Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 2:8

And He *said to them, "Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter." So they took it to him.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Cana;   Feasts;   Jesus, the Christ;   Mary;   Miracles;   Water;   Scofield Reference Index - Miracles;   Thompson Chain Reference - Feasts;   Social Functions;   Social Life;   Suppers;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Entertainments;   Marriage;   Miracles of Christ, the;   Water;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Cana;   Feasts;   Miracle;   Smyrna;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Galilee;   Grapes;   John, gospel of;   Marriage;   Miracles;   Palestine;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Clean, Unclean;   Joy;   Miracle;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Marriage;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Banquet;   Cana;   Marriage-Feasts;   Wine;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Banquets;   Meals;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Banquet;   Fulfill;   Governor;   John, the Gospel of;   Mary;   Sign;   Water;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Governor;   Joy;   Marriage;   Mary;   Meals;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Announcements of Death;   Banquet;   Brotherhood (2);   Celibacy (2);   Common Life;   Creator (Christ as);   Dates (2);   Happiness;   John (the Apostle);   Pleasure;   Reality;   Sea of Galilee;   Toleration, Tolerance;   Waterpot ;   Wealth (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Governor of the Feast;   Marriage;   Melchisedec, Melchizedek ;   Miracles;   New Testament;   Wine;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Cana;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Governor;   Wine;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Meals;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Architriclinus;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Banquet;   Governor;   Mary;   Ruler;   Ruler of the Feast;   Steward;   Triclinium;   Uncleanness;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Banquets;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Governor of the feast - The original word, αρχιτρικλινος, signifies one who is chief or head over three couches, or tables. In the Asiatic countries, they take their meals sitting, or rather reclining, on small low couches. And when many people are present, so that they cannot all eat together, three of these low tables or couches are put together in form of a crescent, and some one of the guests is appointed to take charge of the persons who sit at these tables. Hence the appellation of architriclinus, the chief over three couches or tables, which in process of time became applied to the governor or steward of a feast, let the guests be many or few; and such person, having conducted the business well, had a festive crown put on his head by the guests, at the conclusion of the feast. See Ecclesiasticus, 32:1-3. It is very common for the Hindoos to appoint a person who is expert in conducting the ceremonies of a feast to manage as governor. This person is seldom the master of the house.

And they bare it - A question has been asked, "Did our Lord turn all the water into wine which the six measures contained?" To which I answer: There is no proof that he did; and I take it for granted that he did not. It may be asked, "How could a part be turned into wine, and not the whole?" To which I answer: The water, in all likelihood, was changed into wine as it was drawn out, and not otherwise. "But did not our Lord by this miracle minister to vice, by producing an excess of inebriating liquor?" No; for the following reasons:

  1. The company was a select and holy company, where no excess could be permitted. And,
  • Our Lord does not appear to have furnished any extra quantity, but only what was necessary. "But it is intimated in the text that the guests were nearly intoxicated before this miraculous addition to their wine took place; for the evangelist says, ὁταν μεθυσθωσι, when they have become intoxicated." I answer:
  • It is not intimated, even in the most indirect manner, that these guests were at all intoxicated.
  • The words are not spoken of the persons at that wedding at all: the governor of the feast only states that such was the common custom at feasts of this nature; without intimating that any such custom prevailed there.
  • 3. The original word bears a widely different meaning from that which the objection forces upon it. The verbs μεθυσκω and μεθυω, from μεθυ, wine, which, from μετα θυειν, to drink after sacrificing, signify not only to inebriate, but to take wine, to drink wine, to drink enough: and in this sense the verb is evidently used in the Septuagint, Genesis 43:34; Song of Solomon 5:1; 1 Maccabees 16:16; Haggai 1:6; Ecclus. 1:16. And the Prophet Isaiah, Isaiah 58:11, speaking of the abundant blessings of the godly, compares them to a watered garden, which the Septuagint translate, ὡς κηπος μεθυων, by which is certainly understood, not a garden drowned with water, but one sufficiently saturated with it, not having one drop too much, nor too little.

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    Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 2:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-2.html. 1832.

    Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

    Draw out now - This command was given to the servants. It showed that the miracle had been performed immediately. As soon as they were filled the servants were directed to take to the governor of the feast. Jesus made no parade about it, and it does not even appear that he approached the waterpots. He willed it, and it was done. This was a clear exertion of divine power, and made in such a manner as to leave no doubt of its reality.

    The governor - One who presided on the occasion. The one who stood at the “head” or upper end of the table. He had the charge of the entertainment, provided the food, gave directions to the servants, etc.

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    Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 2:8". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-2.html. 1870.

    Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

    And he saith unto them, Draw out now and bear to the ruler of the feast. And they bare it.

    Commentators have speculated at length upon WHERE the change took place, whether in the pots, or on the way to the ruler of the feast, etc.; but if the apostle had not intended to imply that the whole supply in the water-pots was changed into wine, it is simply inconceivable that the number and capacity of the pots would have been mentioned at all. One water-pot would have provided at least one round of wine!

    Along with C. S. Lewis, this writer receives this miracle as a literal creative act of God incarnate. He said:

    Every year, as part of the natural order, God makes wine. He does so by creating a vegetable organism that can turn water, soil, and sunlight into a juice which will, under proper circumstances, become wine .... Once, in one year only, God, now incarnate, short-circuits the process; makes wine in a moment; uses earthenware jars instead of vegetable fibers to hold the water.[5]

    Regarding the question of what kind of wine this was, all kinds of irresponsible speculations abound. Even Barnes gave elaborate arguments to prove that the wine here created by the Lord was nothing more than the pure juice of grapes with no alcohol content whatever; but, as Barnes admitted, "The wine referred to here was doubtless such as was commonly drunk in Palestine."[6] And it is precisely this evident truth that rebukes any notion that this wine was merely the unfermented juice of grapes. On Pentecost, the apostles were accused of being full of new wine (Acts 2:3-15), to the extent of intoxication, a charge that Peter denied; but he did not deny that the wine common in those days was capable of producing intoxication; on the other hand, his defense tacitly admitted it. Also, the opinion of the ruler of the feast that the wine Jesus made was superior in quality to that they had drunk earlier, supports the conclusion that it was not merely pure grape juice. This is not to say, however, that the wine Jesus made was supercharged with alcohol like some of the burning liquors that are marketed today under the label of "wine". THAT we emphatically deny; but to go further than this and read WINE as GRAPE JUICE seems to this writer to be a perversion of the word of God.

    [5] A. M. Hunter, The Gospel according to John (Cambridge University Press. 1965), p. 30.

    [6] Albert Barnes, op. cit., p. 193.

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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 2:8". "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 he saith unto them, draw out now,.... As soon as ever the vessels were filled with water, without any more delay, he ordered the servants to draw out of those larger, into lesser vessels; he does not say what, water or wine:

    and bear unto the governor of the feast; who either had the ordering and management of the feast, and the command of the whole affair; hence the Ethiopic version calls him, "the master of the waiters", or servants: or he was the chief guest, as the word seems to import, who sat, or rather lay, on the chief couch at the table; and so a proper person to begin with, and put the cup round: or else he might be doctor or chaplain: for such an one was necessary at a marriage; since there were six or seven benedictions to be pronounced; and particularly a blessing was said over the cup of wine; for if there was any wine, a cup of it was brought, and he blessed over it first, and ordered every thing concerning the cup: and this made up seven blessings at such a timeF25Maimon. Hilchot Ishot, c. 10. sect. 3,4. ; and therefore was a very fit person to bear the wine to first:

    and they bore it; the servants having drawn out of the stone vessels, by cocks, into smaller ones, carried the liquor, as they were ordered, to the above person.

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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.
    A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
    Bibliographical Information
    Gill, John. "Commentary on John 2:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-2.html. 1999.

    John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

    8. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.

    [The governor of the feast.] This governor of the feast I would understand to have been in the place of chaplain, to give thanks, and pronounce blessings in such kind of feasts as these were. There was the bridegroom's blessing, recited every day for the whole space of the seven days, besides other benedictions during the whole festival time, requisite upon a cup of wine (for over a cup of wine there used to be a blessing pronounced;) especially that which was called the cup of good news, when the virginity of the bride is declared and certified. He, therefore, who gave the blessing for the whole company, I presume, might be called the governor of the feast. Hence to him it is that our Saviour directs the wine that was made of water, as he who, after some blessing pronounced over the cup, should first drink of it to the whole company, and after him the guests pledging and partaking of it.

