Vincent Word Studies - John 4:22 - 4:22

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Vincent Word Studies - John 4:22 - 4:22

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

Ye know not what (ὁ οὐκ οἴδατε)

Literally, what ye know not. Rev., rightly, that which ye know not. Compare Act 17:23, where the correct reading is ὃ, what, instead of ὃν, whom: “what therefore ye worship in ignorance.” This worship of the unknown is common to vulgar ignorance and to philosophic culture; to the Samaritan woman, and to the Athenian philosophers. Compare Joh 7:28; Joh 8:19, Joh 8:27. The neuter expresses the unreal and impersonal character of the Samaritan worship. As the Samaritans received the Pentateuch only, they were ignorant of the later and larger revelation of God, as contained especially in the prophetic writings, and of the Messianic hope, as developed among the Jews. They had preserved only the abstract notion of God.


Jesus here identifies Himself with the Jewish people. The essence of the true Jewish worship is represented by Him.

Know what we worship (προσκυνοῦμεν ὃ οἴδαμεν)

Literally, and as Rev., we worship that which we know. On know, see on Joh 2:24. The neuter that which, is used of the true as of the unreal object of worship, perhaps for the sake of correspondence with the preceding clause, or because the object of worship is conceived abstractly and not personally. Compare Joh 14:9.

Salvation (ἡ σωτηρία)

The word has the article: the salvation, promised and to be revealed in Christ.

Is of the Jews

Rev., rightly, from the Jews (ἐκ). Not therefore belongs to, but proceeds from. See Genesis 12; Isa 2:3; Mic 4:2. Even the Old Testament idea of salvation is bound up with Christ. See Rom 9:4, Rom 9:5. The salvation is from the Jews, even from that people which has rejected it. See on Joh 1:19. On the characteristic is from, see on Joh 1:46. The passage illustrates John's habit of confirming the divine authority of the Old Testament revelation, and of showing its fulfillment in Christ.