Samaritan Literature

This Samaritan-Israelite Literature web page exhibition illustrates written material of the Samaritan-Israelites. Many inquiries have been made concerning these works over the last four hundred years. Some of the original rare Samaritan-Israelite manuscripts are now lost but are known today from references of other works. Some of the sited works were taken from the synagogue or homes and burnt, destroyed or stolen by their oppressors or thieves over the years.

Some of the Samaritan-Israelite Literature has been translated into English and many other various languages and yet still many have yet to be touched. These manuscripts are shown below by title and when known the author with a brief description. Some of the following scholarly reference books are out-of-print and are very hard to find. Many of these scholarly works can be obtained through your local library or book store.

Pentateuch Manuscripts:

The Torah consists of the first five books of the Bible, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. These five books are also commonly known as the Pentateuch. These manuscripts are written in various languages as shown below. Today there is no known translation of any of the Samaritan-Israelite Torah into English. If one should come available in the future, we will add it to the list for reference.


Abisha Scroll: The earliest known scroll to exist today is the Abisha Scroll. Scholars believe that the Abisha Scroll is not the original scroll of Abisha, but one can see that this scroll may have been copied from another Scroll which in turn came from the original scroll, but then again, this could be an original. In the scroll are written the following words: “I Abisha, the son of Pinhas, the son of Eleazer, son of Aaron, The Kohen, to whom be the favor of the Lord and his glory. I have written this the Holy Scroll at the gate of the Tent of the Assembly onMount Garizim, Beth El, in the 13th year of the settlement of the Children of Israel in the land of Canaan. I thank the Lord.”

Aramaic Targum: An Aramaic translation of the Pentateuch.

Arabic Versions: Various Samaritan versions of the Pentateuch with about fifty located in many libraries worldwide.

Hebrew and Arabic languages made by the Hebrew vocabulary.

The Jewish And Samaritan Versions of the Pentateuch, Tel Aviv, 1961-65, by Avraham & Ratson Sadaqa, Tel Aviv, Israel. (Hebrew)vb


No none English translation of any of the Samaritan Pentateuch.

The Arabic Translation of the Samaritan Pentateuch, Edited from the Manuscripts with an Introductory Volume by Haseeb Shehadeh, Volume One: Genesis – Exodus, Jerusalem, 1989, ISBN 965-208-089-6 (Arabic)

Reference of Subject:

The Literary and Oral Tradition of Hebrew and Aramaic Amongst the Samaritans by Z. Ben-Hayyim, vol. IV, the words of the Pentateuch, The Academy of the Hebrew Language, Jerusalem 1977. (Samaritan Vocal)

Fragments of a Samaritan TargumJ.W. Nutt, Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 1980 (English)

A Grammar of Samaritan Hebrew: Based on the Recitation of the Law in Comparison With the Tiberian and Other Jewish Traditions by Zeev Ben-Hayyim, Abraham Tal Eisenbrauns; Revised edition (September 2000)

Etudes samaritaines, Pentateuque et Targum, exégèse et philologie, chroniques. Actes de la table ronde: «Les manuscrits samaritains. Problèmes et méthodes». Paris, Institut de Recherche et drquote Histoire des Textes, 7-9 Octobre 1985 Peeters; (January 1, 1988)

Commentaries and Dictionaries:

Kashif al-Ghayahib- (Uncoverer of Obscurities) a commentary of the Genesis to Numbers by several authors (17th & 18th Centuries C.E.)

Kitab al-Madaris: (Ara) Book of Studies for children. ? (How to teach the reading to Youngsters)

Kitab fi Suruh al-‘asr kalimat: (Aramaic) A commentary on the Ten Words.

Sarh al Itnatayn wa-sab ‘in Turot: (Arabic) Lost commentary on the Seventy-Two Teachings. 

Sarh am baqquti: (Arabic) Commentary on Lev. 21.

Tibat Marqe(Hebrew) A Samaritan midrashic Book, written by Markeh the greater Samaritan author, about the Exodus and the Ten Words of the Torah.

