John 2:7
Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
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(7) Fill the waterpots.—It is implied that the pitchers were wholly or in part empty, the water in them having been used for the ablutions before the feast. The persons ordered are the servants (John 2:5). “Up to the brim” marks the willing care with which the order was obeyed, and an expectation through the household of some work to be wrought.

John 2:7-10. Jesus saith unto them — After some convenient pause, that the failing of the wine might be the more observed; Fill the water-pots with water — Choosing, for wise reasons, to make use of these rather than the vessels in which the wine had before been contained: one of which reasons might be to prevent any suspicion that the tincture or taste of the water was in any degree derived from any remainder of wine in the vessels. Draw out now, and bear unto the governor — “Among the Greeks, Romans, and Jews, it was usual, at great entertainments, especially marriage-feasts, to appoint a master of ceremonies, who not only gave directions concerning the form and method of the entertainment, but likewise prescribed the laws of drinking. Jesus, therefore, ordered the wine which he had formed to be carried to the governor of the feast, that by his judgment passed upon it, in the hearing of all the guests, it might be known to be genuine wine of the best kind.” When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, &c. — The governor of the feast, on tasting the wine, being highly pleased with its flavour and richness, but not knowing how it had been procured, addressed himself to the bridegroom, in the hearing of all the guests, and, commending the wine, as far preferable to what they had been drinking, praised him for the elegance of his taste, and for his civility, in giving the company better wine during the progress of the entertainment than at the beginning of it, which showed that he did not grudge the quantity they might use. This declaration of the governor, no doubt, surprised the bridegroom, who knew nothing of the matter, and occasioned an inquiry to be made about it. It is reasonable, therefore, to suppose, that the servants were publicly examined, and the company received an account of the miracle from them. For it is expressly said, that by it Jesus manifested his glory, that is, demonstrated his power and character, to the conviction of the disciples, and of all the guests. The expression in the tenth verse, οταν μεθυσθωσι, here rendered, when men have well drunk, though it may sometimes signify to drink to excess, yet frequently in Scripture, and sometimes in other writings, denotes no more than to drink sufficiently, or to satisfaction: and “it would be very unjust and absurd to suppose it implies here, that these guests had already transgressed the rules of temperance. None can seriously imagine the evangelist to be so destitute of common sense as to represent Christ as displaying his glory by miraculously furnishing the company with wine to prolong a drunken revel. It is much more reasonable to conclude, that it signifies here, (as it does Genesis 43:34; Song of Solomon 5:1; Haggai 1:6, in the Septuagint,) only to drink so freely as innocently to exhilarate the spirit. And even this, perhaps, might only be the case with some of them, and particularly not of those who, drawn by a desire to converse with Jesus, might be but lately come in.” — Doddridge.

2:1-11 It is very desirable when there is a marriage, to have Christ own and bless it. Those that would have Christ with them at their marriage, must invite him by prayer, and he will come. While in this world we sometimes find ourselves in straits, even when we think ourselves in fulness. There was want at a marriage feast. Those who are come to care for the things of the world, must look for trouble, and count upon disappointment. In our addresses to Christ, we must humbly spread our case before him, and then refer ourselves to him to do as he pleases. In Christ's reply to his mother there was no disrespect. He used the same word when speaking to her with affection from the cross; yet it is a standing testimony against the idolatry of after-ages, in giving undue honours to his mother. His hour is come when we know not what to do. Delays of mercy are not denials of prayer. Those that expect Christ's favours, must observe his orders with ready obedience. The way of duty is the way to mercy; and Christ's methods must not be objected against. The beginning of Moses' miracles was turning water into blood, Ex 7:20; the beginning of Christ's miracles was turning water into wine; which may remind us of the difference between the law of Moses and the gospel of Christ. He showed that he improves creature-comforts to all true believers, and make them comforts indeed. And Christ's works are all for use. Has he turned thy water into wine, given thee knowledge and grace? it is to profit withal; therefore draw out now, and use it. It was the best wine. Christ's works commend themselves even to those who know not their Author. What was produced by miracles, always was the best in its kind. Though Christ hereby 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, Lu 21:34. Though we need not scruple to feast with our friends on proper occasions, yet every social interview should be so conducted, that we might invite the Redeemer to join with us, if he were now on earth; and all levity, luxury, and excess offend him.With water - This was done by the servants employed at the feast. It was done by "them," so that there might be no opportunity of saying that the disciples of Jesus had filled them with wine to produce the "appearance" of a miracle. In this case there could be no deception. The quantity was very considerable. The servants would know whether the "wine" or "water" had been put in these vessels. It could not be believed that they had either the power or the disposition to impose on others in this manner, and the way was therefore clear for the proof that Jesus had really changed what was known to be water into wine.

To the brim - To the top. So full that no wine could be poured in to give the appearance of a mixture. Further, vessels were used for this miracle in which wine had not been kept. These pots were never used to put wine in, but simply to keep "water" in for the various purposes of ablution. A large number was used on this occasion, because there were many guests.

