John 4:12

Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his sons, and his cattle?
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Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
Art Thou greater, &c. Observe, the Samaritans were Assyrians whom Salmanasar had brought into Samaria instead of the original inhabitants, the ten tribes of Israel, whom he carried away into Assyria. These Assyrians, however, wished, when the Jewish state was in a flourishing condition, to be accounted Jews ( Joshua , Ant, lib11 , cap. ult.), both because they dwelt in the portion of the Holy Land which had been allotted to the tribe of Ephraim, and because they were commingled with the Israelites who had been left in the country. Another reason was because they partly followed the Jewish religion. For they worshipped the God of Israel, together with the Assyrian idols ( 2 Kings 7) This then was why the woman called Jacob our father, as though the Samaritans were Israelites, and descended from him. The meaning then Isaiah , "Jacob had no better water than this, for if he had had, he surely would have drank of it, both himself, and his children. If thou, therefore, 0 Jesus, art able to ...

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
The woman arrests herself, and that as quickly as possible, being conscious that she had taken up ideas of Him neither holily nor surely true. For it was not possible that she should not be altogether profited to understanding, who is wholly enjoying the Divine words. Since then it was possible that He Who speaks should not be a magician, but rather a Prophet, and one of those surpassing in holiness, and had therefore promised to give her the living water, without the usual means of buckets, or having found water far better to use from another source, she straightway changes her discourse for the soberer, and as it were compares saint with saint, saying, Art Thou greater than our father Jacob who gave us this well? Receive the intelligence of her thought, from her no longer wondering at His promising water with out a rope, but speaking only of its quality to the taste. The Samaritans then were aliens (for they were colonists of the Babylonians), but they call Jacob their father for ...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
The Samaritan woman says, our father Jacob; because the Samaritans claimed lineage from Abraham, who was himself a Chaldean; and they; therefore, called Jacob their father, because he was Abraham's grandson. (St. Chrysostom) Or she calls him their father because they lived under the law of Moses, and were in possession of that spot of ground which Jacob had bequeathed to his son Joseph. (Ven. Bede)

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Observe how she thrusts herself into the noble stock of the Jews. For what she says is somewhat of this kind: Jacob used this water, and had nothing better to give us. And this she said showing that from the first answer (of Christ) she had conceived a great and sublime thought; for by the words, he drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle, she implies nothing else, than that she had a notion of a better Water, but that she never found it, nor clearly knew it. More clearly to explain what she means to say, the sense of her words is this: You can not assert that Jacob gave us this well, and used another himself; for he and his children drank of this one, which they would not have done if they had had another and a better. Now of the water of this well it is not in your power to give me, and you can not have another and a better, unless thou dost confess that you are greater than Jacob. Whence then have you that water which you promise that you will give us? The Jews did ...

Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
; and again, "Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; but ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.". "And we have seen His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father; "

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
She claims Jacob as her father, inserting herself into the noble lineage of the Jews. Do you see the intelligence of the woman? From the difference between the two kinds of water, she at once infers the difference between the two who give these waters. "If," she says, "You can give such water of which you speak, certainly You would be greater than Jacob who gave us this water." Her words, and drank thereof himself, are in praise of the sweetness of the water in Jacob's well. The patriarch was so pleased by the water in this spring that both he and his sons drank of it. Her words, and his cattle, indicate the abundance of the water. Not only was the water so sweet that Jacob himself drank of it, the supply was so plentiful that it watered his multitude of cattle. When the woman said, Surely Thou art not greater than our father Jacob, the Lord does not reply openly, "Yes, I am greater!" lest He appear to boast, not yet haven given any sign of His own power. But by His answer this is exac...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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