Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 2:1

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there;
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Cana;   Jesus, the Christ;   Marriage;   Mary;   Miracles;   Water;   Scofield Reference Index - Miracles;   Thompson Chain Reference - Cana;   Feasts;   Mary;   Social Functions;   Social Life;   Wedding Feasts;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Galilee;   Marriage;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Cana;   Feasts;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Galilee;   Grapes;   John, gospel of;   Marriage;   Miracles;   Palestine;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Joy;   Miracle;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Marriage;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Advocate;   Cana;   Entertain;   Marriage-Feasts;   Wine;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Banquets;   Jesus Christ;   John, the Gospel According to;   Nazareth;   Zaretan;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Banquet;   Cana;   Capernaum;   Fulfill;   John, the Gospel of;   Mary;   Sacrifice and Offering;   Sign;   Water;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Cana;   Joy;   Marriage;   Mary;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Apostles;   Bethabara ;   Brotherhood (2);   Cana ;   Celibacy (2);   Common Life;   Dates (2);   Guest;   Happiness;   Influence;   John (the Apostle);   Joy (2);   Loneliness;   Marriage;   Marriage (Ii.);   Mary, the Virgin;   Numbers (2);   Pleasure;   Possession;   Reality;   Sea of Galilee;   Toleration, Tolerance;   Wealth (2);   Worldliness (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Cana of Galilee ;   John, the Gospel by;   Marriage;   Melchisedec, Melchizedek ;   Miracles;   New Testament;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Cana;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Nazareth;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Ca'na;   Naz'areth;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Cana;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Bethany;   Cana of Galilee;   Joy;   Mary;   Uncleanness;   Woman;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Marriage;   Paraclete;   Psalmomancy;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Cana of Galilee - This was a small city in the tribe of Asher, Joshua 19:28, and by saying this was Cana of Galilee, the evangelist distinguishes it from another Cana, which was in the tribe of Ephraim, in the Samaritan country. See Joshua 16:8; Joshua 17:9.

Some suppose that the third day, mentioned here, refers to the third day of the marriage feast: such feasts lasting among the Jews seven days. See Judges 14:12, Judges 14:17, Judges 14:18, and Bishop Pearce.

The mother of Jesus was there - Some of the ancients have thought that this was the marriage of John the evangelist, who is supposed to have been a near relative of our Lord. See the sketch of his life prefixed to these notes.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 2:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-2.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And the third day - On the third day after his conversation with Nathanael.

Cana - This was a small town about 15 miles northwest of Tiberias and 6 miles northeast of Nazareth. It is now called Kerr Kenna, is under the government of a Turkish officer, and contains perhaps 300 inhabitants, chiefly Catholics. The natives still pretend to show the place where the water was turned into wine, and even one of the large stone water-pots. “A Greek church,” says Professor Hackett (‹Illustrations of Scripture,‘ p. 322), “stands at the entrance of the town, deriving its special sanctity, as I understood, from its being supposed to occupy the site of the house in which the marriage was celebrated to which Jesus and his friends were invited. A priest to whom we were referred as the custodian soon arrived, in obedience to our call, and unlocked the doors of the church. It is a low stone building, pair.” “The houses,” says Dr. Thomson (‹The Land and the Book,‘ vol. ii. p. 126), “were built of limestone, cut and laid up after the fashion still common in this region, and some of them may have been inhabited within the last fifty years. There are many ancient cisterns about it, and fragments of water-jars in abundance, and both reminded us of the ‹beginning of miracles.‘ Some of my companions gathered bits of these water-jars as mementoes witnesses they could hardly be, for those of the narrative were of ‹stone,‘ while these were baked earth.” The place is now quite deserted. Dr. Thomson says: “There is not now a habitable house in the humble village where our blessed Lord sanctioned, by his presence and miraculous assistance, the all-important and world-wide institution of marriage.” It was called “Cana of Galilee” to distinguish it from another Cana in the tribe of Ephraim, Joshua 16:9. This was the native place of Nathanael, John 21:2.

The mother of Jesus - Mary. It is not improbable that she was a relative of the family where the marriage took place.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 2:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-2.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Beginning here and continuing through chapter 12 (John 2-12) is the first main section of this Gospel, in which seven great signs pointing to the deity of Christ are recounted. The word "sign," used seventeen times in this Gospel, is the term John used for "miracle." The seven signs are:

1. Changing the water into wine (John 2).

2. Healing the officer's son (John 4).

3. Healing the cripple (John 5).

4. Feeding the 5,000 (John 6).

5. Walking on Lake Galilee (John 6).

6. Healing the man who was born blind (John 9).

7. Raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11).

Of these, Numbers 2,4, and 5 are also found in the synoptics.

The choice of these particular wonders for inclusion in John evidently was made with regard to the absolute authority by which each was performed, and also with consideration for the deeply spiritual overtones in each. The latter fact may not be made the occasion for denying the true character of these signs as actual miracles, marvelous occurrences of historical events, in which the most circumstantial details are related, the names and identity of participants and witnesses provided, and the circumstances so carefully narrated, that the unbiased reader will invariably receive them, not as mere dramatic illustrations, but as FACTS. The flood of literature stressing the spiritual implications of these wonders to the point of denying the factual events upon which the spiritual teaching is founded is unconvincing and unreasonable.

THE FIRST OF THE SEVEN SIGNS

And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there. (John 2:1)

No parable or drama, ever started like this. Cana is distinguished from another village of the same name in the tribe of Ephraim (Joshua 16:9), and Mary, the mother of Jesus, was one of the guests.

The third day ... is the third day after Nathaniel became a follower of Jesus; and, in this implied connection with Nathaniel, there is the probable explanation of how Jesus and his disciples came to be invited. Nathaniel was a native of Cana (John 21:2); and the small size of the village makes it quite easy to suppose that he was certainly acquainted with the bridegroom, or even a relative. Also, Cana was only eight or ten miles northeast of Nazareth.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on John 2:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/john-2.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the third day there was a marriage,.... Either from the second testimony bore by John the Baptist concerning Christ, and from the call of Simon Peter, which seem to be of the same date; see John 1:35, or from Christ's coming into Galilee; or from the conversation he had with Nathanael; from either of which the date is taken, it matters not; the first is as agreeable and plain, as any. There is much dispute, and many rules with the Jews about the times, and days of marriage:

"a virgin, (they sayF26Misn. Cetubot, c. 1. sect. 1. ,) marries on the fourth day (of the week), and a widow on the fifth, because the sanhedrim sit in the cities twice in the week, on the second, and on the fifth days; so that if there is any dispute about virginity, he (the husband) may come betimes to the sanhedrim.'

This was a law that obtained since the times of Ezra; for it is saidF1T. Bab. Cetubot, fol. 3. 1. ,

"before the order of Ezra, a woman might be married on any day;'

but in after times, feast days, and sabbath days, were particularly excepted. One of their canons isF2Misa. Moed Katon, c. 1. sect. 7. & T. Bab. Moed Katon, fol. 8. 2. & 18. 2. .

