Ezra claimed that those who live on Israel are totally different people that happen to worship the same God. He probably didn't know for sure because he was in Babylon during their birth.
I wonder how he knew.
Nevertheless if it were true, then genetic relatedness between Samaritan and Jews would be farther than Jews and other Middle Easterners.
Turns out the answer is no.
This question is not about beliefs. It's about facts. One guy says historically one thing happen. Genetic tests show otherwise. Also it's not about definition of Jews. I've heard the rule that the mom must be Jewish was made much later. The question is about, okay, historically, Ezra said this happened. Genetic testing shows it can't be true. So how come?
Genetically, Samaritans are related, no?
The Samaritans are an ancient northern population of historic Israel, where they are historically well identified since at least the 4th century BC. They define themselves as the descendants of tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh (two tribes from the Tribe of Joseph) living in the Kingdom of Israel before its destruction in 722 BC. For them, the Jews are the descendants of the Israelites from ancient southern kingdom of Judah (and Jerusalem).
A 2004 study by Shen et al. compared the Y-DNA and DNA-mt Samaritans of 12 men with those of 158 men who were not Samaritans, divided between 6 Jewish populations (Ashkenazi origin, Moroccan, Libyan, Ethiopian, Iraqi and Yemeni) and 2 non-Jewish populations from Israel (Druze and Arab). The study concludes that significant similarities exist between paternal lines of Jews and Samaritans, but the maternal lines differ between the two populations. The pair-wise genetic distances (Fst) between 11 populations from AMOVA applied to the Y-chromosomal and mitochondrial data. For the Y-chromosome, all Jewish groups, except for the Ethiopians, are closely related to each other. They do not differ significantly from Samaritans (0.041) and Druze (0.033), but are different from Palestinians (0.163), Africans (0.219), and Europeans (0.111). Nevertheless, the data in this study indicated that the Samaritan and Jewish Y-chromosomes have a greater affinity than do those of the Samaritans and their geographical neighbors, the Palestinians.
So what went wrong?
- Ezra got wrong info from God? (obviously wrong. pardon, just stating all options)
- Ezra got the history wrong? (quite likely. he's not a prophet. he got wrong info. but that means the scripture is wrong and we put opinion of a slightly racist wrong guy into bible)
- Ezra made this things up to justify kicking people he may have problem with? (again, pardon)
- Ezra is right. It's just that something happened. What happened?
This question is not about whether the Samaritans are halacically Jewish or not. This is about facts. I want to know whether I can trust the bible for historical facts.
I want to know whether they are descendants of Israelites genetically as genetic testing shows, or just some outsider brought there as Ezra must have thought. This is about fact. I want to know if Ezra, as part of a book of Bible, tells historically true stories or not.
I also wanted to know what does Ezra think of the Samaritans.
I saw a piece saying they are Jews marrying others. Then another piece saying they are totally different people. I forget where I found them and got them and must have gotten them mixed. There is something along Ezra took the Samaritans by the hair and throw them out.
It looks like the books of the Bible tell different stories and the book of chronicles match the genetic data more:
The emergence of the Samaritans as an ethnic and religious community distinct from other Levant peoples appears to have occurred at some point after the Assyrian conquest of the Israelite Kingdom of Israel in approximately 721 BC. The records of Sargon II of Assyria indicate that he deported 27,290 inhabitants of the former kingdom.
Jewish tradition maintains a different origin for the Samaritans. The Talmud accounts for a people called "Cuthim" on a number of occasions, mentioning their arrival by the hands of the Assyrians. According to 2 Kings and Josephus the people of Israel were removed by the king of the Assyrians (Sargon II) to Halah, to Gozan on the Khabur River and to the towns of the Medes. The king of the Assyrians then brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avah, Emath, and Sepharvaim to place in Samaria. Because God sent lions among them to kill them, the king of the Assyrians sent one of the priests from Bethel to teach the new settlers about God's ordinances. The eventual result was that the new settlers worshipped both the God of the land and their own gods from the countries from which they came.
This account is contradicted by the version in Chronicles, where, following Samaria's destruction, King Hezekiah is depicted as endeavouring to draw the Ephraimites and Manassites closer to Judah. Temple repairs at the time of Josiah were financed by moneys from all "the remnant of Israel" in Samaria, including from Manasseh, Ephraim and Benjamin. Jeremiah likewise speaks of people from Shechem, Shiloh and Samaria who brought offerings of frankincense and grain to the house of the Lord. Chronicles makes no mention of an Assyrian resettlement. Yitzakh Magen argues that the version of Chronicles is perhaps closer to the historical truth, and that the Assyrian settlement was unsuccessful, a notable population remained in Samaria, part of which, following the conquest of Judah, fled south and settled there as refugees.
A Midrash (Genesis Rabbah Sect. 94) relates about an encounter between Rabbi Meir and a Samaritan. The story that developed includes the following dialogue: