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samaria

samaria


  2  definitions  found 
 
  From  Easton's  1897  Bible  Dictionary  [easton]: 
 
  Samaria 
  a  watch-mountain  or  a  watch-tower.  In  the  heart  of  the  mountains 
  of  Israel,  a  few  miles  north-west  of  Shechem,  stands  the  "hill 
  of  Shomeron,"  a  solitary  mountain,  a  great  "mamelon."  It  is  an 
  oblong  hill,  with  steep  but  not  inaccessible  sides,  and  a  long 
  flat  top  Omri,  the  king  of  Israel,  purchased  this  hill  from 
  Shemer  its  owner  for  two  talents  of  silver,  and  built  on  its 
  broad  summit  the  city  to  which  he  gave  the  name  of  "Shomeron", 
  i.e.,  Samaria,  as  the  new  capital  of  his  kingdom  instead  of 
  Tirzah  (1  Kings  16:24).  As  such  it  possessed  many  advantages. 
  Here  Omri  resided  during  the  last  six  years  of  his  reign.  As  the 
  result  of  an  unsuccessful  war  with  Syria,  he  appears  to  have 
  been  obliged  to  grant  to  the  Syrians  the  right  to  "make  streets 
  in  Samaria",  i.e.,  probably  permission  to  the  Syrian  merchants 
  to  carry  on  their  trade  in  the  Israelite  capital.  This  would 
  imply  the  existence  of  a  considerable  Syrian  population.  "It  was 
  the  only  great  city  of  Palestine  created  by  the  sovereign.  All 
  the  others  had  been  already  consecrated  by  patriarchal  tradition 
  or  previous  possession.  But  Samaria  was  the  choice  of  Omri 
  alone.  He  indeed,  gave  to  the  city  which  he  had  built  the  name 
  of  its  former  owner,  but  its  especial  connection  with  himself  as 
  its  founder  is  proved  by  the  designation  which  it  seems  Samaria 
  bears  in  Assyrian  inscriptions,  Beth-khumri  ('the  house  or 
  palace  of  Omri').",  Stanley. 
 
  Samaria  was  frequently  besieged.  In  the  days  of  Ahab,  Benhadad 
  II  came  up  against  it  with  thirty-two  vassal  kings,  but  was 
  defeated  with  a  great  slaughter  (1  Kings  20:1-21).  A  second 
  time,  next  year,  he  assailed  it  but  was  again  utterly  routed, 
  and  was  compelled  to  surrender  to  Ahab  (20:28-34),  whose  army, 
  as  compared  with  that  of  Benhadad,  was  no  more  than  "two  little 
  flocks  of  kids." 
 
  In  the  days  of  Jehoram  this  Benhadad  again  laid  siege  to 
  Samaria,  during  which  the  city  was  reduced  to  the  direst 
  extremities.  But  just  when  success  seemed  to  be  within  their 
  reach,  they  suddenly  broke  up  the  seige,  alarmed  by  a  mysterious 
  noise  of  chariots  and  horses  and  a  great  army,  and  fled,  leaving 
  their  camp  with  all  its  contents  behind  them  The  famishing 
  inhabitants  of  the  city  were  soon  relieved  with  the  abundance  of 
  the  spoil  of  the  Syrian  camp;  and  it  came  to  pass,  according  to 
  the  word  of  Elisha,  that  "a  measure  of  fine  flour  was  sold  for  a 
  shekel,  and  two  measures  of  barely  for  a  shekel,  in  the  gates  of 
  Samaria"  (2  Kings  7:1-20). 
 
  Shalmaneser  invaded  Israel  in  the  days  of  Hoshea,  and  reduced 
  it  to  vassalage.  He  laid  siege  to  Samaria  (B.C.  723),  which  held 
  out  for  three  years,  and  was  at  length  captured  by  Sargon,  who 
  completed  the  conquest  Shalmaneser  had  begun  (2  Kings  18:9-12; 
  17:3),  and  removed  vast  numbers  of  the  tribes  into  captivity. 
  (See  {SARGON}.) 
 
  This  city,  after  passing  through  various  vicissitudes,  was 
  given  by  the  emperor  Augustus  to  Herod  the  Great,  who  rebuilt 
  it  and  called  it  Sebaste  (Gr.  form  of  Augustus)  in  honour  of 
  the  emperor.  In  the  New  Testament  the  only  mention  of  it  is  in 
  Acts  8:5-14,  where  it  is  recorded  that  Philip  went  down  to  the 
  city  of  Samaria  and  preached  there 
 
  It  is  now  represented  by  the  hamlet  of  Sebustieh  containing 
  about  three  hundred  inhabitants.  The  ruins  of  the  ancient  town 
  are  all  scattered  over  the  hill,  down  the  sides  of  which  they 
  have  rolled.  The  shafts  of  about  one  hundred  of  what  must  have 
  been  grand  Corinthian  columns  are  still  standing,  and  attract 
  much  attention,  although  nothing  definite  is  known  regarding 
  them  (Comp.  Micah  1:6.) 
 
  In  the  time  of  Christ,  Western  Palestine  was  divided  into 
  three  provinces,  Judea,  Samaria,  and  Galilee.  Samaria  occupied 
  the  centre  of  Palestine  (John  4:4).  It  is  called  in  the  Talmud 
  the  "land  of  the  Cuthim,"  and  is  not  regarded  as  a  part  of  the 
  Holy  Land  at  all 
 
  It  may  be  noticed  that  the  distance  between  Samaria  and 
  Jerusalem,  the  respective  capitals  of  the  two  kingdoms,  is  only 
  35  miles  in  a  direct  line 
 
 
  From  Hitchcock's  Bible  Names  Dictionary  (late  1800's)  [hitchcock]: 
 
  Samaria,  watch-mountain