THE GREAT PROPHET MOSES AND OTHER PROPHETS IN THE SAMARITAN TRADITION

Contents

Moses

First, the Torah itself already acknowledged the prophetic ability of Abraham and Aaron. Joshua also became a prophet, since Moses had bestowed his spirit upon him.
Second, Moses himself dictated whether the sages recognised other prophets. When the spirit was bestowed upon Eldad and Maydad (Ildaad and Moodaad in ancient Hebrew pronunciation), Joshua demanded they be jailed:

And Ye’oosha son of Nonne, the servant of Mooshe from his most elected, said, Mooshe, my master, restrain them. [Numbers 11:28]

Moses replied,

. . . Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all Shehmaa’s people were prophets, that Shehmaa would put his spirit upon them. [Numbers 11:29]

It seems that Moses never rejected the existence of other prophets; on the contrary, he supported their recognition within the People of Israel. No surprise that in our tradition we call Moses Master of all Prophets, proving that there were other prophets. At the same time, we should recall the words of the Torah:

And Since that time no prophet had risen in Yishraael like Mooshe, whom Shehmaa knew face to face. [Deuteronomy 34:10]

In our tradition Moses was also called The Prophet of All Generations. There is no space large enough to describe all the titles of Moses in our tradition.
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Joseph The Righteous

In the Israelite Samaritan tradition we recognise Joseph the Righteous as a prophet, because he correctly predicted Egypt’s economic future to Pharaoh. Jacob had taught Joseph to prophesy, and deep in his heart, he knew that Joseph was still alive. Our tradition considers all 26 forefathers, from Adam to Amram the father of Moses, as prophets. The Almighty designated Aaron as a prophet. Eldad and Maydad were prophets. Miriam, sister of Moses was a prophetess. Joshua and Calev (who was never tempted to speak against the promised land) were prophets.
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Marqeh

The greatest sage in our tradition, Marqeh, lived during the 4th century CE. We call Marqeh The Prophet of Phanutaa, that is to say, the period since the disappearance of the Tent of the Covenant in one of the caves on Mount Gerizim, 260 years after the People of Israel entered the Promised Land, down to the present day. The 40 years that the Sons of Israel spent in the Sinai desert, plus the 260 years before the disappearance of the Tabernacle, total 300 years. These years comprise the period called Rehutaa. At this time, the Almighty bestowed his Will upon the People of Israel. Then, He hid His face from the People of Israel. We have found a note written on the margin of an ancient manuscript in Saint  Petersburg: “Mooshe is the Prophet of Rehutaa and Marqeh is the Prophet of Phanutaa”.
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The Taheb, and Other Prophets

Moses is the supreme example of prophecy and creation in our tradition. Before, during and after his time there was no prophet like him, neither in his being, nor in his relationship to the Almighty. The next prophet after Moses, of a similar illustrious standing, will be “A Prophet Like Moses”. In our tradition we call such a one Taheb (meaning Returner). He will bring tranquility to the People of Israel. And he will make other peoples believe in the true faith of the Almighty of Israel.

That is why the Israelite Samaritan tradition rejects prophets of faiths other than the faith of Moses. Every Samaritan who keeps the true faith of Moses and the Torah considers life lived thus to be full and rounded from beginning to end. Innocent death is the death of a keeper of the faith of Moses.
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Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah

prophets
Inheritor of a Tradition

But my readers wish to know how the Israelite Samaritan tradition relates to prophets in the Jewish tradition, such as Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah and others. In other words, if Moses encouraged prophecy in others, why does the Israelite-Samaritan tradition deny the legitimacy of those prophets?

The answer is straightforward. Samaritans deny their legitimacy because these prophets are not part of the Northern Israelite tradition, as described by Israelite Samaritan historians. Our tradition considers Moses to be everything. He is the Prophet of All Generations and the Prophet of the Two Worlds: our world and the world to come. There, Moses will recommend that those who did not sin be considered innocent, and not punished by death. Moses will not pray for those whose sin is punishable by death (in the spiritual sense), such as murder, adultery or not keeping the Sabbath.
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Dusitheans

The Israelite Samaritan tradition also totally rejects the so-called prophets who arose from within the Israelite Samaritan People. Consider, for example, Dusis, and his followers during the 4th century. The tradition describes how they came to a bitter end. Sects such as the Dusitheans and others were led by a founding so-called prophet. Many struggles took place between the sects, and the mainstream, headed by the true High Priest. Eventually, in the 10th century, the last of those sects disappeared. Either the Israelite Samaritans themselves or the Muslim rulers in the Land of Israel destroyed their synagogues.

The rejection probably arises from a wish to wipe the slate clean of the influence of any prophet from within Israel or the other nations. Thus, Samaritans clear the way for the appearance of “A Prophet Like Moses”. All humanity will recognise him. This belief springs from the Israelite Samaritans’ recognition of the Five Books of Moses as the sole Holy Book.
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Benyamim Tsedaka

 

Samaritan HISTORY

 

Choir and MUSIC

 

 

Samaritan RELIGION

 

Samaritan FESTIVALS

 

Photography: Ori Orhof

 

Prophets

 

3 Responses

  1. Phillip

    Benny,
    Chaim’s description of his progenitors raises a question in my mind. Why do the Samaritans trace their descent patrilineally but the Jews matrilineally? Is this difference significant in the minds of Samaritans?

    • Benyamim Tsedaka

      Shalom Phillip,
      As far as Samaritans are concerned, we know who the father is, hence patrilineal descent.

  2. Chaim

    I am currently in mainstream rabbinical synagogue but I love this website. Do you accept converts? My family tradition has me as a Levite on my mom’s side and unknown on my dad’s side.

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