Salt, The city of One of the cities of Judah (Jos 15:62), probably in the Valley of Salt, at the southern end of the Dead Sea.
Salt, Valley of A place where it is said David smote the Syrians (Sa2 8:13). This valley (the Arabah) is between Judah and Edom on the south of the Dead Sea. Hence some interpreters would insert the words, "and he smote Edom," after the words, "Syrians" in the above text. It is conjectured that while David was leading his army against the Ammonites and Syrians, the Edomites invaded the south of Judah, and that David sent Joab or Abishai against them, who drove them back and finally subdued Edom. (Compare title to Psa 60:1.) Here also Amaziah "slew of Edom ten thousand men" (Kg2 14:7; compare Kg2 8:20 and Ch2 25:5).
Salutation "Eastern modes of salutation are not infrequently so prolonged as to become wearisome and a positive waste of time. The profusely polite Arab asks so many questions after your health, your happiness, your welfare, your house, and other things, that a person ignorant of the habits of the country would imagine there must be some secret ailment or mysterious sorrow oppressing you, which you wished to conceal, so as to spare the feelings of a dear, sympathizing friend, but which he, in the depth of his anxiety, would desire to hear of. I have often listened to these prolonged salutations in the house, the street, and the highway, and not infrequently I have experienced their tedious monotony, and I have bitterly lamented useless waste of time" (Porter, Through Samaria, etc.). The work on which the disciples were sent forth was one of urgency, which left no time for empty compliments and prolonged greetings (Luk 10:4).
Salvation This word is used of the deliverance of the Israelites from the Egyptians (Exo 14:13), and of deliverance generally from evil or danger. In the New Testament it is specially used with reference to the great deliverance from the guilt and the pollution of sin wrought out by Jesus Christ, "the great salvation" (Heb 2:3). (See REDEMPTION; REGENERATION.)
Samaria A watch-mountain or a watch-tower. In the heart of the mountains of Israel, a few miles north-west of Shechem, stands the "hill of Shomeron," a solitary mountain, a great "mamelon." It is an oblong hill, with steep but not inaccessible sides, and a long flat top. Omri, the king of Israel, purchased this hill from Shemer its owner for two talents of silver, and built on its broad summit the city to which he gave the name of "Shomeron", i.e., Samaria, as the new capital of his kingdom instead of Tirzah (Kg1 16:24). As such it possessed many advantages. Here Omri resided during the last six years of his reign. As the result of an unsuccessful war with Syria, he appears to have been obliged to grant to the Syrians the right to "make streets in Samaria", i.e., probably permission to the Syrian merchants to carry on their trade in the Israelite capital. This would imply the existence of a considerable Syrian population. "It was the only great city of Palestine created by the sovereign. All the others had been already consecrated by patriarchal tradition or previous possession. But Samaria was the choice of Omri alone. He, indeed, gave to the city which he had built the name of its former owner, but its especial connection with himself as its founder is proved by the designation which it seems Samaria bears in Assyrian inscriptions, Beth-khumri ('the house or palace of Omri')." Stanley. Samaria was frequently besieged. In the days of Ahab, Benhadad II. came up against it with thirty-two vassal kings, but was defeated with a great slaughter (1 Kings 20:1-21). A second time, next year, he assailed it; but was again utterly routed, and was compelled to surrender to Ahab (Kg1 20:28), whose army, as compared with that of Benhadad, was no more than "two little flocks of kids." In the days of Jehoram this Benhadad again laid siege to Samaria, during which the city was reduced to the direst extremities. But just when success seemed to be within their reach, they suddenly broke up the siege, alarmed by a mysterious noise of chariots and horses and a great army, and fled, leaving their camp with all its contents behind them. The famishing inhabitants of the city were soon relieved with the abundance of the spoil of the Syrian camp; and it came to pass, according to the word of Elisha, that "a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two measures of barely for a shekel, in the gates of Samaria" (2 Kings 7:1-20). Shalmaneser invaded Israel in the days of Hoshea, and reduced it to vassalage. He laid siege to Samaria (723 B.C.), which held out for three years, and was at length captured by Sargon, who completed the conquest Shalmaneser had begun (Kg2 18:9; Kg2 17:3), and removed vast numbers of the tribes into captivity. (See SARGON.) The city, after passing through various vicissitudes, was given by the emperor Augustus to Herod the Great, who rebuilt it, and called it Sebaste (Gr. form of Augustus ) in honour of the emperor. In the New Testament the only mention of it is in Act 8:5, where it is recorded that Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached there. It is now represented by the hamlet of Sebustieh, containing about three hundred inhabitants. The ruins of the ancient town are all scattered over the hill, down the sides of which they have rolled. The shafts of about one hundred of what must have been grand Corinthian columns are still standing, and attract much attention, although nothing definite is known regarding them. (Compare Mic 1:6.) In the time of Christ, Western Palestine was divided into three provinces, Judea, Samaria, and Galilee. Samaria occupied the centre of Palestine (Joh 4:4). It is called in the Talmud the "land of the Cuthim," and is not regarded as a part of the Holy Land at all. It may be noticed that the distance between Samaria and Jerusalem, the respective capitals of the two kingdoms, is only 35 miles in a direct line.
