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Bible Gem 36 - Background to Samaritan worship (John 4:20)

March 6, 2019


Background to Samaritan worship: 

2Ki 17:24  The king of Assyria transported groups of people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim and resettled them in the towns of Samaria, replacing the people of Israel. They took possession of Samaria and lived in its towns. 

2Ki 17:26  So a message was sent to the king of Assyria: "The people you have sent to live in the towns of Samaria do not know the religious customs of the God of the land. He has sent lions among them to destroy them because they have not worshiped Him correctly."

2Ki 17:27  The king of Assyria then commanded, "Send one of the exiled priests back to Samaria. Let him live there and teach the new residents the religious customs of the God of the land." 

2Ki 17:28  So one of the priests who had been exiled from Samaria returned to Bethel and taught the new residents how to worship the LORD. 

2Ki 17:29  But these various groups of foreigners also continued to worship their own gods. In town after town where they lived, they placed their idols at the pagan shrines that the people of Samaria had built.


Ezr 4:1  The enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were rebuilding a Temple to the LORD, the God of Israel. 

Ezr 4:2  So they approached Zerubbabel and the other leaders and said, "Let us build with you, for we worship your God just as you do. We have sacrificed to Him ever since King Esarhaddon of Assyria brought us here."


But their help to build the second temple was refused. This set up enmity between Jew and Samaritan. Thus methods and place of worship became a major issue between them.


Isn’t it interesting that Jesus response to the woman at the well was not to get into the crux of the issue between them. They were standing there looking at Mt Gerazim but He didn’t start talking about the place of worship. He didn’t refer to Mt Gerazim at all. He didn’t talk to her about the methods of worship. He said you must worship in spirit and in truth. You must worship by the Holy Spirit of God leading you, He will lead you into all truth. Truth is another theme word of John. He will develop this theme too. 



You must also worship in truth. Your worship must be true worship. It must be spirit lead and true from the heart. 


We will look at that tomorrow; enough for today. 


Never judge a book by its movie. Especially the Bible.



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