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On the Gospel of John, Part 12: The Parable of the Samaritan Woman
In the later portion of John chapter 3, after the discourse which Christ had with Nicodemus, John, the author of our Gospel, described the baptizing of the people by the disciples of Christ, the contention which John the Baptist was having with certain pharisees about baptism, and then the inquiry which the disciples of John had made concerning the baptizing conducted by the disciples of Christ. He then recorded John the Baptist’s testimony in response to that inquiry, that “a man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven”, which seems to have answered both the query of his disciples and the contention of the pharisees at the same time, and then in a clear reference to Christ he said “28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. 29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.”
At this point in time, John did not necessarily know that Yahshua was the Messiah, as we see that later, after John was imprisoned, as it is recorded in Matthew chapter 11 and in Luke chapter 7, John had sent disciples to Christ specifically to ask Him that very thing. Rather, at this time John was simply proclaiming that one greater than he was going to come, and that his own purpose was only to make that announcement. Then John made the illustration of the bridegroom to inform his disciples that the one coming after him would have the people flock to him, and that he would be magnified, while John himself was diminished, and therefore that one was the expected Messiah, a role which John himself denied. In that manner, when John’s disciples saw one coming after him who fulfilled that description, they would know that he was the Messiah. But John, once he was in prison, could not see that for himself, so he sent his disciples to ask. So in that last part of John chapter 3, John the Baptist was not necessarily describing what was happening, but rather he was only explaining what was supposed to happen, which is according to the prophecies concerning him in Isaiah chapter 40 and Malachi chapter 3. Of the prophecy, men cannot tell what is going to happen, but can only know what Yahweh God has promised to make happen.
Using this analogy of a bridegroom in reference to the expected Messiah, John the Baptist must have had some Old Testament prophecy in mind, or there is no reason that he should have made such a statement. So when we examine the words of the prophets, there is indeed such a prophecy found in Hosea chapter 2, where we find the Word of Yahweh which says: “19 And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. 20 I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.” Saying these things, Yahweh was not addressing some mystical future “church” composed of “whosoever believeth”. Rather, Yahweh was making this promise to the collective nation of the children of Israel which was being put off in punishment, and this is a promise of His future and permanent reconciliation to them, and to them alone. John the Baptist must have understood that this prophecy would be fulfilled in the Messiah, and therefore he expected the Messiah to fulfill that role of a bridegroom betrothing Himself to the scattered people of Israel.
There is a similar prophecy in Jeremiah chapter 31, which is not quite as explicit as that found in Hosea, but which bears a similar meaning. In chapter 30 we see admonitions being made to Israel in captivity, and some of the things they would suffer as a result of their sins, but then Yahweh promises them restoration where He says “17 For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after. 18 Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob's tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces…” Then in chapter 31 we read: “1 At the same time, saith the LORD, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people. 2 Thus saith the LORD, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest. 3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. 4 Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry. [Paul made allusions to this prophecy in 2 Corinthians chapter 11.] 5 Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria: the planters shall plant, and shall eat them as common things. 6 For there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the LORD our God.” This promise of reconciliation to Yahweh as a man smitten with everlasting love for a virgin is followed by the explicit promise of a New Covenant for those same people, the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
John the Baptist was therefore announcing the fulfillment in Christ of prophesies such as those found in Hosea chapter 2 and Jeremiah chapter 31, as He was indeed the expected Messiah. Therefore Christ later declared Himself to be the bridegroom, for example in Matthew 9:15, and as we have also already explained, Paul of Tarsus described this same relationship in that same manner, in Romans chapter 7. So Paul’s ministry was the ministry of reconciliation, as he himself had often described it, such as where he had written in 2 Corinthians chapter 5: “18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” Of course, to be reconciled one must have had a relationship in the first place, and to be forgiven of trespasses one must have sinned in the first place. The world which is reconciled, as we have also explained, was the establishment of the children of Israel under the law at Sinai, and it was the same children of Israel who sinned, who were put off in punishment for sin, and who were promised that reconciliation. So Paul said in Acts chapter 26, “6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: 7 Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come.” There is no place in the Word of God for replacement theology, or for the perception of Israel as the Church of Whosoever. The children of Israel are twelve tribes of people of the same race, whom Yahweh God has promised to preserve and to reconcile to Himself, and those who doubt that are found to be questioning God.
Now as we proceed through John chapter 4 we shall discuss at length the encounter of Christ with a Samaritan woman. The denominational churches rather simplistically, even childishly cite this encounter in support of their errant universalist doctrines, when a precursory examination of the text, and a deeper examination of the historical background prove beyond doubt that it is not what they claim it to be.
We had already commented briefly on the first three verses, which really belong to what we had seen in chapter 3, but we shall repeat them here:
4 1 Therefore as Yahshua [P66, P75, A, B, C and the MT have “Lord”, for which we usually write “Prince” in these contexts; the text follows א, D and 086] had become aware that the Pharisees heard that “Yahshua makes and immerses more students than Iohannes” 2 (even though Yahshua Himself has not immersed, but His students), 3 He left Judaea [D has “He left the land of Judaea”], and departed again [A, B and the MT want “again”; the text follows P66, P75, א, C, D and 086] for Galilaia.
In verse 1, the Codices Alexandrinus and Vaticanus want the word for “than”, where we would have to read the text to state in part “Yahshua makes more students and Iohannes immerses”, which is true to the Greek word order of the clause. But this is an obvious scribal error in the context of verse 2.
