Notes for: The Woman at the Well

A reflection at St James and All Saints, Lent 3

Exodus 17:1-7;

I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.

From the Commentary on the Whole Bible (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, 1871). The cloud rested on a particular rock, just as the star rested on the house where the infant Saviour was lodged (Mt 2:9)."

Politics of water – who has, who is deprived, overuse, pollution and also our wish for plastic bottles and perfect lawns.

Jewish feminist scholar Ilona Pardes has suggestively construed the story of the Exodus to the entry into the land of Canaan, including the years in the wilderness, as a “national biography” in which Israel is born, nursed, fed and reared in preparation for maturity in the new reality of the Promised Land. She reads the scene in 17:1-7 as a tale of Israel beating on God’s rock-hard breast before drinking therefrom.

John 4:5-42

The woman left her water jar
we have heard for ourselves

Thirst – temptation in the desert – need for water is greater than the need for bread

Meda Stamper, Leicestershire, England

Chris Hallam

Osvaldo Vena, Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, Ill.

Karoline Lewis, Associate Professor of Preaching and the Marbury E. Anderson Chair in Biblical Preaching, Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn.

Sermons from Seattle

at the entrance to a mountain pass between Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal, Jacob’s well, at the base of Mt. Gerizim, is at the junction of the main road leading from Jerusalem in the south. Here, the road splits with the eastern branch going toward the Jordan Valley and the western branch leading to Nablus, and in NT times, Samaria and the Galilee.

About 30 mi (49 km) north of Jerusalem is a low, 15-acre mound, known as Tell Balata. This nondescript ruin covers what was ancient Shechem. The tell rests in a long, narrow, east-west valley with the two highest mountains in central Palestine towering over it, Mt. Ebal on the north and Mt. Gerizim on the south. The Hebrew word shekem means “back” or “shoulder,” which probably refers to Shechem’s placement between the two mountains. Coming from the south, the major road from Beersheba, Hebron and Jerusalem splits here. One branch goes east, around Mt. Ebal, and provides access to the Jordan Valley and cities like Beth Shan. The western arm leads to the coastal plain and cities to the north such as Samaria and Dothan. Thus, ancient Shechem and its modern counterpart, Nablus, are in a very strategic location along the watershed road between Judah, the Jordan Valley, Transjordan, and the Galilee.2

Shechem: Its Archaeological and Contextual Significance, Jun 25, 2010 - by Col. (Ret.) David G. Hansen PhD

Shechem was where God reminded the people that He is faithful. Having given Abram the promise of the land, the Israelites were to remember that promise by going to Shechem,

Shechem was near the place where Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery and then concocted a lie to explain Joseph’s absence to their father.
The body of Joseph was placed in a tomb in Shechem.

God’s eternal unbroken promises, man’s corrupted state, the need for a Rescuer and how a Rescuer had been promised throughout history.