John 2:6
New International Version
Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

New Living Translation
Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons.

English Standard Version
Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.

Berean Study Bible
Now six stone water jars had been set there for the Jewish rites of purification. Each could hold from twenty to thirty gallons.

Berean Literal Bible
Now there were six stone water jars standing there, according to the purification of the Jews, having space for two or three metretae.

New American Standard Bible
Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each.

King James Bible
And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.

Christian Standard Bible
Now six stone water jars had been set there for Jewish purification. Each contained twenty or thirty gallons.

Contemporary English Version
At the feast there were six stone water jars that were used by the people for washing themselves in the way that their religion said they must. Each jar held about 100 liters.

Good News Translation
The Jews have rules about ritual washing, and for this purpose six stone water jars were there, each one large enough to hold between twenty and thirty gallons.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Now six stone water jars had been set there for Jewish purification. Each contained 20 or 30 gallons.

International Standard Version
Now standing there were six stone water jars used for the Jewish rites of purification, each one holding from two to three measures.

NET Bible
Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washing, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.

New Heart English Bible
Now there were six stone water jars set there after the Jewish manner of purifying, containing two or three metretes apiece.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But there were there six watercasks of stone, set for the purifying of the Judeans, which held two or three nine-gallon-measures each.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Six stone water jars were there. They were used for Jewish purification rituals. Each jar held 18 to 27 gallons.

New American Standard 1977
Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.

King James 2000 Bible
And there were set there six water pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons each.

American King James Version
And there were set there six water pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.

American Standard Version
Now there were six waterpots of stone set there after the Jews manner of purifying, containing two or three firkins apiece.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three measures apiece.

Darby Bible Translation
Now there were standing there six stone water-vessels, according to the purification of the Jews, holding two or three measures each.

English Revised Version
Now there were six waterpots of stone set there after the Jews' manner of purifying, containing two or three firkins apiece.

Webster's Bible Translation
And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.

Weymouth New Testament
Now there were six stone jars standing there (in accordance with the Jewish regulations for purification)

World English Bible
Now there were six water pots of stone set there after the Jews' way of purifying, containing two or three metretes apiece.

Young's Literal Translation
And there were there six water-jugs of stone, placed according to the purifying of the Jews, holding each two or three measures.
Study Bible
The Wedding at Cana
5His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” 6Now six stone water jars had been set there for the Jewish rites of purification. Each could hold from twenty to thirty gallons. 7Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” So they filled them to the brim.…
Cross References
Mark 7:3
Now in holding to the tradition of the elders, the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat until they wash their hands ceremonially.

Luke 16:6
A hundred measures of olive oil,' he answered. 'Take your bill,' said the manager. 'Sit down quickly, and write fifty.'

John 2:7
Jesus told the servants, "Fill the jars with water." So they filled them to the brim.

John 3:25
A dispute arose between John's disciples and a certain Jew over the issue of ceremonial washing.

Treasury of Scripture

And there were set there six water pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.

after.

John 3:25
Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying.

Mark 7:2-5
And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault…

Ephesians 5:26
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,







Lexicon
Now
δὲ (de)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1161: A primary particle; but, and, etc.

six
ἓξ (hex)
Adjective - Nominative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 1803: Six. A primary numeral; six.

stone
λίθιναι (lithinai)
Adjective - Nominative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 3035: Made of stone. From lithos; stony, i.e. Made of stone.

water jars
ὑδρίαι (hydriai)
Noun - Nominative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 5201: A water pot, jar, pitcher. From hudor; a water-jar, i.e. Receptacle for family supply.

had been
Ἦσαν (Ēsan)
Verb - Imperfect Indicative Active - 3rd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.

set
κείμεναι (keimenai)
Verb - Present Participle Middle or Passive - Nominative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 2749: To lie, recline, be placed, be laid, set, specially appointed, destined. Middle voice of a primary verb; to lie outstretched.

there
ἐκεῖ (ekei)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 1563: (a) there, yonder, in that place, (b) thither, there. Of uncertain affinity; there; by extension, thither.

for
κατὰ (kata)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 2596: A primary particle; down, in varied relations (genitive, dative or accusative) with which it is joined).

the
τῶν (tōn)
Article - Genitive Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

Jewish
Ἰουδαίων (Ioudaiōn)
Adjective - Genitive Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 2453: Jewish. From Iouda; Judaean, i.e. Belonging to Jehudah.