    As to what is contained in verses 14, 15, and 16 of this chapter, I have already discussed that in Matthew 21:12.

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    Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on John 2:8". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/john-2.html. 1675.

    People's New Testament

    He saith, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. "He that had made wine that day in those six water-pots does the same every year in the vines. For as what the servants put in the water-pots was changed into wine by the operation of the Lord, just so what the clouds pour forth is changed into wine by the operation of the same law.--{Augustine}.

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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 2:8". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/john-2.html. 1891.

    Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

    Draw out now (Αντλησατε νυνAntlēsate nun). First aorist active imperative of αντλεωantleō from ο αντλοςho antlos bilge water, or the hold where the bilge water settles (so in Homer). The verb occurs in John 4:7, John 4:15, 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 (John 2:9), but was changed to wine before reaching the guests. The water in the jars remained water.

    Unto the ruler of the feast (τωι αρχιτρικλινωιtōi architriklinōi). Dative case. The τρικλινοςtriklinos was a room (οικοςoikos) with three couches (κλινηklinē) for the feast. The αρχιτρικλινοςarchitriklinos was originally the superintendent of the dining-room who arranged the couches and tasted the food, not the toast-master (συμποσιαρχηςsumposiarchēs).

    And they bare it
    (οι δε ηνεγκανhoi de ēnegkan). Second aorist active indicative of περωpherō Apparently not knowing at first that they bore wine.

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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 2:8". "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

    Draw out ( ἀντλήσατε )

    From ἄντλος , the hold of a ship where the bilge-water settles, and hence, the bilge-water itself. The verb, therefore, originally, means to bale out bilge-water; thence, generally, to draw, as from a well (John 4:15). Canon Westcott thinks that the water which was changed into wine was not taken from the vessels of purification, but that the servants were bidden, after they had filled the vessels with water, to continue drawing from the well or spring.

    Ruler of the feast ( ἀρχιτρικλίνῳ )

    From ἄρχω , to be chief, and τρίκλινον , Latin, triclinium, a banqueting-hall with three couches (see on Mark 6:39). Some explain the word as meaning the superintendent of the banqueting-chamber, a servant whose duty it was to arrange the table-furniture and the courses, and to taste the food beforehand. Others as meaning one of the guests selected to preside at the banquet according to the Greek and Roman usage. This latter view seems to be supported by a passage in Ecclesiasticus (35:1,2): “If thou be made the master of a feast, lift not thyself up, but be among them as one of the rest; take diligent care for them, and so sit down. And when thou hast done all thy office, take thy place, that thou mayst be merry with them, and receive a crown for thy well ordering of the feast.” According to the Greek and Roman custom, the ruler of the feast was chosen by throwing the dice. Thus Horace, in his ode to his friend Sestius, says, moralizing on the brevity of life: “Soon the home of Pluto will be thine, nor wilt thou cast lots with the dice for the presidency over the wine.” He prescribed the proportions of wine and water, and could also impose fines for failures to guess riddles, etc. As the success of the feast depended largely upon him, his selection was a matter of some delicacy. Plato says, “Must we not appoint a sober man and a wise to be our master of the revels? For if the ruler of drinkers be himself young and drunken, and not over-wise, only by some special good fortune will he be saved from doing some great evil” (“Laws,” 640). The word occurs only here and John 2:9. Wyc. simply transcribes: architriclyn f0.

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    Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 2:8". "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.

    Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

    The governor of the feast; the person who presided at the table.

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    Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on John 2:8". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/john-2.html. 1878.

    Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

    Туда же относится и желание Христа, чтобы распорядитель пира отведал вкус вина прежде Его Самого и других участников пира. Из того же, что слуги столь охотно во всем Ему подчинялись, мы заключаем, что личность Его вызывала великое почтение и отличалась большим достоинством. Евангелист зовет распорядителем пира человека, поставленного для обустройства пиршества и расстановки столов. Не потому, что пиршество было до такой степени обильным и многочисленным, но потому что почетные имена, употребляемые на пиршествах и возлияниях богачей, переносятся и на свадьбы бедняков. Но удивительно, почему Христос, учитель умеренности, поставляет вино в столь огромных количествах. Отвечаю: Бог ежедневно поставляет нам великое количество вина, но употреблять Его благость как повод для распутства было бы с нашей стороны пороком. Скорее истинная проверка нашей воздержанности заключается в том, что мы среди изобилия остаемся бережливыми и умеренными. Подобно тому, как Павел хвалится, что научен обеим вещам: жить и в изобилии, и в нужде (Фил.4:12).

