4:27 Now at that very moment his disciples came back. 1 They were shocked 2 because he was speaking 3 with a woman. However, no one said, “What do you want?” 4 or “Why are you speaking with her?” 4:28 Then the woman left her water jar, went off into the town and said to the people, 5 4:29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Surely he can’t be the Messiah, 6 can he?” 7 4:30 So 8 they left the town and began coming 9 to him.
4:31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, 10 “Rabbi, eat something.” 11 4:32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” 4:33 So the disciples began to say 12 to one another, “No one brought him anything 13 to eat, did they?” 14 4:34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of the one who sent me 15 and to complete 16 his work. 17 4:35 Don’t you say, 18 ‘There are four more months and then comes the harvest?’ I tell you, look up 19 and see that the fields are already white 20 for harvest! 4:36 The one who reaps receives pay 21 and gathers fruit for eternal life, so that the one who sows and the one who reaps can rejoice together. 4:37 For in this instance the saying is true, 22 ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 4:38 I sent you to reap what you did not work for; others have labored and you have entered into their labor.”
4:39 Now many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the report of the woman who testified, 23 “He told me everything I ever did.” 4:40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they began asking 24 him to stay with them. 25 He stayed there two days, 4:41 and because of his word many more 26 believed. 4:42 They said to the woman, “No longer do we believe because of your words, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this one 27 really is the Savior of the world.” 28
1 tn Or “his disciples returned”; Grk “came” (“back” is supplied in keeping with English usage). Because of the length of the Greek sentence it is better to divide here and begin a new English sentence, leaving the καί (kai) before ἐθαύμαζον (eqaumazon) untranslated.
2 tn BDAG 444 s.v. θαυμάζω 1.a.γ has “be surprised that” followed by indirect discourse. The context calls for a slightly stronger wording.
3 tn The ὅτι (Joti) could also be translated as declarative (“that he had been speaking with a woman”) but since this would probably require translating the imperfect verb as a past perfect (which is normal after a declarative ὅτι), it is preferable to take this ὅτι as causal.
sn The question “What do you want?” is John’s editorial comment (for no one in the text was asking it). The author is making a literary link with Jesus’ statement in v. 23: It is evident that, in spite of what the disciples may have been thinking, what Jesus was seeking is what the Father was seeking, that is to say, someone to worship him.
5 tn The term ἄνθρωποι (anqrwpoi) used here can mean either “people” (when used generically) or “men” (though there is a more specific term in Greek for adult males, ανήρ [anhr]). Thus the woman could have been speaking either (1) to all the people or (2) to the male leaders of the city as their representatives. However, most recent English translations regard the former as more likely and render the word “people” here.
6 tn Grk “the Christ” (both Greek “Christ” and Hebrew and Aramaic “Messiah” mean “one who has been anointed”). Although the Greek text reads χριστός (cristos) here, it is more consistent based on 4:25 (where Μεσσίας [Messias] is the lead term and is qualified by χριστός) to translate χριστός as “Messiah” here.
7 tn The use of μήτι (mhti) normally presupposes a negative answer. This should not be taken as an indication that the woman did not believe, however. It may well be an example of “reverse psychology,” designed to gain a hearing for her testimony among those whose doubts about her background would obviate her claims.
8 tn “So” is supplied for transitional smoothness in English.
10 tn Grk “were asking him, saying.”
11 tn The direct object of φάγε (fage) in Greek is understood; “something” is supplied in English.
12 tn An ingressive imperfect conveys the idea that Jesus’ reply provoked the disciples’ response.
13 tn The direct object of ἤνεγκεν (hnenken) in Greek is understood; “anything” is supplied in English.
14 tn Questions prefaced with μή (mh) in Greek anticipate a negative answer. This can sometimes be indicated by using a “tag” at the end in English (here it is “did they?”).
15 sn The one who sent me refers to the Father.
16 tn Or “to accomplish.”
17 tn The substantival ἵνα (Jina) clause has been translated as an English infinitive clause.
sn No one brought him anything to eat, did they? In the discussion with the disciples which took place while the woman had gone into the city, note again the misunderstanding: The disciples thought Jesus referred to physical food, while he was really speaking figuratively and spiritually again. Thus Jesus was forced to explain what he meant, and the explanation that his food was his mission, to do the will of God and accomplish his work, leads naturally into the metaphor of the harvest. The fruit of his mission was represented by the Samaritans who were coming to him.
18 tn The recitative ὅτι (Joti) after λέγετε (legete) has not been translated.
19 tn Grk “lift up your eyes” (an idiom). BDAG 357 s.v. ἐπαίρω 1 has “look up” here.
20 tn That is, “ripe.”
21 tn Or “a reward”; see L&N 38.14 and 57.173. This is something of a wordplay.
22 tn The recitative ὅτι (Joti) after ἀληθινός (alhqino") has not been translated.
23 tn Grk “when she testified.”
24 tn Following the arrival of the Samaritans, the imperfect verb has been translated as ingressive.
25 tn Because of the length of the Greek sentence and the sequencing with the following verse, the conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated here. Instead a new English sentence is begun.
26 tn Or “and they believed much more.”
27 tn Or “this.” The Greek pronoun can mean either “this one” or “this” (BDAG 740 s.v. οὗτος 1).
28 sn There is irony in the Samaritans’ declaration that Jesus was really the Savior of the world, an irony foreshadowed in the prologue to the Fourth Gospel (1:11): “He came to his own, and his own did not receive him.” Yet the Samaritans welcomed Jesus and proclaimed him to be not the Jewish Messiah only, but the Savior of the world.