John 4:9
Parallel Verses
New International Version
The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

New Living Translation
The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, "You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?"

English Standard Version
The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)

New American Standard Bible
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.)

King James Bible
Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
How is it that You, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?" she asked Him. For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.

International Standard Version
The Samaritan woman asked him, "How can you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?" Because Jews do not have anything to do with Samaritans.

NET Bible
So the Samaritan woman said to him, "How can you--a Jew--ask me, a Samaritan woman, for water to drink?" (For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.)

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And the Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, would ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” For the Jews do not associate with the Samaritans.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The Samaritan woman asked him, "How can a Jewish man like you ask a Samaritan woman like me for a drink of water?" (Jews, of course, don't associate with Samaritans.)

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then said the Samaritan woman unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, who am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

King James 2000 Bible
Then said the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that you, being a Jew, ask drink of me, who am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

American King James Version
Then said the woman of Samaria to him, How is it that you, being a Jew, ask drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

American Standard Version
The Samaritan woman therefore saith unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, who am a Samaritan woman? (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)

Douay-Rheims Bible
Then that Samaritan woman saith to him: How dost thou, being a Jew, ask of me to drink, who am a Samaritan woman? For the Jews do not communicate with the Samaritans.

Darby Bible Translation
The Samaritan woman therefore says to him, How dost thou, being a Jew, ask to drink of me who am a Samaritan woman? for Jews have no intercourse with Samaritans.

English Revised Version
The Samaritan woman therefore saith unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a Samaritan woman? (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)

Webster's Bible Translation
Then saith the woman of Samaria to him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, who am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

Weymouth New Testament
"How is it," replied the woman, "that a Jew like you asks me, who am a woman and a Samaritan, for water?" (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)

World English Bible
The Samaritan woman therefore said to him, "How is it that you, being a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?" (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)

Young's Literal Translation
the Samaritan woman therefore saith to him, 'How dost thou, being a Jew, ask drink from me, being a Samaritan woman?' for Jews have no dealing with Samaritans.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

