John 2:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

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

John 2:6, ESV: "Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons."

John 2:6, KJV: "And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece."

John 2:6, NASB: "Now there were six stone waterpots standing there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing two or three measures each."

John 2:6, NLT: "Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons."

John 2:6, CSB: "Now six stone water jars had been set there for Jewish purification. Each contained twenty or thirty gallons."

What does John 2:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Turning water into wine was the first of John's seven signs (miracles) proving Jesus' divinity. The water jars were used for ritual purification, holding around 25 gallons each. Six is the biblical number of man, and of imperfection. Seven is the "perfect" number, the number of God. So, this miracle is not only a kind gift to the bride and groom. It is also a powerful metaphor for Jesus' role as Savior. Wine is a common biblical symbol of blood. Jesus transformed water, meant for ritual cleansing, into wine, representing blood. In a symbolic way, this miracle mirrors how Jesus' sacrifice transformed the rituals of the law into the gospel of grace.

According to John 2:11, this was the first miracle Jesus had ever performed. Later verses will explain that only the servants, Mary, and the disciples would have known about the event. True miracles are always a message from God, and this miracle is meant to teach the new disciples about Jesus.