Why is the context of “well” very important and relevant?
In the Old Testament, the well is the context of marriage encounter. Thus Eliazar, the servant of Abraham, met Rebecca the future wife of Isaac at the well (Gen 24: 11ff); Jacob met his future wife at the well (Gen 29: 2ff); Moses met the girl who he would take as his wife later at the well (Ex 2: 15ff). The marriage is the symbolism for the covenant relationship between Yahweh and the people of Israel in the Old Testament (Cf. The Book of Prophet Hosea, Song of Songs). The evangelist seems to introduce here the theme of the New Covenant. The encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman is a marriage encounter, between God (in Jesus) and the new people of God (in the Samaritan woman). The evangelist of the Gospel of John is interested in this theme is quite evident through John 2, in the event at Cana. Moreover, in John 4: 16 the language used by Jesus belongs to the same thematic filed (“Go, call your husband, and come here”). Further, the “well” suits best as the context for developing the theme of “living water”.