John 2

The third day ( τη ημερα τη τριτη ). "On the day the third" (locative case), from the start to Galilee when Philip was found (1:43), seven days since 1:19.

There was a marriage ( γαμος εγενετο ). "A wedding (or marriage festival) took place." See on Mt 22:8.

In Cana of Galilee ( εν Κανα της Γαλιλαιας ). This town, the home of Nathanael (21:2), is only mentioned again in 4:46 as the home of the nobleman. There was a Cana in Coele-Syria. It is usually located at Kefr Kenna (3 1/2 miles from Nazareth), though Ain Kana and Khirbet Kana are also possible. Bernard thinks that it was probably on Wednesday afternoon the fourth day of the week (usual day for marriage of virgins), when the party of Jesus arrived.

And the mother of Jesus was there ( κα ην η μητηρ του Ιησου εκε ). When they arrived. John does not mention her name, probably because already well known in the Synoptics. Probably Joseph was already dead. Mary may have been kin to the family where the wedding took place, an intimate friend clearly.

Jesus also was bidden ( εκληθη κα ο Ιησους ). First aorist passive indicative of  καλεω, "was also invited" as well as his mother and because of her presence, possibly at her suggestion.

And his disciples ( κα ο μαθητα ). Included in the invitation and probably all of them acquaintances of the family. See on 1:35 for this word applied to John's followers. This group of six already won form the nucleus of the great host of "learners" through the ages who will follow Jesus as Teacher and Lord and Saviour. The term is sometimes restricted to the twelve apostles, but more often has a wider circle in view as in Joh 6:61,66; 20:30.

When the wine failed ( υστερησαντος οινου ). Genitive absolute with first aorist active participle of  υστερεω, old verb from  υστερος, late or lacking. See same use in Mr 10:21. A longer Western paraphrase occurs in some manuscripts. It was an embarrassing circumstance, especially to Mary, if partly due to the arrival of the seven guests.

They have no wine ( Οινον ουκ εχουσιν ). The statement of the fact was in itself a hint and a request. But why made by the mother of Jesus and why to Jesus? She would not, of course, make it to the host. Mary feels some kind of responsibility and exercises some kind of authority for reasons not known to us. Mary had treasured in her heart the wonders connected with the birth of Jesus (Lu 2:19,51). The ministry of the Baptist had stirred her hopes afresh. Had she not told Jesus all that she knew before he went to the Jordan to be baptized of John? This group of disciples meant to her that Jesus had begun his Messianic work. So she dares propose the miracle to him.

Woman ( γυνα ). Vocative case of  γυνη, and with no idea of censure as is plain from its use by Jesus in 19:26. But the use of  γυνα instead of  μητερ (Mother) does show her she can no longer exercise maternal authority and not at all in his Messianic work. That is always a difficult lesson for mothers and fathers to learn, when to let go.

What have I to do with thee? ( Τ εμο κα σοι; ). There are a number of examples of this ethical dative in the LXX (Jud 11:12; 2Sa 16:10; 1Ki 17:18; 2Ki 3:13; 2Ch 35:21) and in the N.T. (Mr 1:24; 5:7; Mt 8:29; 27:19; Lu 8:28). Some divergence of thought is usually indicated. Literally the phrase means, "What is it to me and to thee?" In this instance F.C. Burkitt (Journal of Theol. Studies, July, 1912) interprets it to mean, "What is it to us?" That is certainly possible and suits the next clause also.

Mine hour is not yet come ( ουπω ηκε η ωρα μου ). This phrase marks a crisis whenever it occurs, especially of his death (7:30; 8:20; 12:23; 13:1; 17:1). Here apparently it means the hour for public manifestation of the Messiahship, though a narrower sense would be for Christ's intervention about the failure of the wine. The Fourth Gospel is written on the plane of eternity (W. M. Ramsay) and that standpoint exists here in this first sign of the Messiah.

Unto the servants ( τοις διακονοις ). See on Mt 20:26 for this word (our "deacon," but not that sense here).

Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it ( Hοτ αν λεγη υμιν ποιησατε ). Indefinite relative sentence ( οτ αν and present active subjunctive, general statement) with aorist active imperative of  ποιεω for instant execution. Mary took comfort in the "not yet" ( ουπω ) and recognized the right of Jesus as Messiah to independence of her, but evidently expected him to carry out her suggestion ultimately as he did. This mother knew her Son.

Waterpots ( υδρια ). Old word from  υδωρ (water) and used in papyri for pots or pans for holding money or bread as well as water. These stone ( λιθινα as in 2Co 3:3) jars full of water were kept handy ( set there ,  κειμενα, present middle participle of  κειμα ) at a feast for ceremonial cleansing of the hands (2Ki 3:11; Mr 7:3), "after the Jews' manner of purifying" ( κατα τον καθαρισμον των Ιουδαιων ). See Mr 1:44; Lu 2:22 for the word  καθαρισμος (from  καθαριζω ) which fact also raised a controversy with disciples of John because of his baptizing (Joh 3:25).

