Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
Volume 16, 1883
– 555 –

The author exhibited a part of a roll of a Samaritan Pentateuch, brought by him from Nablous, the ancient Shechem. He then read a paper briefly narrating the history of the Kingdom of Israel or Samaria, discussing the question of the probable origin of the “Samaritans” who were in occupation of the country at the time of the return of the Jews from Babylon; tracing the history of the Samaritan nation under the Roman Empire and through the middle ages; and mentioning the accounts contained in the Samaritan chronicles. He then referred to the bringing of the Samaritan Pentateuch to Europe, and the controversy which raged as to its supposed superiority to the Jewish form; but stated that it is now all but universally believed that the latter represents the original text. After describing the great MS. at Nablous, which he had himself examined, he discussed the question of the way in which the Samaritans had become possessed of the Pentateuch, maintaining that the more probable view was that it had been brought to them by Manasseh, a Jewish Priest expelled from Jerusalem by Nehemiah. He then mentioned more in detail some of the points in which the Samaritan differs from the Jewish version, especially the shape of the letters, and the words added by the Samaritan to Exodus xx., 18. After speaking of the rolls now at St. Petersburg and Cambridge, he gave a full account of the Samaritan Passover, Nablous being the only place in the world where the Passover, as described in the Book of Exodus, is still celebrated.

The Rev. Mr. Van Staveren examined the fragment and expressed himself highly pleased with it and the author's remarks.

5. “The Law of Gavelkind,” by Coleman Phillips. (Transactions, p. 518.)