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What’s the Difference Between Samaria Israel and the Jews?

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This is an email response to an individual who emailed us.

I’m Elder Ishe contributor with BibleStudyMinistry.com and a minister with also.

First, thank you for visiting and sending us an email. In regards to your questions, let’s break them down (and perhaps this time a few references).

The Kingdom of Israel started with the nomination of King Saul (1 Samuel 10:1)

After Saul was King David (1 Samuel 16:13).

David passed the kingdom to his son Solomon (1 Kings 2:12). At this time, the kingdom of Israel is comprised of ALL 12 tribes and the strangers or nations that came out of Egypt to be with them (2 Samuel 8:15).

The 12 tribes are listed here but so you don’t have to leave the post I’ll list them below:

Names of the 12 Tribes of Israel

  1. Reuben
  2. Simeon
  3. Levi
  4. Judah
  5. Dan
  6. Naphtali
  7. Gad
  8. Issachar
  9. Asher
  10. Zebulon
  11. Joseph (Ephraim & Manasseh)
  12. And Benjamin

If anyone was a male or female child born out of one of these families, they were considered one of the children of Israel. They were of the kingdom of Israel. Make sense so far?

Fast forward to King Solomon; while he did well, he was blessed 1 Kings 10:23-25

But once distracted he sinned 1 Kings 11:1-13 – specifically, verses 12 and 13 tell us he sinned and God told him He would take the kingdom from him and only leave him one tribe, for David’s sake.

Two Kingdoms

Therefore, Solomon and his sons would rule over the house of Judah ONLY. Jeroboam from the tribe of Joseph began to rule over the house of Israel now (1 Kings 11:29-33). Think of Israel as all 12 tribes minus the tribe of Judah now because they are off to themselves because of the sin of Solomon.

Now in the story in 1 King chapter 12 with Rehoboam (Solomon’s son) and Jeroboam and the burden of taxes, the kingdom officially divided, see 1 Kings 12:16,20).

It is now two kingdoms

The Kingdom of Judah and The Kingdom of Israel

The tribe of Benjamin and Levi chose to remain with Judah
Everyone else was with Israel.

Where does the name Samaria come in? 

Why are they called Samaritans?

Samaria means “watch mountain” and is the name of both a city and a territory. When the Israelites conquered the Promised Land, this region was allotted to the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim. Much later, the city of Samaria was built on a hill by King Omri and named after the former owner, Shemer (see 1 Kings 16:24). Samaria became the headquarters or capital of Israel and thus the people became known as Samaritans.

We will say this; Samaria was more than likely a melting hub. This was more so because Samaria was besieged and the Israelites were taken out and replaced by other peoples (2 Kings 17:6). Other nations were now there and mixed among the children of Israel there.

The kingdom of Judah was racially and ethnically separated from the Samaritans. This was why it was a big deal during the days of Jesus that the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans. Keep in mind, after the nation split during the days of Rehoboam and Jeroboam, they fought vicious wars against each other. Hence, the people extremely disliked each other even though they are brothers and sisters.

Separate Gods

Further, the two nations began to serve different Gods. The Jews looked down on them and even referred to them as Gentiles because of their godlessness. Some people rumor that Samaritans are half-breeds.

The Samaritans are not “half-breeds” – Jeroboam had Israel leave the God of Israel and serve Baalim and this is what the Kingdom of Judah disdained and treated them like any other nation on the earth (like second class citizens). The Samaritans are actually children of Israel because they were from the original 12 tribes.

There are only two entities, Judah and Israel (sometimes called Ephraim): Samaria is just a city in the kingdom of Israel as much as Jerusalem is a city in the kingdom of Judah.

I pray this has helped you, and accept my apologies for the vagueness of the original article.

If you have any other questions, give me an email. God bless and keep you.

Elder Ishe
BibleStudyMinistry.com


For the indigenous people of both Africa and Americas, they shared very similar cultures, lifestyles, language, and Gods. Some believe this is Judah and Samaria (Ephraim/Israel) in modern day!
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