim, and rebuked 
the Jewish High Priest for idolatry. This is a curious 
travesty of fact ; to represent Hadrian, the great builder 
of temples and setter up of statues to deities of every 
nationality, as rebuking the Jewish High Priest for idolatry ! 


This tale is told with even more of ornament in Adler's 
Chronicle. After the surrender a multitude of the Jews were 
slain, the Holy Place burned with fire, and the city itself 
destroyed. The Samaritan brothers were sought out and 
honoured, and a house with four pillars was erected in which 
were set up the statues of the two. Hadrian then proceeded 
to Nablus and issued a decree forbidding any Jew to settle 
in Shechem. Indeed Hadrian carried his favour for the 
Samaritans so far that he made them rulers over the Jews. 
He visited the temple on Mount Gerizim, and saw the 
worship there. In further proof of this special favour, 
he conveyed to Mount Gerizim the brazen gates which 
Solomon had set up in the temple in Jerusalem. From 
thence Hadrian proceeded to Alexandria; while he was 
there he is related to have occupied himself with the 
persecution of the Christians. When Hadrian returned 
to Palestine the Samaritans lost his favour when he learned 
that after he had left the priests had purified the temple 
from the pollution entailed by his presence in it. In 
consequence of this indignity, as he reckoned it, he came 
to Samaria, laid Nablus waste, burnt the temple on Mount 
Gerizim, crucified the scribes and judges of the Samaritans, 
and left their bodies unburied. Where the sacred temple 
had stood, Hadrian erected a temple to Caesar. It may 
be noted that amid the traces of temple foundations still 
to be found on the top of Mount Gerizim, remains of this, 
erected by Hadrian, may be found. The reign of Hadrian 
is regarded as an important period, and it is reckoned 
to have been 45 1 3 years from the Creation. 

To the reign of Hadrian the writer of "Joshua," as 
mentioned above (ii. 19), ascribes the destruction of the 
literature of the Samaritans. He thus relates the extent 
of the calamity : " In these days was lost the Book of 
the Future Life which the Samaritans had possessed from 
the time of Favour {Ridwan)\ there were lost the prayers 
which the priests recited, suitable to the character of each 
sacrifice, and the hymns which they were in the habit 
of chanting in the days of Ridwan. All these, written out 
by the hands of the successive High Priests, had been 
preserved religiously from the times of the prophets through 


various generations down to that day. Further, there was 
lost the Book of the Priests which the Samaritans had, 
in which their succession was carried back to Pinhas 
(Phinehas). After this calamity, no ancient copy of 
these books has been found ; nor has there survived any 
chronological table except the Law, and the book which 
contained the lives of the High Priests" ("Joshua," chap, 
xlvii., last par.). According to this writer, Hadrian died 
from a sore disease affected with every sort of pain. 

With an approach to accuracy singular for a Samaritan 
historian Abu'l Fath calls Antoninus " the son and successor 
of Hadrian." Adrinus held the kingdom forty years, and 
after him reigned his son Antoninus (p. 117); the length of 
the reign thus assigned to Hadrian is close upon double what 
it actually was. "Joshua" gives his reign as twenty-one 
years, a number which is in practical agreement with that 
in Dio Cassius, Spartian, and the various historians of the 
period. Antoninus, according to Abu'l Fath, not only showed 
favour to the Samaritans but himself honoured the Law 
by reading it not merely in Hebrew but also in the Targum, 
and by fulfilling all its requirements. It is well known 
that the Jews enjoyed during the rule of the Antonines very 
special privileges ; these privileges would not improbably 
be extended to the Samaritans. The Samaritan chroniclers 
make no distinction between Antoninus Pius and his 
successor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. Commodus suc- 
ceeded his father Marcus Aurelius ; unlike his pre- 
decessors he persecuted the Samaritans. A disputation 
which Alexander the Aphrodisian, the Aristotelian com- 
mentator, had with the Samaritan High Priest, according 
to Abu'l Fath (pp. 118, 119), was the occasion of the rage 
of Commodus against the Samaritans. The account in 
the Annals of the persecution is almost identical in features 
with that ascribed to Hadrian in "Joshua," even to the 
destruction of the literature of the Samaritans. Possibly 
the real criminal was Commodus, and Hadrian's greater 
name attracted to it the evil reputation of his successor. 

After this, the history becomes very confused. Abu'l 
Fath names many emperors but rarely in their true order. 
The invasion of the Mohammedans is introduced before 


the rise of the Sassanide Empire of Persia. Late in the 
history does he refer to the followers of Dusis (the 
Dositheans) and their creed. Later still he introduces 
Shimeon the Wizard (Simon Magus) in connection with 
a love affair. Although from the connection in which 
he appears, Abu'l Fath would seem to place Simon Magus 
in the third century of our era, he yet represents him as 
disputing not only with the Christians but with Philo 
of Alexandria. As to the Dositheans, Epiphanius regards 
them as a Samaritan sect and attributes to them a strict 
observance of the Jewish rites. 

The framework on which all these notices of history, 
internal and external, depends is the succession of the High 
Priests. Although it is asserted both in " Joshua " and in the 
Annals of Abu'l Fath that the list of the High Priests was 
destroyed in the persecutions which the Samaritans sustained 
at the hands of the emperors, whether Commodus or Hadrian, 
yet they have given the names of the successive holders 
of the office. This list appears with least admixture in 
Tolideh (Neubauer's Chronicle). The reader is struck 
in perusing it with the number of names that are unlike 
those in ordinary cases borne by Israelites. A very common 
name among the High Priests is "Aqbun," a name not 
to be found in Scripture or in Josephus. Again there 
is Baba, another name which recurs ; this has the appearance 
of being of the nature of a nickname. The word means 
" the gate " in Aramaic, and its Aramaic origin is emphasized 
by the presence in its termination of the sign of the 
Aramaic status emphaticus. One of the most marked of 
those who bore the name, Baba Rabba, is introduced 
into history in connection with the story of Garmanus, 
already referred to. Of him it is said in Tolideh 
(Neubauer's Chronicle) : " This Baba thrust out and expelled 
all the enemies of JHWH from the land of Canaan and 
reigned forty years." While the occurrence in this list 
of names which have not the sanction of Scriptural use, 
might be regarded as in some sort an evidence of a possible 
tradition being behind it, on the whole the list may be 
regarded as concocted and no more worthy of credence than 
the list of the kings of Scotland which, a couple of centuries 


later than Abu'l Fath, George Buchanan placed at the 
beginning of his history. 

One point that emerges is the importance of history 
in regard to the Samaritan religion. All history is viewed 
by Abu'l Fath from the Divine standpoint. So far as Israel is 
concerned it is divided into two portions ; Ridwan the 
period of Divine Favour which came to an end with the 
secession of Eli, and Phanuta, the period of declension 
and of consequent Divine Disfavour. This latter period 
will end with the coming of the "Thaheb" (the Restorer) — 
the Samaritan name for the Messiah — he who is to restore 
all things to the state in which they were during 
"Ridwan." The Israelites arrived in Palestine 2754 years 
after the Creation, and for 260 years enjoyed Divine Favour. 
The termination of "Ridwan" is therefore dated A.M. 3014. 
There was a tacit expectation that six millennia would 
elapse before the " Thaheb " should appear, consequently 
that the period of " Phanuta " would last about three 
thousand years. This naturally suggested a division into 
three subordinate periods of a thousand years. The first 
of these, the Age of Divisions and Captivities, ends with 
the coming of Alexander the Great. His arrival in Palestine 
is dated by the Samaritans at A.M. 4100. Our Lord's birth 
is placed by them rather too early, at 250 years after the 
advent of Alexander. 1 The Age of the Greeks, which begins 
with Alexander, ends with Mohammed, whose date is 
reckoned as A.M. 5050, 'that is to say 700 years after the 
birth of Christ ; but as the Samaritans had made our 
Lord's birth about eighty years too early, their date for 
Mohammed is a very close approximation to "el Hegira." 
The reign of "the Sons of Ishmael" ought by analogy 
to have lasted only a thousand years, but it has already 
overpassed that period by more than three centuries. 

A survey of the Samaritan view of history shows that 
like the Jews they regarded the course of history as under 

1 In the Talmud (San. 107^, Sotah 47a) Jesus is said to have been 
born in the reign of Alexander Jannaeus (103-76 B.C.). This is in closer 
agreement with Samaritan date than is our ordinary reckoning. The 
Seder had- Doroth gives both the Talmudic date and the common 
Christian one. 


the direct government of God. Like the Jews, they looked 
on Israel as the Heritage of JHWH, who arranged all 
the periods of the world's history with a special view to 
the needs of Israel whether of prosperity or of chastisement. 
The termination of the history of the world was the coming 
of the Thaheb and the inauguration of the Millennium which 
ends with the final Judgment. According to the Jewish 
Apocalyptic Literature, the coming of the Messiah and 
the Last Judgment are events closely connected. Whereas 
according to the Samaritans the Thaheb was to live uo 
years, the age that is to say of Joshua — he was not to attain 
the age of Moses ; after his death a lengthened period ensues 
and then comes the end of the world. 

Another aspect of the question which impresses the 
student is the independence of the Samaritans in relation 
to the Jews. When they do borrow from the Jewish records 
it is not directly but through the Greek. There have already 
been references to this in regard to the form that some of 
the Hebrew names assume. Elias, as already observed, is 
a marked instance of this ; the natural form which the 
Hebrew Eliyahu would assume when transferred to Arabic 
would be Eliyah. 1 Even more marked is Elusus for Elisha, 
which can be transferred letter by letter into Arabic. Their 
whole view of sacred history is antagonistic to that of the 
Jews in regard especially to all events subsequent to the 
secession of Eli. We have thus on the one hand the necessity 
strongly felt of exhibiting the Divine side of history as an 
essential part of the Religion of Israel ; on the other the 
effort made by human imagination to supply the lack of a 
true account of events. When a comparison is made of the 
Annals of Abu'l Fath, the soberest of the Samaritan histories, 
with the Bible narratives, the reader at once feels how far 
removed the first is from actuality and from the period in 
which the described events are alleged to have occurred. An 
indirect testimony is thus given to the trustworthiness of the 
records of the Religion of Israel. 

1 The name Elias in the Greek form is not uncommon among 
Arabs belonging to the Orthodox or Greek Church at the present day. 



It is the contention of the late Professor Robertson Smith, 
in his introduction to The Religion of the Semites, that all 
religion begins in ritual. This, however, is only true of the 
overt expression of religious feeling. The rites and cere- 
monies, in which religious emotion expressed itself, 
themselves require an explanation, and that can only be 
found in thought. These vague inchoate thoughts contained 
in them the essence of a theology. There must have been a 
reason why men so universally adopted sacrifice as part of 
their religious worship. Whether the deity is regarded as 
the host and the worshippers his guests, or the deity is 
regarded as invited to a feast provided for him by his 
worshippers, or whether we hold the traditional idea of 
expiation as underlying all sacrifice, each of these implied 
certain ideas as to deity and the relation in which his 
worshippers stood to him. These vague thoughts would 
probably never find expression in distinct memorable 
phrases, and therefore would tend to evaporate as men 
became more and more absorbed in the business of living, 
to the growing exclusion of thought. The ritual remained, 
its ceremonies became stereotyped ; all the more so that 
there was no thought behind them to keep them fluid. 
When time advanced and men began to unite themselves 
in communities there was leisure to think, to put questions 
and endeavour to find answers for them, to put a " because " 
over against every "why." These explanations would 
naturally take the form of stories — myths. Mythology is 
the theology of childhood. There necessarily were further 
steps of evolution ; in Greece this resulted in philosophy, but 



in Israel God Himself intervened by His prophets, and 
cleared away these hard and fast ceremonies and got behind 
to their moral meaning. It was mainly emotional, the 
prophet's message ; rites and ceremonies, myths and legends 
were all thrown into the fiery alembic of inspired emotion. 
But behind those burning utterances there were loftier 
thoughts concerning God, Man, and Duty, than unaided 
humanity ever had as yet attained to. As a further step, 
these thoughts had to be separated and arranged. The 
silver had been purified, it had to be drawn forth into ingots 
of thought. The thoughts behind the visions of the seers 
had to become a theology. 

In regard to the Samaritans, whatever prophetic litera- 
ture the Northern tribes may have had, besides the books 
of Hosea, Amos, and Jonah, and the prophetic histories 
preserved in the books of Kings, has been lost. We have 
only the desiccated remains of their ritual, of which we have 
already treated ; but we have something of their theology. 
The works of one Samaritan theologian have come down to 
us, who in his treatises and commentaries, translated into 
terms of thought the floating traditions and opinions of his 
people. This Marqah, to give him what is probably a 
Latinised version of his name, appears to have lived in the 
third century of our era. Before his birth an angel foretold 
it, and said that he should be called Moshe (Moses) ; but as 
this was too sacred a name to be given to any one even at 
the command of an angel, the matter was compromised ; he 
was called Marqah, a name the letters of which have the 
same numerical value. In his views he is mystical and 
Qabbalistic. Another source for the theology of the 
Samaritans is to be found in their hymns, some of them 
supposed to be older than our era. Collections of these 
have been made by Gesenius and others. And yet a third 
source is the Samaritan Targum or paraphrase of the Law. 

Although the Samaritans resisted so strenuously all the 
violent efforts put forth by pagan and Christian emperors to 
convert them, they did not escape wholly the influence of those 
among whom they lived. In the epistle which they sent to 
their brethren in England, the Samaritans thus declare their 
creed : "My faith is in Thee, oh JHWH, and in Moses the 


son of Amram Thy servant, in the Holy Law, and in Mount 
Gerizim, the Bethel, and in the day of Vengeance and 
Recompense." To this is to be added the doctrine of Angels 
and Demons. Dr Mills thus summarises the articles of the 
Samaritan creed: "One only God JHWH, one only Law- 
giver, Moshe (Moses), one only Divine book, the Torah (Law), 
one only Holy Place, Mount Gerizim, the true Beth El." 
These are primitive ; the doctrines of Angels, of Immortality, 
and of the Last Judgment are, in the opinion of Dr Mills, 
later additions. 

In considering the creed of the Samaritans, the student 
must always remember that with the Samaritans, as with most 
primitive nations, religion is not so much a personal matter 
as a national. Their primary belief is that they are the 
only chosen people of God, bound to Him by seven 
successive covenants: (a) of Noah (Gen. ix. 8-17), (b) of 
Abraham (Gen. xvii. 4-14), (c) of the Sabbath (Exod. xxxi. 
12-17), (d) °f the Ten Commandments (Exod. xx. 2-17), (e) of 
Salt (Num. xviii. 19), (/), of the Passover (Exod. xii. 2 ff.), 
(g) of the Priesthood (Num. xxv. 12, 13). These covenants 
they are bound to keep ; they not only separate them from the 
Gentiles, but since the defection of the days of Eli, from their 
kinsmen the Jews also. They call themselves Samaritan 

Samaritan theology may be considered under the heads 
of (I.) The Doctrine of God; (II.) of Creation; (III.) of 
Man ; (IV.) of Angels and Demons ; (V.) of Revelation ; 
(VI.) of the Messiah; (VII.) of the Last Things. 

I. Of God. — The Samaritans of the present day are 
zealous monotheists. This zeal has doubtless to some 
extent Been conserved, and even in a sense promoted by 
the influences surrounding them from the rule of the 
Christian emperors. When the Byzantine power gave way 
to " the rule of the Sons of Ishmael," to quote the phrase so 
frequently used by Samaritan scribes in dating their manu- 
scripts, the Samaritans were confirmed in their monotheism. 
It would seem to suggest the idea of Mohammedan influence 
on their theology, that the Samaritans have introduced into 
some of their hymns a formula which has in it an echo of 


the opening words of the creed of Islam : " There is not a 
God save one." This cannot be pressed, as these hymns are 
of various dates, some appear even to be pre-Christian. How- 
ever, the possibility of interpolation has always to be kept in 
mind. But monotheism so permeates these poems, one and 
all, that this element in their theology is not to be attributed 
to Moslem influences. As an example may be taken the 
opening words of the so-called prayer of Moses : " Magnify 
His Holy Name; One is JHWH, and to be glorified, and 
there is not one beside Him, alone in the Heaven above and in 
the earth beneath ; there is not one beside Him, He is alone. 
Blessed be JHWH our God, Whose name is to be glorified 
and rightly to be praised." To this strict monotheism would 
Gesenius attribute the fact that, in their recension of the 
Pentateuch whenever D s li;K is regarded as a plural noun, and 
so joined to a plural verb in the Massoretic, the Samaritans 
correct it into the singular. Of these cases there are three 
in Genesis ; these most likely are due to blunders of the 
Massoretic scribe, as for instance Gen. xx. 13, "God 
(DViPK) caused me to wander tynn from my father's house"; 
clearly this is a blunder, caused not unlikely by the copyist 
mistaking he for vav, which, as already remarked, are very 
like in Samaritan script as seen MSS. In all these cases, as 
the Samaritan is supported by the Septuagint, its reading is 
probably the original. In one instance, Exod. xxii. 9, there 
is a fair case for rendering Dvfrs " judges " with the Peshitta. 
To pass from the doctrine of the unity of God, and 
consider the attributes ascribed to Him. There is PERSON- 
ALITY ; how far the Israelites either of the North or the 
South recognised the possibility of an " impersonal God " 
may be questioned. At all events Abu'l Fath and the 
Samaritan "Joshua" alike attribute personal attributes to 
JHWH ; there is no trace in their hymns, or in Marqah, of 
the notion that the passages in which " wrath " is ascribed 
to Him is to be looked upon as an anthropomorphism, and 
resolved into a figure of speech ; in this they follow the 
usage of the Pentateuch. The idea so prominent among 
the Israelites, of a covenant relationship between JHWH 
and the children of Jacob, implies a person with personal 


preferences. In regard to other Divine attributes, which the 
sons of Israel were more ready to overlook, from their 
tendency to degrade JHWH to be merely a national deity, 
such as Spirituality, Omnipresence, and Eternity, 
these are expressed with great clearness in the hymns of the 
Samaritans. A striking example of this is to be found in a 
hymn translated by Montgomery {The Samaritans, p. 20S) 
from Gesenius' Carmiua Samaritana (p. 100). 

"There is nothing like Him, or as He is ; 

There is neither likeness nor body. 
None knows who He is but He Himself; 

None is His Creator or His fellow. 
He fills the whole world, 

Yet there is no chancing upon Him. 
He appears from every side and cjuarter, 

But no place contains Him. 
Hidden yet withal manifest, He sees 

And knows everything hidden. 
Hidden nor appearing to sight, 

Nothing is before Him, and after Him nothing." 

To this belief in the absolute and supreme spirituality of God 
does Gesenius ascribe various differences between the Samari- 
tan Pentateuch and that of the Massoretes, in which anthropo- 
morphisms, which appear in the latter, are changed in the 
former into phrases less objectionable. The examples which 
he brings forward are neither numerous nor striking. That 
which appears most plausible is Deut. xxix. 20, in which the 
Massoretic text is nirr»~ t lN \'S'V\ which Gesenius translates fumat 
nasus Dei, " the nose of God smokes " ; for this the Samaritan 
reads miT _t !N "irv and Gesenius renders cxardcscit ira Dei, 
"the wrath of God (JHWH) waxes hot." It is to be noted 
that the word which Gesenius translates in the first case 
"nose" is the same as that which in the second case he 
renders " wrath." As the LXX. supports the Samaritan 
reading, the change may be ascribed to the Massoretic 
scribe. Dr Montgomery has noted the fact, that while 
agreeing on these essential points with the Jews, the 
Samaritans do not like them repeat the shema\ " Hear, oh 
Israel, JHWH our God is one JHWH," or perhaps better 
"JHWH is our God, JHWH is one"; they prefer the less 



explicit statement of the Moslems, " There is no God but 
God " ; a preference due to the presence around them of 
fanatical Moslems. 

As a side evidence of the spirituality ascribed to God by 
the Samaritans may be adduced the fact that they taunted 
the Jews with having images in their temple at Jerusalem 
(Sam. Jos. chap, xlvii.). The ground for this accusation is prob- 
ably to be found in the figures of cherubim, which probably 
adorned the second temple as they did the first (see Chapter 
VI.). The taunt is late, and is founded, as taunts usually 
are, on a misrepresentation. It is an evidence of how austere 
their spiritualism was that the presence in the Holy Place of 
those symbols of Divine majesty was deemed a lessening of 
the absolute spirituality of JHWH. The Samaritan taunt 
was retorted with greater unfairness by the Jews. They said 
that the Samaritans worshipped not God but Ashima; a name 
that had the venom in it of suggesting ashem, " guilt." Some 
have maintained that it was a modification of the name 
Semiramis (Montgomery, The Samaritans, p. 381, n. 18). 
It is supposed that the fabulous queen whose adventures are 
narrated by Diodorus Siculus is a Syrian goddess who was 
worshipped by the Hamathite colonists. The taunt is late, 
and long before it was uttered the Hamathite worship had 
given place to that of JHWH. Another explanation for 
this taunt may be suggested, which seems simpler. As the 
Jews to avoid pronouncing the sacred name whenever it 
occurs read adhonai, so the Samaritans read in these cases 
hash-shem, " the name," or as the Samaritans would pronounce 
it ash-shem. Another accusation which the Jews make, with 
equal lack of truth, and with even less excuse, is that they 
worshipped a dove. The Samaritans indignantly deny that 
there is any justification for this assertion. One might almost 
be tempted to think that some Jew had blundered into the 
Christian church, which in the reign of Zeno occupied the 
place on Mount Gerizim of the Samaritan Temple, and 
seeing the symbol of the Holy Spirit, ignored the change of 
the temple into a church, and asserted that the Samaritans 
worshipped the image of a dove. The truth is that the 
Samaritans avoid, as carefully as do the Mohammedans, any 
representations of men or animals even in their houses. 


Their single remaining synagogue is devoid of all ornament 
whatever. 1 

The Apocalyptists, who represent a phase of Jewish 
thought prevalent in the second century before our era, had 
described JHWH as localised in Heaven, and having a 
visible outward form. In Enoch xlv. and xlvi. there is given 
a picture of Heaven in which the Eternal is represented as 
a white-haired old man, and with Him is the Son of Man, 
" who had the appearance of a man and a face full of gracious- 
ness." The post-Christian, but yet Jewish " Ascension of 
Isaiah," describes seven successive heavens in the highest of 
which dwells JHWH. All such localisation and consequent 
limitation is sedulously avoided by the Samaritans. God 
with them is not restricted to time or place. A striking 
example is quoted by Montgomery from Gesenius' Carmina 
Samaritana (iii. 1 3), speaking of the place of Divine power : 
" No ocean is there, nor sea, nor the very heavens them- 

1 This calumny is probably believed by the Jews still. As late as 
1836 in the Hebrew Review, vol. iii., p. 400, it is asserted: "It cannot 
be denied that the image of a dove was an object of adoration to the 
Samaritans, inasmuch as the representation of that bird is still found in 
their synagogues." The French Consul at St John d'Acre, who in 1807 
sent an account of the Samaritans to Bishop Gregoire, states : M Above 
the pulpit in which they read the Law, there is the image of a bird, 
which they call Achinah, a name peculiar to the sect. When they name 
the most High they do not, like the Jews, call Him Adonai, but either 
Achinah or Shema. This last word is the Aramaic K1SC* ' the Name,' 
which is often used by the Jews likewise to express the Supreme Being." 

Monsieur Courances, French Consul at Aleppo, writes to Bishop 
Gregoire about the same time : " In the Samaritan synagogue at Naplosa 
(Nablus) there is a stage on which they read the book of the Law. This 
book is hidden behind a veil, which no one but the Chacham, principal 
teacher, may withdraw. At the sight of the book, on which the image 
of a dove is engraved, all the members of the congregation rise from 
their seats." 

It may be observed that these two accounts do not agree; in the one 
the image of the dove is "above the pulpit," in the other "the image of 
a dove is engraved " on the book of the Law. One may be permitted 
to surmise that either the consuls were themselves Jews, or without 
going to Nablus contented themselves with information supplied them 
by Jews. The title given to the High Priest of Chacham deepens 
suspicion ; this title is not known among the Samaritans but it is 
common among the Eastern Jews. The writer here thanks Rev. W. 
Marwick for directing his attention to this article. 


selves." As to Omniscience ; Marqah in his Commentary 
begins by an ascription of praise to JHWH in which he 
declares: " There is no secret hid from JHWH; He knows 
alike that which was, that which is now, and that which shall 
be." When, in His revelation of Himself to the Patriarchs, 
JHW 7 H appears, in the narrative of Genesis, to assume 
spatial relations, Marqah sees in these Theophanies the 
presence of angels who have been created for the occasion. 
Some of the Samaritan doctrinal statements seem to be 
specially directed against Christianity and the doctrine of 
the Trinity. Thus in the long poem in Heidenheim's Biblio- 
theca Samaritana, No. XXI., it is said : " I am that I am, 
the One, there is no plurality ; what I made was according 
to plurality. There is no place to Him so that plurality 
should be possible. He is JHWH and not to be measured 
as if He were set up according to number. Alone He is in 
what He made, and another He knows not. He has no 
instruments, no hands, no equal, no attribute." 

At the same time Marqah occasionally to a certain extent 
hypostatises the Kabhodh JHWH, "the Glory of the Lord," 
in a way that at least suggests the Logos of Philo. Speaking 
of God's revelation of Himself by fire on Mount Sinai, the 
fire is called (p. 43^) "the great fire from JHWH"; in the 
following page it is called "the fire of the Glory." Later, 
when describing the passage of the Red Sea, he says : " And 
Moses ascended up, and the Kabhodh (the Glory) raised him 
out of the defile, and from the depth of the Red Sea." 
Another attribute of Deity which he also hypostatises is 
Qesita, "truth" ; thus, p. $ia, " Moses stretched out his hand 
over the Red Sea, and the Truth said to him, ' I will declare 
thy greatness in all the generations of the world.' " Occasion- 
ally it appears as if the former of these attributes, the 
Kabhodh JHWH, occupied the place of "the Angel of the 

The earliest source of our knowledge of the theology of 
the Samaritans is the Samaritan Targum. It is written in 
a dialect of Aramaic, and is dated about the third century 
of our era, but probably represents the interpretations and 
renderings in vogue at least a couple of centuries earlier. 
More markedly than even the Jewish Targum does the 


Samaritan reject anthropomorphisms ; but while it does so, 
it does not, as do the Jewish Targums, endeavour to main- 
tain the separation of God from the world by introducing 
the Memra JHWH. Gesenius recognises a tendency to 
save the Divine dignity by changing, in certain circum- 
stances, JHWH of the Massoretes into maPak JHWH, " the 
Angel of the Lord " ; in the Divine interviews with Balaam 
(Num. xxiii. 4), while the Massoretic has " God met" Balaam, 
the Samaritan has "the Angel of God" met him. In the 
following verse where the Massoretic has : " And the Lord 
(JHWH) set a word in the mouth of Balaam," the Samaritan 
has maFak JHWH did so. In the more anthropomorphic 
passage, Gen. xviii. 33, after Abraham has finished pleading 
for Sodom, it is said : " The Lord went his way " ; and this 
appears in the Samaritan text of the passage ; in the Targum 
it becomes " The Angel of the Lord departed." All this 
evidences the desire of the Samaritans to emphasize the 
incommunicable glory, the ineffable dignity of JHWH the 
God of Israel. 

While the Jews developed their theology on similar 
lines, the Samaritans attained the same results by a different 
road, and expressed them in different and in more emphatic 
ways. Both endeavoured to save Divine supremacy by 
conserving His spirituality, but they have proceeded along 
different lines. Both reveal the essential monotheism of the 
religion of Israel. The evidence borne by the Samaritans to 
this is the more striking that in their case the remnant of 
legitimate Israelites had such an infusion sent to them of 
influential colonists, all of whom were idolaters. 

II. Of Creation. — The opening chapters of Genesis 
rendered it impossible that the Samaritans, holding as they 
do the sanctity of the whole Torah, should do other than 
maintain the doctrine that JHWH had created the world; 
whether in the absolute sense of Creation out of nothing, or 
in the more limited sense held by Philo, of framing and 
ordering. The Work of Creation occupies a more prominent 
place with them than with the Jews. Among the few early 
inscriptions of the Samaritans which have come down to us 
is one in which over asrainst the decalogue are set the " Ten 


Words" of Creation. A very considerable number of the 
Samaritan hymns begin with what are called Creation verses, 
i.e., verses in which God is specially addressed as having 
made the world. It is difficult to reach the idea of absolute 
Creation, the mind is always prone to insert into the mental 
picture a primordial "stuff," on which the Deity exercised 
His mighty power, and from it framed the earth and the 
Heaven. All primitive Creation myths manifest this 
peculiarity. Thus, in the Babylonian Creation Epos, it is 
from the carcase of Tiamat that Marduk frames the world 
of Heaven and earth. Similar to this is the Scandinavian 
myth of Odin framing the world from the bones and the 
flesh of the Giant Ymir. Even Philo, with the account of 
Creation before him, has to presuppose primordial matter, 
which is to some extent refractory, over which the power of 
the Creator though great was not unlimited ; hence the 
possibility of evil. The Samaritans avoided this. In one 
of their hymns, LXIX. of Heidenheim's collection, men are 
called upon to give " praise and glory to Him who created 
the world by the word of His mouth, who made man," "who 
caused the world to appear from that which was not." To 
avoid the appearance of making matter eternal, a view that 
might be maintained from the Torah itself, the Samaritans had 
various devices. If the first verse of Gen. i. is regarded as 
the title of the section, then it might be maintained that 
" Tohu-wa-Bhohu " (without form and void) was primordial 
matter, existing but as a confused, undistinguished mass ; 
the reducing of this to order might be taken as Creation, 
this and no more. One method was to assert clearly that 
God created " Tohu-wa-Bhohu." Marqah represents the 
Egyptians calling upon JHWH and addressing Him as the 
Creator of " Tohu-wa-Bhohu." A bolder course is taken by 
one of their hymn writers ; JHWH is identified with "Tohu- 
wa-Bhohu." To explain this, Heidenheim suggests some 
connection of this phrase with the Egyptian deity Thoth. 
Though this view presents no etymological difficulty, there 
is nothing in the attributes of Thoth which connects him 
with creation. The term seems to have a closer affinity in 
thought with the " Bythos " of the Valentinian Gnostics. 
Marqah appears at times as if he had imbibed some of the 


Gnostic emanational ideas, as when he speaks of the seven 
things which God has "chosen and separated from His 
Godhead " (p. 68b), " from whom everything comes, to whom 
it returns " (p. 144a:). The fact, however, that will and choice 
are attributed to JHWH at once changes the character of 
the process. Creation can be nothing else than emanation 
by Divine volition. This view is confirmed by this other 
saying, " By a word " — the expression of volition and thought 
— "is the world renewed." Though this is not expressly 
stated by him, from some of Marqah's sayings, it would seem 
at any rate that he held that the world was created for the 
manifestation of the Seven Things which God had " separated 
from His Godhead," afrisli yathon VElahuthah, "Light, the 
Sabbath, Mount Gerizim, Adam, the Two Tables of Stone, 
the Great Prophet Moses, and Israel." This view is akin 
to the Talmudic idea that the world was created for the 
Law; and the Christian thought, that it was created to 
manifest the Divine Glory in the work of Redemption. The 
Samaritan is in reality a more detailed expression of the 
Jewish idea. If one may take Marqah as the type of 
Samaritan theology in general, there was a significance 
seen in the very letters of the story of Creation. The account 
begins with the word B'reshith, and the first letter of that 
word is the second letter of the alphabet ; this is to show 
that God first created the Abyss. Marqah declares that had 
the first letter of the story of Creation been " aleph," the first 
letter of the alphabet, no change would have been possible. 

This last phrase referring to the possibility of change, 
introduces another view held by Marqah, and probably by 
other Samaritans as well, that there were several successive 
creations. This is not in the sense in which Genesis is 
ordinarily interpreted, that the Work of Creation was 
accomplished by successive steps ; that after the creation 
of the Abyss came the inflashing of light and then the fixing 
of the dividing firmament, and so forth throughout the days. 
His view is not that God accomplished the Work of Creation, 
so to say, piecemeal, but that complete worlds passed away, 
and were followed by others; Marqah founds his view on 
Deut. xxxii. 7, which he renders, instead of " Remember the 
days of old," " Remember that the world will die," reading 



yamtith instead of the Massoretic fmoth. There is no trace 
of this view in the hymns ; it may have been the result of 
contact with Greek thought, especially of the Stoic type. At 
the same time Marqah does not seem to have contemplated 
a succession of identical worlds as did the Stoics, in each of 
which are repeated in the same order the same events as had 
occurred in all its predecessors. He does not seem to have 
elaborated his theory to any extent. We must bear in mind 
that the Universe, to the ancients, was a very small affair, if 
compared with what astronomy unveils to us. Thus, Jn 
2 Peter iii. 5-7, the writer seems to regard the destruction 
of the world by fire which accompanies the last things as 
equivalent to the destruction wrought by the flood. It is to 
be observed that Marqah, too, has the " great fire which shall 
devour the wicked, but which upon the righteous shall have 
no power." One would compare also St Paul (1 Cor. iii. 13), 
" the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is." 

By the Samaritans, as by the Jews, the created Universe 
was regarded as threefold ; Heaven, Earth, and Sheol. On 
thc^last they do not dwell much. As to the Heavens, 
they have, according to one hymn, seven, and according to 
another, nine Heavens. While the highest of these, the 
seventh or the ninth, is regarded as the most glorious, and 
indeed called the " abode," yet the Samaritans do not localise 
God in it. We have already referred to the " seven things " 
which before Creation were separated from Himself by 
Deity. While Light may be pictured as coming forth from 
God before aught else definite existed, it is difficult to con- 
ceive what figurate conception they could form of a pre- 
existent " Sabbath " or " Mount Gerizim," not to speak of 
" the Two Tables " of the Law and " the People Israel." The 
pre-existence of Adam is to be found in> the Jewish Qabbala 
in the form of " Adam Qadmon." Something not unlike this 
appears in Christian theology in the doctrine sometimes 
maintained of the Pre-existence of the Human Nature of 
our Lord. The belief in the existence of Moses before the 
Creation of the World is in harmony with that in regard 
to Adam. 

As the " Ten Words o f ^Cr eation " already referred to 
throw a lighT*on~the views entertained by the Samaritans 


of that work, it may be as well to give a translation of them 
as they appear on the Nablus Tablet. 

In the beginning God created. 

And God said : " Let there be Light." 

And God said : " Let there be a Firmament." 

And God said : " Let the waters be gathered together." 

And God said : " Let the Earth bring forth grass." 

And God said : " Let there be Luminaries." 

And God said : " Let the waters swarm." 

And God said : " Let the Earth produce." 

And God said : " Let us make Man." 

And God said : " To you have I given it ! And God 

saw all the work which He had made, and behold it 

was very good." 
And God said : " I am the God of your Fathers, the God 

of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob." 

It is impossible not to contrast this with the grotesque 
Babylonian story of the Creation. Marduk chosen by the 
other gods to slay Tiamat, the mother of them all, leaps 
into the mouth of his grandmother and splits her up, and 
makes the earth of the lower portion, and the sky of 
the upper. Notwithstanding the general Canon that the 
simpler form of a legend is the more ancient, the Germans 
and their slavish followers here would have us believe that 
from this grotesque story the Hebrew story has been evolved. 
For my part I should as soon believe that Darwinism 
was evolved from the story of " Jack and the Beanstalk." 
Even admitting the etymological identity of Tehom with 
Tiamat) this personification of "the Abyss" would seem 
to be a secondary formation, like that which occurred in 
the Middle Ages ; the theologians talked of the mouth of 
Hell, and the artists of that time drew it as the mouth of a 
gigantic dragon. 

Before leaving the Samaritan theological views of 
Creation it is worth while to observe the parallelism of 
progress, with the difference of result in minor points. Both 
Judaism and Samaritanism start from the same document, 
the Law of Moses, both reach the idea of absolute Creation ; 
of the two, the Samaritans maintain it the more rigidly. The 


form in which it is conceived by the Samaritans, Emanation 
by Will, is not Jewish. The difference may be regarded 
as evidence of their independence of Judaism. 

III. Of Man . — The genius of the Hebrew was but little 

analytical ; it was introspective, but more in a religious than 

in a psychological sense. As a consequence, the Samaritan 

theologians do not treat their readers to disquisitions on the 

constitution and faculties of Man. There is more than 

a hint that they believed in the pre-existence at all events 

of Adam. As has been already seen, Adam was one of 

the seven emanations of Deity which preceded Creation ; 

he comes exactly in the middle of the list, after Light, 

the Sabbath, and Mount Gerizim, but before the Tables 

of the Law, the Prophet Moses, and the People Israel. 

At the same time they do not indulge fancies like that in 

which the body of the Adam Qadmon was divided into 

portions associated with the different " Sephiroth " of 

Deity. In the "Ten Words" of Creation, the creation 

of Adam occupies the eighth place, the last of the strictly 

creative words ; the last two are the gift of creation to Adam, 

and the statement of the covenant with Israel. As to 

the Constitution of Man ; the Samaritans regard Man 

as having a spiritual as well as a material nature, as being 

composed of Soul and Body. In hymn No. XXI. n of 

Heidenheim's collection, it is said of Adam that God made 

him "from water and fire, from spirit and dust." Marqah 

has a passage of a similar purport. In that hymn to which 

we have already referred, it is declared : " He arose as the 

son of twenty years, perfect in knowledge and speech." The 

body of Adam was made from dust, but that dust was taken 

from Mount Gerizim. The placing of Adam in the Garden 

of Eden and the creation of Eve are related as in Genesis. 

They have a doctrine of the Fall but it is not elaborated. 

In the poem to which we have already referred, it is 

significant of the idea they have of God that it is the angels, 

not the Lord God, who say : " Behold Adam is become 

as one of us to know good and evil." After the Fall, Adam 

wandered away from God for a century, during which 

he begat the Jinns ; he, however, returned to God and He 


blessed him. He, with Abel, Enoch, and Noah, is regarded as 
a being of special sanctity. At the same time the Samaritans, 
no more than the Jews, have any real notion of the nature 
of sin, or of the connection which the all but universally 
expressed sense of alienation from God, and consequent 
need of reconciliation with Him, has with the sin of Adam. 
According to Dr Mills the Samaritans believe firmly in 
the immortality of Man. They hold that "the soul at death 
leaves the body and enters another world, and a different 
state of existence." Strikingly they ground their faith 
in this on Exod. iii. 6. " I am the God of Abraham, the God 
of Isaac, and the God of Jacob," the passage which our Lord 
quoted against the Sadducees. It will be seen that the 
theological anthropology of the Samaritans was limited in its 
scope ; the question of Freedom of the Will never seems 
to have emerged, nor any of the questions connected with 
Original Sin. 

IV. .OF- A NGFLS.— Because the Samaritans like the 
Sadducees received as canonical only the books of Moses, 
patristic opinion assumed that they agreed in everything. 
Reland, influenced probably by this, contends that the 
Samaritans do not believe in angels. The Fathers, however, 
were not agreed in this, for Epiphanius while saying that the 
Sadducees and the Samaritans agreed in denying the 
doctrine of the Resurrection, declares that they differ as 
to the angels, the Samaritans affirming their existence, 
although the Sadducees denied it. It is difficult to under- 
stand how either, with the account of Jacob's vision before 
them of the " Angels of God ascending and descending," 
denied their existence. Logic, however, has little to do with 
religion— it belongs to a sphere above logic. Whatever may 
have been the case with the Sadducees, as to the Samaritans 
we have ample evidence that they did believe in angels 
and do. In the Samaritan Targum the plurality of the 
angels is retained ; had the Samaritans by the time it was 
written ceased to believe in them, the phraseology would 
have been altered so as to explain them away. In the 
Samaritan book of Joshua, all Israel, with Joshua at their 
head, are represented as praising God who had created the 


heavenly spirits, rufiani (genios caelestes). Further, when 
Joshua calls the people to renew their covenant with JHWH, 
he calls the angels to be witnesses {md lakitat). Dr 
Montgomery has gathered together, chiefly from the hymns 
in Heidenheim's collection in the Bibliotheca Samaritana, 
a number of designations of the angels, as " Host of 
Heaven," the " Exalted Ones," " The Congregation Above," 
etc. In their avoidance of anthropomorphism, and their 
desire to exalt JHWH, the Samaritans were necessitated 
to introduce angelic beings as intermediaries between the 
Almighty and His creatures. When, as already remarked 
in the Massoretic, it is said (Num. xxiii. 4) " God met Balaam," 
in the Samaritan it is " the Angel of God found him " ; 
further, in verse 16 of the same chapter in the Massoretic 
it is "The Lord (JHWH) met," in the Samaritan "the 
Angel of JHWH"; with this the Targum agrees. 
Although the Samaritans have nothing of the extensive 
hierarchy of angels found in the Talmud and the 
Qabbala ; nor of that to be found in the Apocalyptists, 
e.g. book of Enoch ; nor have been influenced by the 
angelologies of the Quran, yet, as may be seen from a 
hymn published by Heidenheim in his Quarterly, some 
of the Samaritan theologians assigned to the angels a 
very extensive and diversified sphere of activity. Some of 
them wait on God in His temple, watch over the 
morning and evening sacrifices, and attend to the other rites 
of worship ; while others fulfil Divine commissions in all parts 
of the Universe, or convey orders to yet other angelic 
servants of the Almighty. Although in the " Ten Words of 
Creation " there is no mention of the angels, yet they 
are declared to be the first created of all the creatures 
of God. At the same time it would seem that, as with 
ourselves, among the present Samaritans the doctrine of the 
angels has fallen into the background, as Dr Mills takes 
no notice of the Samaritans having any views on the 

Although the Samaritans have not, as above observed, 
the Cherubim, Seraphim, and Ophanim of Judaism, Rabbinic 
Qabbalistic and Apocalyptic, nor the yet more complicated 
hierarchy of the type of Dionysius the Areopagite, yet they 


regarded certain angels as occupying a position of superiority 
to the others. There were four to whom they assigned supreme 
honour ; in this they agree with the angelology of the book 
of Enoch, although the names given to these archangels do 
not resemble those found in Enoch. In the book of Daniel 
two angelic names occur, Michael and Gabriel. In the Apoc- 
rypha are found other two, Raphael in Tobit (v. 4), and Uriel 
in 2 Esdras (iv. 1). These are the names which are found in 
the book of Enoch. Among the Samaritans there appears to 
be some uncertainty as to the names to be ascribed to these 
rulers of the Heavenly Host. Petermann says (Reisen, i. 283) : 
" They (the Samaritans) recognise four ruling angels which are 
named ; Phanuel is the first, and under him Anusa, Kabbala, 
and Nasi." The first of these is found in Enoch liv. 6, occupy- 
ing the place in which Uriel generally stands ; it appears to 
be derived from the account of Jacob wrestling with the angel 
(Gen. xxxii. 23) ; the name Jacob gave to the place is trans- 
ferred to the Being with whom he wrestled, who is called 
among the Jews, "the Angel of the Presence." "Anusa" is 
the first word of the Egyptian cry of fear when they found 
that their chariot wheels had been removed. The word 
really means "Let me flee" (Exod. xiv. 25); the Samaritans 
seem to have regarded it as a proper name. Dr Montgomery 
thinks that Anusa is derived from Enosh, which appears in 
Qabbalistic literature as a form of Enoch. The Scriptural 
authority claimed for " Kabbala " is Num. iv. 20, where y^33 

(KabaWa) is translated in the A.V. "when they (the sacred 
vessels) are covered " ; in the R.V. it is rendered, after 
Gesenius and Fuerst, " in a moment." There may be some- 
thing in the conjecture that, despite the difference of spelling, 
it is related to Qabbala (n?3p), "the secret doctrine," as if 

this angel were the custodier of the Divine secret counsels. 
The last angelic name, " Nasi," means " Prince," but is 
derived from the name which Moses gave to the altar which 
he erected to God after his victory over Amalek, " Jehovah- 
Nissi." Instead of the last name Dr Montgomery gives, 
following Heidenheim {Bib, Sam. Lit. xlvi.), " Zilpa," a name 
which appears elsewhere as that of Leah's maid. He says 
he cannot trace its origin. Like the Jews, the Samaritans 


associate the angels with the stars, though not in so definite 
and prominent a way. 

A belief in good angels necessitates a corresponding 
belief in evil spirits. The demonology of the Samaritans is 
not extensive, nor is it developed hierarchically as is that of 
the Talmud. Petermann, who got information orally, says 
that the Samaritans named Azazel, Belial, and Jasara as 
devils. From its occurrence in connection with the " Scape- 
goat" and the " Great Day of Atonement" (Lev. xvi. 10), the 
origin of the first is obvious. The second name is probably 
derived from the apparently personal use of the term in 
Deut. xiii. 13 (14), "the children of Belial." It may be noted 
that under the form " Beliar " this name occurs as leader of 
the devils in " The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs," in 
the " Ascension of Isaiah," and the " Book of Jubilees." The 
third name Dr Montgomery would connect with tzar'ah, 
"the hornet" (Deut. vii. 20); as neither Petermann nor 
Montgomery has given the name in Hebrew or Arabic 
characters, nor any reference, the correctness of the etymology 
cannot be affirmed ; the function assigned to the " hornet " 
in the passages where it occurs, driving out the enemies of 
Israel before them, scarcely suits the common idea of 
diabolic agency. Dr Cowley, in an article in the Jewish 
Quarterly (viii. 571), refers to a being called " Mehablah, who 
corresponds somewhat to Satan." The creation of the evil 
spirits the Samaritans connect with "the darkness" over 
which the Spirit of God brooded ; the descendants of Cain 
also became evil spirits. The rebellious angels were yet 
another source for the hosts of evil. In this last they agree 
with the demonology of Enoch and of Jude. The demonology 
of the Samaritans is thus rather indefinite in character, but 
their belief in magic as exhibited in the story of Shobach as 
it is related in Abu'l Fath and in the Samaritan " book of 
Joshua," must have been profound : evil spirits under the 
controlling power of magical formulae erect a sevenfold iron 
wall which hems in Joshua and the host of Israel. This 
last exhibits affinities to the stories of the "thousand and 
one nights." 


V. Of Revelation. — Not only has every people a belief 
in Divine Beings, but also considers it possible to learn from 
them what their will is. It might be that the worshipper 
gained this from the flight of birds, from the entrails of 
sacrificial victims, or from the configuration of the stars. 
The precise way in which the deities arranged matters so 
that their will was revealed in this manner, was never 
explained. It was more intelligible when the gods were 
supposed to reveal their wishes by dreams and oracles. It 
was a higher stage in religious development when the 
Hebrews held that JHWH their God had revealed His will 
in a written Law. There was reason in the distinction made 
by Mohammed between those religions which had sacred 
books and those which had none. A book which contains a 
revelation naturally suggests a human intermediary who has 
received the Divine message and committed it to writing. 
To the Samaritans, Moses was the only " Mediator " between 
God and humanity, meaning by that the Samaritans. The 
Samaritans have prophets whose graves they visit ; these, 
however, are none of the prophets associated with the 
Ephraimite tribes. The want of any prophetic book of 
history parallel with the books of Samuel and Kings is a 
phenomenon to be noted in view of the relation in which 
the Samaritans stood to the Jews. The fabrication of the 
Samaritan " book of Joshua " appears to be an attempt to 
meet this want. Moses, as we have said, is the one great 
prophet through whom JHWH revealed His will. He alone 
had seen God and had spoken with Him face to face ; he had 
received the Law from JHWH. Not impossibly the unique 
honour given to Mohammed by the Moslems, not to speak 
of the Divine Nature ascribed to our Lord by the Christians, 
would tend to exalt Moses to the solitary pedestal which he 
occupies in the faith of the Samaritans. 

The sacred Torah does not owe its sanctity to the fact 
that it was communicated to Israel by Moses. As we have 
already seen, the Law was regarded as emanating from 
Deity before the creation of the world. The very Tables of 
Stone on which the Law was written lay in the primeval 
fires until they were delivered to Moses. While they have 
Scripture for saying that the Law was engraved on these 


Tables by the " finger of God," Samaritan opposition to 
anthropomorphism appears in this that they make lightning 
the finger of the Almighty. Whether this highest sanctity 
was ascribed to the whole Law or only to the Ten Words is 
not quite certain. A special sanctity was certainly ascribed 
to the Decalogue, as is evidenced by the fact that it has been 
so frequently found inscribed separately. Highly as the 
Samaritans reverence the Law, they do not descend to the 
blasphemous absurdity of the Rabbin, who represent the 
Almighty occupying a portion of every day in studying the 
Law. The Law is reverenced by them as being JHWH's 
sole revelation of Himself to man. Moses was regarded by 
Marqah as evolving the whole Torah from the Ten 

As the unique position occupied by the Law emphasized 
the dignity of Moses, through whom it had come to Israel, 
it laid the Samaritans more open to Moslem and Christian 
influences. Yet these may easily be exaggerated. Marqah's 
creed seems almost an echo of that of Mohammed : " There 
is only one God, and there is no prophet but Moses the son 
of Amram." It is really independent ; it contains a double 
protest, on the one hand against the Christian doctrine of 
the Trinity, and on the other against the many claimants to 
the prophetic office, who latterly appear to have been pre- 
tenders " wear ing a rough garment to deceive." In reality 
Islam does not seem to have exercised as much influence on 
the Samaritans during the time of the rule of the "Sons of 
Ishmael" as Christianity did in the earlier period when 
it was supreme. Although in pre-Christian times the 
Samaritans expected a Messiah, as we shall see, in later 
times some as ben Manir called " Moses " the " Messiah." 
He is called the " first of creatures," a designation which 
suggests what is said of our Lord in Col. i. 15, "The first- 
born of every creature." Pre-existence is ascribed to Moses 
as it is to Jesus in Christian theology, but not as to Christ, 
an eternal pre-existence. In a hymn which appears in 
Heidenheim's Bibliotheca Samaritana y there is a prayer 
in which Moses occupies a place almost equivalent to that 
of Christ, in the phrase which concludes our Christian 
supplications " For Christ's sake." After references to God's 


goodness the writer says, " Oh Lord J HWH, turn from the 
heat of Thy wrath and be appeased for the sake of Abraham, 
Isaac, and Jacob, and for the labour of Thy servant Moses " 
{ubkamal 'abhadh'ka Mosheh). As may be seen the other 
patriarchs receive a certain amount of honour, but it is sub- 
sidiary to that given to Moses: he was before Creation an 
emanation of the Supreme God, he is above all the organ 
of Divine revelation ; " faithful in the house of God." 

VI. Of THE Messiah. — When our Lord had His conver- 
sation with the " Woman of Samaria" at Jacob's Well, and 
impressed upon her the need of a spiritual religion, she 
appealed to the national expectation of the Messiah " who 
would teach them all things." Confirmatory of this is the 
fact that in the Carmina Samaritana there are many 
references to the coming of one who should restore unity 
to Israel and subdue "seven nations"; the reference of the 
latter statement being to the "seven nations" whom Joshua 
subdued. Although Messiah is not the name ordinarily 
given to Him whom they expect, they sometimes so speak 
of Him as in the Ludolf letters (III.) the Samaritans say, 
" The Messiah has not yet arisen." The name by which He 
is generally designated is " Thaheb." There is considerable 
discussion as to the precise meaning of this title. The root 
of the word appears to be the Aramaic equivalent of the 
Hebrew 2W shubh changed into inn thahebh; here the tav takes 
the place of shin in accordance with the character of the 
Samaritan, and he the place of vav. Thus the root contains 
the idea of "returning." In the participle, in which the vav 
reappears, the word assumes a subjective sense and means 
repentance. This suggests that the work ascribed to the 
Thaheb was not wholly that of a military conqueror, who 
would in a material sense "restore the kingdom to Israel." 
It is to be noted that while 3*B> shubh occurs in the Hebrew 
Pentateuch close upon 180 times, only once is it rendered in 
the Samaritan Targum by any derivative of 3nn thahebh ; 
sometimes the Hebrew root itself appears. 

The emphasis of the Samaritan idea of the Messiah lies 
in a different direction from that of the Jews. The Thaheb 
is one who will restore spiritually thejpeople of Israel to the 



covenant relation to JHWH, which so far as obvious signs 
are concerned they have meanwhile lost, and politically give 
them dominion over the nations. As a preliminary to this, 
he will reunite Judah to Ephraim. On the ground of 
etymology it has been held by some that there was a belief 
among the Samaritans that the Thaheb would be a re- 
incarnation of Moses ; of this there seems no proof. A 
Christian writer, Eulogius, says that the Samaritans expect 
a reappearance of Joshua ; that also remains unconfirmed 
from Samaritan sources. Although "anointed Royalty," 
the prominent element in the Jewish conception, is 
secondary in Samaritan theology, it is not absent ; Joshua 
is called a king, and so are such of the judges as they 
recognise. Kingship had not such a hold on the Israelites 
of the North as it had among the Jews ; the imperial glories 
of David and Solomon and the long succession of sovereigns 
of the Davidic race gave kingship a glory which the ever- 
changing dynasties of the Ephraimite tribes never could 
have. Moreover, for a short while under the Hasmonaean 
and Herod ian rulers kingship was in name revived. The 
prophetic idea of the successor of Moses was looked upon 
as more essential. A very interesting addition to our know- 
ledge of Samaritan Christology was given to the world by 
Dr Merx at the Stockholm Congress of Orientalists in 1889, 
in the form of a pre-Christian hymn in honour of the Thaheb. 
It is clearly assumed that this " Thaheb " of the Samaritans 
is inferior to Moses; while Moses lived 120 years, the life 
of the "Thaheb" was to be only no years, the years of the 
life of Joshua. Though in this hymn the conquering side of 
the Restorer's work is that which is most prominent, the 
prophetic side is that which is first referred to ; as pre- 
liminary to his conquering progress " JHWH will call him and 
teach him His Law, and clothe him with His prophecy." At 
the same time, he is pre-eminently a conqueror D^j nb>y ins Tjijjp'i 
" And he shall reign over eleven nations." His kingdom, 
however, was only to be a temporary one, much like the 
Messiah expected by the cultivated of the orthodox Jews. 
As, however, he was at the same time to be " The prophet 
like unto Moses " his resemblance to the Messiah expected 
by the Samaritan woman is striking ; an anointed one who 


yet was a heavenly teacher who would show his people 
all things. 

A later Scriptural notice of the Samaritans reveals 
another aspect of their Christology. When the evangelist 
Philip came to Samaria, he found Simon Magus occupying 
a position of great influence among the inhabitants of that 
district. He evidently had veiled his claims by using 
mysterious indefinite terms in regard to them. His followers 
went further, they declared him to be "the mighty power 
of God." This would imply not only that Simon claimed 
to be the " Thaheb," but that the "Thaheb" according to 
his claim was a much loftier personage than one who was 
about to repeat in his own person the glories of Joshua ; 
rather he seems to have claimed to be the incarnation of 
the " Logos " of Philo, in short a Samaritan Jesus Christ. 
Indeed, Jerome in his Commentary on Matt. xxiv. repre- 
sents Simon as saying, " I am the Word of God." This, 
however, must have been written long afterwards, if 
Jerome's account is accurate, as Jerome further represents 
him as claiming to be the " Paraclete " — a claim that implies 
a dependence on the fourth Gospel. It is possible that the 
latter designation had been drawn from a work of some 
follower of Simon, and therefore not necessarily represent- 
ing Samaritan thought. Even if the words were really 
Simon's they might represent a change in his own views 
consequent on his intercourse with the Christian apostles 
and evangelists. On being rejected by the Apostles Simon 
may have redefined his position, and declared himself no 
longer the Messiah; that by his baptism he had acknowledged 
Jesus to be, but claimed to be the Paraclete promised by 
Jesus. Though the word parakktos is solely Johannine, so 
far as the New Testament is concerned, it yet may have 
originated with our Lord Himself. The modification our 
Lord's words have sustained in passing through John's 
memory may have been less than we are sometimes in- 
clined to think ; the term Paraclete, as applied to Christ's 
promised successor, who should complete His work, might 
have become part of the ordinary language of the Christian 
Church, though this, because no other of the New Testament 
writers had found occasion to use it, has not been recog- 


nised. This view is favoured by the fact that the term 
had got into Rabbinic. 

Like the Jews and not a few of the Christian Fathers, 
the Samaritans expected the Thaheb at the beginning of 
the seventh millennium of the world's history. According 
to their own reckoning, which is very uncertain as to 
the post-pentateuchal period, this date is long past ; 
Dr Montgomery tells of a letter sent off by the Samaritan 
community in 1808 which was dated by them "Since the 
Creation 6246 years." Petermann who visited Nablus 
in 1853 found the Samaritans expecting the advent of 
the " Thaheb " in five years. When Dr Mills, who visited 
them in i860, interrogated them they postponed the date to 
1 9 10. When they now may expect him it is impossible 
to say, as they are reticent on the subject ; they probably 
have now reverted to the opinion of Scaliger's corre- 
spondents, " God only knows the time when the • Thaheb ' 
will appear." They expect him to be of the seed of Joseph. 
They meet the difficulty that in their community there are 
no descendants of Joseph by expressing their belief that 
somewhere, east or west, there are Samaritan communities 
in which will be found descendants of Joseph who have kept 
their genealogy. From one of these communities will come 
the deliverer, the "Thaheb." The Jews have an idea of 
a Messiah ben Joseph, who will precede the Messiah ben 
David, and will fulfil the prophecies of a suffering Messiah. 

VII. Of the Last Things. — With the Jewish Apoca- 
lyptists the appearance of the Messiah was expected to be 
the immediate precursor of the Last Judgment and the end of 
the world. The Samaritan view differs from this ; the reign 
of the "Thaheb " is supposed merely to begin the Millennium. 
When this period of peace and righteousness, and for the 
people of God, prosperity, comes to an end, the abounding 
wickedness of the Gentiles will move JHWH to wrath ; as 
before the Flood, "the whole earth had corrupted its way 
before the Lord," so after the Sabbatic millennium. One 
cannot fail to observe the resemblance which this bears to 
the scheme of history presented in the Apocalypse of St 
John. After Satan has been bound a thousand years, he 


is to be loosed a little season, when he will " come forth 
to deceive the nations" (Rev. xx. 3, 8). The eschatology of 
the Samaritans had therefore several points of resemblance 
to that of the Early Church ; the coming of the Messiah was, 
according to neither, the immediate precursor of the Last 
Judgment, and between the Millennium and that solemn 
event there is to be a period of falling away. 

Eschatology has an individual as well as a general 
reference. In regard to the individual, it has to a certain 
extent been considered under " Man " ; it has been shown 
that the Samaritans held that the soul was immortal, but 
also that there was a resurrection of the body. In the 
earliest expression of their faith which the Samaritans sent 
" to their brethren in the West " there is certainly no clause 
which affirms the Resurrection, yet from the presence in it of 
a clause which states their belief " In the day of Vengeance 
and Recompense," it would seem necessarily to follow. 
Certainly the Samaritans affirmed their belief in the resur- 
rection of the body in their conversations with Dr Mills 
{Modern Samaritans, p. 219). One of their proof texts was 
" I, even I am He, and there is no God with me, I kill 
and I make alive " (Deut. xxxii. 39). The doctrine is fully 
developed in Marqah. It is to be observed that Origen 
in his Commentary on Matt. xxii. 23-33, assumes that, like 
the Sadducees, the Samaritans deny the Resurrection. So 
Epiphanius, speaking of the Sadducees, says : " They reject 
the Resurrection of the dead, thinking like the Samaritans." 
The received date for Marqah is between these two Fathers. 
As Marqah's evidence is from within, it is to be preferred. 

Abisha's description of the Last Day would seem to 
have been influenced by the Revelation of St John. " Then 
will be annihilated all beings from man even to cattle and 
birds, from grass and herbs to forest trees and fruit trees. 
All hard and stony rocks, all valleys and mountains will 
then disappear, only the sacred mountain will remain in 
the midst of its gardens, a place of refuge for all. Then 
shall all flesh perish from fear of the God of Israel. Then 
speaks the Kabodh JHWH 'the Glory of the Lord,' the 
Memra, the Logos, ' See now that I even I am He, and 
beside me there is no God.' When He has spoken, every 


place will heave in which the dead have been buried. Then 
the earth itself shall split up, and out of it shall ascend 
an odour, the odour of the returning Israelites, an odour 
like the smell of myrtles. They stand there bearing 
the infirmities, which they had when they were put in 
their graves. The prophets and the priests will be there, and 
among them Moses. And Moses shall pray for his people, 
and Aaron and his sons shall offer propitiation. The 
people shall then be divided, the pious shall go into the 
Garden of Eden, they shall be in one part, in another 
part the wicked shall stand smoking before the fire. Moses 
shall pray for them, and they shall all be turned into dust." 
This conditional immortality applies only to the children 
of Israel, as is seen by what follows. Heidenheim says that, 
according to the Talmud, the dust of the wicked forms 
a footstool for the righteous in Paradise. " When the 
Gentiles shall rise out of their graves they shall be naked, 
smelling vilely. Their faces shall be covered with blackness. 
They have no saviour nor any one to set them free from the 
flames of fire ; this fire shall burn them in deepest sheol." 
According to this account of the Last Things, the number of 
those who are permitted to enter into the Garden of Eden 
must be extremely limited ; only the pious among the children 
of Israel are to have that privilege, the wicked of the 
children of the Holy People are, as has been seen, to be 
turned into ashes. To all nations, lasting, presumably 
everlasting, tortures are assigned. The Samaritans of half a 
century ago were, according to Dr Mills, not quite sure 
whether the life after the Resurrection would be everlasting 
or not ; they declared that this would depend entirely on 
the will of God. Amram, Dr Mills' informant, admitted 
that the question had never been put or considered in their 
theology. The limited number of those the Samaritans 
admit to their Paradise is necessitated by the limited 
boundaries they assign to it. As, according to their belief, 
the primitive Eden was situated within the limits of Mount 
Gerizim, so too the Paradise of eternal blessedness is placed in 
this same Holy Mountain. It may be noted that the Samaritan 
theologians do not dwell as does Mohammed on the elements 
that constitute the bliss of Paradise ; in regard to this they 


are wisely reticent. As to the place of punishment the 
Samaritans are equally silent. 

While in regard to theology the views of the Jews and 
the Samaritans are essentially one, there are not a few 
minor points in which they differ. The primary doctrine of 
Israelitism is, and always has been the unity and spirituality 
of God. The Samaritans manifest a greater sensitiveness 
than the Jews to anything that would seem to impinge on 
either of these sides of the doctrine concerning God. Such 
doctrines, to be received at all, must be grasped in all their 
sharpness. The Samaritans appear to have stereotyped their 
monotheism at a time when the two sections of Israelitism 
had separated from each other. It may be said that when 
the priest from Nineveh preached JHWH and His worship 
to the heathen colonists, these colonists endeavoured to 
combine the new faith with the old idol worship (2 Kings 
xvii. 33). We must bear in mind that all primitive religions 
were essentially monotheistic, but as in Roman Catholic 
countries the saints get more prayers than God, so among 
the nations, the lower gods usurped the honours due to the 
Most High. The contrast then, in the case of these colonists, 
was between an absolute monotheism in which the Supreme 
alone was worshipped and believed in, and a Supreme God 
believed in merely in a vague way, but not worshipped 
because He was too good ever to do them hurt and too great 
to care about their acts of worship. The heathen gave his 
worship to lower gods who were nearer him, who were 
malevolent enough to will to hurt him, and at the same 
time near enough to appreciate his prayers and sacrifices. 
The syncretism must soon have broken down. When the 
f Samaritans, as we already had occasion to remark, offered 
Zerubbabel to assist in the rebuilding of the temple at 
Jerusalem, they claim to have been worshippers of JHWH 
from the days of Esarhaddon ; the Jews in refusing their 
assistance do not deny the purity of their worship or assert 
the intrusion of any polytheistic elements into it. Having 
got rid of the subordinate deities, with the zeal of new 
converts, they carry out their new faith to its logical 


conclusions ; hence they become even stricter in their 
monotheism and in their rejection of everything like idolatry. 
The case of Islam is in point. The unitarian ism of the 
Moslem is more in evidence than that of the Jew, and their 
rejection of everything approaching to image-making. No 
pictures of men or animals are to be found in the house of 
an Orthodox Moslem. Originally the Moslems had been 
image-worshippers ; the Kaaba was full of idols. In like 
manner the Samaritans obeyed the Second Command- 
ment with absolute literalness : while the Jews introduced 
Cherubim into the adornment of the temple in Jerusalem, 
the Samaritans built theirs bare of all such adornment. 
Indeed they taunted the Jews with their failure to keep the 
Law in all its purity. This could scarcely have dated from 
the time of Ezra, nor does the mood of mind harmonise with 
the placid adoption wholesale of the Ezrahitic additions to 
the Law. 