"they do not marry women on a feast day, neither virgins, nor widows:'

The reason of it was, that they might not mix one joy with another; and lest a man should leave the joy of the feast, for the joy of his wife. The account MaimonidesF3Hachot Ishot, c. 10. sect. 14, 15. gives of these several things is this;

"it is lawful to espouse on any common day, even on the ninth of Ab, whether in the day, or in the night; but they do not marry wives neither on the evening of the sabbath, nor on the first of the week: the decree is, lest the sabbath should be profaned by preparing the feast; for the bridegroom is employed about the feast: and there is no need to say, that it is unlawful to marry a wife on the sabbath day; and even on the common day of a feast they do not marry wives, as we have explained; because they do not mix one joy with another, as it is said in Genesis 29:27, "fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also": but on the rest of the days it is lawful to marry a wife, any day a man pleases; for he must be employed in the marriage feast three days before the marriage. A place in which the sanhedrim do not sit, but on the second and fifth days only, a virgin is married on the fourth day; that if there is any objection to her virginity, he (her husband) may come betimes to the sanhedrim: and it is a custom of the wise men, that he that marries one that has been married, he may marry her on the fifth day, that so he may rejoice with her on the fifth day, and on the evening of the sabbath, (i.e. the sixth,) and on the sabbath day, and may go forth to his work on the first day.'

But elsewhere it is saidF4Piske Toseph. Cetubot, art. 6. , that

"now they are used to marry on the "sixth day of the week".'

YeaF5Ib art. 28. , that

"it is lawful to marry, and to make the feast on the sabbath day.'

But whether this marriage was of a virgin, or a widow, cannot be known; nor with certainty can it be said on what day of the week it was: if that day was a sabbath day on which the disciples abode with Christ, as Dr. Lightfoot conjectures, then it must be on the first day that Christ went into Galilee, and found Philip, and conversed with Nathanael; and if this third day is reckoned from John's second testimony, it must be on a Tuesday, the third day of the week; but if from Christ's going into Galilee, then it must be on a Wednesday, the fourth day of the week, the day fixed by the Jewish canon for the marriage of a virgin. This marriage was

in Cana of Galilee. The Syriac and Persic versions, read, in "Kotne, a city of Galilee"; and which, in the Jewish map, is called בגליל קטנא, "Katna" in "Galilee", and is placed in the tribe of Zebulun, which was in Galilee, and not far from Nazareth; and bids fair to be the same place with this; though it is more generally thoughtF6Jerom de Locis Hebraicis, fol. 90. B. , that Cana, in the tribe of Asher, mentioned in Joshua 19:28, which was also in Galilee, is here meant; and is so called to distinguish it from another Kanah, in the tribe of Ephraim, Joshua 16:8. JosephusF7In vita sua. speaks of a town, or village, of Galilee, called Cana, which was a day's march from it to Tiberias, and seems to be the same place: and another Jewish writerF8Juchasin, fol. 57. 2. says,

"to me it appears that Cepher Chanania, is Copher Cana; or the village of Cans, as is clear in Misna Sheviith, c. 9. sect. 1. for there is the beginning of lower, Galilee,'

which also accords with this. Now in the case of marriage, there was some difference between Judea and Galilee, and certain rules were laid down relating thereunto: and it is saidF9Misn. Cetubot, c. 13. sect. 10. T. Hieros. Cetubot, fol. 36. 2. ,

"there are three countries, for the celebration of marriages; Judea, the country beyond Jordan, and Galilee;'

that is, that were obliged to marry among themselves; so that if any one married a wife out of any of these countries, she was not obliged to go along with him from one country to anotherF11Bartenora in ib. : hence it follows,

"they do not bring them out from city to city, (i.e. oblige them to go with them from city to city,) nor from town to town; but in the same country they bring them out from city to city, and from town to town.'

And it is elsewhere observedF12T. Bab. Cetubot, fol. 12. 1. , that

"in Judea, at first, they joined the bridegroom and bride together an hour before they went into the bride chamber, that so his heart might be lifted up in her; but in Galilee they did not do so: in Judea, at first, they appointed for them two companions, one for him, and another for her, that they might minister to, or wait on the bridegroom, and bride, when they went into the bride chamber; but in Galilee they did not do so: in Judea, at first, the companions slept in the house where the bridegroom and bride slept; but in Galilee they did not do so.'

Next we have an account of the persons that were present at this marriage:

and the mother of Jesus was there; who seems to have been a principal person at this wedding, and was very officious; when wine was wanted, she signified it to her son, and ordered the servants to do whatever he bid them: and since she, and Jesus, and his brethren, were all here, it looks as if it was a relation of hers that was now married: and since these brethren were the kinsmen of Christ, Simon, Judas, and Joses, the sons of Cleophas or Alphaeus, whose wife was sister to the mother of our Lord; and since one of them, to distinguish him from Simon Peter, is called Simon the Canaanite, or an inhabitant of Cana, as some have thought; hence it is conjectured by Dr. Lightfoot, that Alphaeus had an house in Cana, and that his family dwelt there, and that it was for one of his family that this marriage feast was made; see John 2:2. Joseph, the husband of Mary, perhaps, was now dead, since no mention is made of him here, nor any where else, as alive, after Christ had entered on his public ministry.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on John 2:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-2.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And 1 the a third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:

(1) Christ, declaring openly in an assembly by a notable miracle that he has power over the nature of things to feed man's body, leads the minds of all men to consider his spiritual and saving strength and power.

(a) After the talk which he had with Nathanael, or after his departure from John, or after he came into Galilee.

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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on John 2:1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/john-2.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

John 2:1-12. First miracle, water made wine - Brief visit to Capernaum.

third day — He would take two days to reach Galilee, and this was the third.

mother there — it being probably some relative‘s marriage. John never names her [Bengel].

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 2:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/john-2.html. 1871-8.

John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

1. And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:

[And the third day there was a marriage, &c.] A virgin marries on the fourth day of the week, and a widow on the fifth. "This custom came not in but from the decree of Ezra, and so onward: for the Sanhedrim doth not sit but on the second and the fifth days; but before the decree of Ezra, when the Sanhedrim assembled every day, then was it lawful to take a wife on any day." There is a twofold reason given for this restraint:

I. The virgin was to be married on the fourth day of the week because the assembly of the twenty-three met on the fifth: so that if the husband should find his wife to be no virgin, but already violated, he might have recourse to the consistory in the heat of his displeasure, and procure just punishment for her according to law. But why then might they not as well marry on the first day of the week, seeing the Beth Din met on the second as well as the fifth?

II. Lest the sabbath should be polluted by preparations for the nuptials: for the first, second, and third days of the week are allowed for those kind of preparations. And the reason why the widow was to be married on the fifth day was, that her husband might rejoice with her for three days together, viz. fifth, sixth, and the sabbath day.

If therefore our bride in this place was a virgin, then the nuptials were celebrated on the fourth day of the week, which is our Wednesday: if she was a widow, then she was married on the fifth day of the week, which is our Thursday. Let us therefore number our days according to our evangelist, and let it be but granted that that was the sabbath in which it is said, "They abode with him all that day," chapter 1, verse 39; then on the first day of the week Christ went into Galilee and met with Nathanael. So that the third day from thence is the fourth day of the week; but as to that, let every one reckon as he himself shall think fit.

