Greek Study John 4:4-26 (27-42 not included in detail, too damned long!)
4:1-3 The reason for the Samarian Incursion. Jesus is returning home from his first visit to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. He had met the Sanhedrin’s representative, Nicodemus, at night.
v4 διερχεσθαι (διερχομαι) pres. inf. "[he had] to go" - infinitive serves as the subject of the verb and carries the implication of divine necessity. Or John may just be stating the obvious; to get to Galilee it is necessary to pass through Samaria, unless of course one took the dangerous and dusty “long way around” via Transjordan. A pious Jew would travel through Samaria, but quickly, and having reached Galilee, purify themselves ASAP.
της Σαμαρειας (α) "Samaria" - When the Assyrians captured Samaria, the capital of the northern kingdom of Israel, in 722-721, they deported elite Jews and imported ‘common’ aliens who adopted the customs and religion of the local ‘common’ Jews, i.e. the poorest and least literate. They created and embraced a sort of ‘hillbilly religion’ – you know BYOS, (bring your own snake). When the ancestors of the elite returned in the early 6th century, quite a rift developed. By 400, the Samaritans had built their own temple on Mount Gerizim in opposition to the temple recently reconstructed in Jerusalem, and by 200 BC they accepted only the Pentateuch as scripture. The final rift cam when the temple at Mount Gerizim was destroyed by the Maccabean (Hasmonean) rulers of Judea, around 107 BC. Worship continued at the temple site after its destruction. A small number of Samaritan villages existed to recent times in modern Syria, many Christian, but have been devastated by the civil war. There are still around 700 living in the West Bank near Shechem today.
v5 πολιν (ις εως) "a town" - a village in Aramaic, this is a Greek designation.
logomenhn (legw) pres. pas. part. "called" – actually named.
Συχαρ "Sychar" - not known, possibly modern Askar on the edge of Mount Ebal.
tou cwriou (on) gen. "the plot of ground" - the field (See Gen.33:19, 48:22, and particularly Josh.24:32 from which the gift is assumed).
τω Ιωσηφ "to [his son] Joseph - dative; indirect object.
v6 πηγη (η) "well" – actually spring [of Jacob]. The word "well" can be used of collected water. The well, assuming it is the one John speaks of, is some half mile South of Askar. If so, it is strange that the woman comes to a well outside the village. She may be embarrassed to collect water with the other women of the village being married 6 times and all, or she may just prefer the sweeter water.
κεκοπιακως (κοπιαω) perf. part. "tired as he was" – idiom, weary, owrn out from the journey.
εκαθεζετο (καθεζομαι) imperf. "sat" - was sitting, durative is a strange choice of tense.
ωρα ην ως εκτη "it was about the sixth hour" - noon.
v7 αντλησαι (αντλεω) aor. inf. "to draw water" - infinitive expressing purpose; again, it seems somewhat unusual to come and draw water at this time of the day.
δος (διδωμι) aor. imp. "will you give [me]" - imperative here should not be taken as a command, but rather a request; "would you please give me a drink …"
πειν (πινω) aor. inf. "a drink" – idiom, aorist indicates "just a sip" in Greek.
v8 απεληλυθεισαν (απερχομαι) pluperf. "had gone" - pluperfect expresses action with ongoing results; the disciples had gone away and left Jesus alone.
v9 ουστης (ειμι) gen. part. I am [a Samaritan woman]
πως adv. "how" - interrogative adverb, introducing a direct question.
ου ... συγχρωνται (συγχραομαι) pres. "do not associate" – idiom; are not friendly [with]/do not share cups /vessels with ("use nothing in common") = this more technical sense is intended here.
v10 την δωρεαν του θεου (ος) gen. "the gift [bountiful] of God" i.e. is "irrevocable".
ο λεγων (λεγω) pres. part. "[who it is] that asks [you for a drink]" - participle functions as a substantive. If the woman had been aware of Jesus' identity, she would have responded by seeking what he offers.
ζων (ζαω) pres. part. "living [water]" – perhaps referring to the life-giving water flowing from the temple in Ezekiel 47, or this image draws on the incident of the water that flowed from the rock during the wilderness wanderings.
v11 κυριε (ος) voc. "Sir" – literally lord used here as a term of respect.
βαθυ adj. "deep" - The water table at this point is about 150 feet below the surface.
ποθεν conj. "where" - for the woman "living water" refers to “running water” like that which feeds the well. In a dry region such as Samaria, where did Jesus think he was going to come up with running water?
v12 μειζων (μεγας) comp. adj. "greater than" In the Pentateuch, the only one greater than Jacob was Moses so the “One Greater” may refer to one coming to lead his people, like Moses.
v13 ο πινων (πινω) pres. part. "the ones who drink" i.e. anyone/everyone.
διψησει (διψαω) fut. "will thirst [again]. This is dry country with limited sources of water, so thirst is a powerful Biblical image usually as a metaphor for spiritual desire, (Ps.42:2, 63:1, 143:6 et al). Water, from whatever source, satisfies but for a moment.
v14 ος πινων. .. αν + subj. "whoever drinks" – an aorist punctiliar.
ου μη + fut. "[will] never [thirst]" – an emphatic negation, here with a future tense.
εις τον αιωνα into the age an idiom usually meaning "into the future."