The Samaritan effort to maintain the absoluteness of 
Creation manifests a similar effort after the logical. The 
doctrine of the angels affords the clearest proof of the 
primitive character of Samaritan theology. It is clear that 
Samaritan angelology dates from a period before Ezra 
brought " the names of the angels from Babylon." Later 
they seem to have imitated the Jews in giving names to the 
angels, but these generally are formed on a totally different 
principle from that which rules in Jewish angelic nomencla- 
ture. The Samaritans have formed their angelic names 
ingeniously from texts of Scripture. The Jews on the other 
hand have taken attributive statements concerning Deity and 
added to them the syllable el, e.g., Uriel, the Light of God 
or God is my Light ; Raphael, God the healer. If the 
Samaritans got the Law from Manasseh after Ezra had 
brought the names of the angels, why were the angelic 
names not received also ? So too with the evil spirits, the 
Samaritan names are quite different from the Jewish. It is 
evident that Samaritanism represents a type of Israelitism 
which existed before the angels were named. Samaritan 
Christology is also independent of the Jewish. The title 
" Thaheb " regards the work of the promised deliverer from 
a point of view totally different from that of the Jews. The 


eschatology of the Samaritans, conditioned as it is by the 
place assigned to Mount Gerizim, is in marked contrast to 
that of Judaism, but it is manifestly a later growth. 

Supplementary Note. 

It may be observed that no use has been made in the 
foregoing of Dr L. Wreschner's pamphlet, Samaritanische 
Traditional mitgeteilt und nach Hirer gescJiielitliclicn Entzvicke- 
lung untersucJit, because the views of the writer have been 
so overladen with Jewish prejudice that his conclusions are 
practically valueless. He assigns reasons, in themselves 
not at all cogent, for maintaining that all the Samaritan 
differences from orthodox Judaism are late, without con- 
sidering arguments which seem much stronger, pointing 
to an opposite conclusion. Thus__h e ass ujrnes_ tha t_ the 
Samaritans rejected t he traditional text of the Penta teuch, 
and never takes any account of "the possibility that the 
Samaritan text is in many cases the primitive, prior to 
that adopted by the Jews. Exaggerating the resemblance 
between the Sadducees and the Samaritans into an identity, 
he argues that it is more likely that the Samaritans borrowed 
their doctrines from the Sadducees than that "the important 
sect of the Sadducees, sprung from the soil of Judaism," 
should adopt from an inconsiderable foreign sect explanations 
of the Law. Nor is a .thir d possibility noted that the resem- 
blances between these two sects are due to similar causes 
operating independently. The_source_of both is sacerdotalism.: 
the Sadducees were the priestly party among the Jews, and 
the Samaritans, as they got their revived knowledge of 
the Law through the priests sent by Esarhaddon, had no 
indication given them of the spiritual aspirations which 
tradition had carried down along with the precepts of 
the Law, the custodiers of which were the Prophets. So 
too Wreschner would account for the many resemblances 
between Samaritanism and the doctrines of the Karaites : 
the Samaritans borrowed from the Karaites. The origin 
of the similarities appears to be totally different ; the 
Karaites by rejecting the interpretations of the Law intro- 
duced by the Pharisaic Rabbin reached a position in point 
of doctrine in man)- cases identical with that of the 


Samaritans who had never accepted them. He assumes a 
heathen origin for some of the Samaritan peculiarities, e.g., 
the restriction of the Levirate Law to the case of a virgin 
betrothed whose husband had died before the marriage 
was consummated ; this Wreschner considers borrowed from 
India, without indicating any way in which this variation 
had been introduced into Samaria from so remote a source. 
It may be noted that the authority for this being a doctrine 
of the Samaritans is the very suspicious one of a Talmudic 
treatise. Dr Wreschner arguing from the way in which 
the Samaritans escaped the persecution which Epiphanes 
directed against the Jews — a fact known only from the 
biased evidence of Josephus — deduces that the Samaritans 
very readily adopted the views of others. He utterly 
ignores the terrible persecutions which the Samaritans 
endured at the hands of the pagan emperors of Rome, 
and the persecutions still more terrible which they suffered 
from Christian Byzantine emperors. From these persecu- 
tions the Jews were exempt. 



It is impossible to go back historically, to the origin of 
writing. By the very nature of the case there could be no 
record of the time when man first found out a way to make 
his thoughts permanent Possibly from the beginning of 
that earlier time when man learned to communicate to others 
his thoughts and feelings by audible signs, by speech, the 
words would be emphasized and explained by gestures, signs 
which appealed to sight. But to convey thought beyond the 
range of the voice, still more to hand it on to the future, 
something more was needed, hence the step was taken of 
depicting visible signs ; not only making thought visible but 
permanent. The sound of a voice is dissipated when spoken, 
but litera scripta manet. The earliest stage of writing was of 
necessity hieroglyphic — things were represented by the 
pictures of them ; an ox would be expressed by the roughly 
drawn picture of an ox. An action would be suggested by 
drawing the figure of a person performing it ; as running, 
by a person running. An emotion, though more elusive, 
could be depicted by showing a person in the attitude 
naturally assumed by one under it, as grief by a figure 
sitting with the hand on the forehead. Such a written 
language would be quite independent of vocal speech. The 
picture of a horse would be recognised everywhere for what 
it was, but while an Englishman would call it " a horse," a 
Frenchman would name it " un cheval," and a German " ein 
pferd." Such a written language, totally divorced from 
speech, is easily conceived, but as a matter of fact, Chinese 
is the only language that is to any serious extent ideographic. 
Among Western nations, numerals are the only ideographs 



in general use ; to them all the numerical signs, Roman and 
Arabic, have the same meaning, but are designated by very 
different words. 

Although by means of conventions its scope could be 
considerably extended, it would soon be found very difficult 
to express anything but the simplest facts by an ideographic 
language. The vocal signs that existed alongside the visible 
had, by convention, a greater capacity for conveying shades 
of meaning ; hence arose the practice of giving vocal 
language visible signs, instead of expressing thought directly 
by more or less conventionalised hieroglyphs, doing so 
indirectly by visualised words. When the name of a thing 
was composed of syllables, each of which was significant, it 
was natural that these would be represented each by the 
picture of the thing signified. This stage is found represented 
both in Egypt and Assyria. Convention came in to extend 
the meaning of the picture when it represented a syllable. 
When each syllable was thus depicted, the unity of the word 
which they formed was indicated by subjoining a separate 
sign, which showed whether it was a person or a place that 
was intended. A further step in analysis was taken when 
the initial sound in a name was all that was supposed to be 
represented by the picture. In this an approach was made 
to strictly alphabetic writing ; but only an approach, as the 
same sound was often represented by different signs, while 
again the same signs might represent different sounds. 

Meantime a process of simplification and conventional- 
ising was going on in regard to the hieroglyphic symbols, 
especially in Assyria. The fact that the alluvial plain of 
Babylon did not supply stone but did a fine clay which 
could be formed into tablets, on which a fine pointed wooden 
chisel might be used, led to modification of the hieroglyphic 
pictures in one direction. Egypt, which had no strata of 
fine slay, had the papyrus reed, the pith of which supplied 
another material for writing on ; this led to modification in 
another direction. Characters were not so naturally inscribed 
on it by a chisel as by a reed pen dipped in ink. In the 
hieratic and demotic script of Egypt, the hieroglyphs tended 
to assume curved lines instead of the upright and horizontal 
wedges affected in the plains of Babylon. The Hittites 


who also had a hieroglyphic language did not invent for 
themselves a cursive script but adopted the Assyrian, 
cumbrous as it seems to us. 

This, however, must be developed a little more in detail. 
In regard to Assyria, while in the earliest form of the 
cuneiform, there was a resemblance though distant to the 
object presumed to be represented, every generation 
lessened the likeness until at length there was not the 
slightest suggestion of the original hieroglyph. As an 
example £^ even when laid on its side c(3 has the 
faint suggestion of a " house " ; it can also be understood 
how a| the figure of a " house," with four lines introduced, 
might suggest reduplication, and so a "great house"; 
but when the symbol becomes :<«g the resemblance has 
wholly disappeared. Another example may be adduced ; 
^ as the rough suggestion of a foot, may quite naturally 
be used as the symbol for " to walk " ; it might retain its 
suggestiveness even when laid on its side so c3 ; but all 
resemblance has disappeared in ^ of the later cunei- 
form. This difficulty is not lessened when a word written 
in this later cuneiform is developed ideographically ; thus 

7J "water" placed within {T1 "mouth" becomes tfB 
and means "to drink." To the end, ideograms intrude 
themselves into Assyrian, not infrequently drawn from 
Sumerian, at times representing not the idea but the sound 
of the Sumerian word. At the same time there were 
alphabetic signs representing the consonants. Even the 
earliest extant cuneiform inscriptions manifest a consider- 
able divergence from the purely ideographic. The process 
implied must have involved a lengthened period of time of 
which there is no record. 

In the case of Egypt the process is more under the eye 
of the observer. The artistic skill of the Egyptian people, 
and possibly the material they used, induced them to per- 
petuate their picture writing to a much later period, and in 
a much purer form than was the case in the valley of the 
Tigris and the Euphrates. Down to the times of the Roman 
emperors, sacred inscriptions were engraved in hieroglyph. 

Parallel with the hieroglyphic there were two other scripts, 
the "hieratic" and the "demotic." The former, the 


" hieratic," is nearer the hieroglyphic ; it was used for 
documents of importance, such as royal proclamations and 
sacred edicts. The other, further removed from the hiero- 
glyphic, was used for more ordinary purposes, hence its name 
" demotic." The difference between these scripts is due to 
desire on the part of the scribe to write rapidly. It is 
interesting to observe the process by which the " demotic " 
was evolved. Thus / (or r) was represented in hieroglyphic 
by a lion couchant £^> ; in the Prisse papyrus, that 
became jj& ; in the later "hieratic" it became n_i , and 
in the " demotic " ^ . But throughout the whole process 
ancient Egyptian never became perfectly alphabetic ; there 
were always occasions in which a word or a portion of a 
word would first be pictured and then spelt. 

While the two great empires, the Assyrian and the 
Egyptian, bounded Palestine to the south and the north- 
east, there was on the north another powerful empire, the 
Hittite, the importance of which has been realised only in 
comparatively recent times. Still more recently have the 
many attempts at deciphering their inscriptions been crowned 
with anything like success. The writing of the Hittites is 
distinctly hieroglyphic ; but while the Egyptian hieroglyphics 
were incised, those of the Hittites were carved in relief. 
Indeed, in every way there is the greatest contrast between 
the two systems of hieroglyph ; the Hittite figures are 
coarsely drawn and of squat proportions, whereas elegant 
proportions and clear sharp outlines are the characteristics 
of those of the Egyptians. Another peculiarity of Hittite 
hieroglyph is that there is a much closer portraiture of the 
object which formed the hieroglyph, than is to be found in 
the idealised hieroglyphs of Egypt. The truth of what is 
here advanced may be seen on looking at the illustrations 
of Hittite inscriptions to be found in Wright's Empire of 
the Hittites, and elsewhere. Dr Sayce (Murray's Dictionary 
of the Bible, "Hittites") says that the Hittites only used 
hieroglyphics for monumental purposes, and instead of 
modifying them into a more current form for ordinary 
occasions, they* adopted the Assyrian cuneiform. 

The origin of the Semitic script in all its varieties has 
been sought in each of these modes of writing. The Semitic, 


or as it is sometimes called the Phoenician script had an 
extensive vogue geographically ; from the Taurus Mountains 
on the north it extended in various forms to Syene 
(Assouan) in the south, and from the banks of the Tigris 
on the east to Carthage and Marseilles on the west. The 
essential point in which the Semitic script differed from 
those of the great empires around was this ; while they 
remained more or less hieroglyphic, it was from the first 
alphabetic. An approximation to this alphabetic stage 
had been made, as we have already seen, by all three 
languages above referred to ; in regard to the Assyrian and 
Egyptian, this may be said with certainty, and in regard 
to the Hittite with a high degree of probability. The final 
step was taken of affixing one sign and one only to one 
sound and to one only, by one or other of the northern 
Semite races. This people evolved the alphabet, which in the 
names of the letters and the order in which they follow each 
other has been predominant in all essentials from the days 
of David and Solomon, if not earlier, down to the present 
time. Before the alphabetic writing was adopted correspond- 
ence in all the northern Semitic area seems to have been 
carried on in the cuneiform character and in the language of 
Babylon. Cumbrous as this mode of writing seems to us, 
it was not only used for official communications, as the Tell 
Amarna tablets show, but also for ordinary epistolary cor- 
respondence. At the same time it is relatively certain that 
the spoken language of Canaan, at the time when the Egyptian 
governors were corresponding with the chancellory of Khu- 
en-aten, was not Babylonian but a form of Hebrew. While 
this is so, the probability is that when they committed any- 
thing to writing, the script used would be cuneiform. Hence 
there is a plausibility in Colonel Conder's contention that in its 
earliest form the Pentateuch was not written, in the ordinary 
sense of the word, but was impressed in cuneiform characters 
on clay tablets with small chisels. Later in the year in 
which Conder published his book, The First Bt'&fe, Dr Otto 
Winckler advocated the same view in a magazine article. 
Since it has thus received German support this opinion is, 
according to Dr Sayce, that generally held. There is, how- 
ever, a difficulty in allowing to this more than, at most, a 


high degree of probability. It is not to be assumed as 
certain that in some elementary form the Semitic script was 
not known and used. The earliest examples of this mode 
of writing show that a long history of selection and simplifica- 
tion stands behind them. Centuries before Ahab reigned in 
Israel or Mesha in Moab the process must have begun, by 
which the script in question was evolved. 

Whence was the Semitic script descended? Hommel 
(Gesch. Bab. u. Assyr., pp. 50 ff.) maintains that it was 
derived from the cuneiform. In this there is no inherent im- 
probability. Whatever province it was in which this script 
took its origin, it yet was one within the bounds of the 
ancient Babylonian Empire. It suits, too, with Hebrew 
tradition, which records that Abraham the ancestor of the 
Hebrew people came from Babylonia, from Ur of the 
Chaldees. The general vogue of the language is proved 
by the fact already noted that even when writing to the 
Egyptian king, whose officials they were, the Egyptian 
governors of Palestine wrote as we have seen in cuneiform 
characters and in the Babylonian language. When, however, 
it is tested letter by letter, Hommel's view is not confirmed. 
His additional opinion of how the step was taken is even 
less plausible. He thinks that some tribe of wandering 
Bedu struck with the wonders of writing, adopted the 
signs used by the Babylonians and simplified them into 
an alphabet. But the question as to who evolved the 
alphabet is quite different from the source from which 
it was evolved. Hommel chooses out eight characters 
as proving the source of the Hebrew alphabet to have been 
in Babylon. These are O alpu, an "ox"; ^ bitu, a 
" house " or " tent " ; /- gimmidu, a " gift " ; ^ or p daltu, 
a " door " ; njj katu, or idu, a " hand " ; ^ inu, an " eye " ; 
$ nunu, a "fish"; <> or ^ rz'su, a "head." He adds 
other two as possible instances of derivation; \\\\ mi, 
probably "water"; =3 e of indeterminate meaning. The 
first of these eight first mentioned signs is not unlike 
A alepk, since both are roughly drawn ideograms of the 
same object, but even so the Semitic does not seem to be 
derived from the Babylonian; it is drawn differently. In 


regard to the second what resemblance there is, is distinctly 
fainter and suggests a different object ; while the Babylonian 
symbol resembles a "booth," the Semitic suggests a "tent" 
£7. . The form of the third letter in Babylonian / — is 
only like the later Maccabrean «/v and the Samaritan form 
of the letter, not the earlier angular "^ which is an attempt 
to indicate the head and neck of a " camel." Only the 
contracted form of the fourth has any resemblance to £> 
daleth in the angular, which is an attempt to indicate a 
"tent door," an object naturally triangular. Hommel's fifth 
example — the tenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet — appears 
to be the rough representation of the fingers of a hand ; but 
still liker is it to the sign put on Moslem houses all over 
the nearer East, to avert the evil eye ; the yodh /J/ of 
the angular script rather suggests the closed fist. Between 
the Babylonian nunu and the angular ^ nun there does 
not seem to be much resemblance, though both having the 
same name must have been derived from the hieroglyph 
of a " fish." As to inn, an " eye," if it were reversed and set 
upon its apex, it would be almost identical with V ayin 
in Samaritan; but is quite unlike the earlier form of the letter 
which is O almost our " o," the letter which occupies 
the corresponding place in our alphabet. Still less is there 
any connection observable between Hommel's eighth 
example and the twentieth letter of the Semitic alphabet ; 
if 4^ risk is the name of that sign it resembles not ^\ 
res/i but (p qoph. The other two are really not to be 
taken into consideration at all. After all due estimate of 
the evidence, the resemblances and differences, etc., we feel 
ourselves, in regard to Dr Hommel's theory, obliged to come 
to a verdict of " not proven " with a distinct leaning towards 
a negative decision. 

The theory advanced by Dr Rouge that the Semitic 
script was derived from Egypt has also considerable initial 
probability, though not so much as has that of Hommel. 
The Egyptians had made a closer approximation to the 
attainment of an alphabetic system than had the Baby- 
lonians. There was an intimate connection between Egypt 
and Palestine throughout the whole historic period. The 
lengthened stay of the people in Egypt would naturally 



have led the Israelites to imbibe much of Egyptian culture. 
Still, Israel was only one branch of the Semite race, and 
not to appearance that with which the alphabet originated. 
The connection of Egypt with Palestine began long before 
the exodus of the Hebrews from the land of Egypt. For 
two generations the country had been, at the time when 
the Tell Amarna tablets were incised, under the dominion 
of Egypt. Certainly the tablets found in Tell Amarna 
are in cuneiform character and in the Babylonian tongue, 
as has been already stated; but though official diplomatic 
correspondence was carried on in Babylonian, as at present 
such correspondence in Europe is in French, it does not 
follow that the people, who certainly spoke a variety of 
Hebrew, wrote in cuneiform. From the advance made 
by the Egyptians towards a true alphabet, it might seem 
not at all unlikely that when the Canaanites were devising 
an alphabet they should be influenced by Egypt, and by 
the semi-alphabetic signs used by its people. Rouge 
wrote a book to prove the correctness of his theory of 
the dependence of the Semitic alphabet on Egyptian 
"demotic." He does not claim to have been the first to 
make this suggestion. In his book, to which reference has 
just been made, he surveys several of these systems accord- 
ing to which the Phoenician or Semitic alphabet was derived 
from Egypt. He goes back to antiquity to find support 
for his theory, and on the authority of Eusebius, quotes 
Sanchuniathon as attributing to Thoth, the son of Misor 
(Egypt), the invention of letters ; this Rouge regards as 
indicating that there was a tradition among the Phoenicians 
that they had got their alphabet from Egypt. He, however, 
gives no indication of the process by which the Semitic was 
derived from the Egyptian. It is true M. Rouge lays down 
elaborate rules and principles on which it is necessary 
to proceed in deducing the Semitic signs from the Egyptian, 
and illustrates his scheme by numerous tables and figures. 
Yet a careful study of the evidence he adduces fails to 
produce conviction. Thus Rouge thinks that ^ is derived 
from 2, > Dut no resemblance can be perceived between 
this and the earliest form aleph assumes on the monuments, 
e.g., t>* and x< . Further this "demotic" form sprang 


from the hieroglyph ^ a, an " eagle " ; the Hebrew 
word for an eagle is nesher, a word that does not contain 
the letter aleph, and therefore does not supply the required 
initial. In all the list there are only two letters where form 
and sound do at all support M. Rouge's contention. The 
Egyptian for an " owl " is em ^ ; it becomes first £ 
and then 3 which has some resemblance to J, the 
form mem assumes on the ancient Semitic monuments, 
but the resemblance is far from striking. A more favourable 
example is {Jj shehet, "papyrus growing"; here form and 
sound agree with the Semitic shin. But both mem and 
shin are roughly drawn hieroglyphics, significant in the 
Semitic tongues ; mem is a modification of mayim, " water," 
and its form on the Moabite Stone y suggests this; shin 
is shen, a " tooth," and again the earliest form the 
letter takes is a rough delineation of w a row of sharp 
teeth. This earliest form, instead of being liker its alleged 
Egyptian source, as seen on the Prisse papyrus, is much less 
so than that to be seen in the square character shin B>. In 
the " hieratic " and " demotic " scripts, the Egyptian form of 
shehet assimilates more to the Semitic 7nem than to shin. 
What resemblance there is, is merely fortuitous. 

There remains Colonel Conder's theory that the Semitic 
alphabet was derived from the Hittites. In this case as in 
the others there is a certain initial plausibility in favour 
of the suggestion. The Hittite Empire would naturally 
impress itself on the mind and imagination of the whole 
northern portion of South-western Asia, the region wherein 
the alphabet with which attention is occupied sprang up. 
One of their subordinate capitals, Carchemish on the fords 
of the Euphrates, threatened to dominate the whole of 
Mesopotamia. On the west, the whole force of the Egyptian 
Empire had to be put forth under its greatest monarchs to 
prevent them holding in possession all Palestine. As far 
south as Hebron there was a colony of Hittites, with whom 
Abraham became confederate. This great and widespread 
influence would render plausible the theory which would 
seek the origin of what has been called the Phoenician 
alphabet in the signs of the Hittite syllabary. Colonel 


Conder has, in his article on " Writing," in Murray's 
Dictionary of the Bible, expounded his theory at some 
length ; only somewhat confusingly, in his table of " Com- 
parative Alphabets," he replaces the term "Hittite" by 
" Syrian." His theory depends on the correctness of his 
transliteration of Hittite inscriptions ; but nowhere has his 
system found acceptance. According to Colonel Conder, 
both the name of the letter and the object which its form 
indicated were drawn from the language of the Hittites. 
He maintains that daleth as the name of a letter does not 
signify a " door " but a " bucket," and sees a greater resem- 
blance to that object than to a tent door in the triangle 
which represented the letter in the earliest inscriptions. The 
name for a skin bucket was in Hittite, according to Colonel 
Conder daltu, but skin buckets assume several shapes even 
if daltu be the Hittite word for it. Moreover, if one looks at 
the table given in " Murray," it is found that the parallel 
signs do not always suit, e.g., the tenth symbol in the Hittite 
column seems decidedly more like the hieroglyphic source 
of the eleventh Semitic sign than of the tenth ; on the other 
hand, the Hittite eleventh suggests the Hebrew tenth. 
Against this apparent plausibility which may be admitted 
with reservations is to be set the fact that the Hittite 
language was not alphabetic, and further it was not developed 
in the alphabetic direction even so far as was the Babylonian 
and Egyptian ; for its cursive script it depended on Assyrian. 

Thus it would seem to be impossible to deduce the 
Semitic script from any one of the suggested sources, the 
Babylonian, the Egyptian, or the Hittite. All three 
manifested a tendency towards becoming alphabetic, but 
each and all they stopped short of the final step. Who then 
took the step? The answer to this can only be found by 
interrogating the alphabet itself. As the people who 
invented the alphabet would primarily desire to inform 
their own people of their thoughts and wishes, the objects 
they would choose to employ as alphabetic signs would be 
those that were familiar. Hence we can deduce something 
of the habits of the nation from the objects with which they 
were constantly in contact. 

Something may be deduced from the general character 


of the symbols employed and the mode in which they are 
delineated. The presence of fine clay in the Mesopotamian 
valley suggested the use of tablets and of impressing the 
symbols on them by chisels; this led to a modification of 
the forms of the symbols. On the other hand, as we 
have seen, in Egypt the want of clay and the presence 
of the papyrus suggested the use of its pith as a sub- 
stance to receive the graphic symbols. This led to the 
employment of a reed pen dipped in ink. This tended 
to modify the form of the symbols in another direction. 
From the angular shape assumed by the letters in the 
earliest instances of the Semitic script, they appear to have 
been scratched with an instrument having a hard sharp point 
on a surface of stone. This would exclude both Egypt and 
Mesopotamia, and point to the hilly district lying between 
the region of the two rivers and the Mediterranean as the 
dwelling of the inventors. The region would fit in with the 
suggestion of Hommel that it was the wandering Bedu 
who, impressed with the wonders of writing as they saw 
them in Babylon, adopted the idea, but modified and 
improved it into the alphabetic form. But the nomad had 
no motive to induce him to write ; the tales and songs with 
which he and his friends entertained each other had been 
handed down by tradition in memory from his ancestors, 
and he was ready in his turn to convey them in the same 
way to his descendants ; books would seem to him a useless 
encumbrance and writing a futile accomplishment. There 
were, however, traversing this desert tract of country, 
wanderers certainly but not unlettered Bedu, the Midianites, 
whose caravans conveyed the trade of Mesopotamia to 
Egypt and that of Egypt to Mesopotamia. Another people 
has been suggested, the Phoenicians ; they, like the 
Midianites, were traders, and dwelt on the western edge of 
the region above indicated. 

The geographical localisation of the inventors of the 
alphabet to which we have been led by considering the form 
of the letters and the medium used by the inventors, is 
confirmed by looking at the language or languages in giving 
permanence to which they were employed. This language 
is Aramaic, with its cognate Hebrew. The region occupied 


by this language has been indicated above. It had flowed 
down into the rich plains of the land between the rivers. 
That the inhabitants of Babylonia and Assyria as far back 
as the time of Sargon spoke and wrote Aramaic is evidenced 
by the weights in his palace. On them, while on the one 
side is the formal legal inscription which recounts the names 
and titles of the sovereign in cuneiform, to which is added 
the statement of the weight, on the other in Aramaic is the 
simple statement of its relation to the sheqel whether part or 
multiple : on a British coin, on the one side the names and 
title of the king are given in Latin, and on the other in 
English the value of the coin. The docquet on the wrapper 
which contains a Babylonian contract table is usually in 
Aramaic, while the contract itself is in Babylonian. In 
Scotland, while up to the middle of last century certain 
documents necessary in the purchase of landed property 
were written in Latin and in black letter, the docquet 
was in English and written in the ordinary engrossing 
hand. From this it is clear that the ordinary language of 
the people was Aramaic even in Nineveh and Babylon, 
and the script commonly used was that of the Semitic 
peoples north and west of these cities. The script is the 
same in Sinjirli and on the Moabite Stone. 

On the principle which has just been laid down, it will 
be advantageous to see what light is thrown on the origin 
of the Semitic alphabet by the objects from which the 
hieroglyphs behind the letters have been taken. The first 
letter, as has already been remarked, is aleph and means 
"an ox." In comparing the Semitic alphabet with the 
cuneiform, the resemblance has been noted which the figure 
had to the roughly drawn head of an ox — a likeness to be 
found in the script of the Cretan inscriptions. The ox 
was the animal most used in agriculture. The Laws of 
Hammurabi show how much importance was placed on 
agriculture in Babylonia. On the other side of the desert, 
the Phoenicians were regarded as such adepts in the art of 
husbandry that works on this subject were translated from 
Phoenician into Greek. If our supposition is correct that 
beth is intended to represent a "tent," this would indicate 
nomadic life ; the form the letter assumes in Minoan might 


suggest rather a built house, but the Minoan form is 
distinctly a secondary formation, whatever its actual date. 
The third letter gimel, which seems to be a rough portraiture 
of a camel's head and neck, carries a little further the 
suggestion of the alphabet originating with a nomadic 
people. The figure which Evans gives in the Scripta Minoa 
represents a human leg bent at the knee. This, however, 
proves only that to the Cretans, unfamiliar with the camel 
as they were, the sign for gimel suggested a bent knee ; 
much as are the initial letters to chapters of illustrated books 
conjured into forming an illustration of what is coming. 
The common meaning of daleth is a "door"; from the 
triangular shape it is clearly a tent door that was in the 
mind of the artist. This also supports the nomadic origin 
of the alphabet. 

If Gesenius is right in considering the name of the fifth 
letter, he, as connected with the exclamatory ke, " behold," 
and in his further conjecture that it is intended to represent 
a " lattice " seen in profile, an upright with three sloping lines 
21 represent with fair accuracy the slats of a lattice affixed 
to the upright side of the window. Sir Arthur Evans in the 
Scripta Minoa would connect it with heth, of which he would 
regard it as a modification, and consequently would attach 
to it the same meaning ; this, however, will be considered 
later under that letter. Vav the sixth letter means a " nail," 
a meaning borne out better by the corresponding letter in 
the Minoan script {Scripta Minoa, i., pi. vi.). This would 
suggest wooden structures and carpenters to erect such ; 
but the form it assumes on the " Moabite Stone " and in the 
Siloam inscription \'\ more naturally suggests a tent-peg, 
the division at the top indicating the crutch of a small 
branch, a thing very frequently used for this purpose. This 
harmonises more with the nomadic idea. The seventh letter 
zain has a name significant in Aramaic, Eastern and Western, 
but not in Hebrew; it means a "weapon." In the Baal- 
Lebanon inscription it is J which has the suggestion of a 
feathered dart ; the other and later forms, as on the Moabite 
Stone, appear to have resulted from emphasising the cross 
lines. The form of this letter found in Crete points to 
another weapon as that intended ; it seems to have been a 


double-headed battle-axe. (Scripta Minoa, pi. v., this form 
is also said to occur in South Semitic.) But as weapons were 
used equally by nomads and husbandmen no evidence is 
afforded as to which were the inventors. The eighth letter 
heth is usually held as meaning a " fence " ; its form, two 
upright parallel lines joined by two or three horizontal ones, 
constant from the Ba'al-Lebanon inscription to the lettering 
on the Maccabaean coins, and but slightly modified in the 
Samaritan and in the script of Assouan, quite suits this. 
The root is not found either in Hebrew or in Aramaic, but 
in Arabic 1>^- occurs which means "to surround with a 
fence." This points to enclosed fields and agricultural life : 
there is no suggestion of a " zareba " of cut thorns in any 
form the letter assumes. The ninth letter ieth affords no 
evidence, as there is great dubiety as to the object intended 
to be represented. 1 The letters which follow, yodh and kapk, 
the " closed fist " and the " open palm," are not distinctive. 
This applies also to ain, pe, qoph, resh, and skin, as all 
representing parts of the body. Lamed an " ox-goad " 
suggests agriculture ; nun a " fish " and tzade a " fish-hook," 
point to residence beside either the sea or a great river. In 
neither case is the implied hieroglyphic very evident ; 
Hommel suggests as above noted that nun ^ is derived 
from the Babylonian $ , but the line chosen does not seem 
to be suggestive of the original form. The sharpness of the 
angles at the turns in the figure precludes Sir Arthur Evans' 
suggestion of a "serpent." Unless it is intended to be a 
shorthand representation of a person fishing with a rod, the 
early form of tzade V^ has no resemblance to a " fish-hook." 
The complete lack of any maritime symbols as a " ship " or 
an " oar " or a " sail " renders it more likely that the home of 
the inventors of the alphabet is to be found on the banks of 
the Tigris and the Euphrates, rather than on the seashore. 
The recent discoveries in Crete have led to the general 
acceptance of the opinion, strongly maintained by Sir 
Arthur Evans, that the alphabet which we have denominated 
Semitic really originated in the island kingdom of Minos. We 

1 The Minoan form certainly represents a chariot wheel and the 
Sinjirli shape is not unlike it, but the form on the Moabite Stone is less 
like it. The meaning of the word is uncertain. 


do not think the proof which he advances at all convincing. 
The lack of any symbol, among those used as alphabetic. 
having a connection with maritime matters, militates also 
strongly against the Minoan claim to the origination of 
the alphabet. As the Minoan language is as yet un- 
known, there is no evidence that behind the signs were 
significant words the initial sounds of which were indi- 
cated. The picture of a house is unmistakable, but while 
beth is a "house" or "tent" in Semitic, there is no proof that 
the Minoans had a word for a house with the same initial. 1 
The fact that one of the names is significant in Aramaic 
though not in Hebrew points in the same direction. The 
Phoenicians — the only rivals of the Aramaeans — spoke 
Hebrew. The probability seems to be that it was one of 
the tribes that conveyed the produce of Assyria to Egypt and 
vice versa, but who had their home in the high land over- 
looking Mesopotamia, and pursued agriculture in the intervals 
of trade, who invented the alphabet. It is to be observed 
that even yet the vowels were not expressed, the ahevi letter- 
were only used for very exceptional circumstances when 
the vowel sounds were emphatic. In Semitic languages 
vowel sounds are somewhat indefinite, noticeably is this the 
case in regard to Arabic. It seems as if they regarded the 
vowels as a sort of indefinite sound-stuff modified by the 

The order of the letters in the Semitic alphabet is not 
to be considered unimportant. The number of alphabetic 
poems, Psalms and others, in the limited Hebrew litera- 
ture show the attention that wi-.s directed to this. In 
Ps. cxix. the alphabet is repeated in groups of eight verses, 
each of which begins with one letter Besides this Psalm, 
there are seven other alphabets in the book of Psalms, 
one of these requiring two Psalms for its completion, 
Ps. ix. and x. Of these seven, only two are, in our prevent 
text, perfectly regular, cxi. and cxii. ; these have this pecul- 
iarity that each letter is followed only by half a verse. While 
in our present text Ps. xxxvii. is defective as it wants the 
lettery ain, in the Septuagint a verse occurs, omitted in the 
Massoretic, which supplies the missing letter. The remain- 
1 This question is discussed more fully in Appendix III. 


ing four alphabets in the Psalms are defective. Ps. ix. and x. 
appear to have been intended to form together one alphabet, 
but in the first of these daleth is omitted, and in Ps. x. the 
verses which follow the lamed verse on to the twelfth are 
not alphabetic. It would be beside the present argument 
to dwell on the other instances. The book of Lamentations 
has four alphabets ; three of these are irregular by transpos- 
ing ain and pe. The alphabet which occurs in Prov. xxxi. is 
normal. When these poems were written the order of the 
letters was fixed. As most of the Psalms written in this styje 
are attributed to David, the order of the alphabet must have 
been regarded as very old. Whether Jeremiah wrote the 
book of qinoth (Lamentations) or not, the book is certainly 
old ; if not pre-exilic, it was written under the agony of the 
exile ; though three out of the four alphabetic poems have the 
slight irregularity above referred to, the evidence for the 
common order furnished by the general agreement greatly 
outweighs this. 

Another sign of the fixity in the order of the letters of 
the alphabet, and the importance attached to it, is the use 
made of it in cryptic writing. For instance, there was athbash 
in which the last letter of the alphabet was put for the first, 
and the second last for the second, and so on through the 
alphabet ; an example of this is to be found in Jer. xxv. 
26 and li. 41, in which TJW Sheshak stands for ?33 Babel. 
Another of these cryptic modes of writing is called albam ; 
in it the alphabet was divided into two, and the first letter of 
the alphabet was put for the twelfth, the second for the 
thirteenth, and vice versd ; an example of this is supposed 
by Rashi to be found in Is. vii. 6, " the son of Tabeal " 
really standing for " the son of Remaliah," as the " son of 
Tabeal " was an utterly unknown person. All these devices 
implied that the order of the alphabet was fixed. The device 
of giving numerical values to the several letters according to 
their place in the alphabet implies the same fixity ; only the 
date at which this came into use cannot be determined. The 
Phoenicians had separate signs for numbers, as may be seen 
on the Sarcophagus of Ashmunazar. On the Maccabaean 
coins letters are regularly used for numerals. 

Since the order of the alphabet had become fixed, and 


this order had come to be looked upon with something akin 
to reverence, it might be expected that there would be some 
principle behind it. There do seem to be at least traces 
of a systematic arrangement. In the first four letters, S33 1, 
there is first a weak letter, then a labial, then a guttural in 
the English use of the word, and last a dental. Further, the 
latter three are mutes. In the group of letters which follows 
we have a similar succession, with this difference that in the 
third place there is a sibilant. The letters of this group 
would, were they English letters, be called aspirated, with 
the exception of the last, tt teth, which is the hardest of the 
Unguals, or to use another nomenclature, the dentals. 
Singularly enough, theta, the letter which in the Greek 
alphabet occupies its place is an aspirated letter. Another 
peculiarity which suggests itself is that the sibilant T zain 
has among sibilants the flat sound associated with mutes. 
A possible reason for excluding zain from the first group 
was that if it occupied the third place it made with beth the 
ill-omened word D buz, "contempt," and the equally ill- 
omened word T3 baz, " a prey." Again, the aspirated sibilant 

SJ> shin, if placed in the third place among the aspirates, made 
with the following letters the ill-omened L5nfc> shahat, " to slay." 

This might be the reason why the first group of letters has 
no sibilant, and why shin is relegated to the end of the 
alphabet. As a last group we have the weak letter ain — in 
Samaritan it is a " servile" letter — the pe a labial, next tzade 
a sibilant, qoph a guttural, and last of all tau a dental. The 
arrangement followed in the liquid group may have been the 
result of intrusion from another alphabet which began 
with the liquids. The Romans seem to have originally had 
such an alphabet, and hence called the letters elementa. The 
letter "\resh was probably the last to be added to the list of 
letters. The Egyptians made no distinction between it and /. 
The Japanese and the Chinese are under the same disability 
at the present time. The intrusion of the elementa appears 
to have wrought disorder in the process of the symmetrical 
evolution of the alphabet, so far as the middle portion of it 
is concerned. It is not unlikely that the primitive form of 
the alphabet had been long enough known for the phrase 


to come into use, which made aleph and tau stand for the 
beginning and end of anything. If this were so, there 
would be a reason why shin when displaced, and resh when 
received into the alphabet, should neither of them be placed 
after tau. 

This is to be taken merely as an attempt to investigate 
the principles that might have underlain the order of the 
letters in the Semitic alphabet. It is impossible to say when 
the process was completed. If the correctness of the tradition 
which attributes to David the majority of the alphabetic 
Psalms may be assumed, then in his days the alphabet had 
already long attained its present fixed order. In that case, 
the process of arranging and rearranging must have taken 
place in the preceding centuries. Not impossibly these 
alterations might in some part have been the work of 
the Phoenicians, who would be under the necessity of 
recording their transactions in a form in which the terms 
of them might readily be recalled. If there actually was 
an elementary alphabet used by any of the nations of the 
Mediterranean basin, they would be the most likely to come 
into contact with it. 

As we have already indicated, the Semitic alphabet 
underwent several modifications in the course of its long 
history. Of the time when these changes took place, or the 
place where they did so, there is no indication. The earliest 
inscriptions give the impression that they stand at the end 
of a long process. Within the period of which we have 
inscriptions a process of modification may be traced. The 
most ancient specimens of this script have been incised 
on stone or scratched on metal ; the Sinjirli inscriptions, 
however, are exceptions, they are carved in relief. The 
incising tends to emphasize the sharpness of the angles. 
These angles are not so sharp in Sinjirli, as the chisel in 
leaving the letters in relief would be liable to remove the 
points of the angles. Even when incised the letters had 
a tendency to become curved ; this may be seen by com- 
paring the lamed on the Ba'al-Lebanon fragment with the 
same letter in the Siloam inscription. There was thus 
probably, alongside of the monumental writings, engrossing 
with reed or stylus on some less recalcitrant material than 


rock or stone. This angular script lasted till close upon 
the time of Alexander the Great. The latest extant 
example of this script is the inscription on the sarcophagus 
of Ashmunazar which is generally dated at approximately 
400 B.C. 

The earliest inscription as yet known which has been 
preserved, has been scratched on the fragments of a bronze 
bowl found in Cyprus. It has been dedicated to a deity 
called Ba'al-Lebanon by one who denominates himself 
the "servant of Hiram King of the Sidonians." If we 
may identify this Hiram with the friend of Solomon the date 
of the inscription would be about 950 B.C. 1 The next 
important inscription is that on the stele of Mesha, King 
of Moab. As Mesha was the younger contemporary of 
Ahab, the date of his inscription may be set down as 
approximately 850 B.C. The excavations that took place 
in the foundations of Ahab's palace have brought to light 
jar handles and ostraka, with inscriptions in the same script. 
The series of inscriptions found in Sinjirli extend over 
a considerable period ; but as Panammu, who writes the 
most important of them, describes himself as the servant 
of Tiglath-Pileser, the probable date of his inscription is 
a hundred years later than that of Mesha, about 750 B.C. 
The last inscription to which reference may be made in 
this connection is that found in the conduit in Siloam. 
As the conduit in which it was found had been made by the 
order of Hezekiah under fear of the invasion of Sennacherib, 
its date can be pretty definitely assigned to 700 js.c. 

A comparison of the alphabets (p. 222) shows an increas- 
ing tendency to prefer curved lines to straight ones, and to 
soften sharp angles into curves. This means the growing 
influence of scribal writing on the script of the epigraphist. 
Another symptom of the same influence is the preference for 
a continuous line over a broken one. These tendencies 

1 One of the leaders, along with Hezekiah, of the rebellion against 
Sennacherib, was Luli of Tyre, "king of the Sidonians" (Winckler, 
Babylonia and Assyria^ p. 256, Eng. Trans.). It is evident then that a 
"King of Tyre" might at the same time be " King of the Sidonians" — 
when Tyre held the hegemony among Phoenician cities, the Tyrian 
king would be King of the Sidonians. 






























































































*\ i 











*f *7 











/A^"* 1 











7 F 










; i 






























J A A 































































\* v y 






















































v \/ 

















Table Showing Script of Semitic Languages. 


may be clearly seen if the beth of the Ba'al-Lebanon 
inscription, or that on the stone of Mesha be compared 
with examples of that letter in the inscription on the sarco- 
phagus of Ashmunazar. In the earlier examples the letter 
is built up of four straight lines ; but in the inscriptions 
on the sarcophagi of Ashmunazar and of his father Tabnit, 
it is formed of one curved line. The letter daleth exhibits 
the same tendency, though in a less degree. The preference 
of the scribe for continuous lines over broken ones may 
be seen in the way the letter qoph varies from a circle 
with a line through it, as it appears in the Ba'al-Lebanon 
inscription, to the circular curve ending in a straight 
line found in that of Siloam, and finally to the yet more 
dashing curve by which the letter is delineated on the sarco- 
phagi of Sidon. One letter, mem, does not exhibit this 
progress towards a form which admitted of more rapid 
writing ; its last form implies the use of more strokes 
than did the earlier. It will be observed that the forms 
which some of the letters assume in the Siloam inscription 
differ much from those which these letters have in other nearly 
contemporary inscriptions, aleph, gimel, vav, and tzade being 
marked instances. This may be due to local influences ; 
the mem assimilates somewhat to the Sidonian form. Both 
aleph and beth seem to be to some extent anticipations 
of the later forms of the Maccabaean coins and the Samaritan 
inscriptions. The Ashmunazar inscription shows several 
peculiarities, which it may be observed are also to be found 
in the slightly earlier inscription on the sarcophagus of 
Tabnit. The gimel has a shape which has none of the 
suggestion so obvious in Mesha's inscription, of the head and 
neck of a camel, and becomes almost identical in form with 
the Greek lambda ; zain has no longer any resemblance to a 
dart as in the Ba'al-Lebanon inscription, as little to the 
Minoan double battle-axe, but has become very like the 
Greek zeta. The use of zain to indicate the ends of sentences 
and occasionally of words is to be noted ; this is a peculiarity 
found on several Sidonian inscriptions as on that of Jeho- 
melek, King of Gebal. The most noticeable change is to be 
seen in the letter yodh, which has assumed a shape closely 
akin to that met with in Samaritan MSS. ; sometimes it is 


almost exactly like the letter shin turned upside down. The 
shape oisamech is also peculiar, but its genesis from the form 
earlier prevalent is easily intelligible, the desire to lighten 
the labour of writing by making the line continuous. The 
most remarkable variation is to be found in the letter tau. 
Instead of the simple cross as seen on the Moabite Stone and 
in the Siloam inscription, and as figured by Evans in the 
Scripta Mznoa, the letter in most of the Phoenician 
inscriptions is formed of an upright line sloping slightly 
to the right at the top ; near the top on the right of the 
upright there is a little hook turning downwards. A similar 
form is found on a weight figured in Lidzbarski {Nord. Sem. 
Epig. Tfl. t xxvi. i) brought from Asia Minor and dated by 
him fifth century B.C. It is to be observed that the lamed in 
the Phoenician shows a marked tendency towards the shape 
it assumed in the Samaritan. The Sidonian script is thus 
a preparation for that of the Maccabaeans and the 

After the inscription on the sarcophagus of Ashmunazar, 
the next specimens of Hebrew script are the inscriptions on 
the Maccabaean coins. The earliest of these was struck in 
the pontificate of Simon, the last survivor of the sons of 
Mattathias. More than a quarter of a millennium separates 
the date of Ashmunazar from that of Simon the Maccabee ; 
during the interval a complete change has passed over the 
character of Hebrew writing. The script of the Maccabaeans, 
for inscriptions on coins, remained for the most part un- 
changed to the time of Bar-Cochba. To the casual observer 
the Maccabaean resembles that to be found in the older 
Samaritan MSS. This likeness is confirmed by a circum- 
stance related by Moses ben Nahman (1194) of himself; he 
found in Akka a coin with an inscription which he could not 
read himself, but which he got some Samaritans resident 
there to read for him. At the same time a comparison 
between the two scripts shows that though they are very 
like they are by no means identical. When both are com- 
pared with the later Sidonian it is seen that while in some 
points the Maccabaean differs less from the later Phoenician 
than does the Samaritan, in some other points the re- 
semblance between the Samaritan and the later Phoenician 


is greater. That there should be very considerable differ- 
ence is only to be expected ; from Ashmunazar to the earliest 
Maccabaean coins is, as has just been said, an interval of more 
than two centuries and a half; from the latest coins of Bar- 
Cochba to the earliest Samaritan inscription is a period at 
least as long ; from that to the earliest manuscript of un- 
questioned date is probably twice or thrice as long a space 
of time. Though on the Jewish coins the forms of most of 
the letters remain unchanged from the accession of Simon 
to the death of Bar-Cochba, a period of 270 years, yet one 
or two of the letters have been modified, notably 32) he, 
1 % vav, z \ tzade, and pY qoph, as may be seen on the table. 

If the script of the earlier of the Samaritan codices now 
to be found in the libraries of Europe and America is com- 
pared with that of the few Samaritan inscriptions extant, it 
will be found that, considering the difference between writing 
with a reed on parchment or paper, and engraving with a 
chisel on a limestone slab, the characters are practically 
identical ; yet the period from the engraving of the one to 
the writing of the other was, as stated above, nearly three- 
quarters of a millennium. This fixity of script is a 
phenomenon to be observed. Within the same time the 
Jewish writing of Hebrew had evolved the square character, 
which is found in our Hebrew Bibles, the Rabbinic or Rashi 
character, and still later, the cursive script. Why the 
Samaritans selected the particular script they have, and 
conserved that with such tenacity is difficult to explain. It 
has to be admitted that within the last century a deteriora- 
tion has set in, as may be seen on the table in the second 
column of Samaritan. 

As already remarked, the present Samaritan script was 
the result of evolution. It has been noted that it has a 
double affinity, to the later Sidonian on the one hand, and 
on the other to the Maccabaean. When looked at more 
closely it is seen that in regard to nine letters there is 
greater resemblance on the part of the Samaritan to the 
Maccabaean. In the case of six of these, aleph, beth, daleth, 
mem, nun, and tau, the resemblance is obvious and applies to 
the whole Maccabaean period ; in regard to other three, gimel, 
caph, lamed, the resemblance is only to the script on the later 



coins. In the case of four letters the Samaritan form is more 
akin to that on the Sidonian sarcophagi, that is, he, yodh, heth, 
qoph ; of these the most striking is yodh, which in the Mac- 
cabaean is like the he of the Samaritan script, with the lower 
bar turned to the right instead of to the left, thus resembling 
the form it has on the Moabite Stone. In the Samaritan as 
in the Sidonian the yodh is, so to say, thrown on its face. 
The heth of the Maccabaean coins closely resembles the same 
letter on the Siloam inscription. The qoph of Samaritan 
inscriptions and manuscripts is formed in the same way^as 
that on the Sidonian sarcophagi ; while that on the Mac- 
cabaean coins has quite a different genesis. The upright 
shape of the Maccabaean letter makes it more akin to the 
earlier forms, though most of them have a cursive look awant- 
ing in the Maccabaean. With regard to resh, the Maccabaean 
coins figure that letter occasionally, with a slight inclination 
to the left of the foot of the upright as if a line were starting 
from thence ; in the Samaritan MSS. this is clearly drawn, 
but it does not appear in the epigraphic form of the letter. 
While the shin of the Samaritan inscriptions resembles 
closely that on the Ashmunazar sarcophagus, the manuscript 
form differs from it considerably. There are seven letters 
whose form is peculiar to the Samaritans : vav, zain, teth, 
samech, ain,pe, tzade. In the case of four of these there are 
no Maccabaean examples extant, viz., zain, teth, samech, and 
pe ; in regard to these it may well have been that, as in the 
case of the nine letters first mentioned, the resemblance 
between them and the Samaritan was also great One point 
may be noted : the form of vav found on the Samaritan 
inscriptions must have been that conveyed by the Sidonians 
to Greece, as may be seen from the shape of the digamma, 
which is perpetuated in our own letter F. 

It is clear from the above comparison that the Samaritan 
script closely resembled that used by the Jews in the time of 
the Maccabees, and that both scripts differed considerably 
from the earlier angular script found all over South-western 
Asia. While the Jewish scribes modified the script which 
they used, influenced possibly by their intercourse with Egypt, 
until at length the square character resulted with which all 
are familiar, the Samaritans retained the more epigraphic 


style which had been common at the time of the Maccabaean 
struggle. There must have been some reason which rendered 
this form of the Semitic script in a manner sacrosanct to 
them. It must have been some occurrence which associated 
a document written in that script, presumably a copy of the 
Divine Torah, with a crisis in their religious history. As the 
script of the Maccabaean coins underwent some changes, 
slight but definite, it may be possible to find some indication 
of the approximate date when the manuscript was written 
which has dominated the later Samaritan script. In com- 
paring the earlier and later forms of the letters on the Mac- 
cabaean coins it will be seen that the most striking change is 
in the letter he. On the coins of Simon the Maccabee the 
letter assumes a form like a Roman E reversed — a form 
between that on the Sidonian sarcophagi, and that on the 
Samaritan inscriptions. With the coins of John Hyrcanus 
a markedly different form appears, one that is in a sense a 
precursor of the coming square character. Another letter in 
which there is a difference of earlier and later is vav. A 
form figured in Madden {Hist. Jew. Coinage, pp. 43,44) has an 
upright, curving a little to the left at the top, and about the 
middle a line passing through the upright ; the coins on which 
this form appears are dated first, second, and third years of 
Simon. This shape is closely akin to what is to be found in 
Samaritan MSS. and still more to the epigraphic form. With 
Simon's fourth year of coinage another shape appears, a 
perpendicular surmounted by the letter z. As has been 
remarked, it must have been from a form cognate to the first 
of these that the Greek digamma and our Roman F have 
sprung. The letter yodh on the Simonian coins resembles at 
once the shape that letter has on the Sidonian sarcophagi 
and that on the Samaritan inscriptions. The coins of John 
Hyrcanus show that letter in a form not unlike our z ; later 
coins show it like that on the Moabite Stone. This points to 
the script which has become consecrated among the Samari- 
tans as dating from the earlier portion of the pontificate of 
Simon the Maccabee. This would be explained if a copy of 
the Torah written in that script had been preserved, in a 
way so marvellous that it seemed miraculous, in the temple 
of Mount Gerizim, during one of the numerous occasions in 


which that temple had been burned. The most celebrated 
of these was that, when John Hyrcanus, as related by Josephus, 
conquered Samaria, destroyed the city, conquered Shechem 
(Nablus), and burned the temple on Mount Gerizim "two 
hundred years after it was built." Such manuscripts as were 
preserved in the temple would not, at least most of them, 
have been recently penned. Hence, if one MS. was saved 
from the conflagration, that it should have been written 
during the pontificate of Simon or even earlier is by no means 
improbable. This, however, is not to say that the present 
Nablus Roll is the MS. so saved. 

The Jews admit the Samaritan script to be older than the 
Ashurith which they now use. The Talmudic account of this 
(San., pp. 2i£, 22a) is as follows : " The law was first given to 
Israel in the 'I&ri character and the holy tongue ; again it was 
given in Ashurith writing and the Syrian tongue. The Israel- 
ites chose the Ashurith writing and the holy tongue, and left 
to the Hediotce the 'Ibri writing and the Syrian tongue. Who 
are the Hediotce ? Rabbi Chasda says ' the Cuthaeans ' (the 
Samaritans)." It is to be observed that the. Talmudists 
made no distinction between the script of Samaria and that 
yet earlier found on the Moabite Stone. It is a proof of the 
extreme conservatism of the Samaritans that for so many 
centuries they have not altered their mode of writing. 
Although the Jews changed their script repeatedly the 
Samaritans did not imitate them. The Samaritans claimed 
to have worshipped JHWH from the days of Esarhaddon, 
and their claim was not disallowed ; they must have had 
some ritual and liturgy ; is it likely that they, so conservative 
in regard to the writing used in the Torah, would change all 
that at the bidding of a priestly scribe who refused even to 
have their assistance in rebuilding the temple, and regarded 
intermarriage with them as equivalent to marriage with 
heathen? At the same time it must be remembered that 
this Jewish tradition concerning the date of the introduction 
of the square character is certainly incorrect. The square 
character was not introduced for more than half a millennium 
after Ezra. 

But besides the characters there are other peculiarities of 
Samaritan writing. In Hebrew inscriptions of the age of 


the Antonines the writing is continuous, as in the Bni Hezir 
inscription and in that at Kefr Bir'im ; there is nothing to 
mark the termination of a word or sentence. In earlier 
specimens, as in the Mesha inscription, that in Siloam, and 
those in Sinjirli, a dot is inserted between each word. This 
peculiarity is to be observed in all Samaritan MSS. and also 
in the inscriptions ; in the latter it is a colon that frequently 
appears rather than a period. The Samaritans thus seem 
to have perpetuated an ancient mode of separating words 
which had been abandoned by the Jews. Sentences in 
Samaritan MSS. are marked off by colons, and the end of 
paragraphs is shown by three or four dots reinforced by a 
line, sometimes placed horizontally, sometimes standing 

Another peculiarity of Samaritan writing, which points 
to development on lines independent of the Jews, is the 
way Samaritan scribes took to make the lines of writing fit 
exactly over each other. In the inscription of Mesha, King 
of Moab, the lines, except at the circular top, terminate 
approximately over each other ; when, however, the line 
ends in the middle of a word, as happens in regard to the 
very first line of that inscription, the word is completed in 
the next, irrespective of syllables. In more recent Hebrew 
MSS. the device of Uteres dilatabiles, letters that might be 
elongated, was used to fill up the line to the margin in such 
a way that there should be no words left unfinished to be 
continued in the line following. The way the Samaritan 
scribes attained the same end was different : they left a 
space, larger or smaller as might be needed, before the 
margin was reached, and passing over this space combined 
the last two, or sometimes the last three, letters of the last 
word into a group close up to the margin. When the end 
of a paragraph was reached no attempt was made to fill up 
the line; an arrangement of dots and lines indicates that 
it has terminated. In most manuscripts there is at the end 
a separate paragraph generally short, in which the scribe 
informs the reader of his identity, when and where he wrote. 
In this, too, the Samaritan scribes had a method of their own. 
A page or two before the end of the manuscript the column 
was split for the breadth of rather more than a letter ; this 


space was ruled off by lines drawn with a stylus ; one or 
two letters of a word may be on one side of this space and 
the rest of it on the other. When the eye is carried 
down the column every now and then a letter is intruded 
into the space otherwise left blank. It is soon observed 
that these letters are formed into groups, marked off by a 
tiny line. It is further noticed that these groups form words, 
and if read continuously the words join into a sentence or 
sentences. These sentences convey the information usually 
found in a colophon, and constitute what is technically called 
the tarikh ; it contains the name of the scribe, it may be 
also the name of him at whose instance the manuscript has 
been written, the place where and the date when it was 
penned ; the latter stated according to the years " of the rule 
of the children of Ishmael," that is to say, " el Hegira." 
There are several other peculiarities of writing ; as they 
have no vowel signs, words might sometimes be ambiguous, 
thus i>N may mean " God " or " not," according as it is 
vocalised ; so when it means " God " a line is placed over 
it. This also is done when a word is shortened. 

The most ancient form of books appears to have been 
rolls. In Nablus there are several rolls of the Torah, 
including the one which the Samaritans claim to have been 
written by Abishua, the great-grandson of Aaron. The 
numerous manuscripts in Europe and America are all 
codices or made up in book form. They are made of 
vellum, parchment, or paper. One thing the Samaritan 
scribes are very particular about in all these codices is 
that the writing should begin on the right-hand page. In 
this way there is always a blank page to the outside. The 
most of the codices are in folio, but not a few are in quarto ; 
the famous copy in Paris, which Pietro della Valle brought 
to Europe, and by it renewed the knowledge of the 
Samaritan Pentateuch, is a quarto. 

Most of the codices are written in parallel columns, two 
columns on the page. Generally the one column contains 
the Hebrew text while the other has the Samaritan Aramaic 
Targum ; sometimes instead of the Aramaic there is the 
Arabic version. In one manuscript there are three columns 
on the page, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic. It ought to be 


noted that almost in every case, even in the case of the 
interpretation being in Arabic, the character used is 

After considering the mode of writing it is needful to 
attend for a little to the mode of reading ; the letters written 
may be the same but may be very differently pronounced. 
This possibility is made obvious when one hears a passage 
of classic Greek read first by an English scholar and then by 
a modern Greek. In such a case it will be seen that not 
merely are the vowels differently pronounced, which is the 
difference between the Latin of Scotland and that of England, 
but that many of the consonants, as pronounced by the one, 
would be unintelligible to the other. The primary source of 
this difference was the pronunciation of the letters of the 
Greek alphabet adopted by Erasmus, whose teaching 
England received in this matter, the vocalic differences 
being caused by the change in vowel values in England 
itself. The state of matters in Palestine, when Ezra arrived 
there from Persia, was in regard to Hebrew not unlike that 
in Europe in regard to Greek at the time of the Revival of 
Letters. Hebrew had become practically a dead language, it 
had ceased to be the language ordinarily spoken ; Aramaic 
had dispossessed it. If the Samaritans had not the Torah till 
it was brought them by Manasseh, in Ezra's recension, they 
would have no traditional mode of reading Hebrew. If they 
received the Torah from Ezra through Manasseh they would 
also have received the Jewish mode of reading it. With 
Semitic conservatism they might have been expected to 
have perpetuated this. With the Jews the consonantal pro- 
nunciation of Hebrew is the same whether the Jews who 
speak it are Russian or Spanish. From this it may be 
deduced that the primitive sounds of all the consonants 
have been fairly well preserved. It might be thought that 
Origen's transliteration, where that has been preserved, might 
have shown how Hebrew was pronounced in his day ; but the 
uncertainty as to the way in which Greek was then pronounced 
renders this less available. The transliteration of proper 
names gives some information ; it is obvious from these that 
the Hebrew of that time was not wholly devoid of gutturals ; 
such names as 'Axad/3, " Ahab," and '0x^'«?. " Ahaziah," 


prove this. If it may be presumed that the modern Greek 
pronunciation of gamma was that in use in Alexandria at 
the time when the Septuagint was translated ; we learn that 
ain in Hebrew had, like the same letter in Arabic, a double 
pronunciation, consequently sometimes represented by the 
simple vowel and sometimes by gamma ; compare Dinj? A/zw?, 
" Amos," and nw Tdfa, " Gaza" ; in Arabic the first is ain 
the second ghain. It is clear that Hebrew as pronounced 
by the Jews had the gutturals. 

One marked peculiarity of the way in which the 
Samaritans pronounce Hebrew is that they drop all the 
gutturals, or which is the same thing, pronounce them all as 
aleph. This peculiarity explains not a few of the variations 
of the Samaritan recension of the Pentateuch from the 
Massoretic. A singular result of this may be observed ; not 
a few of the Samaritan alphabetic poems begin not with 
aleph but with ain. Benjamin of Tudela, as mentioned in an 
earlier chapter, found that in his day they had the same 
disability. This Samaritan peculiarity is a thing which 
itself needs an explanation. Reference has been made to 
the ordinary English pronunciation of Latin ; the explanation 
of that is simple, all the vowel and consonantal sounds are 
harmonised to English usage. The same thing applies 
mutatis mutandis to the German way of pronouncing Latin. 
In every case the tendency is to assimilate the pronunciation 
of the dead language to that of the living language of the 
people. But in the present case the language of the people 
is Arabic, a language which is even richer in gutturals than 
Hebrew. The Samaritan pronunciation of Hebrew so far 
from being assimilated to Arabic is in direct and absolute 
contrast to it. The fact that Arabic is a language closely 
cognate with Hebrew makes this resistance to a natural 
tendency all the more striking. It is only to be explained 
by the conservatism that is connected, especially in the 
East, with everything related to religion or worship. Since 
the Samaritans neither received nor perpetuated the Jewish 
pronunciation of Hebrew, they must themselves have had a 
customary pronunciation of that language. This would seem 
to imply that they had the Torah before the days of Ezra. 

There is a fact which has a bearing on this subject. The 


Assyrians and Babylonians spoke a North-Semitic language, 
cognate to Hebrew ; they, like the Samaritans, assimilated 
most of their gutturals to akph. It has been sometimes 
asserted that all the gutturals were so assimilated ; but this 
was not the case, for they had the strong guttural n heth, 
as proved by such names as Sennacherib (Eavaxdpiftos, 
Herod, ii. 141) l ; the Greek transliteration here shows that 
the guttural was pronounced. Had the statement been 
absolute it might have been maintained, that this assimila- 
tion of the gutturals with akph by the Samaritans was merely 
the perpetuation in Palestine by the colonists of the mode of 
speech which they had used in their own original land, and 
which they applied to the reading of Hebrew. But not only 
is it not accurate as to Assyrian, the colonists spoke not 
the monumental Assyrian but Aramaic, which retained 
the gutturals. 

Another fact, however, has to be noted. The language 
of Phoenicia was Hebrew : the tradition is generally admitted 
to be correct that the Phoenicians gave Greece the alphabet. 
It is clear that when they conveyed it to Greece they had 
ceased to pronounce the gutturals. As the Phoenician 
alphabet had no signs for the vowels and had no sounds 
for four of their signs, the Greeks put vowels into all these 
vacant places ; so aleph became a, a, he became e (short e), 
heth became rj (long e), and ain became o (short 6). It was 
not that the Greeks were without gutturals in their speech ; 
they had to add to the Kadmean alphabet four supple- 
mentary letters, one of which was x c ^\ equivalent to heth of 
the Semitic alphabet. Another of the gutturals they repre- 
sented by the rough breathing. To some extent gamma 
later had a sound akin to ain; this, however, was a later 
development of Hellenic phonetics. As the Phoenician 
alphabet is found in the Minoan remains in Crete {Scripta 
Minoa, pp. 88, 89), it must have been conveyed thither 
not later than 1400 B.C. (Leaf, Homer and History ', p. 39), 
centuries before the building of Solomon's Temple. The 
introduction of this fashion of assimilating the gutturals 
to aleph, akin to the English inability to pronounce ch in 
"loch," might set in with the affinity made by the House of 
1 The name appears in the Septuagint as Zewaxyplv- 


Omri with the royal family of Tyre. This would explain 
how it was that while the North dropped the gutturals 
the Southern tribes retained them. Hence it would follow 
that, at all events from the time of Ahab, the Israelites of 
the North read Hebrew in a way not unlike that in which 
the Samaritans now do, and therefore would read the Torah 
so, if they had it. This would be perpetuated if the priests 
sent by Esarhaddon brought the Torah with them. If the 
Samaritans got the Sacred Law from Jerusalem in Hebrew — 
a language which had ceased to be spoken — why did they 
not adopt the Jewish mode of reading it? Manasseh would 
read the Law as the Jews did. The Galilaeans seem to have 
had the same peculiarity as had the Samaritans, hence 
Peter's speech betrayed him in the court of the High 
Priest's house. 

In regard also to the begadhkephath letters, those that 
were regarded as aspirated unless they had the daghesh lene, 
the Samaritans, now at any rate, are subject to a certain 
amount of disability. Of these letters they only aspirate 
beth and pe ; the others they always pronounce as if 
dagheshed. The Jews of the time when the Septuagint was 
translated appear to have had no difficulty in regard to 
the aspiration of the " dentals." In fact they aspirated them 
more frequently than they ought to have done, if the extant 
rules are to be regarded as then binding ; not only have we 
* Japheth " but also " Thogarma." There is no distinct indi- 
cation of the date at which this inability began, hence' it is 
not of so great importance. It may be noted that all foreign 
Jews labour under the same disability, even those in Damascus. 
This may be largely due to their surroundings in the case of 
Jews in Teutonic or Romance countries. It has, however, 
little bearing on the present argument 

Petermann in his valuable Hebrceische Formenlehre nach 
der Aussprache der heutigen Samaritaner (p. 4) says : " Earlier 
the Samaritans had several books in which the rules for 
reading Hebrew were set down ; but according to the 
assurance of the High Priest these have been lost. Now 
there are only fragments of a book entitled Qanun ibn Dartha 
fHmaqra y ' Qanun son of Dartha on reading,' and fragments 
of a commentary on it." Dr Petermann at the conclusion of 


the book above referred to has given a transliteration of 
Genesis as it is read by the Samaritans at the present time. 
We subjoin the first five verses of the first chapter of 
Genesis : — 

(i) Barashet bara eluwim it ashshamem wit aaretz. (2) 
Waaretz ayata te'u ub'u waashek al fani turn urii eluwim 
antra! ef at al fani amine m ; (3) uydumer eluwim yai or uyai 
or ; (4) uyere eluwim it a' or kitov, uyebdel eluwim bin a" or ubin 
aasliek ; (5) uyiqra eluzvem Id or y dm ulaashek qara lila uyai 
erev uyai beqar yom aad. 



