Episode 023: God's Nuptial Longing and the Woman at the Well (Mass Readings for Mar. 15, 2020)
Our Gospel today is the famous story of the woman at the well, a story chock-full of nuptial imagery. To flesh this out, we’ll take a look at how Jesus’ interaction with the women at the well compares to Jacob’s meeting Rachel at a well in Genesis 29. We’ll also make the case that the Samaritan woman’s past actually represents the history of the remnant of northern Israel who did not remain faithful to God. Desiring to right this relationship, Jesus comes on the scene in our Gospel to woo the woman and her people back to him.
- Exodus 2:15-21 - Moses meets his wife Zipporah at a well
- Genesis 24:14-19 - Abraham's servant meets Rebekah for Isaac at a well
- Genesis 29:1-9 - Jacob meets Rachel at a well
- Isaiah 54:5 - "For your husband is your maker"
- 2 Kings 17:24ff - In this passage the author of Second Kings lists the five peoples and their gods that were resettled in the land of Israel after the Assyrian conquest.
- Targum Pseudo-Jonathan on Genesis 29:10-11 - In this ancient Jewish commentary on Genesis we are told that Jacob rolled the stone back from the mouth of the well with one arm.
- 2 Samuel 5:1 - "Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron, and said, “Behold, we are your bone and flesh."