“Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.”
King James Version (KJV)
4:10 If thou hadst known the gift - The living water; and who it is - He who alone is able to give it: thou wouldst have asked of him - On those words the stress lies. Water - In like manner he draws the allegory from bread, #John 6:27|, and from light, 8:12; the first, the most simple, necessary, common, and salutary things in nature. Living water - The Spirit and its fruits. But she might the more easily mistake his meaning, because living water was a common phrase among the Jews for spring water.
Joh 4:10 If thou knewest the gift of God, etc. The great gift of God is not water, not even peace of soul, but Christ himself, God's "unspeakable gift" (2Co 9:15), "God gave his only begotten Son" (Joh 3:16). Had she known, the Savior declares, "Thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water". Observe: (1) That Christ asks a favor in order to confer a greater one. (2) The well and the water suggest the thirst of the soul and the waters of life. Living water. Water of life. The woman thought he meant running water.