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Thursday, April 25 2013
The Woman At The Well
"The king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel"
King Solomon had been one of the wisest men that ever lived, but in his older years he squandered his great wisdom (1 Kings 10:23-24) in favor of corruption and idolatry (1 Kings 11:31-35). So the LORD divided the united kingdom into two separate countries, The Northern Kingdom of "Israel" and The Southern Kingdom of "Judah." They were never reunited (but will be in the future - see The Gathering of Israel and Judah).
When they made themselves corrupt and refused to heed all of the warnings from the LORD to repent (see The Prophets: North and South), the people of the Northern Kingdom of Israel were conquered and taken away by the Assyrians under Sargon (see Ancient Empires - Assyria) by 721 B.C. (see The Galilee Captivity). Later, about 677 B.C., the Assyrians under Esarhaddon brought people of other nations (primarily from the area that Abraham originated; see Israel's Iraqi Roots) in to keep the land from becoming desolate. Those non-Israelites became known as "Samaritans." Notice that although they were not Israelite, they came to know the LORD long before the "New Testament" era.
"17:22 For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did [see also The Return Of The Golden Calves]; they departed not from them; 17:23 Until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.
After the people of the Southern Kingdom of Judah returned from their Babylonian exile (because they made themselves corrupt just like the northern kingdom had become about 130 years earlier), they refused to allow the Samaritans to take part in the rebuilding of the Temple because they were not Israelites. That scornful relationship continued right into New Testament times e.g. "for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans" (John 4:9 KJV). "Samaritan" even became a form of insult, including a blasphemous one upon Christ e.g. "8:48 Then answered the Jews, and said unto Him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan and hast a devil?" (John 8:48 KJV).
"The woman saith unto Him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ"
The Samaritan people (the "foreign" people who were named after the area that the corrupt people of the northern kingdom of Israel lost because they failed to follow the Messiah; see Baal's Samaria) nevertheless fared far better with the Jews who recognized the Messiah, including the Messiah Himself. The Christ freely and openly accepted and associated with Samaritan people. In return, many of them recognized and accepted Him as The Savior, while the Jewish leadership generally rejected Him (see When Do Jews Become Christians?). Samaritans were among the earliest Christians (Acts 8:25, 9:31, 15:3).
Samaritan acceptance of The Prophet Of Galilee was demonstrated by a Samaritan woman who not only welcomed the Christ, but through her testimony caused others to become believers as well.
"4:5 Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 4:6 Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour [i.e. noon - see Hours Of The Day].
The Samaritan woman wasn't merely a convert. She caused others to look to the Truth as well.
"4:39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.
Fact Finder: What are the "living waters" that Christ spoke of to the Samaritan woman?
This Day In History, April 25
404 BC: At the end of the Peloponnesian War, Lysander's Spartan Armies defeated the Athenians (see A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids).
1530: The Augsburg Confession was read at the Diet of Worms (i.e. Vorms, a city in Germany). Written primarily by Philip Melanchthon, the document comprised the first official summary of the "Lutheran" faith.
1590: The Sultan of Morocco launched his successful attack to capture Timbuktu.
1607: During the Eighty Years' War, the Dutch fleet destroyed the anchored Spanish fleet at Gibraltar.
1644: The Ming Chongzhen emperor committed suicide during a peasant rebellion led by Li Zicheng.
1707: At the Battle of Almansa, Franco-Spanish forces defeat the Anglo-Portuguese.
1792: Nicolas Pelletier, a convicted forger and highwayman, became the first person executed by guillotine.
1809: The Treaty of Amritsar, concluded in India between the British East India Company and the Sikh Kingdom of Punjab. It settled Indo-Sikh relations for a generation.
1849: Governor General Lord Elgin signed the Rebellion Losses Bill, which gave compensation to residents of Lower Canada (i.e. Quebec - "Upper" and "Lower" Canada were geographic terms based on the flow of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River toward the Atlantic Ocean) whose property had been damaged in the rebellions of 1837. It became known as the "rebel rewarding bill" because in the confusion some rebels were compensated. Opposition to the bill was severe; Elgin was attacked by an English-speaking mob and the Parliament Buildings in Montreal were burned down.
1859: British and French engineers began construction of the Suez Canal.
1867: Tokyo was opened to international trade.
1882: French commander Henri Riviere seized the citadel of Hanoi. French colonial involvement in Vietnam eventually resulted in the division of the country into North and South Vietnam, which in turn caused the Vietnam civil war, which the U.S. became mired in after the French left. The result of a century of war is that Vietnam is today a single country again, just as it was a long ago before France and the U.S. involved themselves in it.
1925: Paul von Hindenburg became President of Germany. He would soon be replaced by a rising politician by the name of Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1926: In Iran, Reza Kahn was crowned Shah and chose the name "Pehlevi." His brutal, undemocratic regime lasted until the Iranian revolution of 1979 (the "hostage crisis" of the U.S. Embassy in Iran began not long after Pehlevi fled the country; see also Has Another Haman Arisen?).
1959: The St. Lawrence Seaway, linking the Atlantic Ocean to Canadian and US ports on the Great Lakes, opened to shipping.
1967: Britain granted internal self-government to Swaziland.
1971: Bangladesh (which means "country of Bengal") was declared. Civil war immediately followed which killed an estimated 1 million people before India intervened against Pakistan.
1974: Antonio Salazar was overthrown in Portugal.
1990: The Hubble Space Telescope was placed into orbit.