7, 8. Fill … draw … bear—directing all, but Himself touching nothing, to prevent all appearance of collusion. Either the water was defiled by some persons washing in it, or else the vessels were not full. Our Lord commands them to be filled (the water pots, not wine vessels)

with water, pure water; he commands them all to be filled by the servants, who could attest the miracle, that there was nothing in the vessels but pure water. Here was no new creature to be produced; he doth not therefore command the production of wine out of nothing; but only the transformation of a creature already existent into a creature of another kind. The servants dispute not his command, nor ask any reason of his command, but yield that ready and absolute obedience which we all of us owe to Divine precepts. They fill them, and so full that they could hold no more.

Jesus saith unto them,.... To the servants that waited at the feast,

fill the water pots with water. The Ethiopic version adds, "to their brims", as they did. Christ chose the water pots, and not the vessel, or vessels, or bottles, now empty, out of which they had drank their wine; that it might not be said that there was any left therein, which gave colour and flavour to the water: and he ordered them to be filled with water by the servants, that they might take notice, and be witnesses, that that, and nothing else, was put into them; and up to the brims, so that they could not he capable of having any other liquor infused into them:

and they filled them up to the brim; strictly observing the orders of Christ, and the instructions of his mother.

Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
John 2:7-8. The transformation is accomplished in the time between John 2:7 and John 2:8.[136]

αὐτοῖς] the servants, who obeyed Him according to the direction of Mary, John 2:5; not, as Lange’s imagination suggests, “under the influence of a miraculously excited feeling pervading the household.”

ΓΕΜΊΣΑΤΕ] The most natural supposition from this and John 2:6 is that the pitchers had been empty, the water in them having been used up before the feast began, and were to be filled afresh for use after meat. Observe, moreover, that Christ does not proceed creatively in His miracles, neither here nor in the feedings.

ἕως ἄνω] This is stated for no other purpose than to give prominence to the quantity of the wine which Jesus miraculously produced.

ἀντλήσατε] Altogether general, without specifying any particular pitcher,—showing that as all were filled, the water in all was turned into wine (in answer to Semler and Olshausen). From the nature of the case, no object is appended, and we therefore can only understand the general word it. The drawing out was done by means of a vessel (a tankard, πρόχοος, Hom. Od. xviii. 397), out of which the master of the feast would fill the cups upon the table (comp. Nitzsch on Hom. Od. η. 183).

The ἈΡΧΙΤΡΊΚΛΙΝΟς, table-master (Heliod. vii. 27), in Petron. 27 triclinarches, elsewhere also called τραπεζοποιός (Athen. iv. p. 170 D E; Beck. Char. II. 252), is the chief of the waiters at table, upon whom devolved the charge of the meats and drinks, and the entire arrangement of the repast. See Walch, De architriclino, Jena 1753. Comp. Fritzsche on Sir 35:1, where he is designated as ἡγούμενος. He was at the same time the taster of the meats and drinks, and is not to be confounded with the ΣΥΜΠΟΣΊΑΡΧΟς, modimperator, arbiter bibendi, who was chosen by the guests themselves from among their own number (Xen. Anab. vi. 1. 30; Herm. Privatalterth. § 28, 29; Mitscherlich, ad Hor. Od. i. 4. 18).

[136] The commencement of the transformation might indeed be also placed after the drawing out, and consequently after ver. 8, so that only that portion of water which was drawn was converted into wine. But the minute statement of the number and large size of the vessels in ver. 6, by which it is manifestly intended to draw attention to the greatness in a quantitative point of view of the miracle of transformation, presupposes rather that all the water in the pitchers was converted into wine.

John 2:7. The first order Jesus gives to the διακόνοις is one they may unhesitatingly obey.—Γεμίσατε τὰς ὑδρίας ὕδατος, “Fill the water jars with water,” the water being specified in view of what was to follow.—καὶ ἐγέμισαν αὐτὰς ἕως ἄνω, “and they filled them up to the brim”. The corresponding expression, ἕως κάτω, is found in Matthew 27:51. ἕως ἔσω and ἕως ἔξω are also found in N.T. to indicate more precisely the terminus ad quem. In this usage ἕως is not perceptibly different from a preposition. “Up to the brim” is specified not so much to indicate the abundant supply as to suggest that no room was left for adding anything to the water. The servants did all their part thoroughly, and left no apparent room for Jesus to work. Thus they became instrumental to the working of a miracle.

7. Fill the waterpots] It is difficult to see the meaning of this command, if (as some contend) only the water which was drawn out was turned into wine. The pitchers had been partially emptied by the ceremonial ablutions of the company, i.e. pouring water over their hands. Note that in His miracles Christ does not create; He increases the quantity, or changes the quality of things already existing.

to the brim] His Mother’s words (John 2:5) have done their work. Our attention seems here to be called to the great quantity of water changed into wine.

Verse 7. - Jesus saith to them, Fill the water pets with water. And they filled them to the brim. They had, therefore, been emptied already for the purifying purposes and processes of the large party, probably suggesting that the friends of the bridegroom were solicitous to obey the religious discipline which was believed to be in harmony with the Divine will. The expression, ἕως ἄνω, seems added to emphasize the quantity of wine thus provided. The miracle took place between the filling of the jars and their being drawn upon. We are not permitted to look more closely into this mystery. The finger of God, the will of the Creator, determines the result. The servants knew that they had filled the jars with water. The next thing, and all that we know, is that the Lord said - John 2:7Fill (γεμίσατε)

Compare Mark 4:37, and see on Luke 14:23.

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