And there were set there six water pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews…
A vessel was let down into the pitcher, and was then carried to the ruler of the feast, who would distribute the wine in it to the guests. Ruler rather than "governor." The same English word should be used throughout the two verses. What exact office is denoted by the Greek word is uncertain, as it occurs nowhere else in the Bible, and is very rare in the classical authors. The chief English commentators (Alford, Wordsworth, Trench) are agreed that he was chosen by the guests from among their own number, but this opinion has not commanded the general assent of scholars; and there seems more reason to think that the person intended is what we should call the "head-waiter," whose duty it was to taste the viands and wines, to arrange the tables and couches, and to be generally responsible for the feast.
(H. W. Watkins, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.