SAMARITAN LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE. I. The language is made up of the Aramaic and the Hebrew, and sometimes uses forms of both in close connection. The alphabet contains 22 letters, arranged in the Hebrew order, resembling in form the ancient Hebrew and Phenician, and pronounced like the Hebrew, except that the gutturals, being quiescent and weak, interchange freely with one another. The words are the same as in the Hebrew and Chaldee, with additions from the Arabic, Latin, and Greek. 11. The literature is of small extent. 1. The Samaritan Targum, ascribed to Nathaniel the high-priest, who died n.c. 20, and probably written abdut the same time s the Targum of Onkelos, which it somewhat resembles. The translation is close and iteral. It is printed in the Paris and Walton polyglots, and in several recent German ditions. 2. Chronicles; (1) The Samaritan chronicle, or book of Joshua, ascribed by critics to the 13th c., taken in part from the canonical book of Joshua, with legendary
additions, that charge the Jews with being oppressors of the Samaritans, and, after the time of Eli, apostates from the faith. The narrative is continued to 330 A.D., when it abruptly ends. (2) The chronicle of "the generations"—professedly written by Eleazar ben Aniram, 1142, and afterward continued by many hands—gives a calculation of sacred times, the age of patriarchs, and a list of high-priests. (3) The chronicle of Abulfath, written about the middle of the 14th c., is drawn from the two previous works, with additional legendary matter. 3. Lititryies and hymns belonging to different periods, the earliest being ascribed to the angels. There are 19 vols. of them in the British museum, besides collections in other places. 4. Commentaries, theologkal tracts, and recent grammatical works, written in Arabic.