αλλομενου (αλλομαι) pres. part. "[a spring of water] welling up [to eternal life]" participle is adjectival so "a bubbling over spring.". The covenant fulfilment imagery being expressed here is still drawing on Ezekiel 47.
εις ζωην αιωνιον "to eternal life" - metaphor of an internal fountain, gushing up suggests the richness of the new life made available through the Messiah.
v15 αντλειν (αντλεω) pres. inf. "to draw water" present tense used here, and for the verbs "give" and "thirst", is durative = "may not ever thirst again", "keep on coming here", and "continually drawing water".
v16 υπαγε (υπαγω) pres. imp. "go" imperative – a command
v17 ανδρα (ηρ ος) "man" Jesus gently exposes the woman's secret, namely her numerous sexual relationships. Her answer is technically correct; she has no husband, she has a lover.
v18 εσχες (εχω) aor. "you have had" - you had.
ανδρας (ηρ δρος) "[five] men" husbands is a polite stretch of this word. The word is emphatic by position but the intent of Jesus' words is unclear. It is often taken that the woman has been married five times, ending in death or divorce, and the present relationship is at best a “common law” marriage. The Torah only allowed 3 marriages (assuming against our values 3 was enough to figure out if you were marrying material or not). The “divine ideal” was a one-flesh union allowing for one sexual union, which of itself in OT thinking constituted a marriage. The second clause more naturally implies that, other than the first relationship, all the others are on the same as the current one, i.e. she has had five "lovers" and this one is number six. The stress on the word "man" and the number "five", may indicate John intends a symbolic interpretation, cf. 2 Kings 17:24, but it seems more likely the purpose of the revelation serves to confirm Jesus' Messianic credentials and thee woman's response in v 19 underlines this. Given her obvious non-standing in polite society, little more needs to be said. She, like many in our world, is getting on with life as best she can.
v20 An excurses on worship. It is often argued the woman is, at this point, changing the subject out of embarrassment. Not necessarily, rather she realizes she is speaking to a prophet or equivalent and as such can resolve a burning issue for her, and Samaritans as a whole. How can a person properly meet with God? Is it only at Mount Gerizim or in Jerusalem? Jesus' answer is that it was Jerusalem, but now it is neither.
prosekunhsan (proskunew) aor. "worshiped" – a word often confused with latreuw (ligurgy), or doing service to God. This word is rightlyunderstood as "doing obeisance."
τω ορει τουτω "this mountain" – i.e. Mount Gerizim/Ebal - the site the Samaritans claim was chosen by God as the authorized site for liturgical worship detailed by Moses.
υμεις "you [Jews]" – an emphatic plural.
ο τοπος (ος) "the one and only place" - "the holy place" is implied.
v21 γυναι (η αικος) voc. "woman" - technical address, not derogatory, "ma’am. believe me”.
ωρα "the hour [is coming]" - the eschatological "hour", day of judgment.
ουτε .... ουτε "neither ... nor" – a negated comparative construction; "neither/nor." The Samaritans will no longer be faced with a choice between two places of worship!
v22 υμεις "you [Samaritans]" – an emphatic.
v23 αληθινοι adj. "[the] true [worshipers]" – genuine/ authentic" is preferred.
πνευματι και αληθεια "spirit and truth" - Most commentators don't think that the phrase is a hendiadys (two ideas expressed as one) but since both nouns are without definite articles and governed by the same preposition then the two words, "spirit/spiritual" and "truth/word" encompass the same idea. Some scholars see this expression as demanding worship that is conformable to the divine nature (spirit) and determined by the truth God has revealed concerning himself.
ζητει (ζητεω) pres. "seeks" – enquires- the sense here is "demands" or "requires" given the verb dei, "it is necessary" (divine imperative).
v24 πνευμα ο Θεος "God is spirit" – so also God is light/ love, this statement describes God's means of action and work. God is "spirit" in the sense of being divine as opposed to human, life-giving and unknowable to human unless he chooses to reveal himself.
v25 οιδα (γινωσκω) perf. "I know" (some manuscripts have oidamen "we know").
Μεσσιας "Messiah" - She likely use the word for the Jewish messiah, but then one can certainly imagine her saying "I know the Taheb is coming, whom you call the Messiah". The Samaritan Taheb ("the Restorer", Deut.18:18) is equivalent to the Jewish messiah.
ο λεγομενος (ος) "the one called [Christ]" - participle serves as a substantive, standing in apposition to "Messiah".
εκεινος dem. pro. "he [comes]" – the resumptive is emphatic.
αναγγελει (αναγγελλω) fut. "he will announce/tell/explain/ disclose/interprer - the Johannine use "interpret" is most likely.
παντα adj. "everything" - emphatic by position. A slight overstatement, regardless this is someone greater than Jacob (a la Moses) - a prophet knows everything but not necessarily one who will tell everything.
v26 εγω ειμι "I [who speak to you] am he / I [the one speaking to you] am he" - This is the first of the great "I am" statements in John.
ο λαλων (λαλεω) pres. part. "who speaks " - it seems likely that the clause is parenthetical, forming an enclosure of revelation between this verse and verse 10. Some read it thus: "I (who am speaking to you) am the Christ you speak of." It is interesting how Jesus has no reluctance revealing his messianic credentials to a Samaritan.