It is generally recognised that the language of a people reveals 
much of its history ; thus Dr Max Muller saw the pastoral 
life of our Aryan ancestors proved by the fact that the root 
from which the words for " money," " wealth " in so many 
tongues springs, is ultimately connected with cattle, as 
pecunia from pecu, "cattle," and portrays the idyllic scene 
of the primitive household in which the " daughter " 
(duhitar) is the milkmaid, and the "brother" {brahtar) is 
ready to help. Not merely is there revealed the primitive 
condition of society in which a language arose, but also 
something of national history may be culled from the 
predominant words used by a people. The close political 
relations maintained between Scotland and France, over 
against England, may be evidenced by the number of 
French words, names of common things, that are or were 
in use in Scotland but unused in England. Another example 
is pointed out by Sir Walter Scott in Ivan/we, as shown by 
" ox " and " beef," " sheep " and " mutton," " calf" and " veal." 
When the animals in question were in the fields and under 
the charge of their herds they had Teutonic names, but 
when they became viands on the tables of the masters of 
those herds they received French names. This is evidence 
that there was a race of serfs who spoke a Teutonic tongue 
ruled by a race of nobles who spoke a variety of French. 
But the last of these examples shows that such evidence can 
go deeper ; that the word for the flesh of the calf is " veal " 
not " veau," proves that the conquest had taken place after 
the "t" in vitulus had dropped out of speech, but before 


the " 1 " had been in speech commuted into " u " ; that is 
to say between the ninth and the fifteenth century. But the 
English language as a whole proves something more ; its 
Teutonic structure, and the majority of its commonest words 
having an Anglo-Saxon origin prove that though the 
majority of the words of its vocabulary are Romance, 
the Teutonic element was ultimately the predominant. 

In making historical deductions from the phenomena of 
language, several things have to be borne in mind. While 
a word borrowed has to submit to the laws which regulate 
the development of the language into which it has been 
introduced, the language from which it has been taken 
has been changing also ; thus, in the word " mutton " 
the " 1 " that was sounded in it when the word came to 
England was commuted in this country into"t" and in 
France into "u," as in "mouton." Hence, in making 
deductions from words in one language to words of the same 
root in another, these laws must be taken into account. 
Further mere isolated examples must not have any stress 
laid on them, as the peculiarity which such a case exhibits 
may be due to some accidental circumstance, and prove 
no general tendency. We have dwelt all the longer on this 
as the argument in the present chapter will be based on the 
phenomena of language, and there is no work so far as we 
are aware which deals with the logic of language, save in the 
most general way. 

In considering the evidence for the history of the 
Samaritan religion, and of its relation to that of the Jews, 
to be derived from the successive languages used by the 
Samaritan people, Arabic may be put aside. The Samaritan 
community is too small — it would take but a small village 
to accommodate them — to have any reaction. They are 
totally submerged in the Arabic speaking population 
around. It is nearly thirteen centuries since, by the victory 
in the battle of Jarmuk, the land of Palestine passed from 
under the rule of the Byzantine Empire and fell into 
the dominion of the Arabs; or as the Samaritans themselves 
call it, "the kingdom of the Sons of Ishmael." Some 
centuries would elapse before Greek and Aramaic — which 
had been for nearly a millennium, the one the public, the 


other the domestic language of the people — would yield 
place to the speech of the conquerors. It seems, however, 
ultimately to have done so completely ; within little more 
than half a millennium all attempts at literature made by 
the Samaritans appear to have been in Arabic. The most 
important of these are the works already referred to, and used 
as authorities in regard to the Samaritan view of sacred 
history, the " Samaritan Book of Joshua " and " the Annals 
of Abu'l Fath." Both these books have been written in what 
may be called middle Arabic, neither affecting the Euphuistic 
elegancies of High Arabic nor falling into the vulgarity 
of Low. In fact these authors, as above said, use the kind 
of Arabic which the American translators of the Holy 
Scriptures have made use of. It has been noted in regard 
to the latter of these two writers that in some cases he shows 
the influence of Hebrew in his language, as when speaking 
of our Lord he calls Him hameshiach instead of either 
the Arabic al-Messih or the Aramaic Messiha. The effect 
that Arabic has had on the Samaritans has no evidential 
value as to their relation to the Jews and their religion ; 
hence for our present purpose it may be put aside. 

It may be regarded as practically certain that during 
the period of the Greek domination, works in Greek would 
be composed and published by Samaritans, especially by 
those resident in Egypt. No fragment of any such works 
has been preserved. However, one never knows what the 
dust heaps of Egypt may yet have in store for us. This much 
is so far certain, that the Samaritan community in Egypt 
had a translation of the Law for themselves, known to the 
Fathers as the Samariticon ; indeed one Jewish writer 
maintains that the Septuagint is merely a revisal of this, and 
thus would account for the numerous points of resemblance 
between the text behind the version of the LXX. and 
the Samaritan recension. Nevertheless, it would seem 
that the Israelite community in the province of Samaria 
have left no trace of the extent to which their hel- 
lenisation had gone. Consequently Greek also must be 
counted out. 

There remain, therefore, the two Semitic tongues to be 
considered, Hebrew and Aramaic, represented respectively 



by the Hebrew of the Torah (the Pentateuch), in the 
Samaritan recension, and the Samaritan Targum or Aramaic 
paraphrase of it. As the recension of the books of the Law 
possessed by the Samaritans is necessarily earlier than 
the Targum upon it, it will be advantageous to consider 
it first, and see what evidence it affords of the relation 
subsisting between the two divisions of the Israelite 

Gesenius, in his famous dissertation de Pentateuchi 
Samaritani Origine Indole et Auctoritate, devotes the 
seventh of the eight classes into which he divides 
the variants, which distinguish the Samaritan recen- 
sion from that of the Jewish Massoretes, to the con- 
sideration of " forms of words accommodated to the 
Samaritan dialect." Assuming as he does without proof 
that the Jewish recension is the primary, and that therefore 
all variations are due to intentional alterations by the 
Samaritans, he under this head enumerates instances in 
which he believes the Samaritan scribes altered the text to 
suit the peculiarities of the Hebrew spoken by the inhabi- 
tants of the Northern province. This implies the possibility 
of investigating wherein Samaritan Hebrew differed from 
that of Jerusalem. 

The history of these differences and their origin must 
be studied. When the Patriarchs came' into Palestine they 
found Hebrew the language in possession. This is seen by 
the place-names as Shechem " a shoulder," Succoth " booths," 
Zoar "little," Kadesh "sanctuary," and many more. The 
language spoken by the Patriarchs themselves when they 
came from Mesopotamia may have been Aramaic, or 
Hommel may be right in holding that it was some primi- 
tive form of Arabic. However that may have been, they 
easily learned the tongue of the people of the land ; all the 
more easily that between Hebrew and Aramaic the differ- 
ences had not been emphasized by developments on both 
sides in contrasted directions. Even as late as the days of 
Tiglath-Pileser, as may be seen in the Sinjirli inscriptions, 
the differences between the two languages are much slighter 
than they afterwards became. When the Israelites went 
down into Egypt they were a large community, and one 


that kept themselves separate from the Egyptians at the 
first ; latterly, the contempt and hatred which the Egyptians 
had for them, enforced it ; hence they did not acquire the 
tongue of Egypt. When they returned to Palestine, Hebrew 
was still the language of the people of the land, as seen by 
such personal names as Adonizedek. 

In the North, Hebrew had been fully developed by the 
Phoenicians, and with them it had become alphabetic. This 
alphabet they had conveyed to the Greeks and Cretans. We 
have already adverted to the evidence which the Greek 
alphabet affords that the Phoenicians, in that prehistoric 
time in which they had passed on their alphabet to the 
Hellenes, had ceased to pronounce the gutturals. As it 
seems probable that none of the other Palestinian races 
laboured under this defect (else the gutturals would have 
disappeared from the spoken tongue of the Jews) ; there were 
already two dialects of Hebrew in Palestine, one of these 
was peculiar at all events to a portion of the north of 
Palestine. Hence there is an inherent probability in the 
assumption of Gesenius that the dialect spoken in Samaria 
differed from that in Jerusalem. One may demur to the way 
in which he takes for granted that the Torah was originally 
written in the Southern dialect, and was assimilated by in- 
tentional alterations to that of the North ; the alterations 
may as readily have been due to the desire of the Jewish 
scribes to assimilate the language of the sacred Law to their 
Southern speech. 

When, under the seventh of his classes of variants — points 
in which the Samaritan recension of the Pentateuch differed 
from that of the Massoretes — Gesenius discusses " Samaritan- 
isms," he has to admit that these are singularly few. Had 
the dissertation been written a few years later, or had it 
been republished by the author, he would have lessened 
the number yet more by omitting some of those he notes. 
The first subsection of these variants contains those due to 
interchange of gutturals. Had Gesenius already published 
the collection of Samaritan hymns which he found in London 
when he wrote his dissertation, we may be sure he would 
have omitted this subsection, since he must have seen 
that while five of these eight hymns were alphabetic, 


and therefore that the alphabet had a fixed order, there 
was not one of them but was irregular in regard to 
the place of the gutturals. In the first of these, there 
are three ain verses in all of which the letter is mis- 
placed ; it occupies the positions of aleph, he, and heth, and 
he occupies the legitimate place of ain. There could be no 
intentional variation in this case, but it was necessarily a 
blunder due to pure inability to distinguish between the 
gutturals. That in the Samaritan recension " Hararat " 
appears instead of " Ararat," proves merely that the 
Samaritan scribe inserted the he, which he did not pro- 
nounce, instead of the aleph, which he equally did not 
pronounce; or the delinquent may have been the Jewish 
scribe who dropped the he and inserted an aleph. In regard 
to the majority of the instances in the Torah which Gesenius 
brings forward, they are found only in one manuscript, which 
Walton, or the editor of the Paris polyglot which he copied, 
perversely chose to put as the text. This is the case in 
regard to *jO for *«a in Gen. xxiii. 18, nat? for jdb> xxvii. 19, 
Vffl for K1DN xxvii. 33, to take no more. Gesenius recognises 
a liability on the part of the Samaritans to confuse the ahevi 
letters, a liability which rather indicates accident than in- 
tention. Sometimes the Samaritan form is the more 
primitive, as "B instead of *D (Gen. xlv. 12), in which case the 
variation has more probably come from the Jewish scribes 
than from those of Samaria. The elliptical sentence, Gen. 
xiii. 9, which may be rendered literally from the Massoretic : 
" Is not the whole land before thee ? separate thyself now 
from me ; if the left I will go to the right, if the right I will go 
to the left." To make this intelligible the English versions 
insert, " if thou wilt take." On the other hand, the Samaritan 
implies another insertion and would read, " If you prefer the 
left I will take the right"; in the Samaritan there is no 
creation of a new verb or couple of verbs for the transaction. 
In the following subsections, Gesenius takes up the various 
grammatical elements and considers the variants under 
them. Pronouns are among the earliest forms of speech 
to be distinguished. Gesenius points out the differences 
which subsist between the two dialects in regard to them. 
The first instance he brings is "'AN atti instead of n« att for 



the 2nd pers. fem. In all probability, Gesenius is right in 
regarding this as a Northern peculiarity, because the cases 
outside the Torah in which it occurs, are all in narratives con- 
cerning events and persons in the North ; thus Jud. xvii. i, is 
in regard to Micah's mother; i Kings xiv. 2, is in the narra- 
tive of Jeroboam's wife ; the other instance is in regard to the 
Shunammite woman, 2 Kings viii. 1. In his grammar and 
his dictionary, Gesenius admits that the Samaritan is the 
primitive form. This renders it probable that the alteration 
was due to the Southern scribes. If it is the case, as some 
maintain, that originally there were no-matres lectionis, then 
although a word was written without the * it would be pro- 
nounced with it. The plural of the 2nd pers. fem. broadens 
the final vowel by making the vowel not seghol but tsere, 
written plenum; probably the softer pronunciation is the 
earlier. In regard to the suffix of the 2nd pers. fem. the 
vowel is strengthened by the * yodh ; this tendency to 
multiply matres lectionis is a sign of relative recency, as in 
the inscriptions these are few. The Hebrew verb distinguishes 
the gender in the second person ; in ordinary Hebrew this 
pers. fem. in the pret. sing, terminates in n tau with the shva ; 
in Samaritan it terminates in * yodh, a form most likely primi- 
tive. An instance of the insertion of the * yodk y when the 
vowel is not in Southern Hebrew at all cognate with it, is to 
be seen in Gen. iii. 21, and constantly elsewhere when the 
word recurs, the Samaritan has nurva kithnoth instead of the 
Massoretic nfana kathnoth. It may be remarked that there 
is an uncertainty as to the vowelling of the word ; sometimes 
it was pronounced kuthoneth, sometimes fcthorfth. The 
word yj.Twv shows that the i sound was in the first 
syllable when Greeks borrowed the word. This seems to 
indicate that the Samaritan pronunciation is a survival of 
the primitive. 

Gesenius brings forward a number of individual cases of 
what he considers examples to the point. Many of them 
are due to the fact that the Samaritans did not pronounce 
the gutturals ; and a scribe, writing to the dictation of one 
reading from the Torah, would, if he were not specially 
attentive, be liable to confuse one guttural with another, 
utterly without intention in the matter. Some of the 


examples, however, seem to imply a real difference of a 
kind that may be looked upon as dialectic. One example 
may be sufficient to show this ; in Gen. xi. 6, the 
Massoretic has VDP yaz'mu from DOT zamam ; instead of 
this the Samaritan has U»P yazmanu as if derived from a 
root pT zaman. 

Without considering all the examples which Gesenius 
has produced, it must be admitted that he has proved the 
correctness of his presupposition that there were distinct 
differences between the Hebrew of Samaria and that of 
Jerusalem, and further, that these are to be observed in the 
two recensions. The study of these reveals the fact that 
while some of these differences would seem to indicate that 
the more primitive linguistic forms have been preserved in 
the Samaritan, others show that in the Massoretic at times 
are found the earlier forms. This proves that Hebrew 
developed along one line in Samaria and in Jerusalem along 
a somewhat different one. 

The differences which resulted from the dropping of the 
gutturals has been considered in another connection. There 
are, however, a series of cases which are placed by Gesenius 
in another category of variants. His first class is " Readings 
which have been corrected by the Samaritan scribes in 
conformity with the rules of ordinary grammar." In the 
Pentateuch, according to the Massoretic recension, and in the 
Pentateuch alone, the 3rd personal pronoun Kin hu f is com- 
mon in gender so far as the k'thibh — " what is written " — is 
concerned ; it is vowelled for reading as if it were written 
IWI hV when the pronoun refers to a noun feminine. In the 
Samaritan, the feminine pronoun is written as itis to be read. 
The Massoretic reading is due to a blunder in the MS. which 
the Massoretes made their model, the blunders of which 
they have perpetuated. The origin of the blunder is not 
difficult to discover. In the earliest inscription in which the 
square character appears, that of Kefr Bir'im, there is no 
distinction between 1 vav and * yodh. The MS. used by the 
Massoretes must have been written in that script, and copied 
by scribes who did not write to dictation but followed with 
the eye what was before them. The Samaritan scribes were 
under no such liability to mistake, as in the script of Samaria 


/}/ yodh is quite different from "* vav J ; hence they are not 
so much to be regarded as having corrected the Massoretic 
text in this point, as having avoided the blunder of its 
writers. Another case of Massoretic blunder due to the 
same cause is 17\ walad in Gen. xi. 30, instead of *i£ yalad 
as it appears in the Samaritan. Another difference has a 
slightly more complicated history. In Gen. i. 24 occurs what 
Gesenius in his grammar remarks as an early form of the 
construct irvn haitho ; the early sign of the construct appears 
rather to have been ' yodh, as seen in such names as 
Melchizedek, Gabriel, etc But primitively as seen from the 
inscriptions the final yodh was very generally omitted ; 
consequently the Samaritan scribe wrote the ordinary 
construct, and the scribe who wrote the Massorete mother 
manuscript copied the yodh as vav, and this has been per- 
petuated. Another set of cases is where the Massoretic 
has the pronominal suffix of the 3rd mas. \\ oh instead of 
the ordinary 1 0, as has the Samaritan. A case might be 
made out for this being an earlier form, as it is found on the 
Moabite Stone ; it is, however, simpler to regard it as also 
due to blunder on the part of the Massoretic scribes. 
If, as is probable, one of the manuscripts in the ancestry of 
the Massoretic model was written in the Samaritan script, 
and the copyist had confused vav and he, these letters 
resembling each other in that script, the mistake would be 
easily explained. The suffix in he on the stele of Mesha 
may represent ah not oh and so be an Aramaism like the 
plural in nun. 

Even if we neglect those differences which are due to 
scribal blunders, there still remain differences numerous 
enough to show that there was a distinction between the 
Northern and Southern Hebrew, scarcely great enough to 
be called a dialectic difference yet still quite distinct. There 
is a difference between the English written or spoken by an 
educated American and that spoken or written by an 
educated Englishman, but it is too slight to be regarded as 
a dialectic difference. Because an American speaks of 

1 While this is the case almost universally, in some carelessly written 
MSS. yodh is written in a way that it can only with difficulty be dis- 
tinguished from vav or he (Gesenius, Carmina Samaritana, p. 6). 


" railroad cars " and says that he " feeds corn to his horse," 
while an Englishman speaks of "railway carriages" and 
"feeds his horse with corn," these differences cannot be 
dignified by being spoken of as "differences of dialect"; 
but they prove that in both nations the English language is 
a living one, and able to react on circumstances. On a 
similar principle we may argue that Hebrew was a living 
language in the North as well as in the South wh en th e two 
recensions diverged. But even in the time c^Ezr^' and 
*Tehemiah2£he language ordinarily spoken by the people 
was Atam ak^into which the Hebrew of the Taw fr?^ <-p ^^ 
translated in or der that the people could understa nd -the 
.atiim- (N^l). i/iilJ) If this was so in the South, much more 
would it be the case in the North. The colonists sent 
into the territory of the Ephraimite tribes by Sargon, 
Esarhaddon, and Asshur-bani-pal would have Aramaic as 
their only common language, and the remnant of the 
Israelities would have to learn something of it to hold inter- 
course with them ; this process began in the North a century 
and a quarter before the fall of Jerusalem. If the inhabitants 
of Northern Palestine received the Law at the hands of 
Manasseh, the son-in-law of Sanballat, in the days of Ezra 
and Nehemiah, still more if the flight of Manasseh took place 
in the time of Alexander the Great, as, following Josephus, 
most of the higher critics maintain, their relation to the Law 
in Hebrew would be very much that of the Italians of the 
Renaissance to the Greek classics and the New Testament. 
If they accepted whole-heartedly this Torah as divine, they 
would be as earnest, when they multiplied the copies of the 
Law, in their endeavours after a fastidious accuracy, as were 
the scholars employed by Lorenzo the Magnificent in 
copying the classics ; it would be too sacred for them to 
modify the wording. It is more natural to believe that the 
alterations were made, on the one side or the other, while 
Hebrew was the spoken language of both peoples. The 
modifications which, according to Gesenius, have been made 
in the Torah by the Samaritans, are of the kind one sees in 
a Scotch song published in London ; the language of the 
song is brought into closer adjustment to the Southern 
usage. In this case, both dialects are living. 


There is, however, another language which claims to be 
Samaritan — Samaritan Aramaic. As we have just been main- 
taining, in all probability by the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, 
and certainly by the beginning of the Greek domination, 
Aramaic, not Hebrew, was the tongue ordinarily spoken in 
Samaria. As this was the case, there would necessarily arise 
the same need for interpretation and explanation as there 
was in Jerusalem ; hence the Samaritan Targum. 

The time is past in which even scholars could regard 
Aramaic as a dialect of Hebrew, and a dialect of a later 
date. Aramaic is an ancient language, and one still spoken 
by the Nestorians beside the upper waters of the Tigris and 
the Euphrates. Aramaic and Hebrew must originally have 
been identical. There probably were connecting dialects ; 
for instance, the Hebrew of the Mesha inscription has many 
Aramaisms in it, e.g., the plural in nun. The earliest extant 
Aramaic inscriptions, those of Sinjirli, are so Hebraistic that 
it was at first doubtful how they should be regarded, whether 
as Hebrew or Aramaic. They were set up, some of them, 
in the reign of Tiglath-Pileser. In Scripture, there are in 
Aramaic six chapters in Daniel, and in Ezra what is 
equivalent to three. If they were written at the date they 
claim, they are more recent than the Sinjirli inscriptions 
by approximately two centuries. Slightly later than the 
chapters in Ezra are the Assouan papyri. In the main, 
the Aramaic of these documents is identical with that of 
Daniel. Later still is the Targum of Onkelos. 1 Although 
the Targums were begun in Ezra's time, they were not com- 
mitted to writing till probably near the end of the second 
century A.D. The traditional interpretation was handed 
on from meturgeman to meturgeman ; and thus, although it 
would sustain modifications, these would be relatively slight, 
and there would always be an archaic flavour in the style. 

1 Some scholars maintain that the Aramaic of Onkelos is the same 
as that of Daniel and Ezra. It is difficult to imagine how, if they have 
really read both Onkelos and the Aramaic of Daniel, they can hold 
such an opinion. One may be permitted to think that the necessities of 
a theory to which they are committed have overborne their judgment. 
The difference is greater than that between the English of Shakespeare 
and that of Macaulay. 


Extempore prayers among ourselves usually prefer the 
idioms of the Prayer Book or the Bible to that of the English 
of everyday speech. Notwithstanding that the Aramaic 
of Onkelos is archaic, the difference between it and the 
Aramaic of Daniel and Ezra is very marked. The Aramaic 
of the Bible is much more akin to that of the Assouan 

At the same time, the Aramaic of the Bible may be 
regarded as one in dialect with that of the earlier Targums ; 
thus, Chaucer and Cowper use the same English ; the 
differences between them are due to time ; whereas the 
difference between Burns and Cowper, who were contem- 
poraries, is one of dialect. There are two leading dialects 
of Aramaic, Eastern and Western, otherwise called Syriac 
and Chaldee. If the date of the Peshitta on the one hand, 
and of the Targums on the other, be taken as the point of 
comparison, the difference most clearly marked is that in 
regard to the preformative of the 3rd sing, and plural 
mas. imperfect (future) ; while in Chaldee it is, as in 
Hebrew, ' yodh, in Syriac the preformative in these cases is in 
2 nun ; in the Mandaean subdialect ? lamed is the preforma- 
tive in the substantive verb. 1 From this it is evident that 
the Aramaic spoken in Samaria was Western, as it had 
Wit. yodh preformative. It has no trace, as has the Aramaic 
of Daniel and Ezra, of having ever been Eastern, or having 
had the Syriacisms rubbed off in course of successive 
transcriptions. Not only does the Aramaic of the Samaritan 
Targum differ from Biblical Aramaic but it differs also from 
that of the Jewish Targums. 

Although not representing so truly and scientifically the 

1 The "lamed" preformative to the substantive verb is found in 
Daniel and Ezra. Driver regards it as a phonetic variation on nun. 
Dr Bevan would explain it by the Jewish avoidance of a combination of 
letters that would suggest the Divine Name, hence they write lt5 for 15 
instead of n" 1 as this is a Divine Name. There are, however, hundreds of 
instances of the substantive verb in the Targums in the 3rd mas. sing, 
and plural imperfect ; and in no one instance does the 7 preformative 
appear. Dr Bevan's theory proves too much, and therefore proves 
nothing. In Daniel, there are cases in which, judging by the rendering, 
the text behind the LXX. of Daniel must have had the nun preformative, 
e.g., ii. 5-7. 


philological connections of a language, its vocabulary exhibits 
the commercial and social relations of those that speak it. 
Moreover, it is that with which the student first becomes 
acquainted. The great amount of intercourse between 
Britain and France may be proved by the fact, that though 
English is a Teutonic tongue, the majority of the words 
which make up its vocabulary are of French origin. And 
the comparatively limited intercourse with Germany during 
the formative period of the language is shown by the paucity 
of those that owe their origin to words borrowed from German 
fully developed. Perhaps even more cognate examples are 
Turkish and Modern Persian ; though the one is an agglutin- 
ative tongue and the other Aryan, yet so large is the infusion 
of Arabic in both languages that an Arabic scholar can 
occasionally divine the purport of sentences in these languages 
by Arabic alone. In the case of both of these languages, it 
is the fact that both peoples had adopted a religion which had 
originated in Arabia, and its Sacred Book, the Qoran, was 
written in Arabic. If the Samaritans received their religion 
from Judea, their language would exhibit traces of this. 

The vocabulary of the Samaritan Targum differs very 
much from that of Onkelos. Not a few of the words, indeed, 
seem strange to Aramaic. It may be that some of these 
may be due to the blunders of ignorant scribes, writing in a 
time when Aramaic had ceased to be spoken, miscopying 
what was before them. The second word in the Targum 
Dope talmes is one that has no Semitic root ; it is used to 
translate K"0 bara, " to create." It may, indeed, be connected 
with uTi_ tzelem, " an image," though this does not seem a 
natural etymology ; it cannot, at any rate, be the result of 
blunder, as more than once again the word occurs. The first 
word nmNOip qemautha is supposed by some to be derived 
from the more ordinary Dip qedem,the omitted l daleth being 
compensated for by doubling the d mem ; the objection to 
that etymology is that d and m are sounds that do not 
naturally coalesce. It perhaps may be connected with Dip 
gum. Then there are words used in Samaritan Aramaic in 
other than the sense in which they appear in other forms of 
Aramaic, and especially in the Jewish Targums; thus p]T£ 


tzdaq means to "cry out" to "shriek" in Jonathan ben 
Uzziel, but in the Targum of Samaria it means to " name," 
e.g., Gen. i. 5. "God called the light day." The word used 
both in Onkelos and the Peshitta is fcOp q e ra. These things 
show that Samaritan Aramaic developed along lines totally 
independent of the evolution of the Jewish and Edessene. 

More important as to the philological affinities of a 
language than the vocabulary are its grammatical forms ; 
and of these, the pronouns require very much to be studied. 
As in most Semitic tongues, pronouns have two forms, 
separable and inseparable, the latter being the oblique 
cases of the former. If the list of the forms of the 1st 
pers. pronoun sing, is taken from Petermann and Nicholls, 
of the four forms two coincide with the Hebrew, "3JK anoki 
^K am, one with the Targum of Onkelos KJN ana (this latter 
is noted by both grammarians as rare), and one peculiar to 
the Samaritan H3K aneh ; what is the commoner form of the 

V T 

1st pers. pronoun sing., either in Targumic, Chaldee, 
or in Syriac, is rare in Samaritan. In the plural of the 
first person, so far as spelling goes, the Hebrew is followed 
almost to the exclusion of the Targumic, but the pronuncia- 
tion does not differ so much, Unas anachnu (pron. anaanu), 
pruK anachnan (anaanan), px anan. The tendency is thus in 
the Samaritan to a greater affinity to the Hebrew than is 
shown in the Targumic. In regard to the 2nd pers. sing, 
the same tendency is seen in the dropping of the nun. The 
plural mas. is in better agreement with the Aramaic of the 
Targums. The 3rd pers. sing. mas. and fern, is nearly the 
same in Hebrew and Aramaic, only that frequently in the 
latter the final unpronounced aleph is also unwritten. The 
relation between the two may be seen in the paradigm on 
following page. 

A study of these forms shows that the Aramaic of 
Samaria and that of Judea developed along independent 
lines. It confirms the statement above that, on the whole, 
the Samaritan has a greater affinity for the Hebrew than 
has the Targumic. 

It has already been mentioned that the Semitic pronoun 
had no oblique cases, but that these were expressed by in- 
separable pronouns in the form of pronominal suffixes. 











































I- • 































43 43 

S 3 

<D «D 

43 43 




cT js 










B g 















j- 1 











43 43 

n: n : 


















E = 

E : 






43 rt 



s s J2 





rd rt rt 




as- as- as- 




n. fcr £ h 




as- £•; as, 
?• 2 H E 






































as; - 









E ! - 






% S2 


























Fundamentally, there are two relations which require to be 
expressed by oblique cases — the possessive and the objective 
— in classic nomenclature, the genitive and accusative ; the 
Semitic grammarians, approaching the question from a 
different point of view, call them nominal and verbal suffixes, 
the former representing the pronoun in the adjectival or 
possessive form, the latter, the accusative or objective form. 
In this somewhat complicated system it will be seen by the 
student that the Samaritan occupies generally an inter- 
mediate position between Hebrew and Chaldee. In regard 
to verbal or objective suffixes, the ist pers. sing, is the same 
in all three ; in the 2nd, the Chaldee is slightly liker the 
Hebrew; but in the 3rd, the Samaritan and the Hebrew are 
alike, while the Chaldee differs. The same may be said of 
the plural suffixes ; the Hebrew and Samaritan are alike, and 
the Chaldee differs from both. The singular suffixes to 
nouns singular show, on the whole, a closer resemblance of 
the Samaritan to the Chaldee than to the Hebrew, but the 
plural suffixes to nouns singular in the Samaritan are 
practically identical with those in Hebrew, whereas the 
Chaldee differs considerably. The same judgment must be 
come to in regard to the pronominal suffixes to nouns 
plural ; the Samaritan forms are practically identical with 
the Hebrew, but differ from the Chaldee. 

Another series of words in which linguistic affinities may 
be sought is the numerals. A study of the table of numerals 
shows that while the Samaritan conforms in the units to the 
Chaldee, generally speaking, and differs from the Hebrew, 
in regard to the decades (twenty, thirty, forty, etc.) the 
affinity of the Samaritan is closer to the Hebrew. In 
both Hebrew and Chaldee the decades are expressed by 
changing the unit into the plural, as ja*i« arbct, "four," 
in both languages, so "forty" becomes in Hebrew D^jniK 
arbaHm, and in Chaldee it becomes pjOTK arbeHn ; the 
Samaritan here agrees with the Hebrew and has D^znx 
arbctim. As the unit "three" in Samaritan is the same 
as in Chaldee, of course the first part of the term for 
"thirty" is the Chaldee term, but the termination agrees 
with the Hebrew. In regard to a " hundred " the Samaritan 
is unlike either Hebrew or Chaldee, which agree with each 


other. A " thousand " is the same in all Semitic languages. 
It is thus seen that in regard to numerals, as in regard 
to pronouns, the Samaritan is much closer to the Hebrew 
than is the Chaldee of the Targums. Occasionally double 
forms appear ; in such cases, not infrequently, the one 
is the Hebrew form and the other the Chaldee. 

The study of the verbal paradigms reveals parallel 
phenomena in the case of verbal forms. The singular 
Preterite of the Samaritan is identical with that of the 
Hebrew verb, but differs from the Chaldee in several 
particulars. The vocalisation is different ; while in 
Samaritan, as in Hebrew, the first syllable is open with 
qanietz, in the Chaldee the first syllable has the s/i'va vocale. 
The plural is nearly in as close agreement with the Hebrew ; 
the Hebrew, however, has no feminine of the 3rd plural which 
the Samaritan agrees with the Chaldee in having. The 1st 
pers. plu. ends in na in Samaritan and Chaldee, while the 
Hebrew ends in nu ; but in regard to the first syllable, there 
is agreement all through between the Samaritan and the 
Hebrew. In the Future or Imperfect, the singular persons 
are consonantally closely alike in all three, except that the 
Chaldee retains the final nun in the 2nd fern. All three 
differ as to the vocalisation of the second syllable. The 2nd 
and 3rd pers. mas. of the Samaritan agrees consonantally with 
the Hebrew, but in the 2nd and 3rd plural fern, it agrees with 
the Chaldee. In the Infinitive there are in Samaritan 
two forms, the one agreeing with the Hebrew, the other 
with the Chaldee. Consonantally, Samaritan, Hebrew, 
and Chaldee agree in the Imperative, save in the plural 
fern., in which the Chaldee differs from the other two by 
ending in akph instead of he. In regard to the participles 
all three are different. As Samaritan is clearly a form 
of Aramaic, the arrangement of the conjugations follows 
the Chaldee ; the passive conjugations are distinguished by 
the syllable n« ith prefixed to the root. While this is the 
rule, instances occur of Niphal, as Gen. x. 25, niphlagat ; 
so also, instead of ithpael in some codices the pual form 
appears, as Exod. xxix. 33, yisulla. Before a scribe would 
drop into such a form it must have been used by the 
Aramaic speaking people about him. There is even a case 


in which the Hophal conjugation is used instead of 
the more legitimate Ittaphal, Lev. x. l$, ufqedet. In 
Biblical Aramaic there are instances of the Hophal, as 
Dan. vii. 11, hubad. Another verbal peculiarity in regard 
to ain-vav and ain-yodh verbs is that the letter ain is 
introduced in the preterite DJ?P gam, Gen. iv. 8, "ijn dar, 
Num. xxxii. 40. 

Primitive relationships also afford evidence of linguistic 
affinities ; father — mother, son — daughter, brother — sister, 
husband — wife. The first of these pairs is the same in all 
Semitic languages. In regard to the second pair, while bar 
is the common Aramaic word for a "son," ben occasionally 
appears in Samaritan. The Samaritans manifest their 
independence in that they have evolved a regular plural 
for bar ; instead of the usual benin they have frequently barim. 
The Samaritan word for " brother " is not ah, the word 
so generally used in Semitic languages, but telim. As 
to " husband " and " wife " the second is represented by the 
same word as in the Aramaic of the Targums. In regard to 
" husband," the Samaritan generally prefers geber to bdal, 
while the Targum of Onkelos prefers the latter to the 

The particles of a language are the words which most 
distinctly mark its relationships. The common adverbs, 
prepositions, and conjunctions remain with a minimum 
of change in the historical development of a language. 
Hence it is that in these may be found the clearest evidence 
of external interference : thus, when in English we find that 
so common a word as " very " is a Latin interloper which has 
displaced the Teutonic sehr, we may deduce this to be the 
result of external interference by a people speaking a tongue 
derived from Latin. When the lists of Samaritan adverbs 
to be found in Nicholls' Samaritan Grammar is compared 
with those in the Targums, it is found that only a minority 
of them are common to both subdialects of Aramaic. The 
majority of the Samaritan adverbs are not found in the 
Targums, and several Targumic adverbs are not found 
in the Samaritan. There are instances of Hebrew adverbs 
being found in the Samaritan which do not occur in Targumic, 
e.g., h lu, " would that." Certainly the great majority of prep- 


ositions and conjunctions are common to both forms of 
Western Aramaic ; yet even in these classes of particles 
there are cases in which the Samaritan has prepositions 
which the Targumic does not employ, as pi23 kebun, "over 
against," MB katti, " below," nyp se'ad, " as far as." There 
are some which the Samaritan has in common with Hebrew, 
as Wk etzel, " near." The same is the case with conjunctions ; 
there are several Samaritan conjunctions that are not found 
in Onkelos ; as for instance H? baran, " lest," "'Op matt, 
" because." There are some conjunctions which Samaritan 
has in common with Hebrew which yet are not found 
in Onkelos, e.g., DS z'm, "if." Certainly, the inseparable 
prepositions are the same in Samaritan as in Chaldee, but 
this is not very significant, as they are common to all 
Semitic languages. The enclitic conjunction ^ u or \ ve is 
also common to Hebrew and Arabic as well as to Aramaic. 

There are cases in which Hebraisms occur in all the 
Aramaic versions of the Scripture. The most noticeable 
of these is IV yat or yath, the sign of the accusative. It had 
almost disappeared from Aramaic by historic times ; it 
occurs only once in Daniel as the support of an oblique case 
of a pronoun (Dan. iii. 12). It is to be noted that the 
equivalent T\\ vath occurs only once in the Sinjirli inscrip- 
tions, and in a similar grammatical connection, as the support 
of a pronominal oblique case ; nhj vatho (Hadad i. 28). This 
represents the Hebrew nx eth, and occurs in the Targums, 
and in the Peshitta also, where eth is found in the 
original. There are, however, other phenomena in the 
Samaritan Targum which exhibit the special relation in 
which it stands to the Hebrew original. Samaritan has, 
as has every other form of Aramaic, the status emphaticus, 
which serves for the definite article, but in addition it on 
occasion uses the Hebrew article in ~n ha: thus in 
Gen. i. 27, " man " as the species is written Dixn ha'adam. 
More striking than this, as evidence of the influence of 
Hebrew on Samaritan, is the occasional occurrence of the 
vav conversive, e.g., Gen. i. 3, "irtJ \T1 vayehe nahar, "and 
light was," and Exod. x. 8, "iTjp vaya'zar, " was brought in." 


The first example is in Petermann's text but not in Brull's, 
the latter in Brull's but not in Petermann's ; but when 
copyists show a tendency to fall into such Hebraisms, it is 
evidence that these were not uncommon in the speech of the 

But the Targum is not the only specimen of Samaritan 
Aramaic which has been preserved. There are collections of 
hymns which will fall to be considered under the head 
of the Literature of the Samaritans. Apart, however, from 
the consideration of them as literature, attention may 
be directed to the form the language assumes when it 
occurs not in a translation from Hebrew but in independent 
original compositions. In them there is manifested, even 
more strongly than in the Targum, the tendency to mingle 
the two languages ; when a hymnist intends to write Hebrew 
he drops unconsciously into Aramaic, and vice versa. The 
second hymn in Heidenheim's collection is on the whole 
Hebrew, yet the first word *20IV yithrabbi, "be magnified," 
is Aramaic; the verb is common to Hebrew and Aramaic, 
but the conjugation is Aramaic, and the word terminates 
as the Aramaic form does. The next three words are 
Hebrew EHpn Dtyn nt ze hash-shem haq-qodesh, " this is the holy 

name," although the order is scarcely that of classic Hebrew ; 
and it is to be noted that instead of the Aramaic status 
emphaticus the Hebrew article is employed. The clause that 
follows ends in the word "D33 {kabhed in the niphal), a 
Hebrew grammatical form which, as already mentioned, 
sometimes occurs in Samaritan ; but further, although the 
root is an Aramaic one, in the form of tfbhad it means, 
not as it does here, " to be honoured " but " to be angry." 
No. IV. of the same collection begins in Hebrew, but before 
the sentence ends, drops into Aramaic ; the last word, 
although common to both Hebrew and Aramaic, is in an 
Aramaic conjugation. In short, many of these hymns have 
the aspect of an uneducated Scotsman's English or an 
Englishman's Scotch ; in both cases there is, as here, a 
perpetual liability to leave the dialect intended and begun, 
and drop into the other with which the writer or speaker is 
better acquainted. 


The phenomena which have just been noted — the 
Hebraistic features in the Samaritan grammar, the introduc- 
tion of Hebrew words and constructions into Aramaic 
compositions, and the liability to pass from one language 
to the other — are worthy of special consideration. All 
the more is this the case, when, along with them the state of 
matters in Judea is brought under review. The people of 
the Southern Kingdom were ignorant of Aramaic at the 
time of Sennacherib's invasion, for Eliakim and Shebna 
requested Rabshakeh to speak to them in Aramaic in order 
that their conference might not be understood "by the 
people that were upon the wall." A similar condition 
of ignorance in regard to the language of diplomacy 
may be supposed to have prevailed among the inhabitants 
of Northern Palestine at the same date, as the few 
colonists sent by Sargon would not be numerous enough 
to affect the language of the people generally. While 
this was the case as long as the kingdom of Judah still 
stood, when both North and South fell under the Persian 
rule, the circumstances, linguistically, of the two divisions 
of the land must have been very similar. In both, the 
original language of the population had been Hebrew, 
and still to a certain extent was so. In both there had 
been intruded an element whose language was Aramaic. 
The few colonists sent by Sargon had their numbers aug- 
mented by the much larger number sent by Esarhaddon. 
and later still by others sent by his son and successor 
Asshur-bani-pal. Not impossibly, these would be supple- 
mented by natives of Syria and of other countries whose 
language was Aramaic. There is no record of Nebuchadnezzar 
sending colonists into Judea, after the Assyrian manner ; 
but members of neighbouring Aramaic speaking nations 
drifted in and seized lands and heritages the lawful pro- 
prietors of which had been slain, were captives, or had gone 
down to Egypt. The probability is that in both districts 
the language spoken was Aramaic, with a large admixture 
of Hebrew. There is no probability that the colonists sent 
into the territories of the Northern tribes pronounced 
Aramaic without the gutturals as the Samaritans did 
Hebrew. Although the Assyrians had in their own 


cuneiform language only one guttural, n keth, yet from 
the evidence of the Sinjirli inscriptions in which there is no 
uncertainty as to K aleph and V am, or as to n he and n keth, 
we may be reasonably sure that they made use of all the 
gutturals in speaking Aramaic. But the habit of the 
conquered people overbore the custom of the colonists sent 
by the Imperial power. Taking somewhat of .the position 
of the Assyrian colonists in the North, in the South were 
those who returned from the Babylonian captivity. They 
would be accustomed to speak Aramaic in public, and in 
intercourse with their neighbours in Babylonia, but almost 
certainly among themselves they spoke Hebrew in com- 
parative purity. There is this peculiarity to be noted, these 
returned captives would necessarily speak Syriac, that is 
to say Eastern Aramaic, not Western or Chaldee. But the 
Targums of Onkelos and of Jonathan ben Uzziel are in 
Chaldee. Intercourse with the people of the land who 
naturally spoke Chaldee would gradually rub off the 
orientalisms of the new-comers and assimilate their dialect 
to that of those around them. 

The resemblance between the two communities was so 
great, at once in external circumstances and linguistically, 
that an assimilation of language might have been supposed 
to have resulted, all the more because they were near 
neighbours and professed to worship the same God, and, 
before the arrival of Ezra, had been united together through 
frequent intermarriages. If they received the Law by the 
hands of Manasseh, it would seem to have been natural that 
they would at the same time have adopted the Southern 
pronunciation of the Hebrew, and the Southern Targum. 

In both the South and the North Hebrew must still have 
been understood, as is evidenced by the fact that in the reign 
of Darius, the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, and later still 
Malachi, delivered their message in Hebrew with something 
like purity. If the Samaritans received all the Ezrahitic 
additions to the Law with unquestioning docility, how was 
it that they did not assimilate their mode of pronouncing the 
sacred language to that of those whose teaching they had 
accepted ? It may have been that Hebrew was used only in 
regard to sacred things, much as Latin in the Middle Ages. 



This probably continued down through the Persian period 
until the domination of the Greeks set in. The language 
became debased, as may be seen in Ecclesiastes. If the original 
Hebrew of Ecclesiasticus may be judged by the manuscript 
so opportunely discovered, it is written in a much nearer 
approach to classic Hebrew than is the language of 
Ecclesiastes. Probably the style of Ben Sira represents an 
endeavour to restore Hebrew to its pristine purity, a move- 
ment akin to the Atticistic style of the Greek writers of the 
age of the Antonines. It is singular that though Hebrew 
was known so late, it has influenced the language of the 
Targums so little. It might have been expected that, 
as the Targums were handed on, not by writing but 
traditionally, from one meturgeman to another, the influence 
of Hebrew would have been all the more observable ; but 
the traces are few, compared with what are to be found in 
the Targum of the Samaritans. 

Another phenomenon is worthy of note. Although it 
was late in the second century when the Targum of Onkelos 
was committed to writing, and the Roman rule was, so far 
as language was concerned, a continuation of the Greek, 
there are practically no evidences of Hellenic influence in its 
vocabulary. In this, the Targum of Onkelos differs from 
the Peshitta of the New Testament ; in it, such connectives 
as *6« alia, " but," and ">3 gar, " for," indicate the influence of 

Greek. The Samaritan Targum shows less trace, but it has 
some, as for instance, Dfaa genos, which is the Greek yeVo? 

(Gen. i. 1 2). The preposition "•ro katti, " below," is derived 

from Kara. Yet certainly, considering the length of the 
Greek predominance, it is singular that it has left so little 
trace. The Hellenic influence was dominant for close upon a 
millennium ; yet the Arabic domination, which has lasted for 
three centuries more, has produced even less effect on the 
Aramaic of Samaria. 

All this emphasizes the independent position of the 
Samaritans in relation to the Jews. It has been noted how 
much more prominent the Hebrew element is in Samaritan 
Aramaic than in the Aramaic of Judea, which expressed itself 
in the Targum of Onkelos. This difference may have been 


due to the fact that the colonists who brought Aramaic with 
them came to Samaria in successive relays, with considerable 
intervals of time between each. Each several detachment 
would be swallowed up of the people among whom they had 
been sent to dwell. When a new band of colonists arrived, 
they would find those who had preceded them absorbed 
among the Israelites, speaking a sort of Hebrew and worship- 
ping JHWH with somewhat uncertain rites. In such circum- 
stances, the original colonists may not infrequently have 
become more vehement partisans of the native cause than 
the natives themselves. The descendants of the English 
colonists in Ireland became Hibernis Hiberniores — more 
partisanly Irish than the Irish themselves. One result of 
this is that the Aramaic in use in Northern Palestine became 
very much Hebraized. Judging by their hymns, the language 
of the Samaritans became somewhat of an amalgam. 

The Samaritans maintained this linguistic separation 
from their brethren of Judea, despite that, under the 
Empire of Rome, Judea and Samaria were usually under 
one governor. Herod had Samaria added to his dominions, 
and united — Archelaus inherited them. When the Romans 
sent Coponius first, and others till Porcius Festus, as pro- 
curators, the two provinces were united under their rule. 
Notwithstanding that they had the same religion, were under 
the same civil authority, they maintained not merely in- 
dependence of the Jews but even an enmity to them, so 
that the Samaritan woman said to our Lord, "The Jews 
have no dealings with the Samaritans." Josephus in his 
history exhibits the attitude of the Jew to the Samaritans : 
he has no good word to say of them. This hatred they 
repaid with interest. That being so, their testimony to the 
contents of the Mosaic Law must be regarded as that of 
independent witnesses, not the mere parrot-rote repetition 
of pupils who imitate their master. 

Literature of the Samaritans. 

The consideration of the language of the Samaritans 
leads naturally to a survey of their literature. All the later 
Samaritan literature, that is to say, all after the twelfth 


century of our era, has been written in Arabic. Even the 
so-called Samaritan "Book of Joshua," to which reference 
has been made in a previous chapter, is written in the tongue 
of " the Sons of Ishmael." The historian who is the principal 
source of our knowledge of the views entertained by the 
Samaritans as to sacred history, Abu'l Fath, wrote his 
Annals in the same language. All this, though written by 
Samaritans, is to be reckoned not as Samaritan but as 
Arabic literature. Similarly, during the rule of the Greeks, 
and under the dominance of Rome and its continuation by the 
Caesars of Byzantium, there were Samaritan books composed 
in Greek the names of which may have come down to us. 
Even if these works were discovered in Egypt among heaps 
of papyri and ostraka, they would be regarded not as 
specimens of Samaritan literature but as that of later 
hellenism. It is therefore entirely to such literary remains 
as are still to be found in Samaritan Hebrew or Aramaic 
that our attention will be directed. 

The amount of this is exceedingly scanty. Some time 
in the second century of the Christian era there must have 
been a wholesale destruction of Samaritan writings. In the 
Samaritan " Book of Joshua," above referred to, this disaster 
is attributed to the reign of Hadrian ; Abu'l Fath, however, 
describes this destruction as taking place more than half a 
century later, in the reign of Commodus, the son and suc- 
cessor of Marcus Aurelius. The study of the Samaritan 
Chronicles reveals in them such an amount of chronological 
confusion that little reliance can be laid on particulars. 
When it is noted that in them Adrinus (Hadrian) is declared 
to be the successor of Alexander the Great, and he of 
Buchtinosor (Nebuchadnezzar), it becomes evident how little 
trust is to be placed on the chronology of Samaritan tradition. 
All that is clear is, that somewhere in the second century A.D., 
the Samaritans had to endure a severe persecution, and that 
in that persecution the destruction of the sacred books was 
a special object of their persecutors. As the agents of the 
Imperial police would be unable to read the Samaritan 
character, all books in Samaritan would be seized and 
destroyed, as well as the copies of the Torah of which they 
were more immediately in search. The result was (so the 


Samaritans say) that the Torah alone was saved, and, 
according to some authorities, with it the list of the succes- 
sive high priests ; this, however, is doubtful. 

Although the destruction has not been so absolute as 
this would indicate, very little has survived. The most 
important of these literary survivals is the Samaritan 
Targum. 1 As it is a translation, it has a larger infusion of 
Hebrew than it otherwise might have had. As a transla- 
tion, it is more faithful than even Onkelos. To show the 
difference, let the curse on the serpent (Gen. iii. 14, 15), as 
it appears in the Samaritan Targum, be compared with the 
version in Onkelos. In the Samaritan it is : " And the Lord 
God said to the serpent, because thou hast done this, thou 
art cursed above all cattle and every beast of the field. . . . 
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and 
between thy seed and her seed ; and he shall bruise thy 
head and thou shalt bruise his heel." On the other hand, 
Onkelos renders : " I will put enmity between thee and the 
woman, and between thy son and her son. He will re- 
member thee and what thou didst to him at the beginning, 
and thou wilt be watchful of him at the end." Another 
passage which involves some difficulty is Gen. iv. 7. The 
Samaritan rendering is : " If thou doest well, thou shalt be 
absolved ; if thou doest not well, at the door sin croucheth ; 
at thy hand is its remedy, and thou shalt rule over it ; " but 
Onkelos is much more paraphrastic : " If thou doest thy work 
well, thou shalt be pardoned ; if thou dost not do thy work 
well, to the day of judgment thy sin shall be reserved, when 
vengeance shall be exacted from thee, if thou do not repent ; 
but if thou repent, it shall be remitted to thee." An example 
in which Onkelos is, though paraphrastic, not so much so, 
is verse 23 of the same chapter — the song of Lamech. 
It may be compared with the straightforward rendering of 

1 Dr Paul Kahle ( Textkritische u. Lexikal. Bemerk. zum Sam. Penta- 
teuch Targum) thinks that there never was, among the Samaritans, a 
generally recognised Targum like that of Onkelos among the Jews. He 
is led to that conclusion by the number and nature of the various readings 
found in such fragments of Samaritan Targum as have turned up from 
time to time. His conclusion, though important, has no direct bearing 
on our inquiry as to the Samaritan language and doctrine. 



the Samaritan. Other instances for comparison might be 
suggested, e.g. y the Blessing of Jacob, especially the sections 
in regard to Judah and Joseph (Gen. xlix. 8-12, 22-26). On 
the whole, the Samaritan Targum is written in a simple 
direct style. 

There are several collections of hymns extant ; some of 
them appear to be early, dating from pre-Christian times. 
There was a collection of these hymns made by a certain 
Mattura, whose date is difficult to fix. Heidenheim has 
published a collection of hymns which he thinks is really 
that of Mattura. These hymns are all liturgic, without much 
poetic or religious feeling. They are of various dates, as has 
just been intimated — some earlier, some later. The earliest 
are written in fairly good Hebrew, with an occasional 
admixture of forms drawn from Samaritan Aramaic ; they 
are largely centos of phrases from the Pentateuch, and are 
mostly fragmentary. They are all anonymous, save that 
the names of Moses and Joshua are placed as titles. There 
were, in all probability, collections of hymns earlier than any 
still extant ; these, however, have been lost in the persecution 
referred to. The hymns in the collection published by 
Heidenheim in the Biblioiheca Samaritana, which are in 
Hebrew, probably are survivals from those earlier groups. 
Heidenheim divides the hymns of the collection which he 
has published into three classes. (1) The first, those in 
relatively pure Hebrew, he would ascribe to the period 
beginning with the time when the jews rejected the help 
of the Samaritans, which these had offered when the former 
had returned from captivity and were engaged in rebuilding 
the temple at Jerusalem. The erection of the temple on 
Mount Gerizim, in consequence of this, led naturally to the 
composition of hymns, suitable to the ritual which they had 
set up. (2) The second class were composed during the period 
in which the Samaritans separated themselves doctrinally 
from Sadduceanism. This revolution in the Samaritan out- 
look was apparently due to a considerable extent to the 
influence of Christianity. The language in which these 
hymns are written is New Hebrew, with a yet greater 
admixture of Aramaic forms. (3) The third class is formed 
from hymns during the period beginning with the eighth 


Christian century, in which Arabic was beginning to 
replace Aramaic and Greek as the predominant language, 
alike of the home and the market-place. The hymns 
show some slight traces of Arabic influence in their 

This collection, which Heidenheim has published, is 
preceded by a lengthened introduction in Hebrew. It is 
really a cento of verses extracted from Genesis, and relates 
the history of the Patriarchs from the call of Abraham to 
the carrying down of Joseph into Egypt. It ends with the 
statement: "And JHWH was with Joseph and he found 
(favour in the eyes of his master) and JHWH blessed the 
house of the Egyptian, and he left l all that he had in the 
hand of Joseph ; and Joseph was a goodly person and well 
favoured." This termination suggests that the true end of 
the " Introduction " has been lost. While the call of Abraham 
forms a natural beginning to such a sketch, the slavery of 
Joseph does not form an equally natural conclusion. The 
sketch is interesting, as it presents some variations from the 
narrative in the received text, Massoretic or Samaritan. As 
an instance, alike in the Massoretic and the Samaritan, 
Abraham is said (Gen. xii. 6) to have " passed through the 
land to the place Shechem, to the plain (or ' oak ') of 
Moreh " ; in this introduction it is to the " height " of Moreh 
that he comes ; this merely involves the change of X aleph 
into V ain, a change all the more easy to make as, by the 
Samaritans, neither letter was pronounced. 

As an example of these hymns, that numbered II. in this 
collection may be taken. It is called " The Pr ayer of M o^' 
and is in fairly good Hebrew. Its language has already 
been referred to. A translation is subjoined to give a 
specimen of Samaritan hymnology : — 

Magnify this holy name ; one is JHWH and to be glorified ; 

There is none beside Him in the Heaven above or upon the earth 

beneath ; 
There is none beside Him. 
Blessed be JHWH our God, whose name is glorious and rightly to be 


1 The text reads, by blunder, -Qjn "and he served." 


May our heart be circumcised, and the heart of our seed ; 
Let us fear Him and loye Him ; 

Let us learn and observe the ten words of the Covenant 
Which He spake in Horeb from the midst of the fire, 
In the day of the assembly. 

JHWH God merciful and gracious, forgiving to us and to our fathers, 

Our rebellion, in Thy grace, everything in which we have sinned, 

Transgressed, gone astray before Thee. 

Ah Lord, I am that I am, remember Thy servants, 

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, O Lord, in their labour. 

Turn not away from us on account of our hardness, our wickedness, and 

our sins ; 
We are sinners before Thy Majesty, and transgressors before Thy 

Thou art JHWH a God merciful and gracious ; 
Go now with us, O Lord, in our midst, 
For a hard stiff-necked people are we. 
And forgive us our iniquities and our sins ; 
And give to us our inheritance, O Lord, the merciful. 
For Thy great name, deliver us from everything false. 
And save us from every abomination, and cleanse our souls from every 

And sanctify our bodies from all uncleanness. 
And forgive to us and to our fathers our rebellion, in Thy mercy, 
From everything in which we have sinned, erred, and transgressed 

before Thee. 
O Lord, we will circumcise our hearts, 
And shall return to Thee with our whole heart and soul ; 
And we shall love Thee with all our heart, with all our soul, and with 

all our might. 
For good to ourselves we will beseech Thy favour, and Thy goodness, 

Thy compassions, and Thy favours. 
Consecrate us to observe Thy ceremonies, and Thy statutes, and Thy 

commandments, and Thy judgments at all times. 

That will give some idea of the character of those hymns. 
It may be noted that some of these poems referred to above 
— as for instance, No. IV. — begin with a quotation from the 
Pentateuch in Hebrew (Deut. xxxiii. 4), then immediately 
lapse into Aramaic. Others, while wholly Aramaic, yet admit 
numerous Hebraistic forms ; others, intended to be Hebrew, 
admit Aramaic forms and constructions. At times, as above 
noted, the Arabisms may be observed. In regard to verse 
forms, there seems to be no case of the parallelism which we 


find in Hebrew poetry, maintained through a poem. In 
three, IX., X., XI., there is use of a refrain, as in Ps. 
cxxxvi. A very considerable number are in rhyme ; not 
rhyming couplets, but using one rhyme through a stanza 
of a dozen lines or more. Thus No. XII., a short poem of 
twelve verses and twenty-four lines, has only one rhyme, the 
syllable « nu. All scholars are aware that a similar frequency 
of pronominal suffixes occurs in Hebrew; and that many 
passages in the Prophets have so great an appearance of 
rhyming, that some have been led to regard this as not 
merely, like alliteration in English poetry, an adornment, 
but of the constitutive essence of the versification. Study 
soon reveals that the Hebrew prophets did not build up their 
poems by the help of similarly ending lines. It is different 
with the Samaritans ; they show that rhyme is with them no 
casual occurrence, by placing the rhyming syllables one over 
the other in a column, with a blank space of varying length 
between it and the rest of the word of which it is the 
termination. Some of these poems combine with rhyme the 
acrostic character so frequent in the Hebrew Psalms. 1 An 
example of this is to be found in XXL, which has twenty- 
two stanzas of varying lengths, each of which begins with the 
letter which follows in alphabetic order that with which its 
predecessor began. Like not a few of the Samaritan 
alphabetic poems, it begins with V ain instead of K aleph, an 
irregularity due to the Samaritan inability to pronounce the 
gutturals. It is a hymn for the Great Day of Atonement, 
and is attributed to the seven daughters of Jethro, the father- 
in-law of Moses. Each stanza of this long poem of 665 lines 
has only one rhyme ; the rhyming syllable in the first stanza 
is al, in the second is yah, and so on : it is to be noted that 
the fifth stanza, the rhyming syllable of which is jn ra\ 
carries on the assonance with m, m and fcO, It recounts 
the history of the Pentateuch in liturgic form. Several 
other of these hymns are, like this, at once alphabetic and 

1 In mediaeval times the Jews sometimes produced poems of this 
construction, e.g. the hymn Agdamuth, written by Meyer ben Izhaq 
in the eleventh century ; the first forty-four of its ninety-nine lines 
are both rhyming and alphabetic. It rhymes throughout on the 
syllable sn. 


rhyming. Although there is no parallelism, the lines in 
many of the poems are divided by a pause into two approxi- 
mately equal parts ; in this way there is a rhythmic effect 

Earlier by sixty years than Heidenheim's publication 
were the Carmina Samaritana given to the world by 
Gesenius. He found a collection of Samaritan hymns in the 
British Museum, but through misplacing of the leaves the 
whole had the aspect of confused fragments. As some of 
them were accompanied by an Arabic translation and some 
were not, and several were alphabetic, he was enabled to 
discover that there were twelve separate hymns. There 
were in the University of Gotha where he was professor, 
certain Samaritan MSS. which he collated. Eight of the 
twelve hymns, the first seven and the twelfth, he has published 
with a Latin version ; a summary is given of the remaining 
four. Six of those he has given are alphabetic ; but unlike 
the alphabetic hymns published by Heidenheim, the alpha- 
betic succession is not restricted merely to the first letter of 
each stanza ; but if the stanza has four lines, it is every 
second line; if two, each line. Gesenius would date those 
hymns, which he has published, as composed possibly after 
the persecution inflicted on the Samaritans by Justinian, or 
that endured in the beginning of the Mohammedan rule. 
The probability is that they belong to various epochs, as 
they do not all indicate recency of persecution. The 
prevalence of rhyme in some would indicate a predominant 
Arabic influence. 

A specimen may be given of the nature of these Canning 
Saniarijatui ehv a translation of a few of the opening stanzas 
of the first of them : — 

There is no God save one : (i) Creator of the World, 

Who can measure Thy Greatness ? Thou hast wrought in majesty 

In the space of six days. 

(2) In Thy Law, great and true, We read and become wise ; 

In each of those days Thou didst magnify Thy creative Power. 

(3) Made great in Thy Wisdom, They proclaim Thy Excellency. 
They reveal Thy Divine Power ; Nothing is unless to magnify 



(4) Thou hast created Thy glorious works Without weariness. 

Thou hast drawn them forth from nothingness, In the space of 
six days. 

(5) Thou hast created them perfect ; There is not defect in one of 

Thou hast shown forth their perfection to be seen, Because Thou 
art the Lord of Perfection. 

(6) Thou didst rest without weariness On the seventh day ; 
Thou madest it a crown For the six days. 

(7) Thou didst call it holy, Thou madest it head, 

The time of every convocation, Chief of all holiness. 

(8) Thou didst make it a covenant Between Thyself and Thy 

worshippers ; 
Thou didst teach them To guard its observance strictly. 

(9) Happy they who celebrate the Sabbath, Who are worthy of its 

Its holy shade makes them breathe again, Free from all labour 
and fatigue. 

(10) With glorious gifts Our Lord has honoured us, 

He gave to us the Sabbath day At length we rest since God has 
prepared quiet. 

The poet next glorifies the Law and Moses through 
whom it had been revealed. 

The last verse may be translated as exhibiting the place 
ascribed to Moses : — 

(22) An Ocean of Speech, Did Divine Excellence make Moses, 

The end of Revelation is Moses, The end of the Revelation of 
our Lord. 

Of the rest of these hymns the most interesting is one 
by a certain Abu'l Fath 1 relating the sufferings endured by 
the Samaritans from their persecutors ; it is numbered V. 
in Gesenius' collection. We subjoin a few stanzas from 

(5) If there is no helper for us, He Himself will afford us aid. 
O merciful King, Pity our humiliation. 

1 It is not clear whether this is the historian or not. 


(6) We are Thy servants, The sons of Thy Servants ; 

Be it far from Thee That Thou shouldest forget Thy covenants with 
our ancestors. 

(7) We take refuge in Thy favour From the midst of our mighty 


The above examples may be held as sufficient to give an 
idea of the hymns of the Samaritans. 

Some poetic fragments, hymns for circumcision, marriage 
songs, etc., were discovered by Merx in the library of Gotha, 
but do not call for remark. The same scholar also found a 
poem on the Thaheb, the Samaritan Messiah. Its value is 
more theological than literary. 

The prose literature of the Samaritans is mainly repre- 
sented by the theologian Marqah. As with the last cited 
poem, the value of his treatises is mainly theological. The 
style is rather rhapsodical than even rhetorical. Marqah's 
Book of Wonders begins thus : 

" Great is the might of the Omnipotent. 
Let us clothe ourselves with fear lest we be destroyed. 
No secret is hid from Him, and all is in His power. 
He knows what is, what was, and what will be. 
Of Himself is His might, He has need of no other." 

If this is compared with the treatises in the Mishna, which 
were probably nearly contemporary with Marqah's literary 
activity, the wide difference between their literary atmosphere 
is observable. Marqah had not gone to school with the 
Jewish Rabbis. 

In verse, the Samaritans owed little to _t he J ews. The 
ruling feature of Jewish versification was parallelism, but 
there is no trace of it as a constituent part of the verse of 
the Samaritans. On the other hand, the Samaritans used 
rhyme as a vehicle for their poetic expression of which the 
Jews did not make use until late times. Both they and the 
Jews had a favour for the alphabetic acrostic ; and both 
occasionally used the refrain. Still these are not the 
essentials of verse ; in all three, the Samaritans followed 
other models than the Jews. If they did not follow the Jews 


in matters of literary form, still less were they likely to do so 
in religion. 

Literary activity has ceased for centuries among the 
Samaritans. Latterly they have been especially im- 
poverished. All their later work, as mentioned above, has 
been in Arabic. 

