Cana (Kavã), a town in Galilee, not far from Capernaum, and on higher ground; it is memorable as the scene of Christ's first miracle (Joh 2:1-11; Joh 4:46), as well as of a subsequent one (Joh 4:46-54), and also as the native place of the apostle Nathanael (Joh 21:2). This Cana is not named in the Old Testament, but is mentioned by Josephus as a village of Galilee (Life, § 16, 64; War, 1:17, 5). The site has usually been identified with the present Kefr Kenna, a small place about four miles north-east from Nazareth, on one of the roads to Tiberias. It is a neat village, pleasantly situated on the descent of a hill looking to the southwest, and surrounded by plantations of olive and other fruit-trees. There is a large spring in the neighborhood, enclosed by a wall, which, if this be the Cana of the New Testament, is doubtless that from which water was drawn at the time of our Lord's visit. It is also observable that water-pots of compact limestone are still used in this neighborhood, and some old ones are, as might be expected, shown as those which once contained the miraculous wine. Here are also the remains of a Greek church, said to stand over the house in which the miracle was performed, and — doubtless much older — the fountain from which the water for the miracle was brought (Mislin, 3:443-446). The Christians of the village are entirely of the Greek Church. The "water-pots of stone" were shown to M. Lamartine, though at Willibald's visit, centuries before, there had been but one remaining (Early Trav. p. 16). In the time of the Crusades the six jars were brought to France, where one of them is said still to exist in the Musee d'Angers (see M. Didron's Essays in the Annales Archeologiques, 11:5; 13:2). There is also shown a house said to be that of Nathaniel. Kefr Kenna has been visited and described by most travelers in Palestine. The tradition identifying this village with Cana is certainly of considerable age (see Hegesippus, p. 5). It existed in the time of Willibald (the latter half of the eighth century), who visited it in passing from Nazareth to Tal or; and again in that of Phocas (twelfth century; see Reland, p. 680). Saewulf, who visited Palestine in A.D. 1102, says, "Six miles to the N.E. of Nazareth, on a hill, is Cana of Galilee" (Early Trav. in Pal. p. 47). Marinus Sanutus, in the fourteenth century, describes Cana as lying north of Sepphoris, on the side of a high hill, with a broad fertile plain in front (Gesta Dei, p. 253). Quaresmius states that in his time (A.D. 1620) two Canas were pointed out (Elucid. 2:852). See Quar; Statement of "Pal. Explor. Fund," April 1878, p. 67.
There is a ruined place called Kana el-Jelil, about eight miles N. ½ E. from Nazareth, which Dr. Robinson is inclined to regard as the more probable site of Cana. His reasons, which are certainly of considerable weight (especially the strict agreement of the name, "Cana'of Galilee"), may be seen in Biblical Researches, 3:204-208. They are combated by De Saulcy (Narrative, 2:320). According to Thomson (Land and Book, 2:121), few Moslems of the vicinity know of the epithet el-Jelil as applied to the place.
Dr. Robinson says, "It is situated on the left side of the wady coming down from Jefat, just where the latter enters the plain el-Buttauf, on the southern declivity of a projecting tell, and overlooking the plain. The situation is fine. It was once a considerable village of well-built houses. now deserted. Many of the dwellings are in ruins. There are also several arches belonging to modern houses, but we could discover no traces of antiquity" (Later Bib. Researches, p. 108).
The Old Testament mentions two other places by the same name (KANAH), one on the boundary between Manasseh and Ephraim (Jos 16:8; Jos 17:9-10), the other in the tribe of Asher (Jos 19:28). The Syriac has Katna for the Cana of the Gospels; and this compares somewhat with the Ittah-kazin (q.v.) on the border of Zebulon (Jos 19:13), which appears to have occupied the site of the present Kefr Kenna. Whether the Galilean village Kanah (כּ נָה) mentioned in the Talmud (Yuchas. 57) is the same with Cana of Galilee, is uncertain (comp. Otho, Lex. Rabb. p. 115).
There are treatises on various points connected with Christ's first miracle at Cana, in Latin, by Brendel (Isenb.1785), Bashuysen (Serv.1726), Georgius (Viteb. 1744), Hebenstreit (Jen. 1693), Hoheisel (Gedan. 1732), Mayer (Gryph. 1703), Oeder (Onold. 1721), Sommel (Lund. 1773), Tabing (Brem. 1693), Vechner (Helm. 1640); and in German by Flatt (in Suskind's Magaz. 14:73 sq.); Brackner (in Bibl. Stud. 4, Berl. 1867).