[A marriage.] I. The virgin to be married cometh forth from her father's house to that of her husband, "in some veil, but with her hair dishevelled, or her head uncovered."

II. If any person meets her upon that day, he gives her the way; which once was done by king Agrippa himself.

III. They carry before her a cup of wine, which they were wont to call the cup of Trumah, which denoted that she, for her unspotted virginity, might have married a priest, and eaten of the Trumah.

IV. Skipping and dancing, they were wont to sing the praises of the bride. In Palestine they used these words "She needs no paint nor stibium, no plaiting of the hair, or any such thing; for she is of herself most beautiful."

V. They scattered some kind of grain or corn amongst the children; that they, if occasion should serve, might bear witness hereafter that they saw that woman a married virgin.

VI. They sprinkled also or sowed barley before them, by that ceremony denoting their fruitfulness. Whether these sports were used at the wedding where our Saviour was present, let others inquire.

VII. In Sotah there is mention of crowns which the bride and bridegroom wore; as also what fashion they were of, and of what materials they were made.

VIII. Because of the mirth that was expected at nuptial solemnities, they forbade all weddings celebrating within the feasts of the Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles, "because there were great rejoicings at nuptials, and they must not intermingle one joy with another"; that is, the joy of nuptials with the joy of a festival.

IX. The nuptial festivity was continued for the whole seven days; which we also see of old, Judges 19:12.

[And the mother of Jesus was there.] The mother of Jesus was there, not invited (as it should seem) with Christ and his disciples, but had been there before the invitation made to them.

You may conceive who were the usual nuptial guests by those words of Maimonides: "The bridegroom and his companions, the children of the bridechamber, are not bound to make a tabernacle."

I. In a more general sense, denotes a friend or companion, as in the Targum, Judges 14:2; 2 Samuel 13:3: but it is more particularly applied to those friends that are the nuptial guests.

II. But in a most strict sense to those two mentioned Chetubb. fol. 12. 1: "Of old they appointed two Shoshbenin, one for the bridegroom, the other for the bride, that they should minister to them especially at their entry into the bridal chamber." They were especially instituted for this end, that they should take care and provide that there should be no fraud nor deceit as to the tokens of the bride's virginity. So Gloss upon the place. The Rabbins very ridiculously (as they almost always do) tell a trifling story, that Michael and Gabriel were the two Shoshbenin at Adam and Eve's wedding.

III. But as to the signification of this nuptial term in a more large sense, we may see farther: "If any amongst the brethren make a Shoshbenuth while the father is yet alive, when the Shoshbenuth returns, that also is returned too; for the Shoshbenuth is required even before the Beth Din; but if any one send to his friend any measures of wine, those are not required before the Beth Din; for this was a deed of gift? or work of charity."

The words are very obscure, but they seem to bear this sense, viz.: This was the manner of the Shoshbenuth: some bachelor or single person, for joy of his friend's marriage, takes something along with him to eat and be merry with the bridegroom: when it comes to the turn of this single person to marry, this bridegroom, to whom he had brought this portion, is bound to return the same kindness again. Nay, if the father should make a wedding for his son, and his friends should bring gifts along with them in honour of the nuptials, and give them to his son [the bridegroom], the father was bound to return the same kindness whenever any of those friends should think fit to marry themselves. But if any one should send the bridegroom to congratulate his nuptials, either wine or oil, or any such gift, and not come himself to eat and make merry with them, this was not of the nature of the Shoshbenuth, nor could be required back again before the tribunal, because that was a free gift.

IV. Christ therefore, and five of his disciples, were not of these voluntary Shoshbenin at this wedding, for they were invited guests, and so of the number of those that were called the children of the bridechamber, distinguished from the Shoshbenin. But whether our Saviour's mother was to be accounted either the one or the other is a vain and needless question. Perhaps she had the care of preparing and managing the necessaries for the wedding, as having some relation either with the bridegroom or the bride.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on John 2:1". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/john-2.html. 1675.

People's New Testament

And the third day. After the conversation with Nathanael. Immediately after it he departed into Galilee (John 1:43).

A marriage in Cana. The site of Cana is not certainly known. Dr. Robinson, Giekie and other authorities place it at a ruin now called Kana, twelve miles north of Nazareth.

The mother of Jesus was there. Reasons are suggested from the narrative that follows for believing that Mary was related to the family. As Joseph is never mentioned as living after Jesus entered upon his ministry, he is supposed to have died before this time.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on John 2:1". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/john-2.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

The third day (τηι ημεραι τηι τριτηιtēi hēmerāi tēi tritēi). “On the day the third” (locative case), from the start to Galilee when Philip was found (John 1:43), seven days since John 1:19.

There was a marriage (γαμος εγενετοgamos egeneto). “A wedding (or marriage festival) took place.” See Matthew 22:8.

In Cana of Galilee
(εν Κανα της Γαλιλαιαςen Kana tēs Galilaias). This town, the home of Nathanael (John 21:2), is only mentioned again in John 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
(και ην η μητηρ του Ιησου εκειkai ēn hē mētēr tou Iēsou ekei). 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.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 2:1". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-2.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

The third day

Reckoning from the last day mentioned (John 1:43).

A marriage ( γάμος )

Or marriage festival, including a series of entertainments, and therefore often found in the plural. See on Matthew 22:2.

Cana of Galilee

To distinguish it from Cana in Coelo-Syria.

Mother of Jesus

Her name is never mentioned by John.

Was there

When Jesus arrived. Probably as an intimate friend of the family, assisting in the preparations.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 2:1". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/john-2.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And the third day - After he had said this. In Cana of Galilee - There were two other towns of the same name, one in the tribe of Ephraim, the other in Caelosyria.
Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on John 2:1". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/john-2.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

And the third day1 there was a marriage2 in Cana of Galilee3; and the mother of Jesus4 was there:
    JESUS WORKS HIS FIRST MIRACLE AT CANA IN GALILEE. John 2:1-11

  1. And the third day. From the calling of Philip (John 1:43). The days enumerated in John's first two chapters constitute a week, and may perhaps be intended as a contrast to the last week of Christ's ministry (John 20:1). It took two days to journey from the Jordan to Cana.

  2. There was a marriage. In Palestine the marriage ceremony usually began at twilight. The feast after the marriage was at the home of the bridegroom, and was sometimes prolonged for several days (Genesis 29:27 wedding feast to one day.

  3. In Cana of Galilee. The site of Cana is disputed. From the eighth century a place called Kefr-Kenna (village of Cana), lying a little over three miles northeast of Nazareth, has been regarded as John's Cana of Galilee. But recently some ruins called Khurbet-Cana, twelve miles north of Nazareth, which doubtfully are said to have retained the name of Kana-el-Jilil (Cana of Galilee), have been preferred by some as the true site. In our judgment Kefr-Kenna has the stronger claim. It is situated on a westward slope of a hill, with a copious and unfailing spring adjoining it on the southwest.

