The people who lived in the northern section of Israel following the exchange of population effected by the Assyrians, after Assyria conquered the Northern Kingdom in 722 BC. To keep Israel weak, many Jews were deported to other countries that were also conquered by Assyria, and people from those countries were deported to the northern section of Israel. Over the years, this mixture of people were called Samaritans.

The Jews of the south and the Samaritans were hostile to each other. The mixed population of Samaria was not accepted as Jewish by the Jews of the south. One of the worst insults that Jews hostile to Jesus could offer, was to call Him a Samaritan (John 8:48). The "good Samaritan" parable in Luke 10: 33-37, reflects the views of the Jews toward the Samaritan, as a person least likly to be charitable. But Jesus did convert many Samaritans, and they were among the first to accept the message of the Gospel.

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