John 4:9
"You are a Jew," said the woman. "How can You ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
Patriotism and ChristianityJ.R. Thomson John 4:9
Chance in the Divine EconomyJ. Fawcett, M. A.John 4:1-42
Characteristics of Christ Displayed in This ConversationBp. Ryle.John 4:1-42
Christ Abolishing PrejudicesLange.John 4:1-42
Christ and the SamaritansH. Burton, M. A.John 4:1-42
Christ and the WomanT. Whitelaw, D. D.John 4:1-42
Christ and the Woman of SamariaBp. Ryle.John 4:1-42
Christ and the Woman of SamariaCaleb Morris.John 4:1-42
Christ At Jacob's WellCarl Keogh, D. D.John 4:1-42
Christ Driven AwayJeremiah Dyke.John 4:1-42
Christ in His Human Weakness and Divine ExaltationLange.John 4:1-42
Christ's Gentleness with the FallenJ. Cynddylan Jones, D. D.John 4:1-42
Christ's RequestBp. Ryle.John 4:1-42
Commendable EnthusiasmDr. Guthrie.John 4:1-42
Connection Between the Conversations with the Woman of Samaria and with NicodemusBp. Westcott.John 4:1-42
He Left JudaeaW. H. Dixon., Canon Westcott.John 4:1-42
In the Path of ChristJ. Trapp.John 4:1-42
Influence After DeathH. W. Beecher.John 4:1-42
Its HistoryBp. Ryle.John 4:1-42
Jacob's Well a TypeL. R. Bosanquet.John 4:1-42
Jacob's Welt an Emblem of the SanctuaryR. H. Lovell.John 4:1-42
Jesus At the WellS. S. TimesJohn 4:1-42
Jesus At the WellSermons by the Monday ClubJohn 4:1-42
Jesus At the Well of SycharJames G. Vose.John 4:1-42
Jesus Found At the WellJohn 4:1-42
Jesus Sitting on the WellC. H. SpurgeonJohn 4:1-42
No Sympathy Without SufferingBoswell.John 4:1-42
Our Attitude Towards SamariaW. Hawkins.John 4:1-42
Providence Shown in ConversionsJ. Flavel.John 4:1-42
Sat Thus on the WellF. Godet, D. D.John 4:1-42
Soul-Winning TactBible Society ReportJohn 4:1-42
Subsidiary PointsH. J. Van Dyke, D. D.John 4:1-42
Suffering Begets SympathyJ. Trapp.John 4:1-42
Tact and Kindness Will Win SoulsJohn 4:1-42
The Appropriateness of the Place for the PurposeJ. R. Macduff, D. D.John 4:1-42
The ConferenceJ. R. Macduff, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Drawer of WaterJ. R. Macduff; D. D.John 4:1-42
The First Visit to SamariaG. D. Boardman, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Interior of the WellLieut. S. Anderson, R. E.John 4:1-42
The Jewish Treatment of WomenS. S. TimesJohn 4:1-42
The Journey to SamariaA. Beith, D. D.John 4:1-42
The LocalityF. I. Dunwell, B. A.John 4:1-42
The Lost One Met and SavedJ. Gill.John 4:1-42
The Model TeacherC. S. Robinson, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Needs BeJ. Macduff, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Occasion of the JourneyW. Arnot, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Ordinances NecessaryDean Goulburn.John 4:1-42
The Parcel of Ground that Jacob Gave to His Son JosephA. Beith, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Pedagogy or Rudimentary Teaching of JesusC. E. Luthardt, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Real Significance of the Woman's Coming to ChristJ. R. Macduff, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Realness of the SceneDean Stanley.John 4:1-42
The Retreat of JesusJohn 4:1-42
The Revolution Christ Effected in the Treatment of WomenJ. Cynddylan Jones, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Rite of BaptismT. Whitelaw, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Self-Abnegation of ChristC. E. Luthardt, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Sixth HourBp. Ryle.John 4:1-42
The Thirsting SaviourA. Warrack, M. A.John 4:1-42
The Three BaptismsF. Godet, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Weary PilgrimJ. R. Macduff, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Woman of SamariaJ. Cynddylan Jones, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Woman of SamariaW. Jay.John 4:1-42
Topography of Jacob's Well and NeighbourhoodC. Geikie, D. D.John 4:1-42
Unquenchable EnthusiasmD. L. Moody.John 4:1-42
Utilizing Disagreeable NecessitiesA. F. Muir, M. A.John 4:1-42
Value of a Well in the EastH. W. Beecher.John 4:1-42
Weariness and WorkW. Poole Balfern.John 4:1-42
Why Christ Did not Personally BaptizeJohn 4:1-42
Why Religious Ordinances are Sometimes UnprofitableD. Guthrie, D. D.John 4:1-42
The Fountain of Living WaterD. Young John 4:6-15
Askest and SaithAbp. Trench.John 4:9-10
Christ Cares not for Classes or Races, But ForKnox Little.John 4:9-10
Dealings and Gift of GodF. D. Maurice.John 4:9-10
History of the SamaritansLord Carnarvon's, Druses of the Lebanon.John 4:9-10
Samaritan ChurlishnessCanon Tristram.John 4:9-10
The Evils of National RivalryJohn Ruskin.John 4:9-10
The Evils of Sectarian BigotryBp. Ryle.John 4:9-10
The Forbearance of ChristJohn McNeill.John 4:9-10
The Hatred of the Jews for the SamaritansCanon Tristram.John 4:9-10
The Hostility of the Samaritans Towards the JewsJ. R. Macduff, D. D.John 4:9-10
The Jews and SamaritansJ. Trapp.John 4:9-10
The Significance of Giving DrinkH. C. Trumbull, D. D.John 4:9-10

