Brother AACOOLDRE : The Samaritan woman: & Jesus "Living Water"

AACOOLDRE

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The Samaritan Woman: & JESUS as Living Water

The Gospel of John records an episode that does not appear in the other Gospels, the meeting with a Samaritan woman by a well. This account is a satire of yet another Roman battle recorded in War of The Jews. Though this battle took place before Titus began his campaign at the sea of Galilee, the authors of the Gospels wished to make a comment about it. They therefore needed-in order to keep Jesus’ ministry and Titus’ campaign sequential-to identify it as having occurred before Jesus’ ministry began. They achieved this by having Jesus note that “My hour has not come” (John 7:6). In other words , that the event took place before Jesus had officially started his ministry in Judea.

At Mount Gerizzim, the Gospel of John provides an account which Jesus describes himself as “Living water”. As I have stated, Jesus’ self-designations are all darkly comic when juxtaposed with events from the war with Rome that occurred at the same location.

John 4:7-21

7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

17 “I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 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.”

19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.


The New Testament symbolism that established Jesus as “Living bread” was based on the famine that resulted from the siege of Jerusalem. The following passage from Josephus is the basis for the irony inherent in Jesus referring to himself as “Living water”, which is based on the lack of water at Gerizzim (sacred mountain to Samaritans) during the Roman siege.

Nor did the Samaritans escape their share of misfortunes at this time; for they assembled themselves together upon file mountain called Gerizzim, which is with them a holy mountain, and there they remained; which collection of theirs, as well as the courageous minds they showed, could not but threaten somewhat of war; nor were they rendered wiser by the miseries that had come upon their neighboring cities. They also, notwithstanding the great success the Romans had, marched on in an unreasonable manner, depending on their own weakness, and were disposed for any tumult upon its first appearance. Vespasian therefore thought it best to prevent their motions, and to cut off the foundation of their attempts. For although all Samaria had ever garrisons settled among them, yet did the number of those that were come to Mount Gerizzim, and their conspiracy together, give ground for fear what they would be at; he therefore sent I thither Cerealis, the commander of the fifth legion, with six hundred horsemen, and three thousand footmen, who did not think it safe to go up to the mountain, and give them battle, because many of the enemy were on the higher part of the ground; so he encompassed all the lower part of the mountain with his army, and watched them all that day. Now it happened that the Samaritans, who were now destitute of water, were inflamed with a violent heat. (War of the Jews 3, 7 307-313)

The passage above from Josephus contains the only mention of Mount Gerizzim in War of the Jews . The only mention of Mount Gerizzim in the New Testament is in the passage I quoted where Jesus meets the Samaritian woman. It is also the only time Jesus refers to himself as “Living water”. Because in the same passage Jesus foresees the dual destruction of Jerusalem and Gerizzim, a singular event in history, we can be sure of the linkage between this prophecy and the coming war with Rome. In other words, when jesus says “The time is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the father…”He is clearly referring to the “time” of their mutual destruction. The only time when both cities were simultaneously destroyed was during the war with Rome. Therefore, we are logically on solid ground to understand that Jesus vision on Mount Gerizzim is related to the coming war with Rome.

If we accept the premise that Jesus prophecies regarding gerizzim and Jerusalem are related to their destruction in the war with Rome, his claim to be “Living water” for the inhabitants of Gerizzim can be understood as foreseeing their lack of water during the Roman siege. Such self-designation by Jesus, in this context, may seem innocent enough. However, if we accept that Jesus description of himself as “Living water” is related to the Samaritans dying of thirst on Mount Gerizzim, this verifies my premise regarding Jesus claim to be “Living bread” (John chapter 6=bread=Manna=Mushroom=Penis)-that is, that it relates to the practice of cannibalism (of starving Mary etal) during the siege of Jerusalem.

Consider how someone living in the Flavian Caesar court in 80Ad would have reacted to comic writings of Jesus choosing Mount Gerizzim as the place to describe himself as “Living water”. Clearly, such an individual, knowning that the Jewish rebels died of thirst on mount Gerizzim, would have found jesus self-designination “Living water” on Gerizzim scornfully humorous.
 
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