John 4:5-42

John 4:5-42
Lent A16


So he came to a SamaritanA cityB called Sychar,C near the plot of ground that JacobD had given to his son Joseph.E 

Notes on verse 5

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 “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.
C “Sychar” = suchar. 1x in NT. From Hebrew shekar (strong wine, strong drink); from shakar (to become drunk or tipsy, be merry, satiate with alcoholic beverage; figuratively, to influence). This is Sychar, perhaps meaning drunkard.
D “Jacob” = iakob. From Hebrew Yaaqov (Jacob); from the same as aqev (heel, hind part, hoof, rear guard of an army, one who lies in wait, usurper). This is Jacob or James, meaning heel grabber or usurper.
E “Joseph” = ioseph. From Hebrew Yoseph (he increases; Joseph); from yasaph (to add, increase, continue, exceed). This is Joseph, meaning “he increases.”

Jacob’s wellF was there, and Jesus,G tired outH by his journey,I was sitting by the well. It was about noon.J

Notes on verse 6

F “well” = 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.
G “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.
H “tired out” = kopiao. From kopos (labor that leads to exhaustion, depletion, weariness, fatigue; working until worn out); from kopto (to cut, strike, cut off; beating the chest to lament and so to mourn). This is working with effort, whether of the body or mind, growing weary, feeling tired, working hard.
I “journey” = hodoiporia. 2x in NT. From hodoiporos (traveler); {from hodos (way, road, journey) + poreuomai (to travel, transport, journey, die; emphasizes the personal significance in reaching the destination); from poros (passageway, ford)}. This is journeying or travel.
J “noon” = hektos. Literally “the hour was about sixth.” 14x in NT. From hex (six). This is sixth.

7 A Samaritan womanK came to drawL water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (His disciplesM had gone to the city to buy food.)N 

Notes on verses 7-8

K “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.
L “draw” = antleo. 4x in NT – twice at the wedding at Cana (Jn 2:8-9) & twice with the woman at the well (Jn 4:7, 15). From antlos (properly, the hold of a ship; refers to water that accumulates in a ship). Properly, this is baling water out of the hull of a ship. Also used for getting water from a deep well – drawing it up with a bucket or pitcher.
M “disciples” = mathetes. From matheteuo (to make a disciple of); from mathnao (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.
N “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 ca be ration or wages.

The SamaritanO woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew,P askQ a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in commonR with Samaritans.)S

Notes on verse 9

O “Samaritan” = samaritis. Related to “Samaritan” in v5. 2x in NT. From Samarites (Samaritan); from Samareia (see note A above). This is Samaritan or a Samaritan woman.
P “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.
Q “ask” = aiteo. This is ask, request, beg, or demand.
R “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.
S “Samaritans” = samarites. Related to “Samaritan” in v5 & v9. 9x in NT. From Samareia (see note A above). This is Samaritan.

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knewT the giftU of God,V and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you livingW water.” 

Notes on verse 10

T “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.
U “gift” = dorea. Relate to “given” in v5. 11x in NT. From doron (gift, offering, sacrifice; emphasizes that the gift is given freely, voluntarily); from didomi (to give in a literal or figurative sense). This is a free gift given voluntarily and not received by merit or entitlement. It emphasizes the benevolence of the giver.
V “God” = theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
W “living” = zao. This is to live or be lively. It can be in a literal or figurative sense. Living water can mean literally flowing water as opposed to still or standing water.

11 The woman said to him, “Sir,X you have no bucket,Y and the wellZ is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12AA Are you greater than our ancestorBB Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocksCC drank from it?” 

Notes on verses 11-12

X “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.
Y “bucket” = antlema. Related to “draw” in v7. 1x in NT. From antleo (see note L above). This is a vessel one uses to draw water – a bucket.
Z “well” = phrear. Different from “well” in v6. 7x in NT. This is a well, pit, or cistern. It is used to refer to the pit in Revelation 9.
AA {untranslated} = me. Not, never, neither. This isn’t an absolute no, but it is a way to ask a question when one expects the answer to be no.
BB “ancestor” = pater. Literally father, but can refer to elders or ancestors in a figurative sense.
CC “flocks” = thremma. Perhaps related to “food” in v8. From trepho (see note N above). This is literally a nursling, but used for cattle or flocks.

13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirstyDD again, 14 but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty.EE The water that I will give will becomeFF in them a spring of water gushing upGG to eternalHH life.”II 

Notes on verses 13-14

DD “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.
EE {untranslated} = eis + ho + aion. Literally “into 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.
FF “become” = ginomai. Related to “woman” in v7. This is 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.
GG “gushing up” = hallomai. 3x in NT – elsewhere used of two different crippled men being healed and leaping up (Acts 3:8 & Acts 14:10). This is leap up or, when referring to water, it is bubbling up or gushing forth.
HH “eternal” = aionios. Related to {untranslated} in v14. From aion (see note EE above). This is age-long, forever, everlasting. Properly, that which lasts for an age. This is where eon comes from.
II “life” = zoe. Related to “living” in v10. From zao (see note W 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 coming here to draw water.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Go,JJ call your husband,KK and come back.” 