In human affairs the scale upon which things are done gives them, not only their interest and importance, but much also of their very character. The same spirit which in petty communities is local jealousy may in nations claim the dignified appellation of patriotism. The differences and disputes between Jews and Samaritans may possess for us but little real interest; whilst the sentiments not very dissimilar, which are cherished by great nations, claim dignity and grandeur. This passage in the gospel narrative is suggestive with regard to the relations between Christianity and the love of country.

I. THERE IS A GOOD SIDE TO PATRIOTISM WHICH, AS COMPARED WITH SELFISHNESS, IS A VIRTUE. The love of country is both greater and more difficult than the love of family or the love of self. It is morally elevating for a man to lose regard for his own interests in an absorbing desire for the welfare of his tribe or nation. Great deeds have]seen wrought, and great characters have been shaped, by love of fatherland.

II. THERE IS A BAD SIDE TO PATRIOTISM WHICH, AS CONTRASTED WITH PHILANTHROPY, IS A FAULT. The love of country may be magnified selfishness. When it renders a man insensible to the merits of those of alien blood or of different education, it warps the nature, and is often the occasion of injustice. Crimes have been done, and that sincerely, in the name of patriotism. Envy and jealousy, hatred, malice, and revenge, have sprung from spurious patriotism - that is, from a too exclusive regard to the interests or the honour of a nation.


1. The religion of Christ teaches the unity of the human race. It represents humanity as united by common origin and participation in a common nature.

2. The religion of Christ bases human unity upon the fatherhood of God. The family is one, because acknowledging one Head.

3. The Incarnation reveals and establishes this unity. Christ is the Son of man, the Friend of man, the Brother of man, the Saviour of man, the Lord of man. In him provision is made for the restoration of that unity which sin has broken.


1. On the one hand, the religion of Christ fosters the feeling of duty which has its scope in political relationships. The duty nearest us is first, and, as we must not neglect our own household for the sake of strangers, so neither must we prefer foreigners and their interest to the welfare of our "kindred according to the flesh." A spurious philanthropy is a poor substitute for a genuine patriotism.

