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John 2:5-8

Context
2:5 His mother told the servants, “Whatever he tells you, do it.” 1 

2:6 Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washing, 2  each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 3  2:7 Jesus told the servants, 4  “Fill the water jars with water.” So they filled them up to the very top. 2:8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the head steward,” 5  and they did.

1 tn The pronoun “it” is not in the Greek text, but has been supplied. Direct objects in Greek were often omitted when clear from the context.

2 tn Grk “for the purification of the Jews.”

3 tn Grk “holding two or three metretes” (about 75 to 115 liters). Each of the pots held 2 or 3 μετρηταί (metrhtai). A μετρητῆς (metrhths) was about 9 gallons (40 liters); thus each jar held 18-27 gallons (80-120 liters) and the total volume of liquid involved was 108-162 gallons (480-720 liters).

sn Significantly, these jars held water for Jewish ceremonial washing (purification rituals). The water of Jewish ritual purification has become the wine of the new messianic age. The wine may also be, after the fashion of Johannine double meanings, a reference to the wine of the Lord’s Supper. A number have suggested this, but there does not seem to be anything in the immediate context which compels this; it seems more related to how frequently a given interpreter sees references to the sacraments in John’s Gospel as a whole.

4 tn Grk “them” (it is clear from the context that the servants are addressed).

5 tn Or “the master of ceremonies.”



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