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ABOUT three centuries ago an Italian nobleman, Pietro della 
Valle by name, determined to make a prolonged tour in the 
East. In the beginning of his journey he passed through 
Constantinople ; while there he was entertained by the 
French Ambassador, a man interested in scholarship ; he 
suggested to Delia Valle that he should, if possible, secure 
a copy of the Samaritan Recension of the Pentateuch. 
Mindful of this, when he reached Cairo, Della Valle 
endeavoured to induce some member of the Samaritan 
community there to sell him a copy of their Torah, but not 
one would part with a copy on any consideration. He pro- 
ceeded to Gaza, but with the Samaritan community there 
his efforts were equally fruitless. The same was the case in 
Nablus. At length in Damascus he succeeded in procuring 
two copies, one of which found its way to the Royal Library 
in Paris, now the Bibliotheque Nationale, where it still may 
be seen. The other was sent to the Vatican. The text, as 
represented by the Parisian copy, was printed under the 
editorship of Morinus, a pervert from Protestantism. The 
controversy between Roman Catholic and Protestant had at 
that time reached an acute stage. The Thirty Years' War 
had just begun, and the two parties were specially embittered 
against each other. Morinus, emphasizing the difference 
between the two recensions, demanded of the Protestants 
which of the two represented the genuine Word of God, 
claiming that the Church alone had the authority to decide. 
He was answered by numerous Protestant scholars, all of 
whom maintained that the Samaritan Recension was late 



and worthless. Some like the younger Buxtorf, in their 
eagerness to rebut the claim to antiquity put forward in 
favour of the Samaritan drawn from the script in which it 
was written, went so far as to declare, against the evidence 
of the Jews themselves, that the Law was originally written 
in the square character. These discussions, which went on 
for a couple of centuries, proceeded mainly on a priori grounds, 
and were therefore for scholarship practically valueless. At 
length a serious attempt was made to estimate scientifically 
the nature and extent of the differences between the two 
recensions. Little more than a century ago, in the year 
1 815, Gesenius, in proceeding to the degree of Doctor of 
Theology, presented, as his Thesis, a short treatise entitled, 
de Pentateuchi Samaritani Origine Indole et Auctoritate, to 
which there has already been reference. In it he removed 
the question into a new region ; putting their theological 
bearings to one side, he proceeded to examine the differ- 
ences themselves, their number, extent, and character. 
Gesenius, good Protestant as he was, assumed without 
further ado that the Massoretic text was the primitive, and 
that the Samaritan text arose from it by intentional variation. 
As nearly all the more recent investigators have been non- 
Catholic, and the majority of them Jews, it is not surprising 
that the same assumption has been implicit in them all. It 
scarcely needs argument to show that such a procedure is 
eminently unscientific. In the pages which follow we shall 
endeavour to avoid any presumption in favour of one or 

It is very difficult to see why, in determining the relation 
between the Samaritan and the Massoretic, the critical 
school, who treat the Massoretic text with such slight respect 
sometimes, are so enamoured of it, when the question as to 
the relative priority or the dependence of the one on the other 
has to be considered. The Massoretic text appears to have 
been gradually evolved. The distinction between the qri 
and the k'tkifr, between what ought to be read and what 
is written, is familiar to every one ; even the youngest 
student of the Hebrew Scripture is soon made aware of 
this. The origin of this requires to be explained. That 
which has to be "written" has frequent blunders which, 


however, are in the main corrected in the qn\ that which 
has to be "read." This perpetuation of blunders which 
are known, and duly corrected in each copy, seems only 
explicable on the idea that some one roll of the Law, some 
one roll of the Prophets, and some one roll of the K'thubhim 
had for some reason become sacrosanct, perhaps from having 
been the property of some much venerated Rabbi ; its very 
blunders, though recognised to be blunders, are hallowed by 
the roll in which they occur. Another manuscript, or 
perhaps two, suggested the correct reading. There may be 
a well-grounded suspicion that many blunders may have 
been retained because the manuscripts which supplied the 
qri agreed in the blunder with that which was copied in 
the k'thibh. That this singular amalgam of blunders and 
corrections was the result of a process may be proved 
by comparison of the Massoretic with the text behind 
the older versions. Although the — Tnrah was regard prl 
as the most sacred portion of. the Scripture, and therefore 
one should have expected that it would be most carefully 
copied, and most sedulously kept free of errors ; yet in 
the Pentateuch there are a larger number of recognised 
blunders in proportion than in any other part of Scripture. 
When the versions are brought into comparison, it is 
found that the older the version the further it is from 
the Massoretic. The oldest version is that of the LXX. 
The differences between the text behind it and the Masso- 
retic are extensive and well known. An interval of several 
centuries separates the Septuagint from the next Greek 
translations. With regard to two of these, by Aquila and 
Symmachus, only fragments have been preserved, and these 
mainly in quotations ; hence no absolutely trustworthy 
evidence can be drawn from them as to what relation 
the text from which they translated bore to the Massoretic. 
In regard to Theodotion, we have the advantage of 
possessing a complete book, the book of Daniel, in his 
translation. The result of a study of Theodotion serves 
to show that while his version has been made from a text 
much nearer to the Massoretic than that behind the Septua- 
gint, it still was one which differed considerably from it. 
Nearly contemporary with Theodotion, but not improbably 


somewhat earlier, is the Peshitta of the Old Testament. 
Theodotion's version seems to have been made in the 
first half of the second century of our era, which is a 
not improbable date for the Peshitta of the New Testament ; 
but the language of the Peshitta of the Old Testament 
appears to be older, so it may quite well be dated in 
the latter half of the first century. The relation of the 
Peshitta to the Massoretic is much closer than is 
Theodotion's. The latest of the older versions is the 
Vulgate, the work of St Jerome, written in Palestine in the 
fifth century ; its evidence is specially valuable. Jerome 
was a scholar and gave all diligence and used every 
assistance to get the exact text and the precise meaning 
of every passage. Over and above his version, he wrote 
commentaries on a number of the books of the Old 
Testament, and in these there are many textual notes; we 
can thus form a pretty clear idea of the text in his day. 
In regard to the Psalms we have not only his revision of 
the Latin Psalter then in use — a version of the Septuagint — 
but the version which he made direct from the Hebrew, 
and thus can measure the change which the Hebrew 
text had undergone in the interval. While the text which 
Jerome used is much closer to the Massoretic than that 
behind Theodotion, it still is far from being absolutely 
identical with it. For one thing, the distinction between qri 
and htthibh does not seem to have been known to him 
or to the Rabbin, his instructors, in Palestine. There are 
two cases in which the qri is most illuminative in which the 
scribe of the Vthibh has written vb lo, " not," instead '"h /o, 
" to him " ; in both cases the blunder is corrected by the 
qri. The instances are Is. ix. 3 and Ps. c. 3. In regard to the 
first of these, "Thou hast multiplied the people and hast 
not increased the joy," Jerome in his commentary recognises 
the difficulty but shows no knowledge of the way of escape to 
be found in the qri. He would explain the apparent con- 
tradiction by instancing the perpetual grief of the Apostles 
over the impenitence of Israel, though converts were 
multiplied. With regard to the Hundredth Psalm, Jerome's 
own version is placed in a column parallel to that in which 
is printed his amended version of the LXX. In his own 


version he renders the clause in question — Deus, ipse 
fecit nos et ipsius sumus. The conclusion to which we feel 
obliged to come is that in Jerome's days the Massoretic text 
had not been reached. The fact that the Peshitta, though 
probably earlier than Theodotion, is closer to the Massoretic, 
suggests that the model manuscript on which the ttthibh 
is based must have been written in Babylon. The close 
agreement of the Targum of Onkelos may be explained 
by its Babylonian origin, or at least sanction. From this 
it will be seen that the Massoretic text is late and not by 
any means very accurate. There is therefore no ground 
for assuming, as do so many of the students of the Samaritan 
question, that the Massoretic represents the primitive 

The variants which exist between the Samaritan 
and the Massoretic are very numerous, but of very 
different value. The student may find a convenient list 
of them in the beginning of Bagster's Hebrew Bible. It 
labours under one disadvantage, that it has been made from 
the text in Walton's Polyglot, which is very defective ; the 
editor seems to have had a perverse preference for the worse 
reading in every case. The number of the differences may 
be estimated when it is seen that they occupy fifty pages in 
the beginning of Bagster's Hebrew Bible. Another list 
available for the student is that by Petermann appended 
to his Versuch einer Heb. Formenl. nach der Aussprache der 
heutig. Samaritaner and occupies 108 pages. The disadvan- 
tage with regard to Petermann's list is that the Samaritan 
text implied in it does not in every case agree with the text 
of Genesis, which he has transcribed to show the Samaritan 
pronunciation. With the two, however, the student is in 
a position to consider the variants. Blayney's transcrip- 
tion of the Samaritan of the Polyglot text is valuable still, 
although it occasionally adds blunders of its own to those 
of Walton's text. Much better is the careful text of von 

As a suitable introduction to the study of these differences 
between the Samaritan and Massoretic texts, since it will 
exhibit the general nature and relative frequency of them, 
it would seem advisable to take a limited portion of the 


Pentateuch, note in it the successive examples of diverg- 
ence as they occur, and then consider their nature. As the 
portion of the Hebrew Scripture most likely to be familiar 
to those who read the original, the first chapter of Genesis 
may be taken. As it is convenient we may make use of 
Bagster's list. The first difference noted is that the 
Massoretic begins with a large 2, whereas in the Samaritan 
the opening 2 is of the same size as the other letters. So 
natural is it to us to emphasize the beginning of a book or 
of a section of a book by using- a large, perhaps ornamental, 
letter that the large 2 would not be recognised as a peculiarity, 
were it not for the Massoretic note which draws attention to 
it. On looking through the Hebrew Bible it will be found 
that only other three books, Proverbs, Song of Solomon, and 
first Chronicles begin with large letters. The next variant is 
found in verse II, where in the Samaritan 1 " and " is inserted 
before fjf aytz, " a tree " ; the English versions insert " and " 
here. It is to be noted that this " and " is supplied in all 
versions, ancient and modern. In the same verse ' in 
JHTO mazrid , "a seeding seed" is dropped in the Samaritan ; 

this involves a change of conjugation from Hiphil to Piel. 
Elsewhere in Scripture there is no instance of the participle 
of either conjugation of this verb ; the imperfect of the 
Hiphil occurs in Lev. xii. 2, the preterite Pual, the passive 
of the Piel, is found in Is. xl. 24. As the variation involves 
no change of meaning, the versions do not decide. In verse 
14 there are four variants ; first the Hebrew word for " lights " 
is written plene in the Samaritan with all the matres 
lectionis nriixp instead of rhx» as in the Massoretic ; second, 

in the Samaritan there is a clause added p«n by "VKfi? lehdeer 

V T t - " t : 

W hdaretz, "to give light upon the earth," which is not in the 
Massoretic ; in this the Samaritan has the support of the 
LXX., according to the text of Brooke and Maclean, and the 
Vulgate ; fourth, the Samaritan writes the vowels in 'otAot/t, 
" signs," plene in both cases, whereas in the Massoretic 
the matres lectionis are omitted. The only difference in 
verse 15 is that the Samaritan writes both syllables of the 
word " lights " plene, but the Massoretic so writes only 
the first. In the next verse the Samaritan writes the word 


just mentioned as it has already done ; the Massoretic has no 
vav at all. There are three other differences due to blunders 
of the scribes of some Samaritan MSS., but the best do not 
have them, although Walton has them in the Polyglot ; they 
are not parts of the genuine Samaritan text. The second 
syllable of the word gadhol is plene in the Samaritan. 
Verse 20 varies from the rule ; generally the Samaritan has 
a tendency to fill in the matres lectionis, while with the Masso- 
retic the tendency is to omit ; in this verse the word for 
" flying " is written plene in the Massoretic but defective in 
the Samaritan. There are three variants in the next verse ; 
two of them are merely the insertion of vav ; the third 
is D instead of B> but it is found only in one MS. ; it is a 
blunder of hearing. For the Jussive form of the imperfect 
Hiphil of the verb 22~\ in the Massoretic the Samaritan has 

in verse 22 the simple imperfect of the Hiphil. There is in 
verse 24 what Gesenius regarded as an archaic construct 
in 1 in the Massoretic; this the Samaritan omits. It 
is possible that what was originally written was the 
ordinary archaic construct in "• modified by blunder into 1, 
from the practical identity of these two letters in the early 
square script, as evidenced by the Kefr Bir'im inscription. 
In Samaria the archaic form had fallen out of use. There is 
another thing to be noted, which suggests another possible 
explanation ; the vav omitted is compensated by the 
insertion of the article before px aretz, a change which 
further assimilates the construction to that of later classic 
Hebrew as seen in the following verse. This would suggest 
that the supposed archaism is due to the blunder of a Jewish 
scribe, who, copying into square character a manuscript in 
Samaritan script, and mistaking he for vav, letters very like 
in some forms of Samaritan, transferred what was the article 
prefixed to eretz to the end of the preceding word. This 
explanation is rendered all the more probable by the fact 
that so the clause is identical with the parallel clause in 
verse 25. In verse 26 while the Massoretic writes «rwo"i3 in 
one MS. the Samaritan drops the vav. In verse 28 the 
Samaritan correctly has shurcq instead of kibbutz in the 
word n'^'23 and the article is inserted before mn and after bb, 



In the next verse, the Samaritan omits and the Massoretic 
inserts the article in precisely similar circumstances. In the 
30th verse the Samaritan has the article before fcpn but 
has not 1 in the first syllable ; the Massoretic omits the article 
but writes the first syllable plene. As the first three verses 
of chapter ii. belong really to the same document as 
chapter i., the variant in them may be noted. There is 
only one, but it is more important than those preceding ; 
where, in verse 2, the Massoretic has " seventh " and the 
Samaritan has ■ sixth," in this supported by the LXX. and 
the Peshitta. As mentioned above, Petermann gives a 
slightly more numerous list of variants, though omitting 
some that are in Bagster's list. While these differences are 
fairly numerous, they are in the main unimportant ; indeed, 
only a very few of them cause any difference in translation. 

Although in the main so unimportant, these variants are 
so numerous and differ so much in value and character that 
a classification of them is necessary ; to be understood, they 
must be grouped. This necessity becomes all the more 
obvious when study is extended over the whole Pentateuch. 
Gesenius saw this, and in his famous dissertation made an 
elaborate classification of these variants, which has been the 
basis of all subsequent attempts. He arranged them in 
eight classes. (1) Emendations to make the text agree 
with the laws of ordinary grammar. (2) Glosses or explana- 
tions received into the text. (3) Conjectural emendations 
of passages which labour under some verbal difficulty, real or 
imaginary. (4) Readings corrected or supplemented from 
parallel passages. (5) Larger additions interpolated from 
parallel passages. (6) Emendations of passages which 
labour under some difficulty as to matters of fact, chiefly of 
a historical kind. (7) Forms of words altered into agree- 
ment with the Samaritan dialect. (8) Finally; Passages 
conformed to the theology and modes of interpretation 
peculiar to the Samaritans. 

The great and undeniable debt which Semitic scholarship, 
especially so far as it relates to Samaritan, owes to Gesenius 
must not make us blind to the defects of the above 
classification, or shun the duty of criticising it. It must be 
remembered, on the one hand, that he wrote a hundred 


years ago when the bitterness of the controversy between 
Protestantism and Catholicism had not quite disappeared ; 
and on the other, that during the century which has elapsed 
many things, bearing on the subject under consideration, 
have been discovered. 

The first thing to be noted as obvious in this classification 
is the unscientific assumption, which has been referred to 
above, that the Massoretic text is the primitive. Gesenius, 
in an earlier portion of his Thesis (p. 16), asserts that the 
Samaritan text was derived from a manuscript written in 
square character, brought to Samaria in the age of Alexander 
the Great. Had he known certain facts when he was 
composing his Thesis, which came within his ken later, or had 
he properly estimated facts which were open to his know- 
ledge, he would have seen that these two assumptions were 
in conflict one with another. If the MS. was written in 
square character, it could not have been conveyed to Samaria 
in the days of Alexander, as that script was not introduced 
till half a millennium after the Macedonian Conquest. 
Historical difficulties connected with that date fall to be 
considered elsewhere. Gesenius had the Maccabaean coins 
within his reach, and might have known that the inscriptions 
on them were in a script akin to that of the Samaritan 
manuscripts, and consequently that centuries after Alexander 
the Jews themselves did not use the square character. 

Even a cursory study of this classification shows it to be 
very defective, merely as a classification. In fact, it has as 
many defects as a classification can have. It is in the first 
place defective, because it takes no note of the huge majority 
of variants which are due, not to intention, but to accident. 
It is redundant ; class 5 is contained under class 4. It has 
no principle according to which the classes are arranged, and 
consequently it is confused ; the eighth class — passages con- 
formed to Samaritan tenets and modes of interpretation — 
differs more in motive from the other classes than they do 
from each other ; much more, for instance, than the third and 
sixth, or the fourth and fifth differ from each other. The 
classes I, 3, and 6 all contain emendations to escape difficul- 
ties, grammatical, verbal, or historical ; the fourth and fifth 
contain cases in which supplements are made to the text from 


parallel passages, and differ from each other only in the 
size of the supplement. Class 2, like classes 4 and 5, consists 
of additions to the text, but the source of these additions is 
not parallel passages. 

Defective as is the classification of Gesenius. still more so 
is that of Kirchheim, as given by Deutsch in his article on 
the " Samaritan Penta teuch " in Smith's Dictionary of t/ie _ 
Bibh. . His - classes are thirteen: (1) Additions a nd alter a- 
tions in favour of Mount Gerizirei (2) Additions tor the 
purpose of completion. (3) Commentary. (4) Change, of 
verbs and moods. (5) Change of nouns. (6) Emendations 
of seeming irregularities. (7) Permutations of letters. (8) 
Of pronouns. (9) Of gender. (10) Letters added. (11) 
Addition of letters which are prepositions, conjunctions, the 
article, etc. (12) Junction of words that are separated in the 
Massoretic, and separation of those that are joined. (13) 
Chronological alterations. The enumeration of the classes 
in this classification is sufficient to condemn it ; comment is 
scarcely needed. The want of any class for blunders, as 
distinct from intentional alterations, the utter want of any 
principle of classification, the want of any attempt at equi- 
pollence of classes, or distinction of one from another, so 
that one should not overlap another, all these things make 
the classification of Kirchheim even worse than that of 
Gesenius. Perhaps the worst attempt at classification is 
that of Kohn. It was suggested by him as an improvement 
on that of Gesenius by being a condensation of it. He 
reduces the classes of Gesenius to three: (1) Words which 
are expressed in Samaritan forms. (2) Diverse corrections 
and emendations. (3) Glosses and corruptions feigned on 
account of religion. It will be observed that the second 
class really contains all the others. Like the classification 
of Gesenius on which it was intended to be an improvement, 
this of Kohn's assumes that the Massoretic is always correct, 
and further, that all variations from it are due to intention. 
It is clear that no classification can be satisfactory that makes 
these two preliminary assumptions. 

As Unity of Principle is necessary to any logical scheme 
of classification, a little consideration will show that the most 
natural principle for this purpose must be founded in Origin ; 


that is to say, that the variants should be classified in 
accordance with the sources from which they resulted. This 
at once suggests a primary division into two leading classes ; 
first, Variants due to Accident, and next, Variants due to In- 
tention. The first class of variants, those due to Accident, 
are usually denominated Blunders, and neglected. In many 
cases " blunders " may be neglected ; if the object be to find 
out the true text of a classic, blunders may very generally be 
neglected. Yet even in regard to this, at times the true text 
may be arrived at as being that from which given blunders 
could most easily spring. But to the critic who desires to 
discover the conditions under which the MS. which he is 
studying was produced, " blunders " are often invaluable. 
Thus in Greek manuscripts, the phenomenon of itacism 
proves that the MS. which shows many traces of it had been 
written to dictation, and that the reader spoke a dialect of 
Greek which made no distinction between 17 and «, etc. In 
short, as blunders are usually due to external circumstances, 
they not infrequently throw some light on the nature of 
these circumstances, consequently they sometimes may 
supply the critic with a clue to the date of a document, and 
to its place of origin. 

Variants due to Accident. — To understand the origin of the 
accidental differences which characterise the two recensions 
— the blunders, whether made by Samaritan or Jewish scribes, 
which distinguish the one from the other — we must consider 
the conditions under which ancient manuscripts were pro- 
duced. The picture which rises before the mind of a modern 
reader, when manuscripts and copyists are spoken of, is of a 
youth, large-eyed and emaciated, with a single roll before 
him, copying it, by the light of a suspended lamp, into 
another parchment roll. This was doubtless the way many 
of the copies of classical authors were made by the mediaeval 
monks. The majority of the MSS. of an older date present 
many phenomena, which cannot be explained on the sup- 
position that this was the way in which they were produced. 
Mistakes due to the confusion of letters that resembled might 
be understood on this supposition ; but it would not explain 
how words and letters, which as written had no resemblance, 
were confused one with another, when they sounded alike. 


This implies that the majority of ancient MSS. were written 
by amanuenses to dictation. It must be remembered that 
though books were dearer in the early centuries than they 
are now, they yet were much cheaper than they would have 
been had they been copied directly. A publisher in the first 
Christian century managed things differently ; he had a score 
or more of slaves, who were trained scribes, and further, he 
had a reader, who dictated from a manuscript before him to 
the scribes who wrote. There would thus be a considerable 
saving of time and labour in the production of MSS., and 
consequently a cheapening of their price. If the reader in 
such a manufactory of MSS. spoke at a time indistinctly, or 
if any of the copyists had defective hearing, one letter might 
easily be mistaken for another, and words having a general 
resemblance might be confused ; all the more readily as the 
scribes would write mechanically, without any regard to the 
meaning. Further, the MS. before the reader might have 
become somewhat rubbed, or it may have been indistinctly 
written at first, and the distinctions between resembling 
letters so little emphasized, that one might easily be mis- 
taken for another. The reader, too, would become liable to 
read mechanically, and words that had a general resemblance 
might be confounded in defiance of sense. These mistakes 
of the reader would be repeated in all the twenty copies. 
Again, if two successive sentences began with the same 
words, or ended with the same words, a confusion might be 
caused which would result in the omission of one of them. 
Yet another source of blunder has to be considered. When 
a sentence begins in a way that suggests a customary end- 
ing, though as a matter of fact it ends differently, reader 
and writer alike are liable, from inattention, to follow the 
customary. When the passage read is a long one, a scribe 
may omit a word or two, or again might inadvertently use 
a synonym for the word really dictated. We have thus under 
the head of Accidental Variants to consider those due to 
mistakes (i) of hearing ; (2) of sight; (3) of defective attention. 
(1) A comparison of the Samaritan text with that of 
the Massoretes reveals the fact that the gutturals Nnny are 
specially liable to confusion. Thus, one of the sons of 
Benjamin is called D^BH " Huppim " (Gen. xlvi. 21) (Masso- 


retic), but in the Samaritan the name is written D^SK ; in this 

case, N and n are interchanged. Another example of this 

is to be found in Gen. xxvii. 36 ; instead of f6jtk as in 

the Massoretic meaning " reserved or left," the Samaritan 

has r6sfn "delivered," "snatched away from." Although, 

as it is the more picturesque version, there might be a 
primd facie probability in favour of the Samaritan, the fact 
that the LXX. is against it, may be held as decisive. This 
confusion of the gutturals is more strikingly seen in the 
Samaritan hymns, many of which are alphabetic ; many 
of them begin with V instead of N. This is due to the 
fact, commented on in a previous chapter, that the 
Samaritans omit the gutturals when they read Hebrew. 
When the extant Samaritan MSS. were written, Hebrew had 
ceased to be understood, at least by the class from which 
the scribes would be taken, consequently the guttural they 
wrote, to the silence of the reader, might be chosen at times 
haphazard. Sometimes gutturals are inserted by the 
Samaritan scribes in cases where they do not appear in the 
Massoretic, as in Gen. xlvi. 16, where the Samaritan has 
JlJDVK for the Massoretic ]p?N; or again, a guttural present 

in the Massoretic is omitted by the Samaritan as in 

Gen. xlviii. 16, instead of the Massoretic "]fc6» "angel," 

the Samaritan has *jta " a king." Though the Israelites 
of the Southern Kingdom did not labour under the same 
disability in regard to the gutturals that the Samaritans 
did, even with them there is an occasional uncertainty 
in the matter of these letters. In Exod. iii. 2, the Masso- 
retic reads n^3 " in a flame," instead of nnn^n as in 

the Samaritan. Another case of an inserted or dropped 
guttural is to be found in Exod. xiv. 27, " And the Egyptians 
fled D'p3 against it " lmn$ (literally " to meet it "). Instead 

of nasim the Samaritan reads cyDJ nas'z'm " marching." 
Although the Massoretic is supported by the versions, a 
fair case might be made out for the Samaritan. In this 
instance either the Massoretic has dropped an am, or the 
Samaritan has inserted it. 


Deutsch accuses the Samaritans of confusing the ahevi 
letters. This accusation is due to ignorance or forgetfulness ; 
the first two of these letters are gutturals ; the confusion 
in regard to the latter two is to be sought among the Jewish 
scribes rather than among those of Samaria. Cases, where 
in the Samaritan he and vav are confused, are due to the 
likeness of these two letters in the Samaritan script. 1 
Other groups of letters are liable to be confused ; thus the 
" Unguals " daleth, teth, and tau are at times confused in 
individual MSS. among the Samaritans. An example of 
this is to be found in Gen. x. 3, where instead of nB'H 

(Massoretic), the Samaritan has 1B"i. In Gen. xv. 10 Walton's 
text has niD2 instead of lira as in the Massoretic. As E> and D 
became identical in sound, it is not to be wondered at that 
in some cases they are interchanged as in Gen. xlii. 25, 
where in Walton's text IpD stands for lpe> of the Massoretic. 
As it involves another class of consonants, Gen. xxxi. 33 
may be referred to; in Walton's text, instead of t?BH 

" to search," which is in accordance with the Septuagint (the 
word is omitted from the Massoretic) there is found CJbn " to 

bind." In this case, Walton's text has the support of only 
one MS. These are specimens of the variants to be ascribed 
to mistakes in hearing ; such mistakes, however, it ought 
to be understood, are not confined to the Samaritan scribes. 

(2) W e have now to consider the second class of accidental 
variations ; those due to mistaking one letter for another 
which resembles it m appearance^ Pairs of letters so like as 
to be confused in one script are not at all liable to be con- 
fused in another : thus n and n are very like in the square 
character, but in the Samaritan they are unlike r "S0^ : still 
less are these letters like in the script of the Hasmonaean 
coins 3 3 ; in the angular script which preceded these 
last - named scripts, the unlikeness is also marked -^cx . 
Yodh and tzade are very similar in Samaritan Mm, but do 

1 Confusions in that script sometimes involved more of these letters. 
Gesenius in his introduction to his Carmina Samaritana (p. 6) speaks of 
a manuscript in which the three letters he, vav, and yodh are so 
much alike ut cegre dignoscantur "that with difficulty they can be 


not resemble each other in the square character 1 V), nor 
in the early angular 2f . Some letters are like in two 
scripts ; thus daleth and resh (1 *i) resemble each other in 
the square character, and also in the angular ^ , but the 
likeness is not so great in the Samaritan Cj"C]. Further, 
the evolution of the angular script was a process, the various 
stages of which may be traced. From the date of the Moabite 
Stone, inscribed in the days of Jehoram the son of Ahab, to that 
of the inscription on the sarcophagus of Ashmunazar, the 
contemporary of the younger Cyrus, is a period of nearly 
half a millennium. Examination shows that, while some 
of the letters remained unchanged, others altered very 

As a stream, ere it reaches the sea, is prone to carry along 
with it, and hold in solution something of all the different 
soils through which it has passed ; so a manuscript of the 
Old Testament Scripture in the square character, however 
late, may bear in it traces of each successive transcription, 
and of each successive script. The origin of mistakes in a 
manuscript which seem to be due to confusions of letters like 
each other in an ancient script, is not disproved by the presence 
in it of blunders due to resemblances in characters which 
belong to a later script. Although every individual manu- 
script must be dated by the latest script found in it, the 
matter of the document, the contents of the writing inscribed 
on it, must have its chronological position fixed by the 

Some critics, and among the rest, as has already been 
observed, Gesenius, maintain that certain of the differences 
between the two recensions are due to confusion of letters like 
each other in the square character, and consequently they hold 
that the Samaritan Pentateuch was copied into the Samaritan 
script from a manuscript written in the square character. 
This opinion can only be defended on the presumption that 
the Samaritan script is more recent than the square, which 
no one can maintain in face of the fact that the Jews 
themselves maintain the contrary {Sank. 2\b). The letters 
singled out by Gesenius as those which have been con- 
fused in transcription in consequence of their likeness in 


the square character are ^ daleth and -\ resh, n he and n hetk, 
"\ vav and * yodh. As to the first of these pairs, they are like 
not only in the square character but also in the angular. 
Such differences as may be due to confusions of these letters 
must be ascribed to transcription from a manuscript in the 
script of the Moabite Stone, not from one written in the 
square character, which would be too late. The cases in 
which he and heth are confused are due to mistakes of 
hearing, not of sight. There remain only yodh and vav. 
These letters do not resemble each other in any other script 
than the square. A careful examination of the instances 'of 
such confusion proves that they are all due to the blunders 
of the scribe to whom we owe the manuscript which is per- 
petuated in the k'thibh of the Massoretic text. In a very 
considerable number of cases, the blunder is acknowledged 
by the qri being in agreement with the Samaritan ; in some 
other cases, the Septuagint bears evidence to the correctness 
of the Samaritan reading. The first instance selected by 
Gesenius is peculiarly unfortunate for his contention ; in 
Gen. x. 28 he maintains there has been a confusion between 
the letters in question, as the Samaritan reads ^TJ/ eval, and 

the Massoretic reads ?2ty uval. In the parallel passage, 

1 Chron. i. 22, the Samaritan reading is found. The LXX. 
had the same reading in their Hebrew, as they render Ei/aX. 
In chapter xxxvi. 14, the ^"corrects a blunder of the k'thzfrh, 
in writing tfat instead of B*iJP with the Samaritan and the 

LXX. Another case in which the Massoretic has vav and the 
Samaritan yodh is Gen. xlvi. 30 ; the Massoretic has the inf. 
"•fliap instead of the 1st pers. pret. ; the similar clauses in Gen. 

vii. 1 ; xvi. 13 ; the probability is that there the change was on 
the side of the Massoretic. A similar case is Exod. xiii. 22, in 
which the Massoretic reads e»pj instead of vh"0\ as does the 

Samaritan, supported in this by the LXX. and adopted by 
the R.V. In this case the difference of meaning between the 
two words does not alter the sense of the passage ; it amounts 
to the same thing whether JH WH (understood) is considered 
the nominative and the verbal form taken as the Hiphil, so 
that the clause read," He did not remove the pillar of cloud," 
or, as in the Samaritan, the verb be taken in the Kal and 


the clause read, " the pillar of cloud departed not." In another 
passage in which the same difference exists, Exod. xxxiii. 1 1, 
every version, including the Targum of Onkelos, supports the 
Samaritan ; it would look something like nonsense to in- 
troduce J HWH as " not removing " Joshua from the taber- 
nacle. In regard to proper names, no decision can be come 
to when both recensions are consistent. In the case of 
Peniel (Gen. xxxii. 30) the Samaritan has Penuel, but 
though the Massoretic has Peniel in verse 30, in the follow- 
ing verse it lias the Samaritan form ; it appears also in 
Judges viii. 8. There is thus no instance in which it can be 
proved that the Samaritan scribes have confused vav with 
yodh ; on the other hand, there are several instances in 
which confusion of these letters by Jewish scribes can be 
demonstrated. Hence, there is no evidence that the Samaritan 
text is dependent on a mother text in the square character. 

There are in the text of Walton's Polyglot, especially as 
represented by Blayney's transcription, a number of cases in 
which the differences from the Massoretic appear to be due 
to confusions of letters similar only in the Samaritan script. 
Every one of these may be proved to be confined to one or 
two MSS. The)' are not given in Petermann's transcription, 
nor are they found in his list of variants ; von Gall has them 
not. It follows from this that the variations involving 
mistakes due to the Samaritan script are late, and have 
originated long after the two recensions had separated. 
There are indications that one at least of the ancestors of 
the manuscript, from which the Ictliibh of the Massoretic 
has been copied, was written in the Samaritan script. These 
are not so numerous as to suggest that the common ancestor 
of both recensions was written in it. 

Older than the Samaritan character is the script which 
is found in Hebrew and Aramaic inscriptions all over South- 
western Asia, from the Euphrates on the cast, the Taurus 
Mountains on the north, Cyprus on the west, and the 
Arabian desert on the south. It is to be admitted that all 
the examples of this script are inscriptions; and that no 
manuscripts, either on parchment or papyrus in this script, 
have been preserved. The ostraka recently found in the 
foundations of Ahab's palace show it in a somewhat cursive 



form. A careful study of the Siloam inscription shows that 
the script in which it is written has had, for its model, 
writing with a reed on papyrus or ostrakon. It has also 
to be acknowledged that the script of the papyri found in 
Assouan and Elephantine differs very much from that of 
the Mesha and Siloam inscriptions. There is, however, no 
indication that this Egyptian script was ever generally used 
in Palestine ; further the Samaritan script does not seem to 
have sprung from it. 

Are there traces, in the variants which separate the 
recension of the Massoretes from the Samaritan, of these 
being caused by confusions of letters in this angular script ? 
The pair of letters most frequently confounded are 1 daleth 
and i resh. As mentioned above, Gesenius brings forward 
confusions in regard to these two letters as evidence that 
the mother MS. of the Samaritan Recension was copied from 
one written in the square character. But the Jews them- 
selves regard the Samaritan script as older than the square 
character ; hence it is out of court. The script next earlier 
is that found on the Maccabaean coins. It is, as is well 
known, closely akin to the Samaritan script. In it, the two 
letters in question are not confusingly alike, as may be seen 
by comparing them on the tables of alphabets (p. 222). 
The latest date advanced for the conveyance of the Jewish 
Pentateuch to Samaria is the reign of Alexander the Great 
{circa 332 B.C.). The earliest examples of what may be 
called the Samaritan script are the coins of Simon the 
Maccabee {circa 140 B.C.), nearly two centuries after 
Alexander. The latest instance of the angular is the 
inscription on the sarcophagus of Ashmunazar, of which 
the date is 399 B.C., or two generations before Alexander. 
But the angular script- itself has a long history ; hence in con- 
sidering resemblances of letters and consequent confusions, 
the date at which certain characters were like must be taken 
into account. In all forms of the angular, however, daleth 
and resh closely resemble each other. The first instance 
of confusion of these is in Gen. x. 4 where D^l*i " Dodanim " of 

* • T 

the Massoretic appears as in the Samaritan D71V1 " Rodanim." 
In this case, the Samaritan has the support of the LXX. ; 


further, when the name recurs in I Chron. i. 7, it has 
the Samaritan form. Although it was the Palestinian 
reading as early as the fourth century, since it is adopted 
by Jerome, the Massoretic text is clearly incorrect ; indeed 
this is admitted by Gesenius. Another passage in which 
in its difference from the Massoretic, in regard to these 
two letters, the Samaritan has the support of the LXX. is 
Gen. xlvii. 21. In E.V. the passage is rendered : "As for the 
people, he removed them to the cities from one end of the 
border of Egypt even unto the other end thereof." The 
Samaritan reads : " The people he enslaved from one end 
of the boundary of Egypt to the other end thereof." The 
difference involves the third and fifth words D"H3J^ inx Tnyn 
instead of as in the Massoretic onj£ ins "vayn. As will be 
seen, the difference in the first of these words is in the last 
letter, which is "1 resh in the Massoretic and *r daleth in the 
Samaritan. In the last, the difference is greater ; not only 
is there the confusion between i and 1 in the radical before 
D* of the plural, but either the Massoretic has dropped a 2 
or the Samaritan has inserted it. Jerome supports the 
Samaritan ; a fact indicating that the Palestinian text in 
his day agreed in reading with the Samaritan. The Peshitta 
follows the Massoretic, a fact which must be held as 
supporting the idea, above indicated, that the Massoretic 
originated with the Babylonian school. The Samaritan 
reading carries on the process narrated in the preceding 
verses ; the Egyptians had successively sold their cattle and 
their land to Pharaoh, the next step was to sell themselves. 
In verse 25 they acquiesce in their bondage: "Thou hast 
saved our lives, let us find grace in the sight of my Lord 
and we will be Pharaoh's servants." The Massoretic implies 
that the Egyptians had not dwelt in cities before the 
governorship of Joseph. The periodic flood of the Nile 
would necessitate life in cities, or at least villages, from the 
very first. Another passage involving the same word is 
Lev. xviii. 21 : "Thou shalt not give any of thy seed to make 
them pass through the fire to Molech." The Samaritan 
reads : " Thou shalt not give of thy seed to be enslaved to 
Molech (or to a king)." The Septuagint renders : " Thou 
shalt not give from thy seed to serve the ruler (apxovri)." 


Jerome renders : " Thou shalt not give of thy seed to be 
consecrated to the idol Molech." This was evidently the 
Palestinian reading of the fourth century A.D., as Jerome 
follows the Massoretic vocalisation in the last word. It is 
needless, however, to go over all the interchanges of these 
two letters — interchanges which Gesenius holds to be the 
" most frequent of all." Before we leave consideration of 
these cases, however, there are two passages in which the 
difference appears to be due to the resemblance of these 
letters, but which is really to be explained otherwise, hi 
Gen. xlix. 7, instead of "tt"»N " cursed," the Samaritan has "Vix 
" mighty " ; this does not seem due to accidental confusion 
but rather to intention, to avoid bringing the tribe of Levi 
under a curse. The other case, Gen. x. 19, is somewhat 
confused, and appears rather to be the result of defective 
attention, started possibly by confounding 1 and 1. Even if 
there were no other cases, those we have adduced prove 
that the mother roll must have been written in the angular 
script. But, as shown above, the angular script had a 
lengthened history during which some of the letters under- 
went considerable modifications, consequently investigation 
must be pursued further. The two letters the confusion of 
which has just been considered, while very like in the 
Ashmunazar inscription, and in those of Sinjirli, differ 
observably on the Moabite Stone, and in the Ba'al-Lebanon 
inscription. As Ashmunazar died only sixty-six years 
before the advent of Alexander in Palestine, the evidence 
afforded by mistakes involving T and i is rather palaeographic 
than historic. 

There are, however, other letters in the angular script 
which resemble each other closely, and do so in the angular 
alone. Thus mem and nun do not resemble each other 
at all either in the square character or the Samaritan, but do 
so in the earlier form of angular, as seen in the Ba'al- 
Lebanon, Mesha, and Siloam inscriptions. The likeness 
is not so great as to be confusing on the Tabnit and 
Ashmunazar sarcophagi, which are four or five centuries 
later. The most frequently recurring instance of the con- 
fusion of these two letters appears in the name of Jacob's 
youngest son ; in the Samaritan he is invariably called 


Benjamim, whereas in the Massoretic he is as regularly 
denominated Benjamin. Although this variation must have 
originated in a blunder on one side or other, the fact that 
both forms have a significant and suitable etymology may 
explain the perpetuation of both ; if the Massoretic name 
means "the Son of the Right Hand," i.e., the favourite, 
the Samaritan means " the Son of Days," either referring 
to him as the son of his father's old age, or a prophecy 
of love that, though so early bereft of his mother, his life 
would be long. Another instance is Pithon in the Samaritan 
for Pithom (Exod. i. n) ; as in this case the Massoretic form 
is in closer agreement with the Egyptian, it is probably 
the primitive. In Num. xxxii. 35 is another case ; one 
of the towns assigned by Moses to the tribe of Gad is called 
Shophan in the Massoretic, but Shuphim in the Samaritan. 
In this case, the Septuagint shows Sophar, a reading that 
on the whole rather points to the Massoretic ; the Peshitta 
has Shuphom ; Jerome agrees with the Massoretic. One 
more case may be instanced which is interesting as involving 
not only a confusion of mem and nun but also of caph 
and vav. The passage is Deut. xii. 21 ; while the Masso- 
retic reads DiK^ fasum, "to place," the Samaritan has £Bgp 
leshakken, " to cause to dwell." As has been shown above, mem 
and nun resemble each other in the script of the Moabite Stone 
and of the Siloam inscription ; but further, caph and vav are 
also resemblant in that script, though not so closely, y and y , 
A confusion between another pair of letters is seen in 
Num. xxx. 9, where the Samaritan has iN 'o, " or," and the 
Massoretic riNl veth, the sign of the ace. ; here the letters 
confused are tau and vav ; the tau of the Ba'al-Lebanon 
inscription resembles the vav of that of Siloam ; vav does not 
occur in the Ba'al-Lebanon inscription. 

There is in Gen. xxxi. 53 what seems to be a 
confusion between ' yodh and "i resh, letters which do not 
markedly resemble each other in any known script ; 
Opton in the Massoretic becoming DTTdM in the Samaritan. 
It will be seen later, however, that this is really a blunder 
springing from another source. 

From all this it may be regarded as certain that at 
the time when the two recensions diverged, the mode of 


writing commonly used was akin to that of the inscription on 
the stele of Mesha of Moab, and of the Siloam inscription ; 
in other words, the mother roll from which ultimately both 
the Samaritan and the Massoretic have been copied must 
have been written in the angular script. But this script, 
as has been already remarked, had a history. When it 
was introduced cannot be fixed even approximately. The 
earliest inscription extant shows an alphabet that has long 
passed beyond the hieroglyphic stage. The sweeping curves 
to be found in even the earliest of these indicate that the 
stone-cutter was reproducing a mode of writing which had 
attained its form from having been written with a reed 
on parchment or papyrus. It seems probable that while 
the chiefs were corresponding with the Egyptian court 
in the diplomatic tongue of Babylon, and using the cunei- 
form script on clay tablets, native scribes were evolving, for 
native needs, the characters inscribed on the jars of the wine- 
cellar of Ahab. The progress of evolution may be seen 
in regard to some of those letters liable to be confused ; 
thus daletli is in the Ba'al-Lebanon inscription and that 
on the Moabite Stone a simple triangle, and so less likely 
to be confused with resh which always has the right-hand 
side prolonged. But in Sinjirli a hundred years later, 
and in the Siloam inscription about fifty years later still, the 
two letters by the modification of the daleth have become 
indistinguishable. In regard to mem and nun; these are 
like in the earliest forms of the angular script as in the 
Sinjirli inscriptions, that of Siloam, and that on the! Moabite 
Stone, whereas, in the inscriptions on the sarcophagi of Tabnit 
and his son Ashmunazar, there is little resemblance between 
them. This would imply that somewhere between the time of 
Ahab, the contemporary of Mesha, and the fall of the Northern 
Kingdom the divergence took place. The common exemplar 
from which both recensions have sprung must be dated still 
earlier; but how much so we have no data to go upon. 
It is held by Colonel Conder that the earliest form in which 
the Pentateuch appeared was in cuneiform on clay tablets; 
in this view he has been followed by Dr Winckler, without 
acknowledgment. This, however, must have been in a 
period long previous to the divergence of the recensions. 


(3) There now remains the third class of unintentional 
variations to be considered, those due to defective attention. 
These are not so important, both because they are very 
generally restricted to one or two MSS., and are not common 
to the whole recension, and because no deduction as to date 
can be made from them ; inattention is confined to no 
century. These mistakes take various forms ; sometimes 
transposition of letters in a word, sometimes of words in 
a sentence. If the reader did not know Hebrew very well, 
he might reverse the letters by mispronunciation ; or read- 
ing carelessly, might change the order of the words ; or 
the scribe writing mechanically, hearing correctly enough, 
might yet modify what he heard. These are some of the 
more common forms in which these variants occur. Thus, 
in Gen. xxviii. 20, the Samaritan of Walton's text has p3JT 
ya'baq, instead of 3py ydqob ; in this case, the great majority 
of the Samaritan MSS. support the Massoretic. A similar 
case is found in Num. iv. 6 in which the Massoretic has "133 
beged, but the Samaritan of Walton's text 313 bedag ; in 
this case also the great majority of the Samaritan MSS. 
support the Massoretic. The same may be said of Num. xix. 3 
in which in the Polyglot text DJT^ shahat, "to slay," of the 
Massoretic is replaced by nt3B> sliatah, "to spread"; in this 
case, the Polyglot text has the support of only one MS. 
In the case of Deut. xii. 17, Walton's text, on the authority 
of one MS., has the meaningless "px? lelok, instead of P3N? 
le'kol, "to eat." In the case of JSia (Samaritan) and pss 
(MassoreticJ, Paran (Gen. xxi. 21, Num. x. 12), a good deal 
could be said for the Samaritan reading being the more 
probable ; " the place of wild asses " rather than the " place of 
beauty." In this case, therefore, the change ma)- be laid to 
the door of the Massoretic. In Exod. xl. 3 there is a case of 
transposition of letters, but it is not impossible that it 
has been the result of intention ; the Samaritan has jT|23 
kapporcth, " Mercy-seat," while the Massoretic has nphs 
paroketh, "vail"; in this it has the support of all the 
versions. The clause is rendered in the A.V. : " Thou shalt 
cover the ark with the vail " ; instead of the last word, the 
Samaritan has " with the Mercy-seat." It is obvious that the 


"vail" did not cover the "ark," and that the "Mercy-seat 
did. Moreover, the verb lap sukak, " to cover," is used of the 
cherubim (i Kings viii. 7). The omission of any reference 
in the Massoretic to the Mercy-seat which occupied such an 
important part in the great Day of Atonement is to be noted. 
It would seem probable that the transposition of the letters 
is due to a blunder of an ancient Jewish scribe. This variant 
suggests that the divergence of the two recensions took 
place before the translation of the Septuagint. 

There are a few instances in which the order of the 
words has been changed. In Gen. xii. 16 the Massoretic, as 
rendered by the A. V., is : " He (Abraham) had sheep and oxen, 
and he-asses and men-servants, and maid-servants and she- 
asses, and camels." The Samaritan reads : " He had sheep and 
oxen, exceeding much property, and men-servants and maid- 
servants, and he-asses and she-asses, and camels." Although 
the LXX., the Peshitta, and the Vulgate support the Mas- 
soretic, the order is evidently the result of blunder. This 
would tend to support the opinion that the divergence of 
the two recensions is to be dated before the translation of 
the Torah into Greek. The next cases, Gen. xxxiv. 12 and 
Exod. xxix. 18, involve no change of meaning. In Lev. 
vii. 29 there is a transposition which involves a change in 
construction but not of meaning. There are several un- 
important variants which may be passed over. The order 
in which the daughters of Zelophehad are named in Num. 
xxxvi. 1 1 is different in the Massoretic from that in which 
they appear in the three other instances in which they are 
enumerated ; the Samaritan has the same order in all four 
cases. Although the LXX. to some extent agrees with the 
Massoretic, the variation seems to have been the result of 
inattention on the part of the Massoretic scribe or reader. 
One more instance of transposition may be referred to, 
Deut. iii. 19; in this case, the Massoretic has arranged the 
terms in the natural order : " Wives, little ones, cattle," 
whereas the Samaritan puts " little ones " first. In this case, 
the blunder has been on the side of the Samaritan scribe. 
There are other but less important instances of alteration 
of order in the names of the nations that were to be cast 
out before the children of Israel, e.g., Exod. xxiii. 28. 


Another class of unintentional variation due to inattention 
are those in which synonyms are interchanged. The most 
frequent are those in which the prepositions by and ?N are 
put the one for the other. Though they are not precisely 
synonymous they are nearly so ; it is impossible to give more 
than examples in which either ba of the Massoretic is repre- 
sented by by in the Samaritan, e.g., Gen. xxxvii. 35, xlii. 25, 
Exod. xxviii. 7, or the converse as in Exod. xxv. 37. Another 
set of approximate synonyms is formed by *>»x 'amar, and 
"m dabhar, e.g., Exod. ix. 1 (Samaritan) has m»N instead of 
JVQT as in the Massoretic, whereas in Lev. xx. 1 the con- 
verse appears. Two terms, the interchange of which has 
caused some controversy, are the Divine names tfnM 
"Elohim" and np) "JHWH." The cases of this substitu- 
tion are not very numerous, not numerous enough to affect 
seriously the question regarding the Pentateuchal documents, 
e.g., Exod. iii. 4 (Samaritan) has Dt6n " Elohim " instead of 
JW "JHWH," and in Exod. vi. 2 the converse is found. 
Other instances might be noticed, as Exod. i. 18, in which 
the Samaritan has " Pharaoh," while the Massoretic gives 
"King of Egypt"; and ii. 10, in which na'ar, "youth" 
(Samaritan), represents yalad, " boy " (Massoretic). These 
variations may most easily be explained by a momentary 
inattention on the part of the reader or scribe, whether 
Jewish or Samaritan. 

Another class of variants is that in which either ordinary 
additions, which in a given case ought to be omitted, are 
inserted ; or conversely, a customary addition may be omitted 
where it ought to be inserted. A not infrequent addition to 
the covenant name JHWH is "thy God"; in Deut. vi. 12 
and 18, the Samaritan inserts this, but the Massoretic omits 
it. In regard to the land of Canaan, the epithet "good" is 
followed by the further epithet " broad " in Exod. iii. 8 in 
both recensions; in Deut. viii. 7 the Samaritan alone has 
the second epithet, agreeing in this with the Septuagint. 
Sometimes the additions are of greater length ; in Gen. i, 14 
the Samaritan, in agreement with the LXX., inserts as the 
primary purpose of the " greater lights " being set in the 
firmament "to give light upon the earth" as in the verse 
which follows ; Jerome and the Peshitta agree with the 


Massoretic. Another case is specially interesting, as it is 
one of the few in which Gesenius acknowledges that the 
Samaritan has preserved the correct reading. In Gen. iv. 8, 
after the words rendered, " And Cain talked with Abel his 
brother," the Samaritan inserts, " Let us go into the field " ; 
all the versions in this support the Samaritan. In Gen. 
xliii. 28 the Samaritan and the LXX. narrate that when 
Joseph's brethren informed him that his father was yet alive, 
he answered, " Blessed be that man with God." x As there 
does not seem to be any motive for the insertion of the 
phrase, a phrase which might be omitted without marring 
the sense, it probably is genuine as it might have been 
accidentally omitted by the Massoretic scribe. Where two 
successive clauses begin with the same word, the reader 
might unconsciously omit one of them ; thus, in Exod. iii. 22, 
the word J1N», occurring in two successive clauses, seems to 
have led to the omission of the words, " A man shall ask of 
his neighbour" preceding "and a woman shall ask of her 
neighbour." The insertion may of course have been occa- 
sioned by the reader feeling it difficult to understand how 
all the " borrowing " could be done only by women ; and 
so may have been an intentional addition. 

In Gen. x. 19, there is a passage which, while difficult to 
understand in either recension, seems explicable in both cases 
only on the supposition of more than one cause of blunder 
being at work. The Massoretic text is rendered in our 
A.V. "The boundary of the Canaanite was from Zidon as 
thou comest to Gerar unto Gaza, as thou goest to Sodom 
and Gomorrah, and Admah and Zeboim, even unto Lasha." 
The confusion in the passage is to some extent hidden in 
this rendering, as the word for " comest " is the same as is 
translated "goest" in the following. The probable meaning 
is that " as thou goest Gerarwards " was equivalent to going 
to the south, and that the southward progress was to stop 

1 A very similar phrase occurs not infrequently in the Tarikh of 
Samaritan codices of the Torah, or in the records of their purchase 
when the name is mentioned of some deceased ancestors of the scribe 
or purchaser. This fact may be regarded as militating against the 
authenticity of the sentence. But the fact that it is found in the 
Septuagint is strong evidence in its favour. 


at Gaza, whence the boundary line turned eastward to the 
valley of the Jordan. The expression found in the Samaritan 
is : " The boundary of the Canaanite was from the river of 
Egypt to the Great River, the river Euphrates, even unto 
the hinder sea." In comparing these two, one thing is clear ; 
to begin with, p5JO has been confused with D"n¥D ; here then 
daleth and resh and mem and nun have been mistaken one 
for the other. The concluding phrase in each of the versions 
recurs elsewhere; the concluding enumeration of the cities 
of the plain in the Massoretic is in the stereotyped order 
which is found in Deut. xxix. 23, and with the addition of 
the royal names in Gen. xiv. 1 ; the concluding phrase of the 
Samaritan is found in Gen. xv. 18. Whichever is the primi- 
tive, the latter portion of the other is due to scribal inattention, 
ending a sentence not in accordance with what was the true 
ending but with a customary formula. Although it might be 
argued that because minnahar began with the same letter as 
Mitzraim, it might be passed over by the reader ; still the 
balance of probability seems to be that it was the Samaritan 
reader who took refuge in a formula. 

The varieties of accidental variants, which we have just 
been considering, have differing degrees and directions 
of evidential value. Mistakes due to deficient attention, 
whether on the part of the reader or the scribe, have, as 
has already been indicated, little value as evidences of date, 
since mistakes due to this cause do not differ in character 
from age to age. Mistakes due to mishearing, as the}- reveal 
peculiarities of pronunciation, which may to some extent be 
dated, have more value. It is, however, mainly to mistakes 
due to confusing one letter with another like it that most 
definite information may be gleaned. In regard to the 
chronology of Semitic scripts, there is now a body of 
inscriptions extending over more than a millennium. 

Variants due to Intention. — All variations of one recension 
from the other are not to be put down to inadvertence ; in 
not a few cases, the intention of the scribe or reader may be 
traced. When, however, the term " intention " is used, there 
are to be included semi-conscious acts of tongue and eye 
in dictating from a manuscript, and the equally semi-conscious 
action of the hand of the scribe in writing to dictation. A 


person reading from a document written in an archaic style 
would be prone to correct ancient grammatical constructions 
into those in common use. Thus a person reading from a 
manuscript written in the language of our Authorised 
Version would be prone, when he came to cases in which 
the relative " which " was used of persons, to correct it into 
" who." The scribe, writing to dictation, if accustomed to 
spell correctly according to modern usage, would be apt to 
continue to do so, although he may have got general 
directions as to the antique mode of orthography. This is 
the result of habit ; and habit is the result, built into the 
system, physical and mental, of repeated acts of intention, 
which have been completed in action. Variants with such 
an origin may be looked upon as the indirect products of 
intention. But there are also cases of difference which must 
be due to direct intention. 

The variations between the Samaritan Recension and that 
of the Massoretes due to purpose, direct or indirect, may be 
arranged under three heads: — (i) Grammatical corrections 
of archaic spelling, verbal forms, and forms of nouns, usually 
classed under accidence and syntax. (2) Logical corrections. 
Under this head would be classified the removal of contra- 
dictions actual or only apparent, by modification of 
statement, or by additions. In the case of words which 
had fallen in repute so that the employment of them 
involved a sin against propriety, these were changed into 
others not under this condemnation. Such alterations might 
be regarded as due to rhetoric, were it worth while to form 
such a class. (3) Doctrinal or theological corrections. Under 
this category fall to be considered not only such phrases as 
have a special bearing on the tenets of the Jews or 
Samaritans respectively, but also such as they held in 
common, as the Unity, the Spirituality, and absolute 
Supremacy of JHWH. In considering each of these classes 
of variants, it is incumbent on the investigator to beware of 
assuming that it necessarily was the Samaritan which varied 
from the Massoretic, as if it were the primitive form of 
the text. 

(1) Intentional Variants affecting Grammar. The fact 
that syntax, accidence, and orthography, all three, are the 


result and expression of custom, renders it possible that 
geographical situation as well as point of time may have 
had to do with any given variation. There are evidences 
that in the days of Queen Anne certain words were 
pronounced differently from what they are now, differences 
which affected the spelling ; for instance, such words as 
" frolic" and " public " had a final k added to emphasize the 
last syllable. Such features are liable to be removed in 
reprints. Sometimes peculiarities of spelling are regulated 
by geography, such words as "theatre" and "labour" are 
spelt differently in Britain and America ; in reprints in one 
country of books published in the other, these differences are 
usually removed. Similar differences seem to have existed 
between the Northern and Southern Kingdoms of Israel. 
The peculiarity which differentiates the Samaritan orthog- 
raphy from that of Judea is its predilection for the 
introduction of matres lectionis, especially 1 vav and * yodh 
to emphasize the u and o sounds, and the e (ee) and a (ay) 
sounds respectively. While in the majority of cases the 
Samaritan has these when they are wanting in the 
Massoretic, there are fairly numerous instances of the 
converse. The presence of matres lectionis is rarer the 
further back investigation is carried, till in the earliest 
inscriptions they are almost entirely absent. This would 
imply the relative recency of the Samaritan. Another 
peculiarity of the Samaritan, grammatical rather than ortho- 
graphic, is the more regular use of DS eth the sign of the 
accusative ; though there are cases in which the Massoretic 
has this while the Samaritan omits it. According to 
Petermann's list, there are in Genesis twenty-five cases in 
which the Samaritan inserts T)H when it is omitted in the 
Massoretic, and there are three cases of the converse. 
Another common particle is the conjunction 1"and"; in 
Hebrew, when there is a list of substantives or adjectives, it 
is the rule to insert 1 before each substantive or adjective, 
not merely before the last member of the list, as in the 
classic and modern European languages. Breaches of this 
rule are more frequent in the Massoretic than in the 
Samaritan ; thus Gen. vi. 9, according to the Massoretic, 
the verse reads, " Noah was a man just, perfect in all his 


generations"; the Samaritan inserts "and" between "just" 
and " perfect " as do our English versions. So in the 
following verse, " Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and 
Japhet," the Samaritan inserts " and " before " Ham." While 
in this matter the Samaritan is generally more in accordance 
with ordinary Hebrew grammar, there are cases of the 
converse ; thus, in Gen. ix. 5, the Massoretic reads " and at 
the hand of every man's brother," while the Samaritan omits 
" and." The tendency to omit particles is observable in 
every language as it grows in age. It would therefore seem 
more probable that the Jewish scribes omitted these particles 
with a subconscious intention than that the Samaritans 
inserted them. As to pronouns, the change of the usage 
in the two recensions took place as much in the southern 
district of Palestine as in the northern. In regard to the 
1st pers. pron. sing., while generally agreeing with the 
Massoretic the Samaritan sometimes prefers the longer form 
when the Massoretic has the shorter, e.g., Gen. xiv. 23. 1 
A more frequent example of the preference shown by the 
Samaritan for the older and more lengthened forms is seen 
in the 1st and 2nd pers. pron. plur., in preference to the 
shorter as found in the Massoretic ; this is noted by Gesenius, 
as in Gen. xlii. II, Exod. xvi. 7, 8, Num. xxxii. 32. The 
Samaritan prefers the longer form of the 2nd pers. sing, 
fern. Vis atti instead of ns att ; this form is declared by 
Gesenius to be archaic. As already observed, all the cases 
where atti occurs in the rest of Scripture are connected with 
the North, except in two poetical passages in Jeremiah and 
Ezekiel. What was an archaism in Judah and the South was 
perpetuated in the ordinary speech of the North. In these 
cases, the correction and modernisation has taken place in the 
Massoretic, not in the Samaritan. The identification of the 
3rd pers. pron. fem. with the 3rd mas. in the Massoretic is due 
to a blunder on the part of the scribe of the k'thibh. There 
are other pronouns in which the Samaritan differs from the 
Massoretic. While in the Massoretic nE>n and Drt are used 
indiscriminately, the longer form is in the Samaritan generally - 
represented by the shorter ; thus, in Gen. vi. 4, vii. 14, the 

1 According to the Polyglot text which Blayney follows without note ; 
von Gall has "OK. 


Massoretic has nen hemma and the Samaritan Dn em. 
There is another pronominal form which is practically 
restricted to the Pentateuch, ta el for rha eleh ; in the 
Samaritan it is invariably the longer form that is used. 
The evidence thus appears to be contradictory ; though the 
longer forms are usually the more ancient and the shorter the 
more recent, the Samaritan prefers the shorter form of the 
3rd pers. pron. plur. but the longer form of the dem. pron. plur. 
mas. No conclusion as to date can be drawn from these 
peculiarities, which are probably due to localisms. 

In regard to pronominal suffixes, it would seem that the 
suffix of the 3rd mas. n oh is really due to mistake on the 
part of the scribe of the k'thibh, who, copying from a 
MS. in Samaritan script, confused vav and he, as the 
Samaritan always has the regular suffix in 1 vav. The rule 
with the prepositions by and ?K is to insert tsere with yodh 
between the preposition and the suffix. In a number of 
cases in the Massoretic, the vowel is written defective, but 
never so in the Samaritan. This, however, is merely a 
matter of orthography ; it only shows that the Samaritan 
was more carefully accurate than the Massoretic. 

There is a difference in regard to nouns which forms 
a distinction between the two recensions. In the Massoretic, 
the noun *iy3 ndar, " a youth," is epicene in the Massoretic 
of the Pentateuch ; not, however, in the Samaritan in which, 
whenever the reference is to a young woman, the word is put 
in the feminine. It is to be observed that the qri makes 
the same correction of the Massoretic k'thibh as does the 

Gesenius occupies a considerable section of his treatise 
with instances in which he assumes the Samaritan scribes 
to have assimilated the grammar of the Pentateuch to that 
of Samaria. He never considered the converse possibility, 
that the assimilation took place from the other side. We 
have elsewhere considered the question of the relative 
priority of koth'noth, " coats," in the Massoretic and kittinoth 
of the Samaritan, and concluded that on the whole the 
Samaritan was the more likely to be the primitive form. 
Another case is q'dishim (Samaritan) for q'doshim of the 
Massoretic. In this case, there probably was a difference 



in the way the word was pronounced in the South and 
the North ; there is no means of fixing which is the 
primitive ; if the Samaritan suggests Aramaic affinities, the 
Massoretic hints at Arabian. It is to be observed that 
according to von Gall's text in every case noted by Gesenius 
the word D^KHp is written defective. There is one case in 
which the contention of Gesenius appears to be justified ; 
in Gen. xi. 3, by identifying hemer, " bitumen," with homer, 
"clay," the Samaritan has lost the point of the distinction 
between the two substances when used as mortar. Gesenius 
enumerates several other instances of what he regards as 
grammatical variations introduced by the Samaritan ; some- 
times one recension, sometimes the other, exhibits the more 
primitive form. From this it would seem probable that 
a process of change was going on both in the North and the 

(2) Intentional Variations involving Logical Content. 
The same mental mood, which led the scribe, Jewish 
or Samaritan, to replace obsolete grammatical forms or 
modes of spelling by those in common use, led him occasion- 
ally to make changes of a more important character in 
which more than mere form was involved. Sometimes the 
change is occupied with individual words, omitting words 
that had become obsolete and so unintelligible, supplying 
words that seemed necessary to complete the sense, 
changing terms for their synonyms either where a repeti- 
tion is presupposed (that the repetition should be 
obviously exact), or to vary the phraseology to avoid 
monotony. Sometimes where terms are ordinarily asso- 
ciated, if at a time one of these occurs alone, the other 
may be supplied. It is to be noted that all these cases 
may come under the category of the results of inattention, 
and be the consequence not of intention but of blunder 
through unconscious cerebration. The most important 
alterations are those made from a sense of what ought 
to be. Since there is always a dubiety as to the origin 
of variants belonging to the class at present under con- 
sideration, "much time need not be occupied with them. 
As an example of a term which is ordinarily united with 
another, but which is omitted in one recension, supplied in 


the other, Exod. vi. 27 may be taken ; in the Massoretic 
of that passage, it is said, " These are they which spake 
to Pharaoh, King of Egypt, to bring out the children of 
Israel from Egypt " ; the last clause in the Samaritan is 
" the land of Egypt " ; in this case the insertion might 
be due to the mechanical completion of the customary 
phrase, or the reader might think the omission due to 
blunder and intentionally supply what had been omitted. 
Of course, mutatis mutandis, this applies also to the Masso- 
retic reader or scribe. An instance of the converse is found 
in Exod. xi. 6 where the Massoretic has, " And there shall 
be a great cry in all the land of Egypt," but the Samaritan 
omits " all the land of." The arguments used in regard to 
the former passage apply to this also. 

There are a few cases in which foreign words and 
names appear to be modified so as to give an appearance 
of intelligibility in Hebrew. The most interesting case is 
in regard to the name that Pharaoh gave to Joseph 
(Gen. xli. 45), which seems to have been modified in both 
recensions to emphasize the root JBX tzaphan, "to hide," 
from the idea that the name meant " revealer of secrets," as 
Onkelos and the Samaritan Targum translate it. Jerome 
renders it " Salvator Mundi." 

The most important logical differences are those that rest 
on a theory of what ought to be. The earliest instance 
is Gen. ii. 2, where the Massoretic names " the seventh day " 
as that on which God finished the work of Creation, whereas 
the Samaritan, in this agreeing with the LXX., says " the 
sixth day." On whichever side lies the responsibility of the 
alteration, it must have been the result of intention. Either 
the Massoretic scribe or reader, finding " the sixth " set down 
as the day on which the Creator " finished His work," argued 
that the work could not be considered "finished" until "the 
sixth day " was ended, and therefore "the seventh" begun, 
altered the numeral accordingly ; or the Samaritan scribe or 
reader, thinking that any work must be reckoned as finished 
on the last day in which he that wrought the work was 
engaged with it, changed the "seventh" of the MS. before 
him into " sixth." The probability is in favour of the 
Samaritan being the original, as both the LXX. and the 


Peshitta have this reading. Jerome here follows the 

In Gen. iv. 8 — a case already referred to — after the words 
rendered " And Cain talked," or to translate the word in its 
ordinary meaning "said unto Abel his brother," the 
Samaritan followed by the LXX., the Peshitta, and the 
Vulgate, adds, " Let us go into the field." This has been 
regarded as an addition to the text in order to complete the 
sense ; the natural explanation, however, is that the Masso- 
retic scribe, misled by the word " field " standing at the end 
of both clauses, omitted the first of them ; hence this ought 
rather to be reckoned among the blunders than among 
intended variations. 

More important are the variants in regard to the ages of 
the antediluvian patriarchs. According to the Massoretic 
" the days of the life of Adam " were exceeded by the years 
of three of his descendants, Jared, Methuselah, and Noah ; 
whereas in the Samaritan his life is longer than that of any 
of those dying before the Flood. Even in the Massoretic 
there is a general decline in age to Mahalaleel, with the 
exception of Cainan, whose life, while shorter by two years 
than his grandfather's, is seven years longer than that of his 
father. The Samaritan carries on the process of a progres- 
sively diminishing lifetime, Enoch being the only exception. 
Behind this arrangement there seems to be in the mind of 
the scribe the theory that the growing moral degradation 
would express itself in growing physical degeneracy, and 
that this would be exhibited in the shortening of life. In 
this the Samaritan has the support of none of the 

Another set of variants in which the Samaritan has not 
the support of the versions appears in the genealogy of the 
post-diluvian ancestors of Abraham (Gen. xi. 10-26). To 
bring this second genealogy into line with the earlier, to 
the years of the Patriarch's life after the birth of his eldest 
son, is subjoined the total number of the years of his life. It 
is possible that on the MS. from which the Samaritan was 
copied, a previous scribe had noted at the side of the column 
containing the text the total years of the life of each patriarch 
from Shem downwards, and that his successor had engrossed 


it in the text. But it seems more probable that the Samaritan 
scribe or reader regarded this summation as a thing which 
ought to be there, and so supplied it. This at all events is 
more probable than that the summations should have been 
omitted either by accident or intention. 

