Was The Samaritan Woman Really Immoral?

Was the Samaritan Woman Really Immoral? (by Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg) 

In the gospel of John Jesus engages in a most unusual conversation with a Samaritan woman at the well. “So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.” (John 4:5-6) From the start a first century Israelite reader is alerted to the fact that conversation takes place next to the burial place of Joseph’s bones brought from Egypt, “they buried the bones of Joseph, which the sons of Israel brought up from Egypt, at Shechem…” (Josh.24:32) immediately hinting at the connection of the Samaritan woman story with the story of Joseph. What kind of connection you may ask? Please, allow me to explain.

Traditionally the Samaritan woman is presented as a person of ill repute; a loose and sinful woman who already (though always pictured young) had five husbands and at present lives with a man who is not her husband. She comes to the well in the midday heat (sixth hour is about noon) avoiding the eye of the community. (The painting accompanying this article is a good example of traditional this theory: She is young. She is beautiful. She is out to attract men.) So as the traditional theory has it, Jesus called her on her sin and she had to admit it.

The conversation at the well, however, with this seemingly unrighteous woman bears all marks of deep theological engagement on both sides. The woman knows that according to the traditions of Judean Israelites Jesus would be ritually contaminated were he to use a vessel that belonged to a Samaritan. She therefore wonders how she can help him to drink since he has no vessel of his own (i.e. ceremonially clean vessel). They discuss worship, salvation and even Messiah – the concept that Samaritans didn’t have, but Judeans did. The initial tension is soon resolved and the conversation results in her testifying about Jesus to her entire village, belief of many Samaritan Israelites in Jesus and Jesus staying with them for two days.

Why did members of her Israelite (non-Judean) community trust her witness, if she was a known sinner? Why would they drop everything they were doing and come to see a Judean young man (given religio-political adversarial climate)?

What if the description of the Samaritan woman has been misunderstood by us, later interpreters?

“But wait!”, you may think. What about avoiding people, five prior husbands and a live-in boyfriend? Isn’t that enough evidence? Well, not really. Avoiding people, among other possibilities, (if she was indeed doing so) may have been a symptom of depression caused by life’s difficulties, such as multiple divorces. “Jesus said to her, ‘You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” (John 4:17-18). The mere fact of having had multiple husbands is not a sin in and of itself.

In ancient Israelite society women did not initiate divorces. Five husbands could have died of sickness, killed by bandits, perished in war or divorced her because of infertility. Still the result would have been devastating each time. The book of Tobit (2nd century BCE), for example, talks about a Jewish woman named Sarah who had seven husbands, who all died on the day of their wedding (with the help of demonic forces). She was scorned by the community, looked upon as cursed and guilty of their death. Depressed to the point of suicide Sara prayed to God to end her shame, insisting in her purity to the end. (Tobit 3:7-17) People were harsh to Sarah and no doubt the social standing of the Samaritan woman brought her great anguish as well. (My own grandaunt had four husbands, she outlived them all. So I know that this happens.)

Jesus stated that she lived with a man that was not her husband and many assume that means the woman cohabitated with her boyfriend, but that is not a fact. Because she needed help, she could have lived with her distant relative or in some other undesirable arrangement in order to survive. Moreover, Samaritan Israelites did not practice Leverite marriage as did the Judean Israelites, to which Jesus belonged. Samaritans believed that the benefit of Leverite marriage should not apply to a woman, if the marriage was already consummated. So it is likely that Jesus was not nailing her down to the cross of justice, but instead was letting her know that he knows everything about the pain she had to endure. This is certainly more in line with the Jesus we know from other stories.

What is interesting is that the suffering of Joseph (remember the conversation is taking place not far from his tomb) and the Samaritan woman is not the only thing they had in common. Just as with Joseph, so also the suffering of the Samaritan woman, in the end brought forth the same result – salvation of their people.

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    I was recommended this blog by my cousin. I am not sure whether this publish is written by means of him as
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    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      You are most welcome. Glad you visited and cared to write.

