Bible Prophecy Revealed

The Woman At The Well; A New Interpretation

By Michael Fortner

When Jesus was speaking to the woman at the well, he was not, that is NOT, revealing her sinful life:

“You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband.” (John 4:17-18)(NIV)

I first read that she was not a wicked woman from Paula and John L. Sandford’s book, The Elijah Task. But they said she was a prophetess. I believe I have developed additional information about this woman.

The Samaritans followed the Law of Moses and so did this woman (as will be seen). The fact that she had five former husbands did not mean she was a harlot or anything of the kind. More likely, she was an abused woman since divorce happened easily and for any reason (Matthew 19:3)*. Her last husband either died or divorced her, so she must have been taken in by another man, but that does not mean they were having sex. How did she react when Jesus let her know that she had five previous husbands and the man she was with now was not her husband? Did she react like Peter and said, “away from me I am a sinful woman“? No. She was obviously a God-fearing woman who was knowledgeable in the things of the law because she immediately recognized that Jesus was a prophet and proceed to ask him a difficult religious question:

“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” (John 4:19)

Wow! That is hardly the response of a whore. She was testing his knowledge of a deep religious subject. The Samaritans did not go to Jerusalem to worship but worshiped on Mt. Gerizim. In his reply, Jesus acknowledged that she worshiped God: “. . . a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. . . . his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth” (4:21,24).

She realized at this point that he could be more than a prophet, that he could be the Messiah, so she said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us” (4:25). Jesus said he was the Messiah so she ran back to the town and told the people. Did she say, “come see a man that revealed my sin,” no she did not, she merely said for them to “come see a man who told me everything I ever did.” And what about the town’s people? When the woman reported that she may have found the Messiah, did they say, “What does a whore know about religious things!“? No, they believed her! Later, after speaking with Jesus, They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.” (John 4:42)

They believed her without ever seeing him, but after speaking with Jesus personally, they were able to know first hand that he was the Messiah. So the woman was not immoral. Jesus was not in any way condemning her divorces or her present situation, he was merely revealing his knowledge of her history. Jesus did not go around revealing people’s sins. That is not something that can be found in the Bible. The only people Jesus spoke out against or spoke out about were the religious people who were plotting to kill him and the merchants in the temple when he turned over the tables. He did not make it a practice to expose people’s sins. Jesus never condemned anyone but the Pharisees and hypocrites.

He did not even condemn the woman caught in adultery but merely said to go and sin no more. It was very difficult for a woman to survive alone in that day and age, so most women had to have a husband, but if she burned the food he could divorce her almost instantly. So the fact that she had five husbands was not a point of revealing any sin. This woman was not a sinful person, she was NOT!! After five husbands she probably moved into another man’s home to cook his food and wash his clothes in exchange for a place to live and food, and clothing. There is no evidence she was sinful, but there is lots of evidence she was a good, God-fearing woman.

* “Some of the Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” (Matthew 19:3)

7 Thoughts on “The Woman At The Well; A New Interpretation

  1. This is wonderful,I always felt like this passage had another meaning to it because if the woman was a whore then she had no reason to tell the people of the town to come and see a man who told her everything she ever did.

  2. M L Fowler on June 17, 2016 at 8:50 pm said:

    Read the series of Books call “” The Greater Gospel of John”” downloaded to a German / Austrian Mystic Jacob Lorber that in one section talks about this event that her pervious 5 husbands had all died.

  3. I’m reading the Elijah Task, it caused me to do some research. Awesome!!!

  4. Robert on October 3, 2016 at 9:15 pm said:

    She appeared at the well during the hottest part of the day, which is unusual, and indicates some problem(s) making it easier to avoid the other women and the blowback from her living with a man who was not her husband, which even the Samaritan’s despised although her situation may have been one of unfortunate circumstances. We also should note that In Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well, He broke three Jewish customs: First, he spoke to a woman; Second, she was a Samaritan woman, a group the Jews traditionally despised; and third, he asked her to get him a drink of water, which would have made him ceremonially unclean from using her cup/jar. The more I learn about the Bible the less I seem to know… sheesh. =P

  5. As a woman who has been dismissed more times than I care to count, and memories fresh of being accused of being a teen of loose morals back in the day when it wasn’t cool, my heart burns within me, and it riles me up whenever I hear someone trash this most precious woman by referring to her as a “ho,” So much so, that I have started a blog. I am not a fan of blogs, I don’t really have the attention span, but I want to thank you for helping me “word” my defense of this woman with your additional research. I will sure to give you credit when I do post the information you have added to the evidence.

    I want this woman’s name and reputation exonerated and feel called by GOD to do so, as to Him, she is one of His precious daughters, one of the “apples of His eyes.” Deuteronomy 32:10

    I, likewise, have read John and Paula Sanford’s book, “The Elijah Task.” Not only have I read it, but I have absorbed, digested, and hung on nearly every word. It was almost like reading my own biography. This wonderful book gave me the courage to do that which I’ve been called to do, and helped alleviate the fear that had held me hostage.

  6. Pepper Spreigh on October 23, 2017 at 2:24 pm said:

    The BIBLE is a book of prophecy. Not just 25% or 33% of it, but ALL of it. The event known as “the woman at the well” is in fact a prophecy about the dark ages and the reformation. The woman was the religious system started by Nimrod and continued through the time of the John 4 event. The event is the confrontation between Jesus (the TORAH) and the Sun god worshiping religious system which had successfully “married” the previous 5 kingdoms (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece), eventually causing their downfall. This religious system was attempting to infiltrate the Jewish church (the woman dipping into the well of Jacob) when Jesus confronted her. BTW, she never did give him a drink. The man she was living with at the time Jesus met with her was the Roman Empire, to which she was not yet wed. This did not occur until the middle of the 4th century when Rome accepted the sun god worshiping religious system known as the Christianity of Constantine as its national religion.
    Jesus was telling her that her doctrine was not the everlasting Word of GOD but church doctrine and that only He had the everlasting Word (the TORAH and His Testimony), and that she would NEVER have the everlasting Word.
    The Sun was at midday, the sixth hour (the middle of the 1260 years of the reign of the Holy Roman Empire) and was beating down upon the body of Jesus (the true saints of GOD who follow not only Jesus but the Laws of GOD which were passed down from Adam to Enoch, to Noah, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and eventually given to all of us through the writings of Moses ).
    This battle between the Sun god system (celebrating Christmas, Easter and worshiping on the venerable day of the Sun, Sunday) is also retold through the seals and trumpets of revelation.

    • I disagree that all of it is prophecy. You may as well say that all words YOU speak are prophecy, rather than just the words that God gives you, or a special dream that God gives you.

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Copyright 2014 by Michael D. Fortner