  4. The mother of Jesus. John never called our Lord's mother by her name. He assumes that she is known to his readers. This is one of the many points tending to show the supplemental character of John's Gospel. He avoids repeating what is found in the first three Gospels.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 2:1". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-2.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Cana of Galilee; not far from Capernaum.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on John 2:1". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/john-2.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Был брак в Кане Галилейской. Поелику история сия говорит о первом сотворенном Христом чуде, уже из-за одного этого нам подобает тщательно ее исследовать. Хотя, как мы увидим после, есть и другие причины, делающие эту историю полезной для нас. Однако по мере нашего рассмотрения эта многосторонняя польза будет становиться все яснее. Во-первых, Евангелист упоминает здесь о Кане Галилейской, но не той, которая расположена против Сарепты, между Тиром и Сидоном. Та Кана зовется большой по сравнению с этой, о которой идет речь. Эту последнюю Кану одни помещают в пределах колена Завулона, другие приписывают колену Асира. Иероним свидетельствует, что еще в его время там стоял город, носивший такое имя. Вероятно, она была поблизости от Назарета, поскольку туда, на свадьбу, пришла матерь Христова. Из четвертой главы явствует, что Кана находилась в однодневном пути от Капернаума. Можно также заключить, что она располагалась в окрестностях Вифсаиды, поскольку Евангелист говорит, что брак в Кане произошел на третий день после пребывания там Христа. При этом могла существовать и третья Кана, находившаяся недалеко от Иерусалима, но вне пределов Галилеи. Однако я оставляю эту тему, поскольку не достаточно в ней осведомлен.

И Матерь Иисуса была там. Вероятно, тогда женился кто-то из родственников Христа. Иисус же пришел с матерью в качестве провожатого. То, что были позваны также Его ученики, говорит о простом и скромном образе жизни Иисуса, в которой Он все делил со Своими учениками. Однако может показаться абсурдным, что человек, далеко не богатый (как видно из недостатка на свадьбе вина), чтобы угодить Христу, позвал вместе с Ним еще четырех или пятерых Его друзей. Но надо учесть, что бедные приглашают с большей легкостью и прямодушием, чем богатые. Они не стыдятся своей неприглядности, как будут стыдиться богачи, ежели примут гостей не столь пышно и помпезно. Бедные же удержали больше от прежней манеры общения. Также может показаться бестактным, что жених в середине пира позволил гостям лишиться вина. Ведь отсутствие достаточного количества вина говорит о беспечности хозяина. Отвечаю: здесь говорится о том, что происходит весьма часто, особенно там, где вино не употребляется каждый день. Затем контекст показывает, что вино начало заканчиваться только под конец торжества, когда по обычаю гости должны были уже насытиться. Ибо так говорит распорядитель пира: Другие подают напившимся худшее вино, а ты доселе сберегал лучшее. К тому же, не сомневаюсь, все было устроено так по божественному провидению, чтобы дать место чуду.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 2:1". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-2.html. 1840-57.

Frédéric Louis Godet - Commentary on Selected Books

Vv. 1: "And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there."

A distance of somewhat more than twenty leagues, in a straight line, separates the place where John was baptizing, from Nazareth, to which Jesus was probably directing His course. This journey requires three days" walking. Weiss, Keil, and others, think that the first of these three days was the day after that on which Jesus had taken the resolution to depart (John 1:44). But the resolution indicated by ἠθέλησεν has certainly been mentioned in John 1:44 only because it was executed at that very moment. The first day, according to the natural interpretation of the text, is, therefore, that which is indicated in John 1:44 as the day of departure. The second is understood; it was, perhaps, the one on which the meeting with Nathanael took place. On the third, the travelers could arrive at a quite early hour in the region of Cana and Nazareth. It was the sixth day since the one on which John had given his first testimony before the Sanhedrim (John 1:19).

It is affirmed that there are at the present time in Galilee, two places of the name of Cana. One is said to be called Kana-el-Djelil (Cana of Galilee), and to be situated about two hours and a half to the north of Nazareth; the other is called Kefr- Kenna (village Cana); it is situated a league and a half eastward of Nazareth. It is there, that, ever since the eighth century, tradition places the event which is the subject of our narrative. Since Robinson brought the first into vogue, the choice has been ordinarily in its favor (Ritter, Meyer); this is the view of Renan (Vie de Jesus, p. 75). Hengstenberg almost alone, has decided for the second, for the reason that the first, as he says, is nothing but a ruin, and has no stable population, capable of preserving a sure tradition respecting the name of the place.

What if the name were itself only a fable. In any case, the situation of Kefr-Kenna answers better to our narrative. The date: "the third day," covers in fact, the whole of the following passage, as far as John 2:11; consequently, the miracle must have taken place on the very day of the arrival. Now even if he did not arrive at Nazareth until towards evening of the third day, Jesus might still have repaired before night to the very near village of Kefr-Kenna—this would have been impossible in the case of the Cana of Robinson—or even, what is more probable, He reached Kefr-Kenna directly from the south, without having passed through Nazareth. If Nathanael was coming from Cana (John 21:2) at the time when Philip met him, he might inform Jesus of the celebration of the wedding, and of the presence of His family in that place—a circumstance which induced Jesus to betake Himself thither directly. Let us add that the defining object of Galilee, which recurs in John 4:46 and John 21:2, must have been a standing designation, intended to distinguish this Cana from another place of the same name, situated outside of Galilee (comp. Joshua 19:28, the place of this name situated on the borders of Phoenicia). This designation would have meaning only as there was but one place of this name in Galilee.

The name of the mother of Jesus is not indicated, yet not precisely because John supposes the name to be known to the readers by tradition. It might have been added, even in that case, but because it is in her character ofmother of Jesus that Mary is to play the principal part in the following narrative. There is no well-founded reason to suppose, with Ewald, Weiss, and Renan, that Mary had already for a long time been settled with her sons at Cana. How, in that case, should not Nathanael, who was of Cana, and Jesus, have been acquainted with each other before their recent meeting? How should the sisters of Jesus have been still dwelling in Nazareth (Mark 6:3)? The fact that it is not said that Mary and her sons had repaired from Nazareth to Cana because of the wedding evidently cannot prove anything. The expressions of John 2:1, much more naturally imply that Mary was at Cana only because of the wedding; (comp. besides, Philip"s word to Nathanael, John 1:46 : "of Nazareth").

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Godet, Frédéric Louis. "Commentary on John 2:1". "Frédéric Louis Godet - Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsc/john-2.html.