  2. Harold Watson

    Although I have been “in Christ” since Columbus day 1958, the examination of this woman’s life that you have done quite well, for whatever reason has never been of any concern or interest to me. My perspective seems to have been quite narrow. It centers on the fact that the woman had sufficient credibility with the men in town for them to follow her out to see this Man. After two days of listening to Him, they turned to the woman and said, “Now be believe, not because of your words, but because we have heard Him ourselves.” That is the object of a faithful Christian’s testimony to others, to bring them into contact with Him so they might hear Him for themselves. I believe it was in 1964 when LIFE Magazine had on its front cover: GOD IS DEAD! Billy Graham’s response was: “I know He is alive, because I talk to Him every morning. I thought, “That isn’t how I know He is alive. I know because He talks to me.”

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      yes. its one of my favorite quotes too :-).

  3. jeremiah

    how does this story apply to us as Christian?

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      There are many applications, to many to list. How about a lesson not to assume people’s status of morality from appearance. Or perhaps how people should be willing to transgress cultural boundaries for God’s sake. Or how about an understanding that our suffering is never in secret and God’ knows it. I can keep going and going, this passage is a foundation of countless sermons.

  4. Jeremías R. Tolentino

    Es una excelente apreciación del pasaje

  5. Kat

    I understand progressive revelation as God revealing himself and his will increasing in SCRIPTURES. I experienced God revealing himself and his will TO ME increasingly with little scripture from the Torah (thus no Biblical language). How the West evangelizes (getting people “saved) based on easy access to Newer Testament Scripture is concerning to me. I don’t know if I got “saved” the same way, so I don’t know how to reach those who are “under grace” 🙂 Is there a Jewish perspective on evangelism?

  6. Suliaman

    Thank you for the insight that you have given us. Sometimes if a Christian brother or sister is going through some difficulty it is really sad that it is the same brothers or sisters in Christ that spread things that might not the case, instead of praying for them that God should strengthen them in their difficult times. Jesus new everything about her, and she knows that the Messiah is come but little did she know that she was speaking with Him and Salvation came to her entire village. Once again thank you for explaining this to us in a different perspective. God richly bless you.

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Dear Suliaman, thank you for your kind words! Let’s keep thinking together about these things.

  7. Lucia Tulcan

    I was waiting for many years to finally hear the other, or new perspective , of the Samaritan woman story. I enjoy reading it and all the comments. Thank you , for sharing with us, I love it.

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Thank, Lucia for your kind response. This possible rereading of this story shows that it also possible that we have been misreading many stories that we think we already know everything about :-).

  8. Ruth Cockram

    Shalom Dr Eli, so happy to read all your wonderful explanation about the conversation of our Lord Jesus Christ & Samaritan women…so fascinating love of God & it is inpac wonderful in our life as we think in the way He think about the trouble we face it in this world, we will have peace & joy indeed…have a blessed day brother.

  9. Valeria Imaculada

    gostei mto do estudo. concordo que essa abordagem não condenativa, mas empatica tem muito masi a ver com o Jesus que conhecemos. deixo a pg salva p ve mais msg. porem só assino de puder fazer sem essas conexões manipulativas googlemais…

  10. Uwaoma

    Such exposition of the Gospel is great and will go a long way to enlighten every one that reads it.
    Great job, Dr Eli! And let’s have more of such, please!

  11. David Bartholdi

    Dr. Eli,
    Thank you for these spiritual truths, and makes perfect sense understanding the culture of the time.
    I visited Israel and Jordan (from north to south) recently for the first time and was amazed at what I saw. It makes me realize the urgency of prayer and support for my Jewish brothers and sisters as well as the gentiles in the land that have not accepted Christ yet. As we traveled from Jericho and could see Jerusalem, I wept then and continue to weep for Jerusalem knowing the trials and tribulations that will come upon our beloved city. But I also have “read the end of the book” and I know by God’s divine mercy, grace, love and judgment, WE WIN. As a believer in Christ, It is a day I look forward to experiencing and I believe is very near..
    I know Jesus avoided Samaria several times (because the timing was not right) by using the Jordan valley for travel. I also know the Holy Spirit must prepare people to hear and receive Gods word to understand the salvation for all who will believe, repent and receive the forgiveness provided by the perfect sacrifice of our Lord Jesus. Jesus knew exactly the time the Samaritan people would be receptive and left no stone unturned.
    Maranatha!!!

