[b-hebrew] Jerusalem, city or land?

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Mon Aug 2 02:45:37 EDT 2004

From: "Tony Costa" <tmcos at rogers.com>
> The area to the north of Judah that was called Samaria was a city, the
> capital city of the northern kingdom of Israel in counterdistinction to
> Jerusalem the capital city of the southern kingdom, Judah. Nowhere in the
> do we read or hear of the "land of Samaria", it appears in the context of
> city. In the time of Jesus it would be true to say that Samaria had become
> land region, sandwiched in between Judea to the south, and Galilee to the
> north.
> Tony Costa

While "the land of Samaria" does not appear as such, expressions like "the
towns of Samaria" and "the hills of Samaria" are very common (e.g. 1 Kings
13:32, 2 Kings 17:24, 23:19, Jer. 31:4 etc.). Clearly, once the city became
an urban center, the countryside around it was also called "Samaria". To a
certain extent, the name Samaria replaced the older regional name
"hills/land of Ephraim".
"Samaria" also became a epithet for the kingdom, of which the city of
Samaria was capital. look at 1 Kings 21:1.
That "Samaria" (Shamrayn in Aramaic) was the name of the province in the
Persian and Hellenistic periods is well attested.

So, yes, an area is often named after its main city.


More information about the b-hebrew mailing list