vendredi 26 octobre 2012

pêgê tou Iakôb (Jacob's well)

In the four Gospels, Jacob’s well (in Greek: pêgê tou Iakôb; Vietnamese: Giếng Gia-cóp; French: le puits de Jacob) appears 1 time in Jn 4:6. The narrator describes Jesus’ journey in Jn 4:3-6: “3 He [Jesus] left Judea and departed again to Galilee. 4 He had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and so Jesus, wearied as he was with his journey, sat down beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.”

“The well of Jacob, which is still to be seen today in the same place where it was shown to earlier pilgrims, is undoubtedly genuine, though it is not mentioned in the Old Testament” (SCHNACKENBURG, The Gospel, vol. I, p. 424). This is a photo of the Jacob’s well in 1894:


Bishop John H. Vincent commented about this photo in his writing “Earthly Footsteps of the Man of Galilee”, after he visited the well in 1894: “Jacob’s Well now belongs to a Greek Church (…). The well is now seventy-five feet deep and seven feet six inches in breadth. The diameter of the opening is seventeen and a half feet. A ruined vault stands above the well twenty feet long, ten feet broad and six feet high. The pieces of broken marble you see in the front belong to some ancient church” (

The Greek Orthodox purchased the ruins of churches that was the site of Jesus’ meeting with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well (Jn 4). The construction of the new church began before the First World War, but after only portions of the exterior walls were constructed, the construction was halted by the war. This photo shows the construction in 1999.

Photo in Nov 1999, from

After lying dormant for over 80 years, the church was completed in 2007. This is the Orthodox Church of Saint Photina nowadays:


Photo by ssiatravani

The interior of the Greek Orthodox Church:

Photo by Ferrell Jenkins 2009

Jacob’s well is in the crypt of this Orthodox church:

 Photo from post card

Photo by ssiatravani

This is Jacob’s well from wellhead:

Photo by ssiatravani

Wells are unmovable, so we can be fairly confident that this well marks the precise spot where Jesus sat down and talked to the Samaritan woman (Jn 4). As she rightly said, ‘the well is deep’ (4:11). Indeed, it goes down over 70 feet (21 metres) and it still provides chill, clear water for drinking (WALKER, In the Steps of Jesus, 2006, p. 87-88). In Jesus’ time the well may have been deeper. Jewish, Samaritan, Christian and Muslim traditions all associate the well with Jacob./.

October 27, 2012

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