26. Going through Samaria; The Woman at the Well
1The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John,
2although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples.a
3When the Lord learned of this he left Judeab and went back once more to Galilee.
4He had to pass through Samaria.c
5So he came to a city of Samaria called Sychar,d near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.
6Jacob's well was there, and so Jesus, wearied as he was with his journey, sat down beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.e
7There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”
8(For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.)
9The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)f
10Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that is saying to you 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
11The woman said to him: “Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep; whence then have you this living water? 12Are you greater than our father Jacob who gave us the well, and drank thereof himself and his sons and his cattle?”
(Jn. 4:1–12) (continued)
a “his disciples.”—The apostles. (See Ch. 22, fn. a.)
b “When the Lord learned of this he left Judea”—This is the earliest recorded hint of opposition to Jesus' teachings. Because of this opposition Jesus left Jerusalem and returned to Capernaum in Galilee.
c “He had to pass through Samaria.”—Samaria lies between Judea in the south and Galilee in the north. See map on page 5.
d “Sychar”—See map on page 24.
e “It was about the sixth hour.”—Probably 6:00 P.M., at the end of a day of travel.
f “For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.”—The Jews and the Samaritans had held ill feelings toward each other for more than 600 years. This enmity had its roots in three major events. It began around 700 BC when the king of Assyria (Sargon) carried away most of the Jewish residents of Samaria. (See map on page 5.) In their place he settled various other peoples including the Cushites, Sepharvites, and Hamathites. Later Ashurbanipal (the Assyrian king) settled still other peoples there. Around 500 BC, when the Jews of Judea returned from their Babylonian captivity, the rebuilding of Jerusalem was opposed by these Samaritans. The third event that antagonized the Jews took place around 300 BC. In return for helping Alexander the Great, the Samaritans were given permission to build a temple on Mt. Gerizim, which then functioned as an alternative to the Jewish temple at Jerusalem. Increasingly since the days of Alexander, the Jews had “no dealings with the Samaritans.”
Jn. 4:1–3, 7 NIV
Jn. 4:11 deep; whence then have you this living (KJV) / deep; where do you get that living (RSV)
Jn. 4:12 drank thereof himself (KJV) / drank from it himself (RSV) (143:0,5/1607,12–13)