     

     

     

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    Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 2:8". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-2.html. 1840-57.

    James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

    THE TRANSFORMING POWER OF CHRIST

    ‘Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast.’

    John 2:8

    We cannot regard the physical character of this act as exhausting its whole import. We may, therefore, regard this act as suggesting that transforming influence which Christ came to exert for man.

    I. Some of the transforming influences in the world.—It will be found in general experience that there are, apart from physical cause, three great moral and spiritual transforming influences in operation in the world.

    (a) There is love, that great magician of life.

    (b) The second great transforming power is thought.

    (c) The third great influence is personality.

    But these influences, great and beneficial as they are, have still their defects; they are at first mixed with the follies, the weakness, the faults which belong to our imperfect natures. They are also accidental in their operation, for too often this love and thought and noble companionship are denied to those very unfortunate ones who stand most in need of them.

    II. Let us consider, then, the transforming power of Christ.

    (a) That power was exercised over men.

    (b) It was exercised upon life.

    (c) Lastly, Christ transformed religion. From being a superstition, a gloomy oppression, or a lifeless theory, it became under His touch a thing of the highest spiritual comfort, of sublime beauty, noblest inspiration, and loftiest hope and service: a thing which reached up to the Heaven of heavens of the highest spirituality, even which yet came down to touch with light Divine the simplest things of earth: a great love and inspiration, and trust and zeal, and ennobling thought and impulse impelling to the highest aims and purest of services.

    —Rev. A. B. Boyd-Carpenter.

    (SECOND OUTLINE)

    ACHIEVEMENT

    John would not have had this incident fixed fast in his memory unless he had detected, according to his manner, the presence of a deep universal law emerging and making itself felt through some tiny circumstance, apparently remote and casual and unmarked. He always loved to trace the mystic symbolism which makes a passing incident to become a sacrament, through which the inner reality of things breaks and gleams and vanishes.

    Something of this there was, he felt, in the chance phrases that fell from men’s lips unaware, under the pressure of a domestic trouble round a table in the Galilæan village. Behind it all, in the accidental experiences and expressions, he caught the powers at play. We, too, may take the flying hints, enjoying, as he did, the remote unconsciousness that gave their hidden meaning all its force.

    I. And first—achievement, we can remind ourselves, is more especially to be left in God’s own hands.—Achievement is exactly that which we cannot ensure. Man can but lift the cry of dismay as he sees his own succours fail, his own resources lapse. ‘We have no wine.’ Only the Lord Himself, entering upon the scenes of our distress, has authority to pronounce the signal, ‘Draw out now, and bear.’ Effort is ours. We can set ourselves to it. We can surrender ourselves to the discipline. We can study and try, and work and try again, and never give in, and still begin at the beginning, and still renew the labour, and still win new experience and skill. But we can never make ourselves wholly masters of the favoured hour when the consummation will be sealed and crowned.

    II. All fulfilment is God’s; and this, because fulfilment is always just beyond our human powers. God enters into action just at the point where our effort flags and drops; and we always flag or drop before the end is touched, before the consummation is attained. That is our essential human characteristic. At our very highest we prophesy. Prophecy is our vocation; and prophecy means that we suggest that which is more than ourselves. We indicate what might be true, but is not. We point on to something further than ourselves.

    III. You and I will win no particular crown; you and I will do no very wonderful thing here on earth. We shall not bring in the Kingdom of God amongst men. Why should we? Are we worth it? But yet, believe me, God is doing His great wonder all the time; He is bringing His Christ into the world; He is winning His victory, and this not without us. Nay, rather invoked into action by our unavailing effort, if only we still sustain it, and still plead its inadequacy. God wins; God achieves; and never more so than at some moment when we, sick and disheartened, spent and dry, are filled through and through with that bitter lamentation—‘There is no wine. We have no wine.’ No wine! Life has lost its savour, its richness. Supplies and success that once ran freely at our need have strangely lapsed. Nerve fails us and energy is sucked out of us, and we are come to an end while still the pressure is on us. No wine! We are no good; we never attain; we cannot last out; we must give in; we see no result; we gain no footing; we cannot go on; there is no wine!

