"Come and See": A Web Commentary on the Gospel of John: Section 4 Jesus in Samaria: The Living Water

Section 4.2: Jesus and the Samaritan Woman Speak Alone (Jn 4.7-26)

7A Samaritan woman came to draw water. Jesus said to her, 'Give me something to drink.' (8For his disciples had gone away to the city to buy food.) 9Then the Samaritan woman said to him, 'How is it that you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for something to drink?' For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. 10Jesus answered and said to her, 'If you understood the gift of God and who is saying to you, "Give me something to drink", you would ask him and he would give you living water1.'

11She said to him, 'Sir, you don't have anything to draw water with and the cistern is deep; how then do you have living water? 12You are not better than our father Jacob, who gave us the cistern and drank from it himself, and his sons and his livestock, are you?' 13Jesus answered and said to her, 'Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again. 14Yet anyone who drinks from the water that I shall give them will not ever thirst, but the water that I shall give them will become a spring of water welling up in them for everlasting life.' 15The woman said to him, 'Sir, give me that water, so that I won't get thirsty or come here to draw water!'

16He said to her, 'Go, call your husband and come here.' 17The woman answered and said to him, 'I don't have a husband.' Jesus said to her, 'You are right to say "I don't have a husband.". 18For you have had five husbands and now the man you have isn't your husband. You have said this truly!' 19The woman said to him, 'Lord2, I see that you are a prophet! 20Our fathers worshipped on this mountain3 and you say4 that the place where worship should take place is in Jerusalem.' 21Jesus said to her, 'Believe me, ma'am: the hour is coming when you will worship5 the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship6 what you do not know: 22we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23But the hour is coming and is now here when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for indeed the Father seeks such as his worshippers. 24God is Spirit, and those that worship him must worship in spirit and truth.' 25The woman said to him, 'I know that Messiah is coming, the one called 'Christ' -- whenever he comes, he will proclaim everything to us.' 26Jesus said to her, 'I am he7, the one speaking to you!'

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1Or 'running water'

2Or Sir

3A reference to Mt Gerizim, former site of the Samaritan Temple, near Nablus (the ancient Shechem).

4'You say' is plural, showing that she is referring to Jews in general rather than Jesus in particular.

5'You will worship' is plural, showing that he is referring to Samaritans in general rather than to her in particular.

6'You worship' is plural, again referring to Samaritans in general.

7Literally 'I am', 'egō eimi' (ἐγώ εἰμι)