Among the Reeds

According to the Gospel of John, Jesus turned the water into wine at a wedding in a town called “Canah of Galilee” (John 2:1). This is a tiny village hardly mentioned elsewhere in Scripture - so why is it an important detail? In the original Hebrew of the Bible, the word canah קנה means “reed” – a tall and strong grass that grows in marshes, similar to bamboo. The hero of the Old Testament, Moses, began his path to greatness by being discovered by Pharoah’s daughter in a “basket among the reeds” (Exod. 2:5). How fitting that the hero of the New Testament, Jesus, should also have performed his first miracle among the reeds

A Reed in His Hand

Just as he was exalted by the reeds at the beginning of his ministry, at the very end of his life, Jesus suffered at the hand of the reeds. First, he was mocked by the Roman soldiers by being dressed up as a caricature of king. In addition to a crown of thorns, they put a reed in his hand, in place of a scepter, and then beat him with it (Matt. 27:29-30). In the final moments before his death on the cross, Jesus was given to drink from a vinegar-soaked sponge attached to a long reed (Matt. 27:48). 

Discover the Hidden Details

Even if you have read the Bible hundreds of times, you might not realize that the word “canah,” or reed, contains a new level of meaning that foreshadows Jesus’s ultimate fate. Enroll in our live, online Biblical Hebrew course to discover the hidden details you miss while reading a translated Bible.