Containing ( χωρουσα ). Present active participle feminine plural of  χωρεω, old verb from  χωρος, place, space, having space or room for.

Two or three firkins apiece ( ανα μετρητας δυο η τρεις ). The word  μετρητης, from  μετρεω, to measure, simply means "measurer," an amphora for measuring liquids (in Demosthenes, Aristotle, Polybius), the Hebrew bath (2Ch 4:5), here only in N.T., about 8 1/2 English gallons. Each  υδρια thus held about 20 gallons. This common distributive use of  ανα occurs here only in this Gospel, but is in Re 4:8. In Joh 4:28 a much smaller  υδρια was used for carrying water.

Fill ( γεμισατε ). Effective first aorist active imperative of  γεμιζω, to fill full.

With water ( υδατος ). Genitive case of material.

Up to the brim ( εως ανω ). "Up to the top." See  εως κατω (Mt 27:51) for "down to the bottom." No room left in the waterpots now full of water.

Draw out now ( Αντλησατε νυν ). First aorist active imperative of  αντλεω, from  ο αντλος, bilge water, or the hold where the bilge water settles (so in Homer). The verb occurs in Joh 4:7,15, for drawing water from the well, and Westcott so interprets it here, but needlessly so, since the servants seem bidden to draw from the large water-jars now full of water. Apparently the water was still water when it came out of the jars (verse 9), but was changed to wine before reaching the guests. The water in the jars remained water.

Unto the ruler of the feast ( τω αρχιτρικλινω ). Dative case. The  τρικλινος was a room ( οικος ) with three couches ( κλινη ) for the feast. The  αρχιτρικλινος was originally the superintendent of the dining-room who arranged the couches and tasted the food, not the toast-master ( συμποσιαρχης ).

And they bare it ( ο δε ηνεγκαν ). Second aorist active indicative of  φερω. Apparently not knowing at first that they bore wine.

Tasted ( εγευσατο ). First aorist middle indicative of  γευομα. As it was his function to do.

The water now become wine ( το υδωρ οινον γεγενημενον ). Accusative case, though the genitive also occurs with  γευομα. Perfect passive participle of  γινομα and  οινον, predicative accusative. The tablemaster knew nothing of the miracle, "whence it was" ( ποθεν εστιν, indirect question retaining present indicative). The servants knew the source of the water, but not the power that made the wine.

Calleth the bridegroom ( φωνε τον νυμφιον ). As apparently responsible for the supply of the wine ( thou hast kept  τετηρηκας ). See Mt 9:15 for  νυμφιος. When men have drunk freely ( οταν μεθυσθωσιν ). Indefinite temporal clause with  οταν and first aorist passive subjunctive of  μεθυσκω. The verb does not mean that these guests are now drunk, but that this is a common custom to put "the worse" ( τον ελασσω, the less, the inferior) wine last. It is real wine that is meant by  οινος here. Unlike the Baptist Jesus mingled in the social life of the time, was even abused for it (Mt 11:19; Lu 7:34). But this fact does not mean that today Jesus would approve the modern liquor trade with its damnable influences. The law of love expounded by Paul in 1Co 8-10 and in Ro 14,15 teaches modern Christians to be willing gladly to give up what they see causes so many to stumble into sin.

This beginning of his signs did Jesus ( ταυτην εποιησεν αρχην των σημειων ο Ιησους ). Rather, "this Jesus did as a beginning of his signs," for there is no article between  ταυτην and  αρχην. "We have now passed from the 'witness' of the Baptist to the 'witness' of the works of Jesus" (Bernard). This is John's favourite word "signs" rather than wonders ( τερατα ) or powers ( δυναμεις ) for the works ( εργα ) of Jesus.  Σημειον is an old word from  σημαινω, to give a sign (12:33). He selects eight in his Gospel by which to prove the deity of Christ (20:30) of which this is the first.

Manifested his glory ( εφανερωσεν την δοξαν αυτου ). First aorist (effective) active indicative of  φανεροω, that glory of which John spoke in 1:14.

Believed on him ( επιστευσαν εις αυτον ). First aorist active indicative of  πιστευω, to believe, to put trust in, so common in John. These six disciples (learners) had already believed in Jesus as the Messiah (1:35-51). Now their faith was greatly strengthened. So it will be all through this Gospel. Jesus will increasingly reveal himself while the disciples will grow in knowledge and trust and the Jews will become increasingly hostile till the culmination.

