John 4:46
So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(46) So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee.—He returns to the place where He had manifested His glory and knit to Himself in closer union the first band of disciples. This thought is present to the writer as the reason why He went there. It was the place “where He made the water wine.”

And there was a certain nobleman.—The margin shows the difference of opinion among-our translators as to what English word gives the true idea of the position of the person who is in the text called “nobleman.” The Greek word is an adjective formed from the word for “king,” and as a substantive occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It is frequent in Josephus, who uses it in our sense of courtier, or for a civil or military officer, but not for one of the royal family. The king, whose “king’s man” is here spoken of, was almost certainly Herod Antipas, who was left the kingdom in his father’s first will, and is called “king” by St. Matthew (Matthew 14:9) and by St. Mark (Mark 6:14). The person here named may therefore be a “royalist” or “Herodian” (comp. Matthew 22:16; Mark 3:6), but in a domestic incident like this the reference would be to his social position rather than to his political opinions. Perhaps “king’s officer” represents the vagueness of the original better than any other English term. It is not improbable that the person was Chuza, and that his wife’s presence in the band of women who followed Christ (Luke 8:3) is to be traced to the restoration of her child. For the position of Capernaum, see Note on Matthew 4:13.

John 4:46-53. There was a certain nobleman — One belonging to the king’s court, as the word βασιλικος, here used, properly signifies. The Syriac and Arabic versions render it, a minister, or servant of the king, namely, of Herod; who, though only tetrarch of Galilee, yet was commonly distinguished by the title of king. And, as Capernaum lay in his dominions, it is probable this was one of his courtiers. The English word nobleman conveys the notion of hereditary rank, and certain dignities, to which there was nothing in Palestine, or even in Syria, that corresponded. He besought him that he would come down and heal his son — It seems the nobleman thought it necessary that Jesus should be personally present in order to his performing the cure. Therefore, to reprove the weakness of his faith, Jesus said to him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe — Or, as the latter clause may be rendered, will ye not believe? although the Samaritans believed without them. The nobleman saith, Sir, come down ere my child die — Weak as his faith was, he determined, nevertheless, to urge the matter to the utmost; and therefore, without any explanation or apology on the point concerning which Christ had reproved him, he entreats him to come down immediately, the case being so extreme, that he thought a delay might be attended with the most fatal consequences. And shall we be less importunate when soliciting spiritual blessings in behalf of our dear offspring? Especially as their lives are so precarious, and we know not how soon these lovely flowers may be cut down, and all further petitions for them be for ever superseded. Jesus saith, Go thy way, thy son liveth — Thus showing that it was not necessary for him to go in person to perform the cure. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken — Though he had never seen or heard of a parallel case. He had, indeed, heard of Christ’s miracles, but this appears to have been the first, at least it is the first recorded, in which Christ cured the patient at a distance, and probably was hitherto in this respect unequalled. And has not Jesus still the same power? Can he not heal either our bodies or souls, though not visibly present? O, let not his bodily absence abate our faith, while either praying for others or for ourselves. And he went his way — Without any further importunity. And as he was going, his servants met him — Eager to bring him the agreeable news of his son’s recovery, and to prevent him from taking the trouble of bringing Jesus down. Then inquired he when he began to amend — Being desirous to know whether it happened at the very time when Jesus said, Thy son liveth. Observe, reader, the more exactly the works of God are considered, the more faith is increased. They said, Yesterday at the seventh hour — Or at one in the afternoon; the fever left him — All of a sudden, and he was restored to health immediately. So the father knew that it was at the same hour — Or at the very time when Jesus pronounced the healing word, and that his son therefore had been miraculously cured. And himself believed, and his whole house — Namely, that Jesus, by whom so convincing and beneficent a miracle had been wrought, must be, not only, as he before supposed, some great prophet, but even the Messiah himself. What a blessed change now took place in this family, occasioned by the sickness of the child, the cure of whose body was made the means of producing faith in the souls of all; whereby salvation came to this house, and blessings infinitely more valuable than noble blood, ample possessions, or royal favour could give! Considerations of this kind should reconcile us to afflictions; for we know not what great good may arise from them. Blessed Jesus! Thy power was no less employed in working faith in the souls of the members of this family, than in curing the body of the sick child. O may that power work in such a manner in us that we may be disposed cordially to believe in and love thee, and receive all the dispensations of thy adorable providence with the most perfect resignation to, and acquiescence in, thy wise, holy, and blessed will, knowing on thy own infallible testimony by thy inspired apostle, that all things shall work together for good to them that love and trust in thee! 4:43-54 The father was a nobleman, yet the son was sick. Honours and titles are no security from sickness and death. The greatest men must go themselves to God, must become beggars. The nobleman did not stop from his request till he prevailed. But at first he discovered the weakness of his faith in the power of Christ. It is hard to persuade ourselves that distance of time and place, are no hinderance to the knowledge, mercy, and power of our Lord Jesus. Christ gave an answer of peace. Christ's saying that the soul lives, makes it alive. The father went his way, which showed the sincerity of his faith. Being satisfied, he did not hurry home that night, but returned as one easy in his own mind. His servants met him with the news of the child's recovery. Good news will meet those that hope in God's word. Diligent comparing the works of Jesus with his word, will confirm our faith. And the bringing the cure to the family brought salvation to it. Thus an experience of the power of one word of Christ, may settle the authority of Christ in the soul. The whole family believed likewise. The miracle made Jesus dear to them. The knowledge of Christ still spreads through families, and men find health and salvation to their souls.A certain nobleman - One who was of the royal family, connected by birth with Herod Antipas; or one of the officers of the court, whether by birth allied to him or not. It seems that his ordinary residence was at Capernaum. Capernaum was about a day's journey from Cana, where Jesus then was. 46, 47. nobleman—courtier, king's servant, or one connected with a royal household; such as Chuza (Lu 8:3), or Manaen (Ac 13:1).

