(1-24) The opposition of the Samaritans and its temporary success.
We do sacrifice unto Him since the days of Esar-haddon.—He ended his reign B.C. 668, and therefore the Samaritans speak from a tradition extending backwards a century and a half.
Which brought us up hither.—Thus they entirely leave out of consideration what residue of Israel was yet to be found among them.
In the Syrian tongue.—The characters and the words were Syrian or Aramaic; this explains the transition to another language at this point,
Shimshai the scribe—The royal secretary.
And at such a time.—And so forth.
And at such a time.—Rather, and so forth; meaning, “Thy servants, as aforesaid,” alluding to the superscription.
The revenue.—Rather, at length; literally and at length damage will be done to the kings.
Of old time.—From the days of eternity, or time immemorial. The spirit of exaggeration if not of falsehood appears in every word here.