And the third day (John 2:1)- On the third day after his conversation with Nathanael.
Cana - This was a small town about 15 miles northwest of Tiberias and 6 miles northeast of Nazareth. It is now called Kerr Kenna, is under the government of a Turkish officer, and contains perhaps 300 inhabitants, chiefly Catholics. The natives still pretend to show the place where the water was turned into wine, and even one of the large stone water-pots. “A Greek church,” says Professor Hackett (‘Illustrations of Scripture,’ p. 322), “stands at the entrance of the town, deriving its special sanctity, as I understood, from its being supposed to occupy the site of the house in which the marriage was celebrated to which Jesus and his friends were invited. A priest to whom we were referred as the custodian soon arrived, in obedience to our call, and unlocked the doors of the church. It is a low stone building, pair.” “The houses,” says Dr. Thomson (‘The Land and the Book,’ vol. ii. p. 126), “were built of limestone, cut and laid up after the fashion still common in this region, and some of them may have been inhabited within the last fifty years. There are many ancient cisterns about it, and fragments of water-jars in abundance, and both reminded us of the ‘beginning of miracles.’ Some of my companions gathered bits of these water-jars as mementoes witnesses they could hardly be, for those of the narrative were of ‘stone,’ while these were baked earth.” The place is now quite deserted. Dr. Thomson says: “There is not now a habitable house in the humble village where our blessed Lord sanctioned, by his presence and miraculous assistance, the all-important and world-wide institution of marriage.” It was called “Cana of Galilee” to distinguish it from another Cana in the tribe of Ephraim, Jos_16:9. This was the native place of Nathanael, Joh_21:2.
ISBE on Cana:
Cana of Galilee
This was the scene of Christ's earliest miracle, when, at the marriage feast, He turned water into wine (Joh_2:1). It was the home of Nathaniel (Joh_21:2). From Cana, after the marriage, Jesus “went down” to Capernaum (Joh_2:12), and returned at the request of the centurion (Joh_4:46, Joh_4:51). These are the only notices of Cana in Scripture, and from them we learn merely that it was in Galilee, and in the uplands West of the lake. Other villages of the same name are mentioned by Josephus, but probably this one is intended by the Cana where for a time he dwelt (Vita, 16) which he locates in the plain of Asochis (ibid., 41). The Greek kana? probably transliterates an old Hebrew k?a?na?h, “place of reeds.” This ancient name survives in Khirbet K?a?na?, a ruined site with rockhewn tombs, cisterns and a pool, on the northern edge of Sahl el-Bat?t?auf, the plain of Asochis. Near by are marshy stretches where reeds still abound: the name therefore is entirely appropriate. The name K?a?na? el-Jel??l , the exact Arabic equivalent of Kana te?s Galilaias, is also heard among the natives. This, however, may have arisen from the suggested identification with Cana of the Gospel. The position agrees well enough with the Gospel data.
Kefr Kennah, a thriving village about 3 3/4 miles from Nazareth, on the southern edge of Sahl Tor?a?n, the plain South of the range of that name, through which the road from Nazareth to Tiberias passes, has also many advocates. This identification is accepted by the Greek and Latin churches, which have both built extensively in the village; the Greeks showing stone jars said to have been used in the miracle, and the traditional house of Nathaniel being pointed out. A copious spring of excellent water rises West of the village; and the pomegranates grown here are greatly prized. The change of name, however, from K?a?na? to Kennah? - (note the doubled n), is not easy; and there are no reeds in the neighborhood to give the name any appropriateness.
Onom locates Cana in the tribe of Asher toward Great Sidon, probably thinking of K?a?na?, a village about 8 miles South of Tyre. The pilgrims of the Middle Ages seem to be fairly divided as to the two sites. Saewulf (1102), Brocardius (1183), Marinus Sanutus (1321), Breydenbach (1483) and Anselm (1507) favor the northern site; while on the side of Kefr Kennah may be reckoned Paula (383), Willibald (720), Isaac Chelo (1334) and Quaresimus (1616). It seems pretty certain that the Crusaders adopted the identification with Khirbet K?a?na? (Conder, Tent Work, 69 f). While no absolute decision is possible, on the available evidence probability points to the northern site.
Col. Conder puts in a claim for a third site, that of ?Ain K?a?na? on the road from er-Reineh (a village about 1 1/2 mile from Nazareth on the Tiberias road) to Tabor (Tent Work, 81)..