    Then it is, at such hours of our depression, that we hear the signals of the Divine arrival. Then it is that we are to look up. When we come to an end, God is sure to begin.

    Rev. Canon H. Scott Holland.

    Illustration

    ‘In Mr. Wells’s brilliant book on America there is no more vivid scene than that in which he challenges the President, Mr. Roosevelt, to say how he can be sure that this stupendous American civilisation will arrive anywhere, will not end in collapse after all. “Mr. Roosevelt,” he says, “with one of those sudden movements of his, knelt forward in his garden chair, and addressed me very earnestly over the back, clutching it, and then thrusting out with his familiar gesture a hand first partly open, and then closed, ‘Suppose it all ends in collapse,’ he said slowly, ‘that doesn’t matter now. The effort is real. It is worth going on with. The effort is worth it, even then.’” An heroic word. “It is the very expression of the creative will of man, in its limitations, its doubtful adequacy, its valiant persistence amidst perplexities and confusion.”’

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    Bibliographical Information
    Nisbet, James. "Commentary on John 2:8". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/john-2.html. 1876.

    John Trapp Complete Commentary

    8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.

    Ver. 8. The governor of the feast] The Jews had a sort of officers at their feasts, called praefecti morum, οινοπται, οφθαλμοι, the eyes and overseers of the feast, that took care that none should drink too much. The Latins called them dictators; the Greeks, symposiarchs. Howbeit, among the Greeks, those officers’ power extended no further than to see that at feasts or banquets men drank small draughts only at first, which by degrees they increased till they came to their height of intemperance; at which point, when they were arrived, they kept no rule nor order: whereas, before, to drink out of one’s turn, or beyond his allowance, was counted incivility. {a}

    {a} Hinc pergraecari: and as merry as a Greek.

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    Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 2:8". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-2.html. 1865-1868.

    Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

    John 2:8. Bear unto the governor of the feast. Among the Greeks, Romans, and Jews, it was usual at great entertainments, especially at marriage feasts, to appoint a master of the ceremonies, who not only gave directions concerning the form and method of the entertainment, but likewise prescribed the regulations in respect to drinking. Jesus therefore ordered the wine which he had formed, to be carried to the governor of the feast, that by his judgment passed upon it, in the hearing of all the guests, it might be known to be genuine wine of the best kind. Our Lord's furnishing wine for the feast by miracle shews, that all the creatures which God's power hath formed for, and his bounty bestowed on man, may be used consistently with piety, provided that the benefits be sanctified to us by the word of God, and by prayer; that is, if they be used in moderation, as the word of God directs, and with due expressions of thankfulness. We may observe, that every circumstance in this miracle was wonderfully directed by our Lord to shew its reality. For this purpose, Jesus ordered the water-pots to be filled with water; for the servants who poured the water out of one vessel into the other, could easily see that there was nothing but water in the vessel from which they had poured; and when the other was filled to the brim, it was equally visible that the vessel which they had filled, had nothing but water in it likewise. Further, it was known to all the guests that these pots or vessels never contained any thing but water; and as all the guests had washed themselves with the fluid contained in them, they were convinced that they held nothing but water. The changing of the water in the vessels was another proof to the same purpose; and the drawing out instantly shewed that there could be no fraud. The servants were so far from being parties with Jesus in any collusion, that they seem not to have known, or to have been willing to obey him, had not Mary ordered them to do it; which is another proof of the reality of this miracle. The ignorance of the governor concerning the filling of the pots, and the change made in the water, shews that he could not have been concerned in any deceit; as his, and not the guests tasting of the wine, and applauding it, shews that no other person could have been a party in the fraud, if there was any. These and other circumstances, which the diligent reader will observe, abundantly prove the reality of the miracle, and set it above the probability of a cavil.

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    Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on John 2:8". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/john-2.html. 1801-1803.

    Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

    8.] The ἀρχιτρίκλινος ( συμποσίαρχος, ἐπιμελητὴς τοῦ συμποσίου, Euthym(39)) seems to be the same with the ἡγούμενος spoken of, Sirach 35 (32:) 1, and with the Latin rex, or magister, convivii. It would seem (from Sir. l. c.) that he was one of the guests raised to the post of presiding over the arrangements of the feast. This is however doubted by the older Commentators (Severus in the Catena, Lücke, i. 472), who make him not one of the guests, but a person holding this especial office, and attending on feasts. Here, he tastes the wine; and therefore probably was a guest himself. Lücke quotes from Petronius “triclinarches.”

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    Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 2:8". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-2.html. 1863-1878.

    Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

    John 2:8. ἤνεγκαν, They bare) i.e. They drew and bare. [They exhibited a] beautiful obedience [to His directions].

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    Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 2:8". 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

    The Jews had one who was to order the affairs of their feast, and who is upon that account called the master, or

    governor, of it; to whom our Saviour directs, that some of this newly made wine should be carried; either that they might not suspect it was by some art provided by him, or because he was of the best judgment in those affairs. The servants yield the same ready obedience to his commands which they had before yielded.

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    Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 2:8". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-2.html. 1685.

    Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

    Governor of the feast; the person who had the general superintendence.

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    Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 2:8". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/john-2.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

    Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

    8.Governor of the feast—This was either one of the guests elected to the office of presiding over the occasion, or it was a professional functionary skilled in the business. He presided both over the sacred ceremonies of pronouncing the blessings, and the progress of the festivities.

     

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    Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 2:8". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-2.html. 1874-1909.

    Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

    John 2:8. And he saith unto them. Draw now, and bear unto the ruler of the feast. As the words are commonly understood, the servants are bidden to bring to the table (in smaller jars or bowls) part of the contents of the larger vessels, which were themselves too unwieldy to be moved without difficulty. If this be the meaning, we must still ask, What was it that was drawn, water or wine? Many will answer wine, believing that the point at which the miracle is effected comes in between the seventh and eighth verses, and that all the water in the vessels was then made wine. The strong argument in favour of this interpretation is the exactness with which the number and size of the vessels are specified; and no difficulty need be found in the abundance of the supply. ‘He, a King, gave as became a king’ (Trench). Still there is nothing in the text that leads necessarily to this interpretation; while the language of John 2:9, ‘the servants which had drawn the water,’ distinctly suggests that what they drew was water, which, either as soon as drawn, or as soon as presented to the guests, became wine. But there is yet another explanation (suggested in Dr. Westcott’s Characteristics of the Gospel Miracles, p. 15), having much in its favour. The Authorised Version (John 2:8) gives the command to the servants as ‘Draw out now,’ etc., plainly implying that it was out of the waterpots that they were bidden to draw. But the original word is simply ‘draw,’ or ‘draw water.’ This would seem to suggest that the servants were sent again to the spring or fountain from which they had drawn the water to fill the waterpots. First, the vessels set for the purifying of the Jews are completely filled. Nothing is neglected that can be needed to prepare for all ceremonial requirements. There the water rests, and rests unchanged. Not till now is the water drawn for the thirsty guests, in bowls filled, not from vessels of purification, but at the spring itself; it is borne to the ruler of the feast, and it is wine! The decision between the last two interpretations must be left with the reader; it will probably rest less on the words of the narrative than on the view which is taken of the significance and meaning of the miracle. See below on John 2:11.—By ‘the ruler of the feast’ is meant either an upper servant, to whom was intrusted the duty of tasting the different drinks and articles of food, and, in general, of superintending all the arrangements of the feast; or one of the guests acting as president of the feast, at the request of the bridegroom or by election of the guests. The latter view is favoured by our knowledge of Jewish usages (comp. Sir_32:1-2), and by the fact that the ruler is spoken of as distinct from the servants, and, as the next verse shows, was ignorant of the source from which the wine was supplied.

