On one occasion Yeshua (Jesus) gave orders to Shimon (Peter) and Yohanan (John) to prepare for the Passover ahead of the disciples’ arrival: “Enter a city, then look for a man carrying a jar of water. Follow him and ask the person in charge to offer hospitality. He will show you a large room.” This is exactly what happened (Luke 22:7-13).

When Josephus Flavius describes the diaconal network that the Essenes, a Jewish group who were equal in number to the Pharisees, he writes: “They have no one certain city, but many of them dwell in every city; and if any of their sect come from other places, what they have they give to them …there is, in every city where they live, one appointed particularly to take care of strangers…” (Wars 2:124). Josephus also confirmed what we already know from other sources: many of the Essenes did not marry – choosing instead to dedicate themselves wholly to God.

So why did the disciples need to look for a man carrying a water jar? The answer is simple.

In an agricultural society, it was the exclusive duty of women to carry water. A man carrying a water jar could mean only one thing – this adult man had no wife and therefore he must have belonged to the Essene community!

Did Jesus know the future? Absolutely! He was familiar with the diaconal network of the Essene movement and he knew exactly what would happen next.

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63 COMMENTS

  1. Is it possible too that the Essenes knew who Yeshua was? After all, He was the Crown Prince of Israel; the one next in line to assume the throne had the Jews threw out the Romans. And He was the One most likely to actually be ha'moshiach! He'd resurrected Lazarus after he was dead four days, a thing only the Anointed One of Israel could do; and they were witness to this! So if this was an Essene community they would have not only shown hospitality, but they would have brought out their best for this particular traveler.
  2. In my deep study of the name for Jesus in the Quran, Isa, I’ve concluded that in the Negev, a group of believers who rejected the Herod were awaiting the promised branch of Jesse, the Messiah. As this group’s influence expanded northeast, the Messianic name Ishai (Jesse) changed to the Arabic Isa, rather tha Yasu’a as He was known other proto-Arabic Hellenized communities. Like the Nasara in the Quran, Isa reflects the morphology of Arabic dialects, with the western region becoming Orthodox and the Eastern region becoming Nestorian. The Quran captures that moment in time.
  3. Part Two
    To complete my thought. In Josephus’ time, the Nabateans may have called these people awaiting the Messiah Isa’in in proto-Arabic. This would have been pronounced as Essenes. A parallel development came around in the Middle Ages with establishment of the Jesuit order. Jesuit in Arabic is analogously Isawiyiin. This those awaiting the Branch of Jesse we’re called both Notzrim/Nasara and Isa’iin/Essenes in the Second Temple Period. Two Messianic groups supporting the House of David as opposed to The Hasmoneans.

    • + More answers (2)
    • Dr. Rood's comments are accurate. "Issa" is still a given name used in Arab communities, and is fairly common in Lebanon. Just as Hispanics use the name "Jesus" (pronounced "Hay-SOOS") as a given name for their sons, so Issa is still a name used in the non-Jewish middle east.
    • The Jesuits did not develop during the Middle Ages. They were initiated by Ignatius Loyola as primary agents of the Counter Reformation. The Jesuits date the beginning of their order to 1534.
      https://www.britannica.com/topic/Jesuits
    • Hello Dr. Rood - I am confused and must be misunderstanding you. How does terminology used in Josephus' time or Jesuits' time relate to supporting or not supporting the Hasmoneans, whose dynasty ended long before?

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  4. Whether true or a wives tale, I've been told several times that this man was John Mark's father. If true then the man did have a wife. On a different note, if the wife died, he should have still had to fetch his own water. In either case, the main point is that it was uncommon for a man to fetch water, which made it easy for Peter and John to distinguish who they were to talk to.
  5. Doesn't your proposal assume that the only unmarried male adults were Essenes? How can you document this? Paul insists that he had no wife as Peter did. He advocates that Christians do not marry if they are single. So we have at least one contradicting piece of evidence in the New Testament that a non-Essene, former Pharisee could be an adult male without a wife. Aren't there other examples in 2nd Temple literature of non-Essene adult males who do not have wives?
    • Hi, Richard. No I do not assume that non-wife men can only be essences, but I assume that they chances are far higher especially because there are other qualifiers (not just being not married).

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    • The Messianic Jews were not Christians ! And neither did Y'Shua preach Christianity .This is false doctrine. Y'Shua is a Jew and all of His talmidim and emissaries were Jews .Constantine in 313 CE/AD started Christianity .Jews especially Kefa /Peter and Sha'ul /Paul were called to preach to not only their fellow Jews but to the gentiles starting in Acts 10 .Salvation is from the Jews .

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    • Hi

      If you read the passage in 1 corinthians 7 in context it talks about the church at that time under distress, be wise about marriage in times of persecution as it adds much responsibility. It doesn’t tell Christians today that they should not marry in a life practically free from persecution - which many in the west live in today.
  6. Shalom to you from Romania ! Wow. I did not knew this. I am happy that I discovered this site. I learn many new things and it makes the Holy Scriptures more clear because I am not a jew and now I can learn the context . Thank you very much! God bless all of you and this work!
  7. The Lord said Saul was a chosen vessel for Gentiles. The Lord also said, He did nothing w/o the Father who had to be involved w the large room also.
  8. Is it possible that the Essenes also owned the building in which the Upper Room was located? In the Jerusalem of Jesus' time, crowded especially at Passover with Gentiles, it was important for observant Jews to hold their Seder dinners in kosher surroundings. The Essenes were sticklers for ritual purity, so perhaps the water-carrying man directed them to a building that Jesus knew would be ritually clean.
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