The history between Jews and Samaritans has always been fraught with difficulty, and sometimes hatred and attempts at ethnic cleansing. Modern Jews are aware of this history, to some degree, and here is a modern painting which tells a bit of the story, and the attempts at shalom between them.
How difficult was the history, and why is the Samaritan woman so cautious in meeting Jesus in John 4? Well consider this….
In short the Hasmoneans tried to do away with worship on Mt. Gerizim, followed by the Romans. By the time we get to John 4, there is no wonder why the disciples can’t figure out why Jesus is in Samaria, or why the Samaritan woman is very wary of Jesus.
And if that were not enough, the history of the Samaritans becomes interwoven with the history of Islam and Muslims….
And then too, unto this day Jewish symbols abound in Samaritan life, including the menorah….
And they have always attracted the curious—- for example,
You can still visit Nablus today and Mt. Gerizim (I’ve been there once in the 1980s), and to be clear, today Samaritans basically speak Arabic.