John 4:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 4:16, NIV: "He told her, 'Go, call your husband and come back.'"

John 4:16, ESV: "Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”"

John 4:16, KJV: "Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither."

John 4:16, NASB: "He *said to her, 'Go, call your husband and come here.'"

John 4:16, NLT: "'Go and get your husband,' Jesus told her."

John 4:16, CSB: ""Go call your husband," he told her, "and come back here.""

What does John 4:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In Matthew 13:20–21, Jesus refers to soil which is too hard to allow seeds to grow roots. In the context of the gospel, and this particular woman, her heart is still hardened and not open to spiritual truth. How does a person make hard soil better suited to seeds? By breaking it. In a compassionate, but very forceful way, Jesus is about to break the hard soil of this woman's heart, by pointing out her sin.

This begins with asking a much more "typical" question for that time and culture. Unrelated men and women rarely spoke in public, so if Jesus was going to have more interaction with the woman, it would make sense for Him to demand her husband be present.

As seen in the prior verses, the Samaritan woman seems to be sharp. She responds to Jesus with a certain amount of insight (John 4:11–12), and at least a hint of sarcasm (John 4:15). Her next remark, in verse 17, is her most curt response in the entire conversation. Banter or not, she seems to sense that it is better not to lie, not to this man.