You had five husbands (Jn 4:18-4:18)

“You have had

Five husbands.

The one who you now have

Now is not your husband.

What you have said

Is true.”

πέντε γὰρ ἄνδρας ἔσχες, καὶ νῦν ὃν ἔχεις οὐκ ἔστιν σου ἀνήρ· τοῦτο ἀληθὲς εἴρηκας.

John uniquely indicated there was a clinker in her response.  Jesus said that she had already had five husbands (πέντε γὰρ ἄνδρας ἔσχες), but the person she was now with was not her husband (καὶ νῦν ὃν ἔχεις οὐκ ἔστιν σου ἀνήρ).  Thus, what she said was technically correct or truthful (τοῦτο ἀληθὲς εἴρηκας), since she did not have one husband.  Was her answer “no husband” true or deceptive?  Perhaps the marital personal life of this women with five husbands paralleled Samarian history as portrayed in 2 Kings, chapter 17:24-31, where people came from five different areas, Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim to live in northern Israel during the Assyrian captivity.  The Assyrian king placed them in the cities of Samaria as they took possession of Samaria.  This area of Israel then was called Samaria and not Israel anymore, based on its capital city of Samaria.  Prior to this time, it was called Israel with a capital in Samaria.  These new settlers were not Yahweh worshipers, as each of these five groups of people had their own gods.  They served their own particular gods, who did not have wide spread acceptance.  However, they were nothing like the more prevalent Baal worship.  Despite all these individual foreign gods, they still worshipped Yahweh.  As they did not have Levites to choose from, they appointed priests from their own people.  Thus, there was a strange kind of ecumenism, as they worshiped Yahweh and their own particular local gods side by side.  Thus, this antipathy and hostility developed between the Samaritans and the purist Judeans of Jerusalem.  That is a long way to get around explaining five husbands.  How husbands or wives have you had?

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