1 sn The author doesn’t tell why Jesus chose to set out once more for Galilee. Some have suggested that the Pharisees turned their attention to Jesus because John the Baptist had now been thrown into prison. But the text gives no hint of this. In any case, perhaps Jesus simply did not want to provoke a confrontation at this time (knowing that his “hour” had not yet come).
2 sn Travel through Samaria was not geographically necessary; the normal route for Jews ran up the east side of the Jordan River (Transjordan). Although some take the impersonal verb had to (δεῖ, dei) here to indicate logical necessity only, normally in John’s Gospel its use involves God’s will or plan (3:7, 3:14, 3:30, 4:4, 4:20, 4:24, 9:4, 10:16, 12:34, 20:9).
3 sn Samaria. The Samaritans were descendants of 2 groups: (1) The remnant of native Israelites who were not deported after the fall of the Northern Kingdom in 722
4 tn Grk “town of Samaria.” The noun Σαμαρείας (Samareias) has been translated as an attributive genitive.
5 sn Sychar was somewhere in the vicinity of Shechem, possibly the village of Askar, 1.5 km northeast of Jacob’s well.