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Crossing Samaria

After the people of Israel divided into two independent kingdoms (see The Division Of Israel), they eventually became corrupt. As a punishment from the LORD (i.e. Jesus Christ - see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM'), The Northern Kingdom was gradually taken off into exile first, by the Assyrians, until by 721 BC they were exterminated from the land (they were thereafter known as "the lost ten tribes"). Later, The Southern Kingdom also faced the LORD's wrath for their corruption. They were conquered and taken into exile by the Babylonians by 586 BC (see also Raiders Of The Lost Ark).

The major difference is that the people of Judah returned, as prophesied (see Jeremiah's Field), after 70 years. From that time on, the land of Israel as a whole became known as Judea because the people of Judah (in the national sense, Judah and Benjamin - see Was Paul A Jew or a Benjamite?) were the only part of the people of Israel that inhabited the land.

By the time of the Roman occupation however (see Ancient Empires - Rome), Judea was designated as the southern portion only. The Romans made Samaria and Galilee separate provinces, along with Judea, although "Judea" was still also sometimes used to refer to them all together. Hence, whenever Jesus Christ journeyed from Galilee, in the north, to Judea in the south, He had to cross Samaria in the central part of the land.

"As He went to Jerusalem, He passed through the midst of Samaria"

As in Galilee and Judea, there were believers and unbelievers in Samaria. Even among those who did believe, there were differences between those of His own people of Judah ("Jew" is an abbreviation of Judah, who was a son of Jacob i.e. the LORD renamed Jacob as Israel, not Judah as Israel), who seemed to take things much more for granted, than the "strangers" who recognized the Messiah as the Savior of all people. Notice in this example, only the foreigner "Samaritan" (see the Fact Finder question below) gave thanks to God for his healing, while the other nine men of Judea did not.

Samaria in Judea

"17:11 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 17:12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: 17:13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.

17:14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go show yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.

17:15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 17:16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.

17:17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? 17:18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. 17:19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole." (Luke 17:11-19 KJV)

The encounter with a "Samaritan" woman was also evidence of how outsiders were actually insiders when it came to recognizing the Christ (it was perhaps primarily because they weren't of Judah that they were able to see - see Why Can't 'The Chosen People' See?).

"4:4 And he must needs go through Samaria. 4:5 Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 4:6 Now Jacob's Well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour [i.e. noon - see Hours Of The Day].

4:7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. 4:8 For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.

4:9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

4:11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? 4:12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?

4:13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

4:15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

4:16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.

4:17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband.

Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: 4:18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.

4:19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. 4:20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.

4:21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews [see Zionism]. 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

4:25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.

4:26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he." (John 4:4-26 KJV)

Fact Finder: Who were the "Samaritans" in the time of Christ's first coming?
See The Samaritans Of Israel

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