Samaria -- Olive Orchard (January 2006)

John 4 - American Standard Version

The Disciples Rejoin Jesus
27 Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, "What do you want?" or "Why are you talking with her?"
28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people,
"Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?"
They came out of the town and made their way toward him.
31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, "Rabbi, eat something."
32 But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you know nothing about."
33 Then his disciples said to each other, "Could someone have brought him food?"
34" My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.
Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.
Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.
Thus the saying 'One sows and another reaps' is true.
I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor."
Many Samaritans Believe
39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I ever did."
So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days.
And because of his words many more became believers.

Jesus was speaking to the residents of Shechem who had a saying; "four months and then the harvest."  Some of these Samaritans may have been out of work and had time to go from the village to listen to Jesus.  They were longing for the harvest time as it was a time of maximum employment and higher wages.  Labor shortages existed as there was much work in the harvesting, transport, processing, and storage of oil.  There were times when hundreds of acres of olive trees were ready for harvest at one time and many people were able to find jobs.  Jesus was traveling north after the Passover.  He had paused to baptize some people at a site along the Jordan River before his enemies became aware of his activities.  After they were aware of his activities, Jesus moved west and turned north towards Galilee.  I would imagine this was April or May.  Four months more would have been Aug - Sept.  I arrived in Samaria during late September to find most of the olives along the road were harvested for oil production.  According to a guide in Jerusalem the olives used for salads were harvested in October.  Most of the olive crop in this area was used for olive oil production.  There was some grain production in the valleys of the hill country around Shechem and there was harvesting of barley through April.  The wheat harvest began in May.  There were larger tracts of grain along the coast and to the north near Nazareth in the Jezreel Valley with owners requiring field helpers during Roman times.  The fields were ripe or white (light colored as they dried out) for the harvest.  If the truth were to be known, there was a lot more work that should have been done than people knew about, or wanted to do.

"The Olive Orchard", Vincent Van Gogh, 1889

The olive harvest was a time when all able bodied people were needed.  Men, women, and children earned wages. 

Parable of the Mustard Seed
     A Mustard Field Along Highway 87-North Shore of Galilee
     Mustard Seeds in the Palm of a Hand
     A Branching Mustard Plant Near the Jordan River/Bethsaida
     Mustard Field March 1999
     Mustard Flowers
Upper Most Seats of the Synagogue

The Fig Tree
     Mt of Olives Fig Tree April 12-13, 2005
     Fig and Pomegranate trees below Siloam in Jerusalem
     Israel Photos II fig tree page
     Sycomore Fig Tree
The Good Shepherd
The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats
     Goat Herder
Ritual Cleansing
     The Olive Harvest of Samaria
     Mt. Ebal
     Olive Tree
Pearl of Great Price
A First Century Synagogue at Gamala
     View from the Vulture Overlook
     Overview of Gamala
Modern Galilee Fishing Boats
Caves and/or Tombs
     Steep Slope near the Lake
Feeding the 5,000
     On the Mountain
     Walking on Water

     Ramot-Zelon area
     Alternate location
Mt. Hermon
The Pool(s) of Bethesda in Jerusalem

     Healing Pools
     Southern Pool
     Crusader Chapel and St. Ann Church
The Pool of Siloam in Jerusalem
     Gihon Spring
     Hezekiah's Tunnel
     Overlook of  Siloam
Tower of Siloam
A Watch Tower in a Vineyard/Olive Grove
     Grape Vines at Beth Horan

Mt. Precipice
     South Face
     Over the edge
     Measuring Line
     View of Nazareth from near Megiddo
     The Basilica of the Annunciation
Healing a Paralytic in Capernaum
Waterskins and Wineskins
The Fish and the Coin
A Denarius
Casting out a demon
The Road to Jericho
     Old Roman Road
     Wilderness Above Jericho

     Old Jericho
Western Wall
Gethsemane and the Cave of  Gethsemane
Church of the Holy Sepulcher
Rolling Stone Tombs - Jerusalem
     Other Rolling Stone Tombs

Solar Power in Israel

Salt of the earth

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