And said unto the woman
Who, it appears, kept hearing Christ, attending on him, and conversing with him; for having tasted of his grace, she could not leave him:
now we believe, not because of thy saying;
not on account of that only: it should seem that these were the same persons that believed upon her word before they went out of the city; and who, when come to Christ, invited him into it; and now, having heard his excellent discourses, were confirmed in the faith of him:
for we have heard him ourselves;
not only externally with their bodily ears, but internally, having ears given them to hear, so as to understand what he said; to mix it with faith, and receive it in love; to feel the power of it in their hearts, and taste the sweetness of it, and be nourished by it; and so as to distinguish his voice from another's, as Christ's true sheep are capable of.
And know that this is indeed the Christ;
the true Messiah, and not a false one; the Messiah spoken of by Moses, whose books the Samaritans received, as the seed of the woman, the Shiloh, and prophet, like to Moses; the Christ of God, who is anointed to be prophet, priest, and King. The Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions leave out the word "Christ", and only read what follows,
the Saviour of the world:
they knew him to be the Saviour, he who was spoken of as such; for his work to bruise the serpent's head implies it, and his name Shiloh imports as much: and besides, he is called by Jacob God's salvation, ( Genesis 49:18 ) . God appointed him as a Saviour; he sent him, and he came as such, and is become the author of salvation; and his name is called Jesus, on this account: and a great Saviour he is; both able, and willing; and he is suitable to the case of sinners; and is a complete, and an only one: and these Samaritans knew him to be "the Saviour of the world"; not of every individual person in it, for all are not saved by him; nor of the Jewish world, for many of them died in their sins; but of the Gentiles, in distinction from the Jews; see ( John 3:16 ) ( 1 John 2:2 ) ; even of all God's elect, whether among Jews or Gentiles; of all that believe in him, of whatsoever nation, and in whatsoever state and condition: so that their knowledge of him, and faith in him, were beyond that of the Jews, who looked upon the Messiah only as a Saviour of their nation; and that the Gentiles would have no manner of benefit and advantage by him: though the Jews F2 do call the angel in ( Exodus 23:20 ) (amled aqwrp) , "the Saviour", or "Redeemer of" the world. And this the Samaritans might know from the writings of Moses, as from ( Genesis 22:18 ) ( 49:10 ) their present knowledge of Christ was not a mere notional, speculative, and general one, but was special, spiritual, and saving, which they had from the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ; they approved of him as their Saviour; they trusted in him as such; they had an experimental acquaintance with him, and practically owned him; and which they attained to by hearing him.
F2 Zohar in Gen. fol. 124. 4.