2. On the other hand, our religion forbids us to limit our regard to our immediate neighbours; and requires us to sweep with our spiritual vision the vast horizon of humanity. There is a homely proverb, "Charity begins at home;" to which a homely addition has been made, "but does not end there." The patriotism that takes us out of self is good; yet alone it is insufficient. It should broaden until our regard and our interest and our love reach far as the virtue of Christ's sacrifice, far as the range of Christ's gospel. Suspicions and contentions are alien from the Spirit of Christ. There is no limit to the comprehensiveness of the Saviour's pity; there should be no limit to the comprehensiveness of his people's love. - T.

How is it that Thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me?
There is a singular decorum in the use of words here. The woman has said, not unnaturally, "How is it that Thou askest of me?" But αἰτε1FC0;ιν is a word of petition as from an inferior to a superior, in this different from ἐρωτᾶν, which has more of equality in it. Christ therefore when He refers to that request of hers does not take up and allow her word. He says not, "Who is it that asketh," but who it is that saith (λέγων) to thee; while the asking is described as the proper attitude for her, "Thou wouldest have asked (ἤτησας) of Him." There lies often in such little details an implicit assertion of the unique dignity of His person, which it is very interesting and not unimportant to trace.

(Abp. Trench.)

— The former word seems to explain the first part of our Lord's answer. She had come day by day to draw water at that well. Had she never known that that water was a gift of God? Had no thirst on a hot day or no failure of the spring taught her that? Was water a thing to "traffic in"?

(F. D. Maurice.)

Among us even an enemy might ask or receive a drink of water without fear of compromising himself or his opponent; but not so in the East. There, the giving and receiving of a drink of water is the seeking and the making of a covenant of hospitality, with all that that covenant implies. It is not, indeed, like a covenant of blood, or a covenant of salt — indissoluble; but it is like the covenant of bread-sharing, which makes a truce, for the time being, between deadliest enemies. Aboolfeda tells, for example, of the different receptions awarded by Saladeen to the king of the Franks on the one hand, and to Prince Arnald of Caracca on the other, when the two Christian leaders were received in his tent by the victorious Saracen after the battle of Hatteen. Saladeen seated the Christian king by his side, and gave him drink cooled with snow. When the king, having tasted it, offered it also to Prince Arnald, Saladeen protested, saying, "This wretch shall not drink of the water with my permission; in which there would be safety to him;" and then, rising up, he smote off the head of the prince with his own sword. Over against this we are told that when Hormozan, a Persian ruler, surrendered to the Khaleef Omar, the successor of Aboo Bekr, and was brought a prisoner into the presence of his captor, he asked at once for a drink. Omar asked him if he were thirsty. "No," he said; "I only wish to drink in your presence, so that I may be sure of my life." He was assured that he might rest perfectly secure; and that assurance was kept.

(H. C. Trumbull, D. D.)

After the Assyrian conquest colonies from the East were placed in the deserted cities. The country having been desolated by war wild beasts multiplied, and became the terror and scourge of the new inhabitants. The barren heights of Hermon and Lebanon are to this day infested with bears, panthers, wolves, and jackals. The strangers attributed the calamity to the anger of the local deity, of whose peculiar mode of worship they were ignorant. They therefore petitioned for Jewish priests to instruct them in religious rites; and after they had heard them "they feared the Lord, and served their own gods" (2 Kings 17:24-41). In after times the Jews refused to acknowledge them in any way, and would not permit them to assist in building the second temple, though their refusal cost them many trials (Ezra 4.). Being cast off by the Jews, the Samaritans resolved to erect a temple of their own on Gerizim. The immediate occasion appears to have been the circumstances related by Nehemiah, that a sen of Joiada, the high priest, had become son-in-law to Sanballat, and had on this account been expelled from Jerusalem (Nehemiah 13:28). The date of the temple may thus be.fixed about B.C. 420. Shechem now became the metropolis of the Samaritans as a sect, and an asylum for all apostate and lax Jews (Joseph. "Antiq." 11:08-6). These things tended to foster enmity between the two nations, which resulted in the total destruction of the Temple of Gerizim by the Jews under John Hyrcanus. The very name Samaritan became a byword and a reproach among the Jews, just as the name Ye2 Kings 17:24; and Ezra 4:9), races of fierce habit and degraded faith, whose heathen practices, engrafted on the corrupt Judaism which lingered amongst the earlier Samaritans, brought down on the new colonies the especial Nemesis of God. Of these fierce tribes there were some who, Cuthites in name, were of the family of the Royal Scythians, or Gordyans, from the Gordiaean mountains, whom in.subsequent times the Greeks knew by the name of Carduchi (Xen. "Anab."), and with whom we are familiar as Koords. Some of these were settled in the Lebanon, and from them it has been said that the Druses spring, and draw the tenets of an ancient but unholy worship.

