figuur It is believed by Scholars that, previous to the captivity, the alphabet now called the Samaritan was employed by the Jews in transcribing the copies of the law, and that it was not until their return from Babylon that they adopted, instead of their ancient characters, the Chaldee or square letters, now called the Hebrew, in which the sacred text, as restored by Ezra, was written. Hence, in some rituals, especially those used in the United States, the Samaritan characters find use. For convenience of reference, the Samaritan alphabet is therefore here inserted. The letters are the same in number as the Hebrew, with the same power and the same names; the only difference is in form.
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