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7 There came a woman of Samar ia to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samar ia?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep; where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, and his sons, and his cattle?” 13 Jesus said to her, “Every one who drinks of this water will thirst again,14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, I have no husband’;
18 for you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband; this you said truly.” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain; and you say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.”
five husbands: According to 2 Kings 17:24-31, the five foreign tribes who intermarried with the northern Israelites (Samaritans) introduced five male deities into their religion. These idols were individually addressed as Baal, a Hebrew word meaning “lord” or “husband”. The prophets denounced Israel for serving these gods, calling such worship infidelity to its true covenant spouse, Yahweh. Hope was kept alive, however, that God would show mercy to these Israelites and become their everlasting husband in the bonds of a New Covenant (Hos 2:16-20). This day has dawned in the ministry of Jesus, the divine bridegroom (3:29), who has come to save the Samaritans from a lifetime of struggles with five pagan “husbands”.