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Chapter 2
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2:1-2 And the third day it became a wedding banquet in Cana of Galilee and the mother of Jesus (continually) was there. But Jesus and/also was called and His disciples into the wedding banquet.

Word for word: 2:1 (18 words in the Greek text) And (on)-the day the third (a)-wedding-banquet became in Cana (of)-the Galilee, and was(-continually) the mother (of)-the Jesus there. 2:2 (12 words in the Greek text) was-called but and the Jesus and the disciples his into the wedding-banquet.


The Former Revelation (preliminary translation):

In/on the sixth day God brought His works to a consummation, what He had made/done. (Gen 2:2a, Greek OT)

Asher, fat (is) his bread, and he will give delicacy to leaders. (Gen 49:20, Greek OT)

(The Lord said to Moses:) "Let the people be ready into/to the third day, for (on) the third day the Lord will descend against the mountain Sinai opposite to every/all the people." (Ex 19:11, Greek OT)

(The territory of Asher reached) Cana till the great Sidon. (Joshua 19:28b, Greek OT)

Being king in the third year (the king) made a banquet for the friends and the rest of the nations. … When the days of the wedding banquet were ‘completed upwards’/upcompleted, the king made a drinking-bout for the nations, the ones being found into/in the city against/about six days. (Esther 1:3a,5a, Greek OT)

It became/’came about’ in/on the third day, as (Esther) ceased praying, (that) she ‘set out’/’stripped off’ the garments of attendance/service/everyday and wrapped herself up in her glory. (Esther 5:1/D1, Greek OT)

(Haman) spoke: “The queen (Esther) has not called (and does not call) in company with the king ‘no one’/anyone into the banquet ‘however or’/except me.” (Esther 5:12a, Greek OT)

In/on these days the Jews ‘were brought’/came to rest from their enemies. And (this happened) in the month they turned/’turned about’ ... from grief into joy and from pain into a good day, to lead/keep wholly good days of wedding banquets and cheerfulness, dispatching out portions/gifts to the friends and the beggarly ones. (Esther 9:22, Greek OT)

(The prophet said:) "We may stand up in/on the third day, and we may live in the very eyes of (the Lord).” (Hos 6:2b, Greek OT)


The Latter Revelation:

The names of the twelve apostles are these: “ ... Simon, the cananite (א,*א).” (Matt 10:2a,4a)

Jesus retired into the parts/district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman having come out from those frontiers shouted (א*) saying: “Have mercy on me, Lord, son of David.” … But ‘the One having answered’/’He answered and’ spoke: “I have not been dispatched away ‘if not’/except into the sheep, the ones having been (and being) perished of the house of Israel. … It is not fine to take the bread of the children and throw (it) to the little dogs.” But the (woman) spoke: “Yes, Lord, for and/also the little dogs eat from the crumbs of the things falling from the table of their lords.” Then ‘having answered Jesus’/’Jesus answered and’ spoke to her: “O woman, your faith (is) great.” (Matt 15:21b-22a,24,26b-28a)

(Jesus said to the priest leaders and the Pharisees:) “The kingdom of the heavens has been made like a man, a king, whoever made wedding banquets/festivals for his son. And he dispatched away his slaves to call the ones being (and having been) called into the wedding banquets/festivals, and/but (continually/repeatedly) they did not want to come.” (Matt 22:2-3)

(Jesus said to His disciples: ”The crowd) have already abode (with) Me three days and have not (knowledge) what they may eat.” (Mark 8:2b)

(After having followed Jesus) Levi/Matthew made Him a great banquet in his habitation. ... (The Pharisees and their scribes) spoke towards (Jesus): "Because of what (א*,A) do the disciples of John frequently fast and make/perform prayers, likewise and/also (the disciples) of the Pharisees, but/while Yours eat and drink?" But Jesus spoke towards them: "The sons of the bridechamber are not able to * (א*) fast, (the time) in which the bridegroom is in company with them(, are they)?" (Luke 5:29a,33-34; BG Ask-comment: The Greek word "dochê" for "banquet" literally associates to "glory/'glory meal'".)

(Jesus said to the Pharisees and Herod:) “The third (day) I am made perfect.” (Luke 13:32b)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) “In this way it is (and has been) written, that the christ/'anointed one' (would) suffer and stand up out of dead (bodies) the third day.” (Luke 24:46b)


Exegetes, evangelists and others:

about 2000 and time before

The third day marks the fulfillment of the promise, at the end of time of the resurrection of the dead, and, at appropriate moments, of Israels redemption. (Jacob Neusner "Genesis Rabbah, The Judaic commentary to the book of Genesis Vol II" p 278; Gen 22:4-19)

The pious fasted before (a marriage), confessing their sins. It was regarded almost as a Sacrament. Entrance into the married state was thought to carry the forgiveness of sins. It almost seems as if the relationship of Husband and Bride between Jehovah and His people, so frequently insisted upon, not only in the Bible, but in Rabbinic writings, had always been standing out in the background. Thus the bridal pair on the marriage.day symbolised the union of God with Israel. (Alfred Edersheim "The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah Part I" p 352-353)


Examples of other quoted authors in the Swedish version: Friedrich Ahlfeld, Jane Austen, Elisabeth Bergstrand-Poulsen, Sven Delblanc, Albert Engström, Peter Fjellstedt, Dick Harrison, Alf Henrikson, Irenaeus, Edvard Johansson, Hilding Johansson, Lars Levi Laestadius, M. Lenk, Gustaf Linder, Torgny Lindgren, Marie Lindstedt Cronberg, Martin Luther, Karl Henrik Martling, Allan T Nilsson, Bror Olsson, Efraim Palmqvist, Hilding Pleijel, Viktor Rydberg, Kekke Stadin, August Strindberg, Johanna Svensdotter, Bengt Söderberg, Anton Tjechov, Sigrid Westberg.


My own comments and speculations:

The exegete René Kieffer comments: "On the third day. Normally two days is meant after what has been told before. If we begin with 1:19, we get the following enumeration: first day, 1:19-28; second day, 1:29-34; third day 1:3542; fourth day, 1:43-51. The miracle in Cana then occurs on the sixth day. ... We could then in John 1:19-2:11 have a connection to the week of the creation in Gen 1-2." (René Kieffer "Johannesevangeliet" p 57; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask). Kieffer supposes one more day in 1:35-42 to harmonize the Hebrew text, a thing which is not necessary according to the Greek text, which says that God completed His work on the sixth - and not on the seventh - day. Cf. My own comments and speculations to John 7:37-38 concerning "the last day" as the seventh (and the eighth) day.

In the Jewish tradition the events at Mount Sinai sometimes are described in a form of a wedding between the Lord and His people. In Ex 19:11-16 the expression "the third day" has a prominent place and are found four times. Now we have a new wedding on the third day.

In the Bible the word Cana only occurs in the Gospel of John and in Joshua 19:28. But in the Sinaiticus we have the cognate word “Kananitês” in Matt 10:2. So the wedding banquet is located in a place with connection rather to the least prominent disciple (apart from Judas from Karuoth) Simon from Cana than to the most prominent disciple Simon Peter from Bethsaida (John 1:44) and Capharnaum (Mark 1:21,29), cities described in a negative way in Matt 11:21. What is humble will be heightened (Luke 1:52) in contrast to Bethsaida and Capharnaum (cf. Matt 11:23).

The OT Cana belonged to Sidon, the district in which the Canaanite woman lived (Matt 15:21-28). We can see this woman, with her faith in Jesus, as a spiritual mother of Jesus (cf. Mark 3:34-35 and John 6:29 and also My own comments and speculations to John 2:3-5). Cf. the distance between the woman and Jesus in Matt15:24 and in John 2:4. Cf. also how Jesus addresses both the Canaanite woman in Matthew and the woman in Cana with the word “woman” (Matt 15:28 and John 2:3). Furthermore the fine wine in Cana (John 2:10) can be seen as a complement to the fat bread of Asher (Gen 49:20; Joshua 19:28). Concerning the name Cana, see also My own comments and speculations to John 2:11-12.


Paul said: "(Christ) has been (and is) raised (on) the third day according to the writings." (1 Cor 15:4b)


Greek words:

gamos (wedding banquet) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Esther 1:5; 9:22; Matt 22:2-3; John 2:1-2 – Esther 2:18; Tobit 6:13; 8:19(BA); 9:2,5-6; 12:1; 1 Macc 9:37,41; 10:58; Wisdom of Solomon 13:17; 14:24,26; Matt 22:4,8-9,11-12; 25:10; Luke 12:36; 14:8; John 2:3(א*); Heb 13:4; Rev 19:7.

Kana (Cana) Joshua 19:28; John 2:1 – John 2:11; 4:46; 21:2.

tritos-triton (third-third time) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Esther 5:1(D1); Luke 13:32; 24:46; John 2:1; 1 Cor 15:4 - Esther 1:3; Tobit 1:8; 1 Macc 10:30; 14:27; 2 Macc 7:10; Sir 23:16,23; 26:28; 45:23; 50:25; Matt 16:21; 17:23; 20:3,19; 22:26; 26:44; 27:64; Mark 12:21; 14:41; 15:25; Luke 9:22; 12:38; 18:33; 20:12,31; 23:22; 24:7,21; John 21:14,17; Acts 2:15; 10:40; 23:23; 27:19; 1 Cor 12:28; 2 Cor 12:2,14; 13:1; Rev 4:7; 6:5; 8:7-12; 9:15,18; 11:14; 12:4; 14:9; 16:4; 21:19.


Additional studies:

Ex 19:15-16; Lev 25:38; Matt 9:14-15; 15:32; 22:3; Mark 2:18-19; Luke 1:43, 24:7; John 4:46; Rev 3:20; 19:7.


Carl Armerding "The Marriage in Cana"; Bibliothaeca Sacra 118-142 (1961): 320-326.

David M. Howard Jr. "'Three days' in Joshua 1-3. Resolving a Chronological Conundrum." Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 41.4 (Dec. 1998): 539-550.

J.P. Lilley "The Judgement of God: The Problem of the Canaanites"; Themelios 22.2 (January 1997): 3-12.

Troy W. Martin "Assessing the Johannine Epithet 'Mother of Jesus'." Catholic Biblical Quarterly 60 (1998): 63-73.

V. Parkin "'On the Third Day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee' John 2:1."; Irish Biblical Studies 3.3 (1981): 134-144.

F.S. Parnham "The Miracle at Cana"; The Evangelical Quarterly 42.2 (April-June 1970): 105-109.

Ritva H. Williams "The Mother of Jesus at Cana: A Social-Science Interpretation of John 2:1-12"; Catholic Biblical Quarterly 59 (1997): 679-692.


(Original version 2007-12-01; revised version 2009-01-28; 2010-05-06; 2013-04-26; 2014-03-28; concluding version 2017-09-14)

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2:3-5 And they (continually/repeatedly) had not wine, because the wine of the wedding banquet had been brought to a consummation. Next/then (א*) the mother of Jesus says towards Him: "It/there is (א*) not wine." * (P75, א*) Jesus says to her: "Woman, what (is there that is) ‘to Me and to’/’between Me and’ you? My hour has not yet arrived." His mother says to the servants that/: (א,* א) "What He – according to the circumstances – may say to you, make/do (it)!"

Word for word: 2:3 (21 words in the Greek text Sinaiticus prima manus) and wine not (they)-had-(continually) because been-brought-to-a-consummation the wine (of)-the wedding-banquet. next says the mother (of)-the Jesus towards him: wine not (it)-is. 2:4 (14 words in the Greek text Sinaiticus prima manus) says (to)-her the Jesus: what (to)-me and (to)-you, woman? not-yet has-arrived the hour my. 2:5 (12 words in the Greek text) says the mother his (to)-the servants that what according-to-the-circumstances he-may-say (to)-you make.


The Former Revelation (preliminary translation):

In/on the sixth day God brought His works to a consummation, what He had made/done. (Gen 2:2a, Greek OT)

Every/all the earth/land of Egypt was hungry, but the people shouted (and had shouted) towards Pharaoh ‘on account of’/’to get’ breads. But/and Pharaoh spoke to all the Egyptians: "Go towards Joseph. And what he – if according to the circumstances – may speak to you, make/do (it)!" (Gen 41:55, Greek OT)

(Moses said to the Lord about Levi:) “The one saying to the father and the mother: ‘I do not behold (and I have not beheld) you’ and (who) did not gain additional knowledge of his brothers and (who) ‘gained knowledge from’/’gave up’ his sons, he has watched/secured your sayings, and he has kept Your covenant throughout.” (Deut 33:9, Greek OT)

(The widow in Zarephath said to Elijah: "I have only) a handful of flour in the water-pot and few/’a few’ olive oil in the capsule." ... (Then Elijah said to her:) "This is what the Lord says: 'The water-pot of the flour will not ‘leave out’/disappear, and the capsule of the olive oil will not be less.'" ... After these things the son of the woman ‘was not strong’/’became ill’ ... (and there was) not a spirit left behind in him. And she spoke towards Elijah: "What (is there that is) ‘to me and to’/’between me and’ you, (O) man of God? Did you come towards me (for) the thing (that) my unrighteousnesses (would) be remembered upwards/'on high' and (that) my son (would) be put to death." (1 Kings 17:12a,14a,17-18, Greek OT)

The leaders of the lineages of Israel spoke towards (the enemies in Samaria): "(There is) not (anything) ‘to us and to’/’between us and’ you (on account of) the thing to build a house to our God, because we ourselves ... will build a house to the Lord, our God ... ." (Ezra 4:3b, Greek OT)

Being king in the third year (the king) made a banquet for the friends and the rest of the nations. … When the days of the wedding banquet were ‘completed upwards’/upcompleted, the king made a drinking-bout for the nations, the ones being found into/in the city against/about six days. (Esther 1:3a,5a, Greek OT)

In the seventh day (the king) spoke to … (his) seven eunuchs, the servants of the king … to lead into/in the queen towards him … to show her for all the leaders and her beauty for the nations, because she (continually) was fine/beautiful. And but (the queen) did not listen to him. (Esther 1:10-12a, Greek OT)

… The days of the drinking-bout had been brought to a consummation. (Job 1:5a, Greek OT)

(Eliphaz said: “The man whom God convicts) may come in the grave just as bread-stuff being harvested in a seasonable hour ‘according to’/during a seasonable time. (Job 5:26, Greek OT)

(The psalmist said to the Lord:) “A seasonable time has arrived.” (Ps 102:13b or 102:14b; Greek OT)

The Lord has made/done what He has pondered. He has brought His words to a consummation. (Lam 2:17a, Greek OT)

(Tobit said:) ”… I believe, that all things which God has spoken will be brought to a consummation, and a word out of the sayings may not/certainly not fall throughout/asunder … “ (Tobit 14:4, S)

The wedding banquet was ‘turned about’/changed into grief. (1 Macc 9:41a)

(Solomon said: “The wisdom has knowledge beforehand of) outsteps/outcomes of seasonable times and times/’spaces of time’.” (Wisdom of Solomon 8:8b)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said:) “A law will be brought to a consummation without a lie.” (Sir 34:8a)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said: “The Lord) is not bound towards ‘no one’/any counsellor.” (Sir 42:21b)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said:) “What having been written down … into seasonable times … (when) (the) tribes of Jacob to/will ‘stand down’/’be established’.” (Sir 48:10)


The Latter Revelation:

(Jesus said to the Canaanite woman:) “O woman, your faith (is) great.” (Matt 15:28a)

(Jesus said: “The king says to his slaves:) ‘Having come in to view the ones lying up/’down to table’, (the king) beheld there a man having not been (and being not) set/clothed in clothes of wedding banquet. And he says to him: ‘Comrade, how did you come in here not having clothes of wedding banquet?’ But 'the one'/he was gagged/nonplussed. Then the king spoke to the servants: ‘Having bind his feet and hands, throw him out into the outer darkness.’” (Matt 22:11-13a)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) “If – according to the circumstances - the * (א*) bad slave may speak in his heart: ‘My lord “spends time”/tarries’ … the lord of that slave will arrive on/in a day, which he does not wait for, and in an hour, which he has not knowledge of.” (Matt 24:48,50)

(Jesus said:) "(In) a middle of a night it becomes (and has become) a scream: 'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out into a meeting (א,*א,B).'" ... The foolish (virgins) spoke to the sensible: “Give us out of your olive-oil, because our torches are quenched.” (Matt 25:6a,8a)

(On Pilate's) being seated upon the tribune his woman dispatched away (a message) towards him, saying (about Jesus: “Let there be) nothing ‘to you and to’/’between you and’ that righteous One." (Matt 27:19a)

(Jesus' mother and brothers) came out to ‘get power (over)’/seize Him, for they (continually/repeatedly) said that/: "He has ‘stood out of Himself’/’lost His senses’." ... (The scribes said:) "He throws out the little demons in/by the leader of the little demons." ... (Jesus said:) “If a habitation – according to the circumstances – may be ‘divided into portions against’/’at variance with’ itself, that habitation will not be able to stand. ... (The one) who – according to the circumstances – may make/do the will of God, this one is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:21b,22b,25,35)

(The man with the unclean spirit) says: "What (is there that is) ‘to me and to’/’between me and’ you, Jesus, Son of the highest God? I adjure You (by) God, (that) you may not torment me!" (Mark 5:7b)

(Jesus said to His disciples: ”The crowd) have already abode (with) Me three days and have not (knowledge) what they may eat.” (Mark 8:2b)

(Some of the disciples asked Jesus:) “Speak to us, when these things will be and what the sign (will be), when – according to the circumstances – all these things may be about to be brought to a consummation?” (Mark 13:4)

Mariam spoke (to the messenger): “Behold the female slave of the Lord. Oh that it may become to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38a)

(Elizabeth said:) “From where (is) this to me, in order that the mother of my Lord may come towards me?” (Luke 1:43)

(The parents of Jesus found Him in the sanctuary.) His mother spoke towards Him: “... Behold, ‘being caused’/feeling pain Your father and I seek (א*) You.” And He spoke towards them: "What (is it) that you seek (א*) Me? Did you not know, that I must be in the things of 'the Father My'/'My Father'?” (Luke 2:48b-49)

(When the days in the desolate district) having/had been brought to a consummation, (Jesus) was hungry. (Luke 4:2b)

(At the banquet in the habitation of Levi/Matthew Jesus said to the Pharisees and their scribes:) "No one throws/puts young/fresh wine into old leather bags; ‘but if not’/otherwise the young/fresh wine at any rate will ‘break ... in pieces’/rend the leather bags, and it will be poured out, and the leather bags will be perished.” (Luke 5:37)

(Jesus said:) “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not make/do what/'the things' I say?” (Luke 6:46)

(Jesus said:) “My mother is (the one) … hearing the saying of God and making/doing (it).” (Luke 8:21b)

(When Jesus was glorified) it became/came a voice out of the cloud, saying: "This is My Son, the One having been (and being) chosen, hear Him!" (Luke 9:35)

(The man) dispatched away his slave (in) the hour of the chief meal to speak to the ones being (and having been) called to come (א,*א,A): “Come, because they/things (P75, א*) already are ready.” (Luke 14:17)

