Philip went to Samaria (Acts 8:5)

“Philip went down

To the city

Of Samaria.

He proclaimed

To them

The Christ,

The Messiah.”

Φίλιππος δὲ κατελθὼν εἰς τὴν πόλιν τῆς Σαμαρίας ἐκήρυσσεν αὐτοῖς τὸν Χριστόν.

The author of Acts indicated that Philip (Φίλιππος δὲ) went down (κατελθὼν) to the city (εἰς τὴν πόλιν) of Samaria (τῆς Σαμαρίας).  He proclaimed (ἐκήρυσσεν) to them (αὐτοῖς) the Christ (τὸν Χριστόν), the Messiah.  This Philip was one of the seven deacons who was ordained with Stephen in chapter 6:5.  Luke, chapter 17:11-19 showed a special preference for the Samaritans.  He also had the great story of the good Samaritan in chapter 10:29-37.  Samaritans lived in Samaria, between Judea and Galilee in the territory that had been formerly assigned to Ephraim and Manasseh.  The Samaritans were part of the former Northern Kingdom of Israel with the city of Samaria as their capital city, after the death of Solomon.  There was bitterness between Samaria and Judea.  Over time, since the 8th century BCE, they had become a distinct ethnic group that was in dispute with the Judean Jews, since the territory of Samaria was between Judea and Galilee.  They became bitter enemies with the Jews of Judea in particular.  Luke showed Jesus interacting with the Samaritans more than any of the other gospel writers.  Luke had uniquely mentioned that Jesus had gone into some Samaritan villages in chapter 9:52-56.  Samaritans were the underclass among the Judeans.  They worshiped a false Jewish God with their Samaritan Torah at the destroyed Mount Gerizim.  They were not at the top of Jewish society, quite the opposite.  Philip proclaimed that Jesus was the Christ, the anointed one, the expected Messiah of both the Jews and the Samaritans.  Perhaps some of these Samaritans had even met Jesus as he passed through Samaria.  Do you have a group of ethnic people or a religious group that you do not like?

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