4:4-26 There was great hatred between the Samaritans and the Jews. Christ's road from Judea to Galilee lay through Samaria. We should not go into places of temptation but when we needs must; and then must not dwell in them, but hasten through them. We have here our Lord Jesus under the common fatigue of travellers. Thus we see that he was truly a man. Toil came in with sin; therefore Christ, having made himself a curse for us, submitted to it. Also, he was a poor man, and went all his journeys on foot. Being wearied, he sat thus on the well; he had no couch to rest upon. He sat thus, as people wearied with travelling sit. Surely, we ought readily to submit to be like the Son of God in such things as these. Christ asked a woman for water. She was surprised because he did not show the anger of his own nation against the Samaritans. Moderate men of all sides are men wondered at. Christ took the occasion to teach her Divine things: he converted this woman, by showing her ignorance and sinfulness, and her need of a Saviour. By this living water is meant the Spirit. Under this comparison the blessing of the Messiah had been promised in the Old Testament. The graces of the Spirit, and his comforts, satisfy the thirsting soul, that knows its own nature and necessity. What Jesus spake figuratively, she took literally. Christ shows that the water of Jacob's well yielded a very short satisfaction. Of whatever waters of comfort we drink, we shall thirst again. But whoever partakes of the Spirit of grace, and the comforts of the gospel, shall never want that which will abundantly satisfy his soul. Carnal hearts look no higher than carnal ends. Give it me, saith she, not that I may have everlasting life, which Christ proposed, but that I come not hither to draw. The carnal mind is very ingenious in shifting off convictions, and keeping them from fastening. But how closely our Lord Jesus brings home the conviction to her conscience! He severely reproved her present state of life. The woman acknowledged Christ to be a prophet. The power of his word in searching the heart, and convincing the conscience of secret things, is a proof of Divine authority. It should cool our contests, to think that the things we are striving about are passing away. The object of worship will continue still the same, God, as a Father; but an end shall be put to all differences about the place of worship. Reason teaches us to consult decency and convenience in the places of our worship; but religion gives no preference to one place above another, in respect of holiness and approval with God. The Jews were certainly in the right. Those who by the Scriptures have obtained some knowledge of God, know whom they worship. The word of salvation was of the Jews. It came to other nations through them. Christ justly preferred the Jewish worship before the Samaritan, yet here he speaks of the former as soon to be done away. God was about to be revealed as the Father of all believers in every nation. The spirit or the soul of man, as influenced by the Holy Spirit, must worship God, and have communion with him. Spiritual affections, as shown in fervent prayers, supplications, and thanksgivings, form the worship of an upright heart, in which God delights and is glorified. The woman was disposed to leave the matter undecided, till the coming of the Messiah. But Christ told her, I that speak to thee, am He. She was an alien and a hostile Samaritan, merely speaking to her was thought to disgrace our Lord Jesus. Yet to this woman did our Lord reveal himself more fully than as yet he had done to any of his disciples. No past sins can bar our acceptance with him, if we humble ourselves before him, believing in him as the Christ, the Saviour of the world.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 9. - The Samaritan woman therefore saith to him, How is it (compare this "how" with that of Nicodemus. Jesus had at once provoked inquiry, which he was not unwilling to gratify) - How is it that thou, being a Jew? She would have known that he was a Jew by his speech, for the Samaritans were accustomed to turn the sound of sh into that of s; and so, when Jesus said in Jewish Aramaic, Teni lishekoth, "Give me to drink," while she would herself have said, Teni lise-koth, his speech would betray him. Again, the contour of the Jewish face differs greatly from that of the Samaritan, and the customary fringes on their robes were of different national colours. Moreover, his appearance, travel stained, weary, and thirsty, on the great highway between Galilee and Judaea, would have suggested at once that he was no Samaritan. Askest drink from me, who am a Samaritan, and a woman, too? Already this was a startling puzzle, for her experience so far had only shown her that Jews have no dealings (a word only once and here used in the New Testament) with Samaritans. Most commentators suppose that this is an explanatory remark of the evangelist, pointing to the absence, in a hostile and haughty spirit, of all pleasant relations between the peoples (see note at commencement of chapter). We are not compelled to this conclusion. The words may just as likely have been the pert, half-ironical tone of the woman, who was drawing a contrast between the current profession of Israelites and the request which the need of Jesus had extorted (Moulton). The eighth verse had just said that the disciples had clearly some dealings with Samaritans, and had gone to purchase food at Sychar, taking with them the apparatus used for drawing water. This last fact is the evangelist's reason for introducing the remark of the woman. He would hardly have made it himself.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him,.... In a scoffing, jeering way,

how is it, that thou being a Jew; which she might know, by his language and his dress:

askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? not that the waters of Samaria were unlawful for a Jew to drink of; for as

"the land of the Cuthites (or Samaritans), was pure, or clean, so, "their collections of water", and their habitations, and their ways were clean (m),''

and might be used; but because the Jews used no familiarity with the Samaritans, nor would they receive any courtesy or kindness from them, as follows:

for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans: some take these to be the words of the evangelist, commenting upon, and explaining the words of the woman; but they seem rather to be her own words, giving a reason why she returned such an answer; and which must be understood, not in the strictest sense, as if they had no dealings at all with them: indeed in some things they had no dealings with them, and at some certain times; hence that discourse of the Samaritans with a Jewish Rabbi (n).

"The Cuthites (or Samaritans) inquired of R. Abhu, your fathers, , "used to deal with us" (or minister to us, or supply us with necessaries), wherefore do not ye deal with us? (or take a supply from us;) he replied unto them, your fathers did not corrupt their works, you have corrupted your works.''

They might not use their wine and vinegar, nor admit them to their tables; they say of a man (o),

"because the Cuthites (or Samaritans) ate at his table, it was the reason why his children went into captivity--and further add, that whoever invites a Cuthite (or Samaritan) into his house, and ministers to him, is the cause of captivity to his children.''

And they forbid a man to enter into partnership with a Cuthite (or Samaritan (p)): and particularly,

"three days before the feasts of idolaters (for such they reckoned the Samaritans, as well as others), it is forbidden to have any commerce with them, to borrow of them, or lend to them (q) &c.''