(Jesus said to the crowds:) "If anyone comes towards Me and does not hate his father and the mother and the woman/wife and the children and the brothers and the sisters, but/and (P45, א,* א, A) still/furthermore and/also his own soul, he is not able to be My disciple." (Luke 14:26)


Exegetes, evangelists and others:

about 2000 - about 1500

It goes through the whole New Testament a consequent distance between Jesus and his biological family. The ties of blood like the marriage gets his blessing, but far more is for him the spiritual relationship about which he speaks today. (Sven Danell "Dagpostilla" p 53 in comment to Matt 12:46-50; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

"It is interesting that some of the Greek Fathers ... think of a rebuke to Mary (in John 2:4)." (Raymond E. Brown "The Gospel according to John"p 99)

"Mary's instructions echo those of Pharaoh in Gen 41:55." (Raymond E. Brown "The Gospel according to John"p 100)

"Even though (the refusal: 'Woman, what to me and to you?') is not disrespectful or scornful, it sets a peculiar distance between Jesus and his mother." (Rudolf Bultmann "The Gospel of John" p 116)

What have I to do with you, woman? The meaning must obviously be: I have not to obey you in this case. My heavenly father decides this hour. When I apprehend his will, I shall act. ... Does anyone think, that (Jesus) had been allowed to work as he now worked, if her will had been allowed to be determining? Then the evangelists had not had much to write about. (Karl Palmberg "Ur livskällan. Tredje årgången." p 82-84; Karl Palmberg /1842-1920/ was from 1883 a Lutheran clergyman in Månsarp in the diocese of Växjö and president in Jönköpings Missionsförening (Missionary Society) 1886-1911; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

The young girl burst out sobbing. "Madam", she cried, "madam, they will ruin all. Why does madam leave us and let the cavaliers ravage her house?" Then the major's widow drew in the curtain string and pointed out to the garden. "Is it I who has taught you to weep and wail?" she exclaimed. "Look out! The garden is full of people, to-morrow there are no longer any cavalier in Ekeby." "Will madam come back then?" the maid-servant asked. "My hour has not yet come", the major's widow said. "The highway is my home and the straw-stack my bed. But you, my girl, shall take care of Ekeby for me, while I am absent." (Selma Lagerlöf "Gösta Berlings saga" p 91; The old vehicles; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)


about 1500 and time before

If some excellent physician should enter a house where there were many sick and be spoken to by none of the patients or their relations, but be directed only by his own mother, he would be suspected and disliked by the sufferers, nor would any of the patients or their attendants deem him able to exhibit anything great or remarkable. And so this was a reason why (Jesus) rebuked (Mary). … Let us then not be proud of nobleness of birth according to the flesh. (Chrysostom, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers XIV:75)

The fundamental mistake in what (the mother of Jesus) attempted is just this, that she spake as His Mother, and placed that material relationship in connection with His work. And therefore it was that as, on the first misunderstanding in the Temple, He had said: ‘Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?’ so now: ‘Woman, what have I to do with thee?’ ... As in His first manifestation in the Temple, so in this the first manifestation of His glory, the finger that pointed to ‘His hour’ was not, and could not be, that of an earthly parent, but of His Father in Heaven. ... The language is to us significant of the teaching intended to be conveyed, and as the beginning of this further teaching: ‘Who is My mother? and My brethren? And He stretched forth His hand toward His disciples, and said, Behold My mother and My brethren!’ (Alfred Edersheim "The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah Part I" p 361)


Examples of other quoted authors in the Swedish version: Per Beskow, Oloph Bexell, Marcus Birro, Amadeus Creutzberg, Henry Daniel-Rops, Christer Fjordevik, Jan Fridegård, Gunnar Granberg, Carl Grimberg, Jan Arvid Hellström, Irenaeus, Liselotte Johansson, Lars Levi Laestadius, Martin Luther, N.P. Madsen, Margareta Melin, Wilhelm Möller, Fredrik Nielsen, Nils Henrik Nilsson, J. Nyrén, Fr. Sandberg, Gösta Sandberg, Gunnar E. Sandgren, Henrik Schartau, Kekke Stadin, Milton Steinberg, Sven Stolpe, Karin Strandberg, August Strindberg, Zacharias Topelius, Göran Åberg.


My own comments and speculations:

The exhortation of Jesus' mother: “What He – according to the circumstances – may say to you, do it!" points to words of a spiritual mother of Jesus, a mother who hears the word of God and does it (Luke 8:21). Compare John 19:25-27 and My own comments and speculations to this text. Compare also My own comments and speculations to John 2:1-2.

On the other side the expression “what (is there that is) ‘to Me and to’/’between Me and’ you” can points to an allusion to Mary, the german mother of Jesus. So we can have a conscious allusion to both to Mary (Mark 3:21-35) and to a spiritual mother as Salome (Matt 20:20-22).

Another possibility is that Jesus with His address “woman” will intimate that He parts by being “the Man” (both male and female). Cf. for example John 19:34.


Greek words:

diakonos (servant) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Esther 1:10; Matt 22:13; John 2:5 – Esther 2:2; 6:3,5; Matt 20:26; 23:11; Mark 9:35; 10:43; John 2:9; 12:26; Rom 13:4; 15:8; 16:1; 1 Cor 3:5; 2 Cor 3:6; 6:4; 11:15,23; Gal 2:17; Eph 3:7; 6:21; Phil 1:1; Col 1:7,25; 4:7; 1 Thess 3:2(א,*א,A); 1 Tim 3:8,12; 4:6.

eita (next) (in the NT + one example in the Apocrypha) Luke 8:12; John 2:3 – Wisdom of Solomon 14:22; Mark 4:17; 8:25; John 13:5; 19:27; 20:27; 1 Cor 15:24; 1 Tim 2:13; 3:10; Heb 12:9; Jas 1:15.

hêkô (have arrived) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Matt 24.50; John 2:4; – Tobit 13:11(13)(BA); 14:7; 1 Macc 7:28; 2 Macc 8:35; 12:7; Wisdom of Solomon 3:13; Sir 27:27; Matt 8:11; 23:36; 24:14; Mark 8:3; Luke 12:46; 13:29; 15:27; 19:43; John 4:47; 6:37; 8:42; Rom 11:26; Heb 10:7,9,37; 2 Pet 3:10; 1 John 5:20; Rev 2:25; 3:3,9; 15:4; 18:8.

oinos (wine) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Luke 5:37; John 2:3 – Esther 1:7; Tobit 1:7; Judith 10:5; 11:13; 12:1,20; 13:2; 2 Macc 15:39; Wisdom of Solomon 2:7; Sir 9:9-10; 19:2; 31:25-29,31; 32:6; 40:20; Bel and the Dragon v 3(Theod),11; Matt 9:17; 27:34; Mark 2:22; 15:23; Luke 1:15; 5:38; 7:33; 10:34; John 2:9-10; 4:46; Rom 14:21; Eph 5:18; 1 Tim 3:8; 5:23; Tit 2:3; Rev 6:6; 14:8,10; 16:19; 17:2; 18:3,13; 19:15.

oupô (not yet) (in the NT + one example in the OT) Mark 8:17; John 2:4 – Gen 15:16; Matt 15:17(א,*א); Matt 16:9; 24:6; Mark 4:40; Mark 7:18(א,*א); Mark 8:21; 11:2; 13:7; John 3:24; 6:17; 7:6,8,30,39; 8:20,57; 11:30; 20:17; 1 Cor 3:2; 8:2; Phil 3:13(א,*א,A); Heb 2:8; 12:4; 1 John 3:2; Rev 17:10,12.

synteleô (bring to a consummation) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Tobit 14:4; Sir 34:8; Mark 13:4; Luke 4:2; John 2:3 – Tobit 8:1,17; 10:7(BA); 14:9(10); Judith 2:4; 1 Macc 8:31; 11:40; 2 Macc 4:3; 12:3; Sir 24:28; 38:8; Epistle of Jeremiah v 61; Luke 4:13; Acts 21:27; Rom 9:28; Heb 8:8.


Additional studies: Joshua 2:24; Judges 11:12; 2 Sam 16:10; 19:22; 2 Kings 3:13; 2 Chron 35:21; Hos 14:7(8); Matt 8:29; 12:46-50; 15:32; 17:5; Mark 1:24; 9:7; Luke 4:34; 8:19-21,28; 13:12; John 7:6,8,30; 12:26; 13:1; 19:26; 20:13,15; Rev 17:12; 18:10,17,19.

Carl Armerding "The Marriage in Cana"; Bibliothaeca Sacra 118-142 (1961): 320-326.

Charles H. Giblin "Suggestion, Negative Response and Positive Action in St. John's Portrayal of Jesus (John 2:1-11; 4:46-54; 7:2-14; 11:1-44)"; New Testament Studies 26 (1980): 197-211.

Troy W. Martin "Assessing the Johannine Epithet 'Mother of Jesus'." Catholic Biblical Quarterly 60 (1998): 63-73.

F.S. Parnham "The Miracle at Cana"; The Evangelical Quarterly 42.2 (April-June 1970): 105-109.

Ritva H. Williams "The Mother of Jesus at Cana: A Social-Science Interpretation of John 2:1-12"; Catholic Biblical Quarterly 59 (1997): 679-692.


(Original version 2007-12-01; revised version 2009-01-28; 2010-05-14; 2012-05-12; 2014-03-28; concluding version 2017-09-15)

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2:6-10 But there (continually) were six water-pots of stone * (א*) (made) ‘according to’/concerning the purification of the Jews, having room upwards for two or three firkin-measures. And (א,*א) Jesus says to them: "Fill the water-pots (of/containing) water." And they filled them till up/’the brim’. And He says to them: "Ladle now out and carry (it) to the threebedleader." But/and they carried (it).

But as the threebedleader had tasted the water having become (and becoming) wine, and he did not know from where it is/was – but the servants, the ones having ladled (and ladling) out the water, knew – the threebedleader raises his voice to(wards) the bridegroom and says to him: "Every man puts/’puts out’ the fine wine first and when they – according to the circumstances – may have been made drunk the less/inferior. You have kept (and keep) the fine wine till just now."

Word for word: 2:6 (17 words in the Greek text Sinaiticus prima manus) were-(continually) but there of-stone water-pots six according-to the purification (of)-the (of)-Jews having-room upwards firkin-measures two or three. 2:7 (14 words in the Greek text Sinaiticus) and say (to)-them the Jesus: fill the water-pots (of)-water. and (they)-filled them till up. 2:8 (12 words in the Greek text) and (he)-says them: ladle-out now and carry (to)-the threebedleader. they (Greek: hoi) but carried. 2:9 (27 words in the Greek text) as but tasted the threebedleader the water wine having-become-(and-becoming) and not 'knew-(and-had-known)'/knew from-where (it)-is, the but servants 'knew-(and-had-known)'/knew the-(ones) (Greek: hoi) having-ladled-(and-ladling)-out the water, raises-(his)-voice the bridegroom the threebedleader 2:10 (22 words in the Greek text) and (he)-says him: every man first the fine wine puts-(out) and when-according-to-the-circumstances (they)-may-have-been-drunk the less. you have-kept-(and-keep) the fine wine till just-now.


The Former Revelation (preliminary translation):

(On the fourth day) God made the two great luminaries, the great luminary into/’purposed for’ a beginning/leadership of the day and the less luminary into/’purposed for’ a beginning/leadership of the night. (Gen 1:16a, Greek OT)

The messenger of the Lord spoke (to the woman who to Abram would bear a son “according to the flesh”): “Hagar … from where do you come and where do you go?” (Gen 16:8a, Greek OT)

Pharaoh spoke towards Joseph: “Speak to your brothers: ‘Make/do this: Fill/equip your journeys and go away into 'an earth'/'a land' of Canaan.’” (Gen 45:17, Greek OT)

The Lord spoke towards Moses: “Speak to your brother Aaron: ‘Take your rod and stretch out your hand against the waters of Egypt and against their rivers and against their canals and against their marshes and against every their water standing together/still, and they will be blood.’ And it became blood in every/all earth/land of Egypt, both in the (vessels) of wood and in the (vessels) of stone.” (Ex 7:19, Greek OT)

(The Lord) wrote (the ten commandments) against two tablets of stone. (Deut 4:13b, Greek OT)

(The sea of copper) could hold two thousand baths. (1 Kings 7:26b, New American Standard)

(The prophet) spoke: “Take to me four water-pots (of/containing) water.” (1 Kings 18:34a, Greek OT)

(The sea of copper) could hold 3000 baths. (1 Chron 4:5b, New American Standard)

(The sea of copper) had room for three thousand firkin-measures. ... (It was) for the priests to wash in. (2 Chron 4:5b,6b, Greek OT)

(Uzziah) was entirely stable till up/the brim. (2 Chron 26:8b, Greek OT)

When the days of the wedding banquet were ‘completed upwards’/upcompleted, the king made a drinking-bout for the nations, the ones having been found into/in the city against/about six days. (Esther 1:5a, Greek OT)

An ear ‘judges asunder’/discerns words, but/and a throat/palate tastes bread-stuffs/bread. (Job 12:11, Greek OT)

An ear proves sayings, and a throat/palate tastes consumption/food. (Job 34:3, Greek OT)

(David said:) “Taste and behold that the Lord (is) beneficial.” (Ps 34:8a or 34:9a, Greek OT)

(The Lord said to Jerusalem:) “Your shopkeepers (mix) the wine (with) water.” (Is 1:22b, Greek OT)

(The psalmist said to the people of God:) “In company with cheerfulness you will ladle out water, out of the springs of the saving.” (Is 12:3, Greek OT)

(The prophet said:) “The Lord of hosts will make (a feast) for all the nations against/over this mountain (Zion). They will drink cheerfulness. They will drink wine. They will anoint ointment oil.” (Is 25:6b, Greek OT)

(The Lord said to Jerusalem:) “The days of your grief will be ‘completed upwards’/upcompleted.” (Is 60:20b, Greek OT)

… (As) wine blended together with water (is a) sweet (drink) and ends off the (joybringing) grace amusing in this way and/also the ‘entirely preparation’/end of the saying amuses the hearsays/listening of the ones entreating/’falling in with’ the arrangement together. Thereupon the end will be. (2 Macc 15:39)

(Solomon said to the Lord:) “You have arranged every thing throughout (with) measure and number and standing-place/balance.” (Wisdom of Solomon 11:20b)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said: “Wisdom) makes (the ones fearing the Lord) drunk from its fruits.” (Sir 1:16b)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said:) “Young wine (is) a young friend. If – according to the circumstances – it may be made/become old, you will drink it in company with cheerfulness.” (Sir 9:10b)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said:) “… In purification I found (wisdom).” (Sir 51:20a)

(Every day Bel got) six firkin-measures wine. (Bel and the Dragon v 3b, Theod.)


The Latter Revelation:

(Jesus said to His disciples:) “You may not adopt as a law that I came to loosen down/up the law or the prophets. I did not come to loosen down/up however/but to complete. For Amen I say to you: ‘Till – according to the circumstances - the heaven and the earth may come by the side of, not one “iota” (the smallest letter) or one tittle, may not/certainly not come by the side of from the law, till – according to the circumstances – all things may become/’come about’.’” (Matt 5:17-18)

(Jesus said:) "From the days of John the Baptist till just now the kingdom of the heavens suffers violence, and men using violence rape it." (Matt 11:12)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) “The kingdom of the heavens is like leaven, which on a woman's having taken (it), she hid (it) in, into three corn-measures (about 13 litres each) of flour, till (the time in) which it was wholly leavened.” (Matt 13:33b)

(Jesus) taught (the people in Nazaret) in their synagogue, so that they were overwhelmed and said: “From where (are) this wisdom and the abilities to this One? … From where (did) so this One (get) all these things?” (Matt 13:54b,56b)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) "Upon/’with regard to’ a mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand/’stand firm’." (Matt 18:16b)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) "Where two or three having been (and being) led together into My name, there I am in their middle." (Matt 18:20)

Jesus spoke to (His disciples): “Not all have room for this saying, however/’on the other hand’ (the ones) to whom it is (and has been) given. … The one being able to have room for (this), let him have room for (it).” (Matt 19:11,12b)

(Jesus said to a rich man:) ”Keep the commandments.” “Of what kind?” he utters (א,* א). But/and Jesus spoke: “You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not be a false witness. Honour the father and the mother, and you shall welcome your neighbour as yourself.” (Matt 19:17b-19)

(Jesus said to the priest leaders and the elders of the people:) “From where was (continually) the baptism of John, out of heaven or out of men?” … They answered (that they did) not know from where. (Matt 21:25a; Luke 20:7)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) “From just now I may not/certainly not drink out of this * (P37*,א*) produce of the vine, till that day when I – according to the circumstances – may drink it new in company with you in the kingdom of My Father.” (Matt 26:29b)

(The soldiers) gave (Jesus) wine to drink being (and having been) mixed ‘in company’/together with gall. And having tasted He did not want to drink. (Matt 27:34)

(Jesus said to the healed leper:) “Withdraw and show yourself to the priest and carry to (him) on account of your purification the things which Moses has commanded into/for a testimony to them.” (Mark 1:44b)

The boat already was filled (with water). (Mark 4:37b)

(The woman said:) “If – according to the circumstances – I may touch and/namely if – according to the circumstances – His garments, I will be saved.” And straight/’straight off’ the spring of her blood was dried, and she gained knowledge (in) the body, that she was healed from the whip/plague. And having straight/’straight off’ gained additional knowledge in Himself of the ability having come out, out of Him, (and) having turned next to (them) in the crowd Jesus (continually/repeatedly) said: “Who touched My garments?” And His disciples (continually/repeatedly) said to Him: “You see the crowd oppressing/crowding together (against) You, and You say: ‘Who touched Me?’” (Mark 5:28-31)

The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat, if they – according to the circumstances – do not frequently (א,* א) may wash their hands, ‘getting power over’/embracing the tradition of the elders. And (coming) from a market place, they do not eat, if they - according to the circumstances – may not sprinkle (א,* א, B) (themselves). (Mark 7:3-4a)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and a servant of all.” (Mark 9:35b)

Having run and filled a sponge (with) sour wine (and) having put it round about a reed, a certain one (continually/repeatedly) gave it to (Jesus) to drink. (Mark 15:36a)

Being convicted by (John the Baptist) Herod, ‘the one of four leaders’/’the tetrarch’, … shut (John) entirely/in in watch/custody. (Luke 3:19a,20b)

(The Pharisees and their scribes) spoke towards (Jesus): "Because of what (א,*A) do the disciples of John frequently fast and make/perform prayers, likewise and/also (the disciples) of the Pharisees, but/while Yours eat and drink?" But Jesus spoke towards them: "The sons of the bridechamber are not able to * (א*) fast, (the time) in which the bridegroom is in company with them(, are they)?" (Luke 5:33-34)

(Jesus said:) “(As long as the bridegroom is in company with the disciples) no one throws/puts young/fresh wine into old leather bags.” (Luke 5:37a)

(Jesus said:) "No one having drunk old (wine) wants young/fresh, for he says: 'The old is beneficial.'" (Luke 5:39)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) “Give and it will be given to you. A fine measure, having been (and being) pressed, moved to and fro, they will give overflowing into your bosom.” (Luke 6:38a)

