Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Bible Study: The Samaritan Woman

The Woman of Samaria

John 4:1–6
Therefore when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples were),

He left Judea and went away again into Galilee. And He had to pass through Samaria.
So He came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; and Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

John 4:7-14
There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

She said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? “You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?”

Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

1.     Who are the Samaritans?
“For the thing shall surely come to pass which he cried by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria.” (1 Kings 13:32)


The history of the Samaritans is derived from sources that often conflict, or are polemically charged. Josephus is the principal source for Samaritan history, though his accounts are not entirely trustworthy. The Samaritans are first mentioned during the Persian period at the time of Nehemiah. Ezra and the Elephantine papyri reveal a schism between the Jews and the Samaritans during the rebuilding of Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity. Ezra 4 states that people who lived in Samaria opposed the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem and the city walls (Ezra 4:17; Neh 2:10).[1]

Ezra 4:17
Then the king sent an answer to Rehum the commander, to Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their colleagues who live in Samaria and in the rest of the provinces beyond the River: “Peace. And now (Ezra 4:17)

Neh 2:10
When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard about it, it was very displeasing to them that someone had come to seek the welfare of the sons of Israel.
“The Samaritans’ religious practices were similar to the Jews with a few major exceptions—mainly, the Samaritans thought of Mount Gerizim, not Jerusalem, as the proper place of worship. The Samaritans, like the Sadducees, were more “conservative” than other Jews in that they the rejected the authority of the prophets and writings, and relied exclusively on their edition of the Pentateuch (Samaritan Pentateuch). The Samaritans also did not celebrate Purim or Hanukkah.

A primary difference between Samaritans and Jews is that they believed that Yahweh should be worshiped in Shechem rather than Jerusalem. The Samaritan Pentateuch declared that God’s people should worship Him in Shechem, thereby making the worship in Jerusalem illegitimate (Purvis, “Samaritans and Judaism,” 89).

2.     Why do the Jews avoid the Samaritans?
a.     Following the examination of a Jewish ruler, as a sample of the Pharisitical belief, the author now moves to a half-breed, Samaritan woman. As such she was typical of those who were dispersed, but worse in the eyes of a Jew since these northern tribes had intermarried with the Assyrians…During the captivity of the Northern tribes when Assyria took them off,” (Baylis, Charles Th.D., )
b.     “By contrast the Jews had been in Babylon for 70 years and had returned pure in race (Of course, Nehemiah and Ezra record that they really weren’t all that enthusiastic regarding purity as they intermarried with the neighboring Gentiles.)” (Baylis, Charles Th.D.)
c.     8:48. To call Jesus a Samaritan was to use a term of abuse, referring to a heretic or one with a faulty worship. [2]
3.     Who is He that speaks to the woman?
4.     What is the significance of the verbiage “gift of God”?
5.     Water: 478X in 428 verses in the NASB95 Bible (71X in 63 verses in NT)
6.     What is the purpose of physical water?
a.     Humans & Livestock
b.     Plants
7.     What is it to “Thirst”?
8.     What is Living Water?
a.     “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew for themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns That can hold no water. (Jeremiah 2:13)
b.     And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter. (Zechariah 14:8)
c.     “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7:38–39)
9.     What and Where is Jacob’s well?
10.  What is significant about the location and depth of Jacob’s well?
a.     “Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. Now the Canaanite was then in the land. The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the LORD who had appeared to him.” (Genesis 12:6–7)
b.     “Jacob, like Abram, purchased a portion of the land and there, like Abram, Jacob set up an altar (12:7) and named it El Elohe Israel (“El is the God of Israel”). In this way he acknowledged that the Lord had led him all the way back to the land.”
c.     Since Jacob’s well was so deep how could Jesus get this living water? Today this well is identified by archeologists as one of the deepest in Palestine. Are You greater than our father Jacob? she asked. In Greek this question expects a negative answer. She could not conceive of Him as greater than Jacob.[3]
11.  Why did Jesus choose to meet this woman at this location?


1.     Do you consider the significance of the intertwining of people, location, and timing of your interactions throughout your day?
a.     Prayerfully consider, “Lord, why did you have me and “so and so” me in this location, in this moment?”
b.     Do you inquisitively seek possible historical significance of people and location?
2.     Regardless of your personal and ancestral past, you are given the gift of Living Water found only in the Lord Jesus Christ.
3.     Do you recognize the presence of Jesus Christ in your day-to-day life?
4.     How are you responding to God’s gift of Living Water?
a.     Are you Sipping, taking an occasional Swig, or Gulping the Living Water?
                                                              i.     Prayer
                                                             ii.     Reading and Studying God’s Word—the Bible
5.     How does Knowing, Recognizing, and freely Drinking the Living Water affect your life:
a.     Physically
b.     Emotionally
c.     Spiritually?

[1] Maiers, B. (2016). Samaritans. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
[2] Blum, E. A. (1985). John. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 306). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
[3] Blum, E. A. (1985). John. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 285). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

No comments:

Post a Comment