Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 2:9

When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter *called the bridegroom,
New American Standard

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Cana;   Feasts;   Jesus, the Christ;   Mary;   Miracles;   Water;   Wine;   Scofield Reference Index - Miracles;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Entertainments;   Marriage;   Miracles of Christ, the;   Water;   Wine;  
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 - Cana;   Governor;   Marriage-Feasts;   Wine;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Banquets;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Banquet;   Fulfill;   John, the Gospel of;   Mary;   Sign;   Water;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Deacon;   Joy;   Marriage;   Mary;   Meals;   Miracles;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Announcements of Death;   Attributes of Christ;   Banquet;   Brotherhood (2);   Celibacy (2);   Common Life;   Considerateness;   Dates (2);   Example;   Happiness;   Humanity of Christ;   John (the Apostle);   Marriage;   Minister, Ministration;   Miracles;   Pleasure;   Reality;   Ruler (2);   Sea of Galilee;   Service;   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;   Veil;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Cana;   Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Governor;   Wine;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Architriclinus;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Banquet;   Image;   Make;   Mary;   Master;   Ruler;   Ruler of the Feast;   Triclinium;   Uncleanness;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Brotherly Love;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for September 17;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And knew not whence it was - This is said, probably, to indicate that his judgment was not biased by any favor, or any lack of favor, toward Jesus. Had he known what was done, he would have been less likely to have judged impartially. As it is, we have his testimony that this was real wine, and of so fine a body and flavor as to surpass that which had been provided for the occasion. Everything in this miracle shows that there was no collusion or understanding between Jesus and any of the persons at the feast.

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These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 2:9". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-2.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And when the ruler of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and knew not whence it was (but the servants that had drawn the water knew), the ruler of the feast calleth the bridegroom.

The ruler of the feast ... was the person in charge of the festivities, presumably a close friend of the bridegroom honored with the responsibility of organizing and conducting the marriage celebration. Among his duties was that of tasting wine before it was served to the guests; and this accounts for the fact that the ruler of the feast was the first to taste the wine created by the Lord. His pleased and approving remarks are recorded in the next verse.

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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 2:9". "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

When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water,.... The Persic version reads, "tasted of the wine", and adds, what is not in the text, "it was of a very grateful savour": but the sense is, he tasted of that which was before water, but now

was made wine; not in such sense as the Papists pretend that the bread and wine, in the Lord's supper, are transubstantiated into the body and blood of Christ, by the consecration of the priest; after which they appear to have the same properties of bread and wine as before; but this water, that was turned into wine, ceased to be what it was before, and became what it was not: it had no more the properties, the colour, and taste of water, but of wine; of which the whole company were judges:

and knew not whence it was; from whence it came, where it was had, nor any thing of the miracle that was wrought, and therefore was a proper person to have it put into his hands first; since it cannot be thought he should say what he does in the following verse, from any compact with Christ, or in favour of him.

But the servants which drew the water knew; they knew from whence they had it, out of the water pots; and they knew that they filled them with water; and that that liquor, which the ruler of the feast had in his hands, and commended as most excellent wine, was drawn out of them; and that there was no juggle, nor deceit in the case: and, upon tasting of it,

the governor of the feast called the bridegroom to him; out of the place where he sat, and which might not be far from him.

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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 2:9". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-2.html. 1999.

People's New Testament

When the ruler of the feast had tasted. The ruler of the feast, and the {governor} of John 2:8, are the same. It was customary to choose, sometimes by lot, a president who regulated the whole order of festivities.

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.
Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on John 2:9". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/john-2.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

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

The water now become wine (το υδωρ οινον γεγενημενονto hudōr oinon gegenēmenon). Accusative case, though the genitive also occurs with γευομαιgeuomai Perfect passive participle of γινομαιginomai and οινονoinon predicative accusative. The tablemaster knew nothing of the miracle, “whence it was” (ποτεν εστινpothen estin indirect question retaining present indicative). The servants knew the source of the water, but not the power that made the wine.

Calleth the bridegroom
(πωνει τον νυμπιονphōnei ton numphion). As apparently responsible for the supply of the wine (thou hast kept τετηρηκαςtetērēkas). See Matthew 9:15 for νυμπιοςnumphios When men have drunk freely (οταν μετυστωσινhotan methusthōsin). Indefinite temporal clause with οτανhotan and first aorist passive subjunctive of μετυσκωmethuskō The verb does not mean that these guests are now drunk, but that this is a common custom to put “the worse” (τον ελασσωton elassō the less, the inferior) wine last. It is real wine that is meant by οινοςoinos here. Unlike the Baptist Jesus mingled in the social life of the time, was even abused for it (Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:34). But this fact does not mean that today Jesus would approve the modern liquor trade with its damnable influences. The law of love expounded by Paul in 1Cor 8-10 and in Rom 14, 15 teaches modern Christians to be willing gladly to give up what they see causes so many to stumble into sin.

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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 2:9". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-2.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,

The governor of the feast — The bridegroom generally procured some friend to order all things at the entertainment.

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 2:9". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/john-2.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

And he saith unto them, Draw out now1, and bear unto the ruler of the feast2. And they bare it.

  1. Draw out now. The word "now" seems to indicate the turning-point when the water became wine.

  2. The ruler of the feast. According to the custom of that age, one of the guests was usually chosen to preside over such festivities, and he was called the ruler. Our modern toastmaster is probably a relic of this ancient custom.

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 2:9". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-2.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,

Ver. 9. The water that was made wine] Doth not Christ daily turn water into wine, when of water falling upon the vine, and concocted by the heat of the sun, he produceth the grape, whence wine is expressed? His love (that is better than wine, Song of Solomon 1:2) turned brown bread and water into manchet and wine, to the martyrs in prison.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 2:9". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-2.html. 1865-1868.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

9. οἱ ἠντληκότες] This is the participle of the pluperf. (as well as of the perf.), and is here to be so rendered—who had drawn the water.

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Bibliographical Information
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 2:9". 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 2:9. ἀρχιτρίκλινος, the governor of the feast) who was directing the whole management of the feast: one skilled in deciding a question of taste.— τὸ ὕδωρ) The Article marks the subject.— οὐκ ᾔδει· ᾔδεισαν, did not know: they knew) The ignorance of the governor of the feast proves the goodness of the wine: the knowledge of the servants[proves] the truth of the miracle.— φωνεῖ) calls: it is not added, to himself.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 2:9". 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

Our Saviour’s action, by which he turned the water into wine, being not obvious to the senses of any; but only the secret motion of his will, willing the thing to be; is not recorded, only the effect and the consequents of it are. The papists would from hence argue, that the bread in the sacrament may be called bread, though it be transubstantiated, as the water here is called water, though it were turned into wine; but it must be observed, that it is not here called water, without the addition of

that was made wine: we have no such addition in the gospel, where the sacramental bread is called bread; it is not said, the bread which now is turned into the flesh of Christ; nor doth the Scripture any where (as here) attest any such transubstantiation. The governor of the feast had a cup of wine presented to him, but knew not whence it came; only the servants, who by Christ’s command first filled the vessels, and drew out this cupful, they knew.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 2:9". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-2.html. 1685.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

John 2:9. The architriklinos, then, when he had tasted the water which had now become wine, and did not know whence it had been procured, and was therefore impartially judging it merely as wine among wines, , “calls the bridegroom,” or simply “addresses the bridegroom,” and says to him ’ The usage referred to was natural: and is illustrated by the , the mixture of all the heeltaps with which the harder heads dosed the drunken at the end of a debauch.— , “when men have drunk freely,” R.V[33] The Vulgate more accurately has “cum inebriati fuerint”. And if the word does not definitely mean “when men are intoxicated,” it at least must indicate a condition in which they are unfit to discriminate between good wine and bad. The company then present was not in that condition, because they were able to appreciate the good wine; but the words of the architriklinos unquestionably imply that a good deal had already been drunk. The involves this. The significance of the remark consists in the certificate thus given to the quality of the wine. Bengel felicitously says: “Ignorantia architriclini comprobat bonitatem vini: scientia ministrorum veritatem miraculi”. Judging it by his natural taste and comparing it with the wine supplied by the host, the architriklinos pronounces this fresh supply better. What Christ introduces into the world will stand comparison with what is already in it. Christian grace must manifest itself not in sanctimonious and unpractical displays, but must stand comparison with the rough natural virtues, the courage, generosity, and force which are called for in the practical affairs of life.

[33] Revised Version.

 

 

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Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 2:9". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-2.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

ruler, &c. Same word as "governor", &c.

was made = had become.

knew. Greek. oida. App-132. See note on John 1:26. Not the same word as in verses: John 2:24, John 2:25.

not. Greek. ou. App-105.

but, &c. See note on "and we", &c., John 1:14.

drew = had drawn.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 2:9". "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

When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,

When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine - the total quantity being about a hundred gallons!

And knew not whence it was (but the servants which drew the water knew,) the governor - or, 'the ruler;' it is the same word as before [ architriklinos (Greek #755)],

Of the feast called - or 'calleth' [ foonei (Greek #5455)] "the bridegroom,"

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 2:9". "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

9. And he tasted the water, which had turned into wine. The man in charge of the feast would be similar to our “toastmaster.”

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on John 2:9". "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

(9) Water that was made wine.—Better, water that had become wine. At what moment did the transformation take place? What water became wine? The text itself does not speak of “water now become wine” until the ruler of the feast tasted it, and immediately afterwards speaks of it as “water,” when the servants drew it, for the plain reference of the parenthesis in brackets is to the drawing of the water from the pitchers (John 2:8), not to a previous drawing of water to place in the pitchers, which has not been even hinted at. Unless, then, there is a strong reason which does not appear in these words, this simple meaning is the true one;—that the change took place during or after the drawing from the pitchers, and that that portion only was changed which was carried to the ruler and actually needed to supply the guests. The reason based upon the mention of the number and contents of the pitchers (John 2:6) is certainly not a strong one. It is quite natural to find these stated in the picturesque style of this Gospel, and there is no care to give more than a rough estimate of the size from a remembrance either of these pitchers or of pitchers generally used for this purpose. There is more force in the general impression derived from John 2:7. It may be fairly asked why was more water placed in readiness than was needed? But the pitchers would be in any case re-filled for ablutions after the feast. They were at hand, meeting the eye. All possibility of collusion is thus excluded. They had been used not long before; they would very soon be used again. The filling of all leaves to the servants the choice of one or more from which to draw. There is an unfailing potential supply; it becomes an actual supply only when needed and appropriated by human want. This, as every supernatural work, is made to depend upon faith. There is no demand for this faith in filling water-pots with water; it is otherwise when they draw it, and bear it in the usual tankard to the ruler, in answer to the demand for wine. Here, as everywhere in divine action, there is an economy in the use of power. There is no miracle of “luxury” or “waste” or “excess.” These cavils of the higher criticism are—like the additions of expositors, as that the feast lasted for a week or more, or their perversions, as that the wine was in no sense intoxicating—superstructures without a foundation.

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 2:9". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-2.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
the water that
4:46
but
7:17; Psalms 119:100
Reciprocal: Exodus 7:20 - all the waters;  Judges 14:10 - made there;  Proverbs 2:13 - walk;  John 2:8 - Draw

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 2:9". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-2.html.