… The Lord ... dispatched (the seventy) away ‘upwards two’/’two by two’. (Luke 10:1a)

(The Lord said to His disciples: “Be) like men ‘receiving towards’/welcoming their lord, when he may 'loosen up'/’set out’ ‘out of’/from the wedding banquets in order that, having come and knocked, they may straightaway open to him. Happy (are) those slaves whom, on (their) lord's having come, he will find being awake. Amen I say to you, that he will gird himself around and cause them to ‘lean back’/’lay down (at table)’. * (א*). And if he – according to the circumstances – may come in the second and – if according to the circumstances – in the third watch and he may find (them) in this way, they (א*) are happy.” (Luke 12:36b-38)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) "It will be from the now, (that) five in one house having been (and being) divided asunder, three on/'for the sake of' two and two on/'for the sake of' three, they will be divided asunder." (Luke 12:52-53a)

The lord spoke towards the slave: “Come/go out into/to the ways and enclosures and urge (men) to come in, in order that my house may be filled.” (Luke 14:23)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) “No one of those men (א,* א) being (and having been) called will taste My chief meal.” (Luke 14:24b)

(The father said to his slaves): "Carry the fattened young bull (and) sacrifice (it) and having eaten we may be cheerful." (Luke 15:23)

And becoming/coming in a more/’more and more’ zealous fight/struggle (Jesus) (continually) prayed. And His sweat became as if drops of blood descending against the earth. And having stood up from the prayer (and) having come towards the disciples He found them falling asleep from/’away from’ the sorrow, and He spoke to them: “What/why do you sleep?” (Luke 22:44-46a)

(Jesus said to His apostles:) "You will take ability, on the Holy Spirit's having come against, against you, and you will be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in every/all Judea and Samaria and till (the) last/end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

(On the day of Pentecost they said about the believers:) "They are (and have been) filled up (with) sweet wine." (Acts 2:13b)


The Apostle, the eighth and one of the seven:

And they (continually/repeatedly) had not wine, because the wine of the wedding banquet had been brought to a consummation (א*). (John 2:3a)


Exegetes, evangelists and others:

about 2000 - about 1500

It is possible that the number "six" here represents what is imperfect (one is lacked to make up the perfect number seven). (René Kieffer "Johannesevangeliet" p 62; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

Through Jesus we are ‘washed from sin’ (apolouein) (Acts 22:16). There comes a ‘cleansing from sin’ (katharismos) (Heb 1:3; II Pet. 1:9; 1 John 1:7). It is as if life was soiled and mired and stained and muddied by sin; and Jesus Christ has the power to cleanse it, as the rain washes clean the pavements. (William Barclay ”New Testament Words” p124)

In classical Greek ... “kalos” (fine) originally referred to beauty of form. ... “Kalos” in Greek also means beautiful and honourable in the moral sense. ... We may best of all see the meaning of “kalos”, if we contrast it with “agathos” which is the common Greek word for “good”. “Agathos” is that which is practically and morally good; “kalos” is that which is not only practically and morally good, but that which is also aesthetically good, which is lovely and pleasing to the eye. ... “Kalos” adds to the idea of goodness the idea of beauty, of loveliness, of graciousness, of winsomeness. “Agathos” appeals to the moral sense; but “kalos” appeals also to the eye. ... There is no English word which fully translates “kalos”; there is no word which gathers up within itself the beauty, the winsomeness, the attractiveness, the generosity, the usefulness, which are all included in this word. Perhaps the word which comes nearest to it is the Scots word “bonnie”. (William Barclay ”New Testament Words” p 151-161)

The evangelist intends to call attention to the replacement of the water prescribed for Jewish purification by the choicest of wines. (Raymond E. Brown "The Gospel according to John" p 104)

Tell me what you're gonna do When the shadow comes under your door ... When the devils calls your cards ... When your water turns to wine ... When you can't play God no more ... When the shadow comes creepin' in your room ... O Lord, O Lord What should you do? (Bob Dylan "Whatcha Gonna Do" p 70; 1963)

We lack Jewish evidence for any office corresponding to the title “archiklinos”, and the question must remain unsolved. (C.K. Barrett "The Gospel according to St John" p 193)

Katthult was a sober place. Emil's father never tasted anything being strong, he did not drink even beer, except of course when he was treated, on the markets and like that, then it could not be helped. What would he do when anyone wanted to force him to drink beer, perhaps both one or two bottles! Qucikly he could of course work out that two beers cost thrty öre, and thirty öre one can not toss away anyhow. It was only to start and drink, whether he wanted to or not. (Astrid Lindgren "Än lever Emil i Lönneberga" p 83; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

1908-06-13. The wine was what gave me illusion of happiness! Therefore I was drinking! It also soothed the philosophy of life. It made my dull sense tender and intelligent. At times it appeased the hunger in my youth! (August Strindberg "Ockulta dagboken" p 299; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

1906-01-18. (Hugo von) Philp (the husband of my sister Anna) died ... precisely to the day ... and the hour after having a stroke six years ago. For six years Napoleon was on St. Helena; for six years Bismark was in Sachsenwald, forgotten, disdained. Six years Heine was in bed. (August Strindberg "Ockulta dagboken" p 234; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

Daddy has ... hit upon taking one dram before breakfast and two before dinner. He says, that schnapps is the best of all medicaments and as long as he is able to take in this medicine long time enough, so he will be completely well. This daddy knows for certain. Daddy had never tasted schnapps until he was seventeen years old, but then he had the shivers, and grandmother had cured him by giving him schnapps. Both mother and aunt Lovisa say that after all they have seen, people only become destroyed and miserable by drinking schnapps, but daddy does not want to agree with them, but he declares he is better day by day. But we children, we see after all that daddy is not quite well, for he never more runs playing tag with us in the evenings. Daddy has now been busy curing himself first in one winter and so far into the second. But then he also has a bad cough, so that he gets no peace from it neither day nor night. (Selma Lagerlöf "Ett barns memoarer" s 79-80; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

Though Christ allows a right use of wine, he does not in the least do away his own caution, which is, that our hearts be not at any time overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, Luke XXI:34. (Matthew Henry "Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible" p 775)

The captain sipped at the contents of the cup and and slung it in the sea. "We have better wine on board", he said giving Ruys a hint. "Up with the best cask and roll that one into the sea!" It was an order, which the freebooters likes. . . . Ruys took on the duties of host, filled the cups and exhorted to frequent empty them. "A glorious wine! A compund of fire and scent of roses!" he repeated, while he poured out. (Viktor Rydberg "Fribytaren på Östersjön I" p 13-14; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)


about 1500 and time before

Deep in the Christian time among Scandinavians the idea lived that their heathen fathers believed in the existence of an Eden, from which sorrow, pain, defects, old age, illness and death were shut out. This Eden was called . . . "Not field of dead ones . . . earth of living men". It was situated not in heaven, but down there, neither on the surface of the earth, nor in the nether world, but separated from the built-up countries of men in a way, which did it not impossible, but nevertheless extremely venturesome to come there. A fairy-tale from the fourteenth century, taken up in the Flatö-book, and with some corrections in "Fornald. Sag. III", tells: Erik, the son of a Norwegian king of a little country, one Christmas Eve gave the promise to visit Odains-aker, and this rumour became known over all Norway. In company with a Danish prince, who also was called Erik, they set off. . . . At a distance they saw a tower. In that direction they continued to go, and they found, when they had come nearer, that the tower stood free in the air without foundation or posts. A ladder brought up to it. In the tower there was a room, arrayed with velvet, and there was a beautiful table with delicious dishes on silver plates and wine in golden drinking-vessels. There also were excellently made beds. The two men now were convinced that they had come to Odains-aker and they thanked God that they had achieved their goal. They refreshed themselves and went to sleep. In the sleep a beautiful boy came to Erik. The boy mentioned him by name, said himself be one of the angels watching the gate-way of Paradise, and also Erik's guardian angel, who was at his side, when he gave the promise to seek out Odains-aker. . . . The angel informed him that Odains-aker . . . where he now stayed was not the same place as Paradise, for to this only spirits are allowed to come, and this is the kingdom of spirits, Paradise, so glorious, that Odains-aker, in comparison with it, is as a waste. Nevertheless these two different districts border next to each other, and the river, which Erik had seen, has in Paradise its spring. (Viktor Rydberg "Mythen om underjorden" p 235-237; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

As God, and not man, has produced the blood of the vine, so also (the Scripture) has predicted that the blood of Christ would be not of the seed of man, but of the power of God. (Justin Martyr, The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol I, p 222)

That wine which was produced by God in a vineyard, and which was first consumed, was good. None of those who drank of it found fault with it; and the Lord partook of it also. But that wine was better which the Word made from water. (Irenaeus, The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol I, p 427)

The ‘water-pots’ are ranged ... for purification – for the washing not only of hands before and after eating, but also of the vessels used. (Alfred Edersheim "The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah Part I" p 357)


Examples of other quoted authors in the Swedish version: Alf Ahlberg, Svetlana Aleksijevitj, Ann-Charlotte Alverfors, Karl-Erik Andersson, Stefan Andhé, Miguel Angel Asturias, Gottfried Arnold, M. Baxter, Håkan Bengtsson, Gösta Berg, Henrik Berg, Carl-Martin Bergstrand, Elisabeth Bergstrand-Poulsen, Elisabeth Beskow, Bernhard Bexell, Oloph Bexell, Manfred Björkquist, Lars-Ola Borglid, Frederick William Bourne, Gordon Bridger, Nils-Arvid Bringeus, Ingmar Brohed, Gustaf Bång, Barthold Carlson, Sten Carlsson, Winston Churchill, Joseph Alfred Conwell, Harald Dagman, Thorild Dahlgren, Sten Damberg, Sven Danell, Henry Daniel-Rops, Charles Dickens, E.J. Ekman, Per Ericsson, Artur Evers, Gunnar Fjellestad, Peter Fjellstedt, Emilia Fogelklou, Per Anders Fogelström, Elisabeth Fransson Malm, Bo Frid, Erik Gustaf Geijer, Gullan Gerward, Nikolaj Gogol, Röl Gording, Johannes Gossner, Carl Grimberg, Ann-Sofie Gräslund, Berndt Gustafsson, Enar Gustafsson, Jeanette Gustavsson, Lennart Gustavsson, Torsten Gårdlund, J.A. Göth, Björn Hallström, Dick Harrison, Olov Hartman, John Hedlund, Verner von Heidenstam, Alf Henrikson, Marianne Herrlin, C.G. Hjelm, Edwin Hodder, Hjalmar Holmquist, Homeros, Sven Hultman, Elis Håstad, Fritz Hägg, Kazuo Ishiguro, Anders Jarlert, Barbro Jern, Erik Johannesson, Edvard Johansson, Lennart Johansson, Liselotte Johansson, Viktor Johansson, W.E. Johns, Eyvind Johnson, Ragnar Järhult, Erik Axel Karlfeldt, Aleksis Kivi, Sture Kjällqvist, Carl J. Kullenbergh, Lars Levi Laestadius, Selma Lagerström, Lars-Olof Larsson, Olle Larsson, Harry Lenhammar, Anna Maria Lenngren, C.S. Lewis, Jonas Lie, Astrid Lindgren, Sigurd Lindgren, Teodor Lindhagen, Herman Lindqvist, Martin Luther, N.P. Madsen, Olaus Magnus, Harry Martinson, H.M. Melin, Mo Yan, Vilhelm Moberg, Ingun Montgomery, James Morris, H. Myrbäck, Fabian Månsson, Sinikka Neuhaus, Fredrik Nielsen, Ivan Nikolajevitj Zjmychov, Fritiof Nilsson Piraten, Hilding Nordström, Ingrid Nordström, Olle Nyman, J. Nyrén, Runa Ohlander, Arne Olofsson, Bror Olsson, Efraim Palmqvist, Pansy, G.H. Pember, Lewi Pethrus, Hilding Pleijel, Magnus Qvist, Patrik Reuterswärd, Einar Rimmerfors, Edvard Rohde, Anna Maria Roos, Thure Gustaf Rudbeck, Abraham Rundbäck, Johan Ludvig Runeberg, Josef Rydén, Torsten S:son Frey, Gösta Sandberg, Martha Sandwall-Bergström, Henrik Schartau, Hj. Selldén, Bo Setterlind, William Shakespeare, Eliza M. Sherman, Tomas Sjödin, Enar Skillius, C. Skovgaard-Petersen, John Steinbeck, Stig Stenström, Gunnar Stenvall, Sven Stolpe, Rune Storck, Hesba Stretton, Axel Strindberg, Svante Ståhl, Erland Sundström, Jesper Svartvik, Johanna Svensdotter, Sigfrid Svensson, Ernst Söderlund, Edvard Thermaenius, Anton Tjechov, Leo Tolstoj, Gustaf Ullman, Bertil Waldén, P. Waldenström, Einar Wallquist, John Westlin, Ernst Wigforss, Sigurd Wildte, M.B. Williams, Paul Wilstadius, Nicholas Wiseman, Thomas de Witt Talmage, Gustaf Wikner, Thecla Wrangel, Yngve Ydreborg, Emile Zola, Göran Åberg.


My own comments and speculations:

Brown (see “Exegetes, evangelists and others” above) speaks of how the water prescribed for Jewish purification is replaced by the choicest of wines. To be more exact the situation is probably the following: From the beginning the water-pots contain the water of Moses up to a certain level. Then they are filled with the living water of Jesus. This water of Jesus is in the Synoptics called the new wine, while the water of Moses is the old wine. Together the old and the new wine becomes “the choicest of wines”. Cf. Luke 5:39 and 2 Macc 15:39. Cf. also Sirach 33:15: “In this way you shall see in all the works of the Highest One, two (and) two, one entirely opposite one.” and Matt 13:33, where the kingdom of heavens is compared with leaven, which leavens the whole dough.

In Egypt Moses and Aaron turned water to undrinkable blood. As Messiah, Jesus now restores the undrinkable water by turning it to fine wine. The number six is a symbol of imperfection. Soon it is time to complete and fulfil the writings by filling the seventh and last jar of the Law, for Jesus is the end of the law (cf. John 7:6,8,30; 13:1; Rom 10:4).

The Greek word for “fill” is rare in the Bible. In the Synoptics we first meet it to describe how a boat is filled with water (Mark 4:37) and the last time in the life of Jesus to describe how a sponge is filled with sour wine (Mark 15:36). Here in John the word is used to describe how the jars are filled with water, which then becomes fine wine. The sour wine in the Synoptics is changed into the fine wine in the Gospel of John. Cf. “filled up (with) sweet wine” in Acts 2:13.

The Greek word for "less" occurs only here in the Gospels. In Gen 1:16 (Greek OT) it is used about the moon in relation to the sun. And then the "less" moon was created after the sun. Now the less/inferior wine comes before the fine wine.

Like the word for “less” does not occur in the Synoptics, likewise it is with the words for “water-pot”, “of stone”, “firkin-measure”, “ladle out” and “up”. We can also say that these words are typical for the Old Testament and the old situation. Cf. Heb 7:22.

The allusion to the different information about the measure of the sea of copper in the temple can be compared with the different information about the number of the sons of Adonikam in Ezra 2:13 (666) and Neh 7:18 (667) and its possible allusion to the number 666 in Rev 13:18. Compare also “the sea” which is changed to blood in Rev 16:3.

The Greek word “architriklinos” doesn't occur in other places of the Bible. Barclay means, that the question of the meaning of the word must remain unsolved. Probably he is right. But if we see the word in the light of its letters (cf. My own comments and speculations to John 5:45-47), it is possible to suggest another solution. “Archi” means “beginning or leader” and “tri” means “three”. The first syllable of “klinos” is the same as in the word “klinê” (bed), which in a masculine form could be written “klinos”. In Luke (and in the Synoptics and the Acts) it is told about three different kind of beds: 1) Luke 5:18,25 The bed of the healed one (cf. Matt 9:2,6; Mark 7:30). 2) Luke 8:16-17 The bed of the wicked ones, who hide their bad works (cf. Mark 4:21-22; John 3:19-20). 3) Luke 17:34 The bed of the sleeping ones.

In Matt 16:19 we read about the keys of Peter and his power to bind and loosen. Perhaps it is not too far-fetched to see Peter as a possible “architriklinos” or “threebedleader”. Cf. also with the three sleeping disciples in Gethsemane with Peter as the leader (Matt 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46) and with the three tents, which Peter wants to make for Moses, Eliah and Jesus (Matt 17:4; Mark 9:5; Luke 9:33).

The threebedleader does not know from where the wine came, but the servants know. This can be compared with Mark 5:29-31, where it is said that Jesus does not know to whom ability/power goes out to get the blood to an end. At the same time others know it.


Paul said to the believers in Corinth: "But if the service of the death, having been (and being) engraved in letters (on) stones, ‘became in’/’came with’ glory so that the sons of Israel be/were not able to gaze into Moses' face because of the glory of his face ... how rather/’much more’ will 'by no means'/not the service of the Spirit be in glory.” (2 Cor 3:7-8)


Greek words:

ana (upwards) (in the NT + examples in the OT) Luke 10:1; John 2:6 - Gen 24:22; Ex 26:28; Joshua 16:9; 19:1; 1 Kings 18:13; 1 Chron 15:26; Sir 25:18; Matt 13:25; 20:9-10; Mark 7:31; Luke 9:14; 1 Cor 6:5; 14:27; Rev 4:8; 7:17; 21:21.

antleô (ladle out) (in the NT + examples in the OT) Is 12:3; John 2:8-9 – Gen 24:13; John 4:7,15.

anô (up) (in the NT + examples in the OT) 2 Chron 26:8; John 2:7 – Ex 20:4; Deut 4:39; 5:8; 29:17; John 8:23; 11:41; Acts 2:19; Gal 4:26; Phil 3:14; Col 3:1-2; Heb 12:15.

arti (just now) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Matt 26:29; John 2:10 – Judith 9:1; 2 Macc 3:28; 9:8; 13:11; Matt 3:15; 9:18; 11:12; 23:39; 26:53,64; John 5:17; 9:19,25; 13:7,19,33,37; 14:7; 16:12,24,31; 1 Cor 4:11,13; 8:7; 13:12; 15:6; 16:7; Gal 1:9-10; 4:20; 1 Thess 3:6; 2 Thess 2:7; 1 Pet 1:6,8; 1 John 2:9; Rev 12:10; 14:13.

architriklinos (threebedleader) John 2:8-9.

gemizô (fill) (in the NT) Mark 4:37; 15:36; Luke 14:23; John 2:7 – John 6:13; Rev 8:5; Rev 10:10(א*); Rev 15:8.

geuomai (taste) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Matt 27:34; Luke 14:24; John 2:9 – Tobit 2:4; 7:12(BA); 2 Macc 6:20; Sir 36:19(21); Matt 16:28; Mark 9:1; Luke 9:27; John 8:52; Acts 10:10; 20:11; 23:14; Col 2:21; Heb 2:9; 6:4-5; 1 Pet 2:3.

elassôn/elattôn (less) John 2:10 – 2 Macc 5:5; Wisdom of Solomon 9:5; Rom 9:12; 1 Tim 5:9; Heb 7:7.