As we have already explained, the parenthetical remark in verse 2 should also clarify the description in chapter 3 where John said that Christ had baptized. John gave Christ credit for the act, but it was His disciples who performed the actual task.
As John had written this, he is also conveying the idea that it was necessary for Christ to depart from Judaea and retreat to Galilee, perhaps in order to avoid an untimely confrontation with the Pharisees. Then as Christ had departed for Galilee, we read:
4 And it was necessary for Him to pass through Samareia.
At the end of the chapter, we see that the objective of the journey is Cana in Galilee, which is nearly 70 miles almost directly to the north in a straight line. Most of those 70 miles are through the territory of Samaria. Ostensibly traveling on foot, the distance would be somewhat longer and take at least several days to complete.
5 So He comes to a city of Samareia called Suchar, near the land which Jakob had given to his son Ioseph.
The 3rd century papyrus P75 wants the words “so” and “to a city of Samareia”; the Codex Sinaiticus (א) wants the words “So He comes to a city of Samareia”, where the remaining words would merely continue the sentence in verse 4.
The town of Suchar, or Sychar, was probably a small town or village near the ancient city of Shechem, in the land of Ephraim. Some commentators believe instead that Sychar was another name for Shechem itself, with which we must disagree according to the text here in verse 8. The well, identified by the Samaritan woman as Jacob’s well, must have been near the city of Shechem, but not actually in Shechem. However the history of Shechem is nevertheless an important element to understanding this encounter. By air it is just over 30 miles north of Jerusalem, and therefore almost half of the distance to Cana in Galilee, to where Christ is traveling.
In Joshua chapters 20 and 21 we see that “Shechem in mount Ephraim” was a Levitical city of refuge. Shechem was mentioned often in Old Testament Scripture, especially in connection with wicked men who dwelt there, men who were apparently sinful Israelites. Unless Sychar was another name for Shechem, then Shechem is only mentioned once in the New Testament, in Acts chapter 7 in a reference to the accounts in Genesis. However Josephus mentioned Shechem as late as an account from the time of Alexander Janneus, who had ruled Judaea until 76 BC, and in other sources Shechem is said to have been destroyed by the Romans around 72 AD, when Vespasian established a new city in close vicinity and called it after himself, Flavia Neapolis. That new city is identified with the modern city Nablus, a name which is a corruption of the Greek Νeapolis.
Shechem was the early home of the patriarchs in Palestine, and the ancient burial place of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, which is mentioned as Sychem by the martyr Stephen in his defense which is recorded in Acts chapter 7. It was also the place where Jacob had buried the idols which those of his household had brought with them from Padanaram, and where his sons later fed his flocks (see Genesis chapters 35 through 37). For all of these reasons and more, many theological implications may be drawn in relation to the encounter of Christ with the Samaritan woman at this very location.
As a digression, there is an interesting reference to Shechem in the Amarna Letters, No. 289, where we see the words “Or shall we do like Lab’ayu, who gave the land of Shechem to the ‘Apiru?” That admission was expressed by the Egyptian governor of Palestine in a letter from the 14th century BC, discovered in an inscription found in the ruins of Egypt from the time of Amenhotep III and his successor Akhenaten. [Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, p. 489.]
The name Suchar (Strong’s # 4965) is quite interesting within the Biblical context of this encounter, as it is said to be from a Hebrew word which means drunken. It is a Greek transliteration of the same Hebrew word (Strong’s # 7910, shikkor) which means drunkards in Isaiah chapter 28 where we read “1 Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine! 2 Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand. 3 The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet….” With this it becomes evident that the encounter of Yahshua with the Samaritan woman and the other people of the town, along with His having tarried there for two days in order to teach them, invokes prophecy describing the children of Ephraim who were promised reconciliation in Christ. It is very likely that this Samaritan woman and the people of her town were indeed descendants of Ephraim. Continuing with John’s account:
6 And there was a well of Jakob’s there.
This well very likely may have been the well which is known to this very day as “Jacob’s well”, which lies near the foot of Mount Gerizim, a mountain near Shechem which is mentioned several times in Scripture. Moses was instructed in Deuteronomy to have the tribes of Israel utter blessings on Mount Gerizim, and curses upon Mount Ebal, in relation to the obedience or disobedience of the children of Israel. The commandment was fulfilled after the death of Moses, as it is described in Joshua chapter 8.
Then Yahshua being tired from the journey sat thusly [“sat thusly”, or “at once sat”, for which see Liddell & Scott at οὕτως, IV.] by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
Christ had already walked well over 30 miles, but this must be at least the second day of the journey. The sixth hour was approximately noonday, as the Greeks and Romans began reckoning the hours at sunrise. On modern clocks, in 2019 AD, sunrise in Jerusalem is as early as 5:33 AM near the turn of summer, and as late as 6:40 AM following the onset of winter.
7 A woman [א has “some woman”] of Samareia comes to draw water. Yahshua says to her: “Give Me to drink.” 8 (For His students had gone off to the city that they may buy food.)
Yahshua, being a sojourner on the road, probably had no implement with Him to drink from. A woman may not be expected to carry water for her entire household continually over a long distance, and customarily wells were located in or near the center of the towns that were built up around them. Therefore verse 8 indicates that Sychar was a village near Shechem, and that Shechem is the city that the disciples had gone off to in order to buy food. There were no other nearby cities.
9 Then [א wants “then”] the Samaritan woman says to Him: “You being a Judaean, how do You request from me, being a Samaritan woman, to drink? For the Judaeans have no dealings with the Samaritans!”
