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Jesus and the Samaritan Woman
(John 4:4-42)
Herod Antipater (Antipas) was a 1st-century ruler of Galilee and Perea (Peraea). He bore the title of tetrarch, which comes from the Greek language meaning "ruler of a quarter" in Greco-Roman antiquity.  Further explained as the ruler of a principality, originally the ruler of one-quarter of a region or province. Herod Antipas is referred to as both "Herod the Tetrarch" and "King Herod" in the New Testament, although he never held the title of king.
Herod Antipater (nicknamed Herod Antipas) decided to imprison John (John the Baptist) because John rebuked Herod for unlawfully marrying (according to Mosaic Law) Herodias (Herod was her uncle), and was the wife of his half-brother Philip. The latter was still alive at the time. The gospels of Matthew and Mark state that she was the wife of Antipas' brother " Philip," a fact supported by Josephus, who indicated she was the wife of Herod II (a.k.a. Philip I). Had Herod not been afraid of an uprising by the people, he most likely would have had John killed.

Jesus learned of John's imprisonment and headed toward Galilee from Judea. He decided to disregard the regular practice made by Jews of not going through Samaria because, by Him going through Samaria, it became a much shorter journey. The Samaritans were severely despised by the Jews mainly because they were racially mixed (intermarriages with surrounding Israelites), and their religious practices were considered pagan. Along the way, Jesus becomes thirsty and meets a Samaritan woman at Jacob's well in Sychar, a village about thirty miles north of Jerusalem. Jesus was alone with the woman because His disciples had gone on to the city to buy food. The entire account is found in John 4:4-42.

Interestingly, she questions Jesus about the conflicting religious practices of the Samaritans and the Jews. The Samaritans worshiped "on this mountain" (Mount Gerizim, which was the site of the Samaritan's temple, which had been destroyed more than a hundred years earlier by, according to most accounts, John Hyrcanus, a Jew from Jerusalem. She tries to compare their worshipping there to the Jews worshipping in Jerusalem.
The crux of the conversation is when Jesus informs her that worship's physical location isn't nearly as important as the nature of her beliefs. He tells her she has a misperception about the true God. Jesus tells her that salvation is from the Jews, meaning that the Messiah, who will bring salvation, is Jewish. After speaking with her for some time, she isn't aware of who Jesus is, and He decides to reveal to her who He is. Although, up till now, He is cautious not to reveal who He is (because His time had not yet come and He might be taken too soon), Jesus decided that there was a very low risk of Him being found out because of where He was.
As we find out in the story, Jesus remains with her and the other Samaritans of that city for a couple days – and many more came to believe. A fitting conclusion is when the people say to the woman, "Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world" (Jn. 4:42, NKJV).

