John 4:7-26

John 4:7-26
Pentecost Vigil – A Women’s Lectionary


A SamaritanA womanB cameC to drawD water,E

Notes on verse 7a

A “Samaritan” = Samareia. 11x in NT. From Hebrew Shomron (capital of the northern kingdom of Israel); from shamar (to keep, watch, or preserve; to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something). This is Samaria, meaning watch station.
B “woman” = gune. Perhaps from ginomai (to come into being, to happen, become, be born; to emerge from one state or condition to another; this is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth). This is woman, wife, or bride. This is where the word “gynecologist” comes from.
C “came” = erchomai. This is to come or go.
D “draw” = antleo. 4x in NT– all in the wedding at Cana (John 2) & the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4). From antlos (ship’s hold; waste water in a ship’s hold). This is to bail out, draw water from a well with a bucket or pitcher.
E “water” = hudor. Perhaps from huetos (rain); from huo (to rain). This is water literal or figurative. It is one of the roots that “hydrogen” and “hydroelectric” come from.

and JesusF said to her, “GiveG me a drink.”H 

Notes on verse 7b

F “Jesus” = Iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone)}. This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.
G “give” = didomi. To give, offer, place, bestow, deliver. This is give in a literal or figurative sense.
H “drink” = pino. This is to drink, literally or figuratively.

(His disciplesI had goneJ to the cityK to buyL food.)M 

Notes on verse 8

I “disciples” = mathetes. From matheteuo (to make a disciple of); from manthano (to learn key facts, gain knowledge from experience; generally implies reflection as part of the learning process); from math– (thinking things through). This is a disciple, learner, or student. It is where we get “mathematics” from.
J “gone” = aperchomai. Related to “came” in v7. From apo (from, away from) + erchomai (see note C above). This is to depart, follow, or go off in a literal or figurative sense.
K “city” = polis. This is a city or its inhabitants. It is a town of variable size, but one that has walls. This is where “metropolis” and “police” come from.
L “buy” = agorazo. From agora (assembly, forum, marketplace, town square, thoroughfare); from ageiro (to gather). This is to go and buy something at market with a focus on goods being transferred. It can also mean to purchase or redeem.
M “food” = trophe. 16x in NT. Perhaps from trepho (to bring up, rear, nourish, fatten, nurse; properly, to enlarge through proper nourishment). This is nourishment in a literal or figurative sense. By implication, it can be ration or wages.

The SamaritanN woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew,O askP a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in commonQ with Samaritans.)R 

Notes on verse 9

N “Samaritan” = Samaritis. Related to “Samaritan” in v7. 2x in NT. From Samarites (Samaritan); from Samareia (see note A above). This is Samaritan or a Samaritan woman.
O “Jew” = Ioudaios. From Ioudas (Judah, Judas); from Hebrew Yehudah (Judah, son of Jacob, his tribal descendants, a name for the southern kingdom. Literally, it means praised); probably from yadah (to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise); from yad (hand). This is Jewish, a Jew, or Judea.
P “ask” = aiteo. This is to ask, demand, beg, desire.
Q “share things in common” = sugchraomai. 1x in NT. From sun (with, together with; closely identified) + chraomai (to use, make use of, give what is needed, act in a specific way, request). This is dealing with or using something jointly. Figuratively, it can refer to associating with someone or something.
R “Samaritans” = Samarites. Related to “Samaritan” in v7 & “Samaritan” in v9. 9x in NT. See note N above.

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knewS the giftT of GodU and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you livingV water.” 

Notes on verse 10

S “knew” = eido. This is to know, consider perceive, appreciate, behold, or remember. It means seeing with one’s eyes, but also figuratively, it means perceiving – seeing that becomes understanding. So, by implication, this means knowing or being aware.
T “gift” = dorea. Related to “give” in v7. 11x in NT. From doron (gift, offering, sacrifice; emphasizes that the gift is given freely, voluntarily); from didomi (see note G above). This is a free gift given voluntarily and not received by merit or entitlement. It emphasizes the benevolence of the giver.
U “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
V “living” = zao. This is to live literally or figuratively. It is used for life including the vitality of humans, plants, and animals – it is life physical and spiritual and life everlasting.

11 The woman said to him, “Sir,W you haveX no bucket,Y and the wellZ is deep.AA Where do you getBB that living water? 

Notes on verse 11

W “sir” = kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.
X “have” = echo. This is to have, hold, possess.
Y “bucket” = antlema. Related to “draw” in v7. 1x in NT. From antleo (see note D above). This is a vessel one uses to draw water – a bucket.
Z “well” = phrear. 7x in NT. This is a well, pit, or cistern. Figuratively it is used to refer to the pit in Revelation 9.
AA “deep” = bathus. 4x in NT. Perhaps rom the same root as basis (step, foot); from baino (to walk, go). This is deep or profound in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean very early.
BB “get” = echo. Same as “have” in v11. See note X above.

12 Are you greaterCC than our ancestorDD Jacob,EE who gave us the well and with his sonsFF and his flocksGG drank from it?” 