The Codices Sinaiticus (א) and Bezae (D), as well as several ancient Latin manuscripts, want the exclamation “For the Judaeans have no dealings with the Samaritans!” Our text follows P63, P66, P75, P76, and the other uncials for which the 27th edition of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece has only relique, a word seldomly used in the apparatus to refer to “the rest of the manuscript tradition” [Introduction, p. 56]. The apparatus of the 28th edition is even more concise regarding this verse.
Here we must discuss some of the background history of the Samaritans, and why the Judaeans would have no dealings with them. Even in Christian Identity, the Samaritans are generally despised, yet many of them were indeed so-called “lost sheep”, remnants of the children of Israel who had either escaped or who were neglected in the Assyrian deportations.
The ancient Assyrians frequently moved rebellious peoples within the empire to various places under their dominion in order to better control them, and to help control others, all so that they could maintain their own political dominance. The Babylonians later continued the practice. So, as the Bible and surviving Assyrian inscriptions attest, by the middle of the 8th century BC the Assyrians had deported many of the Israelites who dwelt across the Jordan and in the northern parts of the kingdom, and resettled them in the far north. Then around 720 BC they had destroyed Samaria, the capital city of the northern kingdom of Israel, and from there alone they took 27,290 captives, according to an inscription of Sargon II, king of Assyria (see Part 5 of our commentary on the Book of Amos). After Sargon, the Assyrian king Sennacherib deported still more Israelites, and also conquered and deported over 200,000 people from the southern kingdom of Judah (see Part 4 of our Amos commentary). This is also mentioned in the Bible, but the captives are numbered in the Assyrian inscriptions. Assyrian military conquests in the area persisted for at least another thirty years, throughout the time of Esarhaddon, who in the early 7th century BC was bringing outsiders into the ancient land of Ephraim, a program which his son and successor, Ashurbanipal, also continued. From the time of the Assyrian conquests, a political district was formed from the land of Ephraim and large portions of the land of Manasseh and Dan, and it was named after the conquered capital city, Samaria.
In the Book of Ezra, in the portion where Ezra merely recorded events which happened many decades before his own time, we read in Ezra chapter 4 of an event which occurred as the second temple was about to be built, under the leadership of Zerubbabel: “1 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the LORD God of Israel; 2 Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither.” Then a little further on, where Ezra records a subsequent event: “7 And in the days of Artaxerxes wrote Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of their companions, unto Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the writing of the letter was written in the Syrian tongue, and interpreted in the Syrian tongue. 8 Rehum the chancellor and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king in this sort: 9 Then wrote Rehum the chancellor, and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their companions; the Dinaites, the Apharsathchites, the Tarpelites, the Apharsites, the Archevites, the Babylonians, the Susanchites, the Dehavites, and the Elamites, 10 And the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Asnappar brought over, and set in the cities of Samaria, and the rest that are on this side the river, and at such a time.” The name Asnappar is apparently a reference to Ashurbanipal, who ruled Assyria from 668 to 627 BC, and who was the last of its great emperors.
So we see that many foreigners were brought into the ancient land of Israel from other portions of the Assyrian empire. But these foreigners were not necessarily racial aliens. Since the Assyrians had ruled over the Persians, Medes, Syrians, Babylonians and other related people, we can assume that at least most of these names are local names for people of those and other related nations. For example, Elamites are historical Persians from the district of Elam, and Susanchites were natives of what we know as Susa, which was the capital city of Persia. Archevite is a designation for an inhabitant of Erech in Mesopotamia, according to Strong’s Concordance (# 756) and other linguistic sources. The names Apharsathchite and Apharsite may only be labels meaning “causers of division”, which is suggested by some linguists. As the Bible and the Assyrian inscriptions attest that Israelites were taken captive and resettled in the cities of the Medes and other places in or near Assyria and Persia, people from the Medes and Persians who were also rebelling against Assyrian rule were, in turn, resettled in Palestine.
The later Judaean historian Flavius Josephus called at least the greater number of these people by the name of Cutheans (or Cuthaeans). Thus we read in Book 9 of his Antiquities, where his primary topic was an Assyrian siege of ancient Tyre: “288 But now the Cutheans, who moved into Samaria, (for that is the name they have been called by to this time, because they were brought out of the country called Cuthah, which is a country of Persia, and there is a river of the same name in it,) each of them, according to their nations, which were five in number, brought their own gods into Samaria, and by worshipping them, as was the custom of their own countries, they provoked Almighty God to be angry and displeased at them, 289 for a plague seized upon them, by which they were killed; and when they found no cure for their miseries, they learned by the oracle that they ought to worship Almighty God, as the method for their deliverance. [Josephus, a Pharisee, was evidently also a universalist.] So they sent ambassadors to the king of Assyria, and desired him to send them some of those priests of the Israelites whom he had taken captive. 290 And when he thereupon sent them, and the people were by them taught the laws, and the holy worship of God, they worshipped him in a respectful manner, and the plague ceased immediately; and indeed they continue to make use of the very same customs to this very time, and are called in the Hebrew tongue Cutheans, but in the Greek tongue Samaritans.” This same event, with a few significant differences, was also alluded to in Ezra chapter 4, however from that time the people of Jerusalem were continually troubled by the outsiders, and forever despised them.