  12. Kat

    The language development in John 4:29 is an important lesson for modern evangelism. The association of “all things that I ever did” doesn’t seem to be associated with shame an sin. Having someone repent for the gift and the sacrifice (twice) seems to contradict Hebrews 6:6. How can one connect God to brotherly love if the gift rather than the sacrifice is taught as “turning away from sin and turning to God”?

  13. Lanil

    The disclose about the Samaritan woman is excellant. It is an angle that one would not consider. As a Pastor and a teacher of The Word of God I would say it did open my mind. Traditon of that time did not allow a woman to divorce. And even Namoi instruced Ruth to go and lie down where Baze did and she did by his feet. This instrction was given by Naomi for Ruth’s security.
    Blessing

  14. Uwaoma Uchendu

    Dear Dr Eli,
    Could you tell me/us more about the Samaritans, Jews, Israelis? I personally thought they are all of the 12 tribes and descendants of the same father, Jacob. What has been the difference or differentiation between them in old Israel as well as in current Israel? What is the difference Between Israel & Judah or When I hear people rioting/being violent in Judah/anywhere in the Bible land of Israel, i don’t get it why there had become such differences with the inhabitants/ citizens of the Holy Land whom/which I love so much! Bethlehem, the birth place of my Saviour and all the Biblical account place!. I want to see all those places in their God-ordained Glory again!
    Uwaoma

  15. Uwaoma Uchendu

    Dear Dr Eli
    THIS EXPOSITION OF THE SCRIPTURE PASSAGE ON THE SAMARITAN WOMAN IS AMAZING. i HAVE NEVER HEARD OR READ IT, OR UNDERSTOOD IT LIKE THIS. IT IS AMAZING! A really new and beautiful perspective to this passage for me, indeed! i WILL SHARE THIS WITH MANY!

    Thank you!
    Thank God!
    Shalom!

    UWAOMA

  16. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

    It is important that we keep in mind that Samarians and Samaritans is NOT one and the same people group. Read a full version of the article available towards the end of the article. Blessings and much peace, Dr. Eli

  17. Suliaman

    Thanks for the explanation of the Samaria woman.As you rightly said Jesus knows about all the injustice that she receives from the village like today’s world we live in.Judging people without knowing why the Lord made it that way.Like you said Jesus is a Judean who by all standards he should be righteous .But little did she know that she was talking to the Lord.
    As we learn from the story they discuss about thing that she knows that Judeans will not do ie talking to a sinful woman.Once again thanks and regards.

  18. Rev TD Stone

    I had always raised the possibility of the “Woman at the well” being a widow, orbarren , or abused. Funny how we most often think the worst of a person, when there is more to their story. I suspect God could say the same about most of us

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Dear Pastor Stone, see my comment to Dr. Col above. I think you are raising a similar point.

  19. Dr Col "Down Under In OZ"

    Dear Dr. Eli, What a wonderful openness you bring to the Scriptures. I was taught like many others of :The Woman At The Well”,, as being slanted a sinner. HHhmm after reading your comments I would like to now think you are likely more correct than the “Traditional STORY/OPINION”. It is SO SO true that the average HUMAN, Christian or otherwise, is more prone to think negatively and un-God like. You have presented an excellent case that is more akin to the mind of a loving caring God. THANK YOU Eli.,
    Your Cobba Dr. Col From OZ

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Dr. Col, shalom. I think we are too accustomed to look for the bad news before good news (a Lutheran approach to scripture). So we just need to have her as a terrible sinner for Jesus to convert her soul to righteousness. We don’t quite know what to do with her if she was righteous woman that also were waiting for God’s redemption. We don’t know what to do with people in the NT in particular that are actually called “righteous” (simple concordance search will show that there are number of people like that). We only feel we have to contour it with saying that “there is not one righteous not even one”. Saying that there were not REALLY righteous and so on. But we don’t realize that we missing something when we hold to a theory that accounts only for part of the scriptures.

  20. Dorothy Finlay

    Thank you for fresh insights into a familiar story . I have been studying the Bible for nearly 60 years but it is only in the past 10-15 years I have had my eyes opened to the implications of the Hebraic understanding which is so rich and important in understanding truth and learning the greatness of Yeshua Hamaschiach. Despite the fact that I must stay up till 11 pm to participate, I love the Jewish Studies for Christians which I in turn share with several Bible classes I teach. God bless you Dr. Eli.

