Journey through Samaria
|51And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, 52And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. 53And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. 54And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? 55But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. 56For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.
|10But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.
After King Solomon’s death, the nation Israel divided north of the tribe of Benjamin’s border. Jerusalem stayed the capital in the south. Jeroboam chose Shechem as the capital for the Northern Kingdom, but the capital wasn’t there for long. Succeeding kings relocated Israel’s principal city from Shechem to Tirzah. Shechem, which lay between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, provided central Israel’s most important crossroads.
King Omri moved the capital back to Samaria, and it served as the northern kingdom’s administrative center for 160 years. Samaria took its name from Shemer, the man
who sold Omri the hill (1 Kings 16:24-28). After the Assyrians dragged the Northern Kingdom into exile in 722 BC, they repopulated the area, producing a mixed breed - partly Jewish, partly Assyrian - called Samaritans. Caesar Augustus gave Samaria to Herod the Great, who rebuilt the city to his usual exorbitant standards and renamed the site Sebaste, the Greek name for Augustus.