Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
1. third day--He would take two days to reach Galilee, and this was
mother there--it being probably some relative's marriage.
John never names her [BENGEL].
3. no wine--evidently expecting some display of His glory, and hinting
that now was His time.
4, 5. Woman--no term of disrespect in the language of that day
what . . . to do with thee--that is, "In my Father's business I have to
do with Him only." It was a gentle rebuke for officious interference,
entering a region from which all creatures were excluded (compare
Ac 4:19, 20).
mine hour, &c.--hinting that He would do something, but at His
own time; and so she understood it
6. firkins--about seven and a half gallons in Jewish, or nine in
Attic measure; each of these huge water jars, therefore, holding some
twenty or more gallons, for washings at such feasts
7, 8. Fill . . . draw . . . bear--directing all, but Himself touching
nothing, to prevent all appearance of collusion.
9, 10. well drunk--"drunk abundantly" (as
speaking of the general practice.
10. the good wine . . . until now--thus testifying, while ignorant of
the source of supply, not only that it was real wine, but better than
any at the feast.
11. manifested forth his glory--Nothing in the least like this is
said of the miracles of prophet or apostle, nor could without manifest
blasphemy be said of any mere creature. Observe, (1) At a marriage
Christ made His first public appearance in any company, and at a
marriage He wrought His first miracle--the noblest sanction that could
be given to that God-given institution. (2) As the miracle did not make
bad good, but good better, so Christianity only redeems,
sanctifies, and ennobles the beneficent but abused institution of
marriage; and Christ's whole work only turns the water of earth into the
wine of heaven. Thus "this beginning of miracles" exhibited the
character and "manifested forth the glory" of His entire Mission. (3) As
Christ countenanced our seasons of festivity, so also that greater
fulness which befits such; so far was He from encouraging that
asceticism which has since been so often put for all religion. (4)
The character and authority ascribed by Romanists to the Virgin is
directly in the teeth of this and other scriptures.
12. Capernaum--on the Sea of Galilee. (See on
his mother and his brethren--(See on
CLEANSING OF THE
14-17. in the temple--not the temple itself, as
but the temple-court.
sold oxen, &c.--for the convenience of those who had to offer them
changers of money--of Roman into Jewish money, in which the
temple dues (see on
had to be paid.
15. small cords--likely some of the rushes spread for bedding, and
when twisted used to tie up the cattle there collected. "Not by this
slender whip but by divine majesty was the ejection accomplished, the
whip being but a sign of the scourge of divine anger" [GROTIUS].
poured out . . . overthrew--thus expressing the mingled indignation
and authority of the impulse.
16. my Father's house--How close the resemblance of these remarkable
the same consciousness of intrinsic relation to the temple--as
the seat of His Father's most august worship, and so the symbol of all
that is due to Him on earth--dictating both speeches. Only, when but a
youth, with no authority, He was simply "a SON
IN His own house"; now He was "a SON OVER
His own house"
the proper Representative, and in flesh "the Heir," of his Father's
house of merchandise--There was nothing wrong in the merchandise;
but to bring it, for their own and others' convenience, into that most
sacred place, was a high-handed profanation which the eye of Jesus could
17. eaten me up--a glorious feature in the predicted character of
the suffering Messiah
and rising high even in some not worthy to loose the latchet of His
18-22. What sign showest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these
things?--Though the act and the words of Christ, taken
together, were sign enough, they were unconvinced: yet they were
awed, and though at His very next appearance at Jerusalem they
"sought to kill Him" for speaking of "His Father" just as He did now
they, at this early stage, only ask a sign.
19. Destroy this temple, &c.--(See on
Mr 14:58, 59).
20. Forty and six years--From the eighteenth year of Herod till then
was just forty-six years [JOSEPHUS, Antiquities, 15.11.1].
21. temple of his body--in which was enshrined the glory of the
eternal Word. (See on
By its resurrection the true Temple of God upon earth was reared up, of
which the stone one was but a shadow; so that the allusion is not
quite exclusively to Himself, but takes in that Temple of which
He is the foundation, and all believers are the "lively stones."
(1Pe 2:4, 5).
22. believed the scripture--on this subject; that is, what was meant,
which was hid from them till then. Mark (1) The act by which Christ
signalized His first public appearance in the Temple. Taking "His fan
in His hand, He purges His floor," not thoroughly indeed, but enough to
foreshadow His last act towards that faithless
people--to sweep them out of God's house. (2) The sign of His
authority to do this is the announcement, at this first outset of His
ministry, of that coming death by their hands, and resurrection by His
own, which were to pave the way for their judicial ejection.
23-25. in the feast day--the foregoing things occurring probably before
the feast began.
many believed--superficially, struck merely by "the miracles He did."
Of these we have no record.
24. did not commit--"entrust," or let Himself down familiarly to
them, as to His genuine disciples.
25. knew what was in man--It is impossible for language more clearly
to assert of Christ what in
Jer 17:9, 10,
and elsewhere, is denied of all mere creatures.