A Question I Was Asked:

“How Come the Samaritan Woman Knew that Jesus was a Jew?”

You ask how the Samaritan woman already knew that Jesus was a Jew (John 4:9).

Undoubtedly Jesus betrayed the fact that He was a Jew by his mannerisms, accent or behaviour.

However, we should not assume that the sum total of the words which initially passed between them are in John 4:7-9. What the Bible records is always significant but it does not mean that any recorded conversation is the entire conversation!

In verse 7 Jesus asks the woman if she would give Him a drink, then in verse 9 the Samaritan woman says,

"Since you are a Jew and I am a Samaritan, how can you ask me for a drink?"

Actually, the Jews would have considered any drink handed to them by a Samaritan to be ceremonially unclean. Undoubtedly, this is why Jesus asked her for a drink - to start to reveal how different the New Covenant would be to the Old, with salvation opened up to the Gentiles.

But to specifically answer your question, we cannot be entirely sure how this woman quickly knew that Jesus was a Jew; most likely He betrayed it with Jewish mannerisms or accent, although it is just as possible that further words passed between them which the inspired text has not recorded. Jesus asked for a drink and undoubtedly looked tired so it is entirely possible that the woman would have asked Him how far He had come and where He was from. Hope this answers your question.

Robin A. Brace, 2006.

UPDATE: But Was Jesus Identified By His Wearing of a Tassel?