Make your own free website on Tripod.com

 

THE SAMARITAN SCRIPT

 

   The Samaritan script is the original ancient script of the Hebrews, unlike the modern Hebrew script of today that originated from Babylon. The Samaritan script is the Palaeo-Hebrew script. Still today the Samaritan script can be found on inscriptions, seals, coins, ancient manuscripts (even from Qumran), etc.

   The two tablets of testimony were written in the correct and original Hebrew language, and containing all the Decalogue, against whomever may transgress them or change them or garble them. They were called so also, probably, because the children of Israel testified unto themselves to accept them and to act in accordance with all of what God spoke in Mount Sinai in their hearing and presence. Compare Exodus: “Whatever God commanded us we will obey and do.” And that is probably why they were called tablets of stone to indicate that they were solid and of hard nature. The meaning, however, is deep, and God only fathoms its secrets. The writing was engraved upon them like the engraving of a signet ring, and was done by the hand of the Almighty. (Compare Ex. xxxi. 18, “written by the fingers of God.”) It is said that the two tablets were the creation of God, and that their writings were the writings of the Divine Essence.

(photo: Selection from the Samaritan Torah)

   The Samaritans did not invent their script but inherited it. Moses received the Torah  that was handwritten by our Creator. Ex. xxiv. 12, “Ascend unto me to the mountain, and be there: and I will give thee the two tablets, and the law and the commandments, which I have written down for their instruction.” The words “the law” and “the commandments” refer to the roll of the Law, which is the Torah, without the least doubt. We can prove that this one reference found in the same book, chapter xxxii. 32, “otherwise bolt me out from thy roll which thou hast written.” The word Sepher, means “roll” wherever it is found, although some interpreters render it by the word “book.”  Ex. xxiv. 4,  “Moses wrote down all the words of God." Let it be known unto thee, O questioner, that the holy Torah was revealed in one roll by the supreme righteous God, written in the handwriting of the Almighty, in characters that are well known, containing all the verses and divisions and commands and prohibitions and explanations and other knowledge from the very beginning to the end. When the apostle Moses received from God the holy roll, he placed it in his tent outside of the encampment, and God used to speak to him after the fog had encompassed the tent and covered the place where the holy roll was deposited. This was done there when consultation concerning the daily affairs of the people was needed. The commandments, however, were given to him in the tabernacle, between the two cherubim. The roll remained in its place for forty years. It was placed by the side of the chest which Bezaleel had prepared for the two tablets as soon as the tabernacle was erected, as we have stated before. During the first of the eleventh month of the fortieth year, Moses began to copy the holy law, and deposited two copies which he finished in the first month, one with the Levites, the other with the elders. Compare Duet. xxxi. 9: “And Moses wrote this law, and handed it to the priests, the sons of Levi, and to all the elders of Israel.” And he taught them its content, as we find in the same chapter, verse 19. Some say that that verse refers to all the content of the law; for, at the end of these words, we read: “And after Moses finished writing down the commandments of this law in the roll,” etc., he commanded the Levites to take the roll that came from God, and place it beside the chest of the two tablets. Compare Deut. xxxi. 26: “Take the roll of the Torah, and place it by the side of the chest of the covenant of your God, and let it be unto thee a witness.” And this original Torah will be a witness in the end days.

  As written, one the scrolls made my Moses was given to the Levites and each Levite copied his own scroll. The famous Abisha scroll (Sefer) of the Torah was written by Abisha, son of Phinhas, son of Eleazer, son of Aaron, brother of Moses, in the 13th year after the entrance of the Israelites into Canaan. The Samaritan script is used today by the Samaritans when writing the Torah (Pentateuch), prayer books, and for other religious purposes. Today the Samaritans in their everyday use write in Arabic or modern Hebrew or as this website displays some English.

 

Home