(h)ex (six) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Bel and the Dragon v 3; Matt 17:1; John 2:6 – Esther 1:5; 2:12; Tobit 1:7; Bel and the Dragon v 31; Mark 9:2; Luke 4:25; 13:14; John 2:20; 12:1; Acts 11:12; 18:11; 27:37; Jas 5:17; Rev 4:8.

(h)eôs (till) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Matt 11:12; John 2:7,10; Acts 1:8 – Esther 7:2; Tobit 1:14,21; 2:4(BA),10(BA); 10:12; 14:5; Judith 1:10,15; 5:17; 6:5,8; 8:34; 10:10,15,18; 11:21; 12:14; 13:4; 15:5; 1 Macc 2:33; 3:9,26,33; 5:19,45; 6:22; 8:4,10; 10:50; 12:29; 13:30,39; 16:2; Wisdom of Solomon 10:14; Sir 4:28; 23:16-17(17); 33:21; 34:12(13); 35:17-18(21-22),20-23(23-25); 40:1; 47:7; 48:15; 51:6; Baruch 1:4,13,19. Matt 1:17,25; 2:9,13,15; 5:18,25-26; 10:11,23; 11:12-13,23; 12:20; 13:33; 14:22; 16:28; 17:9,17; 18:21-22,30,34; 20:8; 22:26,44; 23:35,39; 24:21,27,31,34,39; 26:29,36,38,58; 27:8,45,51,64; 28:20; Mark 6:10,23,45; 9:1,19; 12:36; 13:19,27; 14:25,32,34,54; 15:33,38; Luke 1:80; 2:15; Luke 2:26(א*); Luke 2:37; 4:29,42; 9:27,41; 10:15; 11:51; 12:50,59; 13:8,21,35; 15:4,8; 17:8; 20:43; 21:32; 22:16,18,34,51; 23:5,44; 24:49-50; John 5:17; 9:4,18; 10:24; John 12:35 (P66,א,*א); John 13:38; 16:24; 21:22-23. Acts 2:35; 7:45; 8:10,40; 9:38; 11:19,22; 13:20,47; 17:14-15; 21:5,26; 23:12,14,21,23; 25:21; 26:11; 28:23; Rom 3:12; 11:8; 1 Cor 1:8; 4:5,13; 8:7; 15:6; 16:8; 2 Cor 1:13; 3:15; 12:2; 2 Thess 2:7; 1 Tim 4:13; Heb 1:13; 8:11; 10:13; Jas 5:7; 2 Pet 1:19; 1 John 2:9; Rev 6:10-11.

kalos (fine) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Luke 6:38; John 2:10 – Esther 1:11; 2:2-3,7; Tobit 5:14; 6:12; 8:6; 9:6; 12:7-8; Judith 8:7; 11:21; 12:13; 2 Macc 3:1,25; 9:16; 15:12; Wisdom of Solomon 4:12; 10:8; 13:7; Sir 20:2; 37:9; 41:16; 46:10; Susanna v 2(Theod),31(Theod); Matt 3:10; 5:16; 7:17-19; 12:33; 13:8,23-24,27,37-38,45,48; 15:26; 17:4; 18:8-9; 26:10,24; Mark 4:8,20; 7:27; 9:5,42-43,45,47,50; 14:6,21; Luke 3:9; 6:43; 8:15; 9:33; 14:34; 21:5; John 10:11,14,32-33; Acts 27:8. Rom 7:16,18,21; 12:17; 14:21; 1 Cor 5:6; 7:1,8,26; 9:15; 2 Cor 8:21; 13:7; Gal 4:18; 6:9; 1 Thess 5:21; 1 Tim 1:8,18; 2:3; 3:1,7,13; 4:4,6; 5:10,25; 6:12-13,18-19; 2 Tim 1:14; 2:3; 4:7; Tit 2:7,14; 3:8,14; Heb 5:14; 6:5; 10:24; 13:9,18; Jas 2:7; 3:13; 4:17; 1 Pet 2:12; 4:10.

katharismos (purification) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Sir 51:20; Mark 1:44; John 2:6 – 2 Macc 1:18,36; 2:16,19; 10:5; Luke 2:22; 5:14; John 3:25; Heb 1:3; 2 Pet 1:9.

lithinos (of stone) (in the NT) John 2:6 – 2 Cor 3:3; Rev 9:20.

methyskô (to make drunk) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Sir 1:16; John 2:10 – Judith 6:4; Sir 32:13; Luke 12:45; Eph 5:18; 1 Thess 5:7; Rev 17:2.

metrêtês (firkin-measure) (in the NT + examples in the OT) 2 Chron 4:5; Bel and the Dragon v 3; John 2:6 – 1 Kings 18:32.

nymfios (bridegroom) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Luke 5:34; John 2:9 – 1 Macc 1:27; 9:39; Baruch 2:23; Matt 9:15; 25:1,5-6,10; Mark 2:19-20; Luke 5:35; John 3:29; Rev 18:23.

(h)otan (when according to the circumstances) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) John 2:10 – Tobit 8:21; Wisdom of Solomon 12:18; Sir 18:7; Matt 5:11; 6:2,5-6,16; 9:15; 10:19,23; 12:43; 13:32; 15:2; 19:28; 21:40; 23:15; 24:15, 32-33; 25:31; 26:29; Mark 2:20; 3:11; 4:15-16,29,31-32; 8:38; 9:9; 11:19,25; 12:25; 13:4,7,11,14,28-29; 14:7,25; Luke 5:35; 6:22,26; 8:13; 9:26; 11:2,21,24,34,36; 12:11,54; 13:28; 14:8,10,12-13; 16:4,9; 17:10; 21:7,9,20,30-31; 23:42. John 4:25; 5:7; 7:27,31; 8:28,44; 9:5; 10:4; 13:19; 14:29; 15:26; 16:4,13,21; 21:18. Acts 23:35; 24:22; Rom 2:14; 11:27; 1 Cor 3:4; 13:10; 14:26; 15:24,27-28,54; 16:2-3,5,12; 2 Cor 10:6; 12:10; 13:9; Col 3:4; 4:16; 1 Thess 5:3; 2 Thess 1:10; 1 Tim 5:11; Tit 3:12; Heb 1:6; Jas 1:2; 1 John 2:28; Rev 4:9; 9:5; 10:7; 11:7; 12:4; 17:10; 18:9; 20:7.

têreô (keep) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) John 2:10 – Tobit 14:9(BA); 1 Macc 4:61; 6:50; 2 Macc 14:29; Wisdom of Solomon 10:5; Sir 29:1; Matt 19:17; 23:3; 27:36,54; 28:4,20; Mark 7:9(א,*א,A,B); John 8:51-52,55; 9:16; 12:7; 14:15,21,23-24; 15:10,20; 17:6,11-12,15. Acts 12:5-6; 15:5; 16:23; 24:23; 25:4,21; 1 Cor 7:37; 2 Cor 11:9; Eph 4:3; 1 Thess 5:23; 1 Tim 5:22; 6:14; 2 Tim 4:7; Jas 1:27; 2:10; 1 Pet 1:4; 2 Pet 2:4,9,17; 3:7; 1 John 2:4-5; 3:22,24; 5:3,18; Jude v 1,6,13,21; Rev 1:3; 2:26; 3:3,8,10; 12:17; 14:12, 16:15; 22:7,9.

tithêmi (put) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) John 2:10 – Tobit 2:4; 14:11; Judith 2:2; 5:1; 12:1; 1 Macc 1:34; 9:51-53; 11:37,66; 12:34; 13:33; 14:26,33-34,49; 2 Macc 14:21; Wisdom of Solomon 6:22; 13:15; Sir 14:26; Bel and the Dragon v 36. Matt 5:15; 12:18; 22:44; 24:51; 27:60; Mark 4:21,30; 6:29,56; 10:16; 12:36; 15:19,46-47; Luke 1:66; 5:18; 6:48; 8:16; 9:44; 11:33; 12:46; 14:29; 19:21-22; 20:43; 21:14; 22:41; 23:53,55; John 10:17-18; 11:34; 13:4,37-38; 15:13,16; 19:19,41-42; 20:2,13,15. Acts 1:7; 2:35; 3:2; 4:3,35,37; 5:2,4,15,18,25; 7:16,60; 9:37,40; 12:4; 13:29,47; 19:21; 20:28,36; 21:5; 27:12; Rom 4:17; 9:33; 14:13; 1 Cor 3:10-11; 9:18; 12:18,28; 15:25; 16:2; 2 Cor 3:13; 5:19; 1 Thess 5:9; 1 Tim 1:12; 2:7; 2 Tim 1:11; Heb 1:2,13; 10:13; 1 Pet 2:6,8; 2 Pet 2:6; 1 John 3:16; Rev 1:17; 10:2; 11:9.

treis (three) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Matt 18:16,20; Luke 12:52; John 2:6 – Esther 4:16; Judith 1:2; 2:21; 8:4; 12:7; 16:20; 1 Macc 5:24,33; 10:30,34,38; 11:28,34; 2 Macc 4:44; 5:14; 7:27; 13:12; Sir 25:1-2; 26:5; The Song of Praise of the Three Men v 28; Matt 12:40; 13:33; 15:32; 17:4; 26:61; 27:40,63; Mark 8:2,31; 9:5,31; 10:34; 14:58; 15:29; Luke 1:56; 2:46; 4:25; 9:33; 10:36; 11:5; 13:7,21; John 2:19-20; 21:11. Acts 5:7; 7:20; 9:9; 10:19; 11:11; 17:2; 19:8; 20:3; 25:1; 28:7,11-12,17; 1 Cor 10:8; 13:13; 14:27,29; 2 Cor 13:1; Gal 1:18; 1 Tim 5:19; Heb 10:28; Jas 5:17; 1 John 5:7-8; Rev 6:6; 8:13; 9:18; 11:9,11; 16:13,19; 21:13.

(h)ydria (water-pot) (in the NT + examples in the OT) 1 Kings 18:34; John 2:6-7 – Gen 24:14; John 4:28.

ferô (carry) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Luke 15:23; John 2:8 – Esther 8:12c(E3); Tobit 12:3; 2 Macc 3:28; 7:20; 8:31; 15:30; Wisdom of Solomon 14:1; Sir 23:25; Epistle of Jeremiah v 25; Susanna v 17-18(Theod); Bel and the Dragon v 14; Matt 7:18(א*); Matt 7:18; 14:11,18; 17:17; Mark 1:32; 2:3; 4:8; 6:27-28; 7:32; 8:22; 9:17,19-20; 11:2; 12:15-16; 15:22; Luke 5:18; 23:26; 24:1; John 4:33; 12:24; 15:2,4-5,8,16; 18:29; 20:27; 21:10. Acts 2:2, 4:34,37; 5:2,16; 12:10; 14:13; 25:18; 27:15,17; Rom 9:22; 2 Tim 4:13; Heb 1:3; 6:1; 9:16; 12:20; 13:13; 1 Pet 1:13; 2 Pet 1:17-18,21; 2:11; 2 John v 10; Rev 21:24,26.

chôreô (have room/have room for) (in the NT) Matt 19:11-12; John 2:6 – Matt 15:17; Mark 2:2; John 8:37; 2 Cor 7:2; 2 Pet 3:9.


Additional studies:

Gen 49:11; Lev 11:32,40; Deut 32:14; Ps 78:44; 105:29; Jer 2:21; 31:12; Sir 32:1-2; Matt 11:19; 15:1-2,20; 20:16,20-28; Mark 6:2; 7:2-5; 10:31; Luke 7:34,44; 11:38; 13:30; John 3:25; 4:11,46; 6:5-6,13; 11:11-13; Rev 6:6; 7:13-14; 8:5,10-11; 10:10; 11:6; 14:20; 16:3-4; 18:3,13; 21:1.


Carl Armerding "The Marriage in Cana"; Bibliothaeca Sacra 118-142 (1961): 320-326.

John Byl "On the Capacity of Solomon's Molten Sea"; Vetus Testamentum 48.3 (1998): 309-314.

J. Duncan M. Derrett "Water into Wine"; Biblische Zeitschrift 7 (1963): 80-98.

Charles H. Giblin "Suggestion, Negative Response and Positive Action in St. John's Portrayal of Jesus (John 2:1-11; 4:46-54; 7:2-14; 11:1-44)"; New Testament Studies 26 (1980): 197-211.

Kjell Hognesius "The Capacity of the Molten Sea in 2 Chronicles IV:5: A Suggestion"; Vetus Testamentum 44.3 (1994): 349-358.

George M. Hollenback "The Dimensions och Capacity of the 'Molten Sea' in 1 Kgs 7:23,26"; Biblica 81 (2000): 391-392.

O. Linton "'Gammalt' och 'nytt'. En studie i nytestamentlig terminologi."; Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok 5 (1940): 43-55.

F.S. Parnham "The Miracle at Cana"; The Evangelical Quarterly 42.2 (April-June 1970): 105-109.


(Original version 2007-12-01; revised version 2009-01-29; 2010-05-27; 2013-05-25; 2014-03-28; concluding version 2017-09-18)

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2:11-12 This beginning of the signs, Jesus made/did in Cana of Galilee, (a) first one (א*), and made His glory visible, and His disciples believed into Him. After this He descended into Capharnaum, He and His mother and His brothers * (א,*א). And there they did not stay many days.

Word for word: 2:11 (24 words in the Greek text Sinaiticus prima manus) This (a)-beginning made (of)-the (of)-signs the Jesus in Cana (of)-the (of)-Galilee (a)-first-(one) and (he)-made-visible the glory his, and (they)-believed into him the disciples his. 2:12 (20 words in the Greek text Sinaiticus) After this descended into Capharnaum he and the mother his and the brothers his and there (they)-stayed not many days.


The Former Revelation (preliminary translation):

Noah began/'was a leader', a man, a farmer of (the) earth, and he planted a vineyard. And he drank out of the wine and ‘was made’/became drunk and he was denudated in his house. And Ham, the father of Canaan, beheld the denudation of his father. ... But/and Noah was sober again from the wine and gained knowledge of as much as his son, the youngest one, had made/done (with) him, and he spoke: "On/’under the rule of’ something cursed (be) Canaan, a ‘boy of a member of the household’/’slave of slaves’ he shall be to his brothers." (Gen 9:20-22a,24-25, Greek OT)

(Abraham said to the three men:) “I will take bread, and you will eat, and after this you will ‘come by the side of’/’go on’ into/in your way.” (Gen 18:5a, Greek OT)

(The father Abraham said to his boy/slave:) "You may not take a woman for my son Isaac from the daughters of the Canaanites, in company with whom I inhabit in/among them, however/but you shall go into my earth/land, where I became/’was born’ and into my tribe and you shall take a wife for my son Isaac from there." (Gen 24:3b-4, Greek OT)

(God said to Moses:) "If – according to the circumstances – (Israel) may not believe you, but/and not may listen to the first sign, they will believe you of/through the voice of the last sign. ... (And Aaron) made the signs opposite the people. And the people believed. (Ex 4:8,30b-31a, Greek OT)

(The Lord said to Moses:) "I will be glorified in, in Pharaoh and in every/all his army and in the wagons and in his horses." (Ex 14:17b, Greek OT)

(The Lord told about) all the males having beheld (His) glory and the signs which (He) made in Egypt and in this desolate (district). (Num 14:22a, Greek OT)

And the Lord listened to the voice of Israel and gave Canaan ‘to the side of’/over under its hand/power, and they execrated it and its cities. (Num 21:3a, Greek OT)

(Moses said to the commanders of the tribes of Israel and to their council of elders:) "You (continually/repeatedly) said: 'Behold, the Lord our God has shown us His glory.'" (Deut 5:24a, Greek OT)

It became/’came about’ in/on the third day, as (Esther) ceased praying, (that) she ‘set out’/’stripped off’ the garments of attendance/service/everyday and wrapped herself up in her glory. (Esther 5:1/D1, Greek OT)

(God) will make a district ... on the other side of the Jordan, Galilee of the nations, the parts of Judea. (Is 8:23b or 9:1b, Greek OT)

(The Lord) spoke to me: "You are My slave, Israel, and in you I will be glorified." (Is 49:3, Greek OT)

(The Lord said to the prophet about Judas:) “Behold, … I will make visible/known to them to listen to (Me), and I will be a physician to her, and I will make peace and faith (with) them. (Jer 33:6, Greek OT)

(The Lord said to the prophet:) ”You, son of a man, take a brick for yourself and put it before your face and ‘write throughout’/draw out’ against it a city, (even) Jerusalem. … . This is a sign for the sons of Israel.” (Ezek 4:1,3b, Greek OT)

It/there will not any longer be a Cananite in the house of the Lord, the All-powerful, in that day. (Zech 14:21b, Greek OT)

(The son of Tobit said:) “ … What sign may I give (Gabael), and/that he may gain additional knowledge of me and believe me?” (Tobit 5:2a, S)

… (As) wine blended together with water (is a) sweet (drink) and ends off the (joybringing) grace amusing in this way and/also the ‘entirely preparation’/end of the saying amuses the hearsays/listening of the ones entreating/’falling in with’ the arrangement together. Thereupon the end will be. (2 Macc 15:39)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said: “The Lord) made water sweet into/'for the purpose of' the thing to be gained knowledge of His stability?” (Sir 38:5b)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said:) “In/with sayings (of Moses) (the Lord) caused signs to cease entirely, and He glorified him.” (Sir 45:3a)


The Latter Revelation: (Jesus said:) “This is the great and first commandment. * (א*, B) A second one (is) like this. (Matt 22:38b-39a)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) “It/there is not anything (א,* א, A) hidden, if not – according to the circumstances – in order that it may be made visible, nor it became hidden away, however/but in order that it might come into (the) visible.” (Mark 4:22)

(Jesus) descended in company with (His father and mother) and came into Nazareth. (Luke 2:51a)

(Jesus) came down into/to Capharnaum, a city of Galilee. (Luke 4:31a)

Peter and the ones (being) together with him (continually) were being (and having been) weighted (with) sleep/sleepiness. But having been awake throughout, they beheld (Jesus') glory." (Luke 9:32a)

Every/all the crowd rejoiced on/'for the sake of' the glorious things becoming by (Jesus). (Luke 13:17b)


Exegetes, evangelists and others:

about 2000 and time before

The wonders are not impressive tricks but guides, signs. (Jesus) heals sick persons, he makes wonders in nature and he raises dead persons. He makes it because he is the Son of God. A new time of restoration has begun. (Dag Sandahl "Krogpostillan" p 24; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

“This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee.” … There are some who say that this is not the beginning. “For what”, says one, “if ‘Cana of Galilee’ be added? This shows that this was ‘the beginning’ He made ‘in Cana.’” But on these points I would not venture to assert anything exactly. … Whether of the miracles done after His Baptism, this or some other was the first, it seems to me unnecessary to assert positively. (Chrysostom, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers XIV:80)


Examples of other quoted authors in the Swedish version: Svetlana Aleksijevitj, Anna Petrovna Babajeva, Gordon Bridger, Christine Falkenland, S.A. Flodén, Gillis Gerleman, Martin Lönnebo, Birger Olsson, Nils Tägt, Lydia Vitus.