Scofield's Reference Notes

angels

(See Scofield "Hebrews 1:4")

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on John 2:1". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/john-2.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:

Ver. 1. There was a marriage] Whether St John’s marriage, I have not to say. Some will have it so.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 2:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-2.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

John 2:1. And the third day there was a marriage On the third day after Jesus and his disciples arrived in Galilee, they went to a marriage feast (see on Matthew 22:1-2.) in Cana; which is mentioned, Joshua 19:28, as situated in the possession of the tribe of Asher not far from thecity of Sidon, and by consequence in the most northern part of Galilee. Hence it was called Cana of Galilee, to distinguish it from another Cana in the tribe of Ephraim, mentioned Joshua 16:8; Joshua 17:9. This latter Cana therefore was at no great distance from Jerusalem. Here Jesus furnished wine by miracle for the entertainment, at the desire of his mother, who was also bidden. Dr. Clarke thinks, that our Lord, in the course of his private life, had sometimes exerted his divine power for the relief of his friends; and that his mother, having seen and heard of those miracles, knew the greatness of his power, and so applied to him on this occasion. Or we may suppose that she had heard him speak of the miracles he was to perform, for the confirmation of his mission, and the benefit of mankind, and begged him to favour his friends with one in the present necessity. Probably Mary interested herself in this matter, because she was a relation, or an intimate acquaintance of the new-married couple, and had the management of the entertainment committed to her care. Some have supposed that this marriage was celebrated at the house of Cleophas or Alpheus, whose wife was sister to the mother of our Lord, (Ch. John 19:25.) and one of whose sons was Simon the Canaanite, whom some have thought to have been so called from being an inhabitant of this Cana, Mark 3:18 and this may be considered the more probable, as Mary was not only present at the feast, but was there—as a person concerned, and was solicitous about supplying them with wine, which, mixed with water, was the common beverage of the country: and when the feast was over, we are told, John 2:12 that Jesus was attended, on his leaving Cana, not only by his disciples, but by his brethren, or nearest kinsmen, who most likely came thither, as relations, to be present at the marriage. As Mary here is spoken of alone, it may be reasonable to conclude, that Joseph was now dead, and that he lived not to the time when Jesus entered on his public ministry; especially as he is nowhere mentioned in the gospel afterwards.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on John 2:1". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/john-2.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

The former part of this chapter acquaints us with the first miracle which our Saviour wrought, in turning water into wine; the occasion of it was, his being invited to a marriage-feast.

Here note, 1. That whenever our Saviour was invited to a public entertainment, he never refused the invitation, but constantly went; not so much for the pleasure of eating, as for the opportunity of conversing and doing good, which was meat and drink unto him.

Note, 2. What honour Christ put upon the ordinance of marrige; he honours it with his presence and first miracle. Some think it was St. John that was now the bridegroom; others, that it was some near relation of the virgin mother's; but whoever it might be, doubtless Christ's design was rather to put honour upon the ordinance than upon the person. How bold is the church of Rome in spitting upon the face of this ordinance, by denying its lawfulness to the ministers of religion! When the apostle affirms that marriage is honourable among all. Hebrews 13:4. Neither the prophets of the Old Testament, nor the apostles of the New, (St. Peter himself not excepted,) did abhor the marriage-bed, or judge themselves too pure for an institution of their Maker.

Note, 3. That it is an ancient and laudable institution, that the rites of marriage should not want a solemn celebration. Feasting with friends upon such an occasion is both lawful and commendable, provided the rules of sobriety and charity, modesty and decency, be observed, and no sinful liberty assumed. But it must be said, that feasting in general, and marriage-feasts in particular, are some of those lawful things which are difficultly managed without sin.

Note, 4. That our Saviour's working a miracle when he was at the marriage-feast, should teach us, by his example, that in our cheerful and free times, when we indulge a little more than ordinary to mirth amongst our friends, we should still be mindful of God's honour and glory, and lay hold upon an occasion of doing all the good we can.

Note lastly, As Christ was personally invited to, and bodily present at this marriage-feast when here on earth; so he will not refuse now in heaven to be spiritually present at his people's marriages. They want his presence with them upon that great occasion, they desire and seek it; he is acquainted with it, and invited to it, whoever is neglected; and where Christ is made acquainted with the match, he will certainly make one at the marriage. Happy is that wedding where Christ and his friends (as here) are the invited, expected, and enjoyed guests.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on John 2:1". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/john-2.html. 1700-1703.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

CONTENTS

Christ at a Marriage Feast, converteth Water into Wine. He departeth to Capernaum. He drives the Buyers and Sellers from the Temple.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on John 2:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/john-2.html. 1828.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

1.] τῇ τρίτῃ—reckoned from the day of Nathanael’s calling. There would thus be but one day between that event and the marriage.

κανᾷ τ. γ.] See ch. John 4:46;—not far from Capernaum. Josephus (Life, § 16) calls it κώμη τῆς γαλιλαίας. There is a Kanah in Joshua 19:28, in the tribe of Asher, which must be distinct from this. Jerome however in his Onomasticon believes it to have been the same. It was the residence, and probably birth-place, of Nathanael. If his calling took place in its neighbourhood, our Lord may have gone on and spent the intervening day at Nazareth.

Dr. Robinson, Bib. Res. iii. 204 ff., satisfactorily establishes that Kâna-el-Jelîl, about 3 hours N. ½ E. from Nazareth, is the site of this miracle. The name is identical, and so stands in the Arabic version of the N.T. He shews this to have been recognized in early tradition, and its honour to have been only recently usurped by Kefr Kenna, a village 1½ hour N.E. from Nazareth, on one of the roads to Tiberias. [See a very interesting description of Kâna-el-Jelîl in “The Land and the Book,” pp. 426, 427.]

ἡ μήτηρ τ. .] John never names her, as being already well known (Lücke): or perhaps more probably from his own intimate connexion with her, in pursuance of the injunction ch. John 19:26-27. He never names either himself, or his own brother, James.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 2:1". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-2.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

John 2:1. τρίτῃ] is, with Origen, c. Cels. vi. 30, to be reckoned from the last-named day, John 1:44, not from the coming to Cana (Ewald), which has not yet been alluded to. Thus we have in all six days from John 1:19, not seven (see on John 1:41), in which number Luthardt would find this symbolic meaning: “It is a Sabbath, as it were, which Jesus here is keeping.”

By τῆς γαλιλαίας the village of Cana (now not Kafar kenna, as Hengstenberg and Godet still think, but Kana el-Jelîl: see Robinson, III. p. 443; Ritter, XVI. 753 ff.), about three hours N.W. from Nazareth, is distinguished from another Cana; for in John 2:11; John 4:46; John 21:2, τῆς γαλιλαίας is also added, and hence it must be taken as a standing descriptive addition, as if belonging to the name (like our “Freiburg im Breisgau” and the like), and not here as a mere allusion to the arrival in Galilee (B. Crusius). The other Cana lay in the tribe of Asher, Joshua 19:28 (S.E. from Tyre; comp. Robinson, III. 657), and though also to be considered as belonging to Galilee, was yet so near to Phoenicia, that the designation of our Cana as κ. τῆς γαλιλαίας, in distinction from the other, is justified on geographical grounds. Ewald distinguishes our Cana from the Kanath lying east of the river district, but the name ( קְנַת, Numbers 32:42, 1 Chronicles 2:23; and Bertheau on the word; κανάθ LXX., κανάθα Josephus) does not correspond.

καὶ ἦν μήτηρ, κ. τ. λ.] Mary was already there when Jesus and His disciples arrived in Cana, no doubt arranging and helping (see John 2:3; John 2:5) in the friend’s house where the wedding was to take place. That shortly before the baptism of Jesus she had come to live at Cana (Ewald), but soon after removed thence to Capernaum (John 2:12), is without specific intimation both here and in John 4:46. That Joseph was not there with her, is in keeping with his entire disappearance (equally unaccountable as it is) from the Gospel narrative after Luke 2:41 ff. It is usually assumed, though without proof (see John 6:42), that he was already dead.