Notes on verse 12

CC “greater” = megas. This is big in a literal or figurative sense – great, large, exceeding, abundant, high, mighty, perfect, strong, etc.
DD “ancestor” = pater. This is father in a literal or figurative sense. Could be elder, senior, ancestor, originator, or patriarch.
EE “Jacob” = Iakob. From Hebrew Yaaqob (Jacob); from the same as aqeb (heel, hind part, hoof, rear guard of an army, one who lies in wait, usurper). This is James, meaning heel grabber or usurper.
FF “sons” = huios. This is son, descendant – a son whether natural born or adopted. It can be used figuratively for other forms of kinship.
GG “flocks” = thremma. Related to “food” in v8. 1x in NT. From trepho (see note M above). This is literally a nursling, but used for cattle or flocks.

13 Jesus said to her, “EveryoneHH who drinks of this water will be thirstyII again, 14 but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty.JJ The water that I will give will becomeKK in them a springLL of water gushing upMM to eternalNN life.”OO 

Notes on verses 13-14

HH “everyone” = pas. This is all or every.
II “be thirsty” = dipsao. 16x in NT. From dipsa (thirst); from dipsos (thirst). This is thirst in a literal or figurative sense. Can also mean keenly desire.
JJ {untranslated} = eis + ho + aion. Literally, “to the age.” Aion is from the same as aei (ever, always, unceasingly, perpetually; on every occasion). This is an age, cycle of time, course, continued duration. It is also used to describe the eternal or forever. This is the word used to discuss the present age or the messianic age.
KK “become” = ginomai. Related to “woman” in v7. See note B above.
LL “spring” = pege. 11x in NT. This is a fount in a literal or figurative sense. So, it could be a spring of water, a fountain, or a well. It is also used for a flow of blood. It can mean more generally the source of something: water, blood, fun.
MM “gushing up” = hallomai. 3x in NT. This is to leap or bubble up.
NN “eternal” = aionios. Related to {untranslated} in v14. From aion (see note JJ above). This is age-long, forever, everlasting. Properly, that which lasts for an age. This is where eon comes from.
OO “life” = zoe. Related to “living” in v10. From zao (see note V above). This is life including the vitality of humans, plants, and animals – it is life physical and spiritual and life everlasting.

15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep comingPP here to draw water.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Go,QQ callRR your husband,SS and comeTT back.” 

Notes on verses 15-16

PP “coming” = dierchomai. Related to “came” in v7 & “gone” in v8. From dia (through, across to the other side, thoroughly) + erchomai (see note C above). This is to go through, come, depart, pierce, travel, traverse.
QQ “go” = hupago. From hupo (by, under, under the authority of) + ago (lead, bring, guide, spend, drive, carry). This is to lead under so to depart, go away, or die. It is to lead away under the command of someone else, being given a mission or objective to carry out.
RR “call” = phoneo. From phone (voice, sound, tone or noise; also a language or dialect); probably from phemi to declare, say, use contrasts in speaking to shed light on one point of view); {from phao (to shine) or phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear). This is to call out, summon, shout, address. It is making a sound whether of an animal, a person, or an instrument.
SS “husband” = aner. This is man, male, husband, or fellow. It can also refer to an individual.
TT “come” = erchomai. Same as “came” in v7. See note C above.

17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.”

Jesus said to her, “You are rightUU in saying, ‘I have no husband,’ 18 for you have had fiveVV husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!”WW 

19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I seeXX that you are a prophet.YY 

Notes on verses 17-19

UU “right” = kalos. From kalos (good, noble, beautiful, correct, or worthy; external signs of goodness like beauty, demonstrations of honorable character, showing moral virtues; a different word, agathos, speaks of intrinsic good). This is nobly, rightly, well-perceived, seen as appealing, morally pleasing, honorably.
VV “five” = pente. This is five. It may be symbolically associated with the Temple or redemption.
WW “true” = alethes. From a (not) + lanthano (concealed, hidden, unnoticed; to shut one’s eyes to, unwittingly, unawares). This is true, unconcealed; true because it is in concert with fact and reality – attested. Literally, what cannot be hidden; truth stands up to test and scrutiny and is undeniable, authentic.
XX “see” = theoreo. From theaomai (to behold, look upon, see, contemplate, visit); from thaomai (to gaze at a spectacle; to look at or contemplate as a spectator; to interpret something in efforts to grasp its significance); from theoros (a spectator or envoy). This is gazing, beholding, experiencing, discerning. It is looking at something to analyze it and concentrate on what it means. This is the root of the word “theatre” in that people concentrate on the action of the play to understand its meaning.
YY “prophet” = prophetes. Related to “call” in v16. From pro (before, in front of, earlier than) + phemi (see note RR above). This is a prophet or poet – one who speaks with inspiration from God.

