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Biblical question - woman at the well.

(26 Posts)
PooDogMillionaire Wed 03-Feb-16 22:18:23

When Jesus tells her to go home and din no more does he mean finish with the man she's living with? Return to her first husband? Marry the man she's living with? Or just stay single?

PooDogMillionaire Wed 03-Feb-16 22:18:41

*sin no more

HappyHeart87 Wed 03-Feb-16 22:21:02

In my Bible he says to sin no more wink

I don't know really. I think it's probably impossible to say because we don't know if she's still married to anybody. Why do you ask?

LucyMouse Wed 03-Feb-16 22:22:31

Return to ask forgiveness from her first husband I guess.
It's a good question and I've never actually thought about the practicalities before now.

steppemum Wed 03-Feb-16 22:24:36

I have always understood it to mean stop sleeping with the man you are sleeping with (not her husband) and then stay single and celibate.

RandomMess Wed 03-Feb-16 22:25:13

I think start putting God first and start living a celibate life unless she returns to her husband.

PooDogMillionaire Wed 03-Feb-16 22:28:39

But what if he is remarried, or she was his second or third wife? Or if he commuted adultery or beat her? She obviously left him (or he left her?) for a reason...

PooDogMillionaire Wed 03-Feb-16 22:29:51

It's really unclear and not a very helpful parable at all in the sense of her marriage/s

stitch10yearson Wed 03-Feb-16 22:30:33

Maybe the sin being referred to has nothing to do with sleeping with a man at all?

Questionsquestionsquestions Wed 03-Feb-16 22:33:58

But Jesus didn't tell this parable to teach into marriage - the purpose of it was to show those listening that God loves everyone (even those they may have seen as outcasts and unlovable) and that the only way to salvation was through Him. So it doesn't have all the subsequent detail about what she would have done because that wasn't the reason he was telling it - he could easily have used any other example of someone shunned by society then. If that makes sense?

PooDogMillionaire Wed 03-Feb-16 22:37:16

It may not have been the primary purpose of the parable, but it does seem an important detail.

What if she and the man she was living with had s child? What would Jesus expect her to do in that situation?

LucyMouse Wed 03-Feb-16 22:37:20

I agree that it is more about sin in a general sense, and acceptance of sinners, than marriage guidance.

Is this John 8 we're talking about?

PooDogMillionaire Wed 03-Feb-16 22:38:37

And by sin no more, he must be referring to her marital situation otherwise it wouldn't have been mentioned surely?

PooDogMillionaire Wed 03-Feb-16 22:40:59

I think it's John 4

PooDogMillionaire Wed 03-Feb-16 22:44:41

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.”

PooDogMillionaire Wed 03-Feb-16 22:48:07

It seems that in this parable at least, Jesus feels that once you are divorced you have no husband. It also appears that by calling her subsequent partners 'husbands' he believes the marriages were all valid.

Isn't this a contradiction? He says if you remarry you are not truly married..

allinall Wed 03-Feb-16 23:07:05

Where does Jesus say that if you remarry you are not really married?

PooDogMillionaire Thu 04-Feb-16 07:11:58

 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality,[d] and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”

FrancisdeSales Thu 04-Feb-16 07:34:27

We discussed this passage in my Bible study this week. We just started a couple of weeks ago, we are studying the Gospel of John and John's letters.

One part of the passage I hadn't noticed before is the fact that she is collecting water in the middle of the day when water was usually collected in the morning or evening. It is assumed that she was avoiding people or was perhaps an outcast for some reason.

Fink Thu 04-Feb-16 12:46:40

It seems like people are confusing two separate Bible stories (not parables as they are reported as factual meetings of Jesus, not allegories):

In John 4, Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well. She has had five husbands and is now with someone she's not married to (I don't think Jesus is commenting in a canonical way on the validity of her marriages, just stating that she has been married 5 times). Jesus doesn't say anything about not sinning anymore, he gives her an extended discourse on the water of life and elevates her thinking from the material to the spiritual level. She becomes an apostle and evangelises the rest of her people (from whom, as the previous poster noted, it appears she was an outcast). Interestingly, there is a lot of bridegroom imagery going on in this story and Jesus being the 7th man (7 symbolising perfection) is portrayed as being her new, spiritual, husband.

In John 8, Jesus meets the woman caught in adultery. It's to her that he says, 'Go and sin no more.' In the circumstances, it does appear as though 'sin no more' applies directly to her marital situation as well as a general injunction against sin. We don't know what her exact marital situation was: she could have been single and been caught having sex with a married man, she could have been married and having an affair with someone else either single or married. I don't think we're supposed to interpret it as Jesus giving a definite solution to what exactly she should do to repair her relationships. I agree with previous posters that it seems to be recounted more to point out the hypocrisy of judging others, and given the lack of details we really can't know what would have been best for her specific case.

PooDogMillionaire Fri 05-Feb-16 07:49:57

Thank you Fink! That has cleared it up for me smile

deplorabelle Mon 15-Feb-16 18:49:16

I've always wondered about this story (admittedly without any great Biblical or historical knowledge but that doesn't stop anyone else)

How does a woman end up with FIVE husbands in her lifetime? The teaching I've always had on this is that she was a right old slapper (though of course more politely put, but that is the implication). That's probably the reputation that precedes her and means she's drawing water in the middle of the day when no-one is around. But why are we so quick to believe the taint of her reputation? Is it not at least as likely that she is an unlucky woman, mistreated by men and cast aside when she displeases them? (I don't know but suspect that infertility or miscarriages might be a reason for a woman to be cast off by a man who can't afford to keep more than one wife and must have children)

And what does Jesus say to her? "You really must stop sleeping around"? Er no, he says the man she is with is not her husband, and talks to her about the water of life. I tend to see this as him saying she's not bound to the man she is with, but is worth something more. She goes back to town after all and says "He told me everything I've ever done." That sounds more like "this man understood me" rather than "I have repented and embraced celibacy"

I must admit I haven't ever read or heard this idea expressed by anyone else. It's purely my own. Would be interested to know what you think (if anyone sees this)

The passage from John 4 is about an outsider recognising who Jesus is. It isn't about relationships. The woman is an outsider because she is female, she is from Samaria and there is something irregular about her living arrangements. with a high mortality rate five husbands would be unusual but not impossible. If a man dies childless his brother was supposed to marry the widow so in theory a woman could end up marrying a number of men from the same family or they might be unrelated but die of disease or injury in a time before antibiotics. Despite this Jesus asks her for a drink and they banter about water and life.

At the end of conversation with the woman at the well she says to him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming’ (who is called Christ). ‘When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am he, the one who is speaking to you.’ She is then so taken with what she has seen and heard that she goes to the city and tells people:

‘Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?’

My take on this passage is to take heart that one of the first people to recognise Jesus as someone very special, as the messiah was a woman. Jesus treats her as an equal and she responds. I like the idea that she is seen for who she is and not for her marital status or tribe.

Debbrianabottomburp Thu 25-Feb-16 22:59:36

Op, the woman at the well is different to the adulterer. Jesus told the adulterer to go and sin no more after he stopped people from stoning her. "May the person without sin cast the first stone" some of that line. It was saying that every one has committed a sin and we should not judge. I think that is what I learned from RE. These two stories are not parables because they are meant to be people he met in his life, while Parables are made up stories Jesus used to teach his followers.

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