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From: Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary

    the name given to the new and mixed inhabitants whom Esarhaddon
    (B.C. 677), the king of Assyria, brought from Babylon and other
    places and settled in the cities of Samaria, instead of the
    original inhabitants whom Sargon (B.C. 721) had removed into
    captivity (2 Kings 17:24; comp. Ezra 4:2, 9, 10). These
    strangers (comp. Luke 17:18) amalgamated with the Jews still
    remaining in the land, and gradually abandoned their old
    idolatry and adopted partly the Jewish religion.
      After the return from the Captivity, the Jews in Jerusalem
    refused to allow them to take part with them in rebuilding the
    temple, and hence sprang up an open enmity between them. They
    erected a rival temple on Mount Gerizim, which was, however,
    destroyed by a Jewish king (B.C. 130). They then built another
    at Shechem. The bitter enmity between the Jews and Samaritans
    continued in the time of our Lord: the Jews had "no dealings
    with the Samaritans" (John 4:9; comp. Luke 9:52, 53). Our Lord
    was in contempt called "a Samaritan" (John 8:48). Many of the
    Samaritans early embraced the gospel (John 4:5-42; Acts 8:25;
    9:31; 15:3). Of these Samaritans there still remains a small
    population of about one hundred and sixty, who all reside in
    Shechem, where they carefully observe the religious customs of
    their fathers. They are the "smallest and oldest sect in the