According to the bible, a woman put down her water jar and hurried back to the town to tell the people, "Come and see a man who has told me everything I ever did; I wonder if he is Christ?" This brought people out of the town and they all started walking toward the man. Meanwhile, the disciples urged him, "Rabbi, do have something to eat," but he said, "I have food to eat that you do not know about." So the disciples asked one another, "Has someone been bringing him food?" But Jesus said: "My food is to do the will of the one who sent me, and to complete his work. Have you not got a saying: Four months and then harvest? Well, I tell you: Look around. You look at the fields; already they are white, ready for harvest! Already the reaper is being paid his wages, already he is bringing in the grain for eternal life, and thus sower and reaper rejoice together. For them the proverb holds good: one sows, another reaps; I sent you to reap a harvest you had not worked for. Others worked for it: and you have come into the rewards of their trouble.”
Many Samaritans of the town had believed in him based on the strength of the woman’s testimony when she said, "He told me all I have ever done," so when the Samaritans came up to him, they begged him to stay with them. He stayed for two days, and when he spoke to them, many more came to believe; and they said to the woman, "Now we no longer believe because of what you told us; we have heard him ourselves and we know that he really is the savior of the world." (John 4: 28-42)
The field which was bought by Jacob in the neighborhood of Shechem was always venerated as a holy place by the Jews. In the first century, relating the meeting of Jesus with the Samaritan woman, St.John the evangelist could confirm that "this was the land Jacob gave to his son Joseph."
The age-long Jewish tradition connects itself to the Christian tradition with an uninterrupted series of witnesses.
As far back as the time of St.Jerome (404 AD), we find mention of a church on this spot with the historic well in the centre of its crypt. It was built in the form of a Latin cross with the four sides turned to the cardinal points. Up until 330 AD there was a baptistery there. A Byzantine church in the form of a Latin cross was built between 340-390 AD.
Damaged during the Samaritan revolts in 484 AD, 491 AD and 529 AD, and restored under the Emperor Justinian, it was destroyed once again. The crusaders rebuilt the church and kept the same general cross-plan that the Byzantines had used. The crypt and well were just below the high altar. In 1187 the church was utterly destroyed, for pilgrims in later years mention only ruins. In the 16th century the Franciscans used to celebrate mass there once per year. In the 17th century the Greek Orthodox from Sebaste used to say Mass there off and on. In 1860 the Greeks acquired the place and in 1863 the crypt was restored. The work that had begun on the church was suspended in 1914 and has not been resumed since. In the grounds is a sarcophagus; this is held to be pre-Constantinian and may have belonged to the Samaritan people.
Christian Communities had earlier occupied the place. The motif of the “Amazon Shield “was used on Roman monuments.
When you visit the Jacob's Well, the monk in charge will let down a pail to show the depth of the well, which is about 35m. The water is good and fresh – you can test it!
To go to Jacob's well, take a service to Balata in front of the new mall of the Dawar. Ask the driver to stop at Jacob's well or stop him when you see a huge church with a red dome on your left.
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