When the plagues of Egypt are recorded, in the Massoretic 
sometimes the actions of Moses and Aaron are described when 
the command is given them to go in to Pharaoh, sometimes 
it is given as the history of what they did. Thus in Exod. 
vii. 15-18, God commands Moses and Aaron to give to 
Pharaoh His message, and tells them to say to Pharaoh 
that if he will not let the people go, " I will smite with 
the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in 
the river, and they shall be turned into blood." It is to be 
presumed that they did deliver this warning, but it is not 
expressly stated that they did so. In verse 19, without any 
word of Pharaoh's rejection of the warning, JHWH com- 
mands Moses and Aaron to carry the threat into execution. 
The lack is supplied by the Samaritan. This occurs also in 
the account of the plagues of frogs, flies, murrain, and hail. 
In the account of the eighth plague, that of the locusts, it is 
related that Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh, and 
threatened him with the coming of the locusts, but there is 
no word of JHWH having commanded them so to do; it is 
to be presumed that they had been so commanded, but it is 
not stated. Here again the Samaritan supplies the lack. 
The fact that in none of the versions the Samaritan additions 
are found, may seem conclusive against their authenticity : 
further there is the critical maxim that, other things being 
equal, the shorter reading is to be preferred. Too much 
stress must not be laid on these arguments against the 
Samaritan, because Oriental literature is too simple and 
naifve to expect deductions to be made. Thus in regard to 
Pharaoh's dream, it is first related in full when it appeared 
to the king ; then when Joseph comes before him, Pharaoh 
himself tells it in almost the same words. This is precisely 
parallel with the method pursued by the Samaritan writer 
in the narrative of the plagues. Whether this is a case of 
omissions by the Massoretic or insertions by the Samaritan 
the divergence is the result of intentional variation. 


There are also cases of intentional variations from 
harmonistic reasons. One of these may be given. When 
the Egyptian army is pursuing the Israelites, and has shut 
them in, with mountains on either side of them and the sea 
before them, cowering in terror the Israelites cry out (Exod. 
xiv. 12), " Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt ; 
let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians, for it is better 
for us that we should serve the Egyptians than that we 
should die in the wilderness." In the Massoretic text there 
is no account of this complaint ever having been made, but 
in the Samaritan there is an addition made to Exod. vi. 9. 
Moses had been telling the people that God would deliver 
them, and bring them to the heritage which He had promised 
to their fathers ; " but they hearkened not to Moses from 
anguish of spirit and for cruel bondage " ; at this point the 
Samaritan adds, " and they said to Moses, Let us alone that 
we may serve the Egyptians, for it is better for us to serve 
the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness." 
Although the versions agree with the Massoretic something 
may be said for the Samaritan. Another instance may be 
stated. A passage from Deuteronomy has been introduced 
into the account of Jethro's advice to Moses and his accept- 
ance of it (Exod. xviii. 25), modified into the narrative style 
of Exodus in which Moses is always a person spoken of. 
This is done in preparation for the statement of Moses him- 
self (Deut. i. 9-18). Less important and less numerous are 
the alterations made from reasons of propriety. In most of 
these cases, the Samaritan has put in the text what the 
Massoretic has in the qri. 

(3) Intentional Variants involving Questions of Religious 
Doctrine. While changes which involve theological differ- 
ences may be regarded as "logical," there is a difference 
sufficiently important to make it advisable to consider such 
cases under a separate head. With regard to logical variants, 
it is the form that is considered — the formal agreement of 
part with part ; in the case of the theological variants, it is 
the matter — the content — that is important. The variants of 
this class have resulted from an effort to remove from the 
record everything which is, or seems to be, out of harmony 
with the religious systems of the readers contemplated. As 


the doctrinal systems of the Jews and the Samaritans were 
in most essentials identical, these changes might as well have 
proceeded from the Jews as from the Samaritans. This may 
be seen by comparing the Samaritan Pentateuch with the 
Targums of Onkelos and of the pseudo-Jonathan. There is 
one point in which the Samaritans most distinctly differed 
from the Jews, the sanctity which the former ascribed to 
Mount Gerizim. 

(ez) Variants due to Doctrines common to the Jews and 
the Samaritans. The most prominent doctrine of Judaism, 
and therefore of the Samaritans, was the Unity of God. 
This doctrine is emphasised grammatically by the plural 
noun EloJiijii , when used of the Supreme, being joined to a 
singular verb. There are, however, four cases in the Mas- 
soretic Pentateuch in which the verb is plural, all which are 
corrected in the Samaritan. The first of these is Gen. xx. 13. 1 
When Abraham tried to explain to Abimclech his equivoca- 
tion regarding Sarah, he begins, " When God caused me to 
wander" U'^n the verb in this case is plural. All the versions 
have the singular ; Onkelos has the plural, but inserts another 
nominative for the verb ; he renders, " When the peoples went 
astray, etc." The reading of the Massorctic may be excused 
on the ground that Abraham, speaking to a polytheist, ac- 
commodated himself to him. Most probably, however, the 
plural is a mistake of the Massoretic scribe, who, reading 
from a MS. written in Samaritan script, substituted 1 vai> for 
n he, as these characters are very like in Samaritan MSS.' 2 
This implies the .Samaritan reading to be primitive. The 
same explanation is applicable to Gen. xxxv. 7. Another 
explanation may be given of Gen. xxxi. 53. Laban and Jacob 
swear by the "God of Abraham and the God of Xahor," and 
call upon God to judge between them ; in this case, the verb 
is in the plural in the Massoretic but in the singular in the 
Samaritan. The alteration seems to have been made by the 
Jewish scribe unwilling to admit that the God of Xahor was the 
same as the God of Abraham. Another instance is found in 

1 This passage has already been referred to (Chap. VII., p. 176) in 
connection with Samaritan theology. 

2 For this, Gesenius himself is evidence in his prolegomena to the 
Carmina Samaritana, p. 6. 


Exod. xxii. 8, 9, treating of theft of goods entrusted to 
another ; in such a case, the person who had received the 
goods, from whose custody they were stolen, was to be 
brought Dv6Nn~7K which may mean either " to the judges " 

or "to God." The former rendering is that of the A.V., 
following the Peshitta and Onkelos ; the Samaritan, by 
putting the verb in the singular, assumes the second to be 
the meaning; in this it is followed by the LXX. and the 
Revised. From the fact that in verse 11 in an analogous 
case "the oath of JHWH" being between the parties, is 
supposed to conclude the matter, the alteration must be put 
to the credit of the Jewish scribe. 

Belonging to the same class is the tendency to remove 
anthropomorphisms. These alterations are not so numerous 
as in the Targums. An example of this occurs in Exod. 
xv. 3, where JHWH is called ncrfy? K*N "a man of war"; 

this in the Samaritan is non^sn "run " hero of war," a term 
applied to spiritual beings. 

To maintain the majesty of JHWH, there is a tendency 
to introduce intermediaries between the Almighty and those 
with whom He has to do. When Balaam is brought to 
the mountain-top to curse Israel (Num. xxiii. 4), in the 
Massoretic it is said, " And God met Balaam " ; in the 
Samaritan it reads, "The Angel of God found Balaam." 
See also verse 16 of the same chapter. In these 
instances Onkelos has " The word from the presence of 
the Lord." These cases have already been noted in 
another connection. 

{&) Variants due to Doctrines peculiar to the Samaritans. 
All the essentially Samaritan doctrines centre round the 
supreme sanctity ascribed to Mount Gerizim. There are 
passages in the Samaritan Recension of the Pentateuch which 
affirm the unique position occupied by Gerizim ; these are 
not found in the Massoretic. Sometimes the difference 
extends merely to a single word. The earliest instance of 
this appears in Gen. xxii. 2, where the Samaritan has " Moreh " 
rente and the Massoretic "Moriah" npb. (Dean Stanley 

here prefers the Samaritan reading.) When Abraham 
entered Palestine, he first settled at Shechem, at the foot 


of Mount Gerizim ; hence there is nothing intrinsically 
improbable in the idea that the mountain on which Isaac 
was to be offered should be " one of the mountains " in " the 
land of Moreh" instead of "the land of Moriah." The 
Peshitta in this case agrees with the Massoretic ; but Jerome 
renders in terrain visionis, a rendering which shows that 
he probably had the Samaritan reading. Consonantally, 
the Massoretic name suggests "contumacy" as that of the 
Samaritan suggests " vision." The reading of the LXX. 
suggests that in the text before the Alexandrian translators 
the first letters were transposed, for they translated 
t*]v ytjv vxlfrjXtjv, "the Highland." Dean Stanley appears to 
think that geography suits the Samaritan reading ; in his 
mapping out the days' journeys, in order to show that 
his theory squares with geography, the Dean forgets that 
Abraham was accompanied by a laden donkey, and that 
consequently his rate of travel would be at the ordinary 
muleteer's pace of three miles and a half an hour, and 
six hours a day. At that rate, starting from Beersheba 
and betaking himself to the Philistine Plain, it would be the 
morning of the fifth day, not the third, before he saw Mount 
Gerizim. Had Abraham been in Hebron, it would have 
been a different matter. Hebron is a full day's journey, at 
muleteer's pace, from Jerusalem ; another long day would 
enable him to reach Lubban (Lebonah) from which Mount 
Gerizim would be in sight. It is clear then that if Abraham 
came from Beersheba it must have been Moriah to which 
he came, not to Mount Gerizim. 

Sometimes the belief in the sanctity of their Holy 
Mountain has led the Samaritans to make more extensive 
additions to the text There is inserted at the end of the 
decalogue (Exod. xx. 17): "And it shall be when JHWH 
thy God shall bring thee to the land of the Canaanite which 
thou art entering in to possess it, that thou shalt set up for 
thee great stones and shalt plaster them with plaster ; and 
thou shalt write upon the stones all the words of this law ; 
and it shall be when ye have crossed the Jordan that ye shall 
set up these stones, which I command thee this day, on 
Mount Gerizim. And thou shalt build there an altar to 
JHWH thy God ; an altar of stones, thou shalt not lift iron 


upon them. Of whole stones shalt thou build the altar of 
JHWH thy God. And thou shalt offer upon it sacrifices to 
JHWH thy God; and shalt sacrifice peace-offerings and eat 
there and rejoice before JHWH thy God. That mountain is 
on the other side of Jordan westward (after the way of the 
going down of the sun) in the land of the Canaanite who 
dwells in the desert over against Gilgal, beside the oak of 
Moreh over against Shechem." This passage, as is readily 
seen, agrees in the main with Deut. xxvii. 2-7 ; the most 
striking difference is that the mountain on which the stones 
are to be set up is Gerizim not Ebal. Another difference 
is that the land is called the " land of the Canaanite," and 
there is not a repetition of the description of it as " a land 
flowing with milk and honey " ; this clause appears in its 
place when the passage is repeated in Deuteronomy by the 
Samaritan. It is to be observed that in the 12th verse of the 
chapter in Deuteronomy, Gerizim is the Mount of Blessing, 
whereas Ebal is that ot Uursing ; it mignt easily seem 
more natural that on the Mount of Blessing the memorial 
stones should be set up. The Massoretic scribe might as 
readily have made the change out of hatred to the 
Samaritans, as the Samaritan to glorify Mount Gerizim. 
The fact that, in the parallel passage in Deuteronomy, none of 
the versions agree with the Samaritan in reading Gerizim for 
Ebal may be regarded as conclusive. The insertion of this 
passage at this point, when "the children of Israel" were 
gathered at the foot of Mount Sinai, has not the geographical 
suitability which it has in Deuteronomy when it was 
delivered by Moses within sight of the twin mountains, Ebal 
and Gerizim, and where the superior height of Ebal would 
be observable. From such a position it would seem natural 
that on Ebal, as the most conspicuous mountain visible on 
the other side of Jordan, there should be set up the law- 
inscribed stones. Another result of this tendency is that, 
in the Samaritan, all the twenty passages in Deuteronomy in 
which the future national shrine is designated as " the place 
which JHWH thy God shall choose" have the verb in the 
preterite. This use of the preterite has an evident reference 
to the designation of Gerizim in Exod. xx. 17, Deut. v. 21, 
xxvii. 4, as the national sanctuary. In this change of the 


future into the preterite, the Samaritan is without the 
support of the versions. 

Even had the evidence from the versions not been so 
strong, the fact that, throughout the history of the Northern 
tribes, as recorded in the books of Kings, although there 
probably was a High Place on Mount Gerizim, it is not 
important enough to be mentioned, while Bethel, Dan, and 
Gilgal are repeatedly referred to, seems conclusive against 
the designation of l: Gerizim " being part of the original text 
of the Torah. That David and Solomon chose Jerusalem as 
their capital, and Mount Moriah beside it as the site on 
which to erect the national shrine, might be explained by 
tribal preference ; but even so it is hard to explain why the 
" Man after God's own heart " should deliberately arrange 
that his son should build the temple, not on the site 
prescribed by God but near his own palace on Mount Zion. 
When Jeroboam headed the revolt of the Ten Tribes, why 
did he not point to the passage in the Torah, and erect a 
temple on Mount Gerizim which could claim a sanction 
superior to that of Zion, rather than endeavour to prevent 
the worshippers from going to Zion by erecting shrines at 
Bethel and Dan ? No one of the successive usurpers that 
mounted the throne of Israel ever thought of strengthening 
his position by building a temple on Mount Gerizim. These 
interpolations must have been made at earliest when Manasseh 
fled to his father-in-law Sanballat. Gesenius would place 
them much later, because the Talmud does not note them. 
The silence of the Talmud is no evidence ; one needs only 
to read the Talmudic account of the Septuagint, and the 
alterations the translators are alleged to have introduced 
into the Torah to see that. Most of the variations which 
the Talmud says were introduced into the Septuagint are 
not to be found in it, as may be seen by any reader 
of the LXX. ; on the other hand, there are scores of 
differences met with in every chapter which are not 
referred to. 

To sum up : the relation of the two recensions to each 
other does not seem to be one of dependence, either of the 
Samaritan upon the Massoretic or vice versa. As to the 
date of the divergence, a study of the various classes of 


variants throws some light on this. The first leading class 
of variants comprises those due to mistake. Of these, the 
first group is formed by those due to mistakes in hearing. As 
has been seen, these are largely the result of the fact that 
the Samaritans did not, as they do not now, when reading 
Hebrew, pronounce the gutturals. This loss of the gutturals 
cannot have occurred under the Arab domination, or in 
consequence of it, for Arabic is peculiarly rich in gutturals. 
The Samaritans have spoken Arabic now for more than a 
millennium, and in doing so pronounce all the gutturals they 
eschew in reading Hebrew. Nor could it have occurred 
under the rule of the Greeks ; they had the x and the rough 
breathing, not to speak of y, which, by the time of the 
Lagids, was pronounced like the Arabic ghain, as it is by the 
modern Greeks. Under the civil rule of Rome, the cultural 
influences were wholly Hellenic. Under the Persians, 
Aramaic was the language in which the rulers communi- 
cated with their subjects ; it, too, is rich in gutturals. The 
Assyrians, though occasionally said to have no gutturals, 
had at least n, as may be seen in the names Sennacherib 
and Esarhaddon. This peculiarity must thus go back before 
the days of Sargon. The Phoenicians were a nation who 
spoke Hebrew and like the Samaritans did not pronounce 
the gutturals. When they gave the Greeks the alphabet, 
they must have had no gutturals, as the Greeks had to make 
use of various devices to find symbols for their gutturals, 
while they occupied the guttural places in the alphabet by 
vowels, adopting for their symbols those used in Semitic 
languages for the omitted gutturals. In the time of 
Ahab, the Northern tribes were closely associated with 
the Phoenicians and had largely adopted their worship 
of Baal. That may be said to be an indication of a 
probable date. 1 

As to mistakes of sight, the second group of unintentional 
variants, these have had various origins. As has been shown 
above, all instances due to confusion of letters closely 
resembling in the square character, have been blunders 
made by Massoretic scribes. Those due to confusions 

1 This we have already indicated elsewhere in connection with the 
Samaritan pronunciation of Hebrew. 


arising from resemblances in the Samaritan script are 
restricted to only a few of the Samaritan MSS. Inquiries 
are thus driven back to the script which preceded the 
Samaritan. It has been shown that some of the confusions 
have been due to resemblances only to be found in this 
angular script and to early forms of it, such as that on the 
Moabite Stone, in the Ba'al-Lebanon inscription, and in that 
in the Siloam conduit. This may be held as showing that 
in the ancestry of the manuscripts of the Samaritan Penta- 
teuch there has been a stage in which the MSS. were written 
in an early form of the above-mentioned angular script. As 
this script has been found on the jar handles in the founda- 
tions of Ahab's palace, it would imply that the divergence 
must be dated as far back as the reign of the dynasty of 

Mistakes due to inattention have not so much evidential 
value, as there is no chronology of carelessness. Yet, as has 
been seen, there are cases in which, to a limited extent, 
temporal data may be deduced : such are those in which the 
Samaritan has the better reading although all the versions 
agree with the Massoretic. This would prove that the 
divergence took place before the translation of the 
LXX. This fact, however, is now admitted, even by 
those who put the date of the Samaritan Recension at 
the latest. The earliest date claimed for the Septuagint 
is the reign of Ptolemseus Philadelphus, which began 
nearly half a century after Alexander's march through 
Palestine, and this, according to Josephus, synchronised 
with the flight of Manasseh from Jerusalem to Sanballat 
his father-in-law in Samaria, when it is alleged he took 
the Torah with him. 

The intentional variants, whether due to desire to 
accommodate the grammar to later usage, to harmonise 
statements which seemed to be discrepant, or to conform 
the letter of the Torah more to their doctrinal ideas, 
while interesting, have less value as evidences of date. 
The fact that in both recensions there are archaic forms 
surviving, while both have removed several, proves not only 
the age of the whole document but dialectic differences 
between the North and the South. Since both sets of 


archaisms are wanting in the rest of Scripture, something 
may be deduced as to the relative age of the Torah in 
relation to the other books. Variations due to harmonistic 
or theological intentions seem to be always owing to the 
Samaritan scribes. 



The wisdom of the choice which Alexander the Great made 
of a site for the new capital of Egypt was manifested by 
the rapidity of its growth, and the great size to which 
it attained. It attracted all nationalities to it, so that 
it soon became the commercial and intellectual metropolis 
of the Greek world. Among the nationalities represented 
were the Jews. If we are to believe Josephus, they were 
out of all proportion the most numerous and influential. 
They formed one of the three great divisions of the inhabitants, 
the other two being Egyptians and Greeks. The Israelite 
inhabitants of Egypt were not confined to the colonists 
invited by Alexander, or to those compulsory colonists 
conveyed to Egypt by Ptolemaeus Lagi as captives, on 
his conquest of Judea. There were Israelite communities, 
probably many of them, like that the existence of which 
we have learned from the Assouan papyri. From the days 
of Solomon downward, Egypt was the common refuge of 
every one who fell into bad odour in his home in Palestine. 
Before the advent of Alexander their language seems to 
have been Aramaic, although the presence of such large 
bands of Greek mercenaries, as are mentioned by Herodotus, 
would tend to make Greek very generally known among the 
business class, to which the Jews naturally belonged. At 
all events, surrounded by Greeks on every side, they very 
soon abandoned the Aramaic they had been accustomed 
to speak for the language of the conquerors. 

While the Jews were, then as now, eager people of 




business, they at the same time were zealous for their 
religion, and maintained it by the worship of the synagogue. 
As in Palestine, the reading of the Law in Hebrew would 
be accompanied by an interpretation in Aramaic. The 
general abandonment of Aramaic for Greek would soon 
render it as unintelligible as was the Hebrew of which it 
was the explanation. Certainly many of the Jews in Egypt 
continued to understand Aramaic, and wrote it, as is proved 
by the evidence of the ostraka and papyri which are so 
frequently turning up. Yet it would seem that in Alexandria, 
where Greek was the language of business and of social 
intercourse, many even of the learned class among the Jews 
understood neither Hebrew nor Aramaic. Philo, a learned 
and religious man, appears to have known no Hebrew, 
and as little Aramaic. A translation was therefore needed. 
When, however, it is remembered how extremely conserva- 
tive all nations are, and in particular the Jews, in matters 
of religion, it would seem unlikely that they would of their 
own motion have thought of rendering the Law into Greek. 
It seems at least a probability that some external authority 
had stepped in. In a Jewish community as large as that 
in Alexandria which had a separate constitution, with an 
Alabarch, and probably a sanhedrin, questions of law 
would be continually emerging, and these would have to 
be decided by reference to the books of Moses. As the 
Jewish residents in Alexandria did not understand Hebrew, 
and the Aramaic Targum was not committed to writing, 
a translation was imperatively necessary, and would be 
demanded by the Egyptian authorities. 

The story given by Aristeas and Aristobulus, that 
Ptolemaeus Philadelphus, moved by Demetrius Phalereus, 
desired to add to his great library the Law of the Hebrews, 
and summoned seventy-two men from Jerusalem, selected 
by Eleazar the High Priest, to translate it, appears to be 
a highly ornamented version of a transaction that had some 
foundation in fact. We find the narrative also given in 
Josephus, repeated in a confused form in the Talmud, and 
in a shape scarcely less confused declaimed by the Christian 
Fathers. The greater care manifested in the translation 
of the Law, and its superior accuracy as a version, when 


compared with the translations of the other books of the 
Hebrew Scriptures, makes the tradition at all events plausible, 
that the Law at least was translated into Greek at the 
instance of authority. At the same time, it does not 
seem likely that Philadelphus would send to Jerusalem 
for men to translate the Law into Greek, unless they were 
to be regarded as assessors to the Alexandrian translators, 
as guardians of the genuine Hebrew text, and guarantors 
for the accuracy of the translation. Something may be said 
for Eichhorn's theory that the seventy-two elders were 
the Sanhedrin of the Jewish community of Alexandria. 

Whatever its historic origin, all over the Greek speaking 
world wherever there was a Jewish community — and that was 
practically in every important city of the Roman world — 
this Alexandrian translation was welcomed and generally 
used. It would seem to have been used in the synagogal 
readings, probably replacing the Targum. Even in 
Palestine, it may have been so used, at all events in 
synagogues formed for the accommodation of Greek speak- 
ing foreign Jews. A striking evidence of the general use of 
the Septuagint in Palestine is the fact that the evangelist 
Matthew, while he always translates from the Hebrew when 
he himself quotes from the Prophets or the Law, when 
our Lord is the speaker it is always from the Septuagint 
that He quotes. This cannot be explained by the fact that, 
as Matthew wrote in Aramaic, the Greek of the New 
Testament is a translation ; for whoever the translator — 
it probably was Matthew himself — he must have had some 
reason for the distinction which he made ; and the only 
likely reason is that it represented a fact. The Apostle 
Paul's use of the Septuagint in all his Epistles shows how 
universal was the acquaintance with it among the Jews 
all over the Greek speaking world, and that was practically 
the whole Roman Empire. Peter, who addresses his first 
Epistle to the whole Diaspora, also makes exclusive use of the 
Septuagint in his quotations from the Old Testament. 

The relation of later Talmudic Judaism to the Septuagint 
is somewhat uncertain. Some of the Rabbin regard the 
translation of the Law into Greek as a disaster comparable 
to the dishonour done to the temple when Pompcy pressed 



into the Holy of Holies. Others again decided that while 
it was not lawful to translate the Torah into the tongues 
of the Gentiles, an exception ought to be made in regard 
to the tongue of the Yavanim. " Rabbi Shimeon ben 
Gamliel said it is permitted to translate the Law but only 
into Greek " (Megilla, gb). The Talmudic account is founded 
on the story of Aristeas but modified more Talmudico. It 
immediately precedes the dictum above given. Tolmai 
brought from Jerusalem seventy and two elders and said 
to them, " write for me the Torah of Moses your Rabbi " ; 
and they did so, but they varied from the original in fifteen 
different cases. Everybody knows that the points in which the 
Septuagint of the Pentateuch differs from the Massoretic are 
far more than fifteen. Singularly enough, of these ; fifteen cases, 
only three indubitably agree with any of the actual differ- 
ences. The fifteenth case is interesting from its mingling of 
sense and nonsense. They did not, says the Talmud, write 
the word arnebeth, " hare," because the wife of Tolmai was 
so called, so they wrote instead tzeerath ha-regaleem, 
" smallness of feet" The latter word seems an attempt to 
transliterate, and at the same time make something of 
sense in Hebrew of the odd word xoipoypt/XXto?, which the 
LXX. have used instead of Xaywq, which happened to be 
the name of Ptolemaeus Soter's father ; the word tzeerath 
appears to have been added to complete the sense. It may be 
observed that the Talmudists do not seem to know the 
difference between transcription and translation, and speak 
as if the changes were made in the Hebrew. The above 
is from the Talmud Babli ; in the Talmud Yerushalmi the 
number of differences is reduced to thirteen. According 
to it, arnebeth was the name of Ptolemy's mother. 

Along with the Jews there was a considerable body of 
Samaritans in Alexandria, who continued bitterly opposed 
to those who were so close to them, who had the same sacred 
books, and worshipped the same God with the same rites. 
There are references by Origen to a Satnariticon which 
seems to mean a version of their recension of the Torah in 
Greek. It has been maintained that there was no Greek 
version of the Samaritan Hebrew, but that the Greek 
quotations referred to the Samariticon are merely transla- 


tions of the differences of this Hebrew from the received 
text. It seems hardly probable that the Samaritans 
would remain without having in Greek the Law accord- 
ing to their recension. Moreover Origen, had it been 
the Hebrew, would have transliterated, at least occasionally. 
In the work of Abul-Fath, the Samaritan annalist, there is 
an account of the translation of the Torah into Greek. 
Tolmai (Ptolemy) sent to the Samaritan High Priest, as 
well as to the Jewish, and got scholars both from Samaria 
and from Jerusalem to render the Law into Greek. The 
two bands were lodged in separate quarters, and when their 
work was completed, each party presented the result to the 
king. According to the Samaritan annalist, Ptolemy declared 
the Samaritan version to be the superior. 1 

It is well known that in a very considerable number of 
instances the Septuagint agrees with the Samaritan against 
the Massoretic. When attention is directed to these alone, 
by a natural psychological law, these differences from the 
Massoretic and resemblances to the Samaritan bulk more 
largely in the eye than they have any legitimate claim to 
do. It is overlooked that these cases are balanced by the 
more numerous cases in which the Samaritan agrees with the 
Massoretic against the Septuagint. There are also cases in 
which the LXX. and the Massoretic agree against the 
Samaritan ; there is still another set of cases in which all 
three differ from each other. As a consequence of this, all 

1 The present writer received from the Samaritan High Priest 
another account. While the Jews sent seventy-two translators the 
Samaritans sent five, each of whom made an independent translation ; 
they all agreed, not verbally (he did not claim that), but in meaning they 
did so ; moreover that all five copies were preserved with them in 
Nablus. Not to seem incredulous, I declared these would be immensely 
valuable, and asked if they had showed them to any scholar. " Yes," 
he said, "they had been shown to Dr Merx." My answer was that if 
Dr Merx had seen them, every scholar in Europe and America would 
have known about them in three months, and in six, examination papers 
would be set upon them. To this he returned no answer — only smiled 
benignly at me through his beard and remained silent. Although the 
latter portion of the High Priest's statement is palpably untrue, there 
yet seems a likelihood that the first part of it represented one form of 
the Samaritan tradition. 


the theories that have been devised to explain the relation- 
ship of the Samaritan and the LXX. which take into account 
only the instances in which they agree against the Mas- 
soretic are insufficient. Another point is that these theorists, 
largely Jews, fail to remember a fact already dwelt on — the 
comparative recency of the Massoretic text ; this tends to 
limit their views and vitiate their conclusions. 

A study of the Massoretic text reveals not a few 
phenomena which tend to lower very considerably its 
critical value. The fact that the written text is a slavishly 
accurate copy of a blundering manuscript which by some 
chance gained a certain amount of interest, does not make 
for respect of the critical methods of the editors who adopted 
it, though they corrected from at least one other MS. 
When it is remembered that the Massoretic text received 
its final form some eight hundred years after that used by 
the LXX., and approximately a millennium after the date of 
Nehemiah, when according to a majority of critics, Manasseh 
conveyed to the northern portion of Palestine what became 
the Samaritan Recension, the relative value of the Massoretic 
becomes very considerably lowered. When study reveals 
the eminently unscientific methods of the Massoretes, it 
would seem to be an assumption in the highest degree 
hazardous to take it as representing the genuine text of the 
Torah. The Palestinian text of 280 B.C. must have differed 
considerably from that even of the days of Origen. 

There is an uncertainty on the other side as to the precise 
text of the Septuagint. Our earliest manuscripts, if a few 
papyrus fragments are excepted, date from the fourth and 
fifth Christian centuries; that is to say, manuscripts that 
have passed through the transcriptions of five or six 
centuries. In imitation of the Jewish Rabbin, Christian 
scholars have, in relation to the Greek of the Old Testa- 
ment, been in the habit of perpetuating one text, that of the 
Vatican Codex, removing only the more obvious blunders. 
The text of the Codex Alexandrinus exhibits many differ- 
ences from that of the Vatican. We must also take into 
account the changes introduced by editors. It is not known 
what method Lucian pursued in his recension of the Septua- 
gint text as only fragments of its results have been preserved. 


More, however, is known of the methods followed by Origen. 
Unfortunately he appears to have regarded the Hebrew 
text of the Old Testament which he found in Palestine as 
correct, and consequently he was always liable to alter the 
Greek so as to conform it to the Hebrew of Palestine. 
Hence our present text of the Septuagint is in closer 
agreement with the Palestinian text, which immediately 
preceded the Massoretic, than was the original. Thus, 
on the side of the Greek as well as of the Hebrew, 
the question of the relationship of the Septuagint to the 
Massoretic text is involved in uncertainty. Whatever 
the point of time from which the existence of the Sama- 
ritan text as distinct from the Judaic began, its true 
history is quite unknown. Holding as we do that the 
original Samaritan text is to be dated in the time of Ahab 
at latest, we have nevertheless to admit a drastic revision 
of it. Presumably with the arrival of Manasseh, as we have 
already suggested, to give the New Temple the sanction of 
scriptural authority, there was the insertion of the passages 
in Exodus and Deuteronomy in which Mount Gerizim is 
designated as the place in which there was to be erected 
the stone on which the Law was to be inscribed. Probably 
also then it was that the future in Deut. xii. 5, 14, 26, etc., 
was changed into the preterite, so that it should no longer 
be " the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to put 
His name there " but " the place which the LORD thy God 
hath chosen." It may also have been then that the ages of 
the antediluvian patriarchs were adjusted to Samaritan ideas 
of fitness, and the genealogical table of the descendants of 
Noah made symmetrical with that of those who lived before 
the Flood. The Textus Receptus of the Samaritan Penta- 
teuch, which is taken for granted in most discussions of the 
questions involved, is that of Walton's Polyglot. It seems 
to have been printed from one manuscript, and that a very 
defective one. In the main it agrees with the MS. numbered 
by Kennicott 183 (designated G by v. Gall), but occasionally 
Walton inserts a blunder which 183 avoids. In these cir- 
cumstances any absolute conclusions from it are impossible. 
If, however, the comparison, in regard to the Septuagint 
on the one side, is to cases where the Alexandrine text 


agrees with the Vatican, and on the other where the 
Samaritan text is well supported by diplomatic authority, 
conclusions may be arrived at of at least probable accuracy. 1 
In studying and estimating the differences between the 
Septuagint and the Massoretic text on the one side, and 
those between either and the Samaritan on the other, the 
first thing that strikes the reader is that a large number of 
the differences between the two Hebrew texts cannot be 
transferred to the Greek. As has been already observed 
elsewhere, the great majority of the differences between .the 
Massoretic and the Samaritan are due to the insertion or 
non-insertion of vav and yodh, that is to say, due to the use 
in one but not in the other of two different, but equally 
correct modes of spelling. It is for instance quite as correct 
to write nri'lK as rnx, or for that matter rriix or rniK. These 
variations cannot be rendered in Greek, the words are 
the same whether they are written with the vowels plene 
or not. In regard to such variants the statement of 
Ginsburg has to be borne in mind. Quoting from Jehudah 
Chayney ibn Ezra, he says, "It is perfectly certain that the 
presence or absence of the ahevi letters is entirely due to 
the idiosyncrasy of the scribes" (Introd., p. 137). Many 
other variants are due to the fact that the fern. 3rd pers. 
pron. is by the Massoretic generally written the same 
as the masculine, whereas in the Samaritan the distinction 
of gender is maintained. As has been already shown, this 
is in all likelihood due to a blunder of the scribe to whom we 
owe the Kthibh of the Massoretic text. That difference can 
as little be represented in the Greek. On the other hand, 
while in ordinary cases of translation the order of the words 
of a sentence in the original can rarely be more than guessed, 
anyone reading the Pentateuch in the Greek of the LXX. 
will not fail to observe how closely the order of the Hebrew 
words is followed to the neglect of the normal Greek order. 
The general Hebrew order is to begin the sentence with the 
verb, then take the subject, and last the object ; whereas in 
the Greek, as in English, the general rule is to place the 

1 On account of the war and the consequent impossibility of getting 
books from Germany, I have only been able to make use of von Gall's 
edition in regard to Genesis (19 17). 


verb about the middle of the sentence, with the nominative 
first and the object last. Observation will show the reader 
that the great mass of the sentences in the Septuagint 
Pentateuch begin with the verb, except where, as in Gen. 
iv. i and vi. 8 (9), the subject is placed first in the Hebrew. 
The only cases in which the Hebrew order is not followed 
are where, for an indication of emphasis, the subject is placed 
at the beginning. In this way the order of the words of a 
sentence, which is sometimes different in the two recensions, 
may show the agreement of the Greek with one rather than 
the other. 

By writers on the Samaritan question, as has been hinted 
above, the resemblance between the Samaritan and the 
Septuagint has been greatly exaggerated, and limiting 
considerations have been overlooked. If the problem were 
simply to account for resemblances between the Samaritan 
and the LXX. against the Massoretic, and if there were no 
disturbing instances in which one of the two agreed with 
the Massoretic against the other, or where all three were 
different, the discussion of the question would be very much 
simplified. For one thing, the theories possible would be 
reduced to three: either (1) the Samaritan originated by 
retranslation from the LXX. ; (2) or the LXX. was a 
translation from the Samaritan ; or (3) both the Samaritan 
and the LXX. were drawn from a common source, which 
differed from the Massoretic. There might be, besides, the 
theories which regard the resemblances as secondary pheno- 
mena ; that the Samaritan was modified from the LXX., or 
the LXX. from the Samaritan. The first three are regarded 
by Kohn as all that are possible. 

The first of these theories, i.e., that the Samaritan origin- 
ated by retranslation from the LXX., is attributed to Frankel, 
though scarcely quite accurately. Whoever was its author, 
the theory is an impossible one. Had there been any excuse 
for it, the Jews would certainly have reproached the 
" Cuthaeans " with drawing their Torah from the Yavanim; 
yet among the many contemptuous statements made by the 
Jews of " the foolish people who dwell in Shechem," this is 
not one of them. Irrespective of the numerous cases in 
which the differences between the Samaritan and the 


Massoretic are of a nature which cannot have been trans- 
lated from the Greek, there are cases in which the Septuagint 
agrees with the Massoretic against the Samaritan. Thus in 
Gen. xvii. iy ; while the Massoretic has the verb "6* in the 
Niphal, so that the sentence reads " Shall a son be born to 
one who is a hundred years old," the Samaritan has the 
Hiphil so that it read, " Shall I who am a hundred years old 
beget a son?" In this case the LXX. supports the Masso- 
retic against the Samaritan. Another instance is Gen. 
xix. 12 in which the Massoretic has, in regard to the Divine 
messengers who had come to destroy Sodom, DtWK 'anasntm, 

" men," while the Samaritan has D^n&d maFachim, " angels " : 
in this case also the Septuagint follows the Massoretic in 
preference to the Samaritan. There are, further, instances 
in which the Samaritan and the Massoretic are agreed 
against the Septuagint. There is an instance of this in the 
1 6th verse of the chapter before us, Gen. xix. ; here the 
LXX. has ayyeXot, whereas the Massoretic and the Samaritan 
have insfaM 'anas/iz'm. 1 

There is an element of something like absurdity in this 
hypothesis, as in a comparatively short period after the Law 
was translated into Greek in Alexandria, that language 
became commonly known, the lingua franca, in the dominions 
of the Diadochi ; consequently to translate any work from 
Greek into Hebrew was needless. 

Another hypothesis referred to by Gesenius {De Penta- 
teuchi Samaritani Indole, etc., p. 1 3) and Kohn {De Pentateucho 
Samaritano, p. 29) and credited by them to a certain Rabbi 
Asaria de Rossi, a Mantuan Jew of the sixteenth century, is 
that the Alexandrian Greeks, moved by hatred of the Jews, 
corrupted the version of the LXX., and so changed the 
sacred Torah. Only Jews, a people thrown in upon them- 
selves by their ritual separation from other peoples, could 
have been vain enough to think that they or their Law, 
barbarians as they were in the eyes of the Hellenic peoples, 
would be important enough for the Greeks to attempt to 
adulterate it ; or that, whatever their hatred of the Jews, they 

1 Blayney has 'anashim apparently supported by all his MSS. ; von 
Gall does not give malachim among his various readings. 


should take such an indirect way to injure them. Moreover, 
it implies no very high esteem for the Jews of Alexandria 
that they would suffer any Gentile to insert interpolations into 
their Law. Had any one, Greek or Egyptian, determined to 
introduce false elements into the Greek version of the Jewish 
Law, he would have done this to a greater extent and to 
more purpose than merely to introduce the unimportant 
variations from the Massoretic to be found in the Septuagint, 
and derived from it in the Samaritan. 

A modification of the two hypotheses just mentioned is 
held by Frankel, who supposes that the Samaritans inter- 
polated passages into their recension of the Law from the 
Septuagint. It is difficult to understand what motive would 
induce them to make these interpolations. As has been 
pointed out by Kohn, this hypothesis does not serve much, 
as there are many difficulties in the relation between the 
two left unsolved. The treatment of the genealogies of the 
patriarchs, for instance, is very different in the Samaritan 
and in the LXX. All the differences between the Masso- 
retic and the Samaritan connected with the consecration 
of Mount Gerizim are, of course, left untouched. 

The converse of these above hypotheses, which all 
assume the dependence direct or indirect of the Samaritan 
Recension on the Septuagint, Dr Kohn with all the emphasis 
of extended type maintains in his inaugural dissertation. 
These are his words (p. 36) : " The Samaritan Codex, although 
a false (mendosa), manufactured {emendata), interpolated 
{adulterate?) edition of the Jewish Codex, is nevertheless the 
foundation of the Alexandrine version." He thinks that 
the Septuagint, as we have it, does not accurately represent 
the version in its original form. Had the Greek text been 
preserved in its primitive form, it would have been found 
to be further removed from the Massoretic and nearer the 
Samaritan. In agreement with an opinion which has been 
hinted at earlier in the present chapter, he holds that the 
efforts of Origen to bring the Greek of the Septuagint into 
closer conformity with the Palestinian Hebrew, and with 
the other Greek versions which had been constructed with 
a view to represent more accurately the Hebrew, have 
largely changed its character. He maintains that Lucian 


and Hesychius continued the process. Other scholars have 
regretted the work of Origen and his successors, as destroying 
the authenticity of the Septuagint by conforming it to the 
then Palestinian Hebrew text. Kohn further thinks that 
the Alexandrine text as printed by Grabe more nearly 
represents the genuine Septuagint than does the ordinary 
Vatican text. His hypothesis as stated by himself is " that 
the LXX. version of the Pentateuch is not a first hand 
{primitivarn) genuine production, but that it has been con- 
cocted (confecta) in accordance with some Graeco-Samaritan 
version " (p. 38) : or as he puts it otherwise, " The LXX. 
translators in translating made use of a Samaritan Greek 
version." The history of this Samaritan version, according 
to him, was of this sort. There was a large community 
of Samaritans in Egypt, and especially in Alexandria, 
who quickly adopted the manners and language of the 
Greeks, but still did not wholly abandon their religion. For 
their use a translation was made from their recension of 
the Law. When they had for their own needs made this 
translation, the Jews who were staying alongside of them, 
and began to feel the same need as they, were willing 
to make use of their version, as their religion and that of 
the Samaritans was the same. This they did for some time, 
till they observed that it had in it many blunders ; they then 
determined to have a translation of their own. They had, 
however, been so accustomed to the Samaritan version that 
it influenced their translators in making one for themselves. 
It was thus only an emended edition of the Samaritan that 

There are, however, several difficulties in way of adopting 
this hypothetical history. It is known that the Jewish 
community in Egypt, and above all the Alexandrian, was 
very large and influential ; but we have no reference to 
a Samaritan community at all commensurate with that 
of the Jews, nor any notice that they sooner, than the Jews, 
hellenised. There is further the chronological difficulty ; 
there is not time before the date of the translation of the 
Septuagint, and after the founding of Alexandria, for the 
Samaritans to become so hellenised as to need a translation 
of the Law, and thereafter for the Jews to have become 


so habituated to it that they were unable to escape its 
influence in translating for their co-religionists. This 
hypothesis is quite at variance with every Jewish tradition, 
whether preserved in Josephus or the Talmud. It has, 
moreover, no support from any record of Samaritan tradition. 
Such a fact as that the Jews had to depend on them for their 
Greek version of the Torah would not readily have dis- 
appeared from Samaritan memory. 

Some of the evidence Kohn adduces in favour of his 
view might be used to support a totally different thesis — 
namely — not that the LXX. was translated from the 
Samaritan Recension, but that the translators used a 
manuscript written in Samaritan characters. He deduces 
that the LXX. had before them a Samaritan MS. because 
they read (Exod. xiv. 2) for rrfnn ha-Hirotk, " the caverns," 

rnvnn ha-Hatzeroth, " the courtyards," being led into the 

blunder by the resemblance between yodh and tzade in the 
Samaritan script. As the Samaritan text has not this 
reading, this is, so far from being an evidence in favour 
of his thesis, rather against it. Further, the resemblance 
between these letters is not so great in the form which these 
letters assume in MSS. as in the Samaritan alphabet 
devised for the Polyglots. Yet once more, as etravXis, the 
word in the Septuagint is a translation, not a transliteration, 
of the name in question, which is Egyptian (the presence 
of the Egyptian definite article pi is evidence of this) ; any 
deduction from it as to the precise form of the word in 
the Hebrew text is highly hazardous. The meaning of the 
Egyptian word intended is very doubtful. It is extremely 
difficult to identify accurately a word in one language from 
the transliteration of it in another. But even the Greek 
word presents difficulties. The Greek term is in the singular, 
but the Hebrew which Kohn suggests is plural. Sayce thinks 
that the " dwelling," e7ravAt9, in question was a country house 
of Pharaoh, and he maintains that the Pharaoh had such 
a country house at Thukot (Succoth). With so much of 
dubiety, the evidence for a various reading of the sort 
Dr Kohn asserts is scarcely demonstrative. He brings 
forward another instance of mistake due to resemblance 


of Samaritan characters ; Qa(ro(3av is the transliteration of 
}3¥N Ezbon (Gen. xlvi. 16). This he regards as due to 

the resemblance between aleph and tau, in the Samaritan 
script. This, however, only proves what is otherwise 
not unlikely, that the Hebrew manuscripts used by the 
translators were written in Samaritan characters. The 
inscriptions on the coins of Simon the Maccabee are in 
a script closely akin to the Samaritan epigraphic script. 
Further, the Samaritan text here has pjQVN 'Etzb'aon; the 
inserted V ain would certainly have left its trace as it has 
in "ITJ&X EXea^a/j, Eleazar, and in Djfa fiaXadu, Balaam. If 

this example proves on the one hand that the translators of 
the Septuagint used a manuscript in Samaritan character, it 
also shows that it was not an exemplar of the Samaritan 

The third hypothesis of those classified by Dr Kohn : 
That the LXX. and the Samaritan were drawn from one 
vitiate source need not detain us long. This hypothesis 
might explain the phenomena if these embraced only differ- 
ences of the two in common from the Massoretic. It is not 
so good an explanation when it is discovered that very 
frequently, as mentioned earlier, one of the two agrees with 
the Massoretic against the other. Not infrequently, all three 

It would seem that the only possible hypothesis which 
will meet all the difficulties is that all three recensions — 
the Samaritan, the text behind the Septuagint, and the 
Massoretic — are independent offshoots from one original, the 
oldest of these being the Samaritan, and by far the most 
recent the Massoretic If chronology were the only thing 
to be taken into account, the probability would be that the 
Massoretic had diverged furthest from the original. The 
evidences, however, of exceptional care and conservatism 
may to a considerable extent modify this conclusion. When 
the state of the Egyptian Hebrew MSS. of the other books 
of Scripture is considered, a suspicion is thrown even on the 
books of the Law, although it would doubtless receive 
exceptional treatment Consequently, the MSS. behind the 
Septuagint may have varied more than the others. The 


number of blunders of which the Samaritan scribes have been 
guilty, especially as compared with the accuracy with which 
the Massoretes have perpetuated even blunders, is significant 
— though some Samaritan MSS. have been carefully executed. 
Taking all things into consideration, the Samaritan text may 
be regarded on the whole as the best, the Massoretic next, and 
last the LXX. 

In order to investigate the matter independently and 
form an estimate of the relationship between the LXX., the 
Samaritan, and the Massoretic, probably the simplest method 
will be to take a couple of consecutive chapters in Genesis. 
As those with which most people are best acquainted, the 
chapters that first suggest themselves are the opening 
chapters of the book. Gen. i. 9, after the phrase i^prn "and 

it was so," the LXX. inserts " and the water which was 
under heaven was collected into its meeting-places and the 
dry land appeared." This addition is found neither in the 
Samaritan nor the Massoretic. In Grabe's edition there is 
the marginal sign which shows that it was not in the 
Palestinian Hebrew in Origen's day. After the words 
" and it was so " the addition is pleonastic ; but if those 
words were omitted, it would be quite in the Oriental 
manner to repeat, after the command, its fulfilment. In 
verse 14, the Samaritan and the LXX. insert "to give light 
upon the earth"; in some MSS. of the LXX. there is the 
further addition, in which it has the support of the Armenian, 
Ethiopic, and the Palestinian Aramaic translations from the 
LXX. "To rule the day and the night." This last phrase is 
neither in the Samaritan nor in the Massoretic. The majority 
of the remaining cases of variation between the Massoretic 
and the Samaritan in chapter i. are such as do not show in 
translation. The first variant in chapter ii. is in verse 2, 
"sixth" instead of "seventh"; in this the Samaritan and 
the LXX. are agreed against the Massoretic. Chapter ii. 4 
reads in the LXX., " This is the book of the generation of 
the heaven and earth," whereas the Massoretic and Samaritan 
have " These are the generations of the heavens and the 
earth." Inverse 12, the Samaritan adds after "gold" the 
word " exceedingly," which is found neither in the LXX. nor 


in the Massoretic. The 19th verse reads in the Samaritan 
and the LXX., " The LORD God further created from the 
ground every beast of the field " ; the Massoretic does not 
insert " further." In verse 24 there is a case in which there 
is a quotation in the New Testament (Matt. xix. 5 ; Mark 
x. 8) which follows the LXX. and the Samaritan inserting 
"twain," reading against the Massoretic "and they twain 
shall be one flesh." 

When the results are summed up, it is seen that in four 
cases the Samaritan Recension agrees with the Septuagint 
against the Massoretic ; in three cases the Samaritan and 
the Massoretic are agreed against the LXX. ; and one case 
in which the LXX. and the Massoretic agree against the 
Samaritan. It is to be observed that the instances in which 
the Septuagint stands alone involve greater differences than 
when either of the other two stand alone, with the exception 
of ii. 2, in which the Massoretic alone has "seventh." 
There is here no proof of any one of those recensions being 
dependent upon either of the other. In these two chapters 
there is every possible combination of two against one, an 
evidence' of complete inter-independence. 

In order that the induction should not have too narrow 
premises, the above method may be applied to the first 
twelve verses of chapter x., which is made up largely of 
proper names. In verse 2 the LXX. inserts EXtcra between 
Iwvav and 0o/3eX against the Samaritan and the Massoretic ; 
however, the Samaritan and LXX. agree against the Mas- 
soretic in reading "fiDio Mocro'x instead of r\uq. In verse 3 
the Samaritan has HQ'h x against the Massoretic nsn which is in 

this case supported by the LXX. ; in verse 4 by dropping 
n in Elishah the Samaritan stands alone ; the Massoretic is 
in opposition to the Samaritan and the LXX., in reading 
ttTp against OTh of the Samaritan and 'FoSiov of the LXX. 

This is one of the few instances in which Gesenius thinks the 
Samaritan reading to be the better. In verse 5 the LXX. 
stands alone in having "land" instead of "lands." In verse 
6 the LXX. alone reads Mesrain and Phoud instead of 

1 This is according to Walton's text ; von Gall does not give it among 
his various readings. 


Mitzraim and Phut ; the first of these variants may be 
regarded as due to the resemblance between mem and nun 
in the earliest form of angular. In verse 8 the LXX. in 
reading "Nebrod" instead of "Nimrod" merely gives 
evidence of a defective pronunciation on the part of the 
translator who dictated the version. In verse 8 by rendering 
eyivvtjcre the LXX. supports the Samaritan T^n against the 
Massoretic "6j; the LXX. inserts "God" after "LORD" in 

opposition to the Samaritan and Massoretic In verse 12 
the LXX. by confusing daleth and resh and mem and nun 
reads Dasem instead of Resen. This affords evidence 
that the MS. used by the LXX. had in its ancestry a MS. 
written in the angular script. In these twelve verses, there 
are five cases in which the LXX. stands alone against the 
Samaritan and the Massoretic ; three in which the Mas- 
soretic stands alone ; two in which the Samaritan is opposed 
to the LXX. and the Massoretic. In these verses also there 
is therefore no evidence of any special connection between 
the LXX. and the Samaritan. There does seem to be proof 
that while the actual manuscript from which the Pentateuch 
was translated had been written in the Samaritan script 
it was not a Samaritan MS. but one that had a different 
descent. One thing to be noted is that in very few cases 
have the confusions of letters which have occasioned the 
variants been traceable to the Egypto-Aramaic script of the 
Assouan papyri. Not improbably synagogue rolls of the 
Law would be written in the Samaritan script, and these, 
being the ancient Hebrew writing, might be regarded as 
sacred, much as the Jews at present, who, though they write 
the synagogue rolls in the square character, write their 
letters in a much more cursive script. 

The decision just arrived at, that there is no special 
relationship between the Samaritan and the LXX., is con- 
firmed by a study of the more striking differences between 
the Massoretic and the Samaritan. In the antediluvian 
genealogies all three recensions differ. No one has ventured 
to assert that the LXX. copied its version of the ages of the 
pre-diluvial patriarchs from the Samaritan. Nevertheless, 
Dr Kohn says "that in almost every case (paene semper) 


where the two Hebrew recensions differ the Septuagint 
agrees with the Samaritan." He does not discuss this 
notable exception, a fact all the more remarkable from 
the chronological differences involved. He grants that 
the additions which refer to Mount Gerizim have not 
been admitted into the Septuagint, but explains this by 
saying that these errors had been observed, and formed the 
occasion for the revision of the Greek translation. There 
could, however, have been no principle involved to prevent 
the Egypto- Hellenic translators from inserting the summation 
of the ages of the patriarchs that immediately followed the 
Flood. Yet although this summation is found in the 
Samaritan it is not transferred to the LXX. 

Dr Kohn devotes several pages to further proof of his 
thesis. He brings example after example in which the 
LXX. agrees with the Samaritan, and from this would argue 
the dependence of the former on the latter. He does not 
even consider the possibility that all three recensions — 
the Massoretic, the Samaritan, and the Hebrew behind the 
Septuagint — spring from a common source. As above 
noted he, like most Jews, is so blinded by national prejudice 
that he regards it as an axiomatic truth that the Massoretic 
text must always be assumed to be correct. Such a prejudice 
as this renders him practically incapable of coming to a 
correct conclusion on the question at all. What is meant 
will be best seen by an example. In Gen. xlix. 6, Jacob, 
in speaking of Simeon and Levi, says, " O my soul, come not 
thou into their council ; unto their assembly my glory be not 
thou united " (R.V.). The Samaritan of the last clause might 
be rendered " In their assembly let not my liver become 
hot." x If the insertion of vav be neglected, the differences 
are two ; by the change of daleth into resh the verb translated 
" joined " becomes " grows hot." Further, the verb in the 
Massoretic is in the feminine, although 133 is masculine. The 
meaning of the figure, on either rendering, is not very clear ; 
the word translated "honour" may as well be rendered 
" liver " ; the " liver " to the Hebrew had much the same 
meaning which we attach to "heart." The idea suggested 

1 Gesenius would render kabhdd, "liver," in Ps. xvi. 9; lvii. 9 (E.V. 8); 
cviii. 2 (E.V. 1). 


by the Samaritan is of a person getting excited in an 
assembly of heated persons. This is as intelligible as the 
Massoretic reading ; so the blunder may as well be on the 
one side as the other. The LXX. certainly takes kabhdd 
to mean "liver" (the meaning which appears to suit best 
with the rest of the clause in the Samaritan), but with regard 
to the critical verb tehad or yahor it would seem by the intro- 
duction of sustasis as if the LXX. followed the reading of the 
Massoretic The evidence in this case is scarcely convincing 
that the LXX. followed the Samaritan. 

Another instance brought forward by Dr Kohn is, as it 
seems to us, inappropriate. It is said in Exod. xiii. 18, 
"And the children of Israel went harnessed" (armed, R.V.) 
D^Dn hamushim : the Samaritan scribe wrote D^Drj 
kamishhn, which may either mean " by fifties" or " in the fifth 
generation," which latter is the meaning the LXX. has pre- 
ferred. In general, when there is difference between the two 
recensions of vav in the one and yodJi in the other, the 
blunder has been made by the Jewish scribe copying from a 
MS. in the early square character. Hence it is probable that 
the Samaritan text, which agrees with the Septuagint, is 
correct. It was promised to Abraham (Gen. xv. 16) that 
" in the fourth generation " his seed should return to 
Palestine from the land of bondage ; a prophecy that would 
be fulfilled, if, while the great majority of the mature 
members of the nation were of the fifth generation, a con- 
siderable number of the generation preceding still survived. 
Even among ourselves, cousins-german may be separated 
from each other in age by more than half a century. 
According to the chronology of the Samaritan Recension 
and of the Septuagint, the residence of the children of Israel 
in Egypt was 215 years. 1 Whether or not the reading of 
the Samaritan Recension is correct, there is no proof that the 
reading of the LXX. was derived from it. A manuscript in 
the Maccaba^an script would distinguish too clearly between 
vav and yodli for a scribe to confuse them. 

1 In Gen. xv. 13, the stay of Israel in Egypt is put at 400 years, 
an estimate that certainly does not harmonise on our chronology with 
"the fourth generation." Possibly the generation was reckoned by the 
extreme limits of individual life, in which case the century might 



What Dr Kohn calls " a wonderful example of how badly 
the Greek interpreters understood the Samaritan Codex " 
is found in Num. xxi. 30, which is rendered by the English 
Versions, " We have shot at them ; Heshbon is perished even 
unto Dibon, and we have laid them waste even unto Nophah, 
which reacheth unto Medeba." It may be observed in 
passing, that with regard to the first clause, the Samaritan 
and the Massoretic are agreed practically, save that the 
Massoretic by dropping the n he at the end of 'abadh, has 
made Heshbon, contrary to Hebrew usage, masculine^ In 
the latter clause the differences are that the Samaritan reads 
eshy " fire," instead of asher, " which," and hv 'a/, " upon," 
instead of iy adh, " to." The rendering of the LXX. is very 
different from either. " And their seed shall perish from 
Esebon unto Daibon ; and their women have yet kindled 
a fire against Moab." While it is true that the word 
translated " we have shot at them " is identical, consonantally, 
with a word which would mean " their lamp," and it is also 
true that in regard to David, and David alone it is used four 
times (1 Kings, xi. 36, xv. 4 ; 2 Kings viii. 19 ; 2 Chron. xxi. 7) 
in a sense which indirectly means " progeny," we doubt if 
this be the true occasion of the LXX. rendering. We would 
venture to hazard another explanation. In the script of the 
Assouan papyri nun is not unlike zain, and yodh is like ain ; 
the reader, when a manuscript, ancestor of that used for the 
translation into Greek, was being transcribed, unable to 
understand the rare word before him, resolved it into zaram, 
"their seed." The Samaritan Targum derives the word 
in question from rtitn, " to lift up," and renders " we have 
lifted up to destroy Heshbon unto Dibon." Dr Kohn assum- 
ing without any evidence that the Samaritan reads venashim, 
" and women," instead of vannas/um, " we laid waste," holds 
that the LXX. followed it. As neither text was vowelled 

be reckoned to a generation. It has been asserted, on what evidence 
we know not, that the earliest Babylonian year was reckoned from 
solstice to solstice, consequently every year consisted of approximately 
six lunations. The 400 years of Abraham's vision would then roughly 
coincide with the period of their stay according to the chronology of 
the Samaritan and the LXX. It may be noted that in this hypothesis 
the ages of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would cease to be abnormal. 


in those days, the LXX. reader would have been liable 
to make the blunder, if blunder it be, as much from the 
Massoretic as from the Samaritan. The more important 
variation of "Moab" for "Medeba" calls for explanation. 
In the script of the papyri, yodh and daleth, written carelessly 
might coalesce into a form not unlike aleph. The ' 'asher' ' adh 
of the Massoretic is a blunder ; the qri marks the resh 
doubtful, and the daleth of 'adh differs from lamed by the 
thin line rising from it, which often disappears in MSS. ; and 
thus, if the word was originally W, it becomes 'adh. So far 
from this example proving the dependence of the LXX. on 
the Samaritan, all it does prove is that the MS. from which it 
was translated had in its ancestry a manuscript written in the 
characters found in the Assouan papyri, and therefore from 
a source independent of both the Massoretic and Samaritan. 

Several of the instances that follow in Dr Kohn's list, 
however interesting they may be in relation to the genesis of 
the LXX. rendering, have no bearing upon the relation of 
the Samaritan to it, as the Greek may as readily have been 
translated from the one as from the other. Sometimes the 
evidence he brings would prove too much and therefore 
proves nothing. In Deut. xxvii. 26, Dr Kohn argues that 
the LXX. has translated from the Samaritan because the 
latter inserts ho/, " all," before dibr2 hat- Torah, and the former 
renders ttolcti to?? Xoyot?. By parity of reasoning, it would 
follow that the English Authorised was also translated from 
the Samaritan : " Cursed be he who confirmeth not all the 
words of this law to do them." Luther translates Verflucht 
set, wer nicht alle Woerte dieses Gesetzes erfuellet ; therefore his 
version also must have been translated from the Samaritan. 

The instance in Deut. xxxii. 35 involves more elements 
than Dr Kohn adverts to. It is rendered in the Authorised, 
" To me belongeth vengeance and recompense." The 
Samaritan has instead of h It, " mine," D'vi? /yom, " to 
the day " ; this clause is made dependent on DW3 kanils 
(v. 34), "to collect," 1 the Divine wrath is laid up in store 

1 As DflD3 kamus, the word in the Massoretic, occurs only in this 
passage it is probably to be regarded as a blunder, due to the likeness 
of mem and nun in the angular. 


" to the day of vengeance and recompense." The probability 
that the Massoretic is at fault is confirmed by the fact that 
the LXX. while it agrees with the Samaritan in reading lyom 
differs from it by reading D^S ashallem instead of a?& shillem; 
the verb " I will repay " instead of the noun " recompense." 
In the epigraphic script of the Samaritan vav and aleph are 
somewhat like. This supports the thesis maintained above, 
that the LXX., though translated from a manuscript written in 
Samaritan, or what is practically the same thing, Maccabaean 
characters, was not translated from an exemplar of- the 
Samaritan Recension. 

Among the instances which Dr Kohn advances, there are 
some in which the Massoretic has omitted, by homoioteleuton y 
a clause or portion of a clause. An example of this is found 
in Deut. xiii. 6 ; which, speaking of temptations to idolatry, 
commands that even the nearest and dearest should be 
slain, if they should endeavour to tempt them to worship 
other gods ; the verse begins : " If thy brother, the son of 
thy mother, or thy son, etc.," so it stands in the Massoretic. 
There is a want of completeness in this, for it would seem 
to imply that solicitations to idolatry, when offered by a 
paternal half-brother, would not be guilty or punishable 
actions. The Samaritan and the LXX. avoid this : " If there 
tempt thee thy brother, the son of thy father or the son of thy 
mother, etc.," the enclitic pronoun being the same, and the b 
sound and the ;« sound being so closely cognate that the 
scribe who wrote to dictation might readily miss the former of 
the two terms. The blunder must have been an ancient one, 
as it is found in the Peshitta, not to speak of Jerome. It 
is, however, needless to follow Dr Kohn through all his 
examples, none of which really proves any dependence of the 
LXX. on the Samaritan Recension. While one or two of 
them render it almost certain that the translation was made 
from a manuscript in Samaritan script, they at the same 
time, by the differences they exhibit, show that, as said 
above, this MS. was not an exemplar of the Samaritan 

One passage, Exod. xviii. 6, 7, is worth being looked 
into because of certain peculiarities. It almost seems as if 
Dr Kohn had forgot that his thesis was to prove the depend- 


ence of the LXX. on the Samaritan, because this instance 
might be cited as evidence of the converse, of its complete 
independence. Jethro had come to meet Moses and to bring- 
to him the wife who it appears had deserted him when he 
went back to Egypt. Verse 6 : " And he said unto Moses, I, 
thy father-in-law Jethro, have come unto thee, and thy wife 
and her two sons with her." Verse 7 : " And Moses went to 
meet his father-in-law, and did obeisance, and kissed him, 
etc.," yet in the previous verse Jethro had already talked 
with him. Jerome avoids the difficulty by a paraphrase. 
The difficulty is really due to the introduction of *:x ani, 
"I," instead of 7\ir\ hinneh, "behold," as in the Samaritan, 
which therefore might be rendered " One said to Moses, 
Behold, thy father-in-law Jethro has come," etc. 1 The 
LXX. appears to have had ibtf? Icnior, "to say." In verse 7 
the LXX. follows the Massoretic exactly and omits the 
phrase nvb? I'Mos/ie, " to Moses," found in the Samaritan ; an 

addition which saves the dignity of Moses by saying that 
Jethro did obeisance to his son-in-law. This would prove 
that the Alexandrian translators had their own text, which 
sometimes agreed with the Massoretic and sometimes with 
the Samaritan. 

As an indirect method of throwing light on the question 
of the relation in which the Septuagint stands to the 
Samaritan Recension, it will be advantageous to consider 
the peculiarities of the Alexandrian version. It has been 
seen above that many of the differences between the LXX. 
and the Massoretic, and also between it and the Samaritan, 
have been due to mistakes of hearing, consequently that it 
is nearly certain that the translation was written to dictation 
— one man reading the Hebrew while another translated as 
he wrote. There seems to have been a tradition which 
implied something of this sort. In contradistinction to the 
account given by Irenaeus, according to which each one 
of the seventy-two translators occupied a separate cell, 
Epiphanius tells that they were distributed in thirty-six 
cells, two in each, an arrangement which would suit a 
method of translating such as has been indicated above. 

