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marriage, or marriage festival, upon the third day after. • And the mother of Jesus was there. The silence of Scripture leaves hardly a doubt that Joseph was dead before Christ's open ministry began. He is last expressly mentioned on Occasion of the Lord's visit as a child to the Temple (Luke ii. 41); which, however, he must for a certain period have overlived (ver. 51). “And both Jesus was called and his disciples.' These, invited with their Master, and, no doubt, mainly to do honour to Him, in all likelihood are not the Twelve, but only those five whose calling has just before been recorded, Andrew and Peter, Philip and Nathanael (Bartholomew ?), and the fifth, probably the Evangelist himself; who will thus have been an eye-witness of the miracle which he relates.' Him, as was seen long ago, we may pretty confi
The former, which has only greater nearness in its favour, is now always shown to travellers as the Cana of our history, though the name can only with difficulty be twisted to the same, the · Kefr' having first to be dropped altogether, and in Kenna, the first radical changed, and the second left out; while“ Kâna el-Jelil' is word for word the Cana of Galilee' of Scripture, which exactly so stands in the Arabic version of the New Testament. The mistake, as he shows, is entirely modern, only since the sixteenth century Kefr Kenna having thus borne away the bonours due rightly to Kâna el-Jelil. Till then, as a loug line of earlier travellers and topographers, reaching through many centuries, attest, the latter was ever considered as the scene of this first miracle of our Lord. It may have helped to win for the mistake an easier acceptance, that it was manifestly for the interest of guides and travellers who would spare themselves fatigue and distance, to accept the other in its room, it lying directly on one of the routes between Nazareth and Tiberias, and being far more accessible than the true. The Cana of the New Testament does not occur in the Old, but is mentioned twice by Josephus (Vit. $$ 16,
Bell. Jud. i. 17, 5.). The Old Testament has only Kanah in Asher (Josh. xix. 28), S.E. of Tyre.
1 A late tradition adopted by the Mahometans (D'Herbelot, Biblioth. Orient. 8. v. Johannes), makes St. John not merely an eye-witness, but himself the bridegroom at this marriage; who, beholding the miracle which Jesus wrought, forsook the bride, and followed Him. Thus the Prologue to St. John, attributed to Jerome (Joannem nubere volentem a nuptiis per Dominum fuisse vocatum), but with no closer reference to this miracle. According to Nicephorus it was not St. John, but Simon the Cånaanite, who on this hint followed Jesus; but Kavavitns attached to his name (Matt. x. 4), and which is probably the only foundation for this assumption, does not mean of Cana;' any more than it means of
dently recognize in the second but unnamed disciple, whom the Baptist detached from himself, that he might attach bim to the Lord (John i. 35, 40). It is in St. John's favourite manner to preserve an incognito of this kind (cf. xiii. 23; xviii. 15; xix. 26, 35), thus seeking to draw away all attention from himself the teller, and fix it on the events which he is telling.
None need wonder to find the Lord of life at this festival; for He came to sanctify all life,-to consecrate its times of joy, as its times of sorrow; the former, as all experience teaches, needing above all such a consecration as only his presence, bodily or spiritual, can give. He was there, and by his presence there struck the key-note to the whole future tenor of his ministry. He should not be as another Baptist, a wilderness preacher, withdrawing himself from the common paths of men. His should be at once a harder and a higher task, to mingle with and purify the daily life of men, to bring out the glory which was everywhere hidden there." How precious is his witness here against an indolent and cowardly readiness to give up to the world, or to the devil, aught which, in itself innocent, is capable of being drawn up into the higher world of holiness, even as it is in danger of sinking down and coming under the law of the flesh and of Canaan ;' which our Translators, writing the Canaanite,' as though Kavuvitys = Xavaraioc, must have assumed. It is rather a term equivalent to Sylwrns, the title given him elsewhere (Luke vi. 15; Acts i. 13); see, however, on this point Greswell (Dissert. vol. ii. p. 128 sqq.). Once & ' zealot,' his zeal for freedom, which had then displayed itself in stormy outbreaks of the natural man, now found its satisfaction in Him who came to make free indeed.
Augustine, or another under his name (Serm. xcii. Appendir): Nec dedignatus est conversationem hominum, qui usum carnis exceperat. Nec secularia instituta contempsit, qui ad hæc venerat corrigenda. Interfuit nuptiis, ut concordiæ jura firmaret. Tertullian, in his reckless method of snatching at any argument, finds rather a slighting of marriage than an honouring it in the fact that Christ, who was present at so many festivals, was yet present only at one marriage. Or this at least he will find, that since Christ was present but at one marriage, therefore monogamy is the absolute law of the new covenant. His words are characteristic (De Monog. 9): Ille vorator et potator homo, prandiorum et cænarum cum publicanis frequentator, semel apud unas nuptias cænat, multis utique nubentibus. Totiens enim voluit celebrare eas, quotiens et esse.
the world! And it is not without its significance, that this should have been especially a marriage, which He “adorned and beautified with his presence and first miracle that He wrought.' No human relation is the type of so deep a spiritual mystery (cf. iii. 29; Matt. ix. 15; xxii. 1-14; xxv. 10; Rev. xix. 7; xxi. 2, 9; xxii. 17; 2 Cor. xi. 2), so worthy therefore of the highest honour. He foresaw too that, despite of this, some hereafter should arise in his Church who would despise marriage (1 Tim. iv. 3), or, if not despise, yet fail to give the Christian family all its dignity and honour.'