The Rules of Ibn Darta Regarding the Reading by Ibn Darta, very old.

Treatise on the Vowels (unknown author)

A True Grammar by Abu Ishaq Ibrahim b. Faraj b. Maruth (12th Century C.E.)

The Rules of Reading by Abu Sa’id (13th century, C.E.)

The Rules by Ibrahim Al’ayya

Nafis AIDin Abu’l Faraj Alkathar 13th century C.E.

Treatise about the Reading by Ibrahim Al’ayya (18th century C.E.)

Amram b. Salamah, (1859)

Phinhas b. Ishaq (d. 1898)

Kitab hamelis ( ? ) a Hebrew-Arabic glossary, written by Pinhas b. Yosef 13th (century C.E.)

Reference of Subject:

The Literary and Oral Tradition of Hebrew and Aramaic Amongst the Samaritans by Z. Ben-Hayyim, vol. IV, the words of the Pentateuch, The Academy of the Hebrew Language, Jerusalem 1977. (Samaritan Vocal)

The Book of Joshua



The Samaritan Hebrew Sources of The Arabic Book of Joshua By Moses Gaster  JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL ASIATIC SOCIETY, 1930, (In English)

Some traces of heterodox Theology in the Samaritan Book of Joshua, by A.D. Crown, Manchester, 1967

The Samaritan Book of Joshua and the Septuagint by Moses Gaster, Proceedings of Biblical Archaeology, 1909

The Principles of Samaritan Bible Exegesis (Studia Post Biblica – Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism , No 28) by S. Lowy Brill Academic Publishers; (1977)


Samaritan Chronicles:

Asatir:     a Samaritan Chronicle written of the oral traditions from Adam to Moses.

Kitab al-Baladi or Qita al- Baladi: (The Book of the Allotment of the Regions) Written in Hebrew and Arabic.

Kitab at-Ta’rikh: (Aramic) Annals, A Samaritan Chronicle written by Abu Al Fatah, on the 12 Century C.E. 

Tolida: (Arabic) GenealogyBook of Samaritan Chronicles, which contain the genealogy of the priests, and the interpretation of the Ishban Kashta ( the Calcukation of the Calendar).

Shalshalah:(Arabic) Book of the chain of Priests.


Sefer ha-Yamim:(Hebrew) Book of Samaritan Chronicles II. There are many versions to this book, the most known is the book by the author Abu ‘l Fatah and a book written by Ab Sikua, known as the Adler Chronicle.


Sefer malahmot:(ArabicBook of Wars. One of the three Books which was given to mankind, which according to the tradition used to contain the stories of the wars before, during, and after this creation, there is also a reference in Num 21:14. Referred in the Asatir and Tulida.


Sefer ply’th(ArBook narrative from the burning bush to the splitting of the Red Sea.


The Samaritan Chronicle or the Book of Joshua, the son of Nun, translated from the Arabic, with notes by Oliver Turnbull Crane, M.A., John B. Alden, Publisher, New York, 1890 (In English)

The Samaritan Chronicle No. II (or: Seper Ha-Yamin), From Joshua to Nebuchadnezzar, by John Macdonald, Walter de Gruyter & Co., Berlin, 1969. (In English)

The Asatir, the Samaritan Book of the Secrets of Moses Together with the Pitron or Samaritan Commentary and the Samaritan Story of the Death of Moses, by Moses Gaster,  1927. (English)

Continuation of the Samaritan Chronicle of Abu L’Fath by Milka Levy-Rubin, Robyn H. Crumly, Abu Darwin Pr; (October 2002)

A Samaritan Philosophy: A Study of the Hellenistic Cultural Ethos of the Memar Marqah (Studia Post Biblica – Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism , No 31) by Alexander Broadie Brill Academic Publishers; (August 1997)

Samaritan religion from John Hyrcanus to Baba Rabba : a critical examination of the relevant material in contemporary Christian literature, the writings of Josephus, and the Mishnah by Bruce W. Hall Mandelbaum Trust, University of Sydney;