1 This is the rendering of the Peshitta. 


The effect of mistakes of hearing will naturally be more 
observable in the transliteration of proper names, than in 
cases of real translation. In considering this, the fact that 
there are peculiarities of two languages to be taken into 
account complicates the problem ; not only has the 
pronunciation of Hebrew to be considered but also that of 
Greek. As, however, the pronunciation of a language is 
perpetually changing, the mode of pronouncing given letters 
at a given time must, where it can be ascertained, be thought 
of. It has already been noted that the Samaritans .pro- 
nounced no gutturals ; the question will accordingly present 
itself: Are there any traces of mistakes attributable to this 
fact to be seen in the LXX. ? It is evident that the person, 
whose office it was to read the Hebrew, did pronounce some 
of the gutturals. In regard to the letter y ain, it seems certain 
that two sounds were expressed by one sign. In Arabic 
there are two sounds of the letter, one little more than a 
catch in the breath, the other a burred r, such as one hears 
in Northumberland. This latter is distinguished from the 
character for ain by being dotted, and is called ghain. 
One phenomenon which strikes anyone who studies the 
transliteration of Hebrew names into Greek, is the appar- 
ently capricious way in which ain is represented sometimes 
by no consonant at all, sometimes by y gamma. It is 
necessary at this point to consider the pronunciation of 
the Greek gamma. The Greek priests in Palestine at the 
present time pronounce that letter precisely like the 
Arabic ghain. There are two names which, as written in 
Hebrew, begin with the same syllable PTQV and rnby the 

one is transliterated by the LXX. A/uloXck (Amalek) and 
the other Tofxofipa (Gomorrah), which as adopted by Jerome 
have been passed on to us. Another example is specially 
worthy of note, as the modern Arabic name represents the 
distinction above mentioned. The southmost of the Philistine 
cities is in Hebrew njy transliterated Tafa (Gaza) in Greek, 
but in Arabic the opening letter is ghain, and so pronounced. 
These differences have usually been preserved by Jerome ; 
there are, however, exceptions to this. The daughter of 
Jezebel, wife of Jehoram of Judah, in Hebrew n^ny becomes 


ToOoXta (Gotholia) in Greek, but Jerome writes the name 
Athalia, a fact that indicates a change in the pronunciation. 
When the letter in question occurs in the middle of a word 
there is the same variety in transliteration, thus Djta becomes 
in Greek BaXaajm (Balaam) ; but Chedorlaomer in Hebrew 
ipi?W]3 is Greek XoSoXXoyo/nop (Chodollogomor) ; in the 

Vulgate this appears as Chodorlahomor, from which our 
English has been modified, following Luther. Another 
example may be taken from the names of these four kings ; 
Tidal 7jnn. which the LXX. mistaking "i for 1 have rendered 
QapyaX (Thargal), Jerome Thadal, Luther more accurately 
Thedeal. The strongest guttural n heth is normally repre- 
sented by X as f\~\2n becomes Xe/3/otoj/ and nn Xer. Very 
frequently, heth is represented by the soft breathing ; there 
seems to have been no regulating principle employed. A 
similar want of law or principle is observable in our own 
language in regard to the silence or pronunciation of h in 
words derived from Latin through French ; we have " habit," 
" herald," " hautbois," in which h is pronounced, and " heir," 
"hour," "honour," in which it is not, yet they all equally have 
Latin roots and come to us through the French. A similar 
usage seems to have sprung up in Egypt with regard to 
the pronunciation of Hebrew. With regard to n he, it is 
frequently represented by the rough breathing, as 'Aya/j 
for "Un Hagar and 'OSofipas for DYin Hadoram. From the 
above it is clear that the Septuagint was not translated by 
one who read Hebrew as the Samaritans did, dropping all 
the gutturals. 

Another peculiarity of the Samaritans was that, like the 
French and Germans, they could not pronounce th, but the 
LXX. translator had no difficulty about Togarmah which 
they wrote Qoyapfxa, Thogarma, so also with Tarshish which 
becomes Qapaeis, Tharsis. So we find QapyaX, Thargal. 
Thus all evidence points to the fact that the reader for the 
Alexandrian translator did not labour under the disabilities 
as to pronunciation which affected the Samaritans. There 
is therefore little likelihood that the Septuagint was merely 
edited from a Samaritan version, or that the manuscripts 
employed by the LXX. represented the Samaritan Recension. 


There are cases, as has already been observed, in which 
both the Samaritan and the LXX. differ from the Massoretic 
but do not agree with each other. The amount of difference 
sometimes varies in extent, being greater in one than in the 
other. The most important instances of this are the gene- 
alogies in Gen. v. and xi., to which a passing reference has 
already been made. Even a casual consideration of the 
genealogy of the antediluvian patriarchs reveals that there 
must be a principle at the back of the variations. In dis- 
cussing the relation of the Samaritan Recension to that of 
the Massoretes, it was suggested that there was the idea that 
there must have been a progressive shortening of human life 
from Adam downwards. Each son dies at an earlier age 
than his father. Enoch and Noah are exceptional persons, 
as of each it is said that he " walked with God " ; if they are 
excepted, in the Samaritan genealogy, then the only other 
exception to this is that Cainan has a longer life than Enosby 
five years. The difference from the Massoretic extends only 
to three of the patriarchs — Jared, Methuselah, and Lamech. 

In the genealogy, as it appears in the LXX., there are 
evidences of a principle at work differing from that which 
influenced the Samaritan scribes. The peculiarity of the 
Septuagint version of the antediluvian genealogy is that a 
hundred years is added to the age of each of the first 
five patriarchs before the birth of his eldest son. The 
motive for this change may well have been apologetic. 
The length of life ascribed to those who lived before 
the Flood might easily be a stumbling-block to those 
living among the critical and philosophic Greeks, who 
would be ready enough to ridicule anything that emanated 
from barbarian sources. An answer readily suggesting itself 
would be that though the age was reckoned in " years," these 
years were really only " months." This hypothesis was all 
the easier to the Alexandrian Israelites, since the Hebrew word 
for "year" rut? s/iana, really meant "repetition." The repe- 
tition which would be earliest recognised, after the succession 
of day and night, would be that of the phases of the moon. 
Those who had little or no knowledge of artificial light 
would be much more dependent on the light of the moon 
than we naturally imagine. Moreover, in Egypt and South- 


Western Asia, moonlight has a splendour rarely seen in our 
more cloudy atmosphere. This might easily lead to reckon- 
ing by moons ; these, however, would be felt to be cumbrous 
from their number, so they were grouped, sometimes in tens, 
as in Rome, sometimes in twelves, as in Babylon. At this 
point, a greater repetition was discovered, the succession of 
the seasons. A study of the stars revealed the fact that 
the constellations had a succession of times in which one 
after another of them dominated the midnight sky. The 
phenomenon of solstice would be observed. The agricultural 
stage, when reached, would lead to the succession of the 
seasons of seedtime and harvest being emphasized; and the 
fact that twelve moons so nearly coincided with the revolu- 
tion of the heavens would lead to that being adopted. The 
answer to the supposition that the " years " in the patriarchal 
ages were only "months" was open to one difficulty on the 
received Massoretic text. If the age of the patriarchs at 
the birth of their eldest sons is divided by twelve the result- 
ant age is in many cases too young for paternity. Leaving 
out Adam, since presumably he was created full-grown, Seth 
was at the age of 105 a father. This number, if divided by 
twelve, gives an age of eight years and nine months. The 
ages of these antediluvians when their eldest son is born is 
a diminishing quantity, till in regard to Mahalaleel it is 
recorded that he was sixty-five years at the birth of Jarcd ; on 
the mode of calculation above adopted he would only be five 
years and five months old. If, however, a hundred months 
are added, that is to say, eight years and four months, the 
age becomes no longer an impossible one, at least, in the 
precocious East. 

In the genealogy of the post-diluvian patriarchs who 
preceded Abraham, the LXX. is in closer agreement with 
the Samaritan than in regard to the antediluvians ; both add 
a century to the age of the patriarch as given in the Mas- 
soretic before the birth of his eldest son ; this is the case in 
regard to all those before Serug, and including him. Although 
there is this agreement in the ages before Nahor, there are 
yet differences enough to prove independence. The LXX. 
adds to the life of the elder Nahor before he becomes a father 
a century beyond his age, as given in the Massoretic. More- 


over, the LXX. inserts Cainan between Arphaxad and Sala 
(Shelah). It is, however, in the latter portion of the lives of 
these patriarchs that the greatest difference appears ; only 
in one case do the LXX. and the Samaritan coincide in 
regard to this ; in both, Eber lives 270 years after the birth 
of Peleg. In the Samaritan, there is on the whole a con- 
tinuance of the shortening of life which had characterised the 
antediluvian genealogy. Another point of difference is that 
the LXX. gives no summation of the years of the life of these 
post-diluvian patriarchs as the Samaritan does. It seems 
obvious that the two recensions are quite independent the 
one of the other. 

The limitation which Dr Kohn sets to his theory of the 
dependence of the LXX. on the Samaritan ought to be 
remembered. He maintains that the Jews corrected the 
more obvious errors of the Samaritano-Greek version, but the 
smaller and obscurer variants were not observed. In the 
case, however, of these genealogies the Jewish revisers of his 
hypothesis do observe and do alter ; they do not, however, 
endeavour to bring the Greek they are to use henceforward 
into conformity with the Massoretic, but introduce an in- 
dependent set of variants. If the Jewish scribes did not 
retain the reduplications in the account of the plagues of 
Egypt to be found in the Samaritan, they made, or found in 
their MSS., various additions not to be found either in the 
Samaritan or the Massoretic. When a catalogue of the 
descendants of Jacob at the time they went down to Egypt 
is given (Gen. xlvi. 20) after the sentence which occurs alike 
in the Massoretic and the Samaritan, " And unto Joseph 
were born in the land of Egypt, Manasseh and Ephraim, 
whom Asenath the daughter of Potipherah the priest of On 
bore to him," the LXX. adds, " And there were sons born to 
Manasseh, whom his Syrian concubine bore to him, Machir, 
and Machir begat Galaad. And the sons of Ephraim the 
brother of Manasseh, Soutalaam and Taam, and the sons 
of Soutalaam, Edom." There is nothing of all this in the 
Samaritan. To some extent, the information may have been 
got from 1 Chron. vii. 14-19, but the passage there is very con- 
fused, as it appears in the rendering of the LXX., " The sons 
of Manasseh ; Esriel, whom his Syrian concubine bore, and 


she bore also Machir the father of Galaad " ; then follows the 
account of other sons. It is to be observed that in the 
addition before us there is no word of " Esriel " (Ashriel). 
The portion of the verse about Ephraim suggests the same 
source, but the passage here is further from the Hebrew of 
the Massoretic as it is reflected in the Greek of Chronicles. 
Instead of the numerous sons attributed to him in I Chron. 
vii. 20-27, there are only two, and their names are difficult 
to identify with any of those in 1 Chron. vii. By somewhat 
of a stretch Soutalaam may be recognised as intended to 
represent Shuthelah ; as for Taam, it is very difficult to 
imagine it as an attempt to transliterate Tahath. The 
Greek in Chronicles is much closer to the Hebrew, writing 
Sothalath and Thaath. It would almost seem as if the names 
had been written down memoriter on the margin of some 
early copy, and had slipped into the text. One thing is clear ; 
the names have not been taken from the Hebrew direct, but 
have been written down from a confused memory of the 
Greek of Chronicles. 

Further, in the later chapters of Exodus, according to the 
Septuagint, there are changes in the position of the sections 
when compared with the Massoretic which have no support in 
the Samaritan. A great portion of the 39th chapter according 
to the Massoretic and Samaritan occurs in the 36th of the 
LXX. ; the rendering is by no means so close as in other parts 
of the Pentateuch ; the breast-plate is called logeion, " the 
Oracle," which is rather an explanation of the use made 
of the Urim and Thummim which were placed in it than 
a translation of the word hoshen. Chapter xxxvii. of the 
LXX. agrees in the main with chapter xxxvi. of the 
Massoretic and the Samaritan, beginning at verse 9 : 
chapter xxxvii. (LXX.) agrees in the main with xxxvii. of 
the Massoretic and Samaritan. The opening verses (1-10) 
of chapter xxxix. (LXX.) coincide with xxxviii. 24-30 (Masso- 
retic and Samaritan). With xxxix. 42 (Massoretic and 
Samaritan), agrees xxxix. 11 (LXX.), but two verses are 
added which do not represent anything in the Hebrew 
of either recension : " The rest of the gold which remained 
of the offering, they made into vessels for ministering in 
them before the LORD ; and the blue that was left, and 


the purple and the scarlet, they made into ministering 
{leitourikas) garments for Aaron, in order that he might 
minister in them in the holy place." 

While in the above instances of dislocation, the Masso- 
retic and the Samaritan are agreed against the LXX., there 
are cases in which the Massoretic and the LXX. agree 
against the Samaritan. The ten verses which describe the 
altar of incense are placed in the Samaritan Recension 
between the 35th and 36th verses of chapter xxvi. of the 
Massoretic, whereas the Massoretic and the LXX. place them 
at the beginning of chapter xxx. 

All this confirms the decision to which we have already 
come, that the Septuagint was not translated from a 
manuscript which was an exemplar of the Samaritan 
Recension. On the other hand, the differences from the 
extant Massoretic Recension are too many and too important 
to render it at all probable that MSS. from Jerusalem were 
those from which the translation was made. It may 
be urged that as the Massoretic did not reach its present 
form till the fourth or fifth century A.D., the text then in 
use in Palestine would be older than the Massoretic by six 
or seven hundred years, so that it might differ very much from 
what it had been in the days even of Ptolemy Philometer. Still, 
the rate of change, as measured by what is to be observed 
between that behind Aquila and the Massoretic, is so slow, 
that the difference from the text of Aquila and Symmachus 
and that from which the Septuagint was translated need 
not have been very great. That the Samaritan differs from 
the Massoretic so much less than the LXX. is confirmatory 
of this. From these grounds we are led to assume that 
the LXX. was translated from MSS. already in Egypt, 
which probably had a long Egyptian descent. 

Can anything be discovered as to the character of those 
manuscripts ? It is a matter of some importance to find out 
so far as may be possible the character and age of the MSS. 
used by the " Seventy," whoever they were, when translating 
from the Hebrew. From the number of instances in which, 
as shown by Dr Kohn, differences of the Greek from the 
Hebrew can be explained by mistakes due to resemblances 
of letters in the Samaritan script, it may be assumed that 


the MSS. immediately used by the Greek translators were 
written in Samaritan, or what is the same thing, Maccabaean 
characters. This, however, is a very different matter from 
saying that they were exemplars of the Samaritan Recension. 
The Jews certainly did not write in the square character 
in the days of the Lagid supremacy. The coins of Simon 
the Maccabee more than a century later had their inscrip- 
tions in a script analogous to that of Samaria. As the 
object of the superscription was to inform the public of the 
value of the coins in question, it would be in the style of 
writing ordinarily in use. If the translation was made 
in the days of Philadelphus (approximately 280 B.C.), nearly 
a century and a half before Simon first struck coins, the 
MSS. used would be written in a similar script. Fully 
a century before Philadelphus was the inscription cut on the 
sarcophagus of Ashmunazar. The script on this last, though 
distinctly angular, yet approximates to that on the Macca- 
baean coins. Hence the script of even Jerusalem MSS. 
would be very like that of the Samaritan codices to which 
Dr Kohn refers. The differences are, as already stated, 
too great for one to hold that the LXX. has been translated 
from Palestinian MSS., and as there is no evidence that they 
were Samaritan — indeed the evidence is distinctly hostile 
to that view — we are forced to maintain that the translation 
was made from a manuscript, or from manuscripts, already 
in Egypt which had been copied from Egyptian codices. 
This is confirmed by evidence which appears to prove 
that the manuscript used had in its ancestry one written 
in the script of the Assouan papyri. Further, there are 
traces in the Septuagint of the influence of the earlier 
angular script to be found on the Siloam inscription. 
This would suggest that the ultimate ancestor of the 
Egyptian MSS. was brought down into Egypt by Jere- 
miah, at all events by some one about his date. The 
number of exiles that were carried down into Egypt, by 
Johanan the son of Kareah, along with Jeremiah, must have 
been very considerable. They must have had the Law 
and known its contents, as Jeremiah rebukes them for not 
obeying it (Jer. xliv. 23)- If that is so, there is evidence of 
the totality of the Law long before the mission of Ezra. 


If the script of the Assouan papyri was that in use in 
Egypt, how is it that the characters confused belong to the 
Samaritan or Maccabaean script ? The answer to this can be 
found in the present habits of the Jews ; copies of the Torah, 
engrossed for use in the synagogue, are written in square 
character, whereas in the private letters, though written 
in Hebrew, the script is totally different. The Assouan 
papyri are copies of letters and deeds. From the Talmud 
{Sank. 21 £) we learn that the script of Samaria was regarded 
as that in which the Law had been given at first, and therefore 
it might well be reckoned sacred. Before there were 
regular synagogues, the Torah might be copied, like other 
documents, in the script of Assouan ; hence the confusions 
traceable to it, although the synagogue rolls would 
always be written in Samaritan script — or to give it its 
Talmudic name — Ibri character. 

If the differences between the Samaritan and the Masso- 
retic suggest a common source dating from a more or less 
remote antiquity, it might be argued that the greater the 
differences the greater the antiquity of the common source. 
Then, as the differences of the LXX. from the Massoretic 
are so much greater than the differences of the Samaritan, 
it might be argued that the Septuagint is older than 
the Samaritan ; that is to say, moved away from the 
common source at a much earlier period. Whether or not 
there is any truth behind the Talmudic legend of a statutory 
copy which was regarded as the model to which all copies 
of the Torah must conform, the chances of accuracy were 
greater in Palestine than in Egypt. The knowledge of 
Hebrew even among the Jews resident in Egypt would 
not be that of Jews in Palestine or Samaritans who always 
retained Hebrew alongside of Aramaic Moreover, the 
knowledge of the Law was much more diffused in Palestine 
than in Egypt, consequently the possibility of blunders was 
limited both in extent and degree. From this it follows that 
the copying of Hebrew documents would not be so carefully 
done in Egypt. Further, in translating, even if the 
translators were Jews, they would not have the knowledge 
due to what may be called customary knowledge to guide 
them. Consequently in a given time the variants in the 


Egypto- Hebrew manuscripts would be greater than in 
Palestinian ones, whether in Judea or in Samaria. 

To sum up the result of the present investigation into 
the relation between the Samaritan Recension and the 
Septuagint ; it is clear that the one is no mere repetition of 
the other; they are independent witnesses, alike testifying 
to the integrity of the Law (or, to give it the Greek name so 
generally used, the Pentateuch) from a period long before 
the advent of Ezra in Jerusalem. 



As will doubtless have been guessed by the reader all that has 
preceded has been intended to lead up to certain conclusions 
which have a bearing on the criticism of the Pentateuch. In 
order that the force of the argument should be apprehended, 
it will be well to sum up seriatim the various points involved 
and discussed. In the first place it has been shown that the 
claim of the Samaritans to be Israelites is well founded. 
From the ordinary methods of the Assyrians, and from the 
express statements of the inscriptions of Sargon, it is clear 
that only a small portion of the people were deported. 
Their home so closely contiguous to Judea places their 
knowledge of Israelite ritual beyond dispute. The minute 
points in which the Talmudists find fault with those whom 
they call " the foolish people who dwe l] jn ^h ^h^fla" is 
evidence of the general accuracy of their ritual. In the next 
place, a study of the history of the Samaritans evidences the 
faithfulness with which they held to the worship of JHWH 
despite the most savage persecutions inflicted on them by 
Jews, Romans, Byzantines, and Moslems. It has been 
further seen that their Mosaism, their ritual of worship 
in accordance with the Mosaic Law, did not begin under the 
Persian rule, but stretched away back to times before the fall 
of the Northern Kingdom. The evidence of the prophets 
is clear on this point. Yet again, the apparent antagonism 
between the worship of JHWH in the Northern Kingdom 
and that on Mount Zion has to be explained. The source 
of the difference is shown to be connected with the influence 
of the prophets and of prophetism. As the Samaritans 



claim to have maintained their original ritual of worship 
from the times of Eleazar the son of Aaron to the present 
day, it is necessary to stud)' their acts of worship and their 
ceremonial rites. As the religion of Israel, like Christi- 
anity, rests upon history the views entertained as to sacred 
history have to be ascertained. Religion expresses itself not 
only in ritual but in forms of thought, that is to say, 
a theology emerges. Consideration of Samaritan theology 
shows it to consist of doctrines practically identical with 
those of Judaism but attained by a different route. As 
bearing on the age of the Samaritan Recension, it is needful 
that the evidence of age afforded by the Samaritan script 
be carefully considered. It was seen that certain symptoms 
pointed to the mother roll, from which originally the 
Recension took its rise, having been written in the script 
of the Siloam inscription if not earlier. The peculiarities of 
the Samaritan pronunciation of the Hebrew have a chrono- 
logical bearing and must not be omitted from consideration. 
The form Aramaic assumed when spoken and written by 
the Samaritans has a bearing on the questions at issue, and 
also their literature and the poetic form the Samaritans 
affected. As the question of the relation of the Samaritan 
Recension to the received Massoretic text is of the highest 
importance for criticism, there has been a careful examination 
of the resemblances and differences between them. It has 
been long recognised that there are many and striking 
cases in which the Samaritan Recension resembles the 
LXX. ; that also has been compared. 

After the foregoing recapitulation, the results of the 
study may be more concisely summed up. The feature most 
prominent is the independence of the Samaritans as re gards 
the Jews — an independence that assumed the form at times 
of meaningless antagonism ; an independence which was 
maintained although Judaism surrounded them on every 
side, not only to the south in Judea, but to the north in 
Galilee, and to the east across Jordan. Their stern faithful- 
ness to the ritual and creed of the religion received from 
their fathers, renders the idea of change of faith foreign 
to them. When the ritual of the Samaritans is compared 
with that of the Jews, while the essential identity is patent, 



there are many minor differences, and all these are on the side 
of greater simplicity, and therefore of greater primitiveness. 
This characteristic is specially obvious in regard to the most 

essential rites of the reaffirm nf Tsrnpl, rirrnmrision an<j 

the Passove r. In regard to the latter the primitive character 
is naturally more obvious. Although it is in some respects 
difficult to discover the exact way in which the Jews 
of the century before the destruction of the Temple 
celebrated the Passover, yet much can be gathered from 
Josephus and the New Testament ; the evidence of the 
Talmud is not quite valueless although it is late. One 
very marked difference is that while the Jews, in the period 
before the destruction of the Temple, when they could still 
celebrate the Passover, kept the feast within doors ; the 
Samaritans celebrate it out of doors on the top of Mount 
Gerizim. Certainly the Jewish method is more like the 
account given in Exod. xii., whereas the Samaritans appear 
to have perpetuated the modifications which the ordinance 
would have to undergo in the wilderness, when the house 
was a tent and there were neither lintels nor door-posts 
(Num. ix. 5 ; see also Josh. v. 10). The pit oven in which the 
lambs are roasted among the Samaritans points to the 
habits of a village community, or the encampment of Bedu 
in circumstances in which they had to be careful of fuel. 
This mode of roasting, as is proved by their monuments, was 
practised neither by the Egyptians nor by the Assyrians. 
The Samaritan mode of celebration has the look of being 
a survival of the time before the central shrine was adopted 
by the Israelites. The view they have of sacred history is 
certainly a late travesty of the truth. It however evidences 
the necessity the Samaritans felt to have their faith based like 
that of the Jews and Christians on history of some sort. Yet 
this must be said that the Samaritan travesty is not any 
wider from the truth of fact than are the stories to be found 
in the Talmud. As to doctrine, the mutual reproaches which 
Jews and Samaritans cast at each other, and the erroneous 
accounts which they give of each other's faith, are con- 
vincing evidence that neither borrowed from the other, to 
any great extent. The Samaritan angelology is a case 
in which this is obvious ; the names given to the angels 


by the Samaritans differ from the Jewish names ; indeed are 
constructed on a different principle. 

Another aspect of the questions involved emerges with 
the consideration of the Samaritan script. The Talmud, as 
has already been shown, acknowledged the Samaritan script 
— the characters of the Samaritan alphabet — as being more 
ancient than the square character used by the Jews ; indeed, 
they seem to have regarded the script of Samaria as that 
in which the Law was first given. This confirms the con- 
tention that the Samaritan aspect of the religion of Israel 
was not dependent on Judaism, and in not a few features 
it is the more primitive. The aspect of independence is 
exhibited from another side by the form which Aramaic, the 
lingua franca of South- Western Asia, assumed in their lips ; 
it is much more Hebraistic than is Jewish Aramaic — a 
symptom that seems to indicate that the Samaritans 
spoke Hebrew longer than did the Jews, and were less 
exposed to foreign influences. The poetry of the Samari- 
tans has features like that of the Jews, but what is 
regarded as the essential characteristic of Jewish versifica- 
tion — parallelism — they do not use ; they indulge very 
largely in acrostics involving the whole alphabet, a poetic 
form of which the Jews made occasional use ; rhyme, of 
which the Jews have no indubitable examples, at least 
in the classic period of the Hebrew language, is a very 
favourite mode with the Samaritans. 

More important is the relation in which the Samaritan 
Pentateuch stands to the Massoretic Recension. We have 
seen that many of the differences between the two recen- 
sions are due to blunders of the Jewish scribes ; while 
others are due to mistakes on one side or other in conse- 
quence of resemblances of letters, as has been observed in 
an earlier chapter, in a script like that of the Siloam 
inscription, or even an earlier. A comparison of the 
Samaritan Recension with the Septuagint shows that though 
the translation was made from a manuscript written in 
Samaritan characters, it was not made from an exemplar 
of the Samaritan Recension. There further seemed to have 
been manuscripts written in the angular script, with at least 
one in the script of Elephantine. 


One point is clear from all this : when the Samaritans 
got the Torah it was complete in all its parts ; if it is a 
compilation, then the compilers had completed their work. 
All the proofs alleged by critics that the Pentateuch is made 
up of different documents are to be found in the Samaritan, 
as much as in the Massoretic. It is certainly the case that 
the Samaritan has, in a few instances, JHWH, when the 
Massoretic has Elohim, and vice versd, but these are not 
frequent enough to affect the issue seriously. The same 
thing may be said of the Septuagint, although the variants 
from the Massoretic are more numerous and important. 
In these circumstances it is all-important to fix the date 
at which the religious separation between the Jews and 
the Samaritans took place. This is all the more important 
that it will fix the latest date at which the alleged editing 
can have taken place. 

Before entering on the critical theory of the constitution 
and origin of the Pentateuch, or — to give the collection of 
documents in question the name most in favour with the 
followers of Wellhausen and Kuenen — the Hexateuch, it 
might be well to endeavour to realise how things would 
appear to one untrammelled by previously formed opinions. 
That the book in question was to be separated into super- 
incumbent strata, the lines of stratification running through 
the whole six subsidiary portions, would never occur to 
him. After a perusal more or less careful he would be 
inclined to regard the first book and the fifth as differing 
from those three books that come in between. As decidedly 
he would put the sixth book in a separate category. In 
regard to Genesis, presuming the investigator here imagined 
to have put to the one side all the claim it makes to be 
a record of God's revelation of Himself to man, he would 
find it composed mainly of legendary stories. These 
narratives are connected chiefly with the lives of four 
successive individuals, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. 
The stories are simple and naive ; even when the scene 
is transferred to Egypt, we seem to be sitting at a tent- 
door hearing tales of his ancestors told by a hoary bearded 
sheikh in the clear moonlight of the East. The three books 
which follow are legal and ceremonial. They form a unity ; 


there is a historical preamble, and historical episodes, but 
there is not much of the purely legendary ; with all their 
contents these three books form one law-book. Were it 
not for the formula in which JHWH is declared to be the 
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, which occurs about 
a dozen times in those books, mainly in the beginning of 
Exodus, and a casual reference to Joseph in the first 
chapter of Exodus, and a notice of the removal of his bones 
in the thirteenth, these books might be regarded as totally 
independent of Genesis, the literary atmosphere is so 
perfectly different. The frequently recurrent phrase of 
Genesis "the generations of" practically disappears in the 
ceremonial books. Another phrase takes its place, and 
occurs with greater frequency, " The LORD spake unto 
Moses saying." When the reader we have imagined 
proceeds to Deuteronomy, he again is conscious of a change 
of atmosphere. The whole book has the semblance of 
having been spoken by one man, by Moses on the Plains 
of Moab ; it is a recapitulation of the history and legislation 
of the three preceding books with alterations. In its literary 
form Deuteronomy agrees with not a few specimens of 
Egyptian and Assyrian literature. Indeed the structure of the 
book from a purely literary point of view strongly resembles 
that of the Memoirs of Sunhit ; it, like Deuteronomy, begins 
with a designation of the author and concludes the opening 
paragraph with the word " saith." In regard to the sixth 
book, the student we have presupposed would be conscious of 
yet another change of atmosphere. It certainly implies the 
books which have preceded, but it is widely different in style. 
Though JHWH promises to be with Joshua as He 
was with Moses, there is a distinct difference in the attitude. 
The phrase so common in the Lawbook, vyedabber JHWH 
el Moshe lemor, practically disappears ; it is found only 
once. Joshua does not enjoy the frequent intercourse 
with JHWH that Moses did. While Moses is frequently 
referred to, it is by a new designation, " Moses the servant 
of JHWH." Another thing our investigator would not fail 
to observe would be the disappearance of the archaisms 
frequent in the preceding five books. All these resem- 
blances and differences would seem to preclude the 


hypothesis of lines of stratification running through all 
the six books. 

This last named hypothesis is that, notwithstanding, 
which has been adopted by the most influential school of 
Biblical critics at the present time. This theory of parallel 
documents was suggested, with much diffidence and after 
much hesitation, by Astruc, a French physician of the 
eighteenth century. While he had observed the stratification 
mainly in Genesis, and pointed it out there, from dogmatic 
reasons he carried it on into the opening chapters of Exodus. 
His hypothesis was that Moses had before him two docu- 
ments or sets of documents, the one characterised by the 
use of the Divine Name JHWH, the other by the use of 
Elohim, and that from these he made extracts, which he 
introduced without change into his own narrative. This 
peculiarly Eastern method of literary procedure was not 
unknown among classic writers ; Diodorus Siculus has 
extracted long passages from Polybius and other writers 
without acknowledgment or alteration. Eichhorn, writing 
about half a century later, recognised this stratification as 
extending through all the books of the Pentateuch. Stahelin 
and de Wette saw these documents in the book of Joshua 
also. It was found by later students that matters would 
be simplified critically if it were recognised that there was 
not merely one but that there were two Elohists ; the one 
annalistic like the Jehovist, the other drier in style and 
interested more in ritual than in legends. This second 
Elohist was designated P, and his work was described as 
the " Priestly Code " ; the symbol of the Jehovist became J, 
and of the Elohist E. By some scholars it was felt that 
certain chapters in the " Priestly Code " suggested another 
hand ; these were segregated under the title of " The Law 
of Holiness," and were designated by the letter H. Keener 
sighted critics saw the hand of members of the Deuteronomist 
school expanding statements ; as the writer of Deuteronomy 
was represented by the letter D so those followers of his 
were also symbolised by the same letter, only distinguished 
from him by an added numeral. Later critics distinguished 
later hands among the priestly writers, so there are P2 and P3. 
There were also discovered to be second and third Elohists 


and second and third Jehovists. Such in rough is the 
history of the origin and evolution of the critical theory 
of the structure of the Hexateuch. 

Having narrated the origin and development of the 
ruling critical theory, it is needful to consider it as a 
completed whole. Succinctly stated, it is the hypothetical 
history of the origin and evolution of the Five Books of 
Moses and the book of Joshua ; or, as it is called, the 
Hexateuch. In considering the relation of the Samaritan 
Recension of the Torah to the critical discussions, the extent 
assigned to it is the first question to be settled. It is an 
essential part of the critical theory that it is a Hexateuch, 
and that Joshua is an integral part of it. It is beyond 
denial that the Samaritans never since the days of Sanballat 
have had the canonical book of Joshua. The settling of 
this question is to a great extent independent of the 
Wellhausen hypothesis. Astruc never could have thought 
of his theory had he begun his study with Joshua. By 
Bennett (Polychrome Bible, "Joshua") the first two verses of 
the first chapter of that book are ascribed to the Elohist, yet 
the Divine Name introduced is JHWH, and it appears 
twice. In fact very rarely in the whole book does Elohim 
make its appearance, except as an attributive after JHWH. 

Above, in a previous chapter, a reason has been 
suggested why, with all the motives the Samaritans had for 
holding Joshua in high honour, they yet had not the book 
which related his exploits. Traditions of him remained, and 
he was spoken of as " King Joshua." It is clear then that 
if the Samaritans got the Law through the fugitive priest 
Manasseh, whether he fled to Samaria in the days of 
Artaxerxes Longimanus, or a hundred years later in the 
days of Alexander the Great, "Joshua" was not regarded at 
that time as part of the Law. Manasseh had no reason to 
withhold it, and the Samaritans had every reason to wish 
for its possession. As has elsewhere been pointed out, 
Joshua was the great hero of the Northern tribes : legends 
had gathered round him, and his tomb was with them. 

It admits neither of doubt nor denial that the Jews put 
the book of Joshua on a different plane from that on which 
they placed the " Five Fifths of the Law," and a much lower 


one. It is regarded as a palmary argument against the 
authenticity, and consequent historicity, of the book of 
Daniel, that the Rabbin of the third or fourth century 
excluded it from the " Prophets " and relegated it to the 
Kthubhim : yet the far earlier decision of the Jewish 
teachers, that " Joshua " is quite separate from the Law and 
is to be reckoned among the Prophets, is overridden without 
scruple. 1 The critical reason assigned for this exclusion is 
that there is nothing in "Joshua" bearing on conduct. If 
this were the principle which governed the inclusion of 
matters in the Law, or exclusion from it, then Genesis ought 
to have been excluded as well as Joshua ; this argument 
proves too much, therefore proves nothing. But it is not 
strictly true. The treaty which Joshua is related to have 
made with the Gibeonites is expected to regulate the 
conduct of the Israelites in regard to these Gibeonites in 
the days of Saul and David. Again, the territories to be 
occupied by the different tribes were arranged by Joshua ; 
this had an abiding effect on the conduct of the Israelites of 
later days. The story of Naboth and his vineyard shows 
the sanctity with which the pious Israelite endowed the 
inheritance he had received from his fathers, and his relation 
to it. Its want of relation to conduct cannot be the reason 
for the exclusion of "Joshua" from the Torah. One further 
reason is suggested, a literary one, why " Joshua " should be 
considered part of the Law despite its exclusion from it by 
the Jews. The Pentateuchal history stops at a very awkward 
point ; Israel is encamped in the Plains of Moab, preparing 
to cross the Jordan, and it needs the book of Joshua to 

1 The case against " Daniel " is peculiarly weak, its exclusion from 
the Prophetic books is so very late. It is among the " Prophets " in the 
Canon of Alexandria. Our Lord quotes Daniel as a prophet (Matt. xxiv. 
15 ; Mark xiii. 14). Josephus includes " Daniel " among the " Prophets," 
since the four books of the ICthubhim described by him cannot fit 
" Daniel " {contra Afiionem, i. 8) ; moreover, he distinctly calls him a 
prophet {Ant. X. xi 7). In the Canon of Melito, which by its exclusion 
of the Apocryphal books of the Alexandrian Canon shows its Jewish 
origin, " Daniel " is reckoned among the Prophets (Euseb., Eccl. Hist. % 
iv. 26) ; his date is circa a.d. 180. The earliest notice of Daniel not being 
among the Prophets is in Jerome's preface to Daniel written about two 
hundred years after Melito. 


complete it. This is no argument, else the fact that 
Thucydides ends his history in the middle of a sentence 
would be proof that he wrote also the Hellenika which 
continues the history and begins " After these things." This 
much at all events is clear, that not only must the exclusion 
of "Joshua" from the Law have been effected before the 
flight of Manasseh to Samaria, but so long before that the 
fact of its previous inclusion had disappeared from memory, 
consequently long before the advent in Jerusalem of Ezra, 
who by hypothesis brought the Law. 

We have already considered the evolution of the ruling 
critical theory, it is now necessary to describe the evolution 
of the Pentateuch according to it. Somewhere about the 
time when Jehoshaphat was reigning in Jerusalem, a Judaean 
began to collect the legends of the origins of the Israelite 
race. About a century later, an Ephraimite, when the 
Northern Kingdom was tottering to its fall, if it had not 
already fallen, commenced making a similar collection. The 
Southern writer preferred to speak of God by His Covenant 
name of JHWH, while the Northerner used the more general 
term, Elohim. The Judaean document is designated by the 
letter J, the Ephraimite by E. Not quite a hundred years 
after the Northern Kingdom had fallen, during the reign of 
Josiah, a Redactor combined the two narratives, dovetailing 
one into the other. 

These histories were prophetic in their origin, but in 
Jerusalem prophetic activity found another outlet. Under 
the zealous young king Josiah the Temple was undergoing 
repairs so thorough that they involved the masonry of the 
building. While these repairs were proceeding "the Book 
of the Law " was found, or was alleged to be found. Hilkiah 
the High Priest brought to Josiah the roll alleged to con- 
tain the Law. According to the critics this was its origin ; 
certain members of the prophetic school, seeing the evils 
which resulted from the many High Places, composed this 
book. It professed to be written by Moses, his last words ; 
so it gave Mosaic authority to the reform which it was 
desired to see instituted — a reform which would involve the 
destruction of all those local High Places. When it was 
written it was duly hid in the temple, with, it might be, the 


connivance of Hilkiah, in a place where it might opportunely 
be found. As arranged it was found and produced the effect 
desired. This book so found is the book of Deuteronomy in 
the Pentateuch. The letter used to designate it is D. A 
later Redactor combined this Law book with the book which 
contained the narratives of J and E united, known as JE ; 
he at the same time expanded the JE narratives and adjusted 
them to Deuteronomy. The Deuteronomist was followed 
by many of the same spirit who are credited with operating 
on the other books of Scripture, and inserting passages which 
do not suit criticism ; these are denoted by D2 and D3. 

Such was the position of things when Jerusalem was 
taken and Jeconiah and many of the inhabitants were carried 
into captivity. Among these captives was the prophet-priest 
Ezekiel. He was full of patriotic enthusiasm and eager to 
keep Israel pure and separate from the heathen. Moved by 
this desire, he and those influenced by him devised the 
" Law of Holiness." This as already mentioned is denoted 
by the letter H. In the " Law of Holiness " there is 
republished from Deuteronomy, with variations, the list of 
clean and unclean animals. The remainder of the book is 
mainly occupied with marriage relationships. Later the 
captive priests, guided it might be by remembrances of the 
temple worship, supplemented this " Law of Holiness " by an 
elaborate system of washings and sacrifices. The Law of 
Holiness thus supplemented became the Priestly Code. 
Meantime the combined document JE and D arrived from 
Jerusalem at Babylon. Whether after the book reached 
Babylon or before it left Jerusalem, later Jehovists had made 
additions and alterations ; according to some, later Elohists 
also have left traces of their activities. We have thus to do 
with a J2 and a J3 and possibly an E2 and an E3 besides a 
relay of D's. The first chapter of Genesis is attributed to P, 
but the second chapter is assigned to J with additions by J2. 
The story of the Flood, with long passages attributed to P, 
is largely assigned to J2. Among the passages attributed 
to J2 are the opening verses of Gen. vii., in which there is 
reference to the purely Levitical distinction of animals clean 
and unclean ; in the account of Noah's sacrifice with which 
the story of the Flood ends, also ascribed to J 2, there is the 


same distinction brought into prominence. To P are 
attributed most of the genealogies except those of Cain in 
Gen. iv., and those of Cush and Eber among the genealogies 
in chapter x. Such was the constitution of the Torah as 
it was brought to Palestine by Ezra, according to the 
Wellhausen theory. Even then it was not complete ; there- 
after additions were made to it ; there are a series of priestly 
writers P2, P3, and so on. 

With all its undeniable cleverness, this theory of the 
evolution of the Pentateuch inevitably suggests the cycles 
and epicycles of the Ptolemaic astronomy ; as by the pre- 
Copernican astronomers, epicycle was imposed on epicycle, 
to explain aberrant phenomena, so by the critics are 
new authors supposed, in order by them to explain 
difficulties as they are realised. May it be thought dis- 
respectful to the German professors and their followers to 
suggest that they might take an example from astronomers, 
who found a solution by abandoning their epicycles, and 
betaking themselves to simplicity by seeking for a new 
centre ? Meantime a further hypothesis is needed to explain 
the non-existence of any trace of the Torah in its more 
primitive state before D or P had operated upon it. Of the 
Epistles of Ignatius we have not only the long Greek 
Recension but also the short Greek and the Syriac. In 
Egypt, as proved by the Assouan papyri, there were ancient 
Israelite communities ; it may be that some shorter recension 
of the Torah may be found in the rubbish heaps left by their 
villages. The original recension of the Hebrew of the 
Egyptian book of Daniel must have been very different 
from the Palestinian text. However that may be, it is 
certain that when the Pentateuch reached Samaria it was 
complete in all its complexity of parts. The differences 
between the two recensions are slight, and can scarcely be 
said to involve any critical points. The sole point on which 
the Samaritan Recension can throw light is the date at 
which this compilation, if compilation it is, was completed. 

It is an essential part of the critical hypothesis that 
Ezra brought the completed Law to Jerusalem. Since 
the Samaritan Recension contains, as has already been 
observed, all the constitutive elements of the Torah, J, E, D, 


and P, with all the series of these letters followed by 
distinctive numerals, it follows of necessity, if this be so, that 
the Samaritans only received the Law after the last of 
these increments had been introduced into it. It is assumed 
that Manasseh, to give him the name by which Josephus 
designates the son-in-law of Sanballat, took with him, when 
he fled to his father-in-law, a copy of the completed Torah. 
It is not said that he did so either in Josephus or Nehemiah : 
still let it be assumed that he did so. Josephus says that he 
was the great-grandson of Eliashib, and brother of Jaddus or 
Jaddua the High Priest, who, according to Josephus, met 
Alexander the Great when he came to Jerusalem. Eliashib 
was an old man when Nehemiah came as Tirshatha to 
Jerusalem, as he had a grandson of age to be married. This 
grandson, as has been noted in an earlier chapter, Nehemiah 
chased from his presence because of his marriage ; this 
occurred at latest in the year 433 B.C. Here we must ask 
permission to repeat a historical argument which we have 
given in a previous chapter in another connection. According 
to Josephus, Manasseh, a nephew of this man repeats his 
offence, something less than a century later, also with a 
daughter of Sanballat, and is banished by the Sanhedrin as 
was his uncle by Nehemiah. The unlikelihood of such an 
exact repetition of persons and punishments is elsewhere 
commented on. Another of his nephews is Jaddua, who, 
according to Josephus, was High Priest when Alexander the 
Great entered Palestine in the year 332 B.C. It is clear 
that Jaddua could not have been the contemporary of 
Alexander the Great unless Jonathan (called John by 
Josephus, and Johanan in Neh. xii. 22) was very much 
younger than the fugitive from Nehemiah ; but this is highly 
improbable since the High Priesthood normally followed 
the line of primogeniture. Josephus is not the only 
authority for the meeting of Alexander with the Jewish High 
Priest ; the Talmud (Yoma 69a) describes the meeting, but 
says that the High Priest was Simeon hatz-Tzaddiq, the 
grandson of Jaddua. 1 

1 Both Josephus and the Talmud, the latter inferentially, declare 
Simon I. to be Simeon hatz-Tzaddiq ; but critical opinion asserts that 
not he but his grandson Simon II. had the title; this grandson 


That Simon I. was High Priest at the time of Alexander's 
invasion of Palestine is chronologically probable ; the date 
of his grandfather's pontificate would probably be about 
390 B.C., leaving forty years for the last years of the 
High Priesthood of Eliashib, and the High Priesthood 
of Joiada. He was succeeded by Onias I. the father of 
Simon (Simeon) I. Alexander was in Palestine in 332 B.C. 

Josephus dismisses with a single sentence (Ant. XII. iv. 10) as a person 
of no account. The sole authority quoted for this identification by 
Cheyne, except a reference to the Talmud which is not decisive, is 
Derenbourg (Hist, et Geog. de la Pal., p. 47). This latter asserts 
this identification and supports it by a passage from Yoma. Derenbourg 
declares that "nothing in the history of this pontif," Simon I., "or in 
the circumstances which surrounded him, either justifies or explains why 
this title 'the Just' should have been given to him. . . . Simon the 
Just lived in an extraordinary time when ancient institutions were 
crumbling, and when the gradual enfeeblement of religious sentiment 
in the priesthood was punished by visible signs of Divine displeasure." 
Then follows the quotation from Yoma 6q# : " During the forty years of 
the pontificate of Simon the Just, on the Day of Atonement the lot 
for the goat destined for Jehovah always fell to the right hand ; after- 
wards it was sometimes the right and sometimes the left. In his time 
the red thread which surrounded the head of the goat destined for 
Azazel became white, which indicated that the sins (of the people) 
had been pardoned ; afterwards it sometimes became white, and 
sometimes did not. Under Simeon, the lamp lighted at the west of the 
temple shone always ; after him it at times went out. While he lived, 
the wood once arranged upon the altar, the flame remained always 
strong and the priests had only to bring a few faggots of small wood 
to fulfil their duty ; after him the flame often went down, the priests 
were busy the whole day carrying wood to the altar." I submit that 
all this proves precisely the opposite of what Derenbourg says it does. 
What the Talmudic writer evidently means to teach is that the period 
when Simon the Just was High Priest was one of strong faith and 
unswerving faithfulness, which was rewarded by numerous signs of 
Divine favour which ceased in the age which followed. Yet this is the 
passage which Cheyne quotes as proving his point. Dean Stanley 
(Jewish Church, iii. 247, note 4) says : " Derenbourg has conclusively 
established that the Simon of Ecclesiasticus was Simon II." If that 
is the critical idea of proof we shall not be surprised, should they direct 
their attention to the history of the Tudor period, that they would 
" establish " from Foxe's Book of Martyrs that Bishop Bonner was a 
kindly ecclesiastic with a leaning toward Protestantism. Yet it is 
something like an axiom of scientific (?) criticism that Simon II. is 
Simon the Just. 


The evidence of Josephus is unreliable with regard to 
this period, because, as elsewhere noticed, he drops a 
whole century ; misled by the confusing succession of 
kings who bore the names of Artaxerxes and Darius 
almost alternately, he seems to have concluded that there 
was only one Artaxerxes and only two Dariuses. The 
efforts he had to make to adjust historic facts to his 
shortened chronology have already been adverted to. The 
existence of the Sanballat contemporary of Nehemiah is 
confirmed by the Assouan papyri, in which the "sons of 
Sanballat" are referred to as the authorities in Samaria. 
If it was to the Sanballat of the reign of Artaxerxes 
Longimanus that Manasseh fled, then the Darius of whom 
permission was asked to build the temple on Mount Gerizim 
was not Darius Codomannus, as assumed by so many, but 
Darius Nothus, the son of Longimanus. The critics have 
accepted as correct the assertion of Josephus that Jaddua 
was the contemporary of Alexander. The authority of 
Josephus is accepted on this point without question, yet 
when he declares that Simon I. is Simon ho dikaios, it 
is without any value. In short, to "scientific" criticism 
Josephus, as an authority, is reliable or the reverse as it suits. 
While the legal dictum as to the testimony of a witness, 
falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, would if pressed put out 
of court almost every witness as to any event in the more 
distant past, yet with a witness like Josephus one must try 
his testimony by probabilities, and consider whether his 
own reputation or that of Israel were involved on one side 
or other; whether, in short, he had any motive to depart 
from strict accuracy. 

Let it be assumed that the son-in-law of Sanballat, who 
fled to Samaria, was the grandson of Eliashib !~whom 
Nehemiah drove from his presence, that - Tt was for him 
that the temple was built on Mount Gerizim, and that 
he arranged the ritual of worship set up in it, presumably 
in accordance with that in Jerusalem to which he had been 
accustomed. Let it be further assumed that he took the 
completed Torah with him to Samaria and Shechem. Then 
on the acceptance of this hypothesis certain results follow. 
The Book of the Law, which Manasseh took with him 


to Samaria, must have been that edited by Ezra. In that 
case, all the alleged post-Ezrahitic elements in the Priestly 
Code must be dated earlier than this flight ; along with 
them, most of the activities of the Deuteronomic Redactor 
must also be antedated, as they are all in the Samaritan 
Pentateuch. The enmity between the two peoples, and 
the rivalry between the two shrines preclude the possibility 
of these additions and alterations being inserted later. 

Even without these additions, sufficient difficulties emerge 
in regard to the Priestly Code as a whole, and its easy 
acceptance by the priests in Jerusalem, before it could be 
transferred bodily to Samaria. On the critical hypothesis, 
practically the whole of Leviticus was made known for 
the first time to the priesthood in Jerusalem by Ezra. For 
about a century they had been sacrificing on the altar set 
up by Zerubbabel on the site of the temple. For nearly 
three-quarters of a century, in the rebuilt temple, there had 
been maintained a regular ritual of sacrificial worship. 
Suddenly Ezra, a priestly scribe, arrives from Babylon with 
a new book of the Law. Priest though he is, he has never 
taken part in a sacrificial act, indeed has never in all his 
life seen a legitimate sacrifice offered. Yet this man comes 
to Jerusalem intending to revolutionise all the ritual that had 
been in use beyond the memory of the oldest inhabitants. 
Though it is true Ezra had behind him all the authority of 
the Great King, and was supported in every way by the local 
governor Nehemiah, still his success seems almost incon- 
ceivable. It needed all his own personal influence, backed 
by all the authority of the Tirshatha to carry into effect 
his interpretation of the marriage law. Important as this 
was, a change in the ritual of worship was a more serious 
matter. The Jews have always been specially conservative 
in regard to everything connected with the temple worship. 
When Aristobulus, the Hasmonaean High Priest, ventured 
to introduce some slight change in the ritual, he was 
pelted with citrons. Yet by hypothesis this extensive 
change in ritual was carried through without the slightest 
difficulty. It is true that the memory of those who had 
seen the temple services might be invoked in Babylon, 
but the last of them must have passed away long before 


the days of Ezra. The elaboration of the sacrificial ritual 
as seen in Leviticus is far beyond the power of memory 
to carry over the half century during which there was 
neither temple nor sacrifice to keep the memory green 
and effective. The priests when they came to Jerusalem 
with Zerubbabel would elaborate a ritual for themselves ; 
and this had already been hallowed by the experience of 
more than two generations when Ezra arrived. Ezra's 
success in the alterations which by hypothesis he in- 
troduced does not seem likely. One has only to read 
Josephus to see what slight matters, if the ritual of worship 
were involved, were sufficient to rouse the Jews against 
the power of Rome, a power much more tremendous than 
that of the Great King. This alleged overriding of the 
past by the single influence of Ezra is not to be explained 
by the reverence which the Jews gave to Rabbin and Doctors 
of the Law ; for that was a thing of a much later day. 
So far is Ezra from occupying the pre-eminent place in the 
memory of the Jewish people, which necessarily he would 
have had if the Wellhausen critics are right, his name is not 
even included by ben Sira in his " Hymn of the Fathers." 
Surely if Ezra, like a second Moses, had brought to the 
Jerusalem Jews the laws of legitimate sacrifice, which though 
revealed to Moses their fathers had lost, his name would 
not have been forgotten when that of Zerubbabel and of 
Joshua the High Priest, nay that of Ezra's contemporary 
Nehemiah, are commemorated. For these historical reasons 
we venture to think that it is highly improbable that the 
Priestly Code is anything like so late as the time of Ezra. 

Even should it be granted that despite all these im- 
probabilities the priests in Jerusalem did submit to Ezra, 
and were willing to alter their modes of worship and their 
ritual of sacrifice at his bidding, yet the case of Manasseh 
and the ritual on Mount Gerizim presents further difficulties 
quite independent of those involved in the conservatism 
of the Jerusalem priests. By a rigorous interpretation of 
the newly promulgated law as to marriage, Manasseh is 
banished from Jerusalem by the influence of Ezra and 
Nehemiah. He would be little prone to inculcate in Samaria, 
whither he had retreated, the newly introduced precepts, 


under which he had suffered the indignity of banishment. 
Surely not the most credulous critic would believe this to 
be at all likely. Would any one maintain the verisimilitude 
of a tale which represented a Puritan, who had suffered at the 
orders of Archbishop Laud fine and imprisonment, when 
he had made his escape to New England, eagerly setting 
about a propaganda in order to establish there a High 
Church Episcopacy with all the Laudian ritual ? 

Even if Manasseh had been so singularly constituted 
as to be willing to convey to Samaria the Ezrahitic 
Recension of the Law, another difficulty emerges on the 
other side : would the Samaritans have been willing to 
receive it? Even if the name "Samaritan" be restricted to 
the Assyrian colonists, yet even they could claim that for 
two centuries they had been worshippers of JHWH, taught 
by the priests who had been sent by Esarhaddon "the 
manner of the God of the land." If we are right in maintain- 
ing that the name had a wider application ; that not merely 
were the colonists so called but also the Israelite majority 
of the population, then their worship would be carried back 
to a remoter past. In these circumstances, even the influence 
of Sanballat would have proved insufficient to have enabled 
Manasseh to carry out his reform. Would the Samaritans 
be at all likely to listen to a priest urging them to abandon 
a system of sacrificial ritual, which they had been taught by 
accredited priests, and to which they had become accustomed, 
and agree to adopt another from Jerusalem — one from which 
the man who taught it himself had fled ? 

If, on the other hand, Ezra had merely brought a copy 
of the Law which the Jews recognised as sacred, but had 
failed to observe with the strictness which Ezra demanded ; 
if the sin-offerings, the peace-offerings, and the heave- 
offerings were all quite well known, but the ritual appropriate 
to each had not been quite rigorously attended to, and 
Ezra had directed attention to these shortcomings, in that 
case the matter becomes quite simple, and the submission of 
the people quite intelligible. This would be the case with 
regard to the Jews of Jerusalem. As to Samaria, if the 
worship on her High Places was essentially the same as that 
on Mount Zion, the adoption of that ritual in the newly 

2 A 


erected temple on Mount Gerizim, when national worship 
was concentrated there, would be perfectly natural. The 
influence of Josiah's reformation would make it all the easier, 
at least for the Israelite remnant who remembered, perhaps 
very vaguely, what their fathers had said of the worship on 
Mount Zion, to join in that on Mount Gerizim, if it retained 
the more prominent features of the old worship. 

The picture of the state of matters in Jerusalem presented 
to us in Ezra and Nehemiah suits the conclusion to which 
we have come. There is no suggestion that the people are 
resisting or resenting the introduction of something new. 
On the other hand Ezra utters no word of blame to the 
people because of failure in the ritual of sacrifice, the thing 
he does blame is their non-Israelite marriages. The Feast of 
Tabernacles appears to have been neglected, but if Ezra 
originated the " Priestly Code " the feast was not introduced 
by him, as it forms part of the Deuteronomic legislation. 
Only as we may see when the reference to it occurs in 
Deuteronomy it seems to imply that the directions in 
Leviticus have preceded. However this may be, the 
adoption of the Levitical regulations by the Samaritans 
without difficulty or demur in their temple worship implies 
that the Priestly Code was known to them long before the 
coming of Ezra to Jerusalem. 

The evidence afforded by the Samaritan Pentateuch of 
the relative age of the book of Deuteronomy has to be 
looked into. Reference has already been made to the 
marked difference of style and atmosphere which dis- 
tinguishes the " Second Law " from the rest of the Torah. 
There is therefore a certain a priori plausibility in the 
critical hypothesis which assigns it a very different origin. 
The critical theory is that Deuteronomy is " the Book of the 
Law" found by Hilkiah in the temple during the repairs 
instituted by Josiah. If this is correct it is clear that the 
Samaritan Recension of the Pentateuch must be dated long 
after the coming of the priests sent by Esarhaddon as it 
contains Deuteronomy. But is there valid proof of its 
correctness? It is unfortunate for this hypothesis that the 
language of the narrative implies that the Law was well 
known to be written in a book, and Hilkiah had no difficulty 


in recognising the book which he found, to be a copy of it. 
It is in some way an individualised copy, for he calls it "the 
Book of the Law." This recognition is all the more 
mysterious that by hypothesis, the Jews have, at this time, 
no law-book at all ; J and E had been united in one " Book 
of Origins " but there was little of a legislative nature in it. 1 
Had Hilkiah's message to the king been that they had found 
a book of Moses, his words would have been intelligible. It 
is true that Josiah reads the book as if it were a new thing 
in Israel ; yet the depth of his repentance would seem to 
imply his belief that he and his people ought to have known 
those statutes, the transgression of which had involved them 
in such guilt, and had brought down upon them to such a 
degree the wrath of God. The sole evidence adduced that 
Deuteronomy was a pious fraud is, that the doctrine of that 
book required that only in Jerusalem could legitimate 
sacrifices be offered, and that this was acted on by Josiah 
alone, and by him only after the finding of the book. This 
assertion is not accurate on either side. Deuteronomy does 

1 The combined document JE could never have been recognised as 
a law-book. Imbedded in the mass of traditional narratives there is 
certainly the "Book of the Covenant," in all about three chapters 
(105 verses), preceded and succeeded by narrative. Moreover, though 
there is nothing impossible in the Southern prophetic schools collecting 
patriarchal legends, and those in the North following their example ; 
and still less improbability, if after the fall of the Northern Kingdom, 
it became to a certain extent civilly, and still more religiously, 
joined to the Southern, a Redactor should arise who would combine 
the two collections : there is improbability in another direction. 
How did this collection ever get a Mosaic origin attributed to it ? 
The separate collections would be perfectly well known, the dove- 
tailing of these so as to form one narrative would also be public 
property. Before JE could be received as Mosaic some legend 
would have to be invented of its discovery in some secret place, 
in a jar filled with oil of cedar, like that in which Joshua, in the 
"Assumption of Moses," is ordered to conceal the revelation he had 
just been given from the lips of the great lawgiver. There is not a 
single hint of such a thing. By hypothesis the Jerusalem Jews had no 
idea that there was extant any book of Moses, or any book of Mosaic 
legislation, till Hilkiah found "the Book of the Law." The critical 
hypothesis is made all the more difficult by the fact that according to 
it the publication of JE must have been nearly contemporaneous with 
Hilkiah's discovery. 


not absolutely forbid sacrifice elsewhere than in Jerusalem. 
It is expressly mentioned " if the place which the Lord shall 
choose be too far" 1 (R.V., Deut. xii. 21), then the Israelites 
were to be free to kill and eat of their flock and of their herd. 
This is clearly a sacrificial killing and eating, otherwise the 
distance from the sanctuary would not be important. Hence 
the temples at Heliopolis and Assouan, the erectors of which 
were unconscious of any breach of the Law. Important or 
public sacrifices were only to be offered at the national altar 
which represented the unity of the nation. But further, 
this change, whatever its scope, was not introduced by Josiah ; 
a couple of generations before Josiah was born, Hezekiah 
had instituted the same reform (2 Kings xviii. 4). Rabshakeh 
endeavours to undermine the trust of the Jewish people in 
God by referring to these reforms of Hezekiah and the 
wholesale destruction of the High Places (Is. xxxvi. 7 
2 Kings xviii. 22). Mr Addis attributes these statements of 
Hezekiah's destruction of the High Places to the Deuteron- 
omist. If that useful individual wrote during the reign 
of Josiah, all his readers would know whether or not he 
spoke the truth when he attributed the destruction of the 
High Places to Hezekiah. Burney (2 Kings, loco) would split 
up the narrative into four different strands. But the writing 
of these and the weaving of them together involves time, and 
the Samaritan Recension of the Pentateuch must have been 
complete in the days of Nehemiah. The conclusion cannot 
be avoided that the law of one sanctuary is as old as 
Hezekiah at the latest. 

The Jewish tradition was that Deuteronomy was, in 
accordance with its name, Mishneh hat- Torak," The Republi- 
cation of the Law," or in Greek Deuteronomion, whence our 
" Deuteronomy." Although it is heresy even to hint such 
a thing, yet it would seem that a fairly good case can 
be made out for the traditional view. Reference has 

1 Singularly enough, the A.V. of this verse appears to have been 
translated from the Samaritan Recension, not the Massoretic — a 
blunder which has been taken over from Luther, who seems to have 
had the Vulgate in his mind but to have taken Jerome's elegerit for 
perfect subjunctive instead of future perfect. The Douay agrees with 
the R.V. 


already been made to the peculiar dramatic and topo- 
graphic suitability of Moses in the Plains of Moab choosing 
Ebal and Gerizim and the valley between them as the 
theatre of the solemn ceremony of the blessing and the 
cursing, and the unlikeliness of any Jerusalem Jew making 
such a choice. There was a dramatic suitability in Moses, as 
his solemn farewell of the people whom he had led so long, 
repeating the heads of the Law he had enjoined on them, 
and reminding them of the leading events in their previous 
history under his command. But a Jerusalem Jew, obsessed 
with the glories of David and yet more of Solomon, would 
have difficulty in orienting himself to the implied circum- 
stances. Further, his efforts after topographic and dramatic 
fitness, even if most successful, would neither be recognised 
nor appreciated. The magnifying of the valley of Shechem 
above Mount Zion would tend to excite prejudice against 
the moral lesson to be taught. A moral teacher, especially 
if a Jew, as any one may learn from the Talmud, when 
devising a tale which is to be the vehicle of instruction 
would place every probability on one side in favour of the 
moral to be inculcated. It must never be forgotten that the 
artistic necessity of local colouring is a purely modern 

Then there are numerous signs of what to a plain man 
appear to be repetitions of what had already been narrated 
in the earlier books of the Law. The historical sections 
are avowed references to events recorded in Exodus and 
Numbers ; in the J and E documents certainly, but thus far is 
revealed the writer's intention to repeat what had already been 
recorded. But P has historical portions also ; in Num. xxxiii. 
1-49, there is an account of the journeys of the Children of 
Israel ; in Deut. x. 6-y, there is an extract from it ; the 
account of the journeys is assigned to P. In that same 
chapter of Deuteronomy there is an account of the making 
of the Ark of the Covenant which has all the appearance 
of being a compendious reference to the fuller account 
in Exod. xxv. 10-22 ; but that whole section in regard to 
the Tabernacle and its furniture is part of the P document. 
A more striking case is Deut. xxiv. 8-9, " Take heed in the 
plague of leprosy, that thou observe diligently, and do accord- 


ing to all that the priests the Levites shall teach you : as 
1 commanded them, so shall ye observe to do." That 
there is a reference to some commands already given to 
the Levites is indubitable ; any one but a critic would 
see these instructions to the Levites in the elaborate 
directions given to the priests by which they were to 
detect the disease, and the ceremonial restrictions under 
which they were to place the person infected to be found 
in Lev. xiii. and xiv. To avoid the deduction that there 
is a reference to the Levitical Law concerning leprosy, 
Dr Driver {Com. Deut., p. 275) thinks it enough to say : " The 
Law, as it stands here, cannot be taken as a proof that 
Lev. xiii. and xiv. existed in its present shape at the time 
when Deuteronomy was written " ; however, he admits that 
" it is sufficient evidence both that a Torah on the subject 
was in the possession of the priests, and the principles 
which it embodied were of recognised authority, and referred 
to Divine origin." Here is a divinely revealed Torah, in 
the hands of the priests, the principles of which were gen- 
erally known — all this would suit Leviticus as a book known 
and read ; Dr Driver advances no reason why it may not 
be here intended ; and there do not seem to be any save 
the exigencies of the Wellhausen theory. Again, the Feast 
of Tabernacles is enjoined in Deut. xvi. 13-15, but no word is 
said as to how it is to be observed, the audience addressed 
are supposed to know all about the way in which it is to 
be kept, of what the booths were to be made, and the holy 
convocations connected with the feast. All these are fully 
given in Lev. xxiii. 33-44, which Dr Driver assigns partly 
to H and partly to P. He introduces two passages from 
Exodus, ascribed to JE (Exod. xxiii. 16 ; xxxiv. 22), as if 
they were the source of the Deuteronomic legislation ; but 
these say nothing about "booths." He {Com. Deut., p. 197) 
admits that the explanation of the term " booths " is given 
in Leviticus ; why the Deuteronomic passage may not be 
held as referring to it is difficult to see, unless that it is 
contrary to the theory. These are by no means the only 
passages that might be quoted, in which to all but critics, 
there are references in Deuteronomy to the Priestly Code. 
On any reasonable system of evidence it must be held as 


proved, that so far from the Priestly Code being composed 
a century and a half after Deuteronomy, the converse is the 
case, at least in regard to relative priority. Hence the 
presence of Leviticus in the Samaritan Recension of the 
Torah affords no reason for post-dating that recension. 

But if the Law was brought by the priests sent by 
Esarhaddon then the Book of the Law contained 
Deuteronomy ; but this contradicts the hypothesis of the 
critical school, that it was composed in the reign of Josiah 
and was palmed off upon him as an ancient document. 
Thus there is necessitated a further consideration of this 
discovery of the Law. How was this book found ? There 
is no evidence that at that early date there was a library 
in the temple. It is against all criticism to believe even 
in Nehemiah's library (2 Mace. ii. 13). If there had been 
a library, of course the roll of the Law might have been 
found by Hilkiah as Bryennios found the MS. of the Didache 
in the library of the Patriarchate in Constantinople. But 
if that were so, the individualising of the copy has to 
be explained ; it is the Book of the Law, it is a copy defined 
and separate from all other copies. Some people seem 
to picture to themselves that among the rubbish of broken 
utensils, worn-out robes, etc., which would be turned over, in 
the course of the repairs a roll turned up, the like of 
which they had not seen before, and was found to be 
Deuteronomy. Still this leaves unexplained on the one 
hand what made it so interesting and special, on the other 
wherein consisted its novelty. 

May not the suggestion of Dr Edouard Naville be worthy 
of more consideration than it has received ? Arguing from 
the custom among the Egyptians to place in the foundation 
of their temples portions of the "Book of the Dead," he 
maintains that the Book of the Law found by Hilkiah was 
the copy of the Law placed in the foundation of the temple 
by Solomon when it was founded. This would explain the 
individualisation of the copy. The finding of it is explained 
by the fact that masons were employed, which implies that 
the structure of the building needed looking to. The stone 
of which the temple was built was limestone, and no stone 
is more unequal in its consistence ; sometimes it is hard 


and crystalline, at others it is soft and friable. It might 
easily happen that some of the huge foundation stones 
might be showing signs of decay. The replacing of them 
might reveal the Book of the Law that had been placed 
there by Solomon. That Solomon would follow the 
Egyptian fashion is extremely likely from the affinity he 
had made with that country in marrying Pharaoh's daughter. 
If the practice continued, as it may well have done, the roll, 
if roll it was, would, when found, be at once recognised. 
There might be difficulty in reading it as the script 
would have become by that time archaic. Hilkiah passes 
it to Shaphan, a professional scribe, to decipher. The 
effect the perusal has on Josiah is due to the interest excited 
by the ancient copy coming to light ; he had known that 
there was a law, but probably regarded it as a matter for 
the priests. The archaic lettering, that compelled attention 
to every word, would serve to deepen the impression 
conveyed by the contents. 