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on John 2:1". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/john-2.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 2:1. τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ τρίτῃ) On the third day after the promise given, ch. John 1:51. Now is exhibited a specimen [of its fulfilment]. [Between that day, on which Nathanael teas gained over, and the celebration of the marriage-feast, one day intervened; on which some disciples, as it is reasonable to suppose, joined those previously made.—V. g. Nor was this portion of time too limited for accomplishing the journey from Bethabara (Bethany?) to Galilee (and especially to Cana).—Harm., p. 159.]— γάμος, the marriage-feast) Christ does not abolish human society but sanctifies it. Thirst can be assuaged even by water; but at a marriage-feast the Lord gives wine: [on an occasion] independent of marriage there would have been no case of need. The great graciousness of the Lord [is herein exhibited]: He takes part in a marriage-feast at the earliest period [of His ministry], whilst He is alluring [in a winning manner] disciples, being afterwards about to proceed by more severe ways leading to the cross, [both methods alike at the last] eventuating in glory.— μήτηρ τοῦ ἰησοῦ, the mother of Jesus) John never calls her by the name Mary; but takes the name for granted as known from the other evangelists: comp. note on ch. John 6:67, John 7:42, John 21:2.— ἐκεῖ, there) as a relative or intimate friend.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 2:1". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/john-2.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

JOHN CHAPTER 2

John 2:1-11 Christ turneth water into wine in Cana of Galilee.

John 2:12 He goeth to Capernaum.

John 2:13-17 Thence to Jerusalem, where he driveth the buyers and

sellers out of the temple.

John 2:18-22 He giveth his own death and resurrection for a sign.

John 2:23-25 Many believe in him because of his miracles, but he

would not trust himself unto them.

Whether it was the third day after that our Saviour had left the province of Judea or the third day after Philip came to him, or after Peter or Nathanael came to him, is hardly worth the disputing; if it be to be interpreted with relation to John 1:43, (which speaks of the day following), it must be the third day after Simon came to Christ, there happened to be a marriage in Cana of Galilee. Some reckon three cities of this name; one in the lot of Manasseh, another in the lot of Ephraim, another in rite lot of Asher. This Cana is concluded by most interpreters to be the same mentioned, Joshua 19:28, which was in the tribe of Asher, which was in Galilee: some others say, it was another Cana, near to Capernaum. At this wedding feast was the virgin Mary, our Lord’s mother; and it is probable that the persons for whose marriage the feast was solemnized were some of the virgin’s kindred or near relations. Some think, from the virgin’s taking notice of the want of wine, that it was a family where she had either a constant charge, or the charge for that day.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 2:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-2.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

На третий день Эта фраза ссылается на последнее рассказанное событие, т.е. призвание Филиппа и Нафанаила (1:43).

брак В Палестине такое празднование свадьбы могло длиться неделю. Финансовая ответственность лежала на женихе (ст. 9, 10). Вероятно, жених был в большом смущении, что закончилось вино для гостей, и, может быть, это даже дало повод для потенциальной претензии против него со стороны родственников невесты.

Кане Галилейской Кана была родным городом Нафанаила (21:2). Ее точное местоположение неизвестно. Вероятно, это лежащее сейчас в руинах селение Хирбет Квана, примерно в 9 милях (14,4 км) севернее Назарета. (2:1-11) Иоанн рассказывает о первом чуде – претворении воды в вино, – совершенном Иисусом для проявления Своего Божьего естества. Только Бог может что-то создать из ничего. В своем Евангелии Иоанн называет 8 чудес, которые являются «свидетельствами» или подтверждением того, Кто есть Иисус. Все 8 чудес были разными; нет ни одного повторяющегося (ср. ст. 11).

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Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

The third day; after the events recorded in the last chapter.

Cana of Galilee; a town west of the sea of Galilee, a few miles north of Nazareth; so called to distinguish it from Cana, near Sidon.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 2:1". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/john-2.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The third day evidently refers to the third day after the day Nathanael (Theodore, "the gift of God") met Jesus. John"s references to succeeding days ( John 1:29; John 1:35; John 1:43; John 2:1) at least reflect his precise knowledge of these events. Perhaps this is also a symbolic reference to God"s actions coming to a culmination with this miracle (cf. the Resurrection on the third day). Jesus fulfilled his promise to Nathanael ( John 1:50-51) very quickly.

John"s specific reference to days in chapter1and here is unusual for him. On the first day, John the Baptist gave his veiled witness to Jesus ( John 1:19-28). The second day he gave his open witness to Jesus ( John 1:29-34). The third day John"s two disciples followed Jesus ( John 1:35-42). The fourth day Philip and Nathanael met Jesus ( John 1:43-51). On the third day after that, the seventh day, Jesus did His miracle at Cana. Customarily, the wedding of a maiden took place on a Wednesday, and that of a widow on Thursday. [Note: Edersheim, 1:345.] The Jews regarded periods of seven days as reflecting God"s creative activity. Perhaps John wanted his readers to associate this beginning of Jesus" ministry with the beginning of the cosmos ( Genesis 1) that also happened in seven days. If Song of Solomon, this would be another witness to Jesus" deity.

Cana was about nine miles north of Nazareth in Galilee. [Note: See the map "Palestine in the Time of Jesus" at the end of these notes.] John never mentioned Mary the mother of Jesus by name, perhaps to avoid confusing her with other Marys in his story. [Note: See James M. Howard, "The Significance of Minor Characters in the Gospel of John," Bibliotheca Sacra163:649 (January-March2006):65-69.]

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 2:1". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-2.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 2:1. And the third day. The third day, as reckoned from the day last mentioned (chap. John 1:43-51); the sixth day referred to in these chapters. The first is the day of the Baptist’s interview, at Bethany, with the priests and Levites sent from Jerusalem (John 1:19-28). On the second (John 1:29-34), John bears testimony to Jesus as the Lamb of God. The third is the day on which the two disciples follow Jesus (John 1:35-42). On the next day Jesus sets out for Galilee (John 1:43). That day, the next, and part of the third day may have been spent in travelling; for, if Bethany was in the neighbourhood of Bethabara, and if the latter may be identified with the modern Beit-nimrim, the distance traversed even to Nazareth must have been more than eighty English miles. Very possibly, however, Bethany may have lain farther north (see note on chap. John 1:21).

There was a marriage, or marriage-feast. The feast, which was the chief constituent in the ceremonies attending marriage, extended over several days,—as seven (Genesis 29:27; 14:12), or even fourteen (Tob_8:19).

