Scripture with the woman at the well
People would have collected water from natural sources such as free-running streams, fountains, or springs or from artificial sources such as wells, water systems, reservoirs, and cisterns. Though the Bible lacks specific descriptions of wells, they seem often to have been placed in centralized locations, especially in rural areas. They had some sort of cover Gen and may have had stone troughs nearby to provide water for animals Gen , Gen Well water was likely consumed by both humans and livestock, whereas water collected from cisterns was used for agricultural activities. Young women typically had the daily chore of drawing water from wells to supply the family household. Genesis tells us that women went out to draw water in the evening, using vessels made of either clay or animal skins attached to a rope.
She has 30 years experience in Bible teaching, directing women's ministry, retreat and conference speaking, training teams and teachers, and writing curriculum. Married to David for 34 years, she especially enjoys extended family gatherings and romping with her four grandchildren. Very well put. Much in the face of culture and convention, Jesus, as revealed in the Bible, always treated women with dignity, respect and equal with men in worthiness of His time, message and mission.
What does John 4, as well as first century social customs, reveal about her character? Normally we begin by digging into her conversation with Jesus at the well.
Then we interpret the rest of the account through that lens. But this time, instead, let's begin at a different place and filter their earlier conversation through that lens. Samaritan Woman : "I know that Messiah called Christ is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.
With this statement, she reveals her faith in a future Messiah and her fervent hope that even she, a Samaritan woman, will be included in His flock and blessings. She awaits His arrival with pleasure and anticipation. Jesus reveals that He is that long awaited Messiah, as if to communicate, "Yes, I'm here now. And although my disciples and other Jews don't see you, a Samaritan woman, as worthy, I've traveled out of my way to find you and those like you.
About that time the disciples return from their shopping trip in town, shocked to find Him talking with not just a Samaritan but a woman! Jews despised Samaritans. They , considered them racially impure, half-breeds, and unworthy of fellowship and God's favor. Sounds like Jesus has broken protocol again.
But He doesn't care and neither does she. Instead of engaging them, she scurries back to town, leaving her water jar, probably the only one she has, an indication that she's overwhelmed and exuberant about the encounter. As she meets her friends in town, she doesn't hesitate the way many of us do when we have the opportunity to tell someone about Jesus.
For many of us, fear of evangelism ranks up there with public speaking, hospitals, and even death. Could this be the Messiah? They don't doubt the validity of her testimony, even in a culture that did not trust women enough to allow them to testify in a trial. If she had been the town "bad girl" would they have even listened, much less dropped what they were doing and set out to find Jesus? John even makes a point of telling us in that "Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I ever did.
Come and see. In their conversation at the well, He revealed her past. We see the same phenomena when Jesus called Nathanael to follow him by saying that He had seen him earlier in the day "under a fig tree" in John Nathanael interpreted this prophetic messianic ability just like the woman at the well. They were in the presence of divinity and they knew it. Why not we may wonder? Also, we find clues to her character in Jesus' conversation with his disciples after she leaves.
He uses this situation to give his disciples an evangelism lesson. He begins:. Did Jesus point to nearby fields? What did he mean by asking this question? I suggest that the disciples believed that Jesus was only for them—only for the Jews. No harvest existed here in Samaria! But Jesus had intentionally taken them through Samaria and He intentionally engaged a Samaritan woman in conversation. He knew her heart and He sought her out. The disciples were probably thinking, " Doesn't He know He is wasting time on these infidels?
The Samaritans and the woman at the well were looking for their Savior too, a foretaste of Jesus' invitation and inclusion of the Gentiles. Jesus continues His metaphor about reaping and sowing, still talking about people the disciples felt were unworthy and not ready for harvest, these Gentile Samaritans and especially this woman.
The one who reaps deserves pay and gathers fruit for eternal life so that the one who sows and the one who reaps can rejoice together. He refers to "the one who reaps" and is gathering rewards in the hereafter.
Who is that? Could He be referring to the woman at the well? And if so, He seems to insinuate that the disciples should rejoice with her because many are coming to faith in Him through her testimony. They should work together—Jews and Gentiles, men and women—to bring in God's harvest. The woman at the well serves as a model for Christian women today of an early evangelist that Jesus praises.
For centuries we've missed the point of the account because we've been so preoccupied with her morality, her "sexual promiscuity. Was she sexually promiscuous as she is so often portrayed? Does it matter for women looking for biblical models to emulate? Let's go back to their initial conversation. Jesus does show her his divinity by revealing that she's been a wife to five different men and she lives with a man who isn't her husband now.
But could there be other explanations for her marital past? Here are a few possibilities based on research by Dr. She asks:. Could she have been widowed? In the first century, almost all woman were married. Families arranged these marriages for their daughters, often at thirteen or fourteen, and usually to older men.