Further on, in Antiquities Book 10, Josephus says: “184 Now as to Shalmaneser, he moved the Israelites out of their country, and placed therein the nation of the Cutheans, who had formerly belonged to the inner parts of Persia and Media, but were then called Samaritans, by taking the name of the country to which they were moved; but the king of Babylon, who brought out the two tribes placed no other nation in their country, by which means all Judea and Jerusalem, and the temple, continued to be deserted for seventy years; 185 but the entire interval of time which passed from the captivity of the Israelites, to the carrying away of the two tribes, proved to be a hundred and thirty years, six months, and ten days.” Josephus is apparently counting his 130 years from the time of Shalmaneser, who immediately preceded Sargon II and the actual conquest of Samaria.
As a digression, at the very beginning of Book 10, Josephus also describes the conquest of most of the two tribes, where he said “1 It was now the fourteenth year of the government of Hezekiah, king of the two tribes, when the king of Assyria, whose name was Sennacherib, made an expedition against him with a great army, and took all the cities of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin by force…” But even though a large portion of Judah and Benjamin was taken by the Assyrians along with the Northern Kingdom of Israel, Josephus continued to refer to those taken by Assyria as the “ten tribes” and those taken by the Babylonians, who were actually only the inhabitants of Jerusalem that Sennacherib had failed to conquer, as the “two tribes”, which is an oversimplification of the facts that persists to this very day.
Describing the same events which were recorded by Ezra and Nehemiah concerning the trouble which was received from the Samaritans when the temple was being rebuilt, Josephus wrote in Antiquities Book 11: “19 When the foundations of the temple were being laid, and when the Judaeans were very zealous about building it, the neighbouring nations, and especially the Cutheans, whom Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, had brought out of Persia and Media, and had planted in Samaria, when he carried the people of Israel captives, besought the governors, and those who had the care of such affairs, that they would interrupt the Judaeans, both in the rebuilding of their city, and in the building of their temple. 20 Now as these men were corrupted by them with money, they sold the Cutheans their interest for rendering this building a slow and a careless work, for Cyrus, who was busy about other wars, knew nothing of all this; and it so happened, that when he had led his army against the Massagetes, he was killed.” (The Massagetae were actually descendants of those Scythians who originally dwelt along the Araxes river in northern Medea, the same place where some of the Israelites of the deportations were settled who were called the Bit Khumri, or “house of Omri”. They defeated and killed Cyrus the Great, king of Persia, in 530 BC.)
Cuthah, which Josephus explained was “a country in Persia”, is mentioned in a description of these same events which is found in 2 Kings chapter 17: “24 And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof.” The name Sepharvaim (Strong’s # 5617) means “the two Sipparas”, a city which straddled the Euphrates River north of Babylon; the name Ava is from a word which simply means ruin (Strong’s # 5755); but Hamath was a city in northern Syria which had long benn under the control of the Israelites and was the apparent northern extent of the kingdom under David and Solomon, and then again in the revival under Jeroboam I (1 Kings 8:65, 2 Kings 14:25-28).
But concerning the Samaritans, later, in Antiquities Book 13, Josephus seems to make a distinction, where he is describing the conquests of the Levitical high priest John Hyrcanus which happened around 125 BC, and he wrote: “255 However, it was not till the sixth month that he took Medaba, and that not without the greatest distress of his army. After this he took Samega, and the neighbouring places; and, besides these, Shechem and Gerizim, and the nation of the Cutheans, 256 who dwelt at the temple which resembled that temple which was at Jerusalem, and which Alexander permitted Sanballat, the general of his army, to build for the sake of Manasseh, who was son-in-law to Jaddua, the high priest, as we have formerly related; which temple was now deserted two hundred years after it was built.” The distinction Josephus seems to make here is where he says, as Whiston translated it, “Shechem and Gerizim, and the nation of the Cutheans”, as if the inhabitants of Shechem and Gerizim were not necessarily Cutheans. This distinction is made more clearly by Josephus in his Wars, Book 1, where we can read a different account of the same events and it says of Hyrcanus: “63 So he took Medaba and Samea, with the towns in their neighbourhood, as also Shechem, and Gerizim; and besides these, [he subdued] the nation of the Cutheans, who dwelt around that temple which was built in imitation of the temple at Jerusalem: he also took a great many other cities of Idumea, with Adoreon and Marissa.”