There is nothing to indicate that it was only Deuteronomy 
that was found. We have seen reason to believe that the 
writer of that book expected the P document to be known 
to his readers ; the knowledge of J and E are yet more 
clearly presupposed. So far as the narrative of the discovery 
is concerned, the whole Torah might have been inscribed 
on the roll which was found. The objection to this urged 
by some, is that the whole Law could not be read in the ears 
of the people (2 Kings xxiii. 2) in the course of a day. 
This, however, is not strictly true, as the whole Penta- 
teuch could be read through in sixteen hours. 1 But there 
is no need to press the word "all," as Orientals are not 
so scrupulous in the use of words denoting totality ; it 
would be enough if all the parts that mattered for the royal 
purpose of making the people recognise their serious condi- 
tion were read. But it must be observed that it is "all 
the words of the Book of the Covenant" that were read. 

1 The rate at which this is calculated is that at which the Scripture 
is read in church. In the synagogue the rate of reading is much 
more rapid. The Samaritans claim to read the whole Law, inter- 
spersed with hymns, in the synagogue, between sunset and sunrise 
(see Chap. V., p. 134), on the Day of Atonement. 


If this "Book of the Covenant" coincided with what critical 
opinion has denoted by that title, then it could have been 
read, at the rate above taken, in less than half an hour. 
The effect this reading had on king and people was due, 
not to the fact that the contents were absolutely novel, 
but to the realisation for the first time that the precepts 
were meant to be obeyed and had not been, and that in 
consequence a curse was impending. 

If the idea of Xaville that the copy of the Law found 
was that placed in the foundation of the temple by Solomon 
be pressed, then the Torah must have been already sacro- 
sanct in the days of Solomon. This inevitably leads us 
back to the days of Samuel the Prophet at the latest. 
As an alternative theory to the traditional view that Moses 
wrote the whole Pentateuch, it might be suggested that 
it was under the Inspiration and Guidance of Samuel that 
the stories of Genesis were collected and the priestly and 
Levitical duties systematised. If the book of Deuteronomy 
in the main be assigned to Moses, and the other portions 
directly assigned to him are put to the one side and admitted 
to be Mosaic, at least in the main, then the Jehovist of 
the South and the Elohist of the North, with the writer 
of the Priestly Code are all to be dated between the Mosaic 
period and the time of Samuel, and consequently all be 
antedated by nearly three-quarters of a millennium. Samuel 
had formed the schools of the prophets ; these a couple 
of centuries later became powerful political instruments in 
the hands of Elijah and Elisha. A similar development of 
a political agent from a religious order is seen in the history 
of the Egyptian monks of the fifth century. Religious and 
contemplative at the beginning, under the guidance of Cyril 
of Alexandria, and still more of his successor Dioscorus, they 
became formidable instruments in ecclesiastical politics. 
But the monks had other activities; most of the greater 
monasteries had libraries, and these were replenished mainly 
by the pens of the inmates. Unless the " Sons of the 
Prophets" had some literary activity of this sort, it is 
difficult to understand why they were gathered together 
into communities. If, like the mediaeval monks, man) - of 
the members of the prophetic schools became scribes, then 


the recording of the events in Genesis and Exodus might 
readily be understood. 

These prophetic compilations need not have been merely 
the fixing in written form of popular legends floating about 
among the people. For much that is recorded there may 
have been documents. If Conder's theory is correct these 
primitive documents would be written in cuneiform, and 
some of them, at any rate, brought from Mesopotamia. It 
seems extremely probable that the accounts of Creation, of 
the Garden of Eden, of the Flood may have been on clay 
tablets in the possession of Abraham, as also the genealogies 
of the earlier patriarchs. In a similar way the histories of 
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and even Joseph may have been 
preserved. Probably stone tablets would take the place of 
those of clay, if not before, at all events during the Wilderness 
journey. This may be regarded as indicated by the fact that 
the " Ten Words " were written on " tables of stone " ; if so, 
the events of the forty years would be in that way recorded. 
Events connected with the conquest of Canaan not un- 
likely would thus also be preserved in memory. The 
statement of the boundaries of the different tribes, and the 
towns assigned to them, has the aspect of being an official 
document. The book of Judges certainly has more the look 
of a collection of legends ; yet when it is compared with the 
ordinary tales of Orientals, as seen in the " Thousand and 
One Nights," the stories have a sobriety and restraint which 
suggest documents behind. Moreover, the Song of Deborah, 
the Story of Micah and the Danites, and that concerning 
the matter of Gibeah, have all the appearance of having 
existed independently, like the book of Ruth, which seems 
to have been, at one time, conjoined to the book of Judges. 
Later events would be recorded by the prophets as they 

There is a circumstance to be noted here, referred to 
and somewhat developed in an earlier chapter, which has 
a bearing on the chronology of the evolution of Pentateuchal 
doctrines. While the writer of the book of Judges has no 
scruple in recording the deeds of Gideon under the name 
of Jerubbaal, and as may be learned from the book of 
Chronicles, Saul and Jonathan were deterred by no religious 


scruple from calling their sons by names involving " Baal," 
in the next generation all this is changed, and " Baal " 
(Lord) becomes bosheth, "folly." Israel began to obey 
literally the precept of Exod. xxiii. 13, "Make no mention 
of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of 
thy mouth." This cannot be ascribed to scribal redaction, 
otherwise " Jerubbaal " would not so freely appear in the 
book of Judges. The reign of David appears to be the 
dividing line ; before this the command was neglected, but 
after his accession it is observed. With David too begins 
reference to the Law; he urges his son Solomon (1 Kings 
ii. 3) to "keep the charge of the Lord thy God ... as 
it is written in the Law of Moses." After this the references 
to the Law are not infrequent in Kings. Of course all these 
cases are called interpolations, and credited to the Deuter- 
onomic Redactor. The sole evidence against these incrim- 
inated passages is the exigence of the theory ; equally of 
course, this is not admitted. This method of ruling out 
everything that tends to the disproof of a theory is surely 
utterly unscientific. A free, and it is to be admitted a some- 
what extensive application of it to Alison's History of 
Europe would enable one to justify the assertion that in 
that voluminous work there is no mention of Napoleon 
Bonaparte, all the hundreds of pages devoted to his 
exploits being ascribed to a Bonapartist Redactor. Only 
a little step and the work so expurgated might be quoted 
in support of Whately's Historic Doubts of Napoleon 
Bonaparte. Before such a method can claim to be scientific, 
those who use it must bring forward an analogous case in 
which a whole literature has been adulterated wholesale 
in the interest of certain opinions. 

The subject, however, can be approached from another 
side — from the side of Samaritan history. Earlier by a 
generation than Josiah's renewal of his great-grandfather's 
effort to secure unity of worship was the mission of the 
Israelitish priests, under Esarhaddon's orders, to teach 
the Assyrian colonists the " manner of the God of the land." 
It is certainly not said that they brought with them a " Book 
of the Law," any more than it is said that Manasseh carried 
a copy with him to Samaria. The probability is rendered 


considerable in the case of the priests by the fact that, 
as is well known, both Esarhaddon and his son Asshur-bani- 
pal were great collectors of rituals of worship, and of 
religious formulae. This tendency on the part of these 
monarchs implies a similar tendency widely spread among 
their subjects. If that is so, neither would Esarhaddon, who 
sent these priests, nor would the colonists to whom they 
were sent, regard them as properly equipped if they merely 
could convey a verbal tradition as to the true ritual of 
JHWH's worship, but had no authenticating documents. 
When, a century and a half later, the Samaritans desire 
to co-operate with the Jews in rebuilding the temple, they 
claim that they have been worshipping JHWH since the 
days of Esarhaddon, and their claim is not disallowed. It 
has been shown to be impossible that Manasseh could 
have conveyed to the Samaritans their first knowledge 
of the Pentateuchal Law ; hence that Law must have been 
brought to them at the latest by those priests from Assyria. 

As, however, the Law which the Israelite priests brought 
with them .from Assyria must have been that/with which they 
had been acquainted, before they had been carried away into 
captivity, the Mosaic Law must have been obeyed in Israel 
before the fall of Samaria. This being so the question 
falls to be answered : When did they get the Torah ? The 
Mosaic Law could not have been introduced by the dynasty 
of Jehu; even the greatest of that House, Jeroboam II., was 
at odds with the religious part of the nation. As has been 
shown in an earlier chapter, from the prophecies of Amos, 
the Mosaic ritual was quite understood in the time of 
Jeroboam II. Still less could Mosaism have been introduced 
by the dynasty of the House of Omri, with their sympathy 
with Baal-worship. The introduction of the worship by the 
calves at Bethel and at Dan renders any share in this 
revolution by Jeroboam the son of Nebat inconceivable. 
So the line is led again by another route through Solomon 
and David back to Samuel. The very eagerness with which 
David and Solomon pressed towards the erection of a 
central shrine proves the power over them of one of the 
ruling ideas of the Deuteronomic legislation. Their desire 
that the central shrine, the sacred hearth of the nation, 


should be a temple not a tent only emphasizes this. The 
ritual of sacrifice followed by Solomon in the dedication 
of the temple is in strict accordance with the Priestly Code, 
even embracing the distinction between priests and Levites — 
a distinction that, according to critical opinion, was not 
recognised by the Deuteronomists ; Dr Burney (Kings, 
p. 105) admits that the whole dedication ceremony is from 
the standpoint of P. As all Israel was present at the 
dedication of the Great Temple to JHWH, all the ceremonies 
would be observed and known to the whole people and 
have been acquiesced in by them. This is corroborative of 
Naville's suggestion that a copy of the Law, not merely 
Deuteronomy as he says, but the whole Law, complete in 
all essentials, was placed by Solomon in the foundation of 
the temple. 

The completed law-book would seem, as has been 
shown above, to date back to the days of Samuel. But 
Samuel and the prophets were not authors so much as 
editors, so far as the Pentateuch is concerned. Further into 
antiquity the search for origins cannot be carried, unless the 
mounds of Egypt or the Tells of Palestine yield up from their 
hidden hoards of ostraka, clay tablets, or papyri information 
bearing on the question. There may have been collections 
of tales of the patriarchs preserved among the different 
tribes ; and these may have mainly been segregated in 
Northern and Southern groups, comprising the E and the 
J documents respectively. While the components of Genesis 
may be divided perpendicularly and geographically into 
those from the North and those from the South, there are 
also traces of chronological strata. The traditions of 
Abraham have more of the primitive about them, more 
of the free air of the desert, than have the tales about 
Jacob, still more than those of Joseph. Nothing more 
perfectly primitive and Oriental can be conceived than the 
narrative of Abraham's purchase of the Cave of Machpelah. 
The contest in wits between Jacob and Laban is Oriental 
and primitive, but the primitive element is not so marked 
as in the Abrahamic narratives. A comparison of the 
histories of Genesis with Arabic traditional tales, reveals the 
brevity and still more the sobriety of the Bible narratives. 


This implies that they were early committed to writing ; 
probably the writing was cuneiform and incised on clay 
tablets originally : not impossibly in Canaan they adopted 
the script of the region. In default of clay suitable for 
tablets, the writing might be scratched on slabs of limestone, 
or plates of metal. In regard to these primitive narratives 
readers in these later days may see the influence of Divine 
Providence in the selection, composition, and preservation 
of them. 

The stories of Creation and of the Flood probably were 
brought with the patriarchs from Mesopotamia. They, 
however, represent the tradition in a much more primitive 
form than they appear in the Creation tablets of Nineveh. 
Few narratives are more grotesque than the Babylonian 
story of the Creation by the splitting of Tehom, the mother 
of the gods, longitudinally into halves by her own grandson 
Marduk. One can more easily see the evolution of the 
Babylonian tale from the Hebrew than the reverse. The 
Babylonian narrative is much the longer and more elaborate. 
It is a maxim of criticism generally acknowledged, that 
other things being equal the shorter and simpler form of 
a legend is the more primitive. The likeness between the 
Babylonian tradition of the Flood and the Hebrew story 
of the Noachian Deluge is much greater than between the 
two Creation stories ; but this only brings out more 
clearly the relatively primitive character of the Hebrew 
narrative ; the Babylonian Noah brings into his ark with him 
his wealth and his slaves, an evidence of a much more 
developed state of society. Not unlikely the ethnological 
tables of Gen. x. were also equally primitive, though as 
they seem to reckon the nations from Palestine as a centre 
they probably were not of Babylonian origin. Most of this 
chapter is assigned to P and therefore must, in accordance 
with the critical hypotheses, have been written in Babylon 
notwithstanding its Palestinian outlook. 

To thus placing the origin of the priestly document away 
back in the earlier limits of historic time there are several 
objections which have to be met The most obvious and 
important is that prominent persons, so far as their actions 
are recorded in the historical books, ignore the prescriptions 


of the Levitical Law and Deuteronomic Code, and so it may 
be argued that the Law was unknown. There is no word of 
Elijah, zealous though he is for JHWH of Hosts, going to 
worship at Jerusalem ; the same thing must be said of 
Elisha. Though the argumentum e silentio is not at any 
time a safe one, yet with the full records of their lives given 
in the books of Kings the absence of all reference to the 
temple on Mount Zion is singular. 1 Further, Elijah's sacrifice 
on Carmel seems an intrusion on the priest's office. As to 
this last the relation of the prophetic to the priestly office is 
not defined ; we do not know how far the divinely inspired 
seer might supersede the more customary action of the 
priest. In the Divine economy there is always room for the 
miraculous. This has been discussed above in a previous 

But the ignoring of a law cannot be assumed as evidence 
that it was unknown, else it might be reasoned that the 
decalogue, or at all events the second commandment is 
unknown in all Roman Catholic Christendom. The second 
commandment forbids the making of images and worshipping 
them. Yet in every Catholic Church of any pretension there 
are images of the Saints, especially of the Virgin Mother, 
and before them kneeling worshippers. This is acquiesced 
in by men of whose piety there can be no doubt. We never 
read of St Anselrri, St Francis of Assisi, or Blaise Pascal 
denouncing this disregard of the Law of God. They excused 
the practice by drawing a distinction between the worship 
offered to the images of the Saints and that offered to God. 
The prophets might justify their acquiescence in modes of 

1 The argumertum e silentio is peculiarly unsafe in regard to such 
annals as are found in the books of Kings. Although the accounts of 
the activities of the two conspicuous prophets Elijah and Elisha are 
recorded with relatively great fulness, yet the incidents related are all 
isolated to such an extent that their chronological succession is by no 
means certain. They may well have repeatedly worshipped at the 
shrine on Mount Zion and yet no note of this be preserved in the sacred 
books. If they were habitual worshippers there, and it were the note 
of the religious in Israel to do so {cf. Tob. i. 4), still less likely would it 
be to be recorded. The article in the Encyclopaedia Britannica on 
William Wilberforce of anti - slavery fame never mentions that he 
attended church (see p. 82). 


worship which seem to us in flagrant opposition to the Divine 
Law, by arguments as specious as do the Romanists their 
Saint - worship and image - worship. Further, when it is 
recollected how scanty is the knowledge we have of the state 
of matters in the Northern Kingdom of Israel great caution 
must be used in making deductions from such facts as are 

The Samaritans are a dwindling race ; indeed for aught 
that is known their last community, that in Nablus, may 
have been massacred during this war, as the numerous other 
communities of the race have been before this, by the Turks. 
It is well to retain what knowledge we have. So long as 
they remain they are witnesses for the nature of the Religion 
of Israel in primitive times. If, as has been said, the Jews 
are a testimony to the truth of Christianity then the 
Samaritans enhance that testimony by their own. 1 

Tr> gnmman'g^ thr> prerediruy ar gument — the endeavoux- 
has been to show that th e' bamaritans^did not "get th& 
p^ntatpnrh trnm hVra hut had ft before. T he reasons for 
this conclusion are as follows: (i) After the deportation of 
the leading inhabitants by Sargon, the great mass of the 
population left were still Israelites and therefore had the 
Israelite Religion in its original form, whether its ritual 
were regulated by legislation preserved in a book or not. 
(2) Their history proves that they held to their faith with 
great tenacity ; enduring persecutions of intense severity from 
each successive sovereign power, whether heathen, Christian, 
or Moslem, without abjuring it. (3) From the prophets H , ps P a^ 
and more particularly Am os, it is p roved that the Northern. 
tribes knew and practised the Mosaic ritual long before 
the captivity of Samaria. The}' had at the same time a form 
of worship under the presidency of the prophets, analogous 
to that of the synagogue of later days. From these prophets 
also there is evidence that the histories of the Torah were 
known as well as its ritual. (4) It must be assumed that 
the mission of the priests from Esarhaddon is historical. 

1 This was written in 191 7, but Rev. W. M. Christie, Tiberias, under 
date 21st March 1919, communicates the information that the Samaritan 
community was reported safe, numbering 152, and in possession of all 
their rolls. 


The respect the Sargonids had for written formula of worship 
suggests that the priests in question would be supplied with 
these. Such a collection of ritual directions is found in the 
Torah, the Pentateuch. (5) As it was not part of t he Law , 
the book of Joshua was not "brought by the priests. Joshua 
was a prophetic book and the Xinevite government suspected 
the influence of the prophets ; hence none of the prophetic 
books are in the Samaritan Canon. On the critical hypo- 
thesis that Manasseh carried the Law to Samaria, his 
omission to convey Joshua also is inexplicable. (6) The 
alleged finding of Deuteronomy, in the reign of Josiah, which 
would militate against this, is disproved (a) by the narra- 
tive of its discovery ; it is " The Book of the Law " which 
Hilkiah says that they have found. Were it the copy of the 
Torah, not merely Deuteronomy, which, in accordance with 
Egyptian practice, Solomon had placed in the foundation ot 
the temple, this individualisation would be intelligible, (b) 
Its contents prove that it could not have been written by a 
Jerusalem Jew to give Mosaic authority to the Psalmist's 
claim that JHWH had chosen Mount Zion to put His Name 
there ; while Zion is never mentioned, Ebal and Gerizim are 
singled out for special notice. (V) Deuteronomy cannot hav e 
been written before the Pri estly Code because in ce rtain 
points it implies its existence, e.g., the Law of Leprosy, and 
the way to observe the Feast of Tabernacles. (7) While the 
ritual of the Samaritans differs from that of the Jews only in 
minute points, these all indicate the Samaritan to be the 
simpler and more primitive. Consequently it is unlikely 
that they borrowed from the Jews. (8) Although the script 
of the Samaritans is practically identical with that of the 
Jews of the time of the Maccabees, the two did not alter 
in parallel lines. The Samaritan script has remained 
fixed, while the Jews have evolved the square character and 
the Rabbinic. (9 ) By comparing the two recensions we 
have endeavoured to show that they parted company when 
the manuscripts of both were written in a script like that 
found in Ba'al-Lebanon inscription, which appears to be 
contemporary with Solomon. (10) While it is almost 
impossible to believe that Ezra, a Babylonian scribe, who 
though a p riest had never "even seen a legitimate sacrific e 


could persuade the Jerusalem priests to remodel the system of 
ritual which they had practised for nearly a century in accord- 
ance with a document brought by him from B abylon^ it is 
absolutely inconceivable, in the first place, that^ManasseK} a 
priest banished bv the influence of Ezr a, would convey Ezra's 
Code to the place of his banishment, and endeavour success- 
fully to enforce it on those around him there. In the next 
place, it passes belief that the Samaritans, despite their 
obstinate preference for their own customs, should accept from 
this runagate priest the Ezrahitic Code, with all its varia- 
tions from the ritual to which they had been accustomed 
for centuries. They would, one should think, be all the less 
likely to accept this teaching from him as in accordance with 
it he had been banished. Some would post-date this flighted 
Manasseh by a century in accordance wiih Josephus. Besides 
the improbability in itself of~this amended hypothesis, it is 
involved in the century which Josephus mysteriously omits. 

For these reasons we venture to maintain that it is 
impossible to believe that the Pentateuch was only completed 
with the arriv al ot £zra at Jerus alem. 

As a parallel historical instance is frequently more 
illuminative than an abstract statement, we would suggest 
that a condition of things similar to that when Ezra arrived at 
Jerusalem from Babylon occurred at the rise of the Tractarian 
movement in Oxford in the early thirties. Neither Pusey nor 
Newman alleged that they had discovered a new and more 
authentic prayer-book ; they asserted that the rubrics of the 
book in use were not observed, that the discipline implied 
in them was not enforced. Precisely similar was the attitude 
assumed by \ Ezraj n regard to the Law, especially that 
relating to marriage with those of other nationalities. He 
did not profess to introduce a new Law, but denounced the 
non-observance of that given to their fathers at Mount Sinai. 

Had the Tractarians in the beginning of the Oxford 
movement produced a brand new prayer-book and called 
upon all churchmen to adjust their worship to it, and to it 
alone, they would never have been listened to. Still less 
would Ezra have been obeyed in Jerusalem if Leviticus 
had never been heard of before he produced it. Its novelty 
would at once have condemned it. 



In regard to every ancient writing, which has passed from the 
stage of manuscript to that of print, it is important that the 
authorities on which the printed text is founded should be 
known and estimated. In regard to the Samaritan Penta- 
teuch this is all the more necessary that its variations from 
the Massoretic text are usually minute. Recognising this, 
Dr Blayney appends a list of MSS. in European libraries, 
and therefore open to scholars, to the preface of his trans- 
cription into the ordinary square character of the Samaritan 
text of Walton's Polyglot. These have been extracted from 
Kennicott's List of Hebrew Manuscripts. While Blayney 
gives a description of each he does not seem to have 
recognised the importance of the tarikh, i.e., the colophon 
inserted in the text of Samaritan MSS., which gives the 
name of the scribe, the date, and place of writing. In his 
text while he follows Walton he notes the variations from the 
polyglot text to be found in the different codices. Walton's 
text appears to have been taken from only one manuscript, 
and that a somewhat inaccurate one. About three-quarters 
of a century later Immanuel Deutsch wrote his article in 
Smith's Dictionary of the Bible on the Samaritan Pentateuch, 
and appended to it a list of manuscripts borrowed from 
Blayney's, leaving out one or two that were fragmentary and 
adding two which seemed to have disappeared. One is a 
fragment in the Ducal Library, Gotha ; the other is said to 
be in the library of the Comte de Paris in London. Dr 
Deutsch only mentions, even with these two, eighteen 
manuscripts. 1 

1 The writer has made every effort to get information about this 
codex which Dr Deutsch alleged to be in the library of the Comte de 
Paris in London, when he wrote in 1863. Thinking that the Count's 
library might be broken up, and its treasures dispersed, it occurred to 
him that it might be one of the codices in the Rylands Library about which 
Freiherr von Gall was unable to get full information. He made inquiries 




A decided contrast to this is the list Freiherr von 
Gall inserts in the prolegomena to his edition of the 
Samaritan Pentateuch. The extent of the list is the first 
thing that strikes the reader. The Freiherr following the 
method of designation adopted by New Testament critics 
has used letters of the alphabet to denote the different MSS. ; 
in this process he not only exhausts the whole Roman 
alphabet, but has to draw on the German black-letter 
alphabet to the extent of fifteen letters ; thus he catalogues 
no less than forty " more or less complete " {inehr oder 
weniger vollstandige) manuscripts. Besides these, he denotes 
some thirty groups of fragments of MS. rolls, and twenty- 
five groups of fragments from MS. codices. Several of the 
codices he has described very fully, transcribing into square 
character not only the tarikh which tells the name of the 
scribe, where and when he wrote, but also the note frequently 
appended which tells of the subsequent purchase of the 
codex by some person of wealth, with his genealogy. There 
is of course duly notified by Freiherr von Gall the number 
of sheets of paper or parchment used in its composition, the 
number of lines in the page, whether or not it is accom- 
panied by the Targum or by an Arabic version in Samaritan 
characters. Eleven of the forty MSS. are merely denoted, 
not described ; the only information given is regarding the 
place where it may be found and its present possessors : 
concerning one of these not even these items can be given 
as it has disappeared. Blayney relates that it had been 
bought for Kennicott from a Jew of Frankfort. At the death 
of Kennicott it was unfortunately sold and has in vain been 
sought for since. It had been in the possession of Hottinger, 
who as Kennicott has noted had added varies lectiones from 
the Leyden MS. Scholarship has to thank Freiherr von 
Gall for his careful list of authorities, and for designating the 
different manuscripts by letters ; thus one is enabled to refer 
succinctly to the different authorities for the text. It may 
be regarded as a piece of Teutonism on the part of the 

at the authorities of that library, but found as elsewhere shown that it 
was not one of them. Knowing Dr Cowley's unrivalled knowledge in 
regard to things Samaritan, the writer put his difficulties before him. 
Dr Cowley very kindly made inquiries and discovered that the library 
of the Comte de Paris had not been broken up. Further, he endeavoured 
to get into communication with the Due d'Orleans, the son of the 
Comte de Paris, but in vain. At Dr Cowley's advice the writer himself 
sent, on 8th December 1918, a letter to the Due d'Orleans, as it was under- 
stood he would have his father's library, respectfully asking about the 
missing MS., expecting to have a note of some sort from the Duke's 
secretary; up to the time of writing, 20th April 1919, he has had no reply. 


Freiherr that he begins his list with a codex, the only- 
apparent reason for such a precedence being assigned to 
which is the fact that it is in the possession of the German 
University of Leipzig ; and the letter A designates it. It 
has no claim to precedence either on account of its age, its 
history, or its completeness. One should have expected that 
the codex brought to Europe by Pietro della Valle, as that 
which first drew attention to the Samaritan Pentateuch, 
would have been named and designated first. It might 
possibly be answered that in New Testament criticism 
Codex A has no intrinsic merits to explain its apparent 
primacy. In the circumstances it may be convenient to 
adopt the designations of the leading MSS. which Freiherr 
von Gall has used ; the more so that another independent 
text is not likely to be thought of for many decades to come. 
The following is a condensation of von Gall's list : — 

A. University Library, Leipzig; consists of 160 leaves 
parchment ; 32 lines to the page. It is imperfect at the 
beginning and end, beginning with Gen. xi. 31, and ends 
with Deut. iv. 37. The cryptogram is not complete, but 
as the scribe is the same who wrote the codex brought 
to Europe by della Valle in which the cryptogram is complete 
and gives the date, it may be assumed that this was written 
about A.D. 1345. 

B. Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, cat. 2 (Kennicott, 363), 
complete ; consists of 254 leaves of parchment ; 30 lines 
to the page. It is dated " in the seven hundred and forty- 
sixth year of the rule of the sons of Ishmael " ; A.H. 746 = 
A.D. 1345. This manuscript was that, as said above, which 
Pietro della Valle brought to Europe in 1616. Whether it 
is earlier or later than that in Leipzig there is no means 
of deciding. 

C. Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, cat. 2 (Kennicott, 333) ; 
ff. 168 ; parchment ; 36-39 lines to page ; dated AH. 885 
(a.d. 1480-81). It begins Gen. i. 20. It has several lacunae 
involving 6 ff. 

D. Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, cat. 3 (Kennicott, 221) ; 
ff. 284. It contains manuscripts of various dates ; some of 
the leaves are paper, some parchment. Von Gall reckons 
no less than eleven different hands. The date from the 
cryptogram of D 10 , A.H. 577 (a.D. 1 181-82) to this date, von 
Gall would ascribe D 1 ; D 3 he would date the following 
century. There is a note of purchase of D 2 ; date, A.H. 885 
(A.D. 1480-81). 


E. Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, cat. 4 (Kennicott, 364) ; 
ff. 169 ; not from one hand. The main portion of it from 
Exod. i. 1 (f. 46^) to end of Deuteronomy designated E 1 ; 
35 lines to page. Genesis he designated E 2 ; 32 lines to 
page. The date of E 1 is A.H. 889 (A.D. 1484). At the end 
of Genesis there is a note of purchase dated A.H. 986 
(A.D. 1578-79). 

F. Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, cat. 1 (Kennicott, 334) ; 
ff. 258; parchment; 24 lines to page. Begins Gen. xviii. 2 
and ends Deut. vii. 5 ; it wants f. containing Lev. xiv. 40 to 
xvii. 4. The cryptogram is awanting, but von Gall would 
date it thirteenth century. 

G. Universitats Bibliothek, Leyden (Kennicott, 183); 
ff. 170 ; of various origin and age. The beginning of Genesis, 
ff. 1-4 (Gen. i. 1 to iv. 19), are by a very recent and European 
hand. The scribe painted rather than wrote the letters, 
without any knowledge of them, and paid no respect to 
punctuation. From Gen. iv. 19 to Num. v. 22 (ff. 5-1 n) 
designated G 1 ; 42 lines to page. From Num. v. 23 to xvi. 22 
(ff. 1 12-122) G 2 ; 40 lines to page. From Num. xvi. 23 to 
Deut. xxxiii. 27 (ff. 123-169), G 3 ; 41 lines to page. The 
last f. contains the end of Deut. from xxxiii. 28 to conclusion. 
The cryptogram at the end of G 3 is dated A.H. 751 
(A.D. 1350). 

H. Imperial Public Library, Petrograd ; ff. 134; parch- 
ment; 39-41 lines. Main portion Gen. xxvi. 21 to Deut. 
xiv. 23, designated H 1 . From Deut. xxiii. 7 to xxxiv. 12 
by another hand, designated H 2 . The beginning and other 
missing portions supplied by a modern hand, designated h. 
Date of H 1 , A.H. 840 (a.d. 1436-37). 

I. Imperial Public Library, Petrograd ; ff. 226 ; parch- 
ment. Gen. i. 16 to end of Deuteronomy; 32-35 lines. Written 
in Cairo, A.H. 881 (a.d. 1476). 

K. Ambrosian Library, Milan (Kennicott, 197). 

L. Vatican Library, Rome (Kennicott, 503). 

M. Vatican Library, Rome (Kennicott, 504), formerly 
in the Barberini Library; ff. 266, of which 182 are old and 
parchment, the rest paper written by a later hand. Three 
columns on the page — Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic ; 42-44 
lines a column. Date of M 1 , A.H. 624 (A.D. 1226-27). 
Various hands represented in the rest ; part dated A.H. 887 
(A.D. 1482). 


N. British Museum, London; ff. 254, 4to; parchment. 
Contains the whole Pentateuch ; it is interleaved with white 
paper; 31-32 lines; date, A.H. 764 (A.D. 1362). 

O. British Museum, London. The whole Pentateuch with 
Arabic version. 

P. British Museum, London. Parchment ; ff. 97 ; contains 
the whole Pentateuch; date, A.H. 845 (a.d. 1441-42); 45-52 

Q. British Museum, London. Parchment; ff. 254, 4to ; 
wants beginning and end of Pentateuch ; f. 1 in tatters ; 
fragments of Gen. iii. 14 to v. 2 ; f. 2 begins v. 3 and ends 
with Deut. xxix. 9.; date, A.H. 761 (A.D. 1359-60); 32-33 

R. British Museum, London. Vellum ; ff. 223 ; date, 
thirteenth century. 

S. British Museum, London. Paper; ff. 119. a.d. 1494 
has some restorations. 

T. British Museum, London. Paper; ff. 451, 8vo ; 
A.D. 1759. 

U. British Museum, London. Paper; ff. 271, 4to; 
date, 1356. 

V. British Museum, London. Parchment; ff. 199; 32 
lines; date, a.h. 740 (a.d. 1339-40). Written by the same 
hand as A and B. 

W. Bodleian Library, Oxford (Kennicott, 61). Belongs 
to a set of six copies of which N is also one. Von Gall traces 
eleven hands at work ; approximate date seventeenth 
century ; varies from 29 to 35 lines. Material partly paper 
and partly parchment. 

X. Bodleian Library, Oxford (Kennicott, 62). Parch- 
ment ; very imperfect. It is mainly the work of two hands. 
There is an Arabic version parallel with the Hebrew, written 
in Samaritan characters. A portion of it is dated A.H. 931 
(A.D. 1525). 

Y. Bodleian Library, Oxford (Kennicott, 63). Parchment 
mainly, compiled, and by various hands. It is of different 
dates. Dr Cowley has identified the work of eleven different 
scribes in all. One of these, Y 3 , is dated A.H. 741 (a.D. 

Z. Bodleian Library, Oxford (Kennicott, 64). Partly 
parchment, partly paper ; ff. 188. The portions in parchment 


are ff. 3, 4, 170-177 ; the body of the codex ff. 5-169 are 
in paper; another hand has supplied f. 2 and ff. 178-182. 
The codex thus still incomplete appears to have been 
brought to Europe and completed. 

H. Bodleian Library, Oxford (Kennicott, 65). Parch- 
ment, except from Deut. xxxiii. 1 to end; ff. 258; small 
format, 5-2 inches by 4, from 24 to 33 lines. This codex 
belonged to Archbishop Marsh, the gift of Huntington, who 
had bought it in Nablus in 1690. The original MS. is dated 
A.H. 911 (A.D. 1505). The leaf in paper was written the 
same year as Huntington secured it. 

!JB. Bodleian Library, Oxford (Kennicott, 66). Parch- 
ment ; ff. 132 ; very small format, 3-6 inches by 2. It begins 
with Gen. iv. 1, and ends with Deut. xxxi. 2. Dated 
according to cryptogram, A.H. 721 (a.d. 1321). 

C. Westminster College, Cambridge (England). The 
gift of Mrs Lewis and Mrs Gibson. Mostly parchment ; 
ff. 380. It is in two columns on the page, Hebrew on the 
right, Arabic in Samaritan characters left. Date by crypto- 
gram, A.H. 909 (a.d. 1504); improved and completed, AH. 
1306 (A.D. 1888). 

2D. University Library, Cambridge (England). Parch- 
ment ; ff. 244 (paper 1-4, 243, 244); dated A.H. 610 
(AD. 12 1 3); 30 lines. 

j£. University Library, Cambridge (England); ff. 312, 
of which 2-305 are parchment; f. 1 and ff. 306-312, modern 
completion on paper. Gen. i. 11 to Deut. xxx. n. There 
are two columns on the page, Hebrew and Arabic version. 
Date, A.H. 616 (A.D. 1219-20). 

jf . Public Library, New York ; completed at beginning 
and end with paper ; ff. 275 ; from ff. 3 to 269, parchment ; 
26-29 lines; date, A.H. 629 (a.d. 1231-32). 

(5. The property of David Solomon Sassoon, Esq., 
London. Parchment mainly, completed with paper. Very 
small format, 4 inches by 3-2; ff. 450. Date a little doubt- 
ful as cryptogram defective. Von Gall thinks it may belong 
to the end of the fourteenth or the beginning of the 
fifteenth century. 

1b. (Kennicott, 299). Since the death of Kennicott in 
1783 this MS. has disappeared. It was interleaved and 
was dated 16 10. 


3» The property of Dr Gaster, London. Parchment ; 
fif. 219, of which 13 are recent, and paper. Written in 
Cairo ; date, A.H. 915 (AD. 1509-10). 

1k» Rylands Library, Manchester. Dated A.H. 608 
(A.B. 121 1). 

X. Rylands Library, Manchester. Has Arabic version. 
Egypt; dated A.H. 729 (ad. 1328). 1 

flD. Rylands Library, Manchester. Has Arabic version 
and vowel signs. 

Through the kindness of my friends, Dr Rendel Harris 
and the Rev. J. C. Nicol, M.A., Eccles, Manchester, I am 
enabled to supplement the list of MSS. given by von Gall, 
with a description of the codices in the Rylands Library, 

Rylands No. I. (designated by von Gall Ik). Vellum. 
Leaves 300 ; lines to page 26 ; total height 10-9 inches, 
breadth 9-2; text, height 7-2, breadth 5-9. It is written in 
bold Majuscular characters. The text begins on the outer 
side of the first leaf. This first page is largely illegible ; 
it suffers also from the bottom of the first leaf having been 
torn away; the second page suffers also in that mutilation. 
The last four leaves consist of four fragments, amounting 
altogether to the equivalent of one full page. The third 
last page ends with disconnected letters in Samaritan. This 
codex has probably been written for liturgic use. 

The Tarikh is as follows: — "I, Abi Berahhathah, son 
of Ab Sason, son of ibn Moshe, son of Abraham, examined 
and copied this holy Torah for the two brothers, Tobiah and 
Asaph, sons of Sa'deh, son of Izhaq, in the year 608 of the 
rule of the sons of Ishmael." This is equivalent in our 
reckoning to A.D. 121 1. 

Rylands No. II. (Library No. E. Designated by von 
Gall %). Vellum. Double columns; Hebrew with Arabic 
version. Leaves, 220 ; lines, from 45 to 50. Complete, 
save that the first three leaves have been torn at the bottom. 
Total height \yS inches, breadth u-8; height of text varies 
from 9 to io- 1, breadth 8-3 to 8-6. 

The Tarikh : " This holy Torah has been copied by the 
slave, poor before his rich God, Habib, son of Yaqub the 
copyist, son of Musellimal Nazir for Yaqub, son of Yukasah 

1 This is a mistake in arithmetic on the part of von Gall ; the real 
date is 1321. 



(and it is two complete copies) in the month Muharram, 
in the year 721 of the rule of the sons of Ishmael." This 
gives the date in our reckoning A.D. 1321. Freiherr von 
Gall notes that it was copied in Egypt. 

Rylands No. III. (Library No. V. Designated by von 
Gall fty). This codex has been compiled from fragments 
in different handwritings, with many and extensive lacuna ; 
some of these have been filled up from Blayney's transcrip- 
tion, retranscribed into Samaritan characters. The frag- 
ments from the different books of the Pentateuch are 
segregated, and the different handwritings are indicated 
by a distinguishing letter. Leaves 158; — Gen. 1-18, Exod. 
19-62, Lev. 63-90, Num. 91-124, Deut. 125-158. The 
different portions differ in height and breadth. Genesis 
is uniform throughout; total height 9-3 inches, breadth 7-5 ; 
text, height 6-4, breadth 5-5 ; lines to page 28. Exodus and 
the other books are made up of fragments by many different 
hands; total height 103 inches, breadth 8-5 ; height of text 
7 inches, breadth 6 ; lines to page, varying from 23 to 27. 
There is no tarikh, consequently the date of the various 
portions is a matter of conjecture. According to von Gall 
it has an Arabic version. The last leaf is torn vertically, 
and the greater part of the text is awanting. 

Rylands No. IV. (not mentioned by von Gall). This 
codex consists of 179 leaves; total height 12-8 inches, 
breadth 9; text, height 8-4 inches, breadth varying, but 
maximum 6-2. It contains Genesis and Exodus with Arabic 
version in double columns, Hebrew and Arabic. Three 
wanting at the beginning. This codex is in beautifully 
clear handwriting. 

1R. The property of W. Scott Watson, Esq., West 
New York, N.J. Parchment ; ff. 80. Grant Bey had also 
ff. 35 of this codex. The date of this codex has occasioned 
a good deal of discussion. The date in the cryptogram 
is A.H. 35 (A.D. 655-56). Even if foyoK* »» K&cxb is taken 
strictly, and the date is reckoned from the conquest of 
Palestine, the matter is not seriously improved. From the 
fact that the cryptogram has been somewhat carelessly 
written, and possibly that anso jot? has been omitted, the 
date then may be A.H. 735 (A.D. 1335). 

©♦ Originally in the possession of George Zeidan, a 
Syrian Christian in Cairo. The exorbitant price of /20,ooo 
was asked for it. Its date was declared to be A.H. 116 


(a.D. 734). Dr Cowley from the cryptogram dates it 
A.H. 901 (A.D. 1495). 

|p. Kgl. Bibliothek, Berlin ; contains ff. 279, two 
columns on page, Hebrew and Arabic versions. It begins 
with Gen. xi. 4, and ends with Deut. xxxiii. 28 ; wants 
Deut. xxviii. 45-63; lines on page 40; date, A.H. 890 
(a.d. 1485). 

The above are the principal authorities made use of 
by Freiherr von Gall in the preparation of his text. There 
are besides numerous fragments of rolls and codices which 
he describes with great particularity. These descriptions 
and valuations must, however, be left to the scholar to consult 
in the prolegomena which von Gall has appended to his 
edition of the Samaritan Pentateuch. 



The most interesting of the manuscripts of the Samaritan 
Pentateuch, if not the most important, is the Nablus Roll, 
for which so high an antiquity is claimed. Although there 
is a pretence of showing it to every band of tourists who in 
their visit to the Holy Land pass through Nablus, this 
precious manuscript is really shown to very few. The High 
Priest and his colleague have several copies of the Law in 
roll form ; one or two of these are exhibited. Even those 
while shown by the priest are held in his hand, and no 
opportunity is afforded the student of anything like an 
examination of them. The semi-darkness of the synagogue 
in -which the exhibition takes place, a darkness intensified 
by the brilliance of the light outside, would make any 
examination difficult even for the exceptional tourist who 
can read Samaritan. 

As the silver case in which the Roll is kept is the first 
thing the visitor sees, it may be well to consider it. Sir 
William Muir in his Life of Mohammed, to show the relative 
worthlessness of traditional evidence, brings together the 
various traditions concerning the ring of Mohammed, its 
history, its material, how he wore it, etc., and shows how the 
traditions, though supposed to be those best authenticated, 
contradicted each other. Scarcely less contradictory is the 
evidence of travellers in regard to the case of this Samaritan 
Roll. As to the material, Dr Mills, who twice visited Nablus, 
in 1855 and in i860, and stayed three months in Nablus on 
the second of these occasions, says that it is silver. On 
the other hand Dr Spoer who visited Nablus in 1906 says 
" the case is ... of brass inlaid with silver." Similar varia- 
tion is observable in the accounts that are given of the 
ornamentation of it. 

Without further analysis, the descriptions of various 
observers may be given. Dr Mills thus describes how it 



appeared to him. " Having removed its red satin cover, 
which was ornamented with Samaritan inscriptions em- 
broidered in golden letters, I found it was kept in a 
cylindrical silver case which opened on two sets of hinges, 
made so as to expose a whole column of reading. This 
case was ornamented with relievo work descriptive of the 
sacred contents of the Tabernacle." In a note he subjoins 
a description by Grove in Vacation Tourists. " It (the 
case) is a beautiful and curious piece of work ; a cylinder 
of about 2 feet 6 inches long, and io or 12 inches in 
diameter, opening down the middle. One of the halves 
is engraved with a ground-plan of the Tabernacle, showing 
every post, tenon, veil, piece of furniture, vessel, etc., with 
a legend attached to each. The other half is covered with 
ornament only, also raised. It is silver, and I think — but 
the light was very imperfect — parcel gilt." Although Mills 
quotes the passage without comment, it would seem that 
in some points it does not agree with his own description. 
Dr Mills speaks of "two sets of hinges," implying that the 
cylinder was divided into three, whereas Mr Grove speaks 
only of "halves," e.g., " one of the halves," " the other half." 
Further, the height assigned to the containing cylinder by 
Grove does not suit the measurement Mills gives of the 
height of the writing in the Roll, i.e., 13 inches, and 15 
inches as the height of the Roll; the margin of 15 inches 
thus left for the case seems much too large. 

In 1906 Dr Spoer published in the Journal of the Oriental 
Society (vol. xxvii., p. 107) an account of this case which 
differs very much from the descriptions given above. It 
is as follows: "The case is cylindrical, 20 inches long, of 
brass inlaid with silver. It consists of three sections form- 
ing a circle of 6h inches in diameter. The middle section 
is connected with the other two by three hinges on either 
side. That the present hinges may be of later date than 
the case itself seems probable from the fact that in two 
cases they conceal letters forming part of the inscription. 
Several letters are also missing from the perpendicular 
inscription to the right of the lower central panel, where a 
fragment of brass has been lost and a patch inserted. The 
top and the bottom are closed by three segments of brass 
forming a circle, so that the manuscript was completely 
enclosed for its better protection. It is secured by long 
brass hooks fastening into faceted knobs pierced with eight 
holes. The top is decorated with a turreted border. 

" Every section is divided horizontally into two panels, 


separated by a band outlined in silver. A geometrical 
design in silver decorates the centre of every panel ; it 
consists of an arabesque, contained in a circle running out 
into four ornamental spear-heads. 

"The dividing line is i£ inches in breadth inlaid in silver, 
with an inscription in Samaritan characters enclosed in a 
sort of cartouche, ending in ornamental spear-heads. This 
inscription continues round the case, as does also a second 
in smaller characters, in a continuous band, top and bottom. 
Right and left of the lower central panel is an additional 
inscription in small characters. All these are in Hebrew, 
in the Samaritan alphabet. The words are separated 
by dots." 

There follow transcriptions and translations of the various 
inscriptions. Two of these are quotations from Scripture — 
from the priestly benediction (Num. vi. 24) — and the words 
which Moses used when the Tabernacle was to move (Num. 
x « 35)« Two of the inscriptions related to the manufacture 
of the case. These are interesting, as giving the date when 
it was made. " In the name of Yah — this case for the holy 
writing was made in Damascus by the poor servant, the 
least of the creatures of God, Abu haph-Phetach ben Yoseph 
ben Yaqob ben Tzophar, of the tribe of Manasseh. May 
Yah forgive his sins. Amen. In the year nine hundred 
and thirty of the rule of the sons of Ishmael. At the hand 
of Yitzhaq the . . . ." The inscription within the lower 
central panel is as follows : " Written by Pin'has the son 
of Eleazar." The equivalent date in our era to A.H. 930 is 
A.D. 1524. In addition to his description Dr Spoer shows 
photographs which illustrate his meaning ; there is a photo- 
graph of each of the portions of the case. 

When these descriptions are compared, there would seem 
to be two if not three several cases. That seen by Mill and 
Grove, if even they describe one and the same case, clearly 
differs from that seen by Spoer. As already remarked, the 
material of the case is different ; according to Spoer it is 
brass inlaid with silver, whereas that seen by Mill and Grove 
was silver. Moreover, as indicated above, there is at least 
a possibility that Mill and Grove describe different cases. 

Photographic evidence confirms the former of these 
distinctions. In Dr Montgomery's work, The Samaritans* 
there is a photograph of the case of the Nablus Roll, and 
the ornamentation suits the description given by Grove 
and Mills, but not at all that of Spoer. This photograph 
is from a plate taken for the Palestine Exploration. Spoer 


also has photographs as above mentioned which support 
his description. But besides that published in Montgomery, 
there are other photographs issued by the Palestine Explora- 
tion Fund ; one of these exhibits the middle filled with a 
continuous arabesque ; at the top and bottom an ornament 
like an arcade occupying each about three-sixteenths of the 
entire space — each arch filled with arabesque work. The case 
is composed of three portions as is Spoer's. When the 
Palestine Exploration photograph, of which we speak, is 
examined, a little bit of a second side is seen which appears 
to repeat that fully exhibited. It may be that what is shown in 
Montgomery's plate is a third side ; it shows the edge of 
another side which seems to have an arabesque, like that 
on the P.E.F. photograph above referred to ; certainly the 
satin covering is the same. 

There are thus clearly two cases. That described by 
Spoer, dated in the sixteenth century, and that described 
by Mills and photographed by the Palestine Exploration 
Fund ; this latter is to all appearance much the older. To 
this may be added a statement made to the present writer 
by Yaqub Shellaby, the High Priest in 1898, that Baron 
Rothschild had presented them with a case for their Torah ! 
This assertion is not worthy of much credit, as it was 
associated with a number of imaginative statements. So 
far as the present writer's memory goes, the case seen by 
him on Mount Gerizim in 1898 coincides with that described 
by Dr Mills and figured in the photographs of the Palestine 
Exploration Fund. On the other hand a friend who visited 
Nablus in 1910 thinks that the case he saw was like that 
described by Spoer. 

More important than the case is the manuscript within 
it. Of this Mills gives a very careful account, although he 
admits that he was not able to examine the whole of it. 
His description is as follows : " The roll itself is of what we 
should call parchment, but of a material much older than 
that, written in columns 13 inches deep, and 7% inches 
wide. The writing is in a fair hand, though not nearly so 
large or beautiful as the book-copies which I had previously 
examined. The writing being rather small, each column 
contains from seventy to seventy-two lines, and the whole 
roll contains a hundred and ten columns. The name of the 
scribe is written in a kind of acrostic, and forms part of 
the text running through three columns, and is found in 
the book of Deuteronomy." In a note Dr Mills explains 
that he did not himself see this, but that he gave it on the 


authority of Yaqub Shellaby who had shown him the ancient 
roll in secrecy, and despite very considerable obstacles. To 
call the tarikh an acrostic is not perhaps a very intelligible 
descriptive name, only it would be difficult to suggest a 
better. " Whether it be the real work of the great-grandson 
of Aaron, as indicated in the writing, I leave the reader 
to judge ; the roll, at all events, has the appearance of a 
very high antiquity, and is wonderfully well preserved con- 
sidering its venerable age. It is worn out and torn in many 
places and patched with re-written parchment ; in many 
other places, where not torn, the writing is unreadable. 
But it seemed to me that about two-thirds of the original 
is still readable. The skins of which the roll is composed 
are of equal size and measure each 25 inches long and 
15 inches wide" (Mills, Modern Samaritans,^. 312, 313). 

In 1 86 1 Dr Rosen conveyed in a letter to Dr Fleischer 
a description of the Nablus Roll which he had received from 
a Hebrew Christian, named Kraus, which is as follows : — 

" The manuscript is a roll and consists of one and 
twenty rams' skins, according to the assurance of the priest, 
taken from rams offered as thank-offerings. These skins 
are only written on the hair side : they are of unequal size, 
so that while the majority have six columns of text, some 
have only five : they are artistically bound together by 
thongs of the same material. If, as the priest maintained, 
it has been in use, though very carefully handled, for many 
centuries, the effect is yet noticeable in its very bad condition. 
The parchment which in many places is as thin as writing 
paper, appears often torn and holed, and especially frequently 
blackened in a way as if the ink had run over it. According 
to Herr Kraus, there may at most be half of it still legible, 
which in the meantime, since the text remains undoubted, 
can scarcely be regarded as a hindrance to scientific 
knowledge. Only one column of Deuteronomy (xix. 8, ff.) 
is fully preserved and can be read from top to bottom 
throughout. Since the whole text of the Pentateuch 
occupies at the most 120 columns or sides (pages), and 
each ram's skin, prepared for parchment, contains five 
or six such columns, it is clear that the writing must 
be very close. This indeed necessarily is the case, since 
each column contains more than seventy finely written 
lines : the spaces which frequently break in constitute a 
further contraction of the space available for writing on. 
The writing is about a line high, and about the same breadth 
is the space between. A free space of at most a finger's 


breadth is left between individual books. In short, the 
space is very carefully used, and only before a paragraph, 
or at the end of a column are the letters much separated 
one from another, for the sake of rendering it possible 
to begin a new line or column with a complete word." 

Another interesting description was read by Dr Loewy 
to the Society of Biblical Archaeology {Proceedings, 2nd 
December 1879). It 1S from the pen of a Samaritan. Dr 
Loewy found it among MSS. of the Earl of Crawford and 
Balcarres. In the Proceedings it is a summary which 
is given, so the narrative is in the third person. " The Roll 
was opened by him on the 8th of dhel-kadi A.H. 1125 
(a.d. 17 i 3), corresponding to the ninth month of the 
Samaritan year." If this is reckoned from Tishri, the 
beginning of the civil year, this would be the month 
Sivan, equivalent to our May; if from Nisan, the beginning 
of the sacred year, it would mean the month Kisleu, nearly 
our November. The rest of the date is given in accordance 
with the Samaritan reckoning: — "the 6152nd year since 
the creation of Adam, and 3352nd of the settlement of 
the Children of Israel in the Land of Canaan. The Roll 
is declared to be the identical copy which was written 
by Abishua, the great-grandson of Aaron, as is attested 
by the tashkil or intertextual chronogram. The writer, 
Maslam ibn Marjan, observes that for more than a hundred 
years no one had examined this copy of the Pentateuch. 
Solemn religious preparation had been made by Maslam 
before he ventured to peruse the sacred writing. When 
he went to the synagogue for this purpose he was attended 
by several of the synagogal officials and some of their 
children. Immediately after the section commencing 
" Hear, O Israel," etc. (Deut. vi. 4-9), he found the inscription 
consisting of the following words : — 

,mrv ,pn ,cr6 hnx\ .pan ,pnx ,p ,nryta ,p ,Dnra ,p .ytras ^x 
,-ina ,njno >^nx .nnaa ,snpn ,nsDn ,*nana ,111321 

.mrr ,nx ,mis ,3-20 ,rvrv6i3:6 ,;j»3 ,p« 

u I Abishua, the son of Pinhas, the son of Eleazar, the son of 
Aaron the High Priest — on them be the favour of JHVVH 
and His glory — wrote the Holy Book at the door of the 
Tabernacle of the Congregation in Mount Gerizim in the 

2 c 


year thirteen of the possession of the Children of Israel of 
the Land of Canaan, according to its boundaries round 
about. I praise JHWH." 

The tashkil concludes at the sentence, " If thou shalt 
hear say in one of thy cities, which JHWH thy God hath 
given thee " (Deut. xiii. 12). 

Maslam describes his joy in discovering this chronogram. 
He makes the observation that only the letters T and "1 were 
missing from the tashkil. The reason that they are wanting 
is that they occur at the bottom of the columns, and the 
bottom of the folio had been worn away. The same reading 
was collated afterwards by the witnesses who accompanied 
Maslam ibn Marjan. This evidence disposes of the doubts 
which Deutsch expressed as to the colophon being really 
present at all. In his article in Smith's Dictionary of the 
Bible, Dr Deutsch insinuated that the discovery which 
Levysohn professed to have made was untrue. 

In his edition of the Samaritan Pentateuch, Freiherr von 
Gall gives Dr Cowley's explanation of the tashkil which is : 
There was a High Priest who had two sons, Pinhas and 
'Amram, who were also High Priests. The son of the latter, 
the High Priest Ithamar, came in the year a.h. 602 (a.d. 
1205-6) from Damascus to Shechem. A cousin of this 
Ithamar might be the Abishua who wrote this mysterious 
roll. The " thirteenth year of the rule of the Children of 
Israel in the Land of Canaan and its limits round about" 
would really mean, the emigration from Damascus "from the 
limits round about " to Shechem in Israel. Something may 
be said for the first part of this, although there is no need for 
limiting the Pinhas, the father of the scribe, to one whose 
father was Eleazar, as Eleazar was a stem name. The great 
apostasy according to the Samaritans was when Eli 
transferred the High Priesthood from the race of Eleazar 
to that of Ithamar. It is difficult to accept the latter portion. 
There is no trace of the emigration of a few Samaritans 
from Damascus to Nablus ever being regarded as important 
enough to form an era. The whole of the Samaritan 
community in Damascus cannot have migrated to Shechem, 
as four hundred years later there was a considerable 
number of Samaritans still in Damascus. As only one 
column in Deuteronomy can be read throughout, any 
number of words and letters may have been lost over and 
above the two letters which Maslam acknowledges, so any 
number of hundreds may have preceded the "thirteen." 
Nothing can be settled until the MS. is examined again. 


Let us hope it has not been destroyed by the Turks or 
removed by their masters. 

There are, or in present circumstances it may be more 
correct or at least safer to say, were in the Samaritan 
synagogue two rolls, in addition to the most ancient roll 
of which a description has been given above. These were 
shown to tourists, first the one, then if the tourist, knowing 
the practice the Samaritan priesthood had of showing a 
more recent roll to save the sacred document from con- 
tamination, should ask for the real ancient manuscript, 
the second was brought. These have not been described 
with any care. In regard to one of them I can say it is 
taller than the ancient roll, and the case in which it is, or 
was kept is severer in design than the more ancient case. 

There are probably several other rolls, in the possession 
of the Samaritans, of various ages and values. Of course 
no one can tell what devastation has been wrought by the 
Turks, or how many of these, if any, have escaped the mania 
for unreasoning destruction which seems to affect not only 
the Turks but even more their temporary masters the 

{The above was written in the summer of 19 17.) 



The discoveries made by Sir Arthur Evans in Crete, and 
the evidences afforded by them of an advanced civilisation 
naturally excited considerable speculation. The thoughts 
of scholars were directed to the traditional stories of the 
realm of Minos preserved in Hellenic literature. On the 
other hand archaeologists were prone to connect the Cretan 
discoveries with those of Schliemann in Mykenae and Troy. 
One peculiarity which had been observed in regard to the 
civilisation of primitive pre-Homeric Greece was the singular 
want of any signs of writing. M. Perrot(Perrot and Chipiez, 
Primitive Greece (Eng. trans.), vol. ii., p. 462) says : " What most 
strikes the historian who sets about to define pre-Homeric 
culture, is its having been a stranger to writing. It knows 
neither of the ideographic signs which Egypt and Chaldaea 
possessed, nor of that alphabet which Greece will borrow 
somewhat later of Phoenicia." In contrast with this Sir 
Arthur Evans found, not only not a few inscriptions, but also 
a collection of documents on tablets of half-baked clay. 
Discoveries so important as those made in Crete, which 
seemed to have a bearing in so many different directions, 
classical and archaeological, were naturally liable to produce 
an amount of mental excitement which would tend to the 
exaggeration of their significance. The news of the discovery 
of the foundations of Ahab's Palace in Samaria led to the 
story being published that letters to Ahab were found which 
had been sent to him from Shalmanesar II., and, greater 
marvel still, from Asshur-bani-pal who lived some three 
centuries after Ahab was in his grave. In estimating the 
influence on our ideas of primitive times, which may be 
derived from Cretan discoveries, care has to be exercised 
lest this influence should be exaggerated. 

One of the cases in which the conclusions of Sir Arthur 



Evans must, we think, be scrutinised with special care is 
that in regard to the origin of the Semitic, or as he calls it, 
the Phoenician alphabet. What evidence he adduces is to 
a large extent assumptive. He assumes that the Cretan 
civilisation was contemporaneous with that of Mykenae and 
Troy ; but the lack of any evidence that the people of those 
days had any mode of making their thoughts permanent, 
whether ideographically or phonographically, appears to 
prove definitely that the Minoan civilisation is later. The 
finding of an alabastron with the cartouche of the Hyksos 
King Khyan {Scripta Minoa, p. 30) does not prove that the 
reign of Khyan falls within the Minoan period. Had there 
been many of these alabastra^ the inference would have 
been a fairly valid one; but in the circumstances the natural 
deduction is that the Hyksos King had a date considerably, 
perhaps very much earlier. 1 The kinship of the Cretan signs, 
presumed to be alphabetic, to those of Cyprus and.Lycia does 
not carry the inquiry much further. Appeal is made to 
the story of Bellerophon as told by Homer. He was sent 
by Proetus his father to Lycia, with a folded tablet addressed 
to his stepmother's father, and on it were impressed 
(Trifxara Xvypd, "destructive signs." It does not necessarily 
follow from the fact that there were alphabetic symbols 
among the Lycians that these a-^/jLara were other than vague 
symbols, such as savages of a lower stage frequently use. 
But even though Homer intended to suggest alphabetic 
writing, it does not follow that at the date implied by the 
story (so much earlier than that when the Homeric poem 
was composed) any such thing was known. There thus 
seems to be decided failure of anything like evidence for 
a very early date to the Minoan script. 

The lack of any tradition associating the Greek alphabet 
with Crete or Minos is strong evidence against that being 
its source. The more advanced the civilisation ascribed to 
Crete, the greater the extent of its commerce, the more 
pervading the political influence of the Minoan Empire, the 
more difficult it becomes to explain why, if the Hellenes 
got their alphabet from Crete, Crete never got the credit 

1 In my study as I write, I have a brick from a temple mound in 
Mugheir ; there is on it an inscription in the oldest form of cuneiform. 
Were such a disaster to befall our Island Empire as befell that of Minos, 
and were the archaeologists of the fiftieth century a.d. to find it in the 
ruins of Edinburgh, they would scarcely be justified in deducing from 
it that our civilisation belonged, not to the twentieth century a.d. but 
to the twentieth B.C. 


for it. On the other hand, the tradition is that they got 
their alphabet from Phoenicia through Cadmus. Herodotus 
records this tradition with all particularity (v. 58): "The 
Phoenicians who came with Cadmus . . . introduced into 
Greece upon their arrival a great variety of arts, among the 
rest that of writing." Confirmatory of this view are the 
names given to the letters. All the original letters have 
Semitic names, hellenised only to the degree necessary 
to fit them for Greek accidence. Thus aleph becomes alpha 
and beth, beta. If Sir Arthur is correct, and the Semitic, 
or as he calls it the Phoenician alphabet, is derived from the 
Minoan, why did Hellenic tradition pass over the nearer 
source and ascribe the introduction of letters to the more 
distant, if it were not the truth ? 

Another argument which seems to us conclusive is that 
the names of the letters are significant in Semitic, and the 
forms assumed by them are derived from pictographs of the 
object. It is true that in some cases there is a doubt as to 
the meaning of the name on the one hand, and a dubiety 
on the other as to the object indicated. This, however, 
applies only to some of the letters ; in regard to a number 
there is practical agreement. Sir Arthur Evans himself 
has no doubt of aleph being a pictograph of an ox's head 
conventionalised. Equally general is the recognition that 
beth represents a " tent," only the essential lines being 
indicated. The fourth letter daleth in its earliest form 
represents a " tent-door " ; it becomes in Greek delta. There 
is some difference concerning the third, gimel. By Gesenius 
it was supposed to represent a " camel " ; certainly the 
earliest shape the character assumes has a striking re- 
semblance to the head and neck of a camel. It was objected 
by Colonel Conder that the vowels of the word gamal, 
" camel," were not those for the letter ; but its name 
in Syriac is vocalised as is the word for a "camel." In 
the Greek name gamma the final / is not represented ; this, 
however, may be due to the probability that the Phoenicians 
called this third letter by the name gaman by which it was 
known to the Samaritans ; the n sound is more fluid even 
than / with which it is frequently interchanged. The camel 
was not indigenous to Phoenicia or Palestine, so it may well 
have been that the inhabitants of South- Western Syria got 
the alphabet before they were acquainted with the animal ; 
hence the Phoenicians changed the last consonant, and the 
Jews the vocalisation. We venture to maintain that gimel 
represents a "camel," notwithstanding that Sir Arthur 


Evans assures his readers that this view is generally 
abandoned. The resemblance of the sign to a camel's head 
and neck is the closer the nearer one comes to the origin 
of the alphabet. This at once is clear on comparison of the 
forms assumed by the letter on the Moabite and Siloam 
inscriptions on the one hand, and that on the inscription 
on the sarcophagus of Ashmunazar on the other. But the 
camel was not used in Crete, probably was not known there, 
consequently the sign was modified into the likeness of 
a human leg. That this is not the primitive form is clear 
from the fact that while in the primitive Semitic form the 
approximately horizontal portion of the figure is markedly 
shorter, suggesting the proportion of the relative lengths 
of the camel's head and neck, a proportion lost in later 
examples, in the Minoan the horizontal is practically equal 
in length to the perpendicular (Scripta Mtnoa, p. 87). The 
Cretan epigraphist knowing nothing of camels developed 
the shape into a closer likeness to an object with which 
he was acquainted, a human leg. A similar process is seen 
in the initial letters of the chapters of an illustrated book, in 
which the shape of the letter is altered and metamorphosed 
to illustrate the contents of the coming portion of the 

Another example of what appears a similar process 
of modification is to be found in regard to the letter zain 

which in Minoan appears as j£- a two-edged battle-axe. 
The meaning of the word seems to be a " weapon," and this 
symbol would suit that meaning. The earliest form of this 

letter in Semitic is ^ which occurs on the Ba'al-Lebanon 
inscription ; this could not conceivably be developed from 
the Minoan form. But on the other hand, when the 
successive forms this letter assumes are followed, the 
possibility of the Minoan symbol being evolved from the 
Semitic is clear. The Ba'al-Lebanon figure appears to 
be a conventionalised representation of a dart, barbed and 

feathered ; on the Moabite stone it becomes X and in 
the Siloam inscription 3;. Later still as on the sarco- 
phagus of Ashmunazar the shape Z is reached clearly 
from the desire to write the form quickly ; and from this the 
Minoan is readily developed. 

