John 4:4 begins with the Greek word "edei" (meaning: It is necessary) implying that Jesus had to go through Samaria. What situation made it necessary for Jesus to travel through Samaria.

2 Answers 2


Jesus was going from Judea to Galilee (John 4:3). To get from Judea in the south to Galilee in the north, Jesus had to pass through Samaria in the middle.

Map of Judea - image from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:First_century_Iudaea_province.gif

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    That is ONE way - most Jews went a longer way to avoid contact with Samaritans. So, this does not answer the question.
    – user25930
    Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 9:14
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    @Mac'sMusings Do you have a source for that? Mishnah Chagiga 3:4 as interpreted by the Talmud 24b strongly implies that food transported from Galilee to Judea was assumed to have passed through Samaria
    – b a
    Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 9:39
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    @Mac'sMusings bible-history.com/maps/ancient-roads-in-israel.html show that there was no other way. There was no road through the Jordan valley as there is today. A detour through via the coastal road would have made the journey way too long. Jews avoided contact with Samaritan persons but there was never any prohibition regarding geography.
    – user17080
    Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 10:04
  • Why not that He wants to save the Samaritan woman?
    – pehkay
    Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 10:42
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    Jews regularly crossed into Peraea to avoid Samaria - However, I agree that the necessity here was born of a need to minister to the woman at the well and turn her into one of the most successful evangelists - she brought out her entire village!
    – user25930
    Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 11:41

It wasn't necessary in the directional sense (physical sense). It was necessary in the spiritual sense. He was led to go there to meet the woman at the well. A similar example to this is Philip goes and stands by the chariot, except in this case, the words are used "The Spirit said to Philip" (Acts 8:29). When we do things in the physical realm there are not such unusual events. Similarly, Jesus going to see Lazarus... If you work out the 4 days from the time he heard the news, and the journey time, you see that he let Lazarus die purposely. This is difficult for people to understand, but in the large scheme of things its pretty simple really.

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