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The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible

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John 2:1

And the third day there was a marriage
Either from the second testimony bore by John the Baptist concerning Christ, and from the call of Simon Peter, which seem to be of the same date; see (John 1:35,36,42,43) , or from Christ's coming into Galilee; or from the conversation he had with Nathanael; from either of which the date is taken, it matters not; the first is as agreeable and plain, as any. There is much dispute, and many rules with the Jews about the times, and days of marriage:

``a virgin, (they say F26,) marries on the fourth day (of the week), and a widow on the fifth, because the sanhedrim sit in the cities twice in the week, on the second, and on the fifth days; so that if there is any dispute about virginity, he (the husband) may come betimes to the sanhedrim.''

This was a law that obtained since the times of Ezra; for it is said {a},

``before the order of Ezra, a woman might be married on any day;''

but in after times, feast days, and sabbath days, were particularly excepted. One of their canons is F2

``they do not marry women on a feast day, neither virgins, nor widows:''

The reason of it was, that they might not mix one joy with another; and lest a man should leave the joy of the feast, for the joy of his wife. The account Maimonides F3 gives of these several things is this;

``it is lawful to espouse on any common day, even on the ninth of Ab, whether in the day, or in the night; but they do not marry wives neither on the evening of the sabbath, nor on the first of the week: the decree is, lest the sabbath should be profaned by preparing the feast; for the bridegroom is employed about the feast: and there is no need to say, that it is unlawful to marry a wife on the sabbath day; and even on the common day of a feast they do not marry wives, as we have explained; because they do not mix one joy with another, as it is said in (Genesis 29:27) , "fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also": but on the rest of the days it is lawful to marry a wife, any day a man pleases; for he must be employed in the marriage feast three days before the marriage. A place in which the sanhedrim do not sit, but on the second and fifth days only, a virgin is married on the fourth day; that if there is any objection to her virginity, he (her husband) may come betimes to the sanhedrim: and it is a custom of the wise men, that he that marries one that has been married, he may marry her on the fifth day, that so he may rejoice with her on the fifth day, and on the evening of the sabbath, (i.e. the sixth,) and on the sabbath day, and may go forth to his work on the first day.''

But elsewhere it is said F4, that

``now they are used to marry on the "sixth day of the week".''

Yea F5, that

``it is lawful to marry, and to make the feast on the sabbath day.''

But whether this marriage was of a virgin, or a widow, cannot be known; nor with certainty can it be said on what day of the week it was: if that day was a sabbath day on which the disciples abode with Christ, as Dr. Lightfoot conjectures, then it must be on the first day that Christ went into Galilee, and found Philip, and conversed with Nathanael; and if this third day is reckoned from John's second testimony, it must be on a Tuesday, the third day of the week; but if from Christ's going into Galilee, then it must be on a Wednesday, the fourth day of the week, the day fixed by the Jewish canon for the marriage of a virgin. This marriage was

in Cana of Galilee.
The Syriac and Persic versions, read, in "Kotne, a city of Galilee"; and which, in the Jewish map, is called (lylgb) (anjq) , "Katna" in "Galilee", and is placed in the tribe of Zebulun, which was in Galilee, and not far from Nazareth; and bids fair to be the same place with this; though it is more generally thought F6, that Cana, in the tribe of Asher, mentioned in (Joshua 19:28) , which was also in Galilee, is here meant; and is so called to distinguish it from another Kanah, in the tribe of Ephraim, (Joshua 16:8) (17:9) . Josephus F7 speaks of a town, or village, of Galilee, called Cana, which was a day's march from it to Tiberias, and seems to be the same place: and another Jewish writer F8 says,

``to me it appears that Cepher Chanania, is Copher Cana; or the village of Cans, as is clear in Misna Sheviith, c. 9. sect. 1. for there is the beginning of lower, Galilee,''

which also accords with this. Now in the case of marriage, there was some difference between Judea and Galilee, and certain rules were laid down relating thereunto: and it is said F9,

``there are three countries, for the celebration of marriages; Judea, the country beyond Jordan, and Galilee;''

that is, that were obliged to marry among themselves; so that if any one married a wife out of any of these countries, she was not obliged to go along with him from one country to another F11: hence it follows,

``they do not bring them out from city to city, (i.e. oblige them to go with them from city to city,) nor from town to town; but in the same country they bring them out from city to city, and from town to town.''

And it is elsewhere observed F12, that

``in Judea, at first, they joined the bridegroom and bride together an hour before they went into the bride chamber, that so his heart might be lifted up in her; but in Galilee they did not do so: in Judea, at first, they appointed for them two companions, one for him, and another for her, that they might minister to, or wait on the bridegroom, and bride, when they went into the bride chamber; but in Galilee they did not do so: in Judea, at first, the companions slept in the house where the bridegroom and bride slept; but in Galilee they did not do so.''

Next we have an account of the persons that were present at this marriage:

and the mother of Jesus was there;
who seems to have been a principal person at this wedding, and was very officious; when wine was wanted, she signified it to her son, and ordered the servants to do whatever he bid them: and since she, and Jesus, and his brethren, were all here, it looks as if it was a relation of hers that was now married: and since these brethren were the kinsmen of Christ, Simon, Judas, and Joses, the sons of Cleophas or Alphaeus, whose wife was sister to the mother of our Lord; and since one of them, to distinguish him from Simon Peter, is called Simon the Canaanite, or an inhabitant of Cana, as some have thought; hence it is conjectured by Dr. Lightfoot, that Alphaeus had an house in Cana, and that his family dwelt there, and that it was for one of his family that this marriage feast was made; see (John 2:2,3,5,12) (19:25) (Matthew 13:55) (10:4) . Joseph, the husband of Mary, perhaps, was now dead, since no mention is made of him here, nor any where else, as alive, after Christ had entered on his public ministry.


FOOTNOTES:

F26 Misn. Cetubot, c. 1. sect. 1.
F1 T. Bab. Cetubot, fol. 3. 1.
F2 Misa. Moed Katon, c. 1. sect. 7. & T. Bab. Moed Katon, fol. 8. 2. & 18. 2.
F3 Hachot Ishot, c. 10. sect. 14, 15.
F4 Piske Toseph. Cetubot, art. 6.
F5 Ib art. 28.
F6 Jerom de Locis Hebraicis, fol. 90. B.
F7 In vita sua.
F8 Juchasin, fol. 57. 2.
F9 Misn. Cetubot, c. 13. sect. 10. T. Hieros. Cetubot, fol. 36. 2.
F11 Bartenora in ib.
F12 T. Bab. Cetubot, fol. 12. 1.

 


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on John 2:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=joh&chapter=002&verse=001>. 1999.

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