A Samaritan chronicle : a source-critical analysis of the life and times of the great Samaritan reformer, Baba Rabbah by Jeffrey M. Cohen, Brill

Kitab al Tarikh of Abu’l Fath: The Chronicle of Abu’l Fath. by Paul Stenhouse.  Mandelbaum Studies in Judaica No. 1. 1985 Mandelbaum Publishing

Samaritan Halachah:

q       Kitab al-Buhuth wa-Masa’il al-Khilaf or known as Kitab al Khilaf– (Book of Research and Questions and Answers of Differences) by Munajja bin Sadaqah (12th Century C.E.)

q       Kitab al-Fara’id: (Book of the 613 Commandments) by Abu ‘l-Faraj ibn Kaththar (14th Century C.E.)

q       Kitab al-Irbat: p.469

q       Kitab al-Irbat: (Ara) A Book on the forbidden degrees of marriage.

q       Kitab al-Irshad wa-‘l-Ishhad (A Book of Orientation) p.632

q       Kitab al-I’tiqadat: (Ara) A Book of Beliefs also known as the book of Rites.

q       Kitab al-Kafi: (Fully Adequate Book) A Book of Halachah, by Yusuf bin Salamah (1042 C.E.).

q       Kitab al Khilaf: See Kitab al-Buhuth wa-Masa’il al-Khilaf

q       Kitab al-Ma’ad: (Ara) Book of Return/Hereafter. Samaritan eschatological work.

q       Kitab al-Mirath- (Book of Inheritance or Book of Succession) by Abu Ishaq Ibraham al-Musannif (12th Century C.E.)

q       Kitab at-Tabbah (Kitab at-Tubakh)- (The Book of Insight): (Ara) A Book on the Samaritan Halacha and interpretation of some verses and chapters from the Torah, written by Abu Al Hassan (Ab-Hisda)(1030-40 C.E.)

q       Kitab al-Tuqusat:  (634    )(A Book of Religious Practice). A book written by Khidr bin Ishaq and another by Ya’qub bin Harun. [Written for outsiders]

q       Molad Moshe(He) A Midrashic-Hagadic work, which is read on ceremonies for good events that occur.

q       Sayr al-qalb: [‘ila ma’rifat ar-Babb] (Ar) Book of the Journey/ Ways of the Heart, for the knowledge of God.

q       Sefer Mekhirat Tsirim:(Ar) Book written by Jacob b. Aaron relating to Kitab al-Baladi.

q       Sharh al-Ithnayn wa-Sab’in Turot (  632 635      ) on sacrifices written by Isma’il ar-Rumayhi (16th Century C.E.) [A private book and not accessible outside the Samaritan community]

q       Sharh Surat al-Irbot (  633   ) on everyday practice, written by Nabi bin Khidr (19th Century C.E.)

q       Su’al wa-gawab: (Ar) Also known as As-sail wa-l mugib. The Book of Enlightment for the Instruction of the Enquirer.

q       Tibat Marqe(Hebrew) A Samaritan midrashic Book, written by Markeh the greater Samaritan author, about the Exodus and the Ten Words of the Torah.



Principles of Samaritan Halachah Principles of Samaritan Halachah (Studies in Judaism in Late Antiquity, Vol 38) by Iain Ruairidh Mac Mhanainn Boid Brill Academic Publishers; (August 1997)

The Samaritan Oral Law and Ancient Traditions. Vol. I, Moses Gaster, Search Publishing Co. London, 1932.

The Samaritans, Edited by Alan Crown, The Samaritan Halachah by I.R.M. Boid, J.C.B. Mohr, Tubingen, 1989


The Book of Enlightenment for the Instruction of the Enquirer.  English Book located in our Knowledge Center at our web site.


