The woman said to him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come here to draw.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Come hither.—The Sinaitic and Vatican and some other MSS. read, “come through hither,” or as Alford, who adopts the reading, renders it, “come all the way hither.” Godet also adopts the reading, but renders it, in the service of a forced explanation, “pass by here,” thinking that the woman was on her way home from work at meal-time, and that this accounts for her presence at the well at noon. He regards this as sans doute, but the reading itself is at least uncertain, and is probably to be explained by its first syllable being added from the last syllable of the previous word; and the translation is more than uncertain.
The woman understands the words in their physical sense. How many a toilsome hour, how many a weary journey would she be saved!Romans 8:5, They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh. John 4:11;
give me this water, that I thirst not. The Syriac and Persic versions add, "again":
neither come hither; the Ethiopic version adds here, "again";
to draw. This she said also, in the same sneering and scoffing way, as her talking of not thirsting and coming thither to draw water, shows; and it is as if she had said, pray give me some of this fine water you talk of, that I may never thirst again; and so have no occasion to be at all this fatigue and trouble, to come daily to this well for water: though some think, that she now spoke seriously, having some little knowledge of what our Lord meant by living water, but with a mixture of much ignorance, and that she heartily desired it; but the reason she gives, shows the contrary.The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)John 4:15-16. The woman as yet having no apprehension of the higher meaning of the water spoken of (against B. Crusius, Lange), yet being in some degree perplexed, asks, not in irony, as Lightfoot and Tholuck think, but sincerely, for this wonderful water, which at any rate must be of great use to her.
Jesus breaks off suddenly, and commences, by a seemingly unimportant request, “Call thy husband,” to lay hold of the woman in her inner life, so that the beginnings of faith in Him might be connected with His supernatural knowledge of her peculiar moral relations. This process must be accompanied with the awakening in her of a sense of guilt (see John 4:29), and thus pave the way for μετάνοια; and who dare deny that, besides the immediate object, this may have been included in the purposes of Jesus? though He does not directly rebuke, but leaves the feeling to operate of itself (against Strauss and most others).
φώνησ. τ. ἄνδρα σου] We are not to ask here what the husband was to do (Chrysostom, Euthymius Zigabenus: “that he might partake with her of the gift of salvation that was before her;” so also Lücke); because the command was only an apparent one, not seriously intended, for Jesus knew the relations of the woman, and did not merely discover His prophetic gift by the answer she gave, as Lücke and Godet quite gratuitously assume. The τ. ἄνδρα σου was the sore spot where the healing was to begin. According to Lange, L. J. II. p. 530 f., it would have been unseemly if Jesus, now that the woman showed a willingness to become His disciple (?), had continued to converse longer with her in her husband’s absence; His desire, therefore, was in keeping “with the highest and finest sense of social propriety.” But the husband was nothing more than a paramour!
ἐλθέ] in the sense of come back, as the context shows. See Hom. Od. a. 408, β. 30; Xen. Anab. ii. 1. 1, v. 1. 4; Bar 4:37; Tob 1:18; Heind. ad Plat. Prot. p. 310 C. Comp. John 14:18; Luke 19:13.John 4:15. The woman, with her mind still running on actual water, says Κύριε … ἀντλεῖν. She is attracted by the two qualities of the water, and asks it (1) ἵνα μὴ διψῶ, (2) μηδὲ ἔρχωμαι ἐνθάδε ἀντλεῖν.15. She still does not understand, but does not wilfully misunderstand. This wonderful water will at any rate be worth having, and she asks quite sincerely (not ironically) for it. Had she been a Jew, she could scarcely have thus misunderstood, this metaphor of ‘water’ and ‘living water’ is so frequent in the Prophets. Comp. Isaiah 12:3; Isaiah 44:3; Jeremiah 2:13; Zechariah 13:1; Zechariah 14:8. But the Samaritans rejected all but the Pentateuch.
to draw] Same word as in John 2:8-9; peculiar to this Gospel.John 4:15. Δός μοι, give me) The woman asks for the water, as the Jews asked bread, ch. John 6:34, “Lord evermore give us this bread,” for the support of the body. By this time the matter is come to that point, that the woman says, give; to whom before the same word had been addressed [by Jesus] “Give Me to drink,” John 4:7.—ἔνθαδε, hither) with toil. She wishes to have at home that fountain.Verse 15. - The woman has not yet emerged out of the region of her physical desires and her daily requirements, and needs a deeper apprehension of her real necessities. By reason of the subsequent narrative she ought not to be credited now with impertinence or irony (Lightfoot, Tholuck). She could not understand the miraculous water of which the Stranger spake, but had some dim notion that he might be able to deliver her from her toilsome and exhausting life. She replies to him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come all the way hither to draw. The Lord had spoken of eternal life, and she is content to have temporal satisfaction to the extent of thirsting no more. Some commentators, with Lange and Hengstenberg, suppose that the journey to Jacob's well was in her mind a quasi-religious act, the insufficiency of which to meet her case is at length becoming apparent. This view seems to us inconsistent with the sudden change of metaphor and alteration of his method of approach to this woman's consciousness and need. He resolved rather to search her heart and reveal her to herself - to bring forth from its hiding place the torpid conscience, and reveal to her the grievous need in which she stood of that Divine cleansing, healing, nutrition, refreshment, which he had been sent into the world to supply. This reflection renders the reply of Jesus less obscure than its abrupt transition seems to imply.
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