A view of Samaria from the north.

Samaria, the hill country of Ephraim, is a name for the mountainous, central region of the ancient Levant based on the borders of the biblical northern kingdom of Israel. To the north, Samaria is bounded by the Jezreel Valley, to the east by the Jordan Rift Valley, to the west by the Carmel ridge and the Sharon plain, and to the south by the Jerusalem mountains. The hills of Samaria are not very high—2500 feet or so above sea level—and the climate is more hospitable than the climate further south.


The deep valley, with modern Israel and the West Bank on one side and Jordan on the other, through which the Jordan River flows. The valley contains the Dead Sea, the surface of which is the lowest elevation on earth. The Jordan Rift Valley is a continuation of the Great Rift Valley of Africa.

The countries bordering the eastern Mediterranean sea, from the Sinai in Egypt to Aleppo in Syria.

The kingdom consisting of the northern Israelites tribes, which existed separately from the southern kingdom of Judah. According to the Hebrew Bible, all the tribes were part of a unified kingdom under David and Solomon, but the northern kingdom under Jeroboam I rebelled after Solomon's death (probably sometime in the late 10th century B.C.E.), establishing their independence. The northern kingdom of Israel fell to the Neo-Assyrian Empire in 722 B.C.E.

 NEH Logo
Bible Odyssey has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.