Monday, April 28, 2014

Samaria in 15 Minutes

In my experience, the most important area of the biblical land that people know the least about is the hill country of Samaria. Its importance is reflected in the fact that it is easier for me to list biblical people who were not in this area than it is to name those who were.

Why is this region generally less known? Most tour groups avoid it. Yes, it is possible to come to Israel and not see Shechem, Samaria, Shiloh, and Ai. In fact, I would estimate that 95% of tourists never see these major sites.

I can’t recommend a tour group that will take you there (though if any tour operators would like to recommend a tour, they are free to do so in the comments below). But I can suggest you watch a short video that will help you to understand this region and its historical significance.

In just 15 minutes, you’ll learn about:

  • The capital city of Samaria
  • The Trans-Samaria Highway
  • The Wadi Fara
  • Shechem
  • Mounts Gerizim and Ebal
  • Shiloh
  • Ai

The video includes a historical review of major events, including Jacob’s dream at Bethel, Joshua’s battle at Ai, the tabernacle at Shiloh, Jeroboam’s capital, Baal worship at Samaria, the chariots of fire at Dothan, and the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well.

Photos and on-location video bring the area to life. This video and others in the series are produced as commentaries for the Satellite Bible Atlas, but the atlas is not necessary to understand the videos. The video was created by Bill Schlegel and includes clips of some of his friends and students. It also makes good use of photos from the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands, volume 2.

15 minutes gets you a great education on this most important biblical region.

For best results, play the video in full screen and change the quality to HD.



  • Very good ! This video has helped more than any other resource I have encountered. Next best thing to being there I suppose.

    By Blogger bruce, at Mon Apr 28, 03:02:00 PM  

  • Israel Travel Company has a number of specialist licensed tour guides who offer private tours of Samaria & Judea.

    Zel Lederman
    Owner Israel Travel Company

    By Blogger zeltours, at Mon Apr 28, 03:44:00 PM  

  • Thanks, Zel.

    David emailed this link:

    And he added: "We love to take people to Samaria."

    By Blogger Todd Bolen, at Mon Apr 28, 05:03:00 PM  

  • Thanks for sharing this overview, Todd. On our visit in January 2014, we were coming from the north, went past Dothan, and stopped at Samaria/Sebaste, Shechem, and Jacob's Well. We had a marvelous guide, Andre Shama, a Palestinian Christian, who was working through NET= Near East Tourist Agency.

    By Blogger Mark Hoffman, at Mon Apr 28, 11:37:00 PM  

  • This was very interesting, especially since I was able to see Shiloh, Shecem, and Mt. Gerizim the last time I was in Israel with Samson Tours.

    By Blogger Jeff Voegtlin, at Tue Apr 29, 07:07:00 PM  

  • Samaria is our home- let us share it with you!

    By Blogger Homesteader, at Wed Apr 30, 04:35:00 AM  

  • Submitted by email:

    In my last two trips to Israel I have gone into both Samaria and Judea. These hill country areas are the backbone of the Bible, and much of the Old Testament just comes to life in a fresh way as we tour Samaria. In November, Dean Bible Ministries, is taking another tour group to Israel and we will spend one day exploring the sites in Samaria: Mt Gerezim, Samaria, Shechem, Ai, and more. Anyone who travels to Israel should take advantage of opportunities to go into these areas. Dr Robby Dean, Pastor, West Houston Bible Church.

    By Blogger Todd Bolen, at Wed Apr 30, 09:29:00 AM  

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