But then at other times, and in other respects, they had dealings with them; they might go into their cities and buy food of them, as the disciples did, John 4:8; they might send their wheat to a Samaritan miller, to be ground (r); and as it appears from the above citations, their houses and habitations were clean, and might be lodged in, with which compare Luke 9:52; the poor of the Samaritans were maintained with the poor of Israel (s); wherefore the sense is, as Dr. Lightfoot observes, that the Jews refused to receive the least favour or kindness at the hand of a Samaritan; and therefore the woman might justly wonder, that Christ should ask so small a favour of her, as a little water. The reason of this distance and aversion, was religion; and so the Ethiopic version, rather paraphrasing than translating, renders the words, "the Jews do not agree in religion, nor do they communicate with the Samaritans, nor mix together": and this was of long standing, and had been occasioned and increased by various incidents; for when the ten tribes revolted in Jeroboam's time, the calves were set up in Dan and Bethel, in order to draw off the people from worship at Jerusalem, which gave great umbrage to the tribes of Judah and Benjamin; and when the ten tribes were carried away captive by the king of Assyria, he planted the cities of Samaria with colonies in their room, consisting of Heathenish and idolatrous persons, brought from Babylon, and other places; to whom he sent a priest, to instruct them in the manner of the God of the land; but with these instructions, they still retained their idols, and their idolatrous practices; see 2 Kings 17:24, which must render them odious to the Jews: and these were the principal adversaries of the Jews, after their return from captivity; and discouraged them, and weakened their hands, in the building of the second temple: but what latest, and most of all had fixed this aversion and enmity, was this; Manasseh, brother to Jaddua the high priest, having married Sanballat's daughter, governor of Samaria, was for it removed from the priesthood; who applying to his father-in-law, he proposed building for him a temple on Mount Gerizim, and making him an high priest; for which he obtained leave of Alexander the Great, and accordingly built one, and made his son-in-law high priest; which drew a great many profligate Jews over to him, who mixing with the Samaritans, set up a worship, religion, and priesthood, in distinction from the Jews; and this was ever after a matter of contention and quarrel between these people, and the reason why they would have no dealings with them.

(m) T. Hieros. Avoda Zara, fol. 44. 4. (n) Ib. (o) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 104. 1.((p) T. Bab. Becorot, fol. 7. 2. Piske Toseph. ib. art. 4. & in Megilla, art 102. (q) Misna Avoda Zara, c. 1. sect. 1.((r) Misua Demai, c. 3. sect. 4. (s) Piske Tosephot Yoma, art. 63.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

9-12. How is it that thou—not altogether refusing, yet wondering at so unusual a request from a Jew, as His dress and dialect would at once discover Him to be, to a Samaritan.

for, &c.—It is this national antipathy that gives point to the parable of the good Samaritan (Lu 10:30-37), and the thankfulness of the Samaritan leper (Lu 17:16, 18).

John 4:9 Additional Commentaries
Context
Jesus and the Samaritan Woman
8For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 9Therefore 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.) 10Jesus 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."…
Cross References
Ezra 4:3
But Zerubbabel, Joshua and the rest of the heads of the families of Israel answered, "You have no part with us in building a temple to our God. We alone will build it for the LORD, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia, commanded us."

Ezra 4:11
(This is a copy of the letter they sent him.) To King Artaxerxes, From your servants in Trans-Euphrates:

Matthew 10:5
These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans.

Luke 9:52
And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him;

Luke 9:53
but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem.

John 8:48
The Jews answered him, "Aren't we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?"

Acts 10:28
He said to them: "You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.

Acts 10:32
Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.'
Treasury of Scripture

Then said the woman of Samaria to him, How is it that you, being a Jew, ask drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

askest.

John 4:27 And on this came his disciples, and marveled that he talked with …

John 8:48 Then answered the Jews, and said to him, Say we not well that you …

Luke 10:33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and …

Luke 17:16-19 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he …

for.

2 Kings 17:24 And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, …

Ezra 4:1-24 Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children …

Nehemiah 4:1,2 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we built the …

Luke 9:52-56 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into …

Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come on …

Acts 10:28 And he said to them, You know how that it is an unlawful thing for …

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