(Lord Carnarvon's "Druses of the Lebanon.)

The Samaritan sought by every petty annoyance to irritate the Jew. Their country was the nearest road for the caravans of northern pilgrims going to the feasts in Jerusalem. The Samaritans churlishly refused these the poorest rites of hospitality, and compelled them often to avoid maltreament, by taking the circuitous and more fatiguing route by the Jordan Valley. Again, it was one of the few consolations enjoyed by the bands of exiled Jews in Babylon to have announced to them, by means of the only ancient telegraphic communication — beacons on the mountain-tops — the appearance of the paschal moon. The first beacon-fire was lit on the summit of Olivet, and thence caught up from mountain to mountain in luminous succession, until, within sight of the Euphrates, they could, for the moment at least, take down their harps from the willows as they remembered Zion and its holy solemnities. But the Samaritans indulged the mischievous delight of perplexing and putting them out of reckoning by the use of false signals. Another wicked and successful exploit is recorded; and occurring as it did under the government of Coponius only a few years previous to the gospel era, may have tended at this time to deepen these animosities. A band of Samaritans succeeded in stealing to the courts of the Temple of Jerusalem during the Passover season, and defiling the sacred precincts by scattering them with dead men's bones; thus incapacitating the Jews that year from celebrating the great feast of their nation.

(J. R. Macduff, D. D.)

On asking drink from a woman near Nablus who was filling her pitcher, we were angrily refused — "The Christian dogs might get it for themselves."

(Canon Tristram.)

The Jew was no way behind in his manifestation of malevolence. The son of Sirach says, "There be two manner of nations which my heart abhorreth, and the third is no nation; they that sit upon the mountain of Samaria, and they that dwell among the Philistines, and that foolish people that dwell in Sichem." So that this false race dwelling at Sichem is more offensive to the pious Sirach than apostate Israel, with its worship of the golden calves on the mountains of Samaria (Ecclus. 47:23, 24), or even than the Philistines themselves, those hereditary enemies of God's people. He abhors an Israel which demeans itself as if it were no Israel; he abhors the no-Israel which persists in its hostility and defiance to the true Israel; but most deeply of all does he abhor the no-Israel which demeans itself as if it were Israel, the heathen wearing the mask of Israelite. To eat with them was for a Jew "as if he did eat swine's flesh." He denounced the Samaritan as a base time-server who would not hesitate to purchase immunity from pains and penalties by forswearing Jehovah and kissing the impious shrine of Baal or Jove. He regarded him as unclean as the evaded leper; to harbour him in his house would entail a heritage of judgments on his children. The name Samaritan became a byword of reproach. He was publicly cursed in the synagogue — cursed in the name of Jehovah, by the writing on the two tables of the law, by the curse of the upper and lower house of judgment. He was pronounced unworthy of eternal life — excommunicated alike from the Church on earth and the Church in heaven. The bitterest word of scorn the Jew could hurl at the Infinitely Pure One was this, "Thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil." The yet untutored apostles shared the same exasperated feelings when they asked their Lord to call down fire from heaven on some Samaritan village. All worthy of remembrance is His gentle but sharp reproof, "Ye know not what spirit ye are of."