There were several men called Sanballat in history, so the name may have only been a title. The one which Josephus mentioned here was a hundred and seventy years after the one which is mentioned by Nehemiah, although he was also a Cuthean. Josephus, in Antiquities Book 11, explained that this Sanballat was sent into Samaria by the Persian king Darius III, who ruled from about 380 to 330 BC, when he was defeated by Alexander the Great. There Sanballat had married his daughter off to this Manasseh, the brother of the Judaean high priest, hoping by that marriage to maintain an alliance with the people of neighboring Judaea. Upon the coming of Alexander the Great, Sanballat continued to be governor of Samaria, as he betrayed Darius III and gave his allegiance to the Macedonians at the time that Alexander had invaded Phoenicia. So we read in Antiquities Book 11, where it is speaking of Manasseh the priest: “306 But the elders of Jerusalem being very uneasy that the brother of Jaddua, the high priest, though married to a foreigner, should be a partner with him in the high priesthood, quarrelled with him [Josephus did not explain why the brother of the high priest should be his partner in the office - WRF]; 307 for they esteemed this man's marriage a step to such as should be desirous of transgressing about the marriage of [foreign] wives, and that this would be the beginning of a mutual society with foreigners, 308 although the offence of some about marriages, and their having married wives that were not of their own country, had been an occasion of their former captivity, and of the miseries they then underwent; so they commanded Manasseh to divorce his wife, or not to approach the altar, 309 the high priest himself joining with the people in their indignation against his brother, and driving him away from the altar. Whereupon Manasseh came to his father-in-law, Sanballat, and told him, that although he loved his daughter Nicaso, yet was he not willing to be deprived of his sacerdotal dignity on her account, which was the principal dignity in their nation, and always continued in the same family. 310 And then Sanballat promised him not only to preserve for him the honour of his priesthood, but to procure for him the power and dignity of a high priest, and would make him governor of all the places he himself now ruled, if he would keep his daughter for his wife. He also told him further, that he would build for him a temple like that at Jerusalem, upon Mount Gerizim, which is the highest of all the mountains that are in Samaria; 311 and he promised that he would do this with the approbation of Darius the king. Manasseh was elevated with these promises, and stayed with Sanballat, upon a supposition that he should gain a high priesthood, as bestowed on him by Darius, for it happened that Sanballat was an old man. 312 But there was now a great disturbance among the people of Jerusalem, because many of those priests and Levites were entangled in such matches; for they all revolted to Manasseh, and Sanballat afforded them money, and divided among them land for tillage, and habitations also; and all this in order every way to gratify his son-in-law.” [This event was not long before 330 BC. The prophet Malachi may have written as late as the 4th century BC, so we see Josephus describe the behavior of the priests which Malachi had condemned, where they were taking foreign wives.]
Then a little later, Sanballat used these Judaeans in Samaria as a way to gain favor with Alexander the Great. While Sanballat had already given his own allegiance to Alexander, the Judaeans had refused to take up arms against the Persians, citing a vow of peace they had given to Darius III, whom Alexander had already defeated but who had escaped into Persia and who was expected to return to fight again. The Judaeans not wanting to join on the side of Alexander in the war, Josephus wrote that “Upon hearing this answer, Alexander was very angry…” then a little later he says: “321 But Sanballat thought he had now gotten a proper opportunity to make his attempt, so he renounced Darius, and taking with him seven thousand of his own subjects, he came to Alexander; and finding him beginning the siege of Tyre, he said to him, that he delivered up to him, these men, who came out of places under his dominion, and did gladly accept him for his lord instead of Darius. 322 So when Alexander had received him kindly, Sanballat thereupon took courage, and spoke to him about his present affair. He told him, that he had a son-in-law, Manasseh, who was brother to the high priest Jaddua; and that there were many others of his own nation, now with him, that were desirous to have a temple in the places subject to him; 323 that it would be for the king's advantage to have the strength of the Judaeans divided into two parts, lest when the nation is of one mind and united, upon any attempt for a sedition, it proves troublesome to kings, as it had formerly proved to the kings of Assyria. 324 Whereupon Alexander gave Sanballat permission so to do, who used the utmost diligence, and built the temple, and made Manasseh the priest, and deemed it a great reward that his daughter's children should have that dignity….” So there was division in Judaea, with many Levites defecting over to the Samaritans.
Now, going back in time to the period just after the Assyrian deportations of Israel, in 2 Kings chapter 23, we have a description of the reform of Judah in the time of King Josiah, because many of the priests and people had turned to idolatry. The ascension of Josiah to the kingdom occurred around 640 BC. Josiah ruled until about 609 BC and in this chapter of 2 Kings there is a reference to his 18th year, which began around 623 BC. This is some time after the death of Assyrian king Ashurbanipal in 627 BC, and before the rise of the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar II which began in 605 BC, which was a period of relative peace and autonomy for Judah. So there in that chapter we read: “1 And the king sent, and they gathered unto him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem. 2 And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the people, both small and great: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of the LORD. 3 And the king stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all their heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people stood to the covenant. 4 And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Bethel. 5 And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven…” Then after the cleansing of idolatry from the land of Judah is described, we read a little further on in the chapter that: “15 Moreover the altar that was at Bethel, and the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, had made, both that altar and the high place he brake down, and burned the high place, and stamped it small to powder, and burned the grove. 16 And as Josiah turned himself, he spied the sepulchres that were there in the mount, and sent, and took the bones out of the sepulchres, and burned them upon the altar, and polluted it, according to the word of the LORD which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words. 17 Then he said, What title is that that I see? And the men of the city told him, It is the sepulchre of the man of God, which came from Judah, and proclaimed these things that thou hast done against the altar of Bethel. 18 And he said, Let him alone; let no man move his bones. So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet that came out of Samaria. 19 And all the houses also of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made to provoke the LORD to anger, Josiah took away, and did to them according to all the acts that he had done in Bethel. 20 And he slew all the priests of the high places that were there upon the altars, and burned men's bones upon them, and returned to Jerusalem. 21 And the king commanded all the people, saying, Keep the passover unto the LORD your God, as it is written in the book of this covenant.” Josiah must have done all of these things in the face of any Cutheans and others who had been brought into Samaria by the Assyrians. As a digression, we must note that there is a significant account of the two different and unnamed prophets who are mentioned here which is found in 2 Kings chapter 13.