heard that Jesus was come out of Judea—"where he had doubtless seen or heard what things Jesus had done at Jerusalem" (Joh 4:45), [Bengel].

come down—for Capernaum was down on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee.

Our Saviour, coming into Galilee, made choice of Cana, the place where, being at a marriage feast, he turned water into wine, John 2:1-25, first to fix in: the reason is not expressed, and therefore vainly guessed at by interpreters. There he worketh a second miracle, not upon the person of any one of Cana, but upon the son of one who was at Capernaum, which was a city in the tribe of Naphtali, upon the shore of the famous river Jordan. This person is described to be one that was basilikov, a

nobleman; whether of the blood of Herod, that was tetrarch of Galilee, or some courtier or principal servant of his, it is not said. So Jesus came again unto Cana of Galilee,.... Where he had been once before; see John 2:1. The Syriac version here, as there, calls it "Kotne" of Galilee; and the Persic version, "Catneh" of Galilee:

where he made the water wine; see John 2:9;

there was a certain nobleman; the Vulgate Latin renders it, "a petty king"; the Arabic version, and Nonnus, call him, "a royal man"; and the Syriac version renders it, "a king's servant"; with which agrees the Ethiopic, calling him "a minister, a steward, the king's domestic". The Persic version makes it to be his name, reading it, "there was a great man, whose name was Abdolmelic", which signifies a king's servant: from the whole he seems to be one that belonged to the palace of Herod Antipas, and was one of his courtiers; who, though he was but tetrarch of Galilee, yet is sometimes called a king, Mark 6:14;

whose son was sick at Capernaum; some versions, as the Syriac, Arabic, and Persic, read the phrase, "in Capernaum", with the former clause, "there was a nobleman in Capernaum": and others, as we do with this; and both may be true; for he might be an inhabitant of Capernaum, and his house be there where his son lay sick. Some think this nobleman was either Chuza, Herod's steward, Luke 8:3, or Manaen, who had been brought up with Herod, Acts 13:1.

{9} So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain {l} nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum.

(9) Although Christ is absent in body, yet he works mightily in the believers by his word.

(l) Some of Herod's royal attendants, for though Herod was not a king, but a Tetrarch, yet he was a king in all respects (or at least the people called him a king) except that he lacked the title of king.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
John 4:46. ἦλθεν οὖν ὁ Ἰησοῦς. May we conclude from the circumstance that no mention is made of the disciples until John 6:3, “that they had remained in Samaria, and had gone home”? πάλιν ἐλθεῖν means “to return”; here with a reference to John 2:1. The further definition of Κανᾶ, ὅπου ἐποίησε τὸ ὕδωρ οἶνον, is to identify the place, to prepare for John 4:54, and to remind us He had friends there. Weiss and Holtzmann suppose the family of Jesus was now resident at Cana. That we have no reason to suppose. From the period of the ministry in Galilee now beginning, the Synoptists give many details: John gives but one. ἦν τις βασιλικὸς. Euthymius gives the meanings of βασιλικός thus: βασιλικὸς ἐλέγετο, ἢ ὡς ἐκ γένους βασιλικοῦ, ἢ ὡς ἀξίωμά τι κεκτημένος, ἀφʼ οὗπερ ἐκαλεῖτο βασιλικὸς, ἢ ὡς ὑπηρέτης βασιλικός. Kypke gives examples of its use by writers of the period to denote soldiers or servants of a king, or persons of royal blood, or of rank and dignity, and thinks it here means “vir nobilis, clarus, in dignitate quadam constitutus”. Lampe thinks it may imply that this man was both in the royal service and of royal blood. Lightfoot suggests that this may have been Chuza, Herod’s chamberlain. Most probably he was an officer of Herod’s court, civil or military. His prominent characteristic at this time is given in the words, οὗ ὁ υἱὸς ἠσθένει ἐν Καφαρναούμ. The place is named because essential to the understanding of what follows.46. where he made the water wine] and therefore would be likely to find a favourable hearing. For ‘So Jesus came’ read He came therefore. See on John 6:14.