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      It is better Late/r than never! Right :-)?

  21. Pauline

    Thank you! I argued against the traditional opinion of this woman’s morals in an essay for my theology course – to my mind there was nothing to suggest that she was a prostitute or immoral.

    I felt she could have been a victim of Levirate marriage, or divorced by her husbands because she was barren, and that if childless and without family she had three ways of earning a living – beggary, prostitution, or being a “concubine” (rather less dreadful than prostitution). To me, the reason people avoided her could have been because as a barren woman, she was considered cursed by God. I was marked down for my interpretation (“no evidence”).

    Appreciate your confirmation of my perspective.

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Pauline, I think she may have been NOT a victim of the Leverite marriage (remember that Leverite marriage was to protect her and provide for her mainly social benefit). Judean Israelites applies benefit of Leverite marriage whether or not the marriage was consummated after the betrothal (the first part of Israelite marriage). Samaritan Israelites said that if marriage was consummated (couple had sex) the benefit of the Leverite marriage did not apply!

      1. Pauline

        Thank you – I hadn’t been aware of this subtlety. (And I think that “victim” was the wrong term for me to use, TBH). I appreciate your reply. My essay point had been that having five previous husbands may not have been her choice, and certainly if she was married to these men, there is no shadow of immorality. ( I had completely omitted the protective element of Levirate marriages. I was so busy defending her honour I never thought of it!) Thank you again.

  22. Benny

    Great insight, I love receiving this kind of knowledge

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Benny, thanks! Let’s keep thinking together.

  23. Pastora Marina

    Shalom Dr. Eli. The reality of what you said is so magnificent! When there is a removal of the scales from ones eyes the clarity of this rhema is irrefutable! Thank you for the simplicity of your connecting the dots. Truly everything in the Old is a symbolism connected to the New! I feel like the

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      So wonderful to hear! Thank you for your encouragement!

  24. Douglas Mshozheli

    I personally thought when I read this chapter that a Samaritan woman was a church which have experienced a downfall in spiritual understanding and gain because Samaria was a city in which there were prophets before Jesus for an example Elijah,Elisha, Joseph,Isaac and Abraham.
    Abraham and dug the wells. The jealous destroyed the wells.
    Eli and Samuel tried to maintain the wells people did not listen and likewise Elijah and elisha.
    To me the water signified the knowledge
    Jesus s water the truth.
    Husband the prophets because Jesus sometimes said I am the vine and my father is the hasbandman.
    So at the scene there was Jesus, water,Samaritan, woman, and a well, and disciples.

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Douglas, shalom. It is indeed sad what happens with us some times :-).

  25. David Gibbons

    I agree whole-heartedly, Dr. Eli.

    It is not just the Samaritan woman who gets too quickly called “fallen”, but several other women in the Gospels (Mary Magdalene, for instance) when we are told nothing of the sort.

    Given the very superstitious attitudes of the time, one can well imagine that a woman who had “lost” two or three husbands would be seen as jinxed and avoided, so one who had lost 5? Thus if she was shunned it could be from fear, not sin.

    I agree that it does not say her current man is a lover,but if it is the case that all 5 had died in one way or another I am not sure if she had a suitor he would be very cagey/scared to marry her! And she might have been just as frightened

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      David, listen to this and other podcasts by the same professor on Mary Magdalene – http://podacre.blogspot.co.il/2009/09/nt-pod-13-mary-magdalene-first-woman.html You will love it!

  26. Eirene Wee

    Dear Dr Eli, I see the possibilities you pointed out could indeed be more likely than the popular traditional interpretation for this passage; and especially appreciate that proper and thorough exegesis supports this far more! This reading is not only more consistent with the heart of the Gospel but also with facets of broken humanity. I’m very thankful for your work. There are timing issues that have held me back from enroling in your classes but I hope to do so sometime in the future.

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Eirene, formal courses take both financial and time resources. Not everyone has them, so I fully understand. But it should not stop us from consistently making progress in rereading and rethinking many of NT stories in a very different light – new ways, which are really very old :-).

