Cover image for Classical Samaritan Poetry By Laura Suzanne Lieber

Classical Samaritan Poetry

Laura Suzanne Lieber


$149.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-1-64602-182-6

$21.95 | Paperback Edition
ISBN: 978-1-64602-297-7
Coming in September

Available as an e-book

250 pages
6" × 9"

Classical Samaritan Poetry

Laura Suzanne Lieber

“Lieber’s informative and readable introductory surveys are groundbreaking.”


  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Bio
  • Table of Contents
  • Sample Chapters
This book introduces the evocative but largely unknown tradition of Samaritan religious poetry from late antiquity to a new audience. These verses provide a unique window into the Samaritan religious world during a formative period.

Prepared by Laura Suzanne Lieber, this anthology presents annotated English translations of fifty-five Classical Samaritan poems. Lieber introduces each piece, placing it in context with Samaritan religious tradition, the geopolitical turmoil of Palestine in the fourth century CE, and the literary, liturgical, and performative conventions of the Eastern and Western Roman Empires, shared by Jews, Christians, and polytheists. These hymns, composed by three generations of poets—the priest Amram Dara; his son, Marqah; and Marqah’s son, Ninna, the last poet to write in Samaritan Aramaic in the period prior to the Muslim conquest—for recitation during the Samaritan Sabbath and festival liturgies remain a core element of Samaritan religious ritual to the present day.

Shedding important new light on the Samaritans’ history and on the complicated connections between early Judaism, Christianity, the Samaritan community, and nascent Islam, this volume makes an important contribution to the reception of the history of the Hebrew Bible. It will appeal to a wide audience of students and scholars of the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, early Judaism and early Christianity, and other religions of late antiquity.

“Lieber’s informative and readable introductory surveys are groundbreaking.”

Laura Suzanne Lieber is Professor of Religious Studies at Duke University. She is the author of Jewish Aramaic Poetry from Late Antiquity: Translations and Commentaries, The Vocabulary of Desire: The Song of Songs in the Early Synagogue, and Yannai on Genesis: An Invitation to Piyyut.


List of Abbreviations


Amram Dare (Amram the Elder)

1. “Since There Is No God but the One”

2. “Unto You Do We Pray, O Our Master”

3. “O Steadfast One, Toward Whom Everything Bows”

4. “O Good One, Who Eternally Does Good”

5. “The Almighty Is Powerfully Strong”

6. “Great Is God, and None Like Him”

7. “When You Rise Up at Daybreak”

8. “You Are the Glory, O God Concealed from All”

9. “Imposing and Fearsome Fences”

10. “The King Who Is over All”

11. “Exalted God, Hear Our Voice”

12. “Lo, a Great Glory Is the Glory of the Sabbath Day”

13. “We Have Arisen from Our Slumber”

14. “Great Is the God Who So Desires”

15. “O Faithful One, O Steadfast One”

16. “Lo, a Holy and Hallowed Day”

17. “Among All the Days, None Is So Great as the Sabbath Day”

18. “God, Exalted and Honored”

19. “To God, the Mighty and Triumphant”

20. “Blessed is the House of Jacob”

21. “Great Is God, Who Thus Commanded”

22. “O Beneficent Rememberer Who Does Not Forget”

23. “You are the One Who Created the World”

24. “Who Can Reckon Your Greatness?”

25. “May You Be Worshipped and Praised”

26. “You Are the One to Whom Divinity Belongs”

27. “You Who Were Our Creator”

28. “O Merciful God, Rescue Us”

Marqe ben Amram

1. “Gaze upon Us, O Our Master”

2. “God Who Shall Be Worshipped”

3. “You Are Our God (1)”

4. “You Are Our God (2)”

5. “It Is Incumbent upon Us”

6. “Render Praise unto Him”

7. “You Are the Merciful One”

8. “Happy Are We”

9. “God Is the First”

10. “O God, O Enduring One”

11. “O God, O Singular One”

12. “O God, ‘El Elyon’ ”

13. “Lo, the Merciful King”

14. “Lo, Our Souls Are Sated”

15. “God, upon Mount Sinai”

16. “This Is His Great Writing”

17. “Come in Peace, O Day of Fasting”

18. “O Good One, in Whom the One Who Hopes”

19. “You Are the One Who Created the World”

20. “You Are the Great Writing”

21. “Lo, the Radiant and Holy Writing”

22. “This Is the Great Writing”

23. “Continue to Bless the Name”

24. “Receive the Word of the Living One”

25. “Germon, the Roman Official”

Ninna ben Marqe

1. “Go in Peace, O Sabbath Day”

2. “Go Forth in Peace”


Subject Index

Ancient Source Index

Download a PDF sample chapter here: Introduction