He went down to Capernaum ( κατεβη εις Καφαρναουμ αυτος ). Second aorist active indicative of  καταβαινω. Cana was on higher ground. This brief stay ( not many days ,  ου πολλας ημερας ) in this important city (Tell Hum) on the north shore of Galilee was with Christ's mother, brothers (apparently friendly at first) and the six disciples, all in the fresh glow of the glory manifested at Cana. Surely Mary's heart was full.

The passover of the Jews ( το πασχα των Ιουδαιων ). The Synoptics do not give "of the Jews," but John is writing after the destruction of the temple and for Gentile readers. John mentions the passovers in Christ's ministry outside of the one when Christ was crucified, this one and one in 6:4. There may be another (5:1), but we do not know. But for John we should not know that Christ's ministry was much over a year in length.

Those that sold ( τους πωλουντας ). Present active articular participle of  πωλεω, to sell. They were in the Court of the Gentiles within the temple precinct ( εν τω ιερω ), but not in the  ναος or temple proper. The sacrifices required animals (oxen,  βοας, sheep,  προβατα, doves,  περιστερας ) and "changers of money" ( κερματιστας, from  κερματιζω, to cut into small pieces, to change money, only here in N.T., late and rare). Probably their very presence in his Father's house angered Jesus. The Synoptics (Mr 11:15-17; Mt 21:12f.; Lu 10:45f.) record a similar incident the day after the Triumphal Entry. If there was only one, it would seem more natural at the close. But why could it not occur at the beginning also? Here it is an obvious protest by Christ at the beginning of his ministry as in the Synoptics it is an indignant outcry against the desecration. The cessation was only temporary in both instances.

A scourge of cords ( φραγελλιον εκ σχοινιων ). The Latin flagellum. In papyri, here only in N.T. and note Latin l becomes  ρ in Koine.  Σχοινιων is a diminutive of  σχοινος (a rush), old word for rope, in N.T. only here and Ac 27:32.

Cast out ( εξεβαλεν ). Second aorist active indicative of  εκβαλλω. It is not said that Jesus smote the sheep and oxen (note  τε κα, both and), for a flourish of the scourge would answer.

He poured out ( εξεχεεν ). Second aorist active indicative of  εκχεω, to pour out.

The changers' money ( των κολλυβιστων τα κερματα ). "The small pieces of money ( κερματα, cut in pieces, change) of the bankers ( κολλυβιστης from  κολλυβος, clipped, late word see on Mt 21:12)." Perhaps he took up the boxes and emptied the money.

Overthrew their tables ( τας τραπεζας ανετρεψεν ). First aorist active indicative of  ανατρεπω, to turn up, though some MSS. have  ανεστρεψεν from  αναστρεφω, also to turn up.

Take these things hence ( Αρατε ταυτα εντευθεν ). First aorist active imperative of  αιρω. Probably the doves were in baskets or cages and so had to be taken out by the traders.

Make not my Father's house a house of merchandise ( μη ποιειτε τον οικον του πατρος μου οικον εμποριου ). "Stop making," it means,  μη and the present active imperative. They had made it a market-house ( εμποριου, here only in N.T., old word from  εμπορος, merchant, one who goes on a journey for traffic, a drummer). Note the clear-cut Messianic claim here (My Father as in Lu 2:49). Jerome says: "A certain fiery and starry light shone from his eyes and the majesty of Godhead gleamed in His face."

Remembered ( εμνησθησαν ). First aorist passive indicative of  μιμνησκω, to remind, "were reminded." Westcott notes the double effect of this act as is true of Christ's words and deeds all through John's Gospel. The disciples are helped, the traders are angered.

That it is written ( οτ γεγραμμενον εστιν ). Periphrastic perfect passive indicative of  γραφω retained in indirect discourse (assertion).

The zeal of thine house ( ο ζηλος του οικου σου ). Objective genitive. "The zeal for thy house."

Shall eat me up ( καταφαγετα με ). Future middle indicative of  κατεσθιω, defective verb, to eat down ("up" we say), perfective use of  κατα-. This future  φαγομα is from the second aorist  εφαγον. It is a quotation from Ps 69:9, frequently quoted in the N.T.

What sign shewest thou unto us? ( Τ σημειον δεικνυεις ημιν; ). They may have heard of the "sign" at Cana or not, but they have rallied a bit on the outside of the temple area and demand proof for his Messianic assumption of authority over the temple worship. These traders had paid the Sadducees and Pharisees in the Sanhedrin for the concession as traffickers which they enjoyed. They were within their technical rights in this question.