Samaritans The name given to the new and mixed inhabitants whom Esarhaddon (677 B.C.), the king of Assyria, brought from Babylon and other places and settled in the cities of Samaria, instead of the original inhabitants whom Sargon (721 B.C.) had removed into captivity (Kg2 17:24; compare Ezr 4:2, Ezr 4:9, Ezr 4:10). These strangers (compare Luk 17:18) amalgamated with the Jews still remaining in the land, and gradually abandoned their old idolatry and adopted partly the Jewish religion. After the return from the Captivity, the Jews in Jerusalem refused to allow them to take part with them in rebuilding the temple, and hence sprang up an open enmity between them. They erected a rival temple on Mount Gerizim, which was, however, destroyed by a Jewish king (130 B.C.). They then built another at Shechem. The bitter enmity between the Jews and Samaritans continued in the time of our Lord: the Jews had "no dealings with the Samaritans" (Joh 4:9; compare Luk 9:52, Luk 9:53). Our Lord was in contempt called "a Samaritan" (Joh 8:48). Many of the Samaritans early embraced the gospel (John 4:5-42; Act 8:25; Act 9:31; Act 15:3). Of these Samaritans there still remains a small population of about one hundred and sixty, who all reside in Shechem, where they carefully observe the religious customs of their fathers. They are the "smallest and oldest sect in the world."
Samaritan Pentateuch On the return from the Exile, the Jews refused the Samaritans participation with them in the worship at Jerusalem, and the latter separated from all fellowship with them, and built a temple for themselves on Mount Gerizim. This temple was razed to the ground more than one hundred years B.C. Then a system of worship was instituted similar to that of the temple at Jerusalem. It was founded on the Law, copies of which had been multiplied in Israel as well as in Judah. Thus the Pentateuch was preserved among the Samaritans, although they never called it by this name, but always "the Law," which they read as one book. The division into five books, as we now have it, however, was adopted by the Samaritans, as it was by the Jews, in all their priests' copies of "the Law," for the sake of convenience. This was the only portion of the Old Testament which was accepted by the Samaritans as of divine authority. The form of the letters in the manuscript copies of the Samaritan Pentateuch is different from that of the Hebrew copies, and is probably the same as that which was in general use before the Captivity. There are other peculiarities in the writing which need not here be specified. There are important differences between the Hebrew and the Samaritan copies of the Pentateuch in the readings of many sentences. In about two thousand instances in which the Samaritan and the Jewish texts differ, the LXX. agrees with the former. The New Testament also, when quoting from the Old Testament, agrees as a rule with the Samaritan text, where that differs from the Jewish. Thus Exo 12:40 in the Samaritan reads, "Now the sojourning of the children of Israel and of their fathers which they had dwelt in the land of Canaan and in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years" (compare Gal 3:17). It may be noted that the LXX. has the same reading of this text.
Samgar-nebo Be gracious, O Nebo! or a cup-bearer of Nebo, probably the title of Nergal-sharezer, one of the princes of Babylon (Jer 39:3).
Samos An island in the Aegean Sea, which Paul passed on his voyage from Assos to Miletus (Act 20:15), on his third missionary journey. It is about 27 miles long and 20 broad, and lies about 42 miles south-west of Smyrna.
Samothracia An island in the Aegean Sea, off the coast of Thracia, about 32 miles distant. This Thracian Samos was passed by Paul on his voyage from Troas to Neapolis (Act 16:11) on his first missionary journey. It is about 8 miles long and 6 miles broad. Its modern name is Samothraki.