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Offline HOPE

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« on: September 01, 2012, 02:17:42 AM »
Salam brother Joseph and all,

Does the name Samiri mentioned in the Quran mean from Samaria, thus a Samaritan?  If so, then, is it safe to propose that the animosity between the Samaritans and the Jews may stem from the incident of the golden calf rather than a sibling rivalry?
"Hope is like a bird that senses the dawn and carefully starts to sing while it is still dark"

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Samaritan
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2012, 07:09:00 AM »
Peace Hope,

In my humble academic view, it is important I feel to better appreciate where the common belief that the Samaritans originated from Samaria at the time of the Assyrian conquest 722 BCE (centuries after the account in Exodus) actually originate from.

This has also been a point of contention for Christian polemics that criticise the Quranic mention of ‘al-Samiri’ as a ‘Samaritan’ when the city of Samaria wasn't founded until hundreds of years after the death of Prophet Moses.

The origins of the ‘Samaritans’ as commonly understood are usually a result of interpretations from 2 Kings 17 and Josephus. The Bible uses the name 'Shomeroniy' {sho-mer-o-nee} once in 2 Kings 17 which simply means ‘of Samaria’ or 'inhabitants of Samaria'. This does not really tell us much of the Samaritans or even tell us anything of their origins.

Samaritan sources also ascribe their origins to the descendants of the Joseph tribes Ephraim and Manasseh. Therefore, it is quite possible that the al-Samiri of the Quran was a Samaritan, just not from Samaria.

However, whatever the true identity of ‘al-Samiri’ in the Quran or the historical origins of the ‘Samaritans’, the name ‘al-Samiri’ was clearly known to the primary audience of the Quran. There is no conclusive evidence that this was a reference to a ‘Samaritan’ either.

With regards your proposition as to the cause of the animosity, this would, with respect, remain inconclusive on the basis of insufficient evidence.

I hope that helps, God willing.


13th March 2013

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