68 – Israel, the North, and the South in the Time of Jesus

by Jill

Today, we’re going to explore the different people groups that existed during the time of Jesus, specifically within Israel. 

We’ll focus on the tribe of Judah, which is made up of the descendants of Jacob’s grandchildren from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. These two tribes were the only ones to survive the exile and were allowed to return home. But what about the other ten tribes of Israel? We’ll discuss their geographical locations and how they eventually disappeared during the Assyrian conquest.

One of the most interesting groups we’ll talk about today is the Samaritans. They were seen as foreigners by Judah, but considered themselves the guardians of the Israeli faith. They even referred to themselves as Israel and believed in their Hebrew roots. Their religious center was Mount Gerizim, which sparked a long-standing debate with the Judeans who believed that the main temple should be in Jerusalem. Unfortunately, this disagreement, combined with historical conflicts, led to a deep distrust and animosity between the two groups during Jesus’ time.

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