nobleman] Literally, king’s man, i.e. officer in the service of the king, Herod Antipas; but whether in a civil or military office, there is nothing to shew. ‘Nobleman’ is, therefore, not at all accurate: the word has nothing to do with birth. It has been conjectured that this official was Chuza (Luke 8:3), or Manaen (Acts 13:1).John 4:46. [93] ὍΠΟΥ, where) By that very miracle the flame of faith was kindled in the nobleman; [else courtier. One either of royal descent, or having obtained some rank, from which he was called βασιλικός, or as being attendant of a king.—Euthym. and Chrys. Probably the sense of the word in Josephus is the one here. He uses the term to distinguish the courtiers, and other officers of the kings, from those of Rome, B. J. vii, 5, 2; Ant. xv. 8, 4. So this man would be an officer in the court of Herod Antipas.]—οὗ ὁ υἱός, whose son) His only son, as the article seems to imply.

[93] τιμὴν οὐκ ἔχει, hath no honour) Jesus was solicitous, not about His own honour, but about the salvation of men. How can the man, who lightly esteems Jesus, be saved?. V. g.Verse 46. - He came therefore again unto Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. The οϋν of this verse is best explained by the simple supposition that Cana lay in his way. In Cana of Galilee, not Judaea, he had manifested forth his glory, and his disciples believed on him. He came, then, to Galilee, to Cana, and for a while tarried there, long enough for the βασιλικός to have heard of his healing power and prophetic gifts. There have been numerous attempts to identify this narrative of the nobleman's son with the healing of the centurion's servant as recorded in Matthew 8:5 and Luke 7:2. Recently Weiss and Thoma have laid emphasis upon this identification. Strauss, Baur, and all the opponents of John's Gospel, are eager to press this subjective handling of the synoptic tradition. But, as Edersheim has observed, they are here in hopeless contradiction with their own theory; for we find that the Hebrew Gospel here confers the loftiest encomium upon a Gentile, and the Hellenic Fourth Gospel makes the hero of this scene to be a Jew. True, in both cases a man of higher rank than that of fishermen and taxgatherers approaches our Lord with a request on behalf of another. But it should be observed that in the one case we have a Roman centurion, a heathen man, coming with great faith, one who, though "not in Israel," recognizes the imperial claims of Jesus; in the present narrative we have an Herodian officer, some person of Jewish blood attendant on the tetrarch's court, who displays a weak faith, reproved though rewarded by the Master. The one asks for a dying slave afflicted with paralysis; the other for a dying son suffering from deadly fever. Jesus meets the centurion as he crones down from the mountain, after the delivery of the great sermon; the Lord, when he receives the request of the nobleman, was a resident in. Cana. Both cures are said to take place at Capernaum by the utterance of a word, but the centurion disclaims the right to a visit, and asks for a word only. The nobleman entreats that the Lord would travel from Cana to Capernaum to heal his son. Thus the two narratives, with certain resemblances, are still strongly contrasted. The βασιλικός is one in the service of a king. The title of a king was given to Herod in later times (Mark 6:14), and characterized other references to him. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. Jesus

The best texts omit.

Cana (τὴν Κανᾶ)

Note the article the Cana, and see on John 2:1. The article defines the Cana previously referred to.

Nobleman (βασιλικὸς)

Properly an adjective, meaning royal, from βασιλεὺς, king. It occurs in John only, here and John 4:49; and in all other passages is used as an adjective (Acts 12:20, Acts 12:21; James 2:8). Literally here, a king's officer. Wyc, little King.

Was sick (ἠσθένει)

See on infirmities, Luke 5:15.

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