My own comments and speculations:

As the prophet Ezekiel wrote a sign for Israel, so the prophet (cf. Rev 1:3) John now also writes down signs for Israel.

In times of old Canaan was humilated by the first wine, and the Canaanite people was execrated. And the father Abraham's slave did not take the son Isaac's bride from Canaan but from Abraham's own country and kindred. Now the high situated Cana is honoured and restored by the last wine and by being the place for the wedding banquet with the Son (the bridegroom) and His disciples (the bride) as present guests. For Jesus' own had not taken Him to their side (John 1:11). And when Jesus leaves Cana, His disciples (John 2:2) have become His brothers (John 2:12).

Jesus made a second sign in Cana (John 4:54). The first and the last sign for Israel in Egypt and the beginning of the signs (the first one) and the second sign for Israel (notice the conversion!) in the restoration time, these two pairs of "hopeful" signs led to faith. Concerning the wonder as a sign, see My own comments and speculations to John 21:4-7a.

In a restoration perspective we also see how the despised Galilee now is made glorious. In contrast the honoured Judea (and the Jews) is humilated by being the place and the instrument of the opposition against Jesus.

The word Capharnaum can mean “the village of Naum” (cf. Nahum 1:1).


Paul said to the believers in Corinth: (The faithless do) not ray the enlightening of the good little message of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Cor 4:4b)


Greek words:

Kapharnaoum (Capharnaum) Luke 4:31; John 2:12 – Matt 4:13; 8:5; 11:23; 17:24; Mark 1:21; 2:1; 9:33; Luke 4:23; 7:1; 10:15; John 4:46; 6:17,24,59.

sêmeion (sign) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Tobit 5:2; Sir 45:3; John 2:11 – Esther 10:3f(F6); 2 Macc 6:13, 15:35; Wisdom of Solomon 5:11,13; 8:8; 10:16; Sir 36:5(6); 42:18; 43:6; Baruch 2:11; Epistle of Jeremiah v 66; Matt 12:38-39; 16:1,4; 24:3,24,30; 26:48; Mark 8:11-12; 13:4,22; Luke 2:12,34; 11:16,29-30; 21:7,11,25; 23:8; John 2:18,23; 3:2; 4:48,54; 6:2,14,26,30; 7:31; 9:16; 10:41; 11:47; 12:18,37; 20:30. Acts 2:19,22,43; 4:16,22,30; 5:12; 6:8; 7:36; 8:6,13; 14:3; 15:12; Rom 4:11; 15:19; 1 Cor 1:22; 14:22; 2 Cor 12:12; 2 Thess 2:9; 3:17; Heb 2:4; Rev 12:1,3; 13:13-14; 15:1; 16:14; 19:20.


Additional studies:

Num 14:22; Is 8:23(9:1); 2 Macc 14:8; Matt 4:13-15; 12:46; Mark 12:29-31; John 1:14,43; 11:4,40; 12:41; Rev 7:1.


Carl Armerding "The Marriage in Cana"; Bibliothaeca Sacra 118-142 (1961): 320-326.

Donald Guthrie "The Importance of Signs in the Fourth Gospel"; Vox Evangelica 5 (1967): 72-83.

Troy W. Martin "Assessing the Johannine Epithet 'Mother of Jesus'." Catholic Biblical Quarterly 60 (1998): 63-73.

F.S. Parnham "The Miracle at Cana"; The Evangelical Quarterly 42.2 (April-June 1970): 105-109.

Ritva H. Williams "The Mother of Jesus at Cana: A Social-Science Interpretation of John 2:1-12"; Catholic Biblical Quarterly 59 (1997): 679-692.


(Original version 2007-12-01; revised version 2009-01-30; 2010-05-30; 2013-05-29; 2014-03-29; concluding version 2017-09-18)

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2:13-15a But (א,*א) the ‘paschal lamb’/Passover of the Jews (continually) was near, and Jesus ascended into/to (a disgraced) Jerosolyma/Jerusalem. And he found in the sanctuary the ones selling cattles/cattle and sheep and pigeons, and the smallcoin-changers being seated. And having made a scourge out of little ropes He threw all out, out of the sanctuary, both the sheep and the cattles/cattle.

Word for word: 2:13 (13 words in the Greek text) near but was-(continually) the paschal-lamb (of)-the (of)-Jews, and descended into Jerosolyma/Jerusalem the Jesus. 2:14 (16 words in the Greek text) And (he)-found in the sanctuary the-(ones) selling cattles/cattle and sheep and pigeons and the smallcoin-changers being-seated 2:15a (16 words in the Greek text) and having-made (a)-scourge out-of little-ropes all (he)-threw-out out-of the sanctuary the both sheep and the cattles/cattle


The Former Revelation (preliminary translation):

(The Lord said to Moses: “Come/go into Pharaoh and speak to him:) "A hand of the Lord will stand on/near (with) an extremely great death in/among your domestic animals in the plains, both/and in/among the horses and in/among the “beasts of burden”/asses and the camels and the cattles/cattle and the sheep.’” (Ex 9:3, Greek OT)

A 'paschal lamb'/Passover is to the Lord. (Ex 12:11b, Greek OT)

(Out of Egypt) sheep and cattles/cattle and extremely many domestic animals ascended together with (the sons of Israel). (Ex 12:38b, Greek OT)

(Moses said to the sons of Israel:) "A man out of you, if – according to the circumstances – he may ‘lead towards’/bring a gift to the Lord, you shall ‘carry to’/bring your gift of cattles/cattle from the domestic animals, from the cattles/cattle and from the sheep. ... But if – according to the circumstances – ‘his hand may not be stable’/’he cannot afford’ ... he shall carry/bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons." (Lev 1:2; 5:7a, Greek OT)

(The Egypts) threw out (the people of Israel) from their face. (Judith 5:12b)

(Simon) threw out, out of (Jerusalem), every impurity. (1 Macc 13:48a)

(Baruch said:) “… The Lord … has led out (His) people out of 'an earth'/'a land' of Egypt in/with a powerful hand and in/with signs and in/with omens and in/with great ability and in/with high arm.” (Baruch 2:11a, cf. Rev 11:8: (a disgraced) Jerosolyma/Jerusalem = Egypt)


The Latter Revelation:

... (Jesus) beheld a man being said/called Matthew being seated against the toll-house. (Matt 9:9a)

Jesus came into, into the sanctuary, and (He) threw/drove out all the ones selling and buying in the sanctuary. (Matt 21:12a)

Having come out into the ways those slaves (of the king) led together all whom they found, both evil and good. And the bridechamber (א,* א, B*) was fulfilled with (the) ones lying up/’down to table’. (Matt 22:10)

(Jesus said to the Pharisees:) “Show on/forth to Me the current tax-coin by law. But/and 'the ones'/they carried a denarius to Him. And he says to them: “Whose is this image and the inscription?” They say * (א,* א,B): “A caesar's.” Then He says to them: “Give so back the things of a caesar to a caesar and the things of God to God.” (Matt 22:19-21)

Having scourged Jesus (Pilate) gave Him to the side of (the soldiers), in order that He might be crucified. (Matt 27:26b)

Having sat down entirely opposite the treasury (in the sanctuary) (Jesus) (continually) looked at how the crowd throws copper into the treasury. And many rich (continually) threw many (coins). ... And many threw out of the (thing) being over and above to them. (Mark 12:41,44a)

The Lord answered (the synagogue leader) and spoke: "Hypocrites, does not everyone of you (on) the sabbath loosen his cattle/’cow or his ox’ or the ass from the manger and leading (it) away (א*,B*) he gives (it) to drink?" (Luke 13:15)

But the Feast of the unleavened things, the one being said/called the ‘paschal lamb’/Passover, (continually) drew near. (Luke 22:1)

(Moses) led (Israel) out, having made/done omens and signs in (the) earth/land Egypt. (Acts 7:36a, cf. Rev 11:8: (a disgraced) Jerosolyma/Jerusalem = Egypt)


The Apostle, the eighth and one of the seven:

(John the Baptist) sees Jesus coming towards him, and he says: “Behold, the Lamb of God, the One lifting/’taking away’ the miss (of the mark of God) of the adornment/’adorned world’!” (John 1:29)


Exegetes, evangelists and others:

about 2000 - about 1500

The word (kermatistês) properly denotes one who changes large money into small (kermatizô = "to cut small"). (Leon Morris "The Gospel according to John" p 170)

"It seems clear that both the Miracle of Cana and the Cleansing of the Temple are sêmeia (signs) which signify the same fundamental truth: that Christ has come to inaugurate a new order in religion." (C.H. Dodd ”The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel” p 303)

It is the horrible thing with all spiritual activity, that it can begin in Spirit but end in flesh. You can begin as a priest in the temple and end as a coster in the vestibule. You can begin with serving the kingdom of God and end with gaining by the kingdom of God. . . . You can . . . begin with prophesying of sacrifices and revival and end with profiting by the sacrifice and the revival. (Sven Lidman "Fjäril och vilddjur" p 222; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

First time I very consciously experienced and understood the terrible presence of the embryo to destruction in the middle of the surface vegetation of the topicalities in the age in which we live was some day just before Christmas 1912 or 1913. Thus some of the last years before the outbreak of the first world war. A relative of my own age - a medical scientist - had returned from a study trip in Germany. He sat by the breakfast-table telling about his impressions from Berlin the days before Christmas. ... He described the enormous light garden (in the department store Wertheim) around which the booths arranged themselves in floors. In the middle of the light garden there was a gigantic Chistmas tree skimmering of light and glitter and placed with a shining Bethlehem star in the top. High up from a gallery Berlin's most famous philharmonic orchestra was playing the masterpieces of the classical religious Christmas music and the Christmas hymns of the great Catholic and Protestant churches ... while the strayed crowds of the metropolis were hurried from booth to booth in their meddlesome eagerness that for their bank-notes and silver coins catch as much as possible of knick-knacks of the counters and shop shelves; broken through stockings - patent-leather shoes - marching-boots - ladies' underwear - paste diamonds and real jewels - books in de lux binding and cheap editions - sports equipment and citrus and tropical fruits. .. For the first time I plainly, consciously and clearly saw the inner machinery in the world of topicalities of that time. And I burst out in something like the following words: "You know, all this culture is doomed - it will go to hell with all of it - a culture having come to that point that people do business to the accompaniment of the thing which would be its most holy values, it is dead in its core - it is only a brilliant shell - it has no right to exist and no worth of life - it is already dead - it must become a catastrophe. (Sven Lidman "Fjäril och vilddjur" s 28-29; Only one thing is necessary; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)


about 1500 and time before

When the Rabbis thought of (Jerusalem) in her glory, they might ... say: ‘The world is like unto an eye. The ocean surrounding the world is the white of the eye; its black is the world itself; the pupil is Jerusalem; but the image within the pupil is the sanctuary. (Alfred Edersheim “The Temple” p 39)

The Temple-market was undoubtedly somewhere in the ’Court of the Gentiles.’ (Alfred Edersheim "The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah Part I" p 370)

We have adopted this name (Court of the Gentiles) though ... the only term for it used in Jewish writings is the ‘mountain of the house’. ... It formed the lowest or outer enclosure of the Sanctuary ... paved with the finest variegated marble. According to Jewish tradition, it formed a square of 750 feet. Its name is derived from the fact that it was open to all – Jews or Gentiles – provided they observed the prescribed rules of decorum and reverence. (Alfred Edersheim “The Temple” p 45)


Examples of other quoted authors in the Swedish version: Åke Andrén, Inga Arnö-Berg, Karl-Erik Bergh, Jacob B. Bull, Barthold Carlson, Henry Daniel-Rops, E.J. Ekman, Karin Eriksson, Sven Fagerlund, Sven Gabriel Fovelin, Bo Frid, Carl Johan Gadd, Bo Giertz, Berndt Gustafsson, Dick Harrison, Alf Henrikson, Marianne Herrlin, Edvard Johansson, Liselotte Johansson, Bror Kugelberg, Pär Lagerkvist, Lars-Olof Larsson, Olle Larsson, Gunnar Lindqvist, Josef Lundin, Mo Yan, Vilhelm Moberg, Ingun Montgomery, Lars-Arne Nohrborg, Nils Palmborg, Olaus Petri, Hilding Pleijel, Göran Sahlberg, Gunnar E. Sandgren, Sven-Åke Selander, Erik Sjöberg, Olof Sjöstrand, Rune Storck, Snorre Sturluson, Jesper Svartvik, Zacharias Topelius, P. Widesheim, Gustaf Wikner.


My own comments and speculations:

Jesus restores struck and slaughtered cattle and sheep. They leave the temple in (a disgraced) Jerosolyma/Jerusalem (the allegorical Egypt, Rev 11:8) as they in times of old left Egypt. In the presence of the Lamb of God they are no longer needed as offerings.

Observe the possible allusion to Matt 22:10 “both evil and good”. Both evil and good, both sheep and cattle are brought back to the Paradise by the death of the paschal lamb Jesus. But only the sheep, who has seen their own evilness, are in Christ (cf. John 10:1-18).

The Greek word ”kermatistês” (here translated by “smallcoin-changer”) does not occur elsewhere in the Bible. The silvercoin of the Caesar does not belong to what belongs to God (cf. Matt 22:19-21), neither a small coin of copper, which was the usual metal of the “kerma”. Jesus wants an offer like the offer of the widow in Mark 12:41-44. Observe also the likeness of sound between the words “kerma” and “chrêma”, the latter with the possible meaning of “money” (cf. Mark 10:23 and Luke 18:24).


(Christ) came ‘on once’/’once for all’ into, into the holy things, not through blood of bucks and young bulls but through the own blood, having found/gained an agelong redemption. (Heb 9:12)


Greek words:

bous (cattle) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Luke 13:15; John 2:14-15 – Tobit 10:10; Sir 38:25; Luke 14:5,19; 1 Cor 9:9; 1 Tim 5:18.

engys (near) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) John 2:13 – Esther 9:20; Judith 16:24; Wisdom of Solomon 6:19; Sir 51:26; Matt 24:32-33; 26:18; Mark 13:28-29; Luke 19:11; 21:30-31; John 3:23; 6:4,19,23; 7:2; 11:18; 11:54-55; 19:20,42. Acts 1:12; 9:38; 27:8; Rom 10:8; 13:11; Eph 2:13,17; Phil 4:5; Heb 6:8; 8:13; Rev 1:3; 22:10.

ekballô (throw out) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Judith 5:12; 1 Macc 13:48; Matt 21:12; John 2:15 – Judith 5:8,14,16; 1 Macc 11:41,66; 12:27; 13:11,47,50; Sir 7:26; 28:15; Matt 7:4-5,22; 8:16,31; 9:25,33-34,38; 10:1,8; 12:20,24,26-28,35; 13:52; 15:17; 17:19; 21:39; 22:13; 25:30; Mark 1:12,34,39,43; 3:15,22-23; 5:40; 6:13; 7:26; 9:18,28,38,47; 11:15; 12:8; Luke 4:29; 6:22,42; 8:31; 9:40,49; 10:2,35; 11:14-15,18-20; 13:28,32; 19:45; 20:12,15; John 6:37; 9:34-35; 10:4; 12:31. Acts 7:58; 9:40; 13:50; 16:37; 27:38; Gal 4:30; Jas 2:25; 3 John v 10; Rev 11:2.

hieron (sanctuary) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Matt 21:12; John 2:14-15 – Judith 4:1; 1 Macc 6:2; 10:43,84; 11:4; 13:52; 15:9; 16:20; 2 Macc 1:13,15,18; 2:9,19,22; 3:2,4,12,30; 4:32; 5:15,21; 6:4; 10:1; 11:3,25; 13:10(11),14; 14:4,13,31,33; 15:17; Sir 50:2; Bel and the Dragon v 22(Theod); Matt 4:5; 12:5-6; 21:14-15,23; 24:1; 26:55; Mark 11:11,15-16,27; 12:35; 13:1,3; 14:49; Luke 2:27,37,46; 4:9; 18:10; 19:45,47; 20:1; 21:5,37-38; 22:52-53; 24:53; John 5:14; 7:14,28; 8:2,20,59; 10:23; 11:56; 18:20, Acts 2:46; 3:1-3,8,10; 4:1; 5:20-21,24-25,42; 19:27; 21:26-30; 22:17; 24:6,12,18; 25:8; 26:21; 1 Cor 9:13.

kathêmai (to be seated) (in the NT + examples in the OT) Matt 9:9; John 2:14 - Gen 18:1; Ex 11:5; 18:14; Lev 8:35; Neh 11:6; Esther 5:1c(D6); Ps 107:10; 110:1; Is 9:8(א*,B); Tobit 7:1; 11:5; Judith 4:8; 5:3; 11:23; 1 Macc 1:27; 14:9; Sir 1:8; 26:12; 38:28-29; 40:3; 50:26; Baruch 3:3; Bel and the Dragon v 40; Matt 4:16; 11:16; Matt 11:21(א,*א); Matt 13:1-2; 15:29; 19:28; 20:30; 22:44; 23:22; 24:3; 26:58,64,69; 27:19,36,61; 28:2; Mark 2:6,14; 3:32,34; 4:1; 5:15; 10:46; Mark 11:7(א*); Mark 12:36; 13:3; 14:62; 16:5; Luke 1:79; 5:17,27; 7:32; 8:35; 10:13; 18:35; 20:42; 21:35; 22:30,55-56,69; John 9:8; 12:15; Acts 2:2,34; 3:10; 8:28; 14:8; 23:3; 1 Cor 14:30; Col 3:1; Heb 1:13; Jas 2:3; Rev 4:2-4,9-10; 5:1,7,13; 6:2,4-5,8,16; 7:10,15; 9:17; 11:16; 14:6,14-16; 17:1,3,9,15; 18:7; 19:4,11,18-19,21; 20:11; 21:5.

kermatistês (smallcoin-changer) John 2:14. See My own comments and speculations.

pascha (paschal lamb) (in the NT + examples in the OT) Deut 16:2; Luke 22:1; John 2:13 – Ex 12:11,21; Deut 16:6; 2 Chron 30:18; Ezra 6:20-21; Matt 26:2,17-19; Mark 14:1,12,14,16; Luke 2:41; 22:7-8,11,13,15; John 2:23; 6:4; 11:55; 12:1; 13:1; 18:28,39; 19:14; Acts 12:4; 1 Cor 5:7; Heb 11:28.

probaton (sheep) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) John 2:14-15 – Tobit 1:6; 10:10; Judith 2:17; 8:26; 11:19; Sir 47:3; Bel and the Dragon v 3,32(Theod). Matt 7:15; 9:36; 10:6,16; 12:11-12; 15:24; 18:12; 25:32-33; 26:31; Mark 14:27; Luke 15:4,6; John 10:1-4,7-8,11-13,15-16,26-27; 21:16-17; Acts 8:32; Rom 8:36; Heb 13:20; 1 Pet 2:25; Rev 18:13; 21:4(א*).

pôleô (sell) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Matt 21:12; John 2:14 – 1 Macc 12:36; 13:49; 2 Macc 5:24; 8:14; Matt 10:29; 13:44; 19:21; 25:9; Mark 10:21; 11:15; Luke 12:6,33; 17:28; 18:22; 19:45; 22:36; John 2:16; Acts 4:34,37; 5:1; 1 Cor 10:25; Rev 13:17.

schoinion (little rope) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) John 2:15 – Esther 1:6; Epistle of Jeremiah v 42-43; Acts 27:32.

te (both) (some examples) Matt 22:10; John 2:15 - Gen 2:25; Matt 27:48; 28:12; Luke 2:16; 12:45; 21:11; 23:12; John 4:42; 6:18; Acts 1:1,8,13; 2:33,40; Acts 2:43(P74,א,*א); Acts 2:46; 4:27,33; 5:19,24,35; 6:7,12-13; 8:12,38; 9:2,15; 10:22; 11:26; 12:8(P74,א,*א,A); Acts 16:38(א,*א); Acts 17:4,10; 20:11; 21:18(א,*א,A); 22:4; 23:10; 24:3,23; 26:3,10-11,16,22; 27:1,21; 28:23,25(א*).

fragellion (scourge) John 2:15 (cf. fragelloô - to scourge in Matt 27:26 and Mark 15:15)


Additional studies:

Lev 1:14; 5:11; 12:6,8; 14:22,30; 15:14,29; Joshua 6:21; Judith 2:27; Mark 11:15; Luke 2:24; 21:1-4; John 2:23; 4:45; 5:1; Rev 11:2; 13:17; 18:11-17.