In Cana of Galilee. There is a Kanah mentioned in the book of Joshua (John 19:28) as one of the towns in the territory of Asher, situated near Zidon. This cannot be the place referred to here. No other town of the same name is mentioned by any sacred writer except John (see references), who in every instance marks the place as Cana of Galilee. From this many have hastily inferred that ‘of Galilee’ was part of the name, distinguishing this village from some other Cana,—perhaps from that mentioned above, which (though really within the limits of Galilee) lay near to Phoenicia. Two villages of Galilee claim to be the Cana of this chapter,—Kefr-Kenna, four or five miles north-east of Nazareth; and Khurbet-Kana, about eleven miles north of the same place. The latter village is usually said to bear the name Kana-el-Jeil (i.e. Cana of Galilee); if so, and if the antiquity of the name could be established, this might be decisive, although even then it would be hard to understand how Christian tradition could so long regard Kefr-Kenna as the scene of our Lord’s first miracle, when within a few miles there existed a place bearing the very name found in the Gospel. The question cannot be further discussed here: we will only express a strong conviction that Kefr-Kenna is the Cana of our narrative. It seems probable that John himself has added the words ‘of Galilee,’ that he may lay stress upon the province, not the town. To him the point of main interest is, that this manifestation of the Saviour’s glory took place in Galilee.

And the mother of Jesus was there,—already present as a friend, possibly a relative. Mary comes before us twice in this Gospel, at the commencement and at the close of our Lord’s public life (John 2:1-11, and John 19:25-27), and is also referred to in another passage (John 6:42); but she is never mentioned by name. As for his own name the Evangelist always substitutes words expressive of relationship to Jesus (‘the disciple whom Jesus loved’), so with him Mary’s name gives place to ‘the mother of Jesus.’ Both here and in chap. 19 his designation has special significance. It expresses not only the light in which she appeared to John, but that in which he knew that she appeared to Jesus. It is essential to the spirit of the narrative to behold in Jesus one who, with the warmest filial affection, acknowledged Mary as His mother. Thus only do we see the yielding of the very closest earthly relationship to yet higher claims. The word of Jesus, ‘He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,’ must in its spirit be exemplified in His own case. Most fitting, therefore, is the use of the tenderest designation here. All that is dear and sacred in the name of mother was felt by Him in its deepest reality at the very time when He showed that every earthly tie must give way at the call of His Father in heaven.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 2:1". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/john-2.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

John 2:1. As usual John specifies time and place and circumstance. The time was . The Greeks reckoned , , . So Luke 13:32, , . The “third day” was therefore what we call “the day after to-morrow”. From what point is this third day calculated? From John 1:41 or John 1:44? Probably the latter. Naturally one refers this exact specification of time to the circumstance that the writer was present. The place was , “of Galilee” to distinguish it from another Cana, as in all countries the same name is borne by more than one place (Newcastle; Tarbet; Cleveland, Ohio, and Cleveland, N.Y.; Freiburg). This other Cana, however, was not the Cana of Joshua 19:28 in the tribe of Asher (Weiss, Holtzmann); but more probably Cana in Judaea (cf. Henderson’s Palestine, p. 152; Josephus, Antiq., xiii., 15, 1; and Lightfoot’s Disq. Chorog. Johan. praemissa). Opinion is now in favour of identifying “Cana” with Kefr Kenna, five miles north-east of Nazareth on the road to the Sea of Galilee. Robinson (Researches, iii., 108 and ii., 346) identified it with Khurbet Kâna, three hours north of Nazareth, because ruins there were pointed out to him as bearing the name Kâna el Jelil, Cana of Galilee. Dr. Zeller, however, who resided at Nazareth, declares that Khurbet Kâna is not known to the natives as Kâna el Jelil. Major Conder (Tent Work, i., 153), although not decided in favour of Kefr Kenna, shows that the alteration in the form of the name can be accounted for, and that its position is in its favour (Henderson’s Palestine, 151–3).— , a marriage took place. Jewish marriage customs are fully described in Trumbull’s Studies in Oriental Social Life.— . This is noticed to account for the invitation given to Jesus and His disciples. Joseph is not mentioned, probably because already dead. Certainly he was dead before the crucifixion.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 2:1". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-2.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

The Mother of Jesus was present. It is supposed she was then a widow, since in all the rest of the history of Jesus, not a single word occurs respecting St. Joseph. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on John 2:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/john-2.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

the third day. Of this first week: i.e. the third day after the last event (John 1:4-51), i.e. the seventh day. Compare the 1st (John 1:19-28); 2nd (29-34); 3rd (John 1:35-42); 4th (John 1:43-51). In Genesis, after six days there comes a marriage.

was = took place.

marriage = marriage feast, as in Matthew 22:2, &c. Sometimes lasting a week.

in. Greek en. App-104.

Cana of Galilee. Now Kefr Kenna, on the road from Nazareth to Tiberias. So called to distinguish it from Cana in Asher.

Jesus. App-98.

was there: i.e. was already there when the Lord arrived.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 2:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/john-2.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:

The time of this section is clearly expressed in the opening verse; and here, again, let the reader note the chronological precision of this Gospel.

And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee. It would take two days to travel from the Judean valley of the Jordan, where He parted with John-never to meet again, so far as we are informed-to Cana; and this marriage-day was the day following, or the third. It is not called Cana in Galilee to distinguish it, as Eusebius and Jerome thought, from Kaneh in the tribe of Asher (Joshua 19:28), for that also would be reckoned to Galilee, according to the New Testament division of the country-but merely to note its geographical locality, and to let the reader know that Jesus had now returned to His own region, which He left in order to be baptized of John in Jordan. No remains of the village of Cana now exist; but the most probable site of it was a spot about three hours northward of Nazareth. Nathanael belonged to this village (John 21:2).

And the mother of Jesus was there - whether as a relative or as an intimate acquaintance we have no means of knowing. Our Evangelist, it will be observed, never names the Virgin, but styles her "the mother of Jesus," from that reverence, probably, with which he had learnt to look up to her, especially since he "took her to his own home."

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 2:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-2.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

1. Two days later. [Two days later = the third day.] This is two days later, measured from the calling of Philip (John 1:43). The “days” mentioned in the first two chapters of John make a week, and may form a contrast to the last week of Christ’s public ministry (John 12:1). A wedding in the town of Cana. About twelve miles north of Nazareth in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there. John seems to never call the human mother of Jesus by name. Since Joseph is never mentioned after Jesus began his public ministry, he is thought to have died before this time. The way Mary “takes over,” suggests she was related to the family.

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on John 2:1". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/john-2.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

II.

(1) The third day—i.e., from the last note of time in John 1:43, giving one clear day between the call of Philip and the day of the marriage.

