The mission of the Messiah, 1:5-9:50

1. Prophecies about the coming messiah, 1:5-2:40

vi] Prophecy in the temple


The naming of Jesus and his presentation in the temple, is immediately followed by the witness of Simeon and Anna. Anna makes no specific prophecy, but her thanksgiving implies she has knowledge of Jesus' real person. Simeon, in the power of the Holy Spirit, witnesses directly to Jesus' messiahship.


Jesus is the hope and glory of religious Israel and the "light of revelation for Gentiles." The long hoped salvation of Israel now extends to the Gentiles, and unlike Israel, they will listen, cf., Acts 28:28.


i] Context: See 1:5-25. The story of the presentation of the baby Jesus at the temple is the last of six episodes concerning the dawn of the messianic age.


ii] Structure: The prophecy in the temple:

Setting, v22-24;

The prophecy of Simon, v25-35:

Simon meets Jesus and his family, v25-27;

Simon's song, 28-32;

Simon's blessing and prophecy, v33-35;

The witness of Anna, v36-38;

Jesus and family return to Galilee, v39-40.


iii] Interpretation:

This narrative, with its setting in Jerusalem and the temple, places Jesus in the midst of the religious and social life of Israel. His parents fulfil the requirements of the law, and, in their encounter with Simeon and Anna. Both Simon and Anna identify Jesus as the fulfilment of the Israel's religious hope.

The lifting of Mary's ceremonial uncleanness would normally require the sacrifice of a lamb as well as the that of a dove or pigeon, but the poor could substitute a pigeon for the lamb, as here, cf. v24. Mary's purification needs not be performed at the temple, but the family is obviously in the vicinity, and for Luke, Jesus' placement at the centre of Israel's religious life is important in the development of the story.

As for the presentation, it need not be performed at all. The Levites are God's firstborn possession such that the firstborn son is now redeemed by the payment of 5 shekels to a priest anywhere, Num.8:17f. Mary and Joseph's actions are obviously a response to all that has happened to them over the last year. As for Luke's telling of the story, he is most likely alluding to 1Samuel 1:21-28.


iv] Sources:

Again, debate rages over Luke's sources for this material. Many assume that Luke has used hymns from the Hellenistic Jewish early church, but a Palestinian source is more likely. For those who believe that prophecy is genuine forth-telling, rather than a post-telling recreation, there is no reason to doubt that the hymn, v29-32, is a formal reshaping for worship of a piece of poetry crafted on the approach of death, and that the prophecy, v34-35, is similarly a formal reshaping for worship of a prophetic word, both preserved and formalised in the Jewish Palestinian Church. The most obvious source for the original poem and prophecy is Mary and her immediate family. As scholars note, the material is devoid of Lucanisms, indicating his respect for his source material.


v] Exposition: A simple exposition of this passage may be found in the linked pew-level Sermon Notes.

Text - 2:22

Prophecy in the temple, v22-40. i] The presentation of the baby Jesus to God and the purification of Mary, v22-24. In Jewish custom, a woman was unclean for seven days after the birth of a son. Then for 40 days she cannot visit or take part in any religious activities (80 days for a girl child). After this period, she is expected to offer a sacrifice to wash away her uncleanness - a pair of doves for a poor family. Also, since a firstborn child belongs to God, it is necessary to pay a ransom to a priest. Being close to Jerusalem, Joseph and Mary performed their religious duty at the temple.

kai "-" - and. Usually a transitional de is used to introduce a new episode and so advance the story, but from v21-40 Luke uses kai and so tightly connects the elements in this passage. See Culy.

oJte "when" - when. The temporal conjunction serves to introduce a temporal clause. The NIV assumes that a point of time is in mind, namely, the performing of the purification rite at the end of the period of purification, ie., the 40 days. This seems likely, but Luke may have the whole period in mind; "when the time came for their purification", NRSV.

tou kaqarismou (oV) gen. "purification" - [the days] of the cleansing, purification. The genitive is adjectival, epexegetic; "the days which consist of the cleansing of them." A woman is ceremonially cleansed 40 days after the birth of a boy child, and 80 days after a girl. Meanwhile, she must not touch anything holy, or enter the temple, cf., Lev.12.

autwn "-" - of them. The genitive is adjectival, possessive, "their purification", or verbal, objective, "performed on them". Luke would know that only Mary required cleansing, but he possibly sees it as a family matter and so uses the plural pronoun, so Nolland, or he may just want to include Jesus in the proceedings, although obviously not in the purification.

kata + acc. "according to" - according to. Establishing a standard, "in accordance with." The purification is in accordance with God's law.

MwusewV (hV ewV) "of Moses" - [the law] of moses [were completed]. The genitive is adjectival, attributive, limiting "law", "the Mosaic law."

parasthsai (paristhmi) aor. inf. "to present" - [they brought him into jerusalem] to present him. The infinitive is adverbial, introducing a final clause expressing purpose, "in order to present ...." Some argue there is no tradition in Israel for the presentation of the firstborn, yet such exists, eg., Neh.10:35-36. The act of redeeming the child is obviously an integral element of the presentation, Ex.13:15. Samuel's presentation is obviously a literary type, 1Sam.1-2.

tw/ kuriw/ dat. "to the Lord" - to the lord. Dative of indirect object. The presentation of Jesus has nothing to do with the purification of Mary, to which v24 applies.


Luke has seemingly adjusted the text to reflect the Samuel story. For the consecration of the firstborn to the Lord see Exodus 13.2-15.

kaqwV "as" - just as. Comparative conjunction used to align Jesus' presentation with the requirements of the Mosaic Law.

en + dat. "in [the Law]" - [it has been written] in [the law]. Local, expressing space.

kuriou (oV) gen. "of the Lord" - of lord. The genitive is ablative, source /origin.

oJti "-" - that. Introducing a dependent statement, direct quote from scripture.

dianoigon (dianoigw) pres. part. "[every] firstborn [male]" - [every male] opening [womb]. As with pan, "every", the participle is neuter, probably meaning "every firstborn male creature", Barclay. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "male"; "every male who opens the womb."

klhqhsetai (kalew) fut. pas. "is to be" - will be called. The future tense here is imperatival; "is to be thought of as sacred to the Lord", Cassirer / "must be consecrated to the Lord", Moffatt.

aJgion adj. "consecrated" - holy. The nominative adjective serves as a substantive, complement of the nominative subject "every male", standing in a double nominative construction and stating a fact about the subject, lit. "every male holy opening the womb"; see "the Son", 1:32.

tw/ kuriw/ (oV) "to the Lord" - to the lord. Dative of interest.


tou dounai (didwmi) aor. inf. "to offer" - [and] to give, offer [a sacrifice]. A genitive articular infinitive, probably final here, expressing purpose. This offering is most likely for the postnatal purification service, Lev.12:8. As noted above, the use of pigeons, rather than animals, is a concession to the poor. "To make the sacrifice prescribed in the Lord's law", Barclay.

kata + acc. "in keeping with" - according to. Setting a standard, "in accordance with." The actions of Mary and Joseph are in accord with the will of the Lord.

to eirhmenon (oJraw) acc. perf. pas. part. "what is said" - the thing having been said [in the law of the lord]. The participle serves as a substantive.

trugonwn (wn onoV) gen. "of doves" - [a pair] of turtle doves. The genitive is adjectival, partitive / wholative.

peristerwn (a) gen. "pigeons" - [or two young] of pigeons. The genitive is adjectival, possibly partitive, although Culy opts of attributed.


ii] The prophecy of Simon, v25-35. a) The prophet Simeon meets Jesus in the temple, v25-27: At the temple there lived a godly man named Simeon. He was waiting for the dawning of the kingdom of God - "the consolation of Israel". The Spirit had revealed to him that he would not die until he saw the messiah. He now sees the fulfilment of this promise, and, in the power of the Spirit, utters a prophecy concerning Jesus.

kai idou "-" - and behold. Transitional, often used to introduce a new character into a story. See kai idou 1:31.

en + dat. "in" - [a man was] in [jerusalem]. Local, expressing space.

w|/ dat. pro. "-" - [name] to whom [simeon]. Dative of possession; "whose name was Simeon."

dikaioV adj. "righteous" - [this man was] righteous, just. As with "devout", serving as the nominative predicate of an assumed verb to-be. Luke uses this word for Zechariah and Elizabeth, Joseph of Arimathea and Cornelius. Probably he intends a general sense such as "good", "honourable", "just", rather than theologically "right before God / justified". Of course, given that they represent Israel's righteous remnant, those who stand by a faith like Abraham's, brought to fruition in the redemptive mission of Christ, they are indeed righteous / justified.

eulabhV adj. "[and] devout" - [and] reverent, conscientious. Here used in a positive sense of religious uprightness, and with "righteous" serves to emphasise the piety of Simeon; "he was a godly man."

prosdecomenoV (prosdecomai) pres. part. "waiting for" - expecting. Being anarthrous, the participle may be adverbial, possibly temporal, "on the outlook for the Consolation of Israel", Moffatt. None-the-less, both Culy and Thompson suggest it is better viewed as a substantive standing in apposition to "righteous, just." Here, the present tense caries the sense, "expectant waiting". The impression is that there is a group around Anna waiting for the paraklhsin "consolation, restoration" ("redemption", v38) of Israel, probably along the lines of Isaiah 40:1, 49:13, etc.

tou Israhl gen. "of Israel" - [the consolation, restoration] of israel. The genitive is adjectival, either attributed, or possessive, "the restoration (redemption) that rightly belongs to Israel."

ep (epi) + acc. "upon [him]" - [and the holy spirit was] upon [him]. Unlike Elizabeth and Zechariah who are "filled", most likely in the Old Testament sense of the Spirit coming upon a person to achieve a specific end, here the Spirit is "upon" Simeon. Probably the same sense applies, because Simeon proclaims a word from the Lord, an act often associated with the Spirit's filling, cf., v27, "moved by the Spirit." There is no sense that Simeon is given, or is baptised with the Spirit in response to faith in Christ. So, maybe the statement simply describes his holiness (even "his spirit was holy" given that "spirit" does not necessarily mean "the Holy Spirit"). So, possibly just a further description of this "good" man.


h\n ... kecrhmatismenon (crhmatizw) perf. pas. part. "it had been revealed" - it had having been revealed, instructed. This perfect participle, with the imperfect of the verb "to be", forms a periphrastic pluperfect. It is often thought that a periphrastic construction is used to emphasise durative aspect, here possible repeated action, but that seems unlikely here. The word is often used of divine revelations.

autw/ dat. pro. "to him" - to him. Dative of indirect object.

uJpo + gen. "by" - by [the holy spirit]. Expressing agency, "by".

mh idein (eidon) aor. inf. "that he would not see" - to not see. The infinitive introduces an object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what the Holy Spirit revealed, namely, "that he would not see death before ....."

prin + subj. "before" - before [he might see]. Introducing an indefinite temporal clause, antecedent time. Normally prin or prin h] (the variant prin h] exists) + inf. is used to form a temporal clause. The preposition prin with an + the subjunctive is used only here and in Acts 25:16.

kuriou (oV) gen. "[the] Lord's [Christ]" - [the christ, anointed, messiah] of lord. The genitive is probably ablative, source / origin; "the messiah / Christ from the Lord", ie., whose status as the anointed one / messiah / Christ comes from the Lord God, cf., 1Sam.24:6, 10. Of course, it may be classified as adjectival, verbal, subjective, "the one anointed by the Lord", Thompson. This phrase, sourced from the Old Testament, virtually becomes a messianic title, so "Christ the Lord", CEV.


The importance of the event for Luke is that Jesus fulfils the law from the moment of his birth and thus, in his obedience, we are able to find divine acceptance.

en "moved by" - [and he came] in, by [the spirit into the temple]. The preposition is obviously instrumental here. Again, "spirit" is not necessarily the Holy Spirit. His spiritual sensitivity led him to enter the outer temple courts (appropriate for women) at just the time when Jesus' family entered, although a prompting of the Holy Spirit is more likely. "By an inspiration of the Spirit he came into the temple", Moffatt.

en tw/ eisagagein (eisagw) aor. inf. "when [the parents] brought in" - [and] in the to bring in. The preposition en, with the dative articular infinitive, is used to introduce a temporal clause, as NIV.

Ihsoun (ouV) "Jesus. [the child] jesus. "Jesus" stands in apposition to "child".

tou poihsai (poiew) aor. inf. "to do" - [them] to act / do. This construction, the genitive articular infinitive, is adverbial here, probably final, expressing purpose, "in order to do". "To carry out the customary ceremonies of the law", Barclay.

kata + acc. "what" - according to. Establishing a standard; "in accordance with." Certainly, the law required Mary's purification and the child's circumcision, cf., v21, but as already noted, the setting apart of the firstborn is fulfilled by the Levites. Luke is grounding the devotion of Joseph and Mary in the Law more to make a theological point than explain the nuts and bolts of the Law's requirements.

to eiqismenon (eqizw) perf. pas. part. "what the custom" - the thing having been customary. The participle functions as a substantive, object of the verb "to do."

tou nomou (oV) gen. "the Law" - of the law. The genitive is adjectival, probably epexegetic, specifying / explaining what customs are in mind, ie., those of the Law.

peri + gen. "of" - about, concerning. Expressing reference / respect; "with reference to him."


b) Simon bursts into prophetic praise / prayer, praise which serves to identify the messianic credentials of Jesus, v28-32: The words of Simeon's hymn of praise are joyous. He thanks God that in his old age he has seen the fulfilment of God's promise to him; he has seen the messiah and so now his long wait for the great day of the Lord is at an end. The Messiah will save his people, but not only will this salvation be for Israel, it will be for the Gentiles as well, Isa.49:6, Ac.1:8, Rom.15:8ff.

This hymn, known in Latin as the Nunc Dimittis, uses much the same language as the Magnificat and the Benedictus. All three praise God for his intervention in human affairs. Evans notes that "it is a poetical construction of three closely knit couplets, each with lines of the same length, the last with synonymous parallelism." The hymn celebrates the salvation of Israel and of the world.

edexato (decomai) aor. mid. "took him" - [and he] received [it = him in the = his arms]. The word meaning "received" implies a presentation such that the child is offered to God by presenting him to Simeon. As already noted, we have here an allusion to the offering of Samuel to God. Simeon, functioning as a priest, receives the child from the parents and blesses him; "he blessed God and said", Barclay.

euloghsen ton qeon (eulogew) aor. "praised God" - [and] praised, extolled, blessed [god and said]. Also "bless", in the sense of call down God's grace upon. Here we would assume Simeon was blessing Jesus in God's name, although the Nunc Dimittis does not present as a blessing, but is rather a hymn of praise to God. Should we just assume that it begins with "Blessed be ..."? cf. ,1:64. Whether a blessing or not, it is certainly prophetic.


kata + acc. "as" - [master] according to. Setting a standard.

sou gen. pro. "your" - [the word] of you. The genitive is ablative expressing source / origin.

nun apolueiV (apoluw) pres. "you now dismiss" - now you release, dismiss [the servant of you]. The temporal adverb nun, "now", is emphatic by position; it emphasises the importance of this moment. Bock argues that with the present tense of "release / dismiss", the phrase refers to death; "Lord, I am your servant and now I can die in peace", CEV. Yet, it may just mean that Simeon is dismissed from his role as the Lord's watchman, watching for the coming messiah; "you are letting your servant go in peace", NJB.

en + dat. "in" - in [peace]. The preposition here is adverbial, modal, expressing manner, "peacefully". The word eirhnh here means something like the "well-being" possessed by a person who is favoured by God, cf., Gen.46:30.


oJti "for" - because. Here introducing a causal clause explaining why Simeon can be dismissed from his service as the Lord's watchman.

mou gen. pro. "my [eyes]" - [the eyes] of me [saw]. The genitive is possessive. The phrase is a synecdoche where the whole is referenced by part of the whole; "I have seen your salvation."

to swthrion adj. "salvation" - the salvation [of you]. The articular adjective serves as a substantive, accusative object of the verb "to see." Not "the saviour", as if Simeon is looking at Jesus, but "God's work of salvation"; "I have seen what you have done to save your people", CEV. The genitive sou, "of you", is adjectival, verbal, subjective, "the salvation wrought by you", or possessive, expressing a derivative characteristic, in the sense of "the Lord's salvation."


The salvation of v30 is not so much prepared by God (which it is), but is set up by God for all to see in the messiah who is the child Jesus. "With my own eyes I have seen what you have done to save your people, and foreign nations will also see this", CEV.

o} pro. "which" - which [you prepared]. Accusative object of the verb "to be prepared." Here better "set up", "established", possibly "exhibited".

kata + acc. "in [the sight of]" - according to = before [the face]. The phrase "according to the face" is idiomatic meaning "a position in front of an object, with the implication of direct sight", Culy, "in the presence of", giving the sense "all people will see it."

twn lawn (oV) gen. pl. "of [all] people" - of [all] the people. The genitive is adjectival, possessive, in that the "face" belongs to all the people. Normally the word would mean the people of Israel, especially if in the singular, but here the plural "all the people" indicates that Gentiles are obviously included, cf. v32. "Which you have made ready for all nations to see", Cassirer.


Both "light" and "glory", God's radiance and splendour, serve as the effective power of his salvation in the Old Testament, particularly in Isaiah, cf., 60:1-6. So here, "my eyes have seen your salvation ....... a light for the unveiling of (the darkness upon) the Gentiles and ...", Evans.

This verse is translated in numerous ways indicating that the syntax is unclear. The two lines of synonymous parallelism which make up the verse together stand in apposition to "salvation", v30.

fwV "a light" - a light. The "light" stands in apposition to "salvation", v30. As Jesus is by extension the embodiment of this salvation, he is also the light and thus, the revelation of God.

eiV "for" - to, into. Usually taken here to express purpose such that the "light" has as its aim the enlightening of the Gentiles, ie., their opening up to salvation; "a light for revelation." It is possible that it functions epexegetically such that it introduces an explanation of the light's character, "a light that unveils / brings salvation to the Gentiles."

apokaluyin (iV ewV) + gen. "revelation" - disclosure, revelation, uncovering, taking out into the open, making fully known, unveiling. "A light to bring your revelation to the Gentiles", Barclay.

eqnwn (oV) gen. "to the Gentiles" - of gentiles, nations, people. The genitive may be adjectival, verbal, objective, so BAGD, "a revelation to the Gentiles", or adverbial, reference / respect, so Culy; "the unveiling with respect to the Gentiles." "Gentiles" is here preferred over "nations".

kai "and for" - and. Coordinative, so "and for."

doxan (a) "glory" - glory, Parallel to "light", as NIV, although possibly standing with "revelation, "a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel", NRSV. The salvation found in Christ is to Israel's glory.

laou (oV) "to [your] people" - of people [of you]. The genitive is adverbial, reference / respect; "with respect to ..."

Israhl gen. "Israel" - Israel. Standing in apposition to "people."


c) Simon's blessing and prophecy, v36-38: Joseph and Mary are "amazed" (perplexed??) by what Simeon says. Certainly "for revelation to the Gentiles" would be very perplexing, v32. The prophecy of Simeon is in stark contrast to his hymn of praise. Although messiah will bring "glory" to Israel, he will not be welcomed by all of Israel. He will bring division such that some will fall and some will rise - not all will stand with him. Those against him will attack him, such that he will be a suffering messiah. This conflict will drive people to a decision, a decision which will expose the hidden self, and will inevitably bring anguish to Mary.

kai "-" - and. Transitional; introducing the next element in the story, here an observation concerning the parent's response. Another example of where we may have expected de.

autou gen. pro. "the child's" - [the father] of him [and the mother]. The genitive is adjectival, relational.

h\n ..... qaumazonteV (qaumazw) pres. part. "marvelled" - were being amazed. The imperfect verb to-be with the present participle forms a periphrastic imperfect construction, possibly emphasising aspect. The imperfect verb to-be takes the singular person, since Joseph and Mary are viewed as a single unit - a married couple.

epi + dat. "at" - upon. Here expressing cause, "on the basis of."

toiV laloumenoiV (lalew) dat. pres. pas. part. "what was said" - the things being said, spoken. The participle serves as a substantive; "were astonished to hear what was said about him", Barclay.

peri + gen. "about" - about [him]. Expressing reference; "about / with reference to / concerning him."


"In response to him (Christ) the people will be divided, some falling and some rising", Johnson. Simeon's words address the future of Israel, a future where the self-righteous will fall down and the humble will rise up and this in the face of God's coming messiah; "this child will cause many people in Israel to fall and others to stand", CEV.

kai "then" - and. As v33.

euloghsen (eulogew) aor. "blessed" - [simeon] blessed [them and said. Simeon's words clearly form a blessing, but are prophetic none-the-less.

proV + acc. "to [Mary]" - toward [mary]. See "to her", 1:61.

keitai (kaimai) "[this child] is destined" - [behold, this one] is placed, appointed = destined. The imagery of the stumbling-block is possibly behind this verse and therefore the word may be understood as "placed", as of a stone placed during the building of a wall, cf., Isa.8:14-15. Many will stumble over this stone, but some will rise up.

eiV "to cause" - into = for. Here expressing purpose / goal. The phrase keitai eiV, "is set for / is destined to" is common idiom.

pollwn adj. "of many" - [the rise and fall] of many. The genitive is adjectival, possessive, possession of a derivative characteristic, or verbal, subjective.

en + dat. "in" - in [israel]. Local, expressing space, as NIV.

eiV "to be" - into = for. Expressing purpose / goal again.

shmeion (on) "a sign" - a sign, miracle. Here meaning "ensign, banner."

antilegomenon (antilegw) perf. pas. part. "that will be spoken against" - being spoken against, opposed. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "sign". The child is the sign of salvation, but will be "a sign opposed", and those who oppose will forfeit their salvation. "A message from God which men will reject", Barclay.


The statement "and a sword will pierce through your own soul also" is likely to be a parenthetical remark related to v34, rather than v35, as NIV; see ESV where it is bracketed and placed first in the verse. In the rise and fall of many, Mary will be burdened with her own pain.

o{pwV an + subj. "so that" - so that. This construction usually forms a purpose / hypothetical result clause; "in order that ..."

dialogismoi (oV) "thoughts" - the thoughts. The word tends to have a negative sense. The "sign opposed" will expose the hidden intent of those aligned against God.

ek + gen. "of" - out of, from [many hearts may be revealed]. Expressing source/origin. "It will be his work to lay bare the secret thoughts of many hearts", Barclay.

kai ... de. "and" - and but/and = and also [a sword will pierce the soul of you]. The conjunction de is missing from some manuscripts, but is probably original. Levinsohn Gk. sees in the doubling up of the connective conjunctions kai and de, an abrupt move in the account to Mary. The possessive pronoun su, "of you", is emphatic by use and position; "and of you yourself also a sword will go through your soul, that the thoughts of many souls will be revealed." Simeon is now addressing Mary and telling her how the "sign apposed" will affect her, along with her son. A sword will pass through the child's soul (ie. he will be killed) and "you yourself also" will face the same death, although vicariously as a mother. "And you Mary, will suffer as if you had been stabbed", CEV.


iii] The witness of Anna, v36-38: Anna, a devout widow, recognises that the baby Jesus will realise the messianic hopes of Israel and responds in praise and proclamation.

kai "also" - and. See v22 for kai used instead of a transitional de.

profhtiV (iV idoV) "a prophetess" - [anna was] a prophetess. Nominative predicate of the verb to-be. A prophet is a person specially endowed to tell forth the word of God. Note that the record of female prophets in the scriptures indicates that the claim to male authority, when it comes to a word ministry in the church, is fraught. One would have to argue that prophecy ended with the New Testament period and that therefore the issue of female prophets no longer applies today - a difficult argument to progress.

Fanouhl gen. "of Phanuel" - [a daughter] of phanuel. The genitive is adjectival, relational. "Daughter" stands in apposition to "Anna".

ek + gen. "of [the tribe]" - out of, from [tribe]. Expressing source / origin.

Ashr gen. "of Asher" - of asher. The genitive is adjectival, attributive / idiomatic, limiting "tribe"; "the tribe which goes by the name of Asher."

probebhkuia (probainw) perf. part. "she was [very] old" - [this woman] having become advanced [in many days]. The participle, with the implicit verb to-be h\n, forms a periphrastic pluperfect construction. Her advanced years is given significance - a sign of God's blessing and wisdom. Note how Luke balances the male and female roles in this passage, as elsewhere in his gospel.

zhsasa (zaw) aor. part. "she had lived" - having lived. As noted by some commentators, the Gk. in the sentence covering v36-37 is rather clumsy. Plummer thinks that the participle is adverbial, causal, ie., Anna is viewed as a woman of advanced years because from her virginity (puberty, marriage?) she lived with her husband for 7 years prior to becoming a widow, in which state she lived a further 84 years (or e{wV "until" she was 84, variant wJV, "as, like / when").

meta + gen. "with [her husband]" - with [husband seven years]. Expressing association.

apo + gen. "after [her marriage]" - from [the virginity of her]. The basic sense of separation serves to make for a temporal statement; "from her time of virginity." The genitive authV is adjectival, possessive, limiting "virginity / marriage".


e{wV + gen. "until / and then" - [and after which period she was a widow] until [eighty-four years of age]. Temporal preposition expressing time up to a point, variant; see above. This seems the likely sense, although Bock argues that Luke is totalling the years = 105 years old, rather than 84 years old.

tou iJerou (on) gen. "[she never left] the temple" - [was not withdrawing, departing] of the temple. The genitive is ablative, expressing separation, "from the temple."

latreuousa (latreuw) pres. part. "worshiped" - serving, ministering. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the negated main verb "was departing". Often used of service to God. This word is regularly confused with the word for "adoration", or as we would commonly say, "worship." Yet, it is a ministry word, and in Anna's case, ministry to God in the temple, a ministry which she often expressed in prayer and fasting. She was regularly in the temple, or constantly in the temple, although probably not sleeping in it. "Night and day she served God in the temple", CEV.

nhsteiaiV (a) dat. "fasting" - in = with fastings and prayers. As with "praying", the dative is instrumental, modifying the participle "serving".


epistasa (episthmi) aor. part. "coming up to them" - having stood beside. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the main verb "she gave thanks."

auth/ th/ wJra/ dat. "at that very moment" - at the hour. The dative is adverbial, of time.

anqwmologeito (anqomologeomai) imperf. mid. "she gave thanks" - she was praising, giving thanks, confessing. The imperfect, being durative, may express ongoing praise and thanksgiving, although the imperfect is often used for speech. Thompson suggests that in this context the imperfect is inceptive, "she began to give thanks ...."

tw/ qew/ dat. "to God" - to god. Dative of direct object after the anti prefix verb "to offer praise, thanksgiving to."

peri + gen. "about [the child]" - about [him]. Expressing reference / respect; "with reference to, concerning."

toiV prosdecomenoiV (prosdecomai) pres. mid. part. "who were looking forward" - [to all] the ones anticipating, expecting, waiting for. Referring to an expectant class of Israelites. The participle may be classified as adjectival, attributive, if we view the adjective "all" as a substantive, "everyone", otherwise it serves as a substantive modified by "all". Anna speaks with a select group, those waiting for the redemption of Israel, Isa.59:9.

lutrwsin (iV ewV) "the redemption" - redemption, ransoming [of israel]. The direct object of the participle "waiting for." Today the word "liberation" would probably better express its sense; "the liberation of Jerusalem." The assumed genitive "of Jerusalem" may be treated as objective, "liberation for Jerusalem", although better adjectival, possessive, "Jerusalem's redemption"; "everyone who hoped to see Jerusalem redeemed", Rieu. Culy suggests an assumed locative dative, of place, thus the variant en Ierousalhm.


iv] The family return to Galilee, v39-40: Joseph and Mary complete "all their duties under the law" and return to Nazareth. The implication is that they have called into Jerusalem while traveling from Bethlehem to Nazareth. For Jesus, life proceeds under God's favour ("grace") and he became "strong and wise."

kai "-" - and. Transitional; See v22.

wJV "when" - as, like / when [they completed = performed]. Here the conjunction is obviously temporal serving to introduce a temporal clause, as NIV.

ta "-" - [all] the [according to = which corresponds to the law]. The preposition kata expresses a standard; "in accordance with, corresponding to." The article ta serves as an adjectivizer, turning the prepositional phrase, "according to the law", into an attributive modifier limiting the substantive adjective "everything"; "everything that was according to the law", Culy. Of course, if panta is read as an adjective, "all", then the article is serving as a nominalizer, turning the prepositional phrase into a substantive. Again, Luke makes a point of noting that Jesus fulfils the law.

kuriou (oV) gen. "of the Lord" - of the lord. The genitive is ablative, source / origin, the law that comes out of, from the Lord.

Nazareq "of Nazareth" - [they returned to galilee, into city of them,] nazareth. Being indeclinable, the NIV assumes a genitive, adjectival, idiomatic / identification; "their home town called Nazareth." Culy suggests it could also be accusative standing in apposition to "city / town."


The family return to Nazareth, v40.

de "and" - but/and. Transitional; indicating a step in the narrative.

ekrataiouto (krataiow) imperf. pas. "[grew and] became strong" - [the child was growing and] was being strengthened, made strong, growing strong, becoming strong. Here of mental and moral growth, maturity, even vigour, but not muscular strength. cf., 1:80. "As the child grew to maturity", NJB.

plhroumenon (plhrow) pres. pas. part. "he was filled" - being filled. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the two imperfect verbs "grew" and "became strong.

sofia/ (a) dat. "with wisdom" - with / in wisdom. Possibly an instrumental dative of content, although more likely reference / respect, "with respect to wisdom". Parallel to "he advanced in wisdom", v52. The Lord's servants are "full with / in respect to wisdom" in the sense of being able to understand and explain the knowledge of God. Jesus being so filled obviously goes hand in hand with his growth in maturity. Syntactically the "was being strengthened" and "being filled" are so linked that "being filled with / in respect to wisdom" either defines the strengthening, or is at least a complement of it. "He became strong and full of wisdom", Phillips.

cariV (iV itoV) "the grace" - [and] the grace, favour. Nominative subject of the verb to-be, parallel with "in favour with God" v52. "The blessing of God was upon him."

qeou (oV) gen. "of God" - of god. The genitive is ablative expressing source / origin; "the grace that flows from God."

ep (epi) + acc. "upon [him]" - [was] upon [it = him]. Here with a spatial / locative sense; "on, upon." Greek "it", neuter, rather than "him", meaning "the child."


Luke Introduction


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Exegetical Commentaries


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