A city - called Sychar - This city was anciently called Shechem. It seems to have been situated at the foot of Mount Gerizim, in the province of Samaria, on which the temple of the Samaritans was built. After the ruin of Samaria by Salmanezer, Sychar, or Shechem, became the capital of the Samaritans; and it continued so, according to Josephus, Ant. l. xi. c. 8, in the time of Alexander the Great. It was about ten miles from Shiloh, forty from Jerusalem, and fifty-two from Jericho. It probably got the name of Sychar, which signifies drunken, from the drunkenness of its inhabitants. With this crime the Prophet Isaiah ( Isaiah 28:1, Isaiah 28:3, Isaiah 28:7, Isaiah 28:8;) solemnly charges the Ephraimites, within whose limits the city stood. This place is remarkable in the Scriptures:
The present name of this city is Neapolis, or Naplouse. See Calmet.
That Jacob gave to his son Joseph - Jacob had bought this field from the children of Hamor, the father of Shechem, for a hundred pieces of silver, or lambs, Genesis 33:19; and in it he built an altar, which he dedicated to El Elohey Yishrael, the strong God, the covenant God of Israel, Genesis 33:20. This, Jacob left as a private or overplus inheritance to Joseph and his children. See Genesis 48:21, Genesis 48:22, and Joshua 24:32.
Sychar - This city stood about eight miles southeast of the city called Samaria, between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim. It was one of the oldest cities of Palestine, and was formerly known by the name of “Shechem,” or Sichem, Genesis 33:18; Genesis 12:6. The city was in the tribe of Ephraim, Joshua 21:21. It was at this place that Joshua assembled the people before his death, and here they renewed their covenant with the Lord, Judges 9:46. It was destroyed by Abimelech, who beat down the city and sowed it with salt, Judges 9:45. It was afterward rebuilt, and became the residence of Jeroboam, the King of Israel, 1 Kings 12:25. It was called by the Romans “Flavia Neapolis,” and this has been corrupted by the Arabs into “Nablus,” its present name. It is still a considerable place, and its site is remarkably pleasant and productive.
The parcel of ground - The piece of ground; or the land, etc.
That Jacob gave - Jacob bought one piece of ground near to Shalem, a city of Shechem, of the children of Hamor, the father of Shechem, for an hundred pieces of silver, Genesis 33:19. In this place the bones of Joseph were buried when they were brought up from Egypt, Joshua 24:32. He also gave to Joseph an additional piece of ground which he took from the hand of the Amorite by his own valor, “with his sword and his bow,” as a portion above that which was given to his brethren, Genesis 48:22. Possibly these pieces of ground lay near together, and were a part of the homestead of Jacob. The well was near to this. There is now, E. Smith mentioned to me in conversation, a place near this well called Shalem.
When they were scattered by persecution they went forth filled with missionary zeal. They realized the responsibility of their mission. They knew that they held in their hands the bread of life for a famishing world; and they were constrained by the love of Christ to break this bread to all who were in need. The Lord wrought through them. Wherever they went, the sick were healed and the poor had the gospel preached unto them. AA 106.1
Philip, one of the seven deacons, was among those driven from Jerusalem. He “went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits ... came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city.” AA 106.2
Christ's message to the Samaritan woman with whom He had talked at Jacob's well had borne fruit. After listening to His words, the woman had gone to the men of the city, saying, “Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” They went with her, heard Jesus, and believed on Him. Anxious to hear more, they begged Him to remain. For two days He stayed with them, “and many more believed because of His own word.” John 4:29, 41. AA 106.3Read in context »
This chapter is based on John 4:1-42.
On the way to Galilee Jesus passed through Samaria. It was noon when He reached the beautiful Vale of Shechem. At the opening of this valley was Jacob's well. Wearied with His journey, He sat down here to rest while His disciples went to buy food. DA 183.1Read in context »
This was the only miracle that Jesus wrought while on this journey. It was for the performance of this act that He went to the borders of Tyre and Sidon. He wished to relieve the afflicted woman, and at the same time to leave an example in His work of mercy toward one of a despised people for the benefit of His disciples when He should no longer be with them. He wished to lead them from their Jewish exclusiveness to be interested in working for others besides their own people. DA 402.1
Jesus longed to unfold the deep mysteries of the truth which had been hid for ages, that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs with the Jews, and “partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel.” Ephesians 3:6. This truth the disciples were slow to learn, and the divine Teacher gave them lesson upon lesson. In rewarding the faith of the centurion at Capernaum, and preaching the gospel to the inhabitants of Sychar, He had already given evidence that He did not share the intolerance of the Jews. But the Samaritans had some knowledge of God; and the centurion had shown kindness to Israel. Now Jesus brought the disciples in contact with a heathen, whom they regarded as having no reason above any of her people, to expect favor from Him. He would give an example of how such a one should be treated. The disciples had thought that He dispensed too freely the gifts of His grace. He would show that His love was not to be circumscribed to race or nation. DA 402.2
When He said, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel,” He stated the truth, and in His work for the Canaanite woman He was fulfilling His commission. This woman was one of the lost sheep that Israel should have rescued. It was their appointed work, the work which they had neglected, that Christ was doing. DA 402.3Read in context »
Every human being, in body, soul, and spirit, is the property of God. Christ died to redeem all. Nothing can be more offensive to God than for men, through religious bigotry, to bring suffering upon those who are the purchase of the Saviour's blood. DA 488.1
“And He arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto Him again; and, as He was wont, He taught them again.” Mark 10:1. DA 488.2
A considerable part of the closing months of Christ's ministry was spent in Perea, the province on “the farther side of Jordan” from Judea. Here the multitude thronged His steps, as in His early ministry in Galilee, and much of His former teaching was repeated. DA 488.3Read in context »