In the letter teth Evans sees a distinct case of the 
Minoan character being clearly the primitive. It certainly 
is the case that there is nothing like a consensus of opinion 



as to either the meaning of the name or of the object 
intended to be indicated. Gesenius suggested a " serpent," 
for which he adduces an Arabic root now unused. The 
earliest shape the letter assumes, a cross surrounded by a 
circle, does not at all support this view. Various other 
objects have been suggested as the hieroglyph behind this 
letter, but without any striking probability in their favour. 
The resemblance to a chariot wheel, the form the letter 
assumes in Minoan, is very seductive. It has to be observed, 
however, that the pictograph is in every case developed 
beyond the mere suggestive outline used in true alphabetic 
symbols. In short, it appears to be a case parallel with that 
of gimel, an effort to give a meaning to a symbol which was 
otherwise unintelligible. If the contention which we main- 
tain elsewhere is correct, that the invention of the alphabet 
is to be put to the credit of a tribe of trading Aramaeans 
having their headquarters in the valley of the Tigris and the 
Euphrates, then teth might be a word in use only among 
them and significant of some object with which they, though 
not their Hebrew and Phoenician customers, were familiar. 
It is possible that similar has been the history of qoph which 
by general consent is received to mean "the back of the 
head " ; the word may have had that meaning to the Aramaean 
inventors of the alphabet. There is no extant word in 
any Semitic language having that meaning. In Hebrew 
qoph means " a monkey with a tail " ; some of the forms 
the letter assumes have a not very distant resemblance 
to a view in profile of a monkey seated on a branch 
with its tail hanging down. Were it found that in Crete 
a word, nearly akin to the name of this letter, meant either 
the back of the head or, as Sir Arthur Evans suggests, the 
face without the features, something might be said for 
the Minoan origin of the Semitic alphabet. Certainly in the 
Aryan tongues the word for head has a superficial 
resemblance to this, as seen in the Latin caput and the 
German kopf ; but the initial sound is quite distinct from 
the k sound, one very difficult to pronounce, as exhibited 
by the fact that in a great part of the nearer East it has 
disappeared from pronunciation, being replaced by the 
hemza. In some quarters it is pronounced as g, a sound 
that has been lost by the gimel in Syrian Arabic. The Greeks 
did not retain it in their alphabet, although its presence as a 
numeral proves that the Hellenic alphabet had it originally. 
It is not impossible that some Aramaic inscription may 
supply the missing word. 


If the Cretans in their alphabetic symbols depicted the 
same objects and gave them the same names as did the 
Phoenicians, then they too must have been Semites. But 
Herodotus reckons them Hellenes (Herod, i. 2). In Homer, 
Idomeneus, the Cretan king, grandson of Minos, is prominent 
among the Greeks in the Trojan War (ii. xiii. 439, etc.). 
If, while the objects depicted in the Cretan alphabet were 
the same as those in the Phoenician, the names were different, 
yet in each case the initial sound was the same, the pheno- 
mena would certainly be explained. Only such a fortuitous 
coincidence is so highly improbable as to amount to an 

The connection of the Hellenic alphabet with that of 
Phoenicia is exhibited in another way. It is probable from 
the close connection between Northern Israel and Phoenicia 
that the latter would share with the former its incapacity 
to pronounce the gutturals. It is evident that whoever gave 
the Greeks the alphabet they must have laboured under 
this disability. Hence the Greeks proceeded to use the 
signs for the unpronounced gutturals for the vowels with 
which they were most frequently united ; thus alplia became 
the vowel a, and he became the vowel e and so on. Though 
the alphabet introduced among the Greeks had no gutturals, 
the Hellenic tongue had them in use, so the}- had to devise 
means of indicating them ; hence the sound which he had in 
the earlier Semitic tongue and in Hebrew was represented 
by the " rough breathing," and for heth the letter x had to 
be introduced. 

We do not know if the Cretans laboured under the same 
disability in regard to the gutturals as did the Phoenicians. 
If they did not, then the Greeks did not get their alphabet 
from them. If they did then they, no more than the 
Phoenicians, could be the inventors of the alphabet. They 
would not have invented symbols for sounds which they 
did possess. 

There are, further, other letters which appear at one time 
to have been in the Greek alphabet, but which disappeared 
only a little while before historic time. The sixth letter 
had disappeared from the alphabet of classic Greek, possibly 
because it represented a sound which was not used by the 

If vav was pronounced, as was not improbably the case, 
as w, and the ancient Greeks, like their modern represen- 
tatives, had not that sound, the disappearance of that letter 
from the alphabet of writing, although its place was still 



retained when the alphabet was used numerically, was a not 
unnatural result. Metrical considerations have rendered it 
not improbable that the digamma, as it was called from its 
form, was in use when the Homeric poems were composed. 
Hence the necessity felt for introducing <£ phi and v upsilon 
to represent the /and v sounds. In the case of the first of 
these letters, it as is well known has retained in the Latin 
language the place it had originally in the Semitic alphabet, 
and through it, occupies that position in the languages of 
Western Europe. 1 As to the latter letter it has to be 
observed that in modern Greek upsilon is generally pro- 
nounced as v\ thus the word for "cross," while written as 
it is in ancient Greek, is pronounced stavros. That the 
transliteration into Latin of the Greek for " gospel " assumes 
the form evangelium, and that for "preparation" becomes 
parasceva, proves that at least in certain combinations 
upsilon was pronounced v by the Greeks of the opening 
centuries of our era. In passing, it may be observed that 
the differences between the Greek and Latin alphabets, 
taken along with the predominant resemblances between 
them, indicates that though both have been borrowed from 
the same source, each has received it independently. 

We have elsewhere maintained that the Semitic alphabet 
could not have been invented by the Phoenicians. The 
arguments which led us to that conclusion apply equally 
against the idea that it originated among the Cretans. The 
Cretans, like the Phoenicians, were a maritime people ; indeed 
as inhabiting an island they could not pretend to an imperial 
position in any other way than by developing their seafaring 
industry. That being the case it might have been expected 
that the objects used to supply alphabetic symbols would 
have been, to some extent at any rate, drawn from the 
utensils of maritime industry. But neither in Crete nor in 
Phoenicia have any of the alphabetic signs such a source. It 
is not that things belonging to seafaring life could not be 
conventionalised. Conventionalised sails are not infrequent 
in Egyptian hieroglyph, and ships are found delineated in 
the Minoan inscriptions, but they do not seem to have 
served as signs of sounds. The Cretans must have had 
words for " ships," " sails," " anchors," " oars," " helms," 
" rudders," and so forth ; why were not some of these 

1 It may be observed that the form alike of the digamma and of the 
Latin F is really that of the Samaritan vav turned to look from left to 
right, instead of from right to left. 


used to serve as the alphabetic sign to denote their initial 
sound ? It can only have been that they had received the 
alphabet from an external source, the invention of a people 
partly agricultural and partly nomadic, who used camels 
and tents, but were acquainted with more stationary modes 
of life. If they know nothing of the great sea, they know 
about fish and fishing. Everything points to the inventors 
being a nomadic Aramaean tribe, whose home was on the 
Mesopotamian border of the desert which separated the 
land of the two rivers from Western Syria, and who were 
engaged in conveying merchandise from Babylonia to the 
shores of the Mediterranean. 

We therefore, for the above reasons, venture to maintain 
that Sir Arthur Evans has failed to make good his contention 
that the Semitic alphabet has been originated by the Cretans ; 
indeed we shall go as far as to say that he has not even 
made his case plausible. Despite the weight of his authority, 
we feel that the balance of evidence is in favour of the 
conclusion above stated. 



The science of Biblical archaeology owes so great a debt to 
Professor Naville that even when we differ from him we do 
so with reluctance, and with a deference which would lead us 
to place the most favourable construction on any view which 
he may propound. His identification of the "store cities" 
built by the Israelites under the " taskmasters " of the 
Pharaoh of the oppression, has been very generally accepted. 
If his brilliant suggestion that the copy of the Law found in 
the days of Josiah, during the repair of the temple, was that 
which, in accordance with the Egyptian custom of placing 
in the foundation of their temples a portion of the Book of 
the Dead, Solomon had placed at the foundation of the 
Jerusalem temple, has not been received with similar 
respect, nor indeed been seriously discussed, the reason of 
this may be sought in the dominance of the Wellhausen 
hypothesis. If it was a copy of the whole Law which had 
been so placed and so found, Ezra had no more to do with 
the Priestly Code than Wellhausen himself. If it were only 
the book of Deuteronomy, as Naville thinks, still the whole 
theory is so involved in maintaining the book in question to 
have been a forgery contemporary with its discovery, that it 
would be shaken to its foundations. It will be readily seen 
that it is from no lack of respect for Dr Naville, or for what 
he has done in Egyptology, and for Biblical archaeology by 
means of it, that we are not prepared to accept his theory as 
to the original language of the Old Testament, as propounded 
first in his book on Biblical archaeology, and later in his 
Schweich Lectures. 

His theory is that the Pentateuch was originally written 
in cuneiform, and therefore on clay tablets. He thinks that 
Abraham brought with him from Padan-Aram a number of 
those containing the stories of Creation, the Flood, the 



building of Babel, etc., and that tribal scribes continued in 
Palestine the process of recording events on clay tablets. 
When they went down to Egypt the patriarchs carried these 
tablets with them. These would all be written not only in 
cuneiform character but also in the language of Mesopotamia. 
Moses, as learned in all the learning of the Egyptians, would 
necessarily be acquainted with Assyrian, the language of 
diplomacy. In his intercourse with his own people he would 
come to know about those tablets, and would arrange them 
in a succession fitted to bring out the special position of privi- 
lege occupied by Israel. Records thus preserved on tablets 
would not be continuous, each would be a separate unit with 
probably an introduction, which would recapitulate something 
of what might be on other tablets and have a concluding 
formula. Dr Naville holds that Moses recorded on similar 
tablets the subsequent history in which he was the principal 
actor, and also his legislation. Deuteronomy would form a 
group of tablets apart. With the accession of Solomon 
was introduced into Palestine the Phoenician script which, 
however, was not used for the Law ; it was always transcribed 
in cuneiform and in the Assyrian or Babylonian tongue. 
When Ezra came he translated the Law into Aramaic, and 
wrote it out in the Aramaean script. Later Rabbin trans- 
lated the Law from the Aramaic of Ezra into Hebrew, or as 
Naville would prefer to call it, Yehudith, "Jewish," which he 
regards not as a language distinct from Aramaic but only 
as a patois, differing from it merely as " Platt-Deutsch " 
differs from the German of Luther or Schiller. As to the 
other and later books he believes that some would be 
impressed on clay tablets, and others scratched on potsherds 
or written on parchment or papyrus. The script used, he 
thinks, would not be the Canaanite but the Aramaean ; this 
name he restricts to the script of the Assouan papyri. 

Portions of this theory are worthy not only of considera- 
tion but of general acceptance. Brought up as Abraham 
was in a state so advanced in civilisation as was that of 
Hammurabi, in which scribes were a class important enough 
to require special legislation, he could not fail to value 
writing ; nomad as he was if he could not write himself, 
though that he should have that accomplishment is not 
unlikely, he would yet have among his clansmen one or more 
capable of exercising this art. Hence that the legends of 
the Creation and the Flood would be impressed for him on 
clay tablets, and conveyed by him to Palestine is extremely 
likely. No one who was not " thirl " to the critical hypothesis 


would fail to see that the Jewish form of these stories is 
much more primitive than the Babylonian. Thus to take the 
story of the Flood ; in the Babylonian form of the legend Par- 
Nipishtim brings into the Ark with him not only silver and 
gold but also slaves, whereas Noah in the Bible narrative takes 
with him none of these, does not indeed seem to have them. 
The Bible narrative dates from a period before men had begun 
to use metals generally or to possess slaves. The clay tablets 
which Abraham brought withhim may well represent the source 
of the Bible story. A difficulty suggests itself at this point ; 
the language of Babylonia at that time was not written in 
a script that could be called in any strict sense cuneiform. 
The Laws of Hammurabi were incised in a script which has 
only a very distant resemblance to the cuneiform of the 
times of the Sargonids. When it was impressed on bricks, 
the figures of the characters were not made by fine chisels 
but by a block of wood or stone on which the inscription 
had been cut in relief, being pressed on the soft wet clay. 
This may be seen from the multitude of bricks from the 
temple mounds of Mugheir (Ur of the Chaldees) on which 
there are identical inscriptions. 

Further, it may be doubted whether the herdsmen of 
Abraham and Isaac would retain the language of Babylon, 
when in Canaan they were associating with their neigh- 
bours who spoke a different tongue. It is quite true 
that diplomatic correspondence some centuries later was 
carried on even with Egypt in the language and script of 
Babylon. In that case there is evidence, as Professor 
Naville himself informs us, that the native tongue of the 
writers was different from that in which they wrote. Unless 
when writing legal documents, or diplomatic letters, the 
inhabitants would write in their own tongue. As to the 
script, the want of the fine clay would be a great, almost an 
insuperable difficulty in using the cuneiform for ordinary cor- 
respondence. About a century ago amongourselves parchment 
was, while still used for legal deeds, never taken for ordinary 
letters. Clay might be imported for the use of diplomats or 
legal scribes, but natives in their letters would content them- 
selves with the writing material within reach. It is doubtful 
if the followers of Abraham would reckon the annals of their 
wanderings to be worthy the expensive imported clay. Still 
less would the Mesopotamian clay be available in the 
wilderness. The "Ten Words" were engraved on tables of 
stone, and therefore not on a material favourable to cunei- 
form. Still as cuneiform inscriptions were incised on the 


gypsum slabs of the palaces of Sargon at Khorsabad, and of 
Sennacherib at Kuyounjik, the granite of Sinai might be 
engraved with cuneiform symbols. 

Before passing on to consider this theory further a note 
may be inserted at this point, by way of caveat, against 
accepting the assumption which Professor Naville makes, 
that Assyrian was so like the language of Canaan that 
Abraham and his herdsmen would have no difficult}' from 
the very first in conversing with the natives. To prove that 
although both Assyrian and Hebrew, which is admitted to 
be the same as Phoenician, belong to the same class of 
Semitic languages but are yet very different from each other, 
one has only to turn into Hebrew any few lines of the 
examples given in King's First Steps in Assyiiau. Com- 
munication between the men of Abraham and the Canaan ites 
would be mainly through generally recognised signs ; a 
method of intercourse to some extent in use in Palestine to 
this day. 

Closely akin to this assumption is the idea that the 
literary language of South-Western Asia was Assyrian. 
Dr Naville grounds this on the fact that while numerous clay 
tablets emanating from Palestine have come down to the 
present day, nothing survives in any other script or language. 
The argumentum e silentio is notoriously inconclusive. It is 
doubly so in the present case when the difference in durability 
is considered between the tablets of kiln-burned clay and 
sheets of brittle papyrus, or skins liable to decay, the only 
materials for writing on available to the Palestinian in 
ordinary cases. It is quite true that diplomatic corres- 
pondence and legal documents were written in the script and 
language of Babylon, a relic of the far back conquest ; but 
from that it cannot be argued that there was no indigenous 
literature. For centuries after Norman-French ceased to be 
spoken in England, Acts of Parliament and certain legal 
deeds were inscribed in that tongue. One may not argue 
from this that neither Chaucer nor Wiclif lived or wrote in 
English. Although no fragments of literature have been 
preserved on contemporary parchment or papyrus, yet the 
form of the letters in the inscription of Mesha of Moab 
proves that a long process of evolution from pictograph lay 
behind ; this in turn implies much practice in writing. The 
style of the composition also indicates that the author of the 
inscription was not unaccustomed to writing narrative. This 
is confirmed by the Siloam inscription, the composition not 
of a court-historiographer, as that of the Moabite Stone 


probably was, but of the foreman of the excavators employed 
by Hezekiah. 

As evidence of the correctness of his hypothesis that the 
Pentateuch was written on clay tablets with cuneiform 
characters and in the Babylonian tongue, Professor Naville 
adduces the phrase which recurs so frequently in Genesis, 
" The Book of the Generations of, etc.," which he regards 
as the terminal formula of a tablet. But this phrase is 
restricted to Genesis alone of the books of the Law ; and not 
even in that book does it occur with sufficient frequency to 
justify his conclusion. Again, while the phrase in question 
appears occasionally at the end of portions of the book of a 
length to suggest transcription from a tablet, e.g. Gen. ii. 4, 
on the other hand there are cases where the formula must 
have been at the beginning not the end of the paragraph, 
e.g. chap, xxxvi. 1, 9; xxxvii. 2; it may further be observed 
that the paragraphs in chap, xxxvi. are out of proportion 
short to be the transcription of narrative tablets. Many of 
the narratives in Genesis suggest by their form that to 
some extent they had been transmitted as oral traditions. 

In regard to the later books Dr Naville thinks that they 
were sometimes impressed with chisels on clay tablets, and 
at others scratched on stone or metal plates. This double 
usage he thinks is implied in the account of the naming of 
Maher-shalal-hash-baz (Is. viii. 1). Naville recognises that 
in this instance we have a case of engraving on a stone 
tablet or metal plate, but thinks that when Isaiah speaks of 
" a man's pen " he means to distinguish between the ordinary 
writing which he is to employ in this case, and the legal 
script which it might have been supposed would have been 
used. This view, while not in itself improbable, really implies 
nothing as to how the rest of the prophecies of Isaiah were 
written. That certain legal documents were a century ago 
usually written in " blackletter " is no proof that people 
wrote treatises in that script, or that books were printed in it. 
Even of less probative value is the fact that in Gezer two 
contract tablets in cuneiform have been found dated 649 and 
647 B.C. respectively. At that time Palestine formed part of 
the Assyrian Empire ; and so the diminished kingdom of 
Judah whose king Manasseh was then a captive in Babylon 
had been conquered by Esarhaddon. It was not extra- 
ordinary that legal contracts should be written in the 
language of the suzerain power ; but this fact would give no 
information as to what literary activity there was among the 
natives, or in what language it found expression. Another 


script was in use in Gezer ; stones have been found with the 
words engraved on them Tahoum Gezer, "the boundary of 
Gezer." The language is Aramaic, and the characters are 
what Dr Naville calls Phoenician. Aramaic was the second 
official tongue of the Assyrian Empire ; much as in Ireland 
four or five centuries ago, for certain government documents, 
Norman - French was the language employed, in others 
English, while the language of the people was Erse. An 
outsider might argue that English was the literary language 
of Ireland ; Shakespeare, it might be shown, represents 
Macmorris the Irish captain in the army of Henry V. as 
speaking English. From this it might be maintained that 
the language of the Irish in Shakespeare's days was English ; 
all the more so that he makes Frenchmen in that play speak 
French. Reference might be made to those masters of 
English — Swift, Burke, Goldsmith, Sheridan, Moore, and 
hosts of others, all Irishmen. Yet there was all the while 
the splendid Celtic literature, the value of which we are only 
now beginning to estimate, dating from before the English 
Conquest altogether. Dr Naville, it seems to us, has been 
guilty of a similarly erroneous judgment to that which we 
have attributed to the above supposed outsider. 

Another point in the hypothesis advocated by Professor 
Naville is the relation in which he assumes Hebrew to 
stand to Aramaic ; he regards the former as being merely 
a patois of the latter. The request which Eliakim 
and those with him made to Rabshakeh (2 Kings xviii. 
26) appears to imply that as "the people on the wall" 
would not understand a speech delivered in Aramaic, it 
was a language different from that which they ordinarily 
spoke. The Scottish dialect is regarded as quite distinct from 
literary English ; yet Gladstone had no difficulty, though 
speaking in literary English, in rousing the Scottish people 
in his Midlothian campaign to the utmost enthusiasm. 
Notwithstanding, Professor Naville thinks the request of 
Eliakim quite compatible with Hebrew being merely a 
patois of Aramaic. It surely is not to be imagined that only 
the ignorant rabble of Jerusalem crowded to the city wall 
when the representatives of Hezekiah had their conference 
with the Chancellor of the great king, the King of Assyria. 

This subject may be approached from another point. It 
may be admitted that it is difficult to determine precisely 
the amount of difference which must be proved to exist 
between two modes of speech, before it may be considered 
clear that they are different languages and not merely 

2 D 


different dialects of the same language. Further, it is 
obvious that the difficulty in the case before us is increased 
by the fact that the different languages of the Semitic group 
resemble each other so closely in their vocabulary and their 
grammatical accidence. Still bearing all things in mind, it 
seems impossible to maintain that the differences which 
separate Hebrew from Aramaic are merely dialectic. In the 
first place, both languages have syntactical peculiarities which 
not only distinguish them from each other but from all 
other Semitic tongues. On the one hand, in regard to 
Hebrew, there is " the vav conversive " ; the strange idiom 
by which the simple conjunction u or ve when preceding the 
preterite of a verb makes it future, but when it precedes a 
future makes it have a past sense. This peculiarity the 
Aramaic does not share, as indeed does no other language 
Semitic or other. On the other hand, Aramaic has a dis- 
tinguishing characteristic which marks it off from Hebrew, 
as also from other Semitic languages. Instead of the definite 
article the Aramaic has the status etnphaticus ; the syllable 
ah or a is added to any substantive which is to be made 
definite. This syllable is affixed in accordance with the 
same rules as regulate the prefixing of the article ha in 
Hebrew. Although in regard to accidence there is less 
difference, still even there the distinguishing peculiarities 
are marked. In conjugation the verb in both languages 
conforms to the Semitic type, yet the Aramaic is much 
more simple and symmetrical in the arrangement of its 
"conjugations" or verbal forms. In Aramaic these are 
alternately active and passive ; the latter being distinguished 
from the former by having the syllable ith or eth prefixed. 
In Hebrew the difference is mainly indicated by an internal 
vocalic change as Piel becomes Pual in the passive, and 
Hiphil, Hophal ; the passive of the Qal is formed by pre- 
fixing the syllable ni. The preformative hith, analogous to 
the ith and eth of Aramaic, is the sign not of the passive but 
of the reflexive in Hebrew. If Hebrew is compared with 
Eastern Aramaic a further difference emerges ; the prefor- 
mative of 3rd per. masc. sing, and plur. impf is nun, not as in 
all other Semitic languages, including Western Aramaic,/^///. 1 
It may be added that while the Phoenician dialect of 
Hebrew seems to agree in regard to its conjugations with 
that of Jerusalem, the dialect of Moab seems to have had a 

1 In regard to the substantive verb the preformative is sometimes 
lamed, as in the Mandasan subdialect of Eastern Aramaic and in the 
Aramaic of the Bible. 


more elaborate system akin to the Arabic. When the above 
considerations are taken into account, it would appear to be 
impossible to agree to Dr Naville's view and regard Hebrew 
as simply a patois of Aramaic. The difference is greater 
than that which separates French from Italian, or Spanish 
from Portuguese ; surely Dr Naville would not consider 
Portuguese a patois of Spanish, or French of Italian. 

This leads to consideration of another point in Professor 
Naville's theory of the evolution of the present text of the 
Old Testament. According to his hypothesis Ezra not only 
translated the Law out of Babylonian into Aramaic but 
committed his translation to writing in the Aramaic script of 
Assouan. It is difficult to understand why Dr Naville has 
thought it at all probable that Ezra, who presumably was 
acquainted with the Aramaic script in use all over Syria, 
found alike in the inscriptions in Sinjirli, on the weights in 
the palace of Sargon in Nineveh, and on the envelopes of 
the contract tablets of Babylon, would so go out of his way 
to use the script of Assouan in preference. In the greater 
portion of the text both of his Schweich Lectures, and of 
his book on Biblical archaeology, Professor Naville speaks as 
if the Aramaeans wrote their language only in the mode of 
writing adopted by the Jews of Assouan to suit the writing 
materials open to them in Egypt. There is no evidence 
that when the Jews of Palestine and the Phoenicians wrote 
Aramaic they did not use the characters used by the 
Aramaeans around them. That scribes both in Jerusalem 
and in Samaria would be able to decipher writings sent them 
from Assouan is probable enough, but from this it does not 
follow that when writing, not on papyrus but on parchment, 
they would use any other script than that which he calls 
Phoenician, but which was really the universal Semite script. 
Ezra it may be presumed would write in Jerusalem, as he 
had been accustomed to do in Babylon, with the characters 
of ordinary Semitic. It seems to us that Dr Naville has 
encumbered his theory unnecessarily with this additional 
hypothesis that Ezra employed the script of Assouan. 

The further portion of Dr Naville's theory that Ezra 
not only transcribed the Torah into Aramaic script but 
translated it into the Aramaic language involves a singular 
reversal of the age-old opinion that the Aramaic Targums 
were interpretations of the Law rendered necessary by the 
fact that the Jews had largely abandoned Hebrew. Accord- 
ing to Professor Naville's theory, the Aramaic was the 
original and the Hebrew which has been so long regarded as 


the original was really the Targum, the interpretation. His 
presupposed history of the extant Hebrew text is a daring 
hypothesis. Certain of the Jerusalem Rabbin translated 
from Ezra's Aramaic successively the Law, the Prophets, and 
the fCthubhim into the local patois of Judea. The theory in 
question is so bizarre that in order to ensure ourselves 
against misrepresenting it the very words in which it is pro- 
pounded must be given. " When the Rabbis wished to give 
to their religion, to their laws, to their national life which rests 
entirely on their books, a thoroughly and exclusively Jewish 
character, they made a dialectal modification; they turned 
their books into the language spoken at Jerusalem ; but 
since that had no script, they had to invent one, and they 
adopted a modified form not of the Canaanite but of the 
Aramaic, the one real book-language which they already 
knew" {Archeology of the Old Testament, p. 207). Another 
feature in this hypothetical history may be drawn from the 
Schweich Lectures : " As it came out of Ezra's hand, this law, 
their sacred books, had no national garb, it was only a part 
of the Aramaic literature. It was necessary to separate the 
books of Moses and the Prophets from foreign writings, so 
that they should become exclusively Jewish. The hated 
Samaritans had that privilege, they could not be confused 
with the Jews or with their other neighbours, since they had 
their Pentateuch written in their own script and in their own 
dialect, which differed but little from that of the Jews. I 
believe the Rabbis did the same as the Samaritans " 
{Schweich Lectures, p. 76). There are three points here : 
(1) The present Hebrew Scriptures are a translation from 
Aramaic ; (2) The present Hebrew character is the invention 
of the Jewish Rabbis, a modification of the script of the 
Assouan papyri ; (3) That this double process was carried 
out in imitation of the "hated" Samaritans. 

To take these points seriatim: — (1) The extant Hebrew 
Scriptures are a translation from the Aramaic. There are 
already the well-known Targums, to restrict attention to the 
Torah, the Targums of Onkelos, and of Jonathan ben Uzziel, 
so-called, besides the variation of the latter, the Targum 
of Jerusalem. Professor Naville has only indicated in the 
most indefinite manner the period when he thinks the 
Jerusalem Rabbin made their translation from Ezra's 
Aramaic. As, however, he holds that Our Lord delivered 
His discourses in Aramaic, and notes that He quotes the 
twenty-second Psalm in Aramaic while hanging on the cross, 
as evidence "that the sacred books must all have been in 


Aramaic," it would seem that he holds that the Rabbinic 
translation was made after the fall of Jerusalem. The 
ordinarily received date of Onkelos is early in the third 
century of our era; Stenning {Enc. Brit, "Targum") would 
place it a century later. It evidently is the traditional 
version handed down from meturgeman to meturgeman ; it 
has greater affinities with the Biblical Aramaic than with the 
Aramaic of the Talmud, or the Aramaic of the Palestinian 
Lectionary. Does Dr Naville maintain that the so-called 
Targum of Onkelos is really Ezra's version of the original 
Mosaic cuneiform? If the Rabbinic Hebrew was introduced 
in the beginning of the second century A.D., surely every 
copy of Ezra's version would not have disappeared by then. 
If it was still extant, there would be no need of another 
Aramaic version. Consequently it would seem that Professor 
Naville is obliged to assert the Targum of Onkelos to be 
really the version which Ezra made from the cuneiform 
tablets left by Moses. Hence the present Hebrew text of 
the Pentateuch is a translation of the Targum. It would 
seem to be an investigation by no means involving abnormal 
ability or information to demonstrate which, the Targum of 
Onkelos or the Massoretic Hebrew, was the original and 
which the version. Every student of Hebrew knows riK eth 

the sign of the accusative. When the student passes to 
Aramaic he finds that IV yath occupies the same position in 

Onkelos, as also in the Peshitta, that is to say whenever eth 
appears in the Hebrew then yath appears in the Aramaic, 
Eastern or Western. When, however, the student directs his 
attention to writings composed in Aramaic he finds this 
particle practically absent. In Biblical Aramaic it occurs 
only in Dan. iii. 12, and then only as supporting the oblique 
case of a pronoun ; in the Sinjirli inscriptions the equivalent 
particle m vath occurs only once and in a similar grammatical 
construction (Sinjirli Hadad, 28). In translations made from 
Greek which has no such particle IV yath is not found, as may 
be seen by reading the Peshitta New Testament and the 
Palestinian Lectionary. ' When one compares either the 
Targum of Onkelos or the Peshitta with the Hebrew text, it 
is at once seen that yath occurs always and only when eth is 
found in the Hebrew ; just as Aquila represents the untrans- 
latable particle by aw in his version. It would seem that 
Aramaic had this particle originally, but it had fallen into 
disuse as far back as the eighth century B.C. ; and it was 
revived in the Targum much as the antique forms of the 
Authorised Version were used in the translation of the 


Bensly fragment of 2 Esdras when it was inserted in the 
text of the Revised Version of the Apocrypha. Other 
instances might be brought in which the Aramaic is con- 
formed to the Hebrew, but what we have referred to is 
patent to every reader. Confirmatory of the originality of 
the Hebrew is the treatment of poetical passages in the 
Targum. Wherever there is obscurity in the Hebrew there 
is the endeavour to remove the obscurity in the Targum. 
In Gen. iv. 7, we have in the Hebrew the difficult sentence 
rendered in the Revised : " If thou doest well shalt thou not 
be accepted ? and if thou doest not well sin coucheth at the 
door ; and unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule 
over him." This is without doubt very obscure. Onkelos 
renders thus according to Etheridge's translation : " If thou 
doest thy work well is it not remitted to thee ? and if thou 
doest thy work not well, thy sin unto the day of judgment is 
reserved, when it will be exacted of thee, if thou convert not : 
but if thou convert, it is remitted to thee." It goes without 
saying that the Targum is the simpler : while by no 
possibility can the Hebrew be regarded as an attempt to 
render the Aramaic ; the Aramaic is a paraphrase of the 
Hebrew taking the word for "sin " as meaning " sin-offering," 
and interpreting the enigmatic last clause as implying that 
Cain would not lose his birthright as elder brother. A yet 
more striking instance is found in the fifteenth verse of the 
preceding chapter : " I will put enmity between thee and the 
woman, and between thy seed and her seed : it shall bruise 
thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." The version of the 
Targum is clearly an attempt to explain the Hebrew : in no 
way can the Hebrew be regarded as an attempt to give a 
rendering of the Aramaic It is as follows : " I will put 
emnity between thee and between the woman, and between 
thy son and her son. He will remember thee what thou 
didst to him at the beginning, and thou shalt be observant 
unto him at the end." No one can doubt that of these two 
the Hebrew, not the Aramaic, is the original ; the Hebrew 
is figurative and poetic, the Aramaic is plain prose ; that a 
translator may turn poetry into prose is what is not 
infrequently seen, but that prose in the original should 
become poetry in the version is an unknown phenomenon in 
the history of literature. There are numerous other passages 
in Onkelos exhibiting the same characteristics. 

The assertion (2) that the modern Hebrew character is 
the invention of the Jewish Rabbin, a modification of the 
script of Assouan need not occupy much time as it is 


supported by no proof; what resemblance there is, is due to 
the fact that both scripts resulted from writing with a reed 
pen on papyrus The Greek transcription of the tctra- 
grammaton shows that in earl)- Christian times vnv and yodh 
were as indistinguishable in the script then in use among the 
Jews as they are in the Kefr Bir'im inscription. In the 
script of Assouan, on the other hand, these two letters are not 
by any means strikingly like each other. The present square 
character was the result of independent evolution. Had 
Professor Naville's theory been correct, the Septuagint would 
have been translated from a text written in the Aramaic 
script of Assouan, and variations of the LXX. from the 
Massoretic would have been shown mainly to have been due 
to mistakes of letters like in that script ; but differences 
attributable to this cause have not been numerous enough 
to attract attention. On the other hand, Professor Kohn 
rested part of the proof of his Thesis, that the LXX. trans- 
lated from the Samaritan Recension, on the fact that some 
of the variations could be explained by confusions of letters 
like each other in the Samaritan script. Origen's interpreta- 
tion of the "tittle" in Matt. v. 18, proves that the square 
character was in use in the third century of our era; this 
leaves but little time for the process Professor Naville's 
theory presupposes. This second point may be dismissed 
as unproved and improbable. 

The remaining point (3) is that this translation from 
Aramaic into Hebrew was made in imitation of the 
Samaritans. The most rudimentary knowledge of the 
period in which this alleged translation was produced would 
make the inquirer aware of the hatred and contempt with 
which the Jews regarded their Northern co-religionists. In 
the Talmud they are spoken of as "Cuth;eans," and some- 
times as " the foolish people of Shechcm." That the despised 
"Cuthaeans" had translated the original Aramaic of the 
Scriptures into Hebrew would, one should have thought, 
have afforded the Jerusalem Rabbin an opportunity of 
denouncing the " Cuthaeans " as guilty of another enormity, 
rather than to suggest to them a thing which they themselves 
ought to follow. But the very assumption that before the 
Jews, the Samaritans had rendered the cuneiform inscrip- 
tions which contained the sacred Torah into Aramaic, and 
further turned that Aramaic into "the local patois oi 
Jerusalem" is itself improbable. These assumptions involve 
difficulties which in their very nature appear to us insuper- 
able. It is true that like the Jews the Samaritans have an 


Aramaic Targum of the Law. Who made this Aramaic 
version of Pentateuch ? Certainly it could not be Ezra. If 
Onkelos represents the original Aramaic of Ezra, the most 
casual inspection of the Samaritan Targum reveals the 
differences which separate these two. The Samaritan is 
written in a different dialect of Aramaic, one which has 
closer affinities to Hebrew. Further it has to be noted that 
the Samaritan Targum is much closer to the Hebrew than 
is that of Onkelos. This may be seen by comparing the 
curse on the serpent from Onkelos as given above with the 
Samaritan version : " I will put enmity between thee and the 
woman, and between thy seed and her seed ; he shall bruise 
thee as to the head, and thou shalt bruise him as to the 
heel." Comparison may also be made with the Divine 
exhortation to Cain as found in Onkelos and given above 
with the Samaritan, which is as follows : " If thou doest 
well thou shalt be accepted, if thou doest not well, sin 
croucheth at the door and to thy hand is repentance (Castelli 
conversio), and thou shalt rule over him." If for the moment 
we accept Professor Naville's hypothesis, it may be admitted 
that the translation of these passages into Hebrew would 
result in something very like the Massoretic. As above 
shown any attempt to render the Onkelos version of these 
passages into Hebrew would result in something very 
different from the received text. 

This brings us to what appears to be the crowning 
difficulty of accepting Dr Naville's theory. Is it con- 
ceivable on the ordinary doctrine of probabilities that from 
two such widely differing Aramaic versions a Hebrew text 
should emerge which is practically identical, the same in 
Samaria as in Jerusalem ? Even if the improbable sup- 
position is assumed that Ezra's Aramaic version as well 
as the original Samaritan Aramaic have both utterly 
disappeared, and so the present Targums are not those 
from which the Hebrew version has been made, still it 
must be maintained as amounting almost to an impossibility 
that two independent versions in Aramaic, versions of the 
assumed cuneiform text, should be so closely alike that 
when independently translated into Hebrew the two versions 
were all but absolutely identical. 

After considering Professor Naville's theory in the most 
favourable way, admitting to the utmost every probability 
which can be urged in its favour, we are compelled to 
conclude that it is not worthy of acceptance. 


Abbaside persecution of the Samaritans, 

Aboda Zara quoted, 38 
Abu'l Fath, Chronicle of, described, 
hymn on sufferings of Samaritans, 

on cause of Samaritan rebellion under 

Zeno, 45 
on Christ's birth and life, 165 
on Christ's disciples and apostles, 

on date when sacrifices ceased on 

Mount Gerizim, 120 
on identity of the Essenes and 
Samaritans, 164 
Addis, Dr, on Hezekiah's destruction 

of the High Places, 372 
Adler, the Samaritan Chronicle and 
its publication, 148-9 
the Samaritan Chronicle, analysis 

of, 155-9 
concealment of the Sacred Roll of 
the Law, 161 
Alexander the Great, his intended 
desecration of Mount Gerizim 
averted by the influence of Hizqiah 
the High Priest, 163 
story of his destruction of Samaria 
criticised, 31 
Alexander, son of Aristobulus, defeated 

by Gabinius, 37 
Alexander Jannaeus and his widow held 
Samaria as part of their dominions, 



Alexandria, Jewish influence in the 
city of, 319 
use of Hebrew by Jews discontinued 
there, 320 
Alexandrian Version of Pentateuch, 

peculiarities of, 341-2 
Alphabet, the, evolved from hiero- 
glyphics in Babylon and Egypt, 
the tables of, in Semitic script, 222 
the Semitic, its relation to the Minoan 

alphabet, Appendix, 404-11 
Phoenician origin of the Greek, 233 
regularity of the order of the letters 
in the, and the importance of 
its fixity in connection with 
cryptic writing, 218 
Alphabetic poems in Hebrew literature, 
in Samaritan, 266 
Amos, his references to ritual worship 
in Northern Israel, 78-9 
his use of technical ritual terms, 80 
Anastasius, Samaritan rebellion in 

time of, 45 
Angels, the doctrine of, whence derived, 

Samaritan belief in, 187 
Antagonism between the worship of 

JHWH in Northern Israel and 

on Mount Zion considered, 352 
Antediluvians, the genealogy of, in 

Samaritan Pentateuch reviewed, 344 
Antiochus Epiphanes, treatment of the 

Jews by, 33 
Antiochus the Great, treatment of 

Samaritans by, 32 



Antonines, the, destruction of Samari- 
tan literature under, 260 
the review of Samaritan history 
under, 41, 169, 260 
Apocalyptists, the, their doctrine of 

God as localised and visible, 179 
Apollonius has Samaritans in his army, 

Aqabiah, concealment of vessels of the 

Tabernacle, 160 
Aramaic, Biblical, compared with 
Samaritan, 246-51 
abandoned by Jews in Egypt, 

especially in Alexandria, 320 
gradual introduction of, into Palestine 

by Assyrian colonists, 256-7 
unknown in Southern Israel in time 
of Sennacherib, 256 
Aristeas, on the origin of the Septua- 

gint, 320 
Artaxerxes, ordered sacrifices to be 
offered on Mount Gerizim, but 
these forbidden, 162 
Ashima, Jews assert that the Samaritans 

worship, 178 
Ashmunazar, the inscription on his 

sarcophagus, 224 
Askenazim, use of synagogues as a 

sort of club by the, 122 
Assouan papyri, their confirmation of 

Biblical history, 29 
Assyrian deportations, their design, 1 7-20 
Astruc, his hypothesis of the existence 
of two documents in the books of 
Genesis and Exodus stated, 358-9 
relation of his hypothesis to modern 
Biblical criticism, 358-9 
Atonement, description of the Great 
Day of, as it is observed by the 
Samaritans, 134 
the Great Day of, the Jewish and 
Samaritan modes of its observ- 
ance reviewed and contrasted, 


Baal, the name as a factor in Israelitish 
nomenclature, its significance, 

the name of the Supreme God of the 
Canaanites, 63 

Baal, the name of local deities, 63 
Baal-worship, its influence on Israel, 63 
Baalim, impure rites in worship of the, 

Baasha adopts measures to prevent the 

Northern Israelites worshipping 

in Jerusalem, 82 
Babylonian story of the Creation, 185 
Bagster, list of variants between 

Samaritan and Massoretic texts, 

Bar-Cochba, war of, in Samaritan 

history, 167 
Bashan, province of, held by the 

kingdom of Syria, 3 
Benjamin of Tudela, his account of 

the Samaritans in twelfth century, 

49-50, 120 
Bennet, ascribes the first two verses 

of Joshua to E, although JHWH 

only divine name used, 359 
Book of the Dead, portions of, placed 

in foundation of Egyptian temples, 

Booths, in connection with Feast of 

Tabernacles,mentioned in Leviticus 

and Deuteronomy, 374 
Budge, Dr Wallis, on Egyptian 

religion, 64 
Burial of the dead, practice of 

Samaritans at, 139 
Burney, Dr, on narrative of Hezekiah's 

destruction of the High Places, 372 
Buxtorf, Dr, on recency of the 

Samaritan Pentateuch, 276 
asserts Pentateuch written in square 
characters, 276 

Calves, golden, the worship of, 
considered, 71-2 
worship of, how rendered, 76-7 
kissing of, explained, 77 
Canaanite cities described, 6l-2 

aboriginal tribes, corrupting influ- 
ence of, 62-3 
Carmina Samaritana, Gesenius on, 

Cerealis slaughters Samaritans in the 
time of Vespasian, 39 

INDEX 427 

Cheyne, Dr, referred to, 365, note, on the temple treasure: 0:1 Mount 

Simon the Just Gerizim, 163 

Chinese language, the only ideographic D.ilman, Trof., on the difference 

tongue, 203-4 between Jewish and Samaritan 

Christ, Samaritan account of, 165 Passover rite-, 141-2 

Christian influence on Samaritan Dallu, a bucket in Hittite, according to 

religion, 192 Conder origin of la '.■':. 20S 12 

Chronicles, books of, dates and his- Daniel, lo^k of, argument for it.- 

torical value considered, 106-7, note inclusion in the Canon of O.T., 

Chronology of Josephus proved to be 360, note 

inaccurate, 30 Dead, the, buried in coffins 1 y the 

Circumcision, as observed by Samari- Samaritans, 140 

tans, 137 Death, how met by the Samaritms, 139 
contrast between Jewish and Samari- Decalogue, the, its authorship, 72-3 
tan rites, 137-8 special sanctity 1 ', 192 
Cities of the Plain, significance of the Degeneration, religions of the Canaan- 
prophetic reference to their destruc- ites, 64 

tion, 95-6 illustrations of its effect on Israt . I : 

Coffins, use of, a peculiarity of the Deity, belief in a Supreme, univer.-ality 

Samaritans, 140 of, 84-5 

Colonists deported from Northern Demonology among the Sam uitans, 19c 

Israel, who were the}' ? 20-2 Deportation of conquer d peoples ly 

Commodus Emperor, his persecution Assyrian, its de.-ign, 17-21 

of Samaritans, 169 1 earing of, on the Jewish element in 

Conder, Colonel, on the earliest form Samaria, 17-20 

of the Pentateuch, 207-96" Deuteronomy, date of, as sugge tc 1 

localises the Avites near Nineveh, 21 by the Samaritan Pentateuch, 

on Hittite origin of the Semitic 37C-5 

script, 211-2 authorship, Mo-.ic, -uggestcd ly 

Covenants, the seven which bind the choice o r Mounts F.i .A and 

Samaritans, 175 Gerizim lor the ratiticati 1 o' 

Cowley, Dr, on Mehablah, a Samari- Israel'; covenant with III W 1 1 , 

tan Satan, 1 90 6-7 

Creation, Babylonian story of, 185 higher critical account of it a'.thur- 

the doctrine (if, taught ly the ship, 65-6, 361-2 

Samaritans, 1S1-2 to t! e f regi ins. .' : - 

tablets of Nineveh less primitive icrilio in Deal llicji I hue 

than those of Genesis, 382 1 tioned in, (A -9 

the ten words of. 184-5 not written to ei-.j in woi : :, on 

Critical theory, higher summary of Mount Zion aloii' , 69-70 

argument against, 384-6 Deutsch on Saniaiit.m v< r.-ion oi 

Cuthah identified by Dr Pin. he.- a Pentateuch cuik i e<!, 2, v 8 

Kutu, near Babylon, 21 De Wette canii \ the iritical hyrotln 

into Joshua, 358 
Diodorus Siculns, Alexander tin' 
poisoned by Antipaler, 1 ' , ; 

D, symbol for Deuteronomit. 358 Dispute between Jew and San 

D (daletli) confused with R (res/i), before Ptolemy Philorr.etci dc- 

292-4 scril ed, 32-3 

Daliya, Samaritan High Priest frus- Doctiines common to Jews and 

trates Ptolemy's attempt to obtain Saniaiitans, and theii relation to 



variants between the Samaritan 

and Massoretic scripts, 3 1 1-2 
Dove, image of a, alleged by Jews 

to be worshipped by Samaritans, 

179, note 
Driver, Dr, on Wellhausen theory, 

criticised, 373-4 

E document, Ephraimite, 361 

uses Elohim, 358 
Ebal and Gerizim, why chosen by Moses 
for ratification of Israel's covenant 
withJHWH, 13-14 
Ebal described, 14 
on the stones on which the Law was 
there engraved, 118 
Ehud recognised as judge, 155 
Eichhorn's theory as to the seventy-two 
elders who translated the Septua- 
gint, 321 
development of Astruc's hypothesis, 
Eli and Samuel, tendency to national 
unity under, 26 
caused the schism by usurping the 
High Priesthood, 154 
Eliashib, an old man when Nehemiah 
came to Jerusalem, grandfather of 
Manasseh, 364 
Elijah's active ministry mainly west of 
Jordan, 3 
sacrifice on Carmel, bearing of on 

ritual of Northern Israel, 77-8 
unless had worshipped in Jerusalem, 
Jewish honour of him inexplic- 
able, 82 
Elijah and Elisha in the Samaritan 
chronicles, 158 
may have worshipped in Jerusalem, 
383, note 
Elisha assumes a different attitude to 
Jehoshaphat from what he does to 
Jehoram, 82 
Elohim and JHWH interchanged, 299 
Ephraim and Manasseh, Samaritans, 

their trick, 167 
Epiphanius on Samaritan heresies, 43 
on Samaritan belief in angels, 187 

Esarhaddon, appeal of deported 
colonists to, considered, 22-3 

Eschatology of Samaritans, its resem- 
blance to John's Apocalypse, 196-7 

Eternity of God, a Samaritan doctrine, 


Evans, Sir Arthur, on Minoan script, 

215-7, Appendix III., 404- 1 1 
Ezekiel and the origin of the so-called 

Law of Holiness, 362 
Ezra, on the illegality of Jewish inter- 
marriage with Samaritans, 1 18 
reason for thinking he was not the 
author of the Priestly Code, 

terminates friendly relations between 
Jews and Samaritans, n 8-9 

Fetichism, African, descriled, 64 

Fishing, the letter tzade pictograph of 
a person fishing, 216 

Flood, story in Genesis more primitive 
than the corresponding story in 
Babylonian records, 382-3 

Foreigners resident in Galilee hostile 
to the Jews, 35 

Frankel's theory of a Samaritan inter- 
polation of their Pentateuch from 
the Septuagint, 329 

Galilee, history of, under monarchy in 
Samaria, 3 
inhabitants, deported by Tiglath- 

Pileser, 3 
inhabitants, why they escaped per- 
secution by Antiochus Epiphanes, 
relation of, to Jewish revolt against 

Antiochus Epiphanes, 35-6 
stronghold of Judaism, 3') 
Garmun connives at circumcision, 42-3 
Gaster's, Dr, Samaritan Book of Joshua, 

149. ISO 
Genealogies, antediluvian, explained 
as given in Samaritan text, 344 



Genealogies in the Septuagint, 344, 

variants in, as formed in the Samari- 
tan Septuagint and Massoretic 
versions considered, 345-7 
Genesis, first chapter, variants between 
Samaritan and Massoretic texts 
noted, 280 
first five verses, how read by Samari- 
tans, 235 
primitive character of ethnological 
tables there, 382 
Gerizim, Mount, described, 6-9 

one of the seven things separated 

from Godhead before all else, 183 

how long sacrifices were offered in 

temple there, 119-20 
the true Bethel, 157 
treated as God's appointed site for 
national worship, when was it, 
on Heavenly Paradise, and earthly 
Eden, 198 
Gesenius, classification of variants 
between Samaritan and Massoretic 
texts, 282-305 
collection of Samaritan hymns by, 

on Asaria de Rossi's theory of cor- 
ruption of the LXX. by Alex- 
andrian Greeks, 328-9 
on differences between the Samaritan 
and Massoretic Pentateuch 
reviewed and criticised, 305 
on grammar accommodated to that 
of the Samaritan dialect, 239-45 
thesis on the Samaritan Pentateuch, 
Gezer, antiquarian discoveries in, 61-2 
Gibbon on Roman Empire under 

Hadrian and the Antonines, 40 
Ginsburg, on variants involving the 

matres lectionis, 326 
Glory of the Lord, hypostatised by 

Marqah, 180 
God, glory of, 175, 181 
Graetz, on scene at Naioth when 

Samuel prophesised, 98-9 
Guerin, account of Nablus, 8 

description of ruins on Ebal and 
Gerizim, 13, 14 


Hadrian, Emperor, in Samaritan 
history, 167-9 
erects a temple to Caesar on Mount 
Gerizim, 168 
Hadrian's original favour to the 
Samaritans withdrawn, 168 
rebukes Jewish High Priest for 
idolatry, 167 
Haupt, P., on our Lord's origin, refuted, 

22, note 
Hebrew, language spoken in Palestine 
in time of the Patriarchs, 239-40 
greater resemblance to Samaritan 

than Jewish Aramaic, 258 
language spoken both by Samaritans 
and Jews in time of Haggai and 
Malachi, 257 
Heidenheim on Samaritan hymns, 262 
in his collective poem on Unity of 
God as taught by Samaritans, 
Hellenic Empire, condition of Samari- 
tans under, 31-2 
Heraclius, resultless victories of, 46-7 
Hermon, Mount, seen from top of 

Mount Ebal, 14 
Herod, alleged cruelty of, to the 
Samaritans, 165 
generous treatment of the Samaritans, 
Hexateuch, the, how it looks to a 
reader ignorant of higher critics, 
critical theory of its constitution and 
origin, 358-63 
Hezekiah as Assyrian Viceroy, 
probability of, 4, 14, 18 
his Passover for all Israel, date of, 4, 
Hierarchies, angelic, not recognised by 

Samaritans, 188 
Higher critical theory, argument 

against it summarised, 384-6 
Historic character of Samaritan 

religion exhibited, 143-4 
History of a people revealed in its 

language, 236-7 
Hittite writing, hieroglyphic nature of, 



Hizqiah, the Samaritan High Priest 

and Alexander the Great, 163 
Hogarth on the death of Alexander 

the Great by poison, 163 
Hommel on the cuneiform origin of 

the Samaritan script, 208 
Hypothesis, higher critical, its origin 

and development, 358-9 
Hyrcanus, John, conquest of Samaria, 35 
Samaritan temple burned by, 141 
Samaritanism, alleged conversion to, 


Ibri character, the name given to the 
Samaritan in the Talmud, 350 
regarded as that in which the Law 
was first given, 
Images not used in Samaritan worship, 

Immortality of the soul, a doctrine of 

the Samaritans, 187 
Intermarriage between Jews and 
Samaritans forbidden by Ezra and 
Nehemiah, sketch of this incident, 
criticism of this action, 29-30 
Israel, deportation of under Sargon, 

not universal, 15,16 
Israelite prophets, proof that they were 
not evolved from the so-called 
medicine man of the heathen, 84-5 
religion, essentially historic character 
of, 143-4 
Israelites, differences between the 
Northern and Southern tribes con- 
sidered and explained, 26-7 
number of under Joshua, 59 
Israelitish disunion under ihe Judges 

and its results, 60 I 
Itacism, what it proves in regard to a 
MS., 285 

J document, Judaean in origin, 361 

usesJHWH, 358 
Jaddua, did he ever meet with Alex- 
ander the Great, 107, note, 112 

JE document, not a law-book, 371 
Jerome on Samaritan practices and 

tenets, 43 
Jerusalem, fall of, not mentioned in 

Samaritan history, 166-7 
Jewish charges against the Samaritans, 
sacred history superior to the corres- 
ponding Samaritan history, 172 
theology compared and contrasted 

with Samaritan, 199-200 
theory of the origin of the Samaritans, 
Jews, sects of the, referred to by Abu'l 
Fath, 164 
separation of the, from the Samaritan, 
and the importance of fixing MS. 
date, 356 
Josephus, account of the Samaritan 
submission to Antiochus Epiphanes, 
bias of, against the Samaritans, 33 
on the presence of Israelites in 
Northern Palestine subsequent 
to the deportations under Sargon, 
proof of the unreliability of his 

writings, 366 
testimony as to the Essenes, 103 
writings of, known to the Samaritans, 
Joshua, absence of book of, from the 
Samaritan Recension, its bearing 
on the higher critical theory of the 
otigin of the Pentateuch, 359-fo 
book of, assumed to be known by 
Israelites according to the 
prophets Amos and Hosea, 96-7 
evidence that it was known to 

Samaritans, 10-II 
no part of the Law when the Samari- 
tans got their recension of the 
Pentateuch, 359 
placed by Jews on different plane 
from the Five Books of Moses, 
reason why it is excluded from 
Samaritan canon, 97 
Joshua, Samaritan book of, described, 
146-7, 155-6 
resemblance to the Jewish book, 150-1 



Joshua, the Jewish leader, honour paid 
him by the Samaritans, 145 

Josiah's religious reformation, its bear- 
ing on the Samaritan claims to be 
of Israelite origin, 16-20 
its influence on the Samaritan 
people, 20-2, 1 1 5-7 

Judea, kingdom of, described: its 
pastoral character, 4 

Judges, legends restraint in, 378 

Justasa, a robber set up as king, 


Justin II., severe oppression of Samari- 
tans by, 46 

Justin Martyr, his connection with 
Samaria, 40 

Justinian's oppression of Samaritans 
and the rebellion it caused, 45-6 

Juynboll, Dr, on Samaritan book of 
Joshua, 147 


Kabhodh (Divine Glory), hypostatised 

by Marqah, 180 
Kahle, Dr Paul, on Samaritan Targum, 

267, note 
Karaites resemble doctrinally the 

Samaritans, 201 
Khosrou Purviz, his conquest of Pales- 
tine, 46 
many Samaritans crucified by, 46 
Kingship, why more powerful in Davidic 

kingdom, 104-5 
Kircheim's classification of variants 
between f he Massoretic and 
Samaritan texts criticised, 284 
Kohn, Dr, classification of the same 
criticised, 284 
on alleged corruption of Septuagint 

by Alexandrian Greeks, 321 
on possible theories to explain the 
variances between the Samaritan 
and the Septuagint texts of the 
Torah, 327 
on Samaritan Torah as foundation 

of Septuagint, 329-35 
criticism of the above theory, 335-41 

Lammens, on assistance given to 
Saracen conquerors of Palestine, 47 
Lampridius on alleged introduction by 
Heliogabalus of Samaritan rites 
into the syncretistic-worship of the 
God whose name he bore, 41 
Lang, Andrew, referred to, 64 
Law, the book of, discovered in temple, 
Dr Naville's theory about it, 375-7 
was it the whole Torah ? 376 
an individualised copy of the law, 375 
it was recognised to be the book of 
the law although by hypothesis 
the Jews had no law-book, 66, 
the whole of it, known to Amos, 

evidence for, 81-2 
historic incidents refened to by Amos 

and Hosea, 94-5 
proof that it dates as far back as 
Samuel, 381 
Leaf, on knowledge of Phoenician 

alphabet in Crete, 1400 B.C., 233 
Levirate law, observation of, by 
Samaritans, 138 
differences between Jewish and 
Samaritan observances, with 
reasons for them, 139 
Lewis, Mrs, her Palestinian Lectionaries, 

Lidzbarski, quoted, 224 
Lost ten tribes of Israel discussed, 15 


M (mem) and N (;/««) confused, 294-5 

Macalister, Dr, discoveries at Gezer, 
61-2, 64 

Maccabaean script, examined, 224-5 
struggle, the Samaritan immunity 
during it, 33-4 

MacEwen, Prof., on sprinkling of the 
Paschal lamb's blood on the fore- 
head of children, etc, 132 

M'Fayden, Prof., on Ephod and Tera- 
phim, 72-3, note 

Madden, History of Jewish Coinage, 227 



Magic, believed in by the Samaritans, 

Magus, Simon, claim to be the Paraclete, 

claim to be the Samaritan Christ, 1 95 
Man, constitution of, as taught in 

Samaritan theology, 186 
Manasseh, the fugitive Jewish High 
Priest, critical theory about him 
reviewed, 364 
his influence on the text of Samaritan 

Torah, 325 
probable author of the Samaritan 
doctrine regarding Mount 
Gerizim as God's appointed seat 
of national worship, 1 1 7-8 
reason why he excluded the book of 
Joshua from the Samaritan 
Torah, 153-4 
Manasseh and his brother Ephraim 

trick Samaritan worshipper, 167 
Mandeville, Sir John, account of the 
Samaritans in fourteenth century, 
51-2, 120 
Manir, ben, name given to Samaritan 

Messiah, 192 
Manuscripts, early, how they were 

written, 285-6 
Marqah, the Samaritan theologian, his 
Book of Wonders, 268 
date and teaching of, 1 74 
Marriage ceremony, Samaritan and 

Jewish contrasted, 138 
Martyr, Justin, on the Paschal lamb, 

Marwick, Wm., on Samaritan worship 

of a dove, 179, note 
Massoretic recension of Pentateuch, the 
importance of determining its 
relation to the Samaritan, 355 
text, reasons for discounting its 

critical value, 324 
was it prior to the Samaritan ? 283 
Mattura, his hymns referred to, 262 
Maundrel, Henry, account of Samari- 
tans in seventeenth century, 53-4 
Menahem, estimate of population in his 

time, 17 
Merx, Dr, on Samaritan Christology, 
poem on the Thaheb, 194, 268 

Messiah, Samaritan belief in the, 193 
Millennium, the, in Samaritan doctrine, 

Mills, Dr, description of Samaritan 
synagogue at Nablus, 121 
on dress worn by the Samaritans when 

at worship, 122 
on Samaritan creed, 175 
on Samaritan disbelief in prayers for 

the dead, 140 
on Samaritan doctrine of the resurrec- 
tion, 197 
on Samaritan right to observe the 
Passover at a later date when 
unable to do so at the correct 
date, 130 
Mohammedan influence on Samaritan 
religion, 192 
influence on Samaritan theology, 
Mohammedanism, rise and victorious 

progress of, 47-8 
Monotheism of the Samaritans, 175 
Montgomery, Dr, hymn of Samaritans 
translated, 177 
on legal relation between Jews and 
Samaritans as recognised by 
Jews, 38 
on persecution of Samaritans by 

Abbaside khalifs, 48 
on resistance of Samaritans to 
Khosrou Purviz, the Persian 
conqueror of Palestine, 46 
on Samaritan Feast of Unleavened 

Bread, 132 
on Samaritan names for angels, 188 
on Samaritan names for devils, 189 
on story of Garmun and Baba Rabba, 
Morinus and the Samaritan Pentateuch, 

Morning and evening prayers offered 

by the Samaritans, 140-1 
Mosaism in Northern Israel, its vitality, 

proof of, 58 ff. 
Moses in Samaritan theology almost 
equivalent to Christ in Christianity, 
the one mediator of a divine revela- 
tion, 191 
prayer of, a hymn translated, 263-4 



Mother roll of Massoretic and Samari- 
tan texts written in angular script, 

Music, its place in prophetic worship of 
JHWH, 93 
no, in Samaritan synagogue worship, 
Mythology, the theology of childhood, 


Nablus, city and valley of, described, 
roll of Samaritan Pentateuch des- 
cribed, Appendix II., 396-403 
Nachman, Moses ben, notice of his 
visit to Palestine in thirteenth 
century, 5 1 
recognises likeness of Samaritan to 
Maccabaean script, 227 
Nassau, R. H., referred to and quoted, 

Naville's theory of the original language 
of the Old Testament, Appendix 
IV., 412-24 
on the Roll of the Law found in the 
time of Josiah, 375 
Nazirites in Northern Israel, their sig- 
nificance, 81 
Nehemiah, date and historic value of, 
106-7, note 
his termination of friendly relations 
between Jews and Samaritans, 
his zeal against Jewish intermarriage 
with the Samaritans considered 
and criticised, 29 
Neubauer's Samaritan Chronicle, its 
discovery, 146 
review and analysis of, 159 
Nicaso, wife of Manasseh and daughter 

of Sanballat, 29 
Nicholls, Samaritan grammar referred 

to, 253 
Nomenclature, significance of Biblical, 
especially as regards the use of 
JHWrf and Baal in Hebrew 
proper names, 57-9 


Objections to the higher critics' views 
about the origin and development 
of the Hexateuch stated, 363-4 
Omnipresence of God, a Samaritan 

doctrine, 177-80 
Origen, influence of, in modifying the 
text of the Septuagint, 325 
on the resurrection as not taught by 

Samaritans, 197 
on Roman persecution of Samaritans, 
its reason, 41 
Original text of Samaritan Torah, 
reason for dating it in Ahab's time, 
Ox, the, was it a symbol of JHWH, 72 

P, symbol of Priestly Code, 358 
Palestine, condition of, in Joshua's day, 
not fully subdued by Joshua, 60 
the three nationalities settled there in 
Joshua's time, 59-60 
Paradigms of verbal forms, 270-4 
Parallelism absent from Samaritan 

poetry, 268 
Passover, the, adjustment of it by the 
Samaritans to the Sabbath, 126 
contrast between the Jewish and 

Samaritan, 1 30-1 
description of a Samaritan, 126-30 
feast carefully observed by Samari- 
tans, 124-5 
ritual, summary of differences between 
the Jewish and Samaritan forms, 
Samaritan method of fixing its date, 
Pattie, R. B., explanation of Hezekiah's 

Great Passover, 16 
Pentateuch alone canonical among the 
Samaritans, 145 
complete in all its parts when it 

reached Samaria, proof, 363 
critical theory as to its origin and 
constitution criticised, 361-3 



Pentateuch, portions of it, possibly due 
to Samuel and the schools of the 
prophets, 377-8 
read through by Samaritans between 

sunrise and sunset, 376, note 
reasons for believing the Samaritans 
had a complete book before 
the date of Ezra, 384-5 
Samaritans, historical evidence ren- 
ders probable its existence prior 
to the date assigned to the Jewish 
Pentateuch by the critics, 54-6 
weakness of the critics' reasons for 
including the book of Joshua in 
it, 360-1 
Personality of God, a Samaritan 

doctrine, 176 
Petermann, Dr, list of variants between 
Samaritan and Massoretic texts, 
on blood sprinkling in the Passover 

ritual, 132 
on Samaritan mode of reading 

Hebrew, 234-5 
on the four ruling angels in Samaritan 
teaching, 189 
Philo on the Essene community, 103 
Polygamy though permitted unknown 

among the Samaritans, 138 
Population of Palestine in time of 

Joshua, 59 
Prayer offered by Samaritans both 

morning and evening, 140-1 
Priesily Code (so called according to 
critics) brought to Jerusalem from 
Babylon by Ezra, 362-3 
difficulty of accepting the critics' 
account of its prompt acceptance 
at Jerusalem, 367-70 
difficulty of P being received in 
Samaria at the instance of 
Manasseh, 368-9 
evidence for its priority to Deuter- 
onomy, 375 
objections to its early date considered 

and met, 382-4 
proof that it must have been 
known in Samaria before Ezra 
came to Jerusalem, 370 
Priests, why more influential in Southern 
than Northern Israel, 27, 104 

Procopius'account of Samaritan rebellion 
under Anastasius, 45 
on alleged Samaritan conversion to 
Christianity, 46 
Pronunciation of Hebrew letters con- 
sidered, 231-2 
Prophetic and Essene communities 
compared, their points of resem- 
blance and contrast, 103 
denunciation of worship at the High 

Places, cause of, 65-6 
guilds under Elijah and Elisha, 101-2 
responsibility for the books of Samuel 

and Kings in the Canon, 107-8 
role in Israelite religion, 144 
worship (prophetic) and synagogue 
worship practically identical, 97 
worship included reading of the Law 

and musical services, 93 
worship of JHWH, its form in 
Northern Israel, 91-3 
Prophets alleged to be authors of 
historical books of the Bible, 105-8 
Prophets and priests, relations to one 
another in Northern and in 
Southern Israel, 85-9 
Prophets, customary badge or mark to 
distinguish them, 102-3 
description of how they occupied 

their time, 105 
in Northern Israel, how far their 
influence tended to supersede 
that of the priests, 89-92 
in Northern Israel more powerful 

than in the South, 27, 103 
political impotence in Davidic King- 
dom, 104 
schools of the, described, 97-106 
Ptolemaeus Lagi deports Samaritans to 

Egypt, 3a 
Purim, Feast of, as observed by 
Samaritans, 136 
contrast between the Samaritan and 
the Jewish observance, 136 

Qiblah, the Samaritan, 161 
the Israelite, 161 
the true decided, 161 




Rabbin, on the unlawfulness of any 
translation of the Law out of 
Hebrew into a foreign tongue, 321 
exception in favour of Greek, 322 
on the variations the translators 
introduced, 322 
Religion, its relation to ritual, 173-4 
Resurrection, Samaritan belief in the 

doctrine of the, 197 
Revelation of God's will, believed in by 
all nations, 83-4 
Samaritan belief in their possession 
of, through Moses, 191 
Rhyme, use of, in Samaritan hymns, 265 
Ritual worship in Northern Israel 

considered and described, 77-81 
Rolls, the most ancient form of books, 

Rouge, Dr, on Semitic script as derived 
from Egypt, 209-1 1 

Sabbath, the, strictly observed by 
Samaritans, 123 
Samaritan adjustment of the Pass- 
over to, 126 
Sakhra, a Holy Stone of the Samaritans, 
described, 12 
tradition regarding it, 12 
Samaria, city and state of, described, 2 
considered as an Assyrian Province, 

its extent and character, 4 
historic interest of, 5, 6 
present extent and condition of, 7-9, 

early history of, 25-7 
record of its history under the 
Ilasmonarans and Herodianp, 
united to Judah under Herod, 37 
Samaritan sea -coast occupied by 

Philist'nes, 5 
Samaritan Aramaic and the Targum 
in that tongue considered, 246 
compared with Hebrew and C