John 4:28 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 4:28, NIV: "Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people,"

John 4:28, ESV: "So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people,"

John 4:28, KJV: "The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,"

John 4:28, NASB: "So the woman left her waterpot and went into the city, and *said to the people,"

John 4:28, NLT: "The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone,"

John 4:28, CSB: "Then the woman left her water jar, went into town, and told the people,"

What does John 4:28 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The woman had come to the well specifically to draw water. This was not a minor chore in that era, since there was no such thing as indoor plumbing. Her eagerness to tell others about Jesus was obviously boiling over. Leaving her water jar not only meant she'd forgotten her chore, but she'd left a valuable piece of her own property behind. Whether she intended all the time to come back and get it, we don't know.

According to this verse, the woman told more than one person about her experience. In the Greek, the term is anthrōpois, which literally means, "human beings," including both men and women. Interestingly, whatever social awkwardness she might have had over her past sins seems to be overcome. Instead, in the next verse, she uses her past as a reason for people to listen to Jesus: he knows all those things I've done!

That, in fact, might have been one reason for some of the men to come and speak to Jesus. A woman with her reputation (John 4:16–18) might have had "connections" with men who'd rather keep such things quiet (John 4:39).