What does John 4:6 mean?
ESV: Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.
NIV: Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
NASB: and Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, tired from His journey, was just sitting by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
CSB: Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, worn out from his journey, sat down at the well. It was about noon.
NLT: Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime.
KJV: Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.
Verse Commentary:
One of the most unique aspects of the gospel is the fact that Jesus was fully, completely God, and yet fully, completely human as well. He experienced the same moral struggles as other men (Hebrews 4:15). He had to battle spiritual issues, as do all men (Matthew 4:3–4). And, He had to put up with the limitations of a human body. When Christ spoke about being weary, He could speak from personal experience. Verses such as this contradict the claim that Jesus' body was not human, or that He was not truly incarnated.

John refers to the time of day as "the sixth hour." There is some debate over which time system John uses in this Gospel. Roman time, which begins at noon, would place this incident at around 6:00 p.m. This is the most likely interpretation. However, one can see that how John's clock is interpreted differs from version to version, and some Bible translations are more modern in their mention of the time. The other possibility is that John is using the same time-system as the other Gospels, which start the day at 6:00 a.m. Therefore, Jesus is either sitting at the well at noon, or at 6:00 p.m. Either way, this is hot and bothersome time of day to lug water.

The inconvenient hour, in fact, is part of the background to this story. It gives us some clues about the Samaritan woman speaking with Jesus in the next verses. She not only comes alone, she comes during one of the worst times of day to tote around a water pot. Given her immoral lifestyle (John 4:18), she was probably not welcomed by the other women in town. She had to draw water alone and at less ideal times.

Genesis 33:18–20 and Genesis 48:21–22 explain how this section of land came to Joseph through Jacob.
Verse Context:
John 4:5–26 describes one of the most famous moments in Jesus' earthly ministry. Here, He converses with a Samaritan woman. This particular woman is not only an ''unclean'' Samaritan, but an outcast among her own people. She attempts to avoid Jesus' teachings, giving flippant and sarcastic answers. Despite that, and despite knowing all about her sin, Jesus encourages her with the love of God. This breaks through her hard heart; as a result, many others are brought to meet Christ. The disciples are also taught a valuable lesson about the purpose of their mission.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus speaks to a Samaritan woman who is drawing water from a well. Jesus both confronts her about her sin, and comforts her with the truth of the gospel. In particular, He explains that even though He knows her sins, He still seeks after her, and those like her. The woman returns to town, eventually bringing many people to meet Jesus. The disciples, meanwhile, have to be reminded of the purpose of their mission. Jesus also heals the son of a government official in a way that demonstrates the importance of trusting faith, rather than reliance on spectacle.
Chapter Context:
John chapter 4 continues the use of contrast. Jesus goes from conversing with an educated, powerful, prestigious man to talking to an outcast, unlearned, self-conscious woman. The combination of this passage, along with Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus, makes an important spiritual point. The gospel is for all people, in all places, and all times. Christ can reach each person exactly where he or she needs to be reached.
Book Summary:
The gospel of John was written by the disciple John, decades later than the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The author assumes that a reader is already familiar with the content of these other works. So, John presents a different perspective, with a greater emphasis on meaning. John uses seven miracles—which he calls “signs”—in order to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in all of the Bible are found here. None is more famous than the one-sentence summary of the gospel found in John 3:16.
Accessed 4/17/2024 9:44:41 PM
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