Speaking of this same Passover of Josiah which was described in 2 Kings chapter 23, we read in 2 Chronicles chapter 34: “1 Moreover Josiah kept a passover unto the LORD in Jerusalem: and they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. 2 And he set the priests in their charges, and encouraged them to the service of the house of the LORD, 3 And said unto the Levites that taught all Israel, which were holy unto the LORD, Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel did build; it shall not be a burden upon your shoulders: serve now the LORD your God, and his people Israel…” Then later in the chapter: “16 So all the service of the LORD was prepared the same day, to keep the passover, and to offer burnt offerings upon the altar of the LORD, according to the commandment of king Josiah. 17 And the children of Israel that were present kept the passover at that time, and the feast of unleavened bread seven days. 18 And there was no passover like to that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; neither did all the kings of Israel keep such a passover as Josiah kept, and the priests, and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel that were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 19 In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah was this passover kept. ”
The fact that there was clearly a remnant of Israelites left behind in the land of Israel is also evident in the events of the earlier time of Hezekiah, perhaps 70 years before the time of Josiah, where we read in 2 Chronicles chapter 30: “1 And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel. 2 For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month. 3 For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem. 4 And the thing pleased the king and all the congregation. 5 So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel at Jerusalem: for they had not done it of a long time in such sort as it was written. 6 So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you, that are escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria. 7 And be not ye like your fathers, and like your brethren, which trespassed against the LORD God of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation, as ye see.” This account followed all of the deportations explicitly mentioned in Scripture or in surviving inscriptions. The account of Josiah was certainly long after those deportations. It may be imagined that some remnant Israelites were taken by Esarhaddon, or Ashurbanipal, but there is no record of such an event, and we have seen that after the last of the great Assyrian kings, in the time of the revival of Josiah, that there were indeed some Israelites remaining in the land.
So there were Cutheans and other peoples from Mesopotamia who had been resettled in Samaria, and there were evidently a large number of Judaeans, some of whom had intermarried with these other people as early as the early 4th century BC, who had gone to dwell at Shechem in Samaria, near the temple which was built for Manasseh by Sanballat upon Mount Gerizim, around 330 BC. But there was also a remnant of ancient Israel in Samaria, since while at least most of the children of Israel were taken captive by the Assyrians, it is also evident from the accounts of kings Hezekiah and Josiah that at least some Israelites had remained in at least several of the cities of Israel, and they were the Israelites who submitted to Josiah and participated in the Passover celebration which was held some time around 623 BC. So we would assert that for this same reason, as we have also seen, Josephus made a distinction on more than one occasion between the inhabitants of “Shechem, and Gerizim; and besides these … the nation of the Cutheans” in both Antiquities Book 13 and in Wars Book 1, as we have already cited and explained.
The number of Israelites, or Israelites and Judeans, who were in Samaria at the end of the 4th century BC must have been significant, as Josephus wrote in Antiquities Book 12, speaking of Ptolemy Soter, a successor of Alexander who ruled Egypt from around 323 BC: “7… But when Ptolemy had taken a great many captives, both from the mountainous parts of Judea, and from the places about Jerusalem and Samaria, and the places near Mount Gerizim, he led them all into Egypt, and settled them there. 8 And because he knew that the people of Jerusalem were most faithful in the observation of oaths and covenants; and this from the answer they made to Alexander, when he sent an embassy to them, after he had beaten Darius in battle; so he distributed many of them into garrisons, and at Alexandria gave them equal privileges of citizens with the Macedonians themselves; and required of them to take their oaths that they would keep their fidelity to the posterity of those who committed these places to their care. 9 Nay, there were not a few other Judaeans who, of their own accord, went into Egypt, as invited by the goodness of the soil, and by the liberality of Ptolemy. 10 However, there were disorders among their posterity, with relation to the Samaritans, on account of their resolution to preserve that conduct of life which was delivered to them by their forefathers, and they thereupon contended one with another, while those of Jerusalem said that their temple was holy, and resolved to send their sacrifices there; but the Samaritans were resolved that they should be sent to Mount Gerizim. 11 When Alexander had reigned twelve years, and after him Ptolemy Soter forty years, Philadelphus then took the kingdom of Egypt, and held it forty years within one.”
Now in regard to their origins, the Samaritans also seemed to have been treacherous to some degree, as we may conclude from a description by Josephus describing events of the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, who was the Greek ruler of Syria around 175 to 164 BC, in Antiquities Book 12: “257 When the Samaritans saw the Judaeans under these sufferings, they no longer confessed that they were of their kindred, nor that the temple on Mount Gerizim belonged to Almighty God. This was according to their nature, as we have already shown. And they now said that they were a colony of Medes and Persians; and, indeed they were a colony of theirs.” Then in a letter written by the Samaritans to Antiochus, Josephus wrote that they called themselves “the Sidonians, who live at Shechem.” Now perhaps all of this merely reflects the fact that Samaria as a whole was populated by people of diverse origins, out of the nations of the Persians, Medes, Babylonians, Syrians and others, as well as both the remnant Israelites and relocated Judaeans.