[rites of] purification.
καθαρισμὸν (katharismon)
Noun - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2512: From katharizo; a washing off, i.e. ablution, expiation.

[Each] could hold
χωροῦσαι (chōrousai)
Verb - Present Participle Active - Nominative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 5562: From chora; to be in space, i.e. to pass, enter, or to hold, admit.

from
ἀνὰ (ana)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 303: A primary preposition and adverb; properly, up; but used severally, or at.

twenty to thirty gallons.
δύο (dyo)
Adjective - Accusative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 1417: Two. A primary numeral; 'two'.
(6) Waterpots, or pitchers, like to but larger than the vessels used for carrying water, as in John 4:28. These were placed in the outer court, away from the guest-chamber, for the governor of the feast is ignorant of the circumstances (John 2:9). It is natural that an eyewitness should remember the number and know roughly their size. There were six of them, containing about twenty gallons apiece; but hidden meanings referring to the number or the quantity are brought to the text, not derived from it. The measure rendered "firkin" is metretes, which is used for the Hebrew, "bath" in 2Chronicles 4:5. This (Jos. Ant. viii. 2, ? 9) gives nearly nine gallons as the value of the "firkin," which multiplied by two or three gives the contents of each pitcher as from about eighteen to twenty-seven gallons; or, approximately, from 100 to 150 gallons for the whole. Our own word "firkin" is probably "a little fourth," and equal to nine gallons, or the fourth of a barrel (comp. Tierce, which is one-third). It is used only here in the Bible.

Verse 6. - Now there were (set, or) placed there six water pots of stone, after the Jews' manner of purifying, containing two or three firkins apiece. Stone was often used for these receptacles, as more calculated to preserve the purity of the water (Wunsche refers to 'Beza,' 2:2; Westcott quotes 'Sofa,' 4; Barclay, in his translation of 'Mishna,' § 17, enumerates earthenware and other material as lawful). It is interesting that these stone jars are still used in this very neighbourhood for like purposes ('Pict. Palestine'). This large number of jars of considerable magnitude was doubtless due in part to the number of the guests, and to the scrupulous attention to ceremonial purity that was enjoined by the oral law (see 'Mishna,' § 17; and Lightfoot, in loc.). They were accustomed to wash, not only the hands, but "cups, brazen vessels, and tables" (see Matthew 15:2 and parallel passages). (For this use of κατά, see 2 Timothy 1:1, in which "according to" easily passes into the sense of "for the sake of, after the manner of.") The Attic measure metretes was equal to the Hebrew bath (Josephus, 'Ant.,' 8:02. 9), and stands for it in the LXX. of 2 Chronicles 4:5, and this equalled 1.5 Roman amphorae, 8 gallons + 7.5 pints. So that six jars containing 2 or 3 metretes, say 2.5 = 6 x 2.5 x 8 gallons + 7.5 pints = 6 x 2.5 × 71.5 pints = 134 gallons and a fraction. The jars may have differed in shape, according as they were adapted for different purposes; but ἀνά must be translated distributively, and we cannot evade the enormous capacity of the jars, and therefore the abundance of the gift thus provided. Various efforts have been made to reduce the extent of the provision; but the obvious implication of the narrative is that the six jars were the locale of the miracle. Dr. Moulton and Dr. Westcott suggest that these water pots were filled with pure water, but that the wine was "drawn" from the water supply to which the servants had access, and that no more wine was provided than that which was borne to the governor of the feast. Others have supposed that simply the water drawn from the jars was transformed in the process. These suppositions make the entire reference to the water pots extremely obscure and unnecessary. The large quantity of wine thus offered to these humble folks corresponds with the affluence of Nature in all her moods - the munificence of spring blossoms, the harvest of the sea, the exuberance of sunlight, the superfluity of rain that falls on the oceans, the copiousness of all God's ways. When, on other occasions, the Lord added to the supplies of food in fishes and bread, his lavish abundance corresponds with the riches of his loving kindness on this occasion. There was provided, not the material for a meal, but an ample dowry for such a bride. No mere magical change, momentarily confounding perception and leaving no trace behind, but a supply which would be a standing proof of the reality of what had been done. 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.
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Alphabetical: by ceremonial containing custom each for from gallons holding jars Jewish Jews kind Nearby Now of or purification set six stone stood the there thirty to twenty used washing water waterpots were

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