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

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

Notes on verses 15-18

JJ “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.
KK “husband” = aner. This is male, fellow, sir, or husband.
LL “right” = kalos. This is good, noble, beautiful, correct, or worthy. This is external signs of goodness like beauty, demonstrations of honorable character, showing moral virtues. A different word, agathos, speaks of intrinsic good.
MM “true” = alethes. From 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

19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I seeNN that you are a prophet.OO 20 Our ancestors worshipedPP on this mountain, but you say that the place where people mustQQ worship is in Jerusalem.”RR 

Notes on verses 19-20

NN “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.
OO “prophet” = prophetes. From pro (before, in front of, earlier than) + phemi (to declare, say, use contrasts in speaking to shed light on one point of view). Phemi is from phao (to shine) or phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear). This is a prophet or poet. One who speaks with inspiration from God
PP “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.
QQ “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.
RR “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) + shalem (to make amends, to be complete or sound). This is Jerusalem, dwelling of peace.

21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believeSS me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvationTT is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the trueUU worshipersVV will worship the Father in spiritWW and truth,XX for the Father seeksYY such as these to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 

Notes on verses 21-24

SS “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.
TT “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.
UU “true” = alethinos. Related to “true” in v18. From alethes (see note MM above). This is literally made of truth – that which is true or real, authentic. Something that is true from its source and has integrity.
VV “worshipers” = proskunetes. Related to “worshiped” in v20. 1x in NT. From proskuneo (see note PP above). This is worshiper or adorer.
WW “spirit” = pneuma. From pneo (to blow, breath, 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.
XX “truth” = aletheia. Related to “true” in v18 & “true” in v23. From alethes (see note MM 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.
YY “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.

25 The woman said to him, “I know that MessiahZZ is coming” (who is called Christ).AAA “When he comes, he will proclaimBBB all things to us.” 

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

27 Just then his disciples came. They were astonishedCCC that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you want?” or, “Why are you speaking with her?” 

Notes on verses 25-27

ZZ “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.
AAA “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.
BBB “proclaim” = anaggello. 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 (lead, bring, drive, carry, guide, go)}. This is returning with word, reporting, declaring, announcing. It is to tell something all the way, which is to say to tell it clearly.
CCC “astonished” = thaumazo. Perhaps related to “see” in v19. From thauma (wonder, marvel, amazement; something that brings a feeling of astonishment); perhaps from theaomai (see note NN above). This is to wonder at, marvel, admire. It is to be awestruck so as to begin speculation. It can also imply admiration.

28 Then the woman left her water jarDDD and went back to the city. She said to the people,EEE 29 “ComeFFF and seeGGG a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannotHHH be the Messiah,III can he?” 30 They left the city and were on their way to him.

Notes on verses 28-30

DDD “water jar” = hudria. 3x in NT – twice at the wedding at Cana (Jn 2:6-7) & once with the woman at the well (Jn 4:28). From hudor (water in a literal or figurative sense); perhaps from huetos (rain); from huo (to rain). This is a large vessel for carrying enough water for a family. So, a pot, jar, or pitcher.
EEE “people” = anthropos. Related to “husband” in v16. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face). This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.
FFF “come” = deute. 12x in NT. From deuro (come here; an energetic, exclamatory way or asking someone to come). This is come here, come now, follow as an exclamation.
GGG “see” = horao. To see, perceive, attend to, look upon, experience. Properly, to stare at and so implying clear discernment. This, by extension, would indicate attending to what was seen and learned. This is to see, often with a metaphorical sense. Can include inward spiritual seeing.
HHH “cannot” = meti. 17x in NT. From me (see note AA above) + tis (someone, anything, any, a kind of). This is if not, unless, cannot, perhaps, or surely. It is a word for asking a question when one anticipates that the answer will be no. However, it does leave the possibility open.
III “Messiah” = christos.

31 Meanwhile the disciples were urgingJJJ him, “Rabbi,KKK eat something.” 

32 But he said to them, “I have foodLLL to eat that you do not know about.” 

33 So the disciples said to one another, “Surely no one has brought him something to eat?” 

Notes on verses 31-33

JJJ “urging” = erotao. From eromai (to ask) OR from ereo (to say, tell, call, speak of). This is asking a question or making an earnest request. It is used between someone with whom the asker is close in some sense. So, they anticipate special consideration for their request.
KKK “Rabbi” = rhabbi. 15x in NT. From Hebrew rab (chief); from rabab (to be many, increase, multiply). This is a title of respect for a teacher-scholar. Literally, it means great one or honorable sir. It can also be understood as my master or my teacher.
LLL “food” = brosis. 11x in NT. From bibrosko (to eat). This is food and the act of eating. It is eating in a literal or figurative sense.

34 Jesus said to them, “My foodMMM is to do the willNNN of him who sentOOO me and to completePPP his work. 35 Do you not say, ‘Four months more, then comes the harvest’?QQQ, RRR But I tell you, look around you,SSS and seeTTT how the fields are ripeUUU for harvesting. 

