| Hurlbut's Story of the Bible|
|by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut|
|A book which stands in such honor as the Bible should be known by all. And the time when one can most readily obtain a familiarity with the Bible is in early life. Those who in childhood learn the Story of the Bible are fortunate, for they will never forget it. In this unabridged and unedited edition you will find all the principal stories of the Bible, each one complete in itself, while together combining to form a continuous narrative. With 168 stories from both the Old Testament and the New Testament, there is ample material for a full year of reading. Ages 6-12 |
THE STRANGER AT THE WELL
Matthew xiv: 3 to 5; Mark vi: 17 to 20;
Luke iii: 19, 20; John iii: 22, to iv: 42.
HILE Jesus was teaching in Jerusalem and in the
country places near it, John the Baptist was still
preaching and baptizing. But already the people were
leaving John and going to hear Jesus. Some of the
followers of John the Baptist were not pleased as they
saw that fewer people came to their master, and that
the crowds were seeking Jesus. But John said to them,
“I told you that I am not the Christ, but that I am
sent before him. Jesus is the Christ, the King. He
must grow greater, while I must grow less, and I am
glad that it is so.”
Soon after this Herod Antipas, the king of the province
or land of Galilee, put John in prison. Herod had taken
for his wife a woman named Herodias, who had left her
husband to live with Herod, which was very wicked.
John sent word to Herod that it was not right for him
to have this woman as his wife. These words of John
made Herodias very angry. She hated John, and tried to
kill him. Herod himself did not hate John so greatly,
for he knew that John had spoken the truth. But he was
weak, and yielded to his wife Herodias. To please her
he sent John the Baptist to a lonely prison among the
mountains east of the Dead Sea, for the land in that
region, as well as Galilee, was under Herod’s rule.
There in prison Herod hoped to keep John safe from the
hate of his wife Herodias.
Soon after John the Baptist was thrown into prison,
Jesus left the country near Jerusalem, with his
disciples, and went toward Galilee, the province in the
north. Between Judea in the south and Galilee in the
north lay the land of Samaria, where the Samaritans
lived, who hated the Jews. They worshipped the Lord as
the Jews worshipped him, but they had their own temple
and their own
 priests. And they had their own Bible,
which was only the five books of Moses, for they would
not read the other books of the Old Testament. The
Jews and the Samaritans would scarcely ever speak to
each other, so great was the hate between them.
When Jews went from Galilee to Jerusalem, or from
Jerusalem to Galilee, they would not pass through
Samaria, but went down the mountains to the river
Jordan, and walked beside the river, in order to go
around Samaria. But Jesus, when he would go from
Jerusalem to Galilee, walked over the mountains,
straight through Samaria. One morning, while he was on
his journey, he stopped to rest beside an old well at
the foot of Mount Gerizim, not far from the city of
Shechem, but nearer to a little village that was called
Sychar. This well had been dug by Jacob, the great
father or ancestor of the Israelites, many hundreds of
years before. It was an old well then in the days of
Jesus, and it is much older now, for the same well may
be seen in that place still. Even now travellers may
have a drink from Jacob’s well, as we read in Story
 It was early in the morning, about sunrise, when Jesus
was sitting by Jacob’s well. He was very tired, for he
had walked a long journey; he was hungry, and his
disciples had gone to the village near at hand to buy
food. He was thirsty, too; and as he looked into the
well he could see the water, a hundred feet below, but
he had no rope with which to let down a cup or a jar
and to draw up some water to drink.
Just at this moment a Samaritan woman came to the well,
with her water-jar upon her head, and her rope in her
hand. Jesus looked at her, and in one glance read her
soul, and saw all her life. He knew that Jews did not
often speak to Samaritans, but he said to her, “Please
to give me a drink.”
The woman saw from his looks and his dress that he was
a Jew; and she said to him, “How is it that you, who
are a Jew, ask drink of me, a Samaritan woman?”
Jesus answered her, "If you knew what God’s free gift
is, and if you knew who it is that says to you, 'Give
me a drink,' you would ask him to give you living
water, and he would give it to you."
THE WOMAN OF SAMARIA SEES JESUS AT THE WELL
There was something in the words and the looks of Jesus
which made the woman feel that he was not a common man.
She said to him, "Sir, you have nothing to draw water
with, and the well is deep. Where can you get that
living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob,
who drank from this well, and who gave it to us?"
"Whoever drinks of this water," said Jesus, "shall
thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I
shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I
shall give him shall be in him a well of water
springing up unto everlasting life."
"Sir," said the woman, "give me some of this water of
yours, so that I will not thirst any more, nor come all
the way to this well."
Jesus looked at the woman, and said to her, "Go home,
and bring your husband, and come here."
"I have no husband," answered the woman.
"Yes," said Jesus, "you have spoken the truth. You
have no husband. But you have had five husbands, and
the man whom you now have is not your husband."
The woman was filled with wonder as she heard this.
She saw that here was a man who knew what a stranger
could not know. She felt that God had spoken to him,
and she said, "Sir, I see that
 you are a prophet of
God. Tell me, whether our people or the Jews are
right. Our fathers have worshipped on this mountain.
The Jews say that Jerusalem is the place where men
should go to worship. Now, which of these is the right
"Woman, believe me," said Jesus, "there is coming a
time when men shall worship God in other places besides
on this mountain and in Jerusalem. The time is near; it
has even now come, when the true worshippers everywhere
shall pray to God in spirit and in truth; for God
himself is a Spirit."
The woman said, "I know that the Anointed One is
coming, the Christ. When he comes he will teach us all
Jesus said to her, "I that speak to you now am he, the
Just at this time the disciples of Jesus came back from
the village. They wondered to see Jesus talking with
this Samaritan woman, but they said nothing.
The woman had come to draw water, but in her interest
in this wonderful stranger she forgot her errand.
Leaving her water-jar, she ran back to her village, and
said to the people, "Come, see a man who told me
everything I have done in all my life! Is not this man
the Christ whom we are looking for?"
When the woman was gone away, the disciples urged Jesus
to eat some of the food which they had brought. A
little while before Jesus had been hungry, but now he
had forgotten his own needs of food and drink. He said
to them, "I have food to eat that you know nothing of,
the food of the soul; and that food is to do the will
of God, and to work for him. Do you say to me that
there are four months before the harvest? You shall
reap, and shall have a rich reward, gathering fruit to
Jesus meant that as this woman, bad though she may
have been before, was now ready to hear his words;
so they would find the hearts of men everywhere,
like a field of ripe grain, ready to be won and
to be saved.
Soon the woman came back to the well with many of her
people. They asked Jesus to come to their town, and to
stay there and teach them. He went with them, and
stayed there two days, teaching the people, who were
Samaritans. And many of the people in that place
believed in Jesus, and said, "We have heard for
ourselves; now we know that this is indeed the Savior
of the world."
Hundreds of additional titles available for
online reading when you join Gateway to the Classics