Life expectancy was drastically shorter and widowhood was common, as was remarriage, especially if no son or male relative was available to care for them. She could easily have been widowed more than once. Could she have been barren and thus divorced? A woman's main value depended on her ability to produce a male heir to care for the family and carry on the name. If she was barren, more than one discontent husband might have divorced her. Jewish law in general reserved the right of divorce to the husband.
Some commentators have suggested that she must have filed for divorce five times, but among the handful of Greek and Aramaic Jewish divorce documents available, only one seems to be initiated by a wife, and she needed a male representative to help her. It's far more likely that several husbands may have divorced her, leaving her abandoned in a harsh culture for women without financial means and male protection.
Could she have been in a forced relationship as a concubine? In the Greco-Roman world, women concubines were common, preferable to a life on the streets.
She might have currently been in a relationship with a Roman citizen who could not legally marry her because she was below him in social rank. She might have been waiting on a dowry. Could she have been someone's second wife? Although rare, historical evidence shows that polygamous relationships did exist in the first century.
It's possible that her new companion was already married to someone else. Examining first century legal records and contracts make for varying possibilities and situations foreign to us today. As we look back into the customs of the day, we can devise a number of reasonable scenarios that explain why she had five husbands and her current companion was not legally her husband. Was she a "bad girl"? We don't know, but we have evidence in the full text that she might not have been.
For centuries accounts of biblical women have lacked the same rigorous scholarship we usually afford accounts of biblical men. As a result, these women often come off as shallow, scant, one dimensional, and this neglect quickly places women in the temptress, bad girl category, without digging into the cultural societal situations which may explain why some of them don't belong there.
The woman at the well is just one example of how we've possibly mischaracterized some women in the Bible. Why was the account included in the Scriptures? Women need role models to encourage them to become all-in Christ followers just like men. Would the family, the church, and our communities look different if more women followed in the footsteps of the woman at the well? Wouldn't it be tragic if all these years, God meant for this true story to encourage women to be bold for Him, but God's real message has been buried beneath an unintentional focus on her sexuality instead of going deep into the passage to glean the whole story.
Post Views: Sue Edwards Dr. One Comment.
Woman at the Well: A Story of a Loving God
When Jesus speaks with the Samaritan woman in John , is the passage about her husbands literal, or symbolic of the five different tribes that were settled in her town? The Samaritan woman, unlike other individuals who speak with Jesus in the Gospel of John, is never named. Some interpreters have taken this anonymity as an invitation to view her as an abstraction, a symbol of Samaria itself.
Question: "What can we learn from the woman at the well? This was an extraordinary woman. She was a Samaritan , a race of people that the Jews utterly despised as having no claim on their God, and she was an outcast and looked down upon by her own people. However, this woman was ostracized and marked as immoral, an unmarried woman living openly with the sixth in a series of men. The story of the woman at the well teaches us that God loves us in spite of our bankrupt lives.
Bad Girls of the Bible: The Woman at the Well
Start free trial. It was about noon. How can you ask me for a drink? Where can you get this living water? Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life. What you have just said is quite true. When he comes, he will explain everything to us. Could this be the Messiah? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields!
4 Amazing Things We Can Learn from the Woman at the Well
The story of the woman at the well is one of the most well known in the Bible; many Christians can easily tell a summary of it. On its surface, the story chronicles ethnic prejudice and a woman shunned by her community. But take look deeper, and you'll realize it reveals a great deal about Jesus' character. Above all, the story, which unfolds in John , suggests that Jesus is a loving and accepting God, and we should follow his example. The story begins as Jesus and his disciples travel from Jerusalem in the south to Galilee in the north.
John Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. John After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Genesis Behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass, that when the virgin cometh forth to draw water , and I say to her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to drink;.
Fresh perspectives on Biblical Women–The Woman at the Well
Start free trial. It was about noon. How can you ask me for a drink?
Categories: Bad Girls of the Bible , Blog. Not this girl. A moment of relief during the heat of the day. He sat. The Son of God, the Savior of the world, was limited by his humanness, just as we are.
Samaritan woman at the well
What does the Bible say about? And he had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman from Samaria came to draw water.
Please check the reference to make sure it is correct. The Samaritan Woman. Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well. It was about noon. What you have said is true.
The Samaritan woman at the well is a figure from the Gospel of John , in John — The woman appears in John 4 :4—42, However below is John — But he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar , near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
Their temple was on nearby Mount Gerizim, and at one time, was pictured on their coins. It was about the sixth hour. Jesus deliberately went through Samaria, and in doing so crossed strict cultural boundaries of people with differing gender and moral values. However, as we will see, it was necessary, because He had a divine appointment with the woman at Jacob's Well.