(Canon Tristram.)

I do not know anything more ludicrous among the self-deceptions of well-meaning people than their notion of patriotism, as requiring them to limit their efforts to the good of their own country — the notion that charity is a geographical virtue, and that what is holy and righteous to do for people on one bank of a river is quite improper and unnatural to do for people on the other. It will be a wonderful thing some day or other for the Christian world to remember that it went on thinking for two thousand years that neighbours were neighbours at Jerusalem, but not at Jericho; a wonderful thing for us English to reflect, in after years, how long it was before we Could shake hands with any one across that shallow salt wash which the very chalk dust of its two shores whitens from Folkestone to Ambletense. One magnificent attribute of the colouring of the late twelfth and the whole thirteenth and the early fourteenth century was the union of one colour with another by reciprocal interference, that is to say, if a mass of red is to be set beside a mass of blue, a piece of the red will be carried into the blue, and the reverse, sometimes in nearly equal proportions. And I call it a magnificent principle, for it is an eternal and universal one, not in act only, but in human life. It is the great principle of brotherhood, not by equality, nor by likeness, but by giving and receiving; the souls that are unlike, and the nations that are unlike, and the natures that are unlike, being bound into one noble whole, by each receiving something from and of the other's gifts and the other's glory.

(John Ruskin.)

The utter absence of real charity and love among men in the days when our Lord was upon earth ought not to be overlooked. Well would it be if men had never quarrelled about religion after He left the world! Quarrels among the crew of a sinking ship are not more hideous, unseemly, and irrational than the majority of quarrels among professors of religion. An historian might truly apply St. John's words to many a period in Church history, and say, "The Romanists have no dealings with the Protestants," or "the Lutherans have no dealings with the Calvinists," or "the Calvinists have no dealings with the Arminians," or "the Episcopalians have no dealings with the Presbyterians," or "the Baptists have no dealings with those who baptize infants," or "the Plymouth Brethren have no dealings with anybody who does not join their company." These things ought not so to be. They are the scandal of Christianity, the joy of the devil, and the greatest stumbling-block to the spread of the gospel.

(Bp. Ryle.)

Josephus writeth that at Samaria was a sanctuary opened by Sanballat for all renegade Jews, etc. The Jews therefore hated the presence, the fire, the fashion, the books of a Samaritan. Neither was there any hatred lost on the Samaritan's part, for if he had but touched a Jew he would have thrown himself into the nearest water, clothes and all.

(J. Trapp.)

You may have gone along the road on a hot summer day, tired and thirsty, and have seen the gleam of a cottage in the distance. Suppose you went to the door and asked for a drink of water, exactly as our Lord did; but your speech betrayed you, and you were asked, How do you, being a Protestant, ask drink of me, a Roman Catholic; or, How do you, being Scotch, ask of me who am Irish, for the Scotch have no dealings with the Irish? You would have ground your heel on the gravel, and vowed never to give any one the chance of so speaking to you again. But insults are just as they are taken; and you can't insult a man who won't let you. Jesus bows His head, and lets your ignorant speeches fly past Him.

(John McNeill.)

souls: — People when they talk of "the working classes" think that they have described the whole thing with one touch. They imagine that, like the "enter such and such a one" in Shakespeare's stage directions, when they have said "the working classes," then everything by way of definition that is to be said, is said. They label the article, so to speak, and then expect you to understand all about it. How difficult it is indeed to bridge across the chasm between class and class I But more difficult it is to remember that "the working class," or any class, is made up of individual souls. Our dear Lord did not speak to classes only. Jesus spoke to souls. He took men one by one, and each finite creature with his infinite future, each immortal being with his own history, his own work, his own sins, his own feelings, his own sorrows, was an object of tender interest to Jesus Christ.

(Knox Little.)

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