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Thursday, 19 June 2014

Zimri, not Samaritan in Quran

Islamic scholars like to translate As-Samiri as The Samaritan, suggesting the Samaritans existed at the time of Moses. As-Samiri is accused of creating the golden calf which led Israel into sin. Aaron gets the blame for this in the scriptures. As Samiri is in Surah 20:87,95,96.

However, the most likely explantion is As-Samiri is Zimri.

From Wikipedia on Zimri

"Zimri was the Prince of the Tribe of Simeon during the time of the Israelites in the desert. At Shittim (Num. 25:6-15) he took part in the Heresy of Peor, taking as a paramour a Midianite woman, Cozbi. Zimri openly defied Moses before the people who were standing at the entrance of the Tabernacle by going in to the Midianite, but Phinehas, grandson of Aaron, killed them both by impaling them on a spear. According to a midrash, Zimri was the same person as Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai."

In Islam, Zimri appears under the name Samiri. Islam assigns to him also a major role in the earlier affair of the Golden Calf, which is not attested in the Bible. The Islamic account attributes to Zimri/Samiri many to the actions which the Bible assigns to Aharon - thus exonerating the latter, Islam's Propehet Harun, from involvement in the sinful worship of the Calf.

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