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Bible Commentaries
John 4

Edwards' Family Bible New TestamentFamily Bible NT

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Verse 1

How the Pharisees had heard ; he was aware that the knowledge of his growing popularity excited their envy and ill-will, which he wished for the present to avoid.

Verse 3

When good men are opposed, and their usefulness obstructed in one place, it is often wise for them to go to another; and the rejection of the gospel by some, proves the occasion of its being embraced by others; thus God, angels, and men are led to rejoice together. Luke 15:7-10 .

Verse 4

Samaria ; lying between Judea and Galilee.

Verse 5

Sychar ; in the Old Testament it is called Shechem. Genesis 33:18 . It is now called Naplous, and lies a few miles south-east of the city of Samaria, between the mountains Ebal and Gerizim.

Jacob gave to his son Joseph ; see note to Genesis 48:22 .

Verse 8

Meat ; according to the usage of the word in our version, meat is used for all kinds of food.

Verse 9

No dealings with the Samaritans ; no friendly dealings. Matthew 10:5 .

Verse 10

The gift of God ; the Saviour, and the blessings which he is ready to bestow.

Living water ; under the figure of living water, that is, the flowing water of a fountain in contrast with the stagnant water of a pool or cistern, he means the Holy Spirit, who purifies, refreshes, and invigorates the soul. Compare chap. John 7:37-39 .

Verse 11

Whence ; she supposed him to speak of literal living or running water, which was peculiarly fresh and good.

Verse 13

Earthly blessings, however numerous and great, cannot satisfy the desires of men. But the blessings of the Holy Spirit, which Christ gives to those who ask him, furnish and secure to them satisfying and eternal joys.

Verse 14

The water that I shall give him ; the Holy Spirit shall dwell in him, and satisfy his soul.

Shall never thirst ; he does not mean that one draught shall satisfy him, but that he shall always have in his soul a well of living water, from which he shall continually drink and be satisfied.

Verse 18

Not thy husband ; she was living with a man who was not her husband.

Verse 19

I perceive ; this she did from his manner and his knowledge of her history.

Verse 20

This mountain ; mount Gerizim, which lay at a little distance from Sychar. As she perceived him to be a prophet, she appealed to him to decide a disputed question between the Samaritans and the Jews about the proper place of public worship.

Verse 21

The hour cometh ; the time is near.

Neither in this mountain ; not in this or that place merely, but in all places, may you worship him who is a Spirit, "in spirit and in truth."

Verse 22

We know what we worship ; the Jews had both a divinely appointed system of worship, and a clear revelation from God of his nature and the service required by him. The Samaritans received only the five books of Moses, and their services on mount Gerizim were without the divine warrant, and mingled with superstitious observances.

Salvation is of the Jews ; from them the Messiah was to come.

Verse 23

Worship the Father ; in heart, with sincere love and devotion, in every place where they may be. Men are prone to think too much of the place and mode of religious worship. God regards the state of the heart; and spiritual worship, in any place, is accepted of him.

Verse 26

He ; the Messiah. This was the first time, so far as we are informed, that Jesus explicitly declared himself to be the Christ. It was, moreover, not in the presence of the Pharisees, who would have taken advantage of the assertion to misrepresent and persecute him; but among the Samaritans, who had no intercourse in religious matters with the Jews, and would make no bad use of the declaration.

Verse 34

As food to the hungry, and water to the thirsty, so is the doing of the will of God to those who love him; and whether engaged in sowing the spiritual seed of divine truth, or reaping the harvest, their employment is a source of the most elevated and refreshing joy.

Verse 35

Say not ye ; that is, when ye have committed your seed to the ground.

Four months ; this was the usual period between seed-time and harvest.

Look on the fields ; the Samaritans, called by the woman, coming to hear the gospel; and men in every direction perishing for lack of knowledge.

Verse 36

He that soweth and he that reapeth ; Jesus and others had sowed spiritual seed. The disciples might gather the fruit by being instrumental in the conversion of men; and thus Christ and his disciples, like sowers and reapers, rejoice together.

Verse 38

I sent you ; spoken in anticipation of the mission of his apostles, when he should have finished his work on earth.

Other men labored ; spoken of all the preparation made by Christ and holy men before him for the work of the apostles.

Ye are entered into their labors ; they have prepared the way for your reaping the fruit.

Verse 41

Many more believed ; this was the beginning of the harvest of which Jesus had spoken.

Verse 44

His own country ; this is the same word which is used Matthew 13:54 ; , and applied to Nazareth, where Jesus was brought up. As they did not receive him, he visited and wrought miracles in other parts of Galilee.

Verse 48

Except ye see signs ; unless by miracles he showed that he was the Messiah, they would not believe on him.

Verse 50

The faith of parents and masters, Luke 7:1-10 , and their prayers to Jesus Christ, are often the means of unspeakable blessings to their children and servants; and however distant they may be from their friends or from Christ, his power can reach them, and his grace supply their wants.

Verse 52

Seventh hour ; one o’clock in the afternoon.

Verse 54

The second miracle ; the second that he had wrought at Cana, the first having been the turning of water into wine. Chap John 2:6-11 . In the interval he had wrought many miracles at Jerusalem, John 4:34 .

Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 4". "Edwards' Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/fam/john-4.html. American Tract Society. 1851.
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