2:4 Jesus replied, 1 “Woman, 2 why are you saying this to me? 3 My time 4 has not yet come.”
8:20 (Jesus 7 spoke these words near the offering box 8 while he was teaching in the temple courts. 9 No one seized him because his time 10 had not yet come.) 11
1 tn Grk “and Jesus said to her.”
2 sn The term Woman is Jesus’ normal, polite way of addressing women (Matt 15:28, Luke 13:12; John 4:21; 8:10; 19:26; 20:15). But it is unusual for a son to address his mother with this term. The custom in both Hebrew (or Aramaic) and Greek would be for a son to use a qualifying adjective or title. Is there significance in Jesus’ use here? It probably indicates that a new relationship existed between Jesus and his mother once he had embarked on his public ministry. He was no longer or primarily only her son, but the “Son of Man.” This is also suggested by the use of the same term in 19:26 in the scene at the cross, where the beloved disciple is “given” to Mary as her “new” son.
3 tn Grk “Woman, what to me and to you?” (an idiom). The phrase τί ἐμοὶ καὶ σοί, γύναι (ti emoi kai soi, gunai) is Semitic in origin. The equivalent Hebrew expression in the Old Testament had two basic meanings: (1) When one person was unjustly bothering another, the injured party could say “What to me and to you?” meaning, “What have I done to you that you should do this to me?” (Judg 11:12, 2 Chr 35:21, 1 Kgs 17:18). (2) When someone was asked to get involved in a matter he felt was no business of his, he could say to the one asking him, “What to me and to you?” meaning, “That is your business, how am I involved?” (2 Kgs 3:13, Hos 14:8). Option (1) implies hostility, while option (2) implies merely disengagement. Mere disengagement is almost certainly to be understood here as better fitting the context (although some of the Greek Fathers took the remark as a rebuke to Mary, such a rebuke is unlikely).
4 tn Grk “my hour” (referring to the time of Jesus’ crucifixion and return to the Father).
sn The Greek word translated time (ὥρα, Jwra) occurs in John 2:4; 4:21, 23; 5:25, 28, 29; 7:30; 8:20; 12:23, 27; 13:1; 16:25; and 17:1. It is a reference to the special period in Jesus’ life when he was to leave this world and return to the Father (13:1); the hour when the Son of man is glorified (17:1). This is accomplished through his suffering, death, resurrection (and ascension – though this last is not emphasized by John). John 7:30 and 8:20 imply that Jesus’ arrest and death are included. John 12:23 and 17:1, referring to the glorification of the Son, imply that the resurrection and ascension are included as part of the “hour.” In John 2:4 Jesus’ remark to his mother indicates that the time for this self-manifestation has not yet arrived; his identity as Messiah is not yet to be publicly revealed.
5 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
sn Here the response is on the part of the crowd, who tried to seize Jesus. This is apparently distinct from the attempted arrest by the authorities mentioned in 7:32.
6 tn Grk “his hour.”
7 tn Grk “He”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
8 tn The term γαζοφυλάκιον (gazofulakion) can be translated “treasury” or “treasure room” in this context. BDAG 186 s.v. 1 notes, “It can be taken in this sense J 8:20 (sing.) in (or at) the treasury.” BDAG 186 s.v. 2 argues that the occurrences of this word in the synoptic gospels also refer to the treasury: “For Mk 12:41, 43; Lk 21:1 the mng. contribution box or receptacle is attractive. Acc. to Mishnah, Shekalim 6, 5 there were in the temple 13 such receptacles in the form of trumpets. But even in these passages the general sense of ‘treasury’ is prob., for the contributions would go [into] the treasury via the receptacles.” Based upon the extra-biblical evidence (see sn following), however, the translation opts to refer to the actual receptacles and not the treasury itself.
sn The offering box probably refers to the receptacles in the temple forecourt by the Court of Women used to collect freewill offerings. These are mentioned by Josephus, J. W. 5.5.2 (5.200), 6.5.2 (6.282); Ant. 19.6.1 (19.294); and in 1 Macc 14:49 and 2 Macc 3:6, 24, 28, 40 (see also Mark 12:41; Luke 21:1).
9 tn Grk “the temple.”
10 tn Grk “his hour.”
11 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.