This was a pattern, as Josephus had also described earlier, in Book 11 of his Antiquities: “340 So when Alexander had thus settled matters at Jerusalem, he led his army into the neighbouring cities; and when all the inhabitants, to whom he came, received him with great kindness, the Samaritans, who had then Shechem for their metropolis, (a city located at Mount Gerizim, and inhabited by apostates of the Judaean nation,) seeing that Alexander had so greatly honoured the Judaeans, determined to profess themselves Judaeans; 341 for such is the disposition of the Samaritans, as we have already elsewhere declared, that when the Judaeans are in adversity, they deny that they are of kin to them, and then they confess the truth; but when they perceive that some good fortune has befallen them, they immediately pretend to have communion with them, saying, that they belong to them, and derive their genealogy from the posterity of Joseph, Ephraim, and Manasseh. 342 Accordingly, they made their address to the king with splendour, and showed great alacrity in meeting him at a little distance from Jerusalem; and when Alexander had commended them, the Shechemites approached to him, taking with them the troops that Sanballat had sent to him, and they desired that he would come to their city, and do honour to their temple also; 343 to whom he promised, that when he returned he would come to them; and when they petitioned that he would remit the tribute of the seventh year to them, because they did not sow thereon, he asked who they were that made such a petition; 344 and when they said that they were Hebrews, but had the name of Sidonians, living at Shechem, he asked them again whether they were Judaeans: and when they said they were not Judaeans, “It was to the Judaeans,” said he, “that I granted that privilege; however, when I return, and am thoroughly informed by you of this matter, I will do what I shall think proper.” And in this manner he took leave of the Shechemites; 345 but ordered that the troops of Sanballat should follow him into Egypt, because there he designed to give them lands, which he did a little after in Thebes, when he ordered them to guard that country.”
Now, with that background, we shall commence with the conversation between Yahshua and the Samaritan woman:
10 Yahshua replied and said to her: “If you knew the gift of Yahweh and who it is saying to you ‘Give Me to drink’, you would have asked Him and He would have given to you living water.”
Thus we read in Proverbs chapter 18: “4 The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters, and the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook.” In the words of the prophet Jeremiah, Yahweh had described Himself as the “fountain of living waters” in Jeremiah chapter 2, where describing the fornication, or race-mixing, of ancient Israel and Judah He says “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” Later, in Jeremiah chapter 17, we read: “13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters. 14 Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise. 15 Behold, they say unto me, Where is the word of the LORD? let it come now.” So in Jeremiah, the fountain of living waters is equated to the Word of Yahweh, and Christ having come to bring the Gospel of reconciliation to Israel was the bearer of that word, being the Word made Flesh.
So we read in a Messianic prophecy in Isaiah chapter 35: “4 Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. 6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. 7 And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. 8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.” Christ attested once again in John chapter 7 that “38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” Much later, in Revelation chapter 7, we see a promise made to the tribes of Israel: “17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” Now the woman responds:
11 The woman says to Him: “Master, You do not even have a bucket and the well is deep, so from where do You have living water?
At the beginning of the verse, the papyrus P75 and the Codex Vaticanus B want “the woman”, where we should write “she” from the verb form; the Codex Sinaiticus has a feminine demonstrative pronoun, ἐκείνη, or “she”. The text follows the papyrus P66 and the Codices Alexandrinus (A), Ephraemi Syri (C), Bezae (D), 086, and the Majority Text.
Like Nicodemus, the first response of the woman was to imagine a literal interpretation of the statement of Christ, which caused her to be puzzled. So she asks:
12 Are You greater than our father Jakob, who gave us the well and had drank from it himself, with [literally “and”] his sons and his cattle?”
This statement indicates to us that this woman was no Cuthean, but rather that she had to be an Israelite. Christ never denied her the truth of the profession that Jacob was her father. She must have been either a descendant of one of the remnant Israelites of the time of Joash, or possibly she was a descendant of one of the Judaeans who moved to Samaria and the area around Gerizim in the days of that Manasseh, who was a priest at the end of the 4th century BC. We believe she was a remnant Israelite, but perhaps she may have even been both. A little later in this chapter she shall profess an anticipation of the Messiah which we had also seen Andrew the brother of Simon Peter profess in John chapter 1, so it should be absolutely certain that she was an Israelite. Where certain of the pharisees had claimed to be children of Abraham, Christ denied them their claim, where the record in John chapter 8 shows that they were really from among the children of Esau. Yet when this Samaritan woman claimed to be a daughter of Jacob, her claim went unchallenged, and instead, it is substantiated by the subsequent developments.
13 Yahshua responded and said to her: “Each who is drinking from this water shall thirst again. 14 But he who should drink [א and D have “But he drinking”] from the water which I shall give to him shall [P66, 086 and the MT have “would”; the text follows P75, א, A, B and D] not thirst for eternity, but the water which I shall give to him will become in him a well of water springing up into eternal life.”
From the 63rd Psalm, we see a similar analogy in the words of David, as he was banished from Jerusalem in flight from his enemies: “1 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; 2 To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.”
This is also a matter of prophecy in regard to the children of Israel, who had also, like David, been banished from the presence of their God, in Isaiah chapter 43: “15 I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King. 16 Thus saith the LORD, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters; 17 Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow. 18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. 20 The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. 21 This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.” So in fulfillment of this promise:
15 The woman says to Him “Master, give this water to me, that I shall not thirst nor pass by here [A, C, D, and 086 which varies slightly, have “nor come here”; the text follows P66 and א, and P75 and B which vary slightly] to draw!”
The woman continued to accept the words of Christ in their literal sense, “that I shall not thirst nor pass by here to draw” water, however the end result is nevertheless what Christ had intended:
16 He [א, A, D, 086 and the MT have “Yahshua”; the text follows P66, P75, B and C] says to her “Go, call your husband, and come here!”
