John 4:30
Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(30) Came unto him.—Literally, were coming unto Him. They were still on the way when the conversation in John 4:31-38 took place. The general expectation of the Messiah, and the receptive spirit of the Samaritans, is shown in her alacrity to go and tell the men of the place, and in their desire at once to see Him for themselves. Many, indeed, were convinced by her statement only (John 4:39-40).

4:27-42 The disciples wondered that Christ talked thus with a Samaritan. Yet they knew it was for some good reason, and for some good end. Thus when particular difficulties occur in the word and providence of God, it is good to satisfy ourselves that all is well that Jesus Christ says and does. Two things affected the woman. The extent of his knowledge. Christ knows all the thoughts, words, and actions, of all the children of men. And the power of his word. He told her secret sins with power. She fastened upon that part of Christ's discourse, many would think she would have been most shy of repeating; but the knowledge of Christ, into which we are led by conviction of sin, is most likely to be sound and saving. They came to him: those who would know Christ, must meet him where he records his name. Our Master has left us an example, that we may learn to do the will of God as he did; with diligence, as those that make a business of it; with delight and pleasure in it. Christ compares his work to harvest-work. The harvest is appointed and looked for before it comes; so was the gospel. Harvest-time is busy time; all must be then at work. Harvest-time is a short time, and harvest-work must be done then, or not at all; so the time of the gospel is a season, which if once past, cannot be recalled. God sometimes uses very weak and unlikely instruments for beginning and carrying on a good work. Our Saviour, by teaching one poor woman, spread knowledge to a whole town. Blessed are those who are not offended at Christ. Those taught of God, are truly desirous to learn more. It adds much to the praise of our love to Christ and his word, if it conquers prejudices. Their faith grew. In the matter of it: they believed him to be the Saviour, not only of the Jews but of the world. In the certainty of it: we know that this is indeed the Christ. And in the ground of it, for we have heard him ourselves.They went out of the city - The men of the city left it and went to Jesus, to hear and examine for themselves. 30. Then they went out, &c.—How different from the Jews! and richly was their openness to conviction rewarded. Sitting still at the well, they (many of them at least) did not contemn the news as the relation of a woman, but went (possibly but out of curiosity) to see and to hear this man.

Then they went out of the city,.... "The men", as the Syriac version expresses it; the inhabitants of Sychar left their business, and came out of the city:

and came unto him; to Christ, to see him, and converse with him, that they might know who he was: for though the woman had been a woman of ill fame, yet such was the account that she gave of Christ, and such power went along with her words, that what with the strangeness of the relation, and the curiosity with which they were led, and chiefly through the efficacy of divine grace, at least in many of them, they were moved to regard what she said, and to follow her directions and solicitations.

Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
John 4:30. ἐξῆλθον οὖνπρὸς αὐτόν. The men, moved by the woman’s question, left the city and were coming to Jesus.

30. went out … and came] Literally, went out … and were coming. The change of tense from aorist to imperfect gives vividness. We are to see them coming along across the fields as we listen to the conversation that follows, 31–38.

John 4:30. Ἐξῆλθον, they went out) They readily assented to the woman, or [some perhaps] even left their dinner. Others might have thought it beneath them, so readily to go forth from their home and their city gate. [And they would have had many objections which, not without show of reason, they might have started; Was it to be thought likely, that precisely at that point of time, and in that very place, the Messiah, so long expected, has appeared to such a woman?—V. g.]

Verse 30. - They went out of the city, and were coming on their way towards him. The vividness of the picture is remarkable, and is made more so by observing the tense of ἤρχοντο. The men were already crossing the green fields that lay between Sychar and Jacob's well. This remarkable touch explains the conversation that immediately follows. We have the twofold scene depicted: on the one side, the disciples eager for their meal, and absorbed for the moment with thoughts of "terrene provender," unconscious of the vast yearnings of their Lord, and his passion for the regeneration and saving of men; and on the other side, the immediate effect, produced neither by signs nor wonders, but by his word only, on a few susceptible souls, who appeared to him living representatives and firstfruits of a redeemed humanity. John 4:30Then

Omit.

Went out - came unto Him (ἐξῆλθον - ἤρχοντο πρὸς αὐτόν)

Went out is the aorist tense, denoting the coming forth from the city as a single act at a point of time. Came is the imperfect, denoting action in progress. The observance of the distinction makes the narrative more graphic. They were coming. Unto should be toward (πρὸς). The imperfect also is required by the following words: "In the mean while" (while the woman was still absent and the Samaritans were coming toward Him) "the disciples were praying" Him to eat. This last imperfect is overlooked by the Rev..

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