Cana of Galilee has been identified with both Kânet el-Jelîl, or Khurbet Kânet, and Kefr Kenna. The monks of Nazareth and local tradition claim the latter place as the scene of the miracle, but this tradition has not been traced earlier than the seventeenth century, and the best modern authorities do not accept it. (But comp., in support of Kefr Kenna, Zeller in Report of Palestine Exploration Fund, iii. 1869.) Kânet el-Jelîl, on the other hand, is the rendering of the Arabic version, and Sæwulf, as early as A.D. 1103, describes it as the place “where the Lord turned water into wine at the wedding” (Early Travels in Palestine, p. 47). The strength of the argument is in the identity of name in the original, whereas Kenna is quite distinct. Travellers describe it as an obscure, uninhabited village in ruins. They were formerly shown the house where the marriage took place here, and even the water-pots, but these are now shown at the rival Kefr Kenna. The ruins are on the side of a hill looking over the plain of El Buttauf, rather more than six miles to the N. or N.E. of Nazareth, and so answering Saewulf’s description. It is some fifteen or sixteen miles from Tiberias and Capernaum, and six or seven more from Tell-Anihje. (Comp. John 1:28.) The writer knows the place by its common name Cana of Galilee, by which it was distinguished from the Cana of the tribe of Asher, S.E. from Tyre (Joshua 19:28). The mother of Jesus was already there, as a relation or friend, assisting in the preparations.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 2:1". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-2.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:
A. M. 4034. A.D. 30. the third
1:43
a marriage
Genesis 1:27,28; 2:18-25; Psalms 128:1-4; Proverbs 18:22; 19:14; 31:10-12; Ephesians 5:30-33; 1 Timothy 4:1-3; Hebrews 13:4
Cana
4:46; 21:2; Joshua 19:28
Kanah
Reciprocal: Genesis 29:22 - and made;  Numbers 6:10 - GeneralJohn 4:54 - General

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 2:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-2.html.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Ver. 1. "And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there."

On the third day, therefore on the seventh from ver. 19; the first in ver. 19-28, the second in ver. 29-34, the third in ver. 35-42, the fourth in ver. 43-51. The third day can only be the third day from the end of the day on which Nathanael came to Jesus. For the days from ver. 19-51 are always complete days. Add to this, that only thus do we gain sufficient time for the journey from Bethabara to Cana. This required at least three days. For the distance in a straight line, and disregarding deviations, amounted to twenty leagues; and if Nazareth was three days journey from Jerusalem (Von Raumer, S. 120), we certainly cannot assume a less time for the journey from Bethabara to Cana. In this journey was occupied first the fourth of the single days designated, on which, according to ver. 43, the departure to Nazareth took place; then two days, which passed by without event, until the third day after this fourth arrived. We have thus a heptade of days, which are divided into four and three. The same division occurs also in the Apocalypse, especially in the case of the seals and trumpets, together with that of three and four with respect to the epistles and the vials. In one or the other of these modes the number seven is there usually divided. In the Gospel, the division of the heptade by the three and four is found in John 21:2. We are not, in the case of such things, to be ready directly with the charge of "trifling." It is important, first of all, to perceive the matter of fact; and to this, a too rashly-formed judgment is only obstructive. But why is not Nature also brought under the charge of trifling, since in her the number plays a not less important part thanin Holy Scripture?

The marriage lasted apparently only one day. Otherwise it could not, without further specification, be ascribed to the third day. Weddings of seven days were of themselves out of question in needy circumstances.

Since the appearance of Robinsons Journey (iii. 443-49), it is now generally assumed that the New Testament Cana is not the Kefr (village) Kenna, lying a league and a half to the south-east of Nazareth, but Kána el Jelil, situated three leagues to the N.N.E. So also Ritter (Erdkunde 15, 1, S. 389; 16, 1, S. 753 sq.). But this assumption is open to not unimportant objections. Of more importance still, than that Kefr Kenna is nearer to Nazareth, in the neighbourhood of which we must look for Cana, is the circumstance, that the addition, τῆς γαλιλαίας, cannot here be a constituent part of the name, but is made only by John. It stands here in connection with the other topographical notices, πέραν τοῦ ἰορδάνου, John 1:28; ἠθέλησεν ἐξελθεῖν εἰς τὴν γαλιλαίαν, in ver. 43. The place itself could not need the addition, since there was no Cana out of Galilee. The Cana in the tribe of Asher, mentioned in Joshua 19:28, was also in Galilee, but had probably long since disappeared. This being the case, the name Kana el Jelil cannot have been the original one. It probably proceeded from a mere combination. Kefr Kenna is the only Cana whose existence is really assured, and to which we must therefore provisionally adhere. Jerome knows of only one Cana: "Et est hodie oppidulum in Galilaea gentium." In the alleged Kana el Jelil there is no native population at all, which could have preserved the ancient name of the place. It is a mere ruin; and ruins are patient, and allow themselves to be named as people wish to name them. On the words, "and the mother of Jesus was there," Luther remarks: "It appears that these were her poor nearest friends, that she had to be a mother to the bride; for she takes upon herself the management, as if she were specially in fault, when she sees want." The supplementary character of the Gospel of John is seen in this, that he never mentions the name of the mother of Jesus, but rather presupposes it as known from the first Gospels. From the fact, that neither here nor in what follows mention is ever made of Joseph, it has been rightly concluded that he was already deceased.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 2:1". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/john-2.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

1.There was a marriage in Cana of Galilee. As this narrative contains the first miracle which Christ performed, it would be proper for us, were it on this ground alone, to consider the narrative attentively; though — as we shall afterwards see — there are other reasons which recommend it to our notice. But while we proceed, the various advantages arising from it will be more clearly seen. The Evangelist first mentions Cana of Galilee, not that which was situated towards Zare-phath (1 Kings 17:9; Obadiah 1:20; Luke 4:26) or Sarepta, between Tyre and Sidon, and was called the greater in comparison of this latter Cana, which is placed by some in the tribe of Zebulun, and by others in the tribe of Asher. For Jerome too assures us that, even in his time, there existed a small town which bore that name. There is reason to believe that it was near the city of Nazareth, since the mother of Christ came there to attend the marriage. From the fourth chapter of this book it will be seen that it was not more than one day’s journey distant from Capernaum. That it lay not far from the city of Bethsaida may also be inferred from the circumstance, that three days after Christ had been in those territories, the marriage was celebrated — the Evangelist tells us — in Cana of Galilee. There may have been also a third Cana, not far from Jerusalem, and yet out of Galilee; but I leave this undetermined, because I am unacquainted with it.

And the mother of Jesus was there. It was probably one of Christ’s near relations who married a wife; for Jesus is mentioned as having accompanied his mother. From the fact that the disciples also are invited, we may infer how plain and frugal was his way of living; for he lived in common with them. It may be thought strange, however, that a man who has no great wealth or abundance (as will be made evident from the scarcity of the wine) invites four or five other persons, on Christ’s account. But the poor are readier and more frank in their invitations; because they are not, like the rich, afraid of being disgraced, if they do not treat their guests with great costliness and splendor; for the poor adhere more zealously to the ancient custom of having an extended acquaintance.

Again, it may be supposed to show a want of courtesy, that the bridegroom allows his guests, in the middle of the entertainment, to be in want of wine; for it looks like a man of little thoughtfulness not to have a sufficiency of wine for his guests. I reply, nothing is here related which does not frequently happen, especially when people are not accustomed to the daily use of wine. Besides, the context shows, that it was towards the conclusion of the banquet thatthe wine fell short, when, according to custom, it might be supposed that they had already drunk enough; for the master of the feast thus speaks, Other men place worse wine before those who have drunk enough, but thou hast kept the best till now. Besides, I have no doubt that all this was regulated by the Providence of God, that there might be room for the miracle.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 2:1". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-2.html. 1840-57.