Notes on verses 34-35

MMM “food” = broma. Related to “food” in v. 32. 17x in NT. From bibrosko (see note LLL above). This is any kind of food in a literal or figurative sense.
NNN “will” = thelema. From thelo (to desire, wise, will, intend). This is the act of will, choice, purpose, or decree.
OOO “sent” = pempo. This is to send, put forth, or dispatch. This often refers to a temporary errand. It is sending someone with a focus on the place they departed from. By contrast, another Greek word, hiemi, emphasizes the destination and yet another word, stello, focuses on the motion that goes with the sending.
PPP “complete” = teleioo. From teleios (going through the steps to complete a stage or phase and then moving on to the next one; reaching an end and so being complete or “perfect”; also full grown or mature); from telos (an end, aim, purpose, completion, end goal, consummation, tax).  This is finish, accomplish, bring to an end, complete, reach a goal, finish a race, to consummate. It refers to completing stages or phases to get to an ultimate conclusion. It can also mean consecrate or fulfill.
QQQ “harvest” = therismos. 13x in NT. From therizo (to reap, gather, harvest); from theros (summer; the heat, which implies summer); from thero (to heat). This is harvesting or reaping. By implication, it is the crop that was harvested.
RRR {untranslated} = idou. Related to “know” in v10. From eido (see note T above). This is see! Lo! Behold! Look! Used to express surprise and or draw attention to the statement.
SSS “look around you” = epairo + ho + opthalmos + su. Literally “lift up your eyes.”
TTT “see” = theaomai. Related to “see” in v19 & perhaps related to “astonished” in v27. From thaomai (see note NN above).
UUU “ripe” = leukos. Related to luke (light). This is bright, white, or brilliant.

36 The reaperVVV is already receiving wagesWWW and is gathering fruitXXX for eternal life, so that sowerYYY and reaper may rejoiceZZZ together. 37 For here the sayingAAAA holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sentBBBB you to reap that for which you did not labor.CCCC Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”DDDD

Notes on verses 36-38

VVV “reaper” = therizo. Related to “harvest” in v35. From theros (see note QQQ above). This is to reap, gather, or harvest.
WWW “wages” = misthos. This is wages, pay, or salary. It can also be reward, recompense, or punishment. It is pay for services rendered in a literal or figurative way, either good or bad.
XXX “fruit” = karpos. Perhaps from harpazo (to seize by force, snatch away); from haireo (to choose, take). This is a fruit or vegetable, through sometimes it refers to an animal. Figuratively, it is deeds, results, profits, or gain.
YYY “sower” = speiro. Probably from spao (to pull or draw like one draws a sword). This is sowing a seed or scattering. It is sowing in a literal or figurative sense.
ZZZ “rejoice” = chairo. From char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is to rejoice, be glad or cheerful; a greeting. This is the root verb that the Greek word for “grace” comes from (charis).
AAAA “saying” = logos. From lego (to speak, tell, mention). This is word, statement, speech, analogy. It is a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying. It could refer to a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words. By implication, this could be a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive. It can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ.
BBBB “sent” = apostello. From apo (from, away from) + stello (to send, set, arrange, prepare, gather up) [probably from histemi (to make to stand, stand, place, set up, establish, appoint, stand firm, be steadfast]. This is to send forth, send away, dismiss, send as a messenger. It implies one that is sent for a particular mission or purpose rather than a quick errand. This is where “apostle” comes from.
CCCC “labor” = kopiao. Same as “tired out” in v6.
DDDD “labor” = kopos. Related to “tired out” in v6. 18x in NT. From kopto (see note H above).

39 Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony,EEEE “He told me everything I have ever done.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his word. 

42 They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you saidFFFF that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is trulyGGGG the SaviorHHHH of the world.”IIII

Notes on verses 39-42

EEEE “because of the woman’s testimony” = dia + ho + logos + ho + gune + martureo. Literally “because of the word of the woman testifying.” Martureo is from martus (a witness whether having heard or seen something; witness literally, judicially, or figuratively; by analogy, a martyr). This is to bear witness, testify, give evidence. It means to testify in a literal or figurative sense. This root is where we get the word “martyr” from.
FFFF “said” = lalia. 4x in NT. From laleo (chatter, talk, preach, say); from lalos (talkative). This is talk, speech, dialect, accent, or saying.
GGGG “truly” = alethos. Related to “true” in v18 & “true” in v23 & “truth” in v23. 18x in NT. From alethes (see note MM above). This is truly, indeed, really, surely, truthfully. It says that something is valid and genuine, reflecting what is real.
HHHH “Savior” = soter. Related to “salvation” in v22. From sozo (see note TT above). This is savior, deliverer, preserver.
IIII “world” = kosmos. Perhaps from the base of komizo (to carry, convey, recover); from komeo (to take care of). This is order, the world, the universe, including its inhabitants. Literally, this is something that is ordered so it can refer to all creation. It can also refer to decoration in the sense that something is better ordered and, thus, made more beautiful. This is were “cosmos” and “cosmetics” come from.

Image Credit: “Woman at the Well Icon” by Derek N. Winterburn.

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