Destroy this temple ( λυσατε τον ναον τουτον ). First aorist active imperative of  λυω, to loosen or destroy. It is the permissive imperative, not a command to do it. Note also  ναος, not  ιερον, the sanctuary, symbol of God's  ναος, in our hearts (1Co 3:16f.). There is much confusion about this language since Jesus added: "And in three days I will raise it up" ( κα εν τρισιν ημεραις εγερω αυτον ). Those who heard Jesus, including the disciples till after the resurrection (verse 22), understood the reference to be to Herod's temple. Certainly that is the obvious way to take it. But Jesus often spoke in parables and even in enigmas. He may have spoken of the literal temple as a parable for his own body which of course they would not understand, least of all the resurrection in three days.

Forty and six years was this temple in building ( Τεσσερακοντα κα εξ ετεσιν οικοδομηθη ο ναος ουτος ). "Within forty and six years (associative instrumental case) was built (first aorist passive indicative, constative or summary use of the aorist, of  οικοδομεω, without augment) this temple." As a matter of fact, it was not yet finished, so distrustful had the Jews been of Herod.

And wilt thou? ( κα συ; ). An evident sneer in the use of  συ (thou, an unknown upstart from Galilee, of the peasant class, not one of the Sanhedrin, not one of the ecclesiastics or even architects).

But he spake of the temple of his body ( εκεινος δε ελεγεν περ του ναου του σωματος αυτου ). Emphatic he ( εκεινος ) and imperfect tense (he had been speaking). This is John's view as he looks back at it, not what he understood when Jesus spoke the words.

When therefore he was raised from the dead ( Hοτε ουν ηγερθη εκ νεκρων ). First aorist passive indicative of  εγειρω, to raise up. And not at first then, but only slowly after the disciples themselves were convinced. Then "they believed the Scripture" ( επιστευσαν τη γραφη ). They "believed" again. Dative case  γραφη. Probably Ps 16:10 is meant (Ac 2:31; 13:35).

And the word which Jesus had said ( κα τω λογω ον ειπεν ). Dative case  λογω also, but  ον (relative) is not attracted to the dative. Clearly then John interprets Jesus to have a parabolic reference to his death and resurrection by his language in 2:19. There are those who bluntly say that John was mistaken. I prefer to say that these scholars are mistaken. Even Bernard considers it "hardly possible" that John interprets Jesus rightly in 1:21. "Had he meant that, He would have spoken with less ambiguity." But how do we know that Jesus wished to be understood clearly at this time? Certainly no one understood Christ when he spoke the words. The language of Jesus is recalled and perverted at his trial as "I will destroy" (Mr 14:58), "I can destroy" (Mt 26:61), neither of which he said.

In Jerusalem ( εν τοις Ιεροσολυμοις ). The form  Ιεροσολυμα as in 2:13 always in this Gospel and in Mark, and usually in Matthew, though  Ιερουσαλημ only in Revelation, and both forms by Luke and Paul.

During the feast ( εν τη εορτη ). The feast of unleavened bread followed for seven days right after the passover (one day strictly), though  το πασχα is used either for the passover meal or for the whole eight days.

Believed on his name ( επιστευσαν εις το ονομα αυτου ). See on 1:12 for this phrase. Only one has to watch for the real import of  πιστευω.

Beholding his signs ( θεωρουντες αυτου τα σημεια ). Present active participle (causal use) of  θεωρεω.

Which he did ( α εποιε ). "Which he was doing" (imperfect tense). He did his first sign in Cana, but now he was doing many in Jerusalem. Already Jesus had become the cynosure of all eyes in Jerusalem at this first visit in his ministry.

But Jesus did not trust himself to them ( αυτος δε Ιησους ουκ επιστευεν αυτον αυτοις ). "But Jesus himself kept on refusing (negative imperfect) to trust himself to them." The double use of  πιστευω here is shown by Ac 8:13 where Simon Magus "believed" ( επιστευσεν ) and was baptized, but was unsaved. He merely believed that he wanted what Philip had.

For that he knew all men ( δια το αυτον γινωσκειν παντας ). Causal use of  δια and the accusative case of the articular infinitive  το γινωσκειν (because of the knowing) with the object of the infinitive ( παντας, all men) and the accusative of general reference ( αυτον, as to himself).

And because he needed not ( κα οτ χρειαν ειχεν ). Imperfect active, "and because he did not have need."

That any one should bear witness concerning man ( ινα τις μαρτυρηση περ του ανθρωπου ). Non-final use of  ινα with first aorist active subjunctive of  μαρτυρεω and the generic article ( περ του ανθρωπου ) concerning mankind as in the next clause also.

For he himself knew ( αυτος γαρ εγινωσκεν ). Imperfect active, "for he himself kept on knowing" as he did from the start.

What was in man ( τ ην εν τω ανθρωπω ). Indirect question with  εστιν of the direct changed to the imperfect  ην, a rare idiom in the Koine. This supernatural knowledge of man is a mark of deity. Some men of genius can read men better than others, but not in the sense meant here.

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