This is only proper: a man is the head of the household and he should also be the conduit through which his wife accepts information and instruction. So a teacher should seek to reach a woman’s husband, and not bypass the husband by dealing directly and only with the woman. Paul taught this same thing, in 1 Corinthians chapter 14 where he said of women that “if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home”. Here, the appropriate custom of asking to see the woman’s husband accommodates in several ways the ultimate purpose of this encounter:
17 The woman replied and said to Him [א, A and D want “to Him”; the text follows P66, P75, B, C and 086; the manuscripts of the MT are divided]: “I do not have a husband.” Yahshua says to her “You have spoken well that ‘I [א and D have “you”, where the single quotes would be removed] do not have a husband’, 18 for you have had five husbands and now he whom you have is not your husband! By this you spoke the truth!”
The very last clause of verse 18, an exclamation, is literally “This truth you have spoken!” The Codex Sinaiticus (א) has instead “This you have spoken truly!”
Although it certainly must have been historical, and the statements of fact must have been true, the life of the woman actually serves as a type for the children of Israel. There are many such types in the equally historical Old Testament, where events in the lives of Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon and others both foreshadowed and mirrored facets of the relationship of Yahweh to Israel, and facets of the events in the life of Christ. Here the woman had five husbands in the past, and the man she was with at the present was not really her husband. By this time in history, it can be said, metaphorically speaking, that the children of Israel as a nation have had five husbands: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and Greece. Now the greater portion of them were under the dominion of Rome, or in the process of being subjugated by Rome, and neither was Rome their legitimate husband.
Note the initial response given by the woman: “I do not have a husband.” This statement was also fitting of the condition of the children of Israel. So we read in Isaiah chapter 54, where Yahweh is speaking to the children of Israel: “4 Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. 5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. 6 For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. 7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. 8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.” The rest of the chapter is just as relevant as this portion which we have presented. In their captivities, the nation of Israel did not have a husband, metaphorically speaking, as they were alienated from Yahweh, but instead they were forcibly joined to and placed under the dominion of many others which may have fulfilled the role of husbands, but which, in the eyes of God, were not legitimate husbands.
One use of the word prophet describes someone who may reveal secrets which are not generally known, or things that one could not have known. Here the woman recognized that Christ had that ability and she proclaims it:
19 The woman says to Him: “Master [א wants “Master”], I see that You are a prophet! 20 Our fathers have worshipped on this mountain, yet do You say that in Jerusalem is the place [א wants “the place”] where it is necessary to worship?”
Because the woman perceived that Christ was a prophet, she asked Him His opinion on where it was necessary to worship. We had seen from Flavius Josephus the contention between the Judaeans who were taken captive by Ptolemy into Egypt who would send their sacrifices to Samaria, and those who insisted that they must be sent to Jerusalem. Of course, the temple at Gerizim had long since been abandoned and fell into a state of decay by this time, especially since Samaria had been conquered and all of its foreign people were forced to convert to Judaism by the Maccabees. But the contention itself persisted, that all those who were spread abroad but who were compelled to worship the God of Israel were also compelled to do so at Jerusalem. Interestingly, the people of Gerizim and Shechem, or Sychar, were not mentioned in the detailed descriptions of those who were forcibly converted to Judaism which were provided by Josephus in Antiquities Book 13. But the final proof, for Christians, that there were many Israelites in Samaria should be found in Acts chapters 8 and 9, that the apostles preached in Samaria, but it was Peter at the household of Cornelius in Acts chapter 10 who was described as having first brought the Gospel to the uncircumcised, the so-called “Gentiles”, which Peter recollects at Acts 15:7 and with which James agrees at 15:14.
It is nevertheless evident that the Judaeans generally despised the Samaritans in John chapter 8, where the adversaries of Christ had asked Him, “Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?” Josephus related a letter written to the Persians by the Judaeans, in Antiquities Book 11, which described the Samaritans as “being evil, and enviously disposed to the Judaeans”. The Judaean view of the neighboring Samaritans as enemies, regardless of their particular national origin, persisted from the days of Ezra and Nehemiah and continued throughout the apostolic period. On the other hand, Christ Himself made examples of good Samaritans, as it is recorded in Luke chapters 10 and 17.
The denominational churches attempt to use these examples, as well as this encounter with the Samaritan woman, as illustrations which prove their universalism. However the passages do not support universalism. This woman was an Israelite, one of the “lost sheep” of the ancient children of Israel for whom Christ had come, and here she stands as a type, and her encounter with Christ is a parable representing the relationship of Yahweh God with the “drunkards of Ephraim”, as the name of the village suggests, which are the lost sheep of Israel. The children of Israel abroad, like the Samaritans in Palestine, had become despised by the Judaeans, by those of the circumcision, which is also apparent in their response to Paul in Acts 22:21-22. The children of Israel abroad ceased to identify themselves as Israelites, and the Samaritans often refused to identify themselves as Israelites. The children of Israel scattered abroad, like the Samaritans, act treacherously and only pretend to piety when it is convenient for them to do so. The Samaritan woman had five husbands, and a sixth man who was not her husband, and once again today we see the same situation prevail among the children of Israel scattered abroad. For this, John added a parenthetical remark in chapter 11 of his Gospel concerning the testimony of the high priest that Yahshua must die for the good of the nation, which says: “51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; 52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.”
In relation to verse 10 here, we had cited Jeremiah chapter 2, where the Word of Yahweh says “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” Here Yahshua Christ drinks out of the well of Jacob in more ways than one, as the woman with whom He communes is certainly a daughter of Jacob, and not a broken cistern. So she is certainly also a vessel which can hold the water of the Word of Life!
We shall continue our discussion of the encounter between Yahshua Christ and the Samaritan woman when we resume with the next presentation in this series on the Gospel of John.