  27. Woka

    Maybe 25 years ago, I read a book in which a Rabbi questioned the same “traditional” description of this woman. Instantly my heart connected with hers and for all these years I’ve defended her. I so appreciate your understanding and defense of her….she was not worthless. Her questions and comments were, to me, obviously coming from a heart wounded and heavy and spending much time looking to the Only One who loved her completely. I am absolutely certain that with the first words from Jesus’ mouth, the sound of His Words penetrated her pain and she knew – it IS HIM!! This teaching-all by itself-has the authority and grace to rescue so many faceless, hurting hearts. Thank you!

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      The only reason we think that her question and comments were superficial and deficient in some way is because we don’t live in her world that is defined by the Judean-Samaritan conflict. The things she was saying were complicated, complex and HIGHLY relevant for any kind of first-century Israelite.

      1. Dane

        True!

  28. Kat

    If I may, I knew a divorced woman living with a man that was not her husband. He was her ex-husband and he had divorced her. He asked her to take him in because he was dying of cancer and had nowhere to go. A lot to reconsider.

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      interesting

    2. Jane Z. Mazzola

      I just read again, that post by Kat & it just struck me today, 7/5/16, 1 1/2 yrs. later. Yes, I know a person in similar circumstances right now, & one, in the past. So it isn’t uncommon. How would those women be viewed down through the ages? At the present, no one (here) would blink an eye!

  29. B. Hal Miner, PhD

    As a student of theology for some 50 years and with most of that as either a skeptic or from a traditional Christian perspective, I see much of this as truly tragic! As you referred to the evil of replacement theology (fancy word for one more version of anti-Semitism), we have here one more sad example of how much the Christian world has developed false assumptions of a biblical passage only because they dare not realize just how totally Jewish the entire Bible is!!
    Thank you so much for this article. Tragic tho’ it is, it’s one more reason for us to dry Maranatha, the return of the Jewish Mashiach. Thank you always, Hal Miner

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Dear Dr. Hal Miner, thank you very much for your comment. I think the basic issue here is that unless a real effort is made people that are separated from the original context of the Bible will interpret the ancient stories in their contemporary context instead. It is not simply the fault of replacement theology (lets not give it too much credit here) it is a general interpretive problem of any people I think. Once again thank you very much for your comment!

      1. Dane

        This, dear doctor, has been the real challenge and the root of much of the misconception of the Bible. One of the things I have been realising over the past few years is that we, especially in the western word, have largely interpreted the Scriptures according to our context and beliefs. If we are truly going to be student’s of the Word and truly seek to “rightly divide the Word of truth” we must go back to the original language and cultural context of the people who wrote and to whom they wrote.

        This article is truly eye-opening and thought provoking. Thank you, sir.

        1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

          Thank you, Dane for your encouragement! Let’s keep on thinking about this together!

          1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

            You need to click on the link in the end of the article. It offers to read a full version.

          2. Dane

            You are welcome, and thank you for directing me to the longer version. I shall be reading same.

        2. brent emery

          Thank you Dr. L-E for this article as I read the full version. I agree with Dane’s comments that we in the West have read the text through Western eyes importing our context into theirs. I am continually intrigued by how we all import (and export) ideas into and from the text that upon closer examination have no foundation. I would recommend a read of Joe Kovacs book “Shocked by the Bible” for a whole book dedicated to looking closely at the text and exposing false ideas. I believe the best way ultimately to read the text is in a community of faith so that multiple eyes and ears evaluate the text. Without original languages, historical context, and sound exegetical methods we’re at risk.

          1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

            Thank you, Brent for your comment.

    2. Brad Thompson

      Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach is drawing the isha of Shomron in a Jewish based discussion for the purpose of drawing her closer to G_D. John 4:14 appear to be a Jewish understanding of the saving creative power of G_D. The Samaritan woman is rooted in the things of this world and Jesus Christ is drawing her nearer to the things of G_D. Isn’t “thirst” symbolic of “the love of G_D?” Isn’t “love” the basis of all true worship? A passionate love of G_D which leads to understanding and the knowledge of G_D. I believe this is the lesson G_D is drawing us toward in this story. A lesson Jesus Christ is very familiar with.

  30. Judy

    Dr. Eli. I find this to be a very thought-provoking, intriguing, powerfully insightful scriptural interpretation. I can’t help but be challenged to reconsider this biblical encounter in light of your meaningful discussion provided, might I commend, with excellence.

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Dear Judy, thank you very much for your kind words!

