And Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward
Joanna, or Juchan, as the Syriac version calls her, was a name, among the Jews, for a woman, as Jochanan, or John, was for a man. In the Talmud F5 we read of one Jochani, or Joanni, the daughter of Retibi, the same name with this. Her husband's name was Chuza. Dr. Lightfoot observes, from a Talmudic treatise F6, such a name in the genealogy of Haman, who is called the son of Chuza; and Haman being an Edomite, and this man being in the family of Herod, who was of that race, suggests it to be an Idumean name. But in my edition of that treatise, Haman is not called the son of Chuza, but (azyk rb) , "the son of Ciza"; and besides, Chuza is a Jewish name, and the name of a family of note among the Jews: hence we read F7 of R. Broka the Chuzite; where the gloss is, "for he was", (yazwx ybm) , "of the family of Chuzai". And elsewhere F8 mention is made of two sons of Chuzai; and both the gloss, and Piske Harosh upon the place, say, "they were Jews": so Abimi is said to be of the family of Chuzai, or the Chuzites F9; and the same is said of R. Acha F11. This man, here mentioned, was Herod's steward; a steward of Herod the "tetrarch", of Galilee. The Arabic version calls him his "treasurer"; and the Vulgate Latin, and the Ethiopic versions, his "procurator"; and some have thought him to be a deputy governor of the province under him; but he seems rather to be a governor, or "chief of his house", as the Syriac version renders it: he was one that presided in his family, and managed his domestic affairs; was an overseer of them, as Joseph was in Potiphar's house; and the same Greek word that is here used, is adopted by the Jews into their language, and used of Joseph F12: and who moreover say F13,
``let not a man appoint a steward in his house; for if Potiphar had not appointed Joseph, (owpwrjwpa) , "a steward" in his house, he had not come into that matter,''of calumny and reproach. It was common for kings, princes, and great men, to have such an officer in their families. We read F14 of a steward of king Agrippa's, who was of this same family. The Persic version is very foreign to the purpose, making Chuza to be "of the family of Herod". This man might be either dead, as some have conjectured; or, if living, might be secretly a friend of Christ, and so willing that his wife should follow him; or, if an enemy, such was her zeal for Christ, that she cheerfully exposed herself to all his resentments; and chose rather meanness, contempt, and persecution with Christ, and for his sake, than to enjoy all the pleasures of Herod's court without him.
this also was a name for a woman with the, Jews, as appears from the history of one of this name with them, which stands among the apocryphal writings. She, as well as Joanna, and perhaps also Mary Magdalene, were rich, and persons of substance, as well as note, as should seem by what follows: "and many others"; that is, many other women; for the words, are of the feminine gender:
which ministered unto him of their substance;
four ancient copies of Beza's, and five of Stephens's, and the Syriac version read, "which ministered unto them"; that is, to Christ, and his disciples, as the Persic version expresses it. This shows the gratitude of these women, who having received favours from Christ, both for their souls and bodies, make returns to him out of their worldly substance, in a way of thankfulness; and also the low estate of Christ, and his disciples, who stood in need of such ministrations; and may be an instruction to the churches of Christ to take care of their ministers, and to communicate in all good things to them, of whose spiritual things they partake; and may be a direction to them to minister to them of what is their own substance, and not another's; and to minister a proper part, and not the whole, as these women ministered to Christ, and his apostles, of substance which was their own, and that not all of it, but out of it.
F5 T. Bab. Sota, fol. 22. 1.
F6 Massechet Sopherim, c. 13. sect. 6.
F7 T. Bab. Tasnith, fol. 22. 1.
F8 T. Bab. Nedarim, fol. 22. 1.
F9 Juchasin, fol. 75. 1.
F11 Juchasin, fol. 78. 1.
F12 Targum Jon. & Jerus. in Gen. xxxix. 4.
F13 T. Bab. Beracot, fol 63. 1. & Maimon lssure Bia, c. 22. sect. 15. & Maggid Misn. in ib.
F14 T. Bab. Sacca, fol. 27. 1.