R.J. Campbell "Evidence for the Historicity of the Fourth Gospel in John 2:13-22"; Elizabeth A. Livingstone, ed., Studia Evangelica, Vol. 7. Berlin Akademie, (1982): 101-120.

Victor Eppstein "The Historicity of the Gospel Account of the Cleansing of the Temple"; Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 55 (1964): 42-58.

Craig A. Evans "Jesus' Action in the Temple: Cleansing or Portent of Destruction"; Catholic Biblical Quarterly 51 (1989): 237-370.

Andreas J. Köstenberger "The Seventh Johannine Sign: A Study in John's Christology"; Bulletin for Biblical Research 5 (1995): 87-103.

Judith Lieu "Temple and Synagogue in John"; New Testament Studies 45 (1999): 51-69.

Kenneth A. Matthews "John, Jesus and the Essenes: Trouble at the Temple"; Criswell Theological Review 3 (1988): 101-126.

Jerome Murphy-O'Connor "Jesus and the Money Changers (Mark 11:15-17; John 2:13-17)"; Révue Biblique 107 (2000): 42-55.

Jacob Neusner "Money Changers in the Temple: The Mishnah's Explanation"; New Testament Studies 35 (1989): 287-290.

Jacob Neusner "Penningväxlarna i templet (Mark 11:15-19). Mishnas förklaring."; Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok 53 (1988): 63-68.

M. Ottosson "Tempel och palats i Jerusalem och Beth Shan"; Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok 41/42 (1976/1977): 166-178.

Paul Trudinger "The Cleansing of the Temple: St John's Independent, Subtle Reflections"; Expository Times 108 (1997): 329-330.


(Original version 2007-12-01; revised version 2009-01-30; 2010-06-07; 2013-05-29; 2014-03-29; concluding version 2017-09-19)

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2:15b-17 And He poured out the small coin/coins of the money-changers and turned down/over (א,* א) the tables. And to the ones selling pigeons He spoke: "Lift/’take away’ these things from here! Do not make the house of My Father a house of a trading-place." His disciples remembered that it has been (and is) written: "Zeal of/for Your house will eat me down/up."

Word for word: 2:15b (10 words in the Greek text Sinaiticus) and (of)-the (of)-money-changers (he)-poured-out the small-coin/small-coins and the tables (he)-turned-down, 2:16 (18 words in the Greek text) and (to)-the-(ones) the pigeons selling (he)-spoke: lift these-(things) from-here not make the house (of)-the (of)-father my (a)-house (of-a)-trading-place. 2:17 (14 words in the Greek text) remember the disciples his that having-been-(and-being)-written (it)-is: the zeal (of)-the (of)-house your will-eat-down me.


The Former Revelation (preliminary translation):

Before the thing God turn/turned down/over Sodom and Gomorrah (the valley of Jordan was) as the 'place of God by the side of apprehension'/'Paradise of God' and as the earth/land of Egypt till come/'it comes' into Zoar. (Gen 13:10b, Greek OT)

(Zophar said:) “If (God) – according to the circumstances – may turn down/over all the things, who will speak to Him: ‘What have You made/done?’” (Job 11:10, Greek OT)

(David said to God: “I became) a foreigner to the sons of my mother, for the zeal of/for Your house has eaten me down/up." (Ps 69:8b-9a or 69:9b-10a)

(The prophet said: “Tyre) will be a trading-place to all the kingdoms of the (inhabited) world.” (Is 23:17b, Greek OT)

(The Lord said about the temple:) “My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations." (Is 56:7b, Greek OT)

(The Lord said about the temple: “Is) not this house, on/in which My name is (and has been) called/invoked there on/in it, a cave of robbers in the very eyes of you?" (Jer 7:11a, Greek OT)

It/there will not any longer be a Cananite (Hebrew: trader) in the house of the Lord, the All-powerful, in that day. (Zech 14:21b, Greek OT)

(Tobit) remembered the word of the prophet, as many as Amos talked against Bethel, saying: “Your feasts will be turned into grief .” (Tobit 2:6a, S)

The sacrificial altar and the house (continually) ‘were being’/were (and having been) made holy out/’in consequence’ of the profanation. (Judith 4:3b)

(Simon) ‘lifted out’/’took away’ the impurities out of (the border/castle of Jerusalem) … (1 Macc 14:7b)

(The Lord) turned down/over (the 'leading on'/overweening ones) into/’up to’ an end to them. (Sir 10:13b)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said:) “Mercy and wrath (are) by the side of the Lord, a sovereign propitiating out and pouring out wrath.” (Sir 16:11b)

(The priests ate) the things on the table. And the king killed them, and he ‘gave Bel surrendered’/’let surrender Bel’ to Daniel, and he turned down/over him and his sanctuary. (Bel and the Dragon v 21b-22, Theod)


The Latter Revelation:

(Jesus said to the disciples of John:) “Nor do they/people throw/pour young/fresh wine into old leather bags. ‘But if not’/otherwise the leather bags are at any rate broken in pieces, and the wine is poured out.” (Matt 9:17a)

(Jesus) turned down/over the tables of the money-changers and the seats of the ones selling the pigeons. And He says to them: "It has been (and is) written: 'My house will be called a house of prayer, but you make it a cave of robbers.'" (Matt 21:12b-13)

(The called ones) went away, which/the one indeed into the own field, but/and 'which one'/'the other' against his trade. (Matt 22:5b)

(Jesus said to the Pharisees:) “Show on/forth to Me the current tax-coin by law. But/and 'the ones'/they carried a denarius to Him. And he says to them: “Whose is this image and the inscription?” They say * (א,* א,B): “A caesar's.” Then He says to them: “Give so back the things of a caesar to a caesar and the things of God to God.” (Matt 22:19-21)

Peter remembered the word of Jesus having spoken (and speaking) that/: ”Before a rooster ‘raise its voice’/crows, you will three times deny away Me.” (Matt 26:75a)

(The parents of Jesus found Him in the sanctuary.) His mother spoke towards Him: “... Behold, ‘being caused’/feeling pain Your father and I seek (א*) You.” And He spoke towards them: "What (is it) that you seek (א*) Me? Did you not know, that I must be in the things of 'the Father My'/'My Father'?” (Luke 2:48b-49)

(The slanderer said to Jesus:) “If You are a son of God, throw Yourself down from here.” (Luke 4:9b)

Simon, the one being called Zealot (was one of the disciples). (Luke 6:15b)

Having seen/looked up (Jesus) beheld the rich throwing/putting their gifts into the treasury. But/and He beheld a certain poor widow throwing/putting two thin (coins) there. (Luke 21:1-2)

(Moses) was supported/brought up (during) three months in the house of the father. (Acts 7:20b)

(Peter) remembered the word of the Lord. (Acts 11:16a)

(The Lord said:) “After these things I will turn back and build up the tent of David, the one having been (and being) fallen, and its things having been (and being) turned down/over (א,*א,B) I will build up and set it up upright.” (Acts 15:16)


Exegetes, evangelists and others:

about 2000 and time before

Jacob Neusner points out that the money changing was closely connected with the payment of the half-shekel (Exod. 30:11-16) that was used to purchase the animals for the daily sacrifices and thus for atonement for sin. He points out that women, slaves, or minors might pay the half-shekel, for they participated in the benefits of the sacrifices, but Gentiles and Samaritans were excluded from both. The work of the money changers in the temple courts was thus central to the Jewish system. He agrees with E.P. Sanders in seeing Jesus' action as "a broader statement that the Temple would be destroyed, for, in consequence of the cult's abrogation by reason of its uselessness, the daily whole offering sustained by every Israelite through his or her half-sheqel offering had no task to perform in the system of atonement and expiation of sin". (Leon Morris "The Gospel according to John" p 178)

Matthew is very anxious to quote old testamental quotations which are to show that the prophecies always reach its completion in and around Jesus. His so called quotations of reflection are of a special interest. . . . (So) they are called because they expressly record a reflection over what is told. Such quotations are characteristic of Matthew, even if he is not alone of them. . . . Most quotations give the impression of being found gradually. The events and the narratives go before, the supports of the writing have been mobilized afterwards. They are hardly quoted in the written moment by the evangelist. (Birger Gerhardsson "Ur Matteusevangeliet" p 124 in comment to Matt 1-2; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

The unknown one: "Listen to me, believe me and give me the respect I deserve, so I shall lift you and me high over this marsh of frogs, in which we have gone down! I shall blow on your sick conscience so that it will be healed as a wound. Who I am? I am the one having done what no one has done before; I am the one who will precipitate the colden calf and knock down the switchboards of the costers, I have the destiny of the earth in my platen, and in eight days the richest one of the rich ones is poor; the false standard of value, the gold, has ceased to rule, all are equally poor and the children of men will creep roving as the ants when the ant-hill is demolished!" The lady: "In what way are we helped with this?" The unknown one: "Do you think I made the gold to direct us and the other ones, no, to ruin the whole world order, to destroy, you know! I am the perisher, the dissolver, the world conflagrator, and when all things are in ashes, then I shall range hungering among the gravel-heaps rejoicing at the thought: this I have made, I, who has written the last page in the world history, which by that can be considered brought to an end." (August Strindberg "Till Damaskus II" p 204-205; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)


Examples of other quoted authors in the Swedish version: Åke Andrén, Gordon Bridger, Per Anders Fogelström, Krister Hanell, Dick Harrison, Kristina Jansson, Lars Levi Laestadius, Lars O. Lagerqvist, Anna Maria Lenngren, Martin Luther, Vilhelm Moberg, H.M. Melin, Bertil Nilsson, Martin P:n Nilsson, Simon Ottosson, Thede Palm, Efraim Palmqvist, Olaus Petri, Nils Ludvig Rasmusson, Viktor Rydberg, Margareta Strömstedt, Edvard Thermaenius, Josef Wahlgren, Magnus Widell.


Greek words:

ekcheô (pour out) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Sir 16:11; Matt 9:17; John 2:15 – Tobit 4:17; 1 Macc 1:37; 2 Macc 1:8; Sir 1:9; 18:11; 24:33; 36:6(8); 39:28; 50:15; Luke 5:37; Acts 1:18; 2:17-18,33; 10:45; Rom 3:15; Tit 3:6; Jude v 11; Rev 16:1-4,6,8,10,12,17.

emporion (trading-place) Is 23:17; John 2:16 – Deut 33:19; Ezek 27:3. (cf. emporia in Matt 22:5)

enteuthen (from here) (in the NT + examples in the OT) Ex 32:7; Luke 4:9; John 2:16 - Gen 37:17; Num 22:24; Dan 12:5 (Theod); Luke 13:31; John 7:3; 14:31; 18:36; 19:18; Jas 4:1; Rev 22:2. Cf. “enthen” which is translated with “’in from’/’from here’” or “’in from’/’from there’ (in the NT + examples in the OT) Ezek 47:12; 1 Macc 6:38; 9:45; Matt 17:20; Luke 16:26.

zêlos (zeal) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) John 2:17 – Judith 9:4; 1 Macc 2:54,58; Wisdom of Solomon 5:17; Sir 9:1; 30:24; 40:4(5); 48:2; Acts 5:17; 13:45; Rom 10:2; 13:13; 1 Cor 3:3; 2 Cor 7:7,11; 9:2; 11:2; 12:20; Gal 5:20; Phil 3.6; Heb 10:27; Jas 3:14,16. (cf. zêlôtês-zealot in Luke 6:15)

katastrefô (turn down) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Sir 10:13; Bel and the Dragon v 22; Matt 21:12; John 2:15; Acts 15:16(א,*א,B) – 2 Macc 9:28; Sir 10:16; 27:3; 28:14; Mark 11:15.

katesthiô (eat down) (in the NT + examples in the OT) Ps 69:9(10); John 2:17 – Gen 31:15; 37:20,33; Num 26:10; 2 Sam 18:8; 1 Kings 14:11; 16:4; Job 20:26; Ps 14:4; 78:63; Is 1:20; 9:12; 50:9; Jer 2:30; Dan 7:5; Sir 43:21; Bel and the Dragon v 8-9,15,32(Theod); Matt 13:4; Mark 4:4; 12:40; Luke 8:5; 15:30; 20:47; 2 Cor 11:20; Gal 5:15; Rev 10:9-10; 11:5; 12:4; 20:9.

kerma (small coin) John 2:15 (see My own comments and speculations to John 2:13-15a).

kollybistês (money-changer) Matt 21:12; John 2:15 – Mark 11:15.

mimnêskô/mimnêskomai (remember) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Tobit 2:6; Matt 26:75; John 2:17; Acts 11:16 – Esther 4:8,17r(C23); 10:3b(F2),3i(F9); Tobit 3:3; 4:1,4,12(BA); 6:16; 8:2; 14:9; 1 Macc 2:51; 4:9-10; 6:12; 7:38; 9:38; 10:5; 12:11; 2 Macc 1:2; 8:4; 9:26; Wisdom of Solomon 19:10; Sir 3:31; 7:16,28,36; 8:5,7; 9:12; 11:25; 14:12; 15:8; 16:17; 18:24-25; 23:14,18; 28:6-7; 31:13; 36:7(10); 38:20,22; 41:3; 51:8; Baruch 2:32-33; 3:5,23; 4:14; Bel and the Dragon v 38. Matt 5:23; 27:63; Luke 1:54,72; 16:25; 23:42; 24:6,8; John 2:22; 12:16; Acts 10:31; 1 Cor 11:2; 2 Tim 1:4; Heb 2:6; 8:12; 10:17; 13:3; 2 Pet 3:2; Jude v 17; Rev 16:19.

trapeza (table) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Bel and the Dragon v 21; Matt 21:12; John 2:15 – Esther 4:17x(C28); 1 Macc 1:22; 4:49,51; Sir 6:10; 14:10; 29:26; 31:12; 40:29; Matt 15:27; Mark 7:28; 11:15; Luke 16.21; 19:23, 22:21,30; Acts 6:2; 16:34; Rom 11:9; 1 Cor 10:21; Heb 9:2.


Additional studies:

Mark 2:26; 11:17; 12:15-17; Luke 19:46; 20:24-26; John 14:26; Rev 3:19; 13:17; 18:11-17.


R.J. Campbell "Evidence for the Historicity of the Fourth Gospel in John 2:13-22"; Elizabeth A. Livingstone, ed., Studia Evangelica, Vol. 7. Berlin Akademie, (1982): 101-120.

Craig A. Evans "Jesus' Action in the Temple: Cleansing or Portent of Destruction"; Catholic Biblical Quarterly 51 (1989): 237-370.

Andreas J. Köstenberger "The Seventh Johannine Sign: A Study in John's Christology"; Bulletin for Biblical Research 5 (1995): 87-103.

Kenneth A. Matthews "John, Jesus and the Essenes: Trouble at the Temple"; Criswell Theological Review 3 (1988): 101-126.

Jerome Murphy-O'Connor "Jesus and the Money Changers (Mark 11:15-17; John 2:13-17)"; Révue Biblique 107 (2000): 42-55.

Jacob Neusner "Money Changers in the Temple: The Mishnah's Explanation"; New Testament Studies 35 (1989): 287-290.

Paul Trudinger "The Cleansing of the Temple: St John's Independent, Subtle Reflections"; Expository Times 108 (1997): 329-330.


(Original version 2007-12-01; revised version 2009-01-30; 2010-06-13; 2013-06-09; 2014-03-30; concluding version 2017-09-20)

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2:18 The Jews so answered and spoke to Him: "What sign do You show us, because You make/do these things?"

Word for word (14 words in the Greek text): Answered so the Jews and spoke (to)-him: what sign show-you us because these-(things) you-make?


The Former Revelation (preliminary translation):

(Aaron) made the signs opposite (Israel). And the people believed. (Ex 4:30b-31a, Greek OT)

(The wicked ones will say:) “We had not 'no one'/any sign to show, but/and in our badness we were entirely spent.” (Wisdom of Solomon 5:13b)

(The false gods) may not/certainly not in/among nations show signs in heaven. (Epistle of Jeremiah v 66a)


The Latter Revelation:

Jesus says to (the leper having been made clean): “ ... Withdraw, show yourself to the priest.” (Matt 8:4a)

Some of the scribes and Pharisees answered (Jesus) saying: "Teacher, we want to behold a sign from You." (Matt 12:38)

On His having come into the sanctuary, the priest leaders and the elders of the people came to (Jesus as He was) teaching, saying: "In/with what kind of (judicial) authority did You make/do these things, and who gave You this (judicial) authority?" (Matt 21:23)

(Jesus) showed (His disciples) the hands and the feet. (Luke 24:40b)

(The Jewish leaders inquired the apostles:) ”In/with what kind of ability or in/with what kind of name did you make/do this?” (Acts 4:7b)


Paul said to the believers in Corinth: "Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we proclaim Christ, having been (and being) crucified, to Jews indeed a stumbling block but to nations a folly.” (1 Cor 1:22-23)


My own comments and speculations:

Concerning "sign", see especially John 4:46-48.


Greek words:

deiknymi (show) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Wisdom of Solomon 5:13; Epistle of Jeremiah v 66; Matt 8:4; Luke 24:40; John 2:18 – Esther 1:4,11; 4:8; Tobit 13:6(8)(BA); Judith 10:13; 13:15; 1 Macc 7:3,33; 11:4; Wisdom of Solomon 10:10,14; 11:8; 14:4; 16:4; 18:21; Sir 17:8; 18:21; 45:3; Epistle of Jeremiah v 3; Bel and the Dragon v 21(Theod); The Prayer of Manasseh v 14. Matt 4:8; 16:21; Mark 1:44; 14:15; Luke 4:5; 5:14; 20:24; 22:12; John 5:20; 10:32; 14:8-9; 20:20. Acts 7:3; 10:28; 1 Cor 12:31; 1 Tim 6:15; Heb 8:5; Jas 2:18; 3:13; Rev 1:1; 4:1; 17:1; 21:9-10; 22:1,6,8.