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    Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 2:8". "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 2:8. The second order might stagger them more, , . The was originally the person who had charge of the triclinium or triple couch set round a dining table: “praefectus cui instruendi ornandique triclinii cura incumbit”; a butler or head waiter whose duty it was to arrange the table and taste the food and wine. Petron. Arb. 22, “Jam et Tricliniarches experrectus lucernis occidentibus oleum infuderat”. But apparently the person indicated in this verse is rather the or , the chairman elected by the company from among the guests, sometimes by lot. Cf. Horace’s “Arbiter bibendi,” Od., ii., 7. The requirements in such an official are described in Sirach 32:1; Plato, Laws, p. 640; see also Reid’s edition of Cicero, De Senect., p. 131. In general he regulated the course of the feast and the conduct of the guests. [Holtzmann and Weiss both retain the proper meaning of .] Westcott suggests that the may refer to drawing from the well, and that “the change in the water was determined by its destination for use at the feast”. “That which remained water when kept for a ceremonial use became wine when borne in faith to minister to the needs, even to the superfluous requirements of life,” a suggestive interpretation, but it evacuates of all significance the clause “they filled them up to the brim”. The servants obeyed, possibly encouraged by seeing that what they had poured in as water flowed out as wine; although if the words in the end of the ninth verse are to be taken strictly, it was still water when drawn from the water jars. But some refer the to drawing from the well. It is, however, more natural to refer it to the of the eighth verse. Besides, drawing water from the well would be the business rather of the women than of the .

     

     

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    Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 2:8". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-2.html. 1897-1910.

    E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

    Draw out. Greek. antleo. Occurs only here, John 2:9; John 4:7, John 4:15.

    governor, &c. Occurs only here, and John 2:9. See Genesis 24:13, Genesis 24:20.

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    Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 2:8". "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 he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.

    And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. It will be observed that our Lord here directs everything, but Himself touches nothing: thus excluding all appearance or suspicion of collusion. Compare Elijah's methods on Carmel, 1 Kings 18:33-35.

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    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 2:8". "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

    8. Now draw some water out. Note Jesus made between 120 and 180 gallons of wine [oraos]. Augustine says: “He that hath made wine that day in those six waterpots does the same every year in the vines. For as what the servants put in the waterpots was changed into wine by the operation of the Lord, just so what the clouds pour forth is changed into wine by the operation of the same law.” [This is not our commercial wine which has added alcohol.]

     

     

     

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    Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on John 2:8". "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

    (8) Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast.—A vessel was let down into the pitcher, and was then carried to the ruler of the feast, who would distribute the wine in it to the guests. Ruler rather than “governor.” The same English word should be used throughout the two verses. What exact office is denoted by the Greek word is uncertain, as it occurs nowhere else in the Bible, and is very rare in the classical authors. The chief English commentators (Alford, Wordsworth, Trench) are agreed that he was chosen by the guests from among their own number, but this opinion has not commanded the general assent of scholars; and there seems more reason to think that the person intended is what we should call the “head-waiter,” whose duty it was to taste the viands and wines, to arrange the tables and couches, and to be generally responsible for the feast.

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    Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 2:8". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-2.html. 1905.

    Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

    And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
    Draw
    9; Proverbs 3:5,6; Ecclesiastes 9:6
    the governor
    Romans 13:7
    Reciprocal: 2 Kings 17:15 - vanity;  Esther 1:8 - the officers;  Psalm 31:6 - lying;  Proverbs 30:8 - Remove;  Romans 1:25 - into a lie

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    Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 2:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-2.html.

    Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

    8.And carry to the master of the feast. For the same reason as before, Christ wished that the flavor of the wine should be tried by the master of the feast, before it had been tasted by himself, or by any other of the guests; and the readiness with which the servants obey him in all things shows us the great reverence and respect in which he was held by them. The Evangelist gives the name of the master of the feast to him who had the charge of preparing the banquet and arranging the tables; not that the banquet was costly and magnificent, but because the honorable appellations borrowed from the luxury and splendor of the rich are applied even to the marriages of the poor. But it is wonderful that a large quantity of wine, and of the very best wine, is supplied by Christ, who is a teacher of sobriety. I reply, when God daily gives us a large supply of wine, it is our own fault if his kindness is an excitement to luxury; but, on the other hand, it is an undoubted trial of our sobriety, if we are sparing and moderate in the midst of abundance; as Paul boasts that he had learned to know both how to be full and to be hungry, (Philippians 4:12.)

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    Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 2:8". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-2.html. 1840-57.