General Information (Source: Internet searches)
Where is Mount Gerizim in the Bible?
Mount Gerizim, Arabic Jabal Al-Ṭūr, Hebrew Har Gerizim, is a mountain located in the West Bank just south of Nāblus, near the site of biblical Shechem. In modern times it was incorporated as part of the British mandate of Palestine (1920–48) and subsequently as part of Jordan (1950–67).
How far is Mount Gerizim from Jerusalem?
The distance between Jerusalem and Mt Gerizim is 48 km. (29.8258 miles)
What does Gerizim mean in Hebrew?
A straightforward etymology (the study or history of a word) for Gerizim would give the meaning of mountain cut in two
What is the significance of Mount Gerizim?
The Samaritans believe that, since more than 3600 years ago, they came to live on Mount Gerizim because Moses, in his tenth commandment, ordered them to protect it as a sacred mountain and worship on it by making pilgrimages to it three times a year.
What is the blessing of Mount Gerizim?
Biblical account
In advance of the Israelites' entry to the Promised Land, Deuteronomy 11:29 records Moses' direction that "when the Lord your God has brought you into the land which you go to possess, that you shall put the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal".
Was Samaria a part of Israel?
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Israelites captured the region known as Samaria from the Canaanites and assigned it to the Tribe of Joseph. After King Solomon's death (c. 931 BC), the northern tribes, including those of Samaria, separated from the southern tribes and established the separate Kingdom of Israel.
Where did the Samaritans build their temple?
Consequently, in the 4th century B.C., the Samaritans built their own temple in Nāblus (Shechem), at the base of Mount Gerizim, some 25 miles (40 km) north of Jerusalem. The low esteem that Jews had for the Samaritans was the background of Christ's famous parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25–37).
Did Samaritans worship God?
The major issue between Jews and Samaritans has always been the location of the Chosen Place to worship God: The Temple Mount of Moriah in Jerusalem according to Judaism or Mount Gerizim according to Samaritanism
What was the Samaritan religion?
The Samaritan religion, also known as Samaritanism, is the national religion of the Samaritans. The Samaritans adhere to the Samaritan Torah, which they believe is the original, unchanged Torah, as opposed to the Torah used by Jews.
What religion was the Samaritan woman?
In Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic traditions, she is venerated as a saint with the name Photine (Φωτεινή also Photini, Photina, meaning "the luminous one" from φῶς, "light").
How long did Jesus stay in Samaria?
He stayed there two days, 41 and many more believed in him because of his own word; 42 and they said to the woman: 'Our belief no longer rests on your report; we have heard him our- selves, and we know the truth: this is the Saviour of the world.
What happened on Mount Gerizim?
The religious tension between the Jews and the Samaritans led to the temple on Gerizim being destroyed by either John Hyrcanus in the 2nd century B.C. (according to Josephus) or by Simeon the Just (according to the Talmud).
7 Facts Everyone Should Know About Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal
By Mordechai Rubin
The Torah portion of Re'eh begins with an instruction for when the Jews enter the land of Israel:
“Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse… And it will be, when the L‑rd, your G‑d, will bring you to the land to which you come, to possess it, that you shall place those blessing upon Mount Gerizim, and those cursing upon Mount Ebal.”1
What’s going on here? What purpose does this mysterious ritual hold?
1. The Event is Described in the Book of Joshua
How was this ritual actually performed? Joshua elaborates:
“Six tribes were sent to each mountain. And all Israel, and their elders and officers and their judges, stood on this side of the Ark and on that side, before the priests the Levites, the bearers of the Ark of the covenant of the L—rd … half of them over against Mount Gerizim and half of them over against Mount Ebal, as Moses the servant of the L-rd had commanded, to bless the people of Israel first. And afterward [Joshua] read all the words of the law, the blessing and the curse, according to all that is written in the book of the Torah.”2
2. The Priests Recited 12 Basic Moral Principles
In next week’s Torah portion, Parshat Shoftim, Moses repeats this command with a little more detail:
“When you cross the Jordan, the following shall stand upon Mount Gerizim to bless the people: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin. And the following shall stand upon Mount Ebal for the curse: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naftali. The Levites shall speak up, saying to every individual of Israel, in a loud voice: Cursed be the man who makes any graven or molten image...”3
The Talmud explains that during the ceremony the priests surrounded the Holy Ark and the Levites surrounded them. The priests recited 12 moral principles in the positive and the negative: “Blessed be the man… Cursed be the man…” For each positive pronouncement, they faced Mount Gerizim and for the negative, Mount Ebel. After each one, the congregation responded “amen”. 4
3. The Mountains are Located Near Shechem
Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal stand opposite each other, in what would have been the heart of Israel at the time of the Israelites’ entry. The ancient city of Shechem lies in the valley between the two.
4. The Mountains Represented Good and Evil
According to tradition, Mount Gerizim was lush and fertile while Mount Ebal was rocky and barren, clearly portraying the ramifications of our choices: We may choose the good path, cleaving to G‑d and following in His ways, leading to a rich, fruitful life. Alternatively, we can embrace evil and negativity, which leads to an empty and barren life, devoid of all things good.
5. Archaeologists Discovered a Site That May Be Joshua's Altar
Included in the more detailed instructions Moses later gave, the nation was commanded to erect an altar upon which to offer sacrifices.5 In 1987, after excavating the northern corner of Mt. Ebal, archaeologists believed they had located this altar when they discovered a large amount of kosher animal bones, (which would have been used in the sacrifices), together with stone and ash. Other scholars, however, disagreed, citing the location of this discovery as different from the one described in the book of Joshua.6
6. This Was a Momentous Event in Our History
Upon entering the Holy Land as a nation for the first time, the people gathered atop these two mountains to declare their allegiance to one G‑d. In a world where monotheism was very much a novelty, this event served as a profound declaration of their faith. Moreover, according to the Talmud7, this was the first time that the nation took collective spiritual responsibility for one another.
7. The Curses Are Not Really Curses
Our sages reassure us that “No evil descends from heaven.” Everything G‑d does is essentially good; there is simply “revealed good” and “concealed good.”
Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi viewed the curses as blessings in disguise, rather than misfortunes that need to be overcome.8 When a blessing is bestowed from on-high, the heavenly court first gauges whether or not the recipient is worthy. In order to circumvent this process, G‑d conceals the most sublime blessings in the language of curses.9

I wanted to include this article because it helped my understanding by learning more of the back-story to John’s telling of Jesus and the Samaritan woman. Remember that this and all my narratives are researched by me – but I want to encourage you to always do your own research also. Everyone can make mistakes, and new discoveries continue to happen.
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