Additional studies:

Ex 7:9; Matt 16:1; Mark 8:11; 11:27-28; 15:29; Luke 11:16,29; 20:1-2; 23:8; John 4:48; 6:26,30; 7:31; 9:16; 11:47.


R.J. Campbell "Evidence for the Historicity of the Fourth Gospel in John 2:13-22"; Elizabeth A. Livingstone, ed., Studia Evangelica, Vol. 7. Berlin Akademie, (1982): 101-120.

Craig A. Evans "Jesus' Action in the Temple: Cleansing or Portent of Destruction"; Catholic Biblical Quarterly 51 (1989): 237-370.

Andreas J. Köstenberger "The Seventh Johannine Sign: A Study in John's Christology"; Bulletin for Biblical Research 5 (1995): 87-103.

Kenneth A. Matthews "John, Jesus and the Essenes: Trouble at the Temple"; Criswell Theological Review 3 (1988): 101-126.


(Original version 2007-12-01; revised version 2009-01-30; 2010-06-16; 2013-06-09; 2014-03-30; concluding version 2017-09-20)

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2:19-22 Jesus answered and spoke to them: "Loosen this temple, and in three days I will raise it." The Jews so spoke: "Forty-six years this temple has been built and You will raise it in three days?" But that (One) said (it) on account of the temple of His body. When He so was raised out of the dead (bodies), His disciples remembered that He (continually/repeatedly) had said this; and they believed (in) the writing and (in) the saying which Jesus had spoken.

Word for word: 2:19 (15 words in the Greek text) answered Jesus and spoke (to)-them: loosen the temple this and in three days (i/I)-will-raise it. 2:20 (19 words in the Greek text): spoke so the Jews: forty and six years was-built the temple this, and you in three days will-raise it? 2:21 (9 words in the Greek text) that-(one) but said on-account-of the temple (of)-the (of)-body his. 2:22 (23 words in the Greek text) when so (he)-was-raised out-of (of)-dead, remembered the disciples his that this (he)-said, and (they)-believed the writing and the saying which spoke the Jesus.


The Former Revelation (preliminary translation):

The Lord God built the rib, which He had taken from Adam, into/to a woman. (Gen 2:22a, Greek OT)

The tablets/’tables of stone’ (continually) were a work of God, and the writing is a writing of God, having been (and being) attached in/to the tablets/’tables of stone’. (Ex 32:16, Greek OT)

(The Lord talked towards Moses: “Talk with the sons of Israel and speak towards them:) ‘You shall count up for yourself the number out of seven rests, seven years seven times, and they shall be for you seven periods of seven days of years, forty-nine years. ... And you shall make the fiftieth period of time holy and cry throughout/out a ‘letting be’/’leaving alone’ upon the earth to all the ones dwelling/inhabiting it, a period of time of ‘letting be’/’leaving alone’, (a period) furnished with signs it shall be for you, and ‘one everyone’/’every single one’ shall go away into/to his acquisition, and everyone shall go away into his fatherland.’” (Lev 25:8,10, Greek OT)

Sheshbazzar came and gave/laid bases of the house of God in Jerusalem. And from then till the now it has been built, and it has not been ended. (Ezra 5:16, Greek OT)

(Isaiah said to Israel: "The Lord) will be for you into a holy place, and you will not be met together (with) Him as ‘a stone cutting towards’/’an offence’, nor as a rock to fall. But the house of Jacob (will be as) in ice and being seated in a hollowing out in Jerusalem." (Is 8:14b, Greek OT)

(The boy of the Lord said: "A spirit of the Lord has dispatched - and dispatches - me away) to proclaim a ‘letting be’/’leaving alone’ to captives ... to call/proclaim an agreeable period of time of the Lord." (Is 61:1b-2a, Greek OT)

(The prophet said:) "We may stand up in/on the third day, and we may live in the very eyes of (the Lord).” (Hos 6:2b, Greek OT)

The temple of the resting-place of God was made holy and was built in (Jerusalem) into/for all the generations of the age. (Tobit 1:4b, S)

It did not ‘come through’/pass fifty days till (the time) when the two sons of (the king) killed (him). (Tobit 1:21a, BA)

(Tobit) remembered the word of the prophet … saying: “… (Tobit 2:6a)

… (The people of Israel) will again build the house/temple and not as the first one. (Tobit 14:5a, S)

Having stretched forth the right hand against the temple (Nicanor, the officer/general of the nations) swore this (before the priests): “If you – according to the circumstances – may not give Judas fettered to the side of me, this is what I will make, (namely) God's pious precinct into/to a plain, and the sacrificial altar I will dig down, and I will cause a conspicuous sanctuary to stand up thereupon to Dionysius.” (2 Macc 14:33)

(Solomon said to the Lord:) “You have arranged every thing throughout (with) measure and number and standing-place/balance.” (Wisdom of Solomon 11:20b)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said: “How may we make) Jesus, a son of Josedek, (great), who in (his) days built a house and to the Lord heightened up a holy temple being (and having been) made ready into/for a glory of an age. And Nehemiah … raised our walls having been (and being) fallen.” (Sir 49:12b-13a)

The flame (continually) had/reached throughout against/'up to' 49 cubits above the furnace. (The Prayer of Azariah v 24)


The Latter Revelation:

(Jesus said to His disciples: "A person) who – if according to the circumstances – so may loosen one of the least of these commandments (of the Law), and in this way may teach the men, will be called least in the kingdom of the heavens. * (א*) “ (Matt 5:19)

‘Having answered’/’(Jesus) answered and’ spoke to (the scribes and Pharisees): "An evil generation and an adulteress seek against/after a sign, and/but a sign will not be given to it ‘if not’/except the sign of Jonah, the prophet. For just as Jonah (continually) was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, in this way the Son of the Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." (Matt 12:39-40)

(Jesus said to Simon Peter:) "I and/also say to you, that you are Peter (= rocking-stone), and on this rock I will build My (assembly) of called out, and the gates of Hades shall not be entirely stable (with regard to) it." (Matt 16:18)

From then/’that time’ Jesus Christ (א*, B*) began to show His disciples, that He must go away into (a disgraced) Jerosolyma/Jerusalem ... and be killed and be raised (on) the third day. (Matt 16:21a)

(Peter asked Jesus:) "Lord, how many times shall my brother miss (the mark of God) into/against me, and I shall let him be? Till seven times?" Jesus says to him: "I do not say to you ‘till seven times’, however/but 'till seventy times seven'." (Matt 18:21b-22)

Jesus says to (the priest leaders and the elders): “Did you nor at any time read in the writings: ‘A stone which the ones building rejected … is wondrous in our eyes?’” (Matt 21:42)

On their eating, having taken a bread and blessed, Jesu ‘fragmented (it)’/’broke (it) to pieces’ and (continually/repeatedly) gave (א*,A) to the disciples (and) (א*) spoke: "Take, eat. This is my body." (Matt 26:26)

Peter remembered the word of Jesus having spoken (and speaking) that/: ”Before a rooster ‘raise its voice’/crows, you will three times deny away Me.” (Matt 26:75a)

The ones going by the side of (continually) blasphemed (Jesus), stiring/shaking their heads, and saying: “The One loosening down/up the temple and in three days building (it), save Yourself, if You are a son of God, and descend from the cross.” (Matt 27:39-40)

From a sixth hour it became darkness * (א*) till a ninth hour. (Matt 27:45)

The memorial tombs were opened, and many bodies of the holy ones, having been (and being) fallen asleep, were raised. (Matt 27:52)

(The priest leaders and the Pharisees said to Pilate:) “Exhort so the grave to be secured till the third day, (so that) on the disciples’ having come they do not at any time may steal (that One leading astray) and (so that) they may (not) speak to the people: ‘He has risen from the dead (bodies)’, and the last going astray will be worse than the first.” (Matt 27:64)

The name (of Jesus) had become visible and (continually/repeatedly) (King Herod) said (א,* א, A) (about Jesus): “John, the one baptizing, has been (and is) raised out of (the) dead.(bodies). ...” (Mark 6:14b)

Having stood up some (continually) were false witnesses ‘down from’/against (Jesus), saying that/: "We heard Him saying: 'I will loosen down/up this temple, the one made by hand, and through/during three days I will build another not made by hand.'" (Mark 14:57-58)

(When Jesus' parents found Him in the sanctuary, He said to them:) "What (is it) that you seek (א*) Me? Did you not know, that I must be in the things of 'the Father My'/'My Father'?” (Luke 2:49)

(Jesus) found a (א,*א) place where it (continually/-) was (and had been) written: “A spirit of the Lord … has dispatched (and dispatches) Me away to proclaim a ‘letting be’/’leaving alone’ to captives and ... to dispatch away in a ‘letting be’/’leaving alone’ the ones having been (and being) caused to quake, to proclaim an agreeable period of time of the Lord." (Luke 4:17b-19)

(Jesus said to His disciples: “Let the crowd) lean/lay down (in) 'companies of guests'/sittings ‘as if’/about upwards fifty.” (Luke 9:14b)

(The disciples) did not 'let together'/perceive anything of (what Jesus had said about His death and resurrection.) This word (continually) was (and had been) hidden from them, and they had (continually) not knowledge of the things being said. (Luke 18:34)

(The women) remembered the words (of Jesus). (Luke 24:8)

In the 'to be completed'/'completing of' the day of the 50th ... they were all fulfilled of/with holy spirit. (Acts 2:1b,4a)

The (assembly) of called out ... (continually) had peace being/’when it was’ built. (Acts 9:31a)

(Paul said to the Jews:) “Having taken seven nations in an earth of Canaan entirely for Himself, (God) inherited their earth entirely (for) as/about 450 years.” (Acts 13:19 or 13:19-20a)

(Paul said to the Jews:) “God raised (Jesus) out of dead (bodies).” (Acts 13:30)

(The Jews in Berea) ... received the saying ... 'judging up'/examining the writings. (Acts 17:11a)

(Paul said to the Athenians: “God) does not dwell in temples made by hand.” (Acts 17:24b)


Exegetes, evangelists and others:

about 2000 - about 1500

The aorist ("has been built" in John 2:20) is (such, that) the lengthy process (is) viewed as one whole. ... There is ... a parallel in LXX ... Ezra 5:16. ... The problem of the aorist would be solved if we could think (with Abbott ...) that the reference is to the temple of Zerubbabel, begun in 559 B.C. and completed in 513 B.C. and now being added to by Herod. But Herod's rebuilding was so extensive that this seems most unlikely. (Leon Morris "The Gospel according to John" p 176; My own comment and speculation: Perhaps Abbott's thought is not so unlikely if we prefer to read the Gospel of John in the light of the Greek Old Testament?)

(While the word “hieron/sanctuary” comprises the whole temple area, cf. John 2:14-15), the word (”naos”) occurs as a designation ... of the temple of the Jews in Jerusalem, but then about the Holy of the Holies and the Holy. These were the parts where only priest had access, Luke 1:9,21,22. Furthermore “naos” was used about the body of Jesus as a temple, John 2:19,21, and in the apostolic preaching about the congregation which also is the body of Christ, 2 Cor 6:16; Eph 2:21; 1 Cor 3:16,17. (Studiebibeln V, p 659-660; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

The fact that the Greek letters in the name of Adam have the value of 46 was the basis of the interpretation of many Fathers, especially Augustine, who saw this number as a reference to Jesus' human nature. (Raymond E. Brown "The Gospel according to John" p 116)

Walter Bauer (A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature p 317) compares John 2:20 (46 years) with Acts 13:20.


about 1500 and time before

How was it that the disciples did not know that (Jesus) must rise from the dead? It was, because they had not been vouchsafed the gift of the Spirit. (Chrysostom, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers XIV:82)

Solomon ... built the temple as the type of truth. (Irenaeus, The Ante-Nicene Fathers, p 499)

The expression “naos” is always used in the NT of the Sanctuary itself, and not of the outer courts; but it would include the Court of the Priests, where the sacrifices were offered. (Alfred Edersheim "The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah Part II" p 574)

‘Little Genesis’ or ‘The Book of Jubilees’ ... was written ... probably about the time of Christ. The name, ‘Book of Jubilees’ is derived from the circumstance that the Scripture-chronology is arranged according to Jubilee periods of forty-nine years. (Alfred Edersheim "The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah Part II" p 657)


Examples of other quoted authors in the Swedish version: Svetlana Aleksijevitj, Fredrika Bremer, Per Ericsson, Bo Frid, Carl Grimberg, Lars Hartman, Alf Härdelin, Ignatius Aphram I Barsoum, H.M. Melin, Viktor Rydberg, Pjotr S, Haquin Spegel, John Stott, Jesper Svartvik, P. Waldenström.


My own comments and speculations:

Jesus stands as a temple in the sanctuary. It is spoken about the building of “this temple” in a way which reminds of how Jesus in Matt 16:18 speaks about the building on “this rock”. That the rock can be the body of Jesus, we can see in John 19:34. See also My own comments and speculations to this verse. And that Jesus can be seen as a base, against which one can build, we find in 1 Cor 3:11-12.

The disciples believed the writing and the saying which Jesus had spoken. They believed the former and the latter revelation.

After Jesus' resurrection - after 49 years/days - there was proclaimed a liberty for the inhabitants of the earth. On the fiftieth day after Easter the Holy Spirit was poured out upon all flesh (cf. The Prayer of Azariah v 24). Cf. also Edersheim (II:64) who mentions that the number seven is the signature of the sanctuary (cf. Jesus as the temple in the Gospel of John).

On Adam's relation to the number 46, see also My own comments and speculations to John 20:20.

See also John 1:51a with My own comments and speculations.


Greek words:

grafê (writing) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Matt 21:42; John 2:22; Acts 17:11 – 1 Macc 12:21; 14:27; 2 Macc 2:4; Sir 39:32; 42:7; 44:5; 45:11; Matt 22:29; 26:54,56; Mark 12:10,24; 14:49; Luke 4:21; 24:27,32,45; John 5:39; 7:38,42; 10:35; 13:18; 17:12; 19:24,28,36-37; 20:9. Acts 1:16; 8:32,35; 17:2(3); 18:24,28; Rom 1:2; 4:3; 9:17; 10:11; 11:2; 15:4; 16:26; 1 Cor 15:3-4; Gal 3:8,22; 4:30; 1 Tim 5:18; 2 Tim 3:16; Jas 2:8,23; 4:5; 1 Pet 2:6; 2 Pet 1:20; 3:16.

egeirô (raise/rise) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Sir 48:5; 49:13; Matt 16:21; 27:64; Mark 6:14; John 2:19-20,22; Acts 13:30 – Tobit 6:18(BA); 8:4; Judith 10:23; 14:3,13; Sir 36:6(8); Matt 1:24; 2:13-14,20-21; 3:9; 8:15,25-26; 9:5-7,19,25; 10:8; 11:5,11; 12:11,42; 14:2; 17:7,23; 20:19; 24:7,11,24; 25:7; 26:32,46; 27:52,63; 28:6-7. Mark 1:31; 2:9,11-12; 3:3; 4:27,38; 5:41; 6:16; 9:27; 10:49; 12:26; 13:8,22; 14:28,42; 16:6; Luke 1:69; 3:8; 5:23-24; 6:8; 7:14,16,22; 8:54; 9:7,22; 11:8,31; 13:25; 20:37; 21:10; 24:6,34; John 5:8,21; 7:52; 11:29; 12:1,9,17; 13:4; 14:31; 21:14. Acts 3:7,15; 4:10; 5:30; 9:8; 10:26,40; 12:7; 13:22,37; 26:8; Rom 4:24-25; 6:4,9; 7:4; 8:11,34; 10:9; 13:11; 1 Cor 6:14; 15:4,12-17,20,29,32,35,42-44,52; 2 Cor 1:9; 4:14; 5:15; Gal 1:1; Eph 1:20; 5:14; Col 2:12; 1 Thess 1:10; 2 Tim 2:8; Heb 11:19; Jas 5:15; 1 Pet 1:21; Rev 11:1.

etos (year) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) John 2:20; Acts 13:20 – Esther 1:1a(A1); 2:16; 3:7,13f(B6); 8:9; 10:3l(F11); Tobit 1:7-8; 2:10; 5:3; 14:1-2(2),14; Judith 1:1; 2:1; 8:4; 1 Macc 1:7,9-10,20,29,54; 2:70; 3:37; 4:52; 6:16,20,53; 9:3,54,57; 10:1,21,57,67; 11:19; 13:41-42,51; 14:1,27; 15:10; 16:14; 2 Macc 1:7,20; 7:27; 11:3,21,33,38; 13:1; 14:4; Wisdom of Solomon 4:8; Sir 18:9-10; 41:4; Baruch 1:2; Epistle of Jeremiah v 2. Matt 9:20; Mark 5:25,42; Luke 2:36-37,41-42; 3:1,23; 4:25; 8:42-43; 12:19; 13:7-8,11,16; 15:29; John 5:5; 8:57. Acts 4:22; 7:6,30,36,42; 9:33; 13:21; 19:10; 24:10,17; Rom 15:23; 2 Cor 12:2; Gal 1:18; 2:1; 3:17; 1 Tim 5:9; Heb 1:12; 3:9(10),17; 2 Pet 3:8; Rev 20:2-4,6-7.

naos (temple) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Tobit 1:4; 2 Macc 14:33; Mark 14:58; John 2:19-21; Acts 17:24 – Judith 4:2,11; 5:18; 1 Macc 1:22; 2:8; 4:49-50,57; 7:36; 2 Macc 4:14; 6:2; 8:2; 9:16; 10:3,5; 13:23; 14:35; 15:18,33; Wisdom of Solomon 3:14; 9:8; Sir 45:9; 49:12; 50:1,7; 51:14; Baruch 1:8; The Song of Praise of the Three Men v 30; Bel and the Dragon v 14; Matt 23:16-17,21,35; 26:61; 27:5,40,51; Mark 15:29,38; Luke 1:9,21-22; 23:45. Acts 19:24; 1 Cor 3:16-17; 6:19; 2 Cor 6:16; Eph 2:21; 2 Thess 2:4; Rev 3:12; 7:15; 11:1-2,19; 14:15,17; 15:5-6,8; 16:1,17; 21:22.

