John 4:19 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 4:19, NIV: "Sir,' the woman said, 'I can see that you are a prophet."

John 4:19, ESV: "The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet."

John 4:19, KJV: "The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet."

John 4:19, NASB: "The woman *said to Him, 'Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet."

John 4:19, NLT: "'Sir,' the woman said, 'you must be a prophet."

John 4:19, CSB: ""Sir," the woman replied, "I see that you are a prophet."

What does John 4:19 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

More so than any other words in this chapter, the response given in verses 19 and 20 proves two things about this Samaritan woman. First, that she is a perceptive and clever person. She has already shown some intuition in responding to Jesus' earlier statements (John 4:11–12, 15). When Jesus brings up her sin, she acknowledges His insight—then immediately tries to distract Him with a religious dilemma (John 4:20). And not just any dilemma, but one specifically related to the conflict between Jews and Samaritans. This is not the response of a fool, nor of someone who is stammering or struggling for words.

And yet, secondly, this is not the response of a person seeking truth. The attempted decoy is meant to steer Jesus away from her personal issues, and towards something totally unrelated. Those who participate in evangelism see this tactic fairly often. Rather than discuss a single issue, some non-believers will try to run down all sorts of rabbit-holes, looking for an escape from the point at hand.