Tibat Marqe: A Collection of Samaritan Midrasdim, Edited, Translated and Annotated by Z. Ben-Hayyim, Jerusalem, 1988. ISBN 965-208-083-7 (In Hebrew)


Samaritan marriage contracts and deeds of divorce by Reinhard Pummer Harrassowitz;
Memar Marqah, The Teaching of Marqah, Edited and Translated by John MacDonald. Vol. I, Vol. II (The English Translation). Verlag Alfred Topelmann, Berlin. 


q       Kitab ar-Radd ‘ala ‘l-Yahud (Book of Refutation of the Jews) mainly concerning the calculation of the calendar by Munajja bin Sadaqah (12th Century C.E.)

q       Kitab Hisab as-Sinin wa l-Ashur wa l-Ayyam:(Ara) Book of the Calculation of Years. A book dealing with the Samaritan calendar calculations.

q       Kitab Masa’il ‘al-Hilaf: (Ara) A Book on the Differences between the Samaritans and Jews.

q       Masa’il al-Khilaf (Matters of dispute between Jews and Samaritans) written by Sadaqah b. Munajja b. Sadaqah (12 century C.E.)

q       Sefer h’wtwt:(He) Book of Signs. A mythical Book given to Adam according to the Asatir.

q       Sefer ngmwt:(Ar)[ nagma=Star ]One of the three books of the Covenant given to mankind, concerning the mystery of the moon and the stars, and their linkage to the Calculations of the days and months. Referred in the Asatir and Tulida.




Abu’l-Hasan Al-Suri’s Discourse on the Calendar in the Kitab Al-Tabbakh, Rylands Samaritan Codex IX, by P.R. Weis, Manchester, 1946



Hymns and Prayer Books:

Dafter: (Ar) [daftar] The main Samaritan prayer book for Sabbaths and Festivals.

Hymns, Book of: The Book of Hymns (sifr siran) used for during the sacrifices. Mentioned in the Book  of Joshua.

  1. Book of prayers for Saturdays and the other days of the week.
  2. Book of prayers for use in funerals.
  3. Book of prayers used for marriages, birth of children, Circumcision, and similar ceremonies.
  4. Prayers for the feast of Passover, Saturday and the Seven days.
  5. Prayers fro the last day of Passover.
  6. Prayers for the fiftieth Day (seven Weeks or Seven Saturdays).
  7. Prayers used for the end of the 50the.
  8. Prayers for Wednesday of which Moses spoke with God and received the Bible. (page 10)
  9. Prayers for the First day of the New Year (Jewish), and the First of the Seventh month.
  10. Prayers for the Nine days that commence the Fast.
  11. Hymns specially used during the Fast.
  12. The Day of the harvest, the first day of the “Muzilla” Feast.
  13. Prayers for the seven days including Saturday.
  14. Prayers for the seventh day after the Feast. 



The Samaritan Liturgy by A.E. Cowley, Oxford: Clarendon, 1909.

Organum and the Samaritans, by Menashe Ravina, Tel Aviv, 1963

The Song of the Precepts of Aaron ben Manir, by Menahem Haran, Jerusalem, 1974




For further references to the above information see:

Samaritan Scribes & Manuscripts (Texts & Studies in Ancient Judaism, 80)
by Alan David Crown J C B Mohr Verlag; (April 2001)

The Samaritans: Their Religion, Literature, Society and Culture
by Alan D. Crown (Editor) Coronet Books; (October 1988)

The Samaritans, Edited by Alan Crown, J.C.B. Mohr, Tubingen, 1989, ISBN-3-16-145237-2


A Companion to Samaritan Studies Edited by A. Crown, R. Pummer and A. Tal. J.C.B. Mohr, Tubingen, 1993


Studies in Samaritan manuscripts and artifacts–the Chamberlain-Warren collection by Robert T. Anderson American Schools of Oriental Research


A Catalogue of the Samaritan Manuscripts in the British Library by British LibraryAlan David Crown British Library Pubns; (April 1998)


Samaritianskaia khronika Abu-l-Fatkha iz sobraniia Rossiiskoi natsional§noi biblioteki : vvedenie, perevod i kommentarii by Arutiun Sizefrovich Zhamkochian Rossiæiskaëiìa akademiëiìa nauk, In-t vostokovedeniëiìa;


Neubauer’s Catalogue of the Hebrew and Samaritan Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995).


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