Abbott's Illustrated New Testament
When they wanted wine; that is, after exhausting the supply which had been provided. The deficiency in the supply indicated that the scene of the occurrence was in humble life; and yet, when all the circumstances of the invitation to this wedding are considered, they show that Mary's condition was not one of absolute poverty and destitution, as is sometimes supposed.
Woman. According to the usage of those times, this was a respectful and proper mode of address.
Whatsoever, &c. The mother of Jesus appears to have been in expectation of some extraordinary interposition from her Son on this occasion; but what were the particular grounds of this expectation does not appear, for no previous instance of the exercise of his miraculous powers had occurred.
After the manner, &c. The ceremonial ablutions enjoined by Jewish laws and usages, required, in an entertainment to which many guests were invited, a large quantity of water. These vases seem to have been used as reservoirs, furnishing, when filled, a sufficient supply at hand. Clauses of explanation, like this, occurring frequently in John's Gospel, corroborate the supposition that it was written, or at least intended to be read, beyond the limits of Judea.
Capernaum; a large town upon the shores of the Lake of Galilee.--His brethren. This expression is used to designate some near relatives of Jesus, particularly James the Less and Joses.
In the temple; in one of the courts, or outer enclosures of the temple. The oxen, sheep, and doves, were for sacrifices. The changers of money were men who furnished the kind of coin necessary for offerings. (Exodus 30:13.)
A scourge of small cords; as an emblem, not an instrument, of authority. Such a scourge, as a weapon of offence against numbers, would be useless; so that the buyers and sellers are to be understood as yielding, not to force, but to the authority which Jesus assumed as a prophet--an authority always held by the Jews in the highest veneration.
An expulsion of the buyers and sellers from the temple, very similar to this, is described by the other evangelists as taking place near the close of our Savior's ministry. (Matthew 21:12; Luke 19:45,46.) It is perhaps not quite certain whether Jesus repeatedly performed this work, or whether this is the same transaction, related, as is often the case in St. John's history, out of the order of time.
Hath eaten me up; consumed me; meaning that he was wholly absorbed in zeal for the honor of the house of God.
What sign; what proof that you are entitled to the authority of a prophet, which you assume.
Some have supposed that Jesus indicated by a gesture that he referred to his own body, and that the Jews wilfully perverted his meaning. But this is a conjecture, which, instead of improving, destroys the force and beauty of the reply. It was undoubtedly intended as an enigma which time was to explain; for it is clear, from John 2:22, that even his disciples did not understand him.
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