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2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disci- J. P. 4740. ples :)
V. Æ. 27. 3 He left Judæa, and departed again into Galilee. 4 And he must needs go through Samaria.
5 Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to 19.XlV. 22; his son Joseph 6.
of the two nations. It may be observed here, that Samaria was the first city addressed after the Jews, when the persecution of the Church at Jerusalem had scattered the early converts. The extinction of national hatred and prejudice, was a convincing proof to the nation of Israel, that a new æra had commenced Philip the deacon converted the Samaritans, and Peter and John were sent down from Jerusalem to confirm their faith. It is not improbable that St. John recalled to their remembrance this first interview of our Lord, at the commencement of bis ministry.
The silence of the three first Evangelists on this remarkable circumstance may be accounted for from a consideration of the peculiar circumstances of the Church and of Palestine, at the time when their Gospels were written. Each Gospel was written for one specific purpose, and addressed to one description of people. If St. Matthew had inserted it, the prejudices of the Jews, to whom he addressed his Gospel, would have been more highly excited against the new religion.
The Gospel of St. Mark, which with equal justice may be called the Gospel of St. Peter, was written for the use of the converted proselytes, particularly those of Rome; who were but little interested in these national transactions; or, as is more probable, St. Mark omitted it, because St. Peter was not present, as he did not become the constant follower of Christ till a period subsequent to this conversation : and it is supposed that St. Mark has related those events only to which St. Peter was an eye-witness. St. Luke omitted it, for he wrote to the Gentiles of Achaia, who were likewise indifferent to the controversies which prevailed between the Jews and Samaritans. St. John had been sent down from Jerusalem by the Church, in company with St. Peter, and, as his own historian, could not fail to mention this circumstance in all its minuteness (6).
s Christ did not himself baptize, because,
4. The early Christians valued themselves according to the eminence of the apostle or teacher who baptized them: his baptizing, therefore, might have eventually originated schisms in the Church.-Beausobre's Annotations ap. Bishop Gleig's Stackhouse, vol. iii. p. 29.
6 Jacob had bought a piece of land of the children of Hamor, for a hundred lambs, Gen. xlviii. 22, and xxxiii. 19. But, after the slaughter of the Shechemites, he was forced to retire to Bethel, Bethlehem, and Hebron ; at which time the Amorites forcibly obtained possession of his land, which he was compelled to recover at an after period by war, with his sword and bow.-Lightfoot, vol. ii. p. 537.
J. P. 4740. 6 Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being 21. wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well : and it was about the sixth hour.
7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.
8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)
9 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.
10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again :
14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.
16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.
17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband :
18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband : in that saidst thou truly.
19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, e Deut. xii. 5. that in e Jerusalem is the place where men ought to wor
7 The Jews had more favourable thoughts of the temple built by Onias in Egypt, than of that built on Mount Gerizim. Their respective claims are about equal. The one was built by a fugitive priest, under the pretence that that mount was the mount on which the blessings had been pronounced; the other also (that of Onias) by a fugitive priest, under pretence of a divine prophecy,
21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour J. P. 4740. cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must f 2 Cor. iii. 17. worship him in spirit and in truth.
25 T'he woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh %, which is called Christ : when he is come, he will tell us all things.
26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
27 And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou ? or, Why talkest thou with her ?
28 The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,
29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?
30 Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.
Tsaiah xix. 19. “ In that day shall be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt.”
The Samaritans well knew, that Jerusalem was the place appointed by God for his worship: but they may have defended their preference of Mount Gerizim, not only from its antiquity as the place of worship among their fathers, but because the divine presence over the ark, the ark itself, the cherubim, the Urim and Thummim, and the spirit of prophecy, had all departed from the second temple at Jerusalem.-See Lightfoot, vol. ii. p. 541.
8 In Bishop Horsley's beautiful illustration of this passage, in his twentyfourth, twenty-fifth, and twenty-sixth sermons, he has not taken into consideration the circumstance related at some length by Lightfoot, and proved, with his usual learning, that although the Samaritans received only as canonical books the Pentateuch of Moses, they held in great estimation the prophetical writings. Bishop Horsley's argument, therefore, that the Samaritan woman necessarily expected a Messiah from studying the books of Moses only, is not well founded. Bishop Blomfield, in his excellent dissertation on the traditional knowledge of a Redeemer, (notes, p. 172, 3.) has likewise made the same observation.