    2. Deborah Caserotti

      Well put, Judy, these are my thoughts exactly.

  31. kat

    This comment is based off of the many incredible articles on this site. There seems to be a connection between the “gift” and the second law (divorce). Divorce meets the requirements of the law therefore there is no need for a “gift” or a sacrifice. Only a greater love (beyond what the law requires) would need the “gift”. Yes it is possible for those who strive to love beyond what is required by law to fail (John 18:27). What is impossible is to offer the gift (allow a man to eat of the tree of life) prior to offering the sacrifice (the shedding of blood) (Gen 3:24). Therefore, the Samaritan woman had to want to love beyond what the law required.

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Thanks, Kat!

  32. Jerry S.

    Wonderful on many levels, the implications this reading projects can be tremendous. I love unflappable logic, especially when it turns convention on its head; the woman had 5 husbands… how young could she have possibly been?? Then go on from there point by point, the Good News going out to all, Joseph’s bones, suffering servant that brings life, keepers of the law, etc., this reading is a better fit all around.
    With Replacement Theology, the Christian Church has a void to fill and uses saving souls to fill it. Nothing wrong w/ evangelism, but sometimes a sinner gets created, and that may be the case here.
    Truly the Fruitful Vine is climbing His way over many walls in our lifetime.
    J.

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Jerry, thanks for your comment. One thing I am not sure about it here is “the replacement theology” fault in all of this :-). I think the moment anyone (we are talking as soon as 2-3 century CE) who is removed from understanding of the original politico-socio-religious climate of the place they are bound to make this mistake. Samaritans as “half Jews” instead of being according to their own claims – the children of Israel has contributed to it. Perhaps, it is not replacement theology that is to blame, but wrong attitudes and information about Judaism/s per say. Picturing Judaism as earthly physical tribal only religion, while Christianity was universal and Samaritan being somewhere in between (within this kind of logic), but Samaritans we not half Jews in Judeo-Samaritan conflict as most seem to think.

      1. Jerry S.

        Apologies extended, I did dedicate more available space to discuss article ILO causality or why the prevailing reading of the passage exists. I agree ignorance, attitude and misinformation also play part throughout the centuries. I refer to RT in effect being the cause of removing the need for Torah observance, creating the “void” I wrote of. This has been the observation of my past and of those around me in the church since studying the Hebrew roots of my faith. This came to mind as I read your alternative view of the passage and why I brought it up. The saving of lost sinners and church conversion takes preeminence over, dare I say our “relationship” forged through Torah observance.

  33. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

    Folks, I would love you to comment on this. What do you think? Any ideas?

    1. stewartinoz

      Interesting discussion which highlights a different interpretation on the overall passage. Usually any discussion I had heard stated or implied that not only was the woman a Samarian but of dubious morals at best. One point (John 4:4) is made that ‘Jesus HAD to pass through Samaria’ which is the more direct from the Galilee but usually strenuously avoided as ‘The Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans’. When asking why He HAD to pass through the answer is usually given that He had an Appointment with the woman at the well. Both Samaritans (The Good Samaritan parable ) illustrate the redemptive non-discriminatory nature of Jesus’s ministry.

      1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

        Shalom, Stewart! Do read also a longer version. The HAD TO GO is because he is as the King of ALL Israel reaching out to ALL Israel (including the heretical Israel – the Samaritans), but do read the longer article where I explain the right view of Samaritans (not the one we always hear about – that they are half-Jews).

    2. Sunmibola Ebenezer

      To my own opinion that passage is revealling the fact that Jesus Christ also had enconter wit an immoral woman yet He did not fall into her deception. So it is no excuse for any youngman to capitalise on the romantic dressing of any lady to fall into her deception

    3. Kathy Beldsoe

      Dr Eli,

      I loved the online class I just completed a few weeks ago.
      Thank you for these tidbits that allow one to view the scriptures from more perspectives.
      Love it!

      Kathy

      1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

        I am previlaged to be part of great team of people!

    4. jessy

      Its really sad to see this divide between the brothers Israel and judah….Hashem himself said Isint Ephraim my dear son, I yearn for him and love him deeply. God never forgets the house of Joseph. he is a beloved, yes Ephraim strayed but he will come back like the prodigal son and be restored to the house and heart of YHWH.