nekros /dead (body)/ (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Matt 27:64; Mark 6:14; John 2:22; Acts 13:30 – Tobit 2:8; 5:10; 12:12-13; Judith 2:8; 6:4; 2 Macc 12:44; Wisdom of Solomon 4:19; 13:10,18; 14:15; 15:5,17; 18:12,23; 19:3; Sir 7:33; 22:11-12; 38:16,23; 48:5; Baruch 3:11; Epistle of Jeremiah v 26,70. Matt 8:22; 10:8; 11:5; 14:2; 17:9; 22:31-32; 23:27; 28:4,7; Mark 9:9-10,26; 12:25-27; Luke 7:15,22; 9:7,60; 15:24,32; 16:30-31; 20:35,37-38; 24:5,46; John 5:21,25; 12:1,9,17; 20:9; 21:14. Acts 3:15; 4:2,10; 10:41-42; 13:34; 17:3,31-32; 20:9; 23:6; 24:21; 26:8,23; 28:6; Rom 1:4; 4:17,24; 6:4,9,11,13; 7:4,8; 8:10-11,34(א*,A); 10:7,9; 11:15; 14:9; 1 Cor 15:12-13,15-16,20-21,29,32,35,42,52; 2 Cor 1:9; Gal 1:1; Eph 1:20; 2:1,5; 5:14; Phil 3:11; Col 1:18; 2:12-13; 1 Thess 1:10; 4:16; 2 Tim 2:8; 4:1; Heb 6:1-2; 9:14,17; 11:19,35; 13:20; Jas 2:17,20(א,*א,A),26; 1 Pet 1:3,21; 4:5-6; Rev 1:5,17-18; 2:8; 3:1; 11:18; 14:13; 16:3; 20:12-13.

oikodomeô (build) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Tobit 1:4; 14:5; Sir 49:12; Matt 16:18; Mark 14:58; John 2:20; Acts 9:31 – Tobit 13:10(11)(BA),16(17); Judith 16:14; 1 Macc 1:14,33,47,54; 4:47-48,60; 6:7; 9:50,62; 10:10,12,44-45; 12:35,37-38; 13:27,33,38,48; 15:7,39,41; 16:9,15; 2 Macc 1:18; Wisdom of Solomon 9:8; Sir 34:23(28); 40:19; 48:17; 49:7. Matt 7:24,26; 21:33,42; 23:29; 26:61; 27:40; Mark 12:1,10; 15:29; Luke 4:29; 6:48-49; 7:5; 11:47-48; 12:18; 14:28,30; 17:28; 20:17. Acts 7:47,49; 20:32; Rom 15:20; 1 Cor 8:1,10; 10:23; 14:4,17; Gal 2:18; 1 Thess 5:11; 1 Pet 2:7.

sôma (body) (in the Synoptics, John, the Acts, 1-3 John, Rev + examples in the Apocrypha) Matt 26:26; 27:52; John 2:21 – Esther 4:17k(C13); 9:14; Tobit 1:18; 10:10(BA); Judith 10:3; 13:9; 1 Macc 11:4; 2 Macc 3:17; 6:30; 7:7,37; 8:11; 9:7,29; 12:26,39; 15:30; Wisdom of Solomon 1:4; 2:3; 8:20; 9:15; Sir 23:16(17); 30:16; 41:11; 44:14; 48:13; The Epistle of Jeremiah v 21; Bel and the Dragon v 32. Matt 5:29-30; 6:22-23,25; 10:28; 14:12; 26:12; 27:58-59; Mark 5:29; 14:8,22; 15:43; Luke 11:34,36; 12:4,22-23; 17:37; 22:19; 23:52,55; 24:3,23; John 19:31,38,40; 20:12; Acts 9.40; Rev 18:13.

tesserakonta (forty) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) The Prayer of Azariah v 24; John 2:20 – Tobit 1:21(S); 1 Macc 3:39; 12:41; 2 Macc 5:2. Matt 4:2; Mark 1:13; Luke 4:2. Acts 1:3; 4:22; 7:30,36,42; 13:21; 23:13,21; 2 Cor 11:24; Heb 3:10,17; Rev 7:4; 11:2; 13:5; 14:1,3; 21:17.


Additional studies:

Ps 16:10; Matt 20:19; 24:1-2; Mark 8:12; 9:31-32; 13:2; 15:33; Luke 9:44-45; 11:29; 23:44; 24:7-8,26-27,45; John 2:17; 4:20-24; 8:58; 12:16; 14:26; 16:14; Acts 6:14; 13:33; 1 Cor 12:27; Col 1:18; Rev 8:1.


A.G. van Aarde "'The most high God does live in houses, but not in houses built by men . . .' The relativity of the metaphor 'temple' in Luke-Acts"; Neotestamentica 25.1 (1991): 51-64.

G.K. Beale "The Descent of the Eschatological Temple in the Form of the Spirit at Pentecost: Part 1: The Clearest Evidence"; Tyndale Bulletin 56.1 (2005): 73-102.

G.K. Beale "The Descent of the Eschatological Temple in the Form of the Spirit at Pentecost: Part 2: Corrobating Evidence"; Tyndale Bulletin 56.2 (2005): 63-90.

R.J. Campbell "Evidence for the Historicity of the Fourth Gospel in John 2:13-22"; Elizabeth A. Livingstone, ed., Studia Evangelica, Vol. 7. Berlin Akademie, (1982): 101-120.

James A. Draper "Temple, Tabernacle and Mystical Experience in John"; Neotestamentica 31 (1997): 263-288.

Craig A. Evans "Jesus' Action in the Temple: Cleansing or Portent of Destruction"; Catholic Biblical Quarterly 51 (1989): 237-370.

Lars Hartman "'He spoke of the Temple of His body' (Jn 2:13-22)"; Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok 54 (1989): 70-79.

Andreas J. Köstenberger "The Destruction of the Second Temple and the Composition of the Fourth Gospel"; Trinity Journal 26.2 (Fall 2005): 205-242.

Andreas J. Köstenberger "The Seventh Johannine Sign: A Study in John's Christology"; Bulletin for Biblical Research 5 (1995): 87-103.

Judith Lieu "Temple and Synagogue in John"; New Testament Studies 45 (1999): 51-69.

Kenneth A. Matthews "John, Jesus and the Essenes: Trouble at the Temple"; Criswell Theological Review 3 (1988): 101-126.


(Original version 2007-12-01; revised version 2009-01-31; 2010-06-27; 2013-07-02; 2014-03-30; concluding version 2017-09-21)

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2:23-25 But as He (continually) was in/with (the people) in the (disgraced) Jerosolyma/Jerusalem in/at the ‘paschal lamb’/Passover in/during the feast, many believed into His name looking at His signs which He (continually) made. But (continually) Jesus Himself did not believed/entrusted Himself to them, ‘because of Him to have’/’because He had’ knowledge of all (men) and because He (continually) had not need ‘in order that’/that anyone might be a witness on account of the man, for He Himself had (continually) knowledge of what (continually) was in the man.

Word for word: 2:23 (24 words in the Greek text) As but (he)-was in the Jerosolymas/Jerosolyma in the paschal-lamb in the feast, many believed into the name his looking-at his the signs which (he)-(continually)-made. 2:24 (13 words in the Greek text Sinaiticus) he-(himself) but the Jesus not believed him (to)-them because-of the him have-knowledge-of all. 2:25 (19 words in the Greek text) and because not need (he)-had-(continually) in-order-that anyone might-be-a-witness on-account-of the man, he-(himself) for had-knowledge-of what was-(continually) in the man.


The Former Revelation (preliminary translation):

(The Lord talked towards Moses: “Talk with the sons of Israel and speak towards them:) ‘You shall make the fiftieth period of time holy and cry throughout/out a ‘letting be’/’leaving alone’ upon the earth to all the ones dwelling/inhabiting it, a period of time of ‘letting be’/’leaving alone’, (a period) furnished with signs it shall be for you, and ‘one everyone’/’every single one’ shall go away into/to his acquisition, and everyone shall go away into his fatherland.’” (Lev 25:10, Greek OT)

(Balaam said:) "I shall show him and/but by no means now. I call him happy, and/but he does not draw near. A constellation shall stick up out of Jacob, and a man shall stand up out of Israel." (Num 24:17a, Greek OT)

(The Lord said to Moses:) "I know the evil thing (of the sons of Israel), as much as they make/do here to-day, before 'the thing to lead Me'/'I have led' them into the good earth/land which I swore (to give) their fathers." (Deut 31:21b, Greek OT)

(David said to Solomon:) " ... The Lord lets all hearts undergo a test and has knowledge of every device." (1 Chron 28:9a, Greek OT)

(Solomon said to the Lord:) “You alone have knowledge of the heart of sons of men.” (2 Chron 6:30b, Greek OT)

(Mordocai said to the Lord:) “You have knowledge of all things.” (Esther 4:17da/C5a, Greek OT)

(The psalmist said:) ”The Lord has knowledge of the ‘countings throughout’/considerations of the men, that they are vain.” (Ps 94:11a, Greek OT)

(Tobit said:) ” … many times I went into (a disgraced) Jerosolyma/Jerusalem in/at the feasts.” (Tobit 1:6a, S)

(The son of Tobit said:) “ … What sign may I give (Gabael), and/that he may gain additional knowledge of me and believe me?” (Tobit 5:2a, S)

(Judith said to the elders of the city:) “You shall not find/’find out’ a depth of a heart of a man, and you shall not ‘take asunder’/distinguish sayings of his mind, and how (then concerning) God, who has made all these things?” (Judith 8:14a)

Having beheld all things as many as the God of Israel had made/done Achior believed extremely (in) God. (Judith 14:10a)

(Solomon said:) “What man will gain knowledge of a counsel of God?” (Wisdom of Solomon 9:13a)

(Solomon said:) “Out/’on the basis’ of great sizes and embellishment of created things their originator looks at (them) in a corresponding way.” (Wisdom of Solomon 13:5)

(Solomon said:) "The one having turned himself next to (the serpent) (continually) was saved, not because of the thing to be looked at, however/but because of You, the Saviour of all." (Wisdom of Solomon 16:7)

(Solomon said: “Israel looked) at wondrous omens.” (Wisdom of Solomon 19:8b)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said:) “The works of every/everyone (are) flesh in the very eyes of (the Lord), and it/there is not (anything) to be hidden from His eyes.” (Sir 39:19)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said: “The Lord) has traced out abyss and heart (of a man) ... for the Highest One has had knowledge of every knowing, and He has seen in, into a sign of a (coming) age.” (Sir 42:18)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said:) “‘Every ... not’/no notion/thought has come to the side of (the Lord). ‘Not ... one ... nor’/neither (any) saying is hidden from Him.” (Sir 42:20)

(Baruch said:) “… The Lord … has led out (His) people out of 'an earth'/'a land' of Egypt in/with a powerful hand and in/with signs and in/with omens and in/with great ability and in/with high arm.” (Baruch 2:11a, cf. Rev 11:8: (a disgraced) Jerosolyma/Jerusalem = Egypt)


The Latter Revelation:

(John) (א*,B) hindered (Jesus) throughout, saying: "I have need to be baptized by You, and You come towards me?" (Matt 3:14)

Having beheld the designs (of the scribes) Jesus spoke: “’In order of what’/why do you ponder evil things in your hearts?” (Matt 9.4)

(Jesus said to the twelve:) “’Give heed from’/’beware of’ the men, for they will give you ‘to the side of into’/’over to’ councils and whip you in their synagogues.” (Matt 10:17)

The blind ones and the lame ones came to (Jesus) in the sanctuary, and He attended them. (Matt 21:14)

(The priest leader said: “Jesus) blasphemed! What need have we yet of witnesses? …” (Matt 26:65b)

The parents (of Jesus) (continually/repeatedly) went 'according to'/every year into/to Jerusalem (at) the Feast of the ‘paschal lamb’/Passover. (Luke 2:41)

(Jesus) knew the ‘countings throughout’/considerations of (the scribes and the Pharisees). (Luke 6:8a)

(Jesus said:) "No one has knowledge of who the Son is ‘if not’/except the Father and who the Father is ‘if not’/except the Son and to the one whom the Son – if according to the circumstances – may wish to reveal (it)." (Luke 10:22b)

(Jesus) spoke to (the Pharisees): "You are the ones justifying yourselves in the very eyes of the men, but God has knowledge of your hearts." (Luke 16:15a)

(The “leader of a hundred men” said about Jesus:) "Certainly this Man (continually) was righteous." (Luke 23:47b)

‘Having prayed’/’(The disciples) prayed and’ spoke: “You, Lord, having knowledge of (the) hearts of all ... “ (Acts 1:24a)

(Moses) led (Israel) out, having made/done omens and signs in (the) earth/land Egypt. (Acts 7:36a, cf. Rev 11:8: (a disgraced) Jerosolyma/Jerusalem = Egypt)

Simon himself and/also believed ... looking at signs. (Acts 8:13a)

God, the One having knowledge of hearts, has been a witness to (the nations) having given them, entirely as and/also us, the Holy Spirit ... having made their hearts clean (by means of) faith. (Acts 15:8-9)

(Luke said: “The barbarians/foreigners) honoured us (with) many honours, and ... they put/lay against (us) the things towards/’in regard to’ the needs.” (Acts 28:10)


The Apostle, the eighth and one of the seven: Jesus beheld Nathanael coming towards Him and says on account of him: "Behold, truly an Israelite, in whom it/there is not (any) deceit!" Nathanael says to (Jesus): "From where have You knowledge of me?" (John 1:47-48a)

The Jews so answered and spoke to (Jesus): "What sign do You show us, because You make/do these things?" (John 2:18)


Exegetes, evangelists and others:

about 2000 and time before

In Jewish literature knowledge of what is in man belongs to God (Mekhilta Exod. 16.32 ...: 'There is no man who knows what is in his neighbour's heart.') (C.K. Barrett "The Gospel according to St John" p 202)

There is a love being greater than the love of fathers and mothers. It is God's love in Jesus Christ, with which he follows every individual man, sees his steps, listens to the inner emotions and thoughts of his heart. (Sven Lidman "I gott sällskap I", comment to Hebr 12:1-3; from the summer calendar Pingstliljan; Jönköpings-Posten 1927-06-24; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

All three evangelists remark that Jesus saw their thoughts. For faith this is an extremely important information. For if the inner of man laid bare before Jesus while he was on earth, how much more must it be so, when he is sitting glorified by the side of his father.And if he saw into the hearts of the enemies, how much more certain will he then see into the hearts of his friends. (Karl Palmberg "Ur livskällan. Tredje årgången." p 407; comment to Matt 9:1-8; Karl Palmberg /1842-1920/ was from 1883 a Lutheran clergyman in Månsarp in the diocese of Växjö and president in Jönköpings Missionsförening (Missionary Society) 1886-1911; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

When I for a long time naivly have kept company with a man and then in my memory sums him up, I get him fairly into order but never really well; and the men are right to keep their secrets. (August Strindberg "En blå bok I" p 91; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

I like when men set bar to my inquisitive questions. It shall be found one the most holy room in everyone, a room which no profane one is allowed to see. (Selma Lagerlöf "Du lär mig att bli fri - Selma Lagerlöf skriver till Sophie Elkan" p 12; letter 1894-02-06; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

To know what is in the heart of men belongs to God alone, “who hath fashioned hearts one by one” (Ps. xxxiii. 15, LXX.), for, saith Solomon, “Thou, even Thou only, knowest the hearts” (1 Kings viii. 39). (Chrysostom, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers XIV:83)


Examples of other quoted authors in the Swedish version: Alf Ahlberg, Eric S. Alexandersson, Augustinus, Karin Boye, Christine Falkenland, William Faulkner, Emilia Fogelklou, Nikolaj Gogol, Dag Hammarskjöld, Verner von Heidenstam, Alf Henrikson, Pär Lagerkvist, Hans Larsson, Jonas Lie, Kristina Lugn, Martin Luther, Carl Henrik Martling, Efraim Palmqvist, Lewi Pethrus, Joanne Kathleen Rowling, Eva Rydberg, Viktor Rydberg, Sven Edvin Salje, Vinay Samuel, Bo Setterlind, Chris Sugden, Anton Tjechov, P. Waldenström, Elin Wägner, Birgitta Yavari.


My own comments and speculations:

Concerning "signs", see especially John 4:46-48.


Paul said to the believers in Colossae: "In (Christ) are all the heaps/treasures of the wisdom and knowledge hidden away." (Col 2:3)

This is His commandment, ‘in order that’/that we may (א,*א,A) believe (in) the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and welcome one another, entirely as He ‘gave us a commandment’/’commanded us’. (1 John 3:23)


Greek words:

(h)eortê (feast) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Tobit 1:6; Luke 2:41; John 2:23 – Tobit 2:1,6; Judith 8:6; 10:2; 1 Macc 1:39,45; 10:21,34; 12:11; 2 Macc 6:6; 10:6; Sir 33:8; 43:7; Matt 26:5; 27:15; Mark 14:2; 15:6; Luke 2:42; 22:1; 23:17(א,*א); John 4:45; 5:1; 6:4; 7:2,8,10-11,14,37; 11:56; 12:12,20; 13:1,29.

theôreô (look at) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Wisdom of Solomon 13:5; 16:7; 19:8; John 2:23; Acts 8:13 – Tobit 1:17; 2:2(BA); 5:10; 12:19; 1 Macc 4:20; 13:29; 2 Macc 3:17; 9:23; Wisdom of Solomon 6:12; 17:6; Susanna v 8(Theod),20(Theod); Matt 27:55; 28:1; Mark 3:11; 5:15,38; 12:41; 15:40,47; 16:4; Luke 10:18; 14:29; 21:6; 23:35,48; 24:37,39; John 4:19; 6:19,40,62; 7:3; 8:51; 9:8; 10:12; 12:19,45; 14:17,19; 16:10,16-17,19; 17:24; 20:12,14. Acts 3:16; 4:13; 7:56; 9:7; 10:11; 17:16,22; 19:26; 20:38; 21:20; 25:24; 27:10; 28:6; Heb 7:4; 1 John 3:17; Rev 11:11-12.

chreia (need) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Matt 3:14; 26:65; John 2:25; Acts 28:10 – Tobit 5:7; 1 Macc 11:63; 12:45; 13:15; 2 Macc 2:15; 7:24; 8:9; Wisdom of Solomon 13:16; Sir 3:22; 8:9; 11:9; 13:6; 15:12; 29:2-3,27; 32:7; 38:12; 39:26,31,33; 42:23; Epistle of Jeremiah v 59. Matt 6:8; 9:12; 14:16; 21:3; Mark 2:17,25; 11:3; 14:63; Luke 5:31; 9:11; 15:7; 19:31,34; 22:71; John 13:10,29; 16:30. Acts 2:45; 4:35; 6:3; 20:34; Rom 12:13; 1 Cor 12:21,24; Eph 4:28-29; Phil 2:25; 4:16,19; 1 Thess 1:8; 4:9,12; 5:1; Tit 3:14; Heb 5:12; 7:11; 10:36; 1 John 2:27; 3:17; Rev 3:17; 21:23; 22:5.


Additional studies:

1 Sam 16:7; 1 Kings 8:39; Ps 7:9(10); Is 29:18; 35:5-6; Sir 1:30; Matt 21:15; Mark 2:8; 8:16-17; Luke 5:22; 11:17; John 1:12; 2:11,13; 4:48; 6:15,30,61,64; 7:31; 11:47; 12:37; 13:11; 20:30-31; 1 Cor 1:22; Rev 2:23; 7:13-15.


H. Conzelmann "Jesu självmedvetande"; Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok 28/29 (1963/1964): 39-53.

Debbie Hunn "The Believers Jesus Doubted: John 2:23-25"; Trinity Journal 25.1 (2004): 15-25.


(Original version 2007-12-01; revised version 2009-01-31; 2010-07-04; 2013-07-16; 2014-03-30; concluding version 2017-09-22)

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