on John 2 :8
Governor of the feast - The original word, αρχιτρικλινος, signifies one who is chief or head over three couches, or tables. In the Asiatic countries, they take their meals sitting, or rather reclining, on small low couches. And when many people are present, so that they cannot all eat together, three of these low tables or couches are put together in form of a crescent, and some one of the guests is appointed to take charge of the persons who sit at these tables. Hence the appellation of architriclinus, the chief over three couches or tables, which in process of time became applied to the governor or steward of a feast, let the guests be many or few; and such person, having conducted the business well, had a festive crown put on his head by the guests, at the conclusion of the feast. See Ecclesiasticus, 32:1-3. It is very common for the Hindoos to appoint a person who is expert in conducting the ceremonies of a feast to manage as governor. This person is seldom the master of the house.
And they bare it - A question has been asked, "Did our Lord turn all the water into wine which the six measures contained?" To which I:answer: There is no proof that he did; and I take it for granted that he did not. It may be asked, "How could a part be turned into wine, and not the whole?" To which I:answer: The water, in all likelihood, was changed into wine as it was drawn out, and not otherwise. "But did not our Lord by this miracle minister to vice, by producing an excess of inebriating liquor?" No; for the following reasons:
1. The company was a select and holy company, where no excess could be permitted. And,
2. Our Lord does not appear to have furnished any extra quantity, but only what was necessary. "But it is intimated in the text that the guests were nearly intoxicated before this miraculous addition to their wine took place; for the evangelist says, ὁταν μεθυσθωσι, when they have become intoxicated." I:answer:
1. It is not intimated, even in the most indirect manner, that these guests were at all intoxicated.
2. The words are not spoken of the persons at that wedding at all: the governor of the feast only states that such was the common custom at feasts of this nature; without intimating that any such custom prevailed there.
3. The original word bears a widely different meaning from that which the objection forces upon it. The verbs μεθυσκω and μεθυω, from μεθυ, wine, which, from μετα θυειν, to drink after sacrificing, signify not only to inebriate, but to take wine, to drink wine, to drink enough: and in this sense the verb is evidently used in the Septuagint, Genesis 43:34; Sol 5:1; 1 Maccabees 16:16; Haggai 1:6; Ecclus. 1:16. And the Prophet Isaiah, Isaiah 58:11, speaking of the abundant blessings of the godly, compares them to a watered garden, which the Septuagint translate, ὡς κηπος μεθυων, by which is certainly understood, not a garden drowned with water, but one sufficiently saturated with it, not having one drop too much, nor too little.
on John 2 :8
Draw out now - This command was given to the servants. It showed that the miracle had been performed immediately. As soon as they were filled the servants were directed to take to the governor of the feast. Jesus made no parade about it, and it does not even appear that he approached the waterpots. He willed it, and it was done. This was a clear exertion of divine power, and made in such a manner as to leave no doubt of its reality.
The governor - One who presided on the occasion. The one who stood at the "head" or upper end of the table. He had the charge of the entertainment, provided the food, gave directions to the servants, etc.
on John 2 :8