These should find no countenance from Him. At the same time Bengel probably is right when he urges that this, which found place in an earlier, would scarcely have found place at a later, period of his ministry. The shadows fell so heavily upon his soul, as the unbelief of the world fully revealed itself to Him, with his own rejection and all which would follow on that rejection, that the mirth of a marriage festival, holy as it was or might be, would have too ill consented with the intense sadness of that time.3
í and when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith
1 Epiphanius (Hares. lxvii.); Augustine (In Er. Joh. tract. xix.) : Quod Dominus invitatus venerit ad nuptias, etiam exceptâ mysticâ significatione, confirmare voluit quod ipse fecit.
? What a contrast does his presence here offer to the manner in which even a St. Cyprian yields up these very marriage festivals as occasions where purity must suffer; so that his counsel is, not to dispute them with the world, to vindicate them anew for holiness and for God, but only to avoid them altogether (De Hab. Virg. 3): Et quoniam continentiæ bonum quærimus, perniciosa quæque et infesta vitemus. Nec illa prætereo quæ dum negligentiâ in usum veniunt, contra pudicos et sobrios mores licentiam sibi de usurpatione fecerunt. Quasdam non pudet nubentibus interesse. Nuptiarum festa improba et convivia lasciva vitentur, quorum periculosa contagio est. Compare the picture which Chrysostom gives of marriage festivals in his time (tom. iii. p. 195, Bened. ed.), - melancholy witnesses, yet not, as some would persuade us, of a Church entangled anew in heathen defilements, but of one which had not as yet leavened an essentially heathen, though nominally Christian, society, through and through with its own life and power.
3 Magna facilitas Domini. Nuptiis interest primo tempore, dum discipulos allicit, per severiores inde vias progressurus ad crucem, ad gloriam.
unto Him, They have no wine.' His and his disciples' presence, unlooked for perhaps, as of those who were just arrived from a journey, may have increased beyond expectation the number of the guests; and so the provision made for their entertainment have proved insufficient. The Mother of the Lord, from one reason or another, did not account it unseemly to mingle with, and in some sort to guide, the festal arrangements. Perhaps she was near of kin to the bridegroom or the bride; at all events she was distressed at the embarrassments of that humble household, and would willingly have removed them. Yet what exactly she expected from her divine Son, when she thus brought their need to Him, is hard to determine. She could not, from anterior displays of his power and grace (for see ver. 11), have now been emboldened to look for further manifestations of the same. Some indeed take not so absolutely the denial of all miracles preceding, but with this limitation understood :—this was the first of his miracles wherein He showed forth his glory; other such works He may have performed already in the inner circle of his family, and thus have led them to expect more open displays of his grace and power. But, without evading thus the plain declaration of St. John, we may well understand how she, who had kept and pondered in her heart all the tokens and prophetic intimations of the coming glory of her Son (Luke ii. 19, 51), should believe that in Him powers were latent, equal to the present need, and which, however He had restrained them until now, He could and would put forth, whenever the fit time had arrived. This is much more reasonable than to suppose that she had no definite purpose in these words; but only turned to Him now, as having ever found Him a wise counsellor in least things as in greatest.3 Bengel's suggestion
Lightfoot (Harmony, in loc.; cf. Greswell, Dissert. vol. ii. p. 120) supposes it a marriage in the house of Mary (John xix. 25), wife of Cleophas.
2 So Theophylact, Euthymius, and Neander, Leben Jesu, p. 370.
3 So Cocceius: Verba nihil aliud portendunt quan Mariam tanquam solicitam et parentem operuisse ipsi defectum vini, ex condolentiâ
is curious, that it was a hint to Him that they should leave, and thus by their example break up the assembly, before the necessities of their hosts became manifest ;' and Calvin's is more curious still.2
But whatever may have been the motive of her interference, it promises at first no good result. • Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come.' Roman expositors have been very anxious to rid this answer of every shadow of rebuke or blame. Entire treatises have been written with this single purpose. Now it is quite true that in the address • Woman' there is nothing of severity or harshness, though there may be the sound of such to an English ear. In his tenderest words to his mother from the cross, He employs the same address, - Woman, behold thy son' (John xix. 26). So far from any harshness, the compellation cannot fail to have something solemn in it, wherever the dignity of woman is felt. But it is otherwise with the words following, What have I to do with thee ?' 3 All expositors of the early Church' have found in them, as
1 Velim discedas, ut ceteri item discedant, antequam penuria patefiat.
2 Ut piâ aliquâ exhortatione convivis tædium eximeret, ac simul levaret pudorem sponsi.
3 Ti tuoi kai ooi; cf. Judg. xi. 12; 1 Kin. xvii. 18; 2 Kin. iii. 13, where the same phrase is used ; it is elliptic, and the word xoivóv may be supplied. Thus in the second of these passages : What is there in common to us twain, to me a sinful woman, and thee a man of God, that we should have thus come together to my harm ?' And in the third, 'What have we in common, I a prophet of the true God, and thou the son of that idolatrous king Ahab, that thou shouldst ask counsel of me?' Cf. Josh. xxii. 24; 2 Sam. xvi. 10; Matt. viii. 29; Mark i. 24; Luke viii. 28. It is only out of an entire ignorance of the idiom that some understand the words, ' What is that to thee and Me? What concerns it us twain that there is no wine?!
* Two examples for many. Irenæus ii. 16): Properante Mariâ ad admirabile vini signum, et ante tempus volente participare compendii poculo, Dominus repellens ejus intempestivam festinationem, dixit, Quid inihi et tibi est, mulier? nondum venit hora mea, expectans eam horam quæ est a Patre præcognita. He means by the compendii poculum, the cup of wine not resulting from the slower processes of nature, but made per saltum, at a single intervention of divine power, therefore compendiously. Cf. iii. 11; and Chrysostom ascribes her request to vanity