The Samaritan woman, he observes, uses the word Messias, which does not occur in Moses. But as Moses had clearly predicted Him, whom the prophets called Messiah, the Samaritans did not hesitate to use the prophetical designation of that person whom Moses had foretold. From the words of the woman, όιδα ότι Μεσσίας έρχεται, Bishop Blomfield concludes that her countrymen were expecting the speedy advent of the Messiah. Christ was first called Messiah, in the Song of Hannah.Vide Lightfoot's Works, vol. ii. p. 511; and Bp. Blomfield's Dissertation, note, p. 172-3.
31 In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, V.Æ. 27. Master, eat.
32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.
33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?
34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
35 Say ye not, There are yet four months, and then com
eth harvesto? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and 8 Matt. ix. 37. look on the fields ; & for they are white already to harvest.
36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that, reapeth may rejoice together.
37 And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.
38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.
39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.
40 So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them : and he abode there two days.
41 And many more believed because of his own word; 42 And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not be
9 This passage has much divided the commentators. It is one of those texts upon which much depends with respect to the chronology of the life of Christ. Some suppose that the words imply, that in four months time would be the harvest, which took place at the Passover. On which supposition many harmonists have added another Passover to our Lord's ministry. Lightfoot (vol. i. p. 603) is of this opinion. Whitby supposes the phrase to be proverbial. We cannot certainly conclude, from these words, whether our Lord alluded to the appearance of the people who might be then in numbers approaching him, or to the actual time of the year. The extreme weariness of our Saviour seems to favour more the supposition that the conversation with the woman of Samaria was held after the Passover, immediately before the corn was reaped, during the summer season, rather than in the depth of winter. Nor is it likely that the desolation of the scenery in winter would have recalled, by natural association, the beauties and the riches of the fields, when ripe and ready for the harvest. Our Lord, as Bishop Law has proved, in his tract of the Life of Christ, and as Archbishop Newcome, Jortin, and many others have shewn, drew his comparisons and illustrations very frequently and generally from surrounding objects.-Vide Benson's Chronology, &c. p. 247-9; Archbishop Newcome on our Lord's Conduct; Jortin's Six Discourses ; Law's Life of Christ, &c.
cause of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and J. P. 4740. know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the
v.Æ. 27. world.
John iv. 43, to the end. 43 Now after two days he departed thence, and went Cana, in Gainto Galilee.
44 For h Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no h Matt. xii. 7. honour in his own country.
45 Then, when he was come into Galilee, the Galilæans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast.
46 So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he i ch. ii. 1. 11. made the water wine 11. And there was a certain * noble- *Or, courtier, man, whose son was sick at Capernaum.
10 Michaelis does not appear to have given so much attention to his Harmony of the New Testament, as we might have required from one whose authority is so great. He observes, on the contents of this section, “ In point of chronology this does not belong to the present place, not even according to St. Luke: but I place it here, because St. Luke has introduced it immediately after the preceding history. Perhaps it belongs to No. 50, though I have not placed it there, because it does not exactly agree with the accounts quoted in that article from St. Matthew and St. Mark:” that is, it is quite uncertain, in the opinion of Michaelis. I have followed the authority of Doddridge, Pilkington, Newcome, and Lightfoot, in placing it here: and, independently of these authorities, the internal evidence is peculiarly decisive. Christ began his public ministry in his own country, and, after having traversed Judæa and Samaria, has arrived at the town where he was brought up, there to commence his teaching
Michaelis, however, it must be in justice observed, expressly declares, that his harmony of the four Gospels must not be considered as a chronological table: though Bishop Marsh is of opinion, from examining Michaelis's Arrangement, sect. 29-42, that he intended to arrange the facts in chronological order as far as he was able. See Marsh's notes to Michaelis, vol. iii. p. 67.
11 The healing of the nobleman's son at Capernaum is placed after the conversation with the woman of Samaria, by all the harmonizers. After staying two days at Samaria, he departed into Galilee, (John iv. 43.) Archbishop Newcome inserts those passages which I have placed as a preface to this chapter, after the account of the interview with the Samaritan woman. He is correct in this arrangement, as to the precise time in which the events occurred. I have, however, thought it advisable to place them before that event, as a preface to the general history of his ministry, which began after the imprisonment of the Baptist. It must, however, excite some surprise, that Arcbbishop Newcome has not himself adopted this order ; as he has expressed (Notes to the