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The people of Samaria, who were originally Jews but had intermarried with the pagan Assyrians, who had conquered Israel in 622 b.c. (II Kings 18:9-12). They developed a different form of Judaism, based mainly on their own Pentateuch, which was the only part of the Old Testament the Samaritans accepted. They had their own temple on Mount Gerizim and were bitterly hated by the Jews (John 4:9, 20). They were featured in three narratives of the Gospels: the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:33), the Ten Lepers (Luke 7:16), and the Samaritan Woman (John 4:5-42).
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.