Samaria was the capital of the northern kingdom of Israel, built by King Omri in the ninth century B.C.E. The city was situated atop a hill rising some 300 feet above the surrounding valleys below. Thus the meaning of the Hebrew name Samaria (Shomron) is “watch-mountain,” though according the Bible the city was named after the owner of the hill, Shemer. The location of the site gave it a significant military advantage. It was also strategically located near the crossroads of the major trade routes in the region. The kings of Israel ruled here until the Assyrians destroyed the city in 722 B.C.E. and deported its inhabitants. After the destruction of the city, the name Samaria became the name of the larger region surrounding the city, including the biblical tribal territories of Ephraim and Manasseh. As a result of the Assyrian policy of deportation, the area was repopulated by a mixture of different people who came to be spurned by the Judeans. Produced by

People from the region of northern Mesopotamia that includes modern-day Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.

A West Semitic language, in which most of the Hebrew Bible is written except for parts of Daniel and Ezra. Hebrew is regarded as the spoken language of ancient Israel but is largely replaced by Aramaic in the Persian period.

The people of the tribe of Judah or the southern kingdom of Judah/Judea.

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.

Related to tribes, especially the so-called ten tribes of Israel.

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