20 Our ancestors worshipedZZ on this mountain,AAA but you say that the placeBBB where people mustCCC worship is in Jerusalem.”DDD 

Notes on verse 20

ZZ “worshiped” = proskuneo. From pros (advantageous for, at, to, toward, with) + kuneo (to kiss); {may be related to kuno (dog)}. This is to do reverence, kneel, to prostrate oneself in homage, to worship.
AAA “mountain” = oros. Perhaps from oro (to rise); perhaps akin to airo (raise, take up, lift, remove). This is mountain or hill.
BBB “place” = topos. This is a place or region. It is a smaller space that can only hold a limited number of people whereas chora is a larger place. Figuratively it could be an opportunity.
CCC “must” = dei. From deo (to tie, bind, compel; declare unlawful). This is what is necessary or proper. It is what is needed or what one should do – a duty or something inevitable. This refers to something absolutely necessary.
DDD “Jerusalem” = Hierosoluma. From Hebrew yerushalaim (probably foundation of peace); {from yarah (to throw, shoot, be stunned; to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach) + shalam (to make amends, to be complete or sound)}. This is Jerusalem, dwelling of peace.

21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believeEEE me, the hourFFF is comingGGG when you will worship the FatherHHH neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvationIII is from the Jews. 

Notes on verses 21-22

EEE “believe” = pisteuo. From pistis (faith, faithfulness, belief, trust, confidence; to be persuaded or come to trust); from peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is to believe, entrust, have faith it, affirm, have confidence in. This is less to do with a series of beliefs or doctrines that one believes and more to do with faithfulness, loyalty, and fidelity. It is trusting and then acting based on that trust.
FFF “hour” = hora. This is a set time or period, an hour, instant, or season. This is where the word “hour” comes from.
GGG “coming” = erchomai. Same as “came” in v7. See note C above.
HHH “Father” = pater. Same as “ancestor” in v12. See note DD above.
III “salvation” = soteria. From soter (a savior, deliverer); from sozo (to save, heal, preserve, or rescue; taking someone from danger to safety; delivering or protecting literally or figuratively); from sos (safe, rescued, well). This is deliverance, salvation, preservation, welfare, prosperity, safety.

23 But the hour is comingJJJ and is now here when the trueKKK worshipersLLL will worship the Father in spiritMMM and truth,NNN for the Father seeksOOO such as these to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”PPP 

Notes on verses 23-24

JJJ “coming” = erchomai. Same as “came” in v7. See note C above.
KKK “true” = alethinos. Related to “true” in v18. From alethes (see note WW above). This is literally made of truth – that which is true or real, authentic. Something that is true from its source and has integrity.
LLL “worshipers” = proskunetes. Related to “worshiped” in v20. 1x in NT. From proskuneo (see note ZZ above). This is worshiper or adorer.
MMM “spirit” = pneuma. From pneo (to blow, breathe, breathe hard). This is wind, breath, or ghost. A breeze or a blast or air, a breath. Figuratively used for a spirit, the human soul or part of us that is rational. It is also used supernaturally for angels, demons, God, and the Holy Spirit. This is where pneumonia comes from.
NNN “truth” = aletheia. Related to “true” in v18 & “true” in v23. From alethes (see note WW above). Truth is literally that which is not or cannot be concealed. This word covers more than the sense of true versus false. It spoke of truth as that which corresponds to reality – reality as opposed to illusion. Thus, it includes, sincerity, straightforwardness, and reality itself.
OOO “seeks” = zeteo. This is to seek, search for, desire. It is searching for something by inquiring or investigation. It can be seek in a literal or figurative sense. There is a Hebrew figure of speech “to seek God’s face” so it can also mean to worship God. Alternately, you could seek someone’s life i.e. plot to kill them.
PPP “truth” = aletheia. Same as “truth” in v23. See note NNN above.

25 The woman said to him, “I know that MessiahQQQ is coming”RRR (who is called Christ).SSS “When he comes,TTT he will proclaimUUU all thingsVVV to us.” 

26 Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”

Notes on verses 25-26

QQQ “Messiah” = Messias. 2x in NT. From Hebrew mashiach (anointed, anointed one, messiah; someone consecrated such as a king, priest, or saint); from mashach (to smear, anoint, paint, spread; implies an act of consecration). This is Messiah or Anointed One.
RRR “coming” = erchomai. Same as “came” in v7. See note C above.
SSS “Christ” = Christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.
TTT “comes” = erchomai. Same as “came” in v7. See note C above.
UUU “proclaim” = anaggello. Related to “go” in v16. 14x in NT. From ana (up, again, back, among, by, anew) + aggello (to announce, report) {from aggelos (angel, messenger – supernatural or human envoy of God); probably from ago (see note QQ above)}. This is returning with word, reporting, declaring, announcing. It is to tell something all the way, which is to say to tell it clearly.
VVV “all things” = hapas. Related to “everyone” in v13. From hama (at once, together with) + pas (see note HH above) OR from a (with) + pas (see above). This is all; every part working together as a unit.

Image credit: “Mural painting on the facade of the parish center, Pabneukirchen, Upper Austria – Pentecost event, conversation at Jacob’s Well.” By Rupert Haider, 2007.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply