New American Bible (Revised Edition)
The Wedding at Cana. 1 [a]On the third day there was a wedding[b] in Cana[c] in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.(A) 2 Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 [d][And] Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.”(B) 5 His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.”(C) 6 [e]Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings,(D) each holding twenty to thirty gallons. 7 Jesus told them, “Fill the jars with water.” So they filled them to the brim. 8 Then he told them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.”[f] So they took it. 9 And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from (although the servers who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs[g] in Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.(E)Read full chapter
- 2:1–6:71 Signs revealing Jesus as the Messiah to all Israel. “Sign” (sēmeion) is John’s symbolic term for Jesus’ wondrous deeds (see Introduction). The Old Testament background lies in the Exodus story (cf. Dt 11:3; 29:2). John is interested primarily in what the sēmeia signify: God’s intervention in human history in a new way through Jesus.
- 2:1–11 The first sign. This story of replacement of Jewish ceremonial washings (Jn 2:6) presents the initial revelation about Jesus at the outset of his ministry. He manifests his glory; the disciples believe. There is no synoptic parallel.
- 2:1 Cana: unknown from the Old Testament. The mother of Jesus: she is never named in John.
- 2:4 This verse may seek to show that Jesus did not work miracles to help his family and friends, as in the apocryphal gospels. Woman: a normal, polite form of address, but unattested in reference to one’s mother. Cf. also Jn 19:26. How does your concern affect me?: literally, “What is this to me and to you?”—a Hebrew expression of either hostility (Jgs 11:12; 2 Chr 35:21; 1 Kgs 17:18) or denial of common interest (Hos 14:9; 2 Kgs 3:13). Cf. Mk 1:24; 5:7 used by demons to Jesus. My hour has not yet come: the translation as a question (“Has not my hour now come?”), while preferable grammatically and supported by Greek Fathers, seems unlikely from a comparison with Jn 7:6, 30. The “hour” is that of Jesus’ passion, death, resurrection, and ascension (Jn 13:1).
- 2:6 Twenty to thirty gallons: literally, “two or three measures”; the Attic liquid measure contained 39.39 liters. The vast quantity recalls prophecies of abundance in the last days; cf. Am 9:13–14; Hos 14:7; Jer 31:12.
- 2:8 Headwaiter: used of the official who managed a banquet, but there is no evidence of such a functionary in Palestine. Perhaps here a friend of the family acted as master of ceremonies; cf. Sir 32:1.
- 2:11 The beginning of his signs: the first of seven (see Introduction).