The house of God.
The bread of the Presence.
He ate it.
This was not lawful
But the priests
He also gave some
To his companions.’”
ὡς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως λαβὼν ἔφαγεν καὶ ἔδωκεν τοῖς μετ’ αὐτοῦ, οὓς οὐκ ἔξεστιν φαγεῖν εἰ μὴ μόνους τοὺς ἱερεῖς;
Luke indicated that Jesus said that David entered the house of God (ὡς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ Θεοῦ). He took (λαβὼν) the show bread of the Presence (καὶ τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως) and ate it (ἔφαγεν). He also gave some to his companions (καὶ ἔδωκεν τοῖς μετ’ αὐτοῦ). However, this was not lawful for them to eat it (οὓς οὐκ ἔξεστιν φαγεῖν), since it was only for the priests (εἰ μὴ μόνους τοὺς ἱερεῖς). Matthew, chapter 12:4, and Mark, chapter 2:26, are similar to Luke, so that perhaps Mark may be the origin of this saying of Jesus. Jesus cited the example of David in 1 Samuel, chapter 21:1-6. Luke did not mention some of the incorrect details about the high priest that were in Mark and Matthew. In 1 Samuel, David went to the Levite town of Nob, not the house of God as mentioned here. There Ahimelech was the high priest, not Abiathar as Mark and Matthew indicated. David said that he was hungry and needed bread for himself and his men. However, they only had consecrated holy bread for the sacrifices, not common bread. This showbread, the bread of the Presence, was 12 loaves or cakes of bread that was replaced weekly in the holy place in the Temple that symbolized communion with God. Either he took it or the priest then gave him the holy bread anyway. He and his companions ate the bread of the Presence or sacred Levite bread. However, it was not lawful for them to eat it, because only the Levite priests were allowed to eat this sacred bread. Thus, Jesus used this example of David to answer the Pharisees, although there are some discrepancies in this story about David.
‘Have you not read
What David did
And his companions
καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς πρὸς αὐτοὺς εἶπεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς Οὐδὲ τοῦτο ἀνέγνωτε ὃ ἐποίησεν Δαυεὶδ ὁπότε ἐπείνασεν αὐτὸς καὶ οἱ μετ’ αὐτοῦ ὄντες;
Luke said that Jesus answered the Pharisees (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς πρὸς αὐτοὺς). He asked them (εἶπεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς) if they had not read (Οὐδὲ τοῦτο ἀνέγνωτε) what David did (ὃ ἐποίησεν Δαυεὶδ) when (ὁπότε) he and his companions with him (αὐτὸς καὶ οἱ μετ’ αὐτοῦ ὄντες) were hungry (ἐπείνασεν). Matthew, chapter 12:3, and Mark, chapter 2:25, are similar to Luke, so that perhaps Mark may be the origin of this saying of Jesus. Jesus asked that the Pharisees if they had read the unnamed book of Samuel. The assumption would be that since they were followers of the Law that they could read. The reference was to 1 Samuel, chapter 21:1-6.
Καὶ Ἰησοῦς προέκοπτεν ἐν τῇ σοφίᾳ καὶ ἡλικίᾳ καὶ χάριτι παρὰ Θεῷ καὶ ἀνθρώποις.
Luke said that Jesus increased or progressed (Καὶ Ἰησοῦς προέκοπτεν) in wisdom (ἐν τῇ σοφίᾳ) and maturity (καὶ ἡλικίᾳ). He also increased in grace or favor before God and men (καὶ χάριτι παρὰ Θεῷ καὶ ἀνθρώποις). In other words, Jesus matured as a human person, just as he done earlier in verse 40, and John had done in chapter 1:80. This also had happened to the prophet Samuel in 1 Samuel, chapter 2:26. Matthew, in his infancy story, chapters 1-2, never mentioned any growth or increase on the part of the infant child. Jesus truly was divine and human at the same time. In both his divine and human nature, Jesus grew or matured.
“As it is written
In the law
Of the Lord.
‘Every firstborn male
Shall be designated
To the Lord.”
καθὼς γέγραπται ἐν νόμῳ Κυρίου ὅτι Πᾶν ἄρσεν διανοῖγον μήτραν ἅγιον τῷ Κυρίῳ κληθήσεται,
Luke further elaborated about the written Law of the Lord (καθὼς γέγραπται ἐν νόμῳ Κυρίου). In a paraphrase of Exodus, chapter 13:2, he said that every male born or opening the womb (ὅτι Πᾶν ἄρσεν διανοῖγον μήτραν) shall be designated or called holy to the Lord (ἅγιον τῷ Κυρίῳ κληθήσεται). It no longer is the Law of Moses, but the Law of the Lord God. Notice that Luke did not say first born, but just male. This presentation of the male child is similar to Hannah presenting Samuel in 1 Samuel, chapter 1:24-27. Hannah brought her young son Samuel to the Temple of Yahweh at Shiloh. There they saw the prophet Eli. Thus, she gave or lent Samuel to Yahweh and the prophet Eli. Luke made sure to point out that Elizabeth, Zechariah, Joseph, and Mary were all very good law-abiding Jewish parents.
“In that region
There were shepherds
In the fields.
Over their flock
Καὶ ποιμένες ἦσαν ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ τῇ αὐτῇ ἀγραυλοῦντες καὶ φυλάσσοντες φυλακὰς τῆς νυκτὸς ἐπὶ τὴν ποίμνην αὐτῶν.
Luke had a special emphasis on these common shepherds in the fields, while Matthew had the important Magi get a special sign or star. Luke said that in that same region of Bethlehem (ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ τῇ αὐτῇ), there were shepherds (Καὶ ποιμένες ἦσαν) living or camping out in the fields (ἀγραυλοῦντες). They were keeping watch over their flock of sheep at night (καὶ φυλάσσοντες φυλακὰς τῆς νυκτὸς ἐπὶ τὴν ποίμνην αὐτῶν). They were doing their jobs as shepherds watching their sheep at nighttime. Perhaps there was a connection between these shepherds and the young shepherd David in the fields of Bethlehem in 1 Samuel, chapter 16:6-13. This may have been Luke showing concern for the common people as expressed in these shepherds.
“Blessed be the Lord!
The God of Israel!
He has looked favorably
On his people.
He has redeemed them.”
Εὐλογητὸς Κύριος ὁ Θεὸς τοῦ Ἰσραήλ, ὅτι ἐπεσκέψατο καὶ ἐποίησεν λύτρωσιν τῷ λαῷ αὐτοῦ,
Luke then had this so-called Benedictus prayer, based on the Latin translation of Εὐλογητὸς. At the same time, this prayer is a prophesy also. First, Zechariah was thankful for all the people of Israel, not just himself. He used the familiar blessing that David said to Abigail in 1 Samuel, chapter 25:32, and to Solomon in 1 Kings, chapter 1:48. Solomon used this same blessing in 1 Kings, chapter 8:35. He said that the Lord was blessed (Εὐλογητὸς Κύριος). He was the God of Israel (ὁ Θεὸς τοῦ Ἰσραήλ) who had visited, intervened, or looked favorably (ὅτι ἐπεσκέψατο) on his people (τῷ λαῷ αὐτοῦ,), since he has saved or brought them redemption (καὶ ἐποίησεν λύτρωσιν). Zechariah had a sense of what the scope of John’s birth would be on all Israel, not just his family. He implied that salvation or redemption had already taken place with the birth of his son John, not waiting for Jesus.
With good things.
He has sent
The rich away
πεινῶντας ἐνέπλησεν ἀγαθῶν καὶ πλουτοῦντας ἐξαπέστειλεν κενούς.
This canticle of Mary was modeled on that of Hannah in 1 Samuel, chapter 2:4, that praised Yahweh for her son the prophet Samuel. Luke had Mary elaborate on Hannah’s thought about how the mighty and the rich would stumble, but the low and the poor would succeed. Mary said that God had filled or satisfied the needy hungry people with good things (πεινῶντας ἐνέπλησεν ἀγαθῶν), while at the same time he had sent away (ἐξαπέστειλεν) the rich people (καὶ πλουτοῦντας) empty handed (κενούς.). God was going to reverse the human order of rich and poor as far as food was concerned. The rich would have nothing, but the poor would be satisfied.
“God has brought down
From their thrones.
He has lifted up
καθεῖλεν δυνάστας ἀπὸ θρόνων καὶ ὕψωσεν ταπεινούς
This canticle of Mary was modeled on that of Hannah in 1 Samuel, chapter 2:4, that praised Yahweh for her son, the prophet Samuel. Just like here, Hannah said that the mighty and the rich would stumble, but the lowly and the poor would succeed. Luke indicated that Mary said that God had brought down the powerful (καθεῖλεν δυνάστας) from their thrones (ἀπὸ θρόνων), while he has lifted up the lowly (καὶ ὕψωσεν ταπεινούς). There is almost an exact equivalency between Hannah and Mary. Mary had mentioned nothing about lowly people until now. Luke emphasized this theme of the poor or lowly as important throughout his gospel.
Has shown strength
With his arm.
He has scattered
The proud thinking
In their hearts.”
Ἐποίησεν κράτος ἐν βραχίονι αὐτοῦ, διεσκόρπισεν ὑπερηφάνους διανοίᾳ καρδίας αὐτῶν·
This canticle of Mary was modeled on that of Hannah in 1 Samuel, chapter 2:3-4, that praised Yahweh for her son, Samuel the prophet. Hannah said that the mighty and the rich would stumble but the low and the poor would succeed. Here Luke indicated that Mary said that God had shown strength with his arm (Ἐποίησεν κράτος ἐν βραχίονι αὐτοῦ). Thus, he has scattered the proud thinking in their hearts (διεσκόρπισεν ὑπερηφάνους διανοίᾳ καρδίας αὐτῶν). The power of God would scatter the proud people.
Is for those
Who fear him
καὶ τὸ ἔλεος αὐτοῦ εἰς γενεὰς καὶ γενεὰς τοῖς φοβουμένοις αὐτόν.
This canticle of Mary was modeled on that of Hannah in 1 Samuel, chapter 2:1-10, that praised Yahweh for her son, the prophet Samuel. Luke indicated that Mary said that God’s mercy (καὶ τὸ ἔλεος αὐτοῦ) was from generation to generation (εἰς γενεὰς καὶ γενεὰς) to those who feared him (τοῖς φοβουμένοις αὐτόν). Fear of the Lord was the first step towards seeking mercy from God, no matter when you lived.