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When the Israelites divided into 2 kingdoms after the death of King Solomon, the Kingdom of Israel was established in the northern section of the Promised Land, in accordance with the lands allotted to the 10 tribes in that area. Shechem was the original capital, until Jeroboam moved it to Tirzah. Later, in approximately 880 B.C., Omri, the sixth king of Israel, established the capital at Samaria, a new town built on a hilltop about 7 miles (11 kilometers) northwest of Shechem. "Samaria" came to be used interchangeably for both the city, and the region.


After the northern kingdom was conquered by the Assyrians, the region then known as Samaria was reduced in size. By the time of Jesus Christ, it was bounded by Galilee to the north, The Mediterranean Sea to the west, Judea to the south (in which Jerusalem was located), and the Jordan River to the east. Today, it is in the so-called "West Bank" area.

Fact Finder: Did the early Christian church become well-established throughout the entire land of Israel, from Judea, through Samaria, and up into Galilee?
Acts 9:31

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