Re: [John_Lit] Kings and Cana, Amos and (h)Andy Texts
- SemioticSymphony@... wrote:
I am unsure of how you understand intertextuality, but assuming a restrictive
understanding, perhaps the following texts are at play in your reading.
Yes, days are coming, says the LORD, When the plowman shall overtake the
reaper, and the vintager, him who sows the seed; The juice of grapes shall drip
down the mountains, and all the hills shall run with it.
I will bring about the restoration of my people Israel; they shall rebuild
and inhabit their ruined cities, Plant vineyards and drink the wine, set out
gardens and eat the fruits. [Amos 9:13-14, NAB]
The earth shall respond to the grain, and wine, and oil, and these shall
respond to Jezreel.
I will sow him for myself in the land, and I will have pity on Lo-ruhama. I
will say to Lo-ammi, "You are my people," and he shall say, "My God!" [Hos.
Then shall you know that I, the LORD, am your God, dwelling on Zion, my holy
mountain; Jerusalem shall be holy, and strangers shall pass through her no
And then, on that day, the mountains shall drip new wine, and the hills
shall flow with milk; And the channels of Judah shall flow with water: A fountain
shall issue from the house of the LORD, to water the Valley of Shittim. [Joel
Again I will restore you, and you shall be rebuilt, O virgin Israel; Carrying
your festive tambourines, you shall go forth dancing with the merrymakers.
Again you shall plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria; those who plant
them shall enjoy the fruits. [Jer. 31:4-5]
These passages (and there are similar ones), participate in the important
theme of "devastation and restoration" that courses through the Hebrew
scriptures. This rhythmical grammar of famine/satiety; dearth/plenty;
desolation/abundance provides important structures of meaning that are not limited to the OT.
Pheme Perkins has done a fine job in encapsulating the various OT passages that
might come to bear on the Cana story, and has also noted that some scholars
have "suggested that the miracle story should be considered a variant of the
"feeding type" in the Elijah-Elisha cycle" (see NJBC, 954). The analysis also
discusses the "what to you and to me" idiom. Nonetheless, your view of the Cana
story through Amos' "famine" and "thirst...for the Word of the Lord" might
profit from the loss/gain devastation/restoration grammar set forth in Amos 8 and
9. As I have noted, these chapters participate in the OT rhythmical binaries.
Yes, Joe, I have already argued for John's play not only on the famine motif found in Amos 8:11-12 but also for the restoration motif found in Amos 9:13ff.. Evidently, you did not read my posts that treated this subject, for which I am thankful, for it shows to others that I am not alone in seeing these connections. Just the same, I thank you once again for your honest evaluation of the matter we are discussing. (Please see below).
Joe C. continues:
If Jesus' mother is an important catalyst in moving the reader to make
certain connections, then perhaps the Evangelist is about some serious business of
juxtaposition: John 2 with John 19, the only places the Evangelist mentions
"the mother." It is generally understood that Jesus' "hour" is the hour of the
Cross, yet that "hour" is in play at Cana. In the private miracle of the wine,
mother and Jesus anticipate the very public spectacle on Golgotha. What has
Cana to do with Golgotha?
If the Cana miracle is a microcosm, a generative structure in the Gospel,
with its corollary on Golgotha, other connections, perhaps best viewed through
Amos, should occur to the reader.
Again, Joe, you are "seeing" some of the same connections that I have seen and mentioned in previous posts, for which I am again thankful. This reinforces that I am not "alone" (although there are others who think I may be on the right track) in seeing these allusions.
Joe C. continues:
Very quickly then, such connections might work
The wedding festivities are at risk of ending in the face of the end of the
wine. This thirst is quenched by Jesus' intervention. The wedding can now go on to completion, from devastation to restoration. On Golgotha, Jesus fulfills
the scripture by saying, "I thirst" (dipso), and he is given wine to drink and
he drinks, after which he says "it is finished." The devastation of the Cross
is transformed into a restoration, the salvation of the world. This idea of
salvation as restoration is central to Amos' message. The water and blood
pouring forth from the side of Jesus might conflate the water and wine of the
earlier passage, and is an abundance of a different order, but not unlike the
dripping of sweet wine from the Amos' hills of plenty.
Yet, the wine Jesus drinks is not oinos, but oxous, and this difference
jeopardizes the abundance motif in Amos 9 and John 2. Oxous, sometimes translated
as 'sour wine,' seems to stand in opposition to the "best wine" of Cana, and
the "sweet wine" overflowing from Amos' mountains. But the context of Golgotha
reads the offering of wine as a gesture of compassion, of kindness, and oxous
is not a bad beverage---it is the beverage of the Roman soldier, refreshing and
thirst-quenching (try a few drops of balsamic vinegar in cool water on a hot
day to experience something close to what a march-fatigued soldier might get
from such a beverage). In any event, Jesus participates in the important
grammatical structure of thirst/slake; devastation/restoration, and the Evangelist
has set this reading up in the reader by his own participation in this grammar
Whether the Evangelist alludes to Amos or not, the principle of
intertextuality seems to apply. Whether your reading conjures Amos because of your
characteristics as a reader, or simply because abundant footnotes make that connection
for you, the effect is similar. The connection are in the air; your response
to them is stronger than most.
Whether you bring the "Eucharistic" Johannine texts to bear on this
rhythmical structure I do not know; but it seems to flow from the stress you place on
hunger for the word, and the word made flesh.
I hope this kind of thing is helpful to you, Matt. It is interesting to let
Amos color John.
Many of your comparisons between the Cana Miracle and John 19 I have not considered, although I have argued that, yes, the Cana Miracle is a symbolic story representing Jesus' death and resurrection, and the ensuing consequences of those events (changing of "dispensations" from Law and Prophets to time of Holy Spirit as foretold in Joel 2:28). I did note that Jesus joins, in Jn 19, his "disciple" with his "mother" on the cross. Thanks, again, Joe, for your participation.
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