Luke 6:1
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and his disciples began to pick some heads of grain, rub them in their hands and eat the kernels.

New Living Translation
One Sabbath day as Jesus was walking through some grainfields, his disciples broke off heads of grain, rubbed off the husks in their hands, and ate the grain.

English Standard Version
On a Sabbath, while he was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked and ate some heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands.

Berean Study Bible
One Sabbath Jesus was passing through the grainfields, and His disciples began to pick the heads of grain, rub them in their hands, and eat them.

Berean Literal Bible
And it came to pass on a Sabbath, He is passing along through grainfields; and His disciples were plucking and were eating the heads of grain, rubbing them in the hands.

New American Standard Bible
Now it happened that He was passing through some grainfields on a Sabbath; and His disciples were picking the heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands, and eating the grain.

King James Bible
And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
On a Sabbath, He passed through the grainfields. His disciples were picking heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands, and eating them.

International Standard Version
One time Jesus was walking through some grain fields on a Sabbath. His disciples were picking the heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands, and eating them.

NET Bible
Jesus was going through the grain fields on a Sabbath, and his disciples picked some heads of wheat, rubbed them in their hands, and ate them.

New Heart English Bible
Now it happened on the second chief Sabbath that he was going through the grain fields. His disciples plucked the heads of grain, and ate, rubbing them in their hands.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Now it happened on the Sabbath when Yeshua was walking among the grain, his disciples were plucking the ears and were rubbing them in their hands and eating them.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Once, on a day of worship, Jesus was walking through some grainfields. His disciples were picking the heads of grain, removing the husks, and eating the grain.

New American Standard 1977
Now it came about that on a certain Sabbath He was passing through some grainfields; and His disciples were picking and eating the heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first that he went through the grain fields and his disciples plucked the ears of grain and ate, rubbing them in their hands.

King James 2000 Bible
And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the grainfields; and his disciples plucked the ears of grain, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.

American King James Version
And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.

American Standard Version
Now it came to pass on a sabbath, that he was going through the grainfields; and his disciples plucked the ears, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.

Douay-Rheims Bible
AND it came to pass on the second first sabbath, that as he went through the corn fields, his disciples plucked the ears, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.

Darby Bible Translation
And it came to pass on [the] second-first sabbath, that he went through cornfields, and his disciples were plucking the ears and eating [them], rubbing [them] in their hands.

English Revised Version
Now it came to pass on a sabbath, that he was going through the cornfields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.

Webster's Bible Translation
And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through corn-fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and ate, rubbing them in their hands.

Weymouth New Testament
Now on the second-first Sabbath while He was passing through the wheatfields, His disciples were plucking the ears and rubbing them with their hands to eat the grain.

World English Bible
Now it happened on the second Sabbath after the first, that he was going through the grain fields. His disciples plucked the heads of grain, and ate, rubbing them in their hands.

Young's Literal Translation
And it came to pass, on the second-first sabbath, as he is going through the corn fields, that his disciples were plucking the ears, and were eating, rubbing with the hands,
Study Bible
The Lord of the Sabbath
1One Sabbath Jesus was passing through the grainfields, and His disciples began to pick the heads of grain, rub them in their hands, and eat them. 2But some of the Pharisees asked, “Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 23:25
"When you enter your neighbor's standing grain, then you may pluck the heads with your hand, but you shall not wield a sickle in your neighbor's standing grain.

Matthew 12:1
At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them.

Mark 2:23
One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and His disciples began to pick the heads of grain as they walked along.

Luke 5:39
And no one after drinking old wine wants new, for he says, 'The old is better.'"

Luke 6:6
On another Sabbath, Jesus entered the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was withered.
Treasury of Scripture

And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.

the second.

Exodus 12:15 Seven days shall you eat unleavened bread; even the first day you …

Leviticus 23:7,10,11,15 In the first day you shall have an holy convocation: you shall do …

Deuteronomy 16:9 Seven weeks shall you number to you: begin to number the seven weeks …

that.

Matthew 12:1 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and …

Mark 2:23 And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the …

and his.

Deuteronomy 23:25 When you come into the standing corn of your neighbor, then you may …

VI.

(1) On the second sabbath after the first.--Literally, the second-first Sabbath. There is nothing like the phrase in any other author, and its meaning is therefore to a great extent conjectural. Its employment by St. Luke may be noted as indicating his wish to be accurate as an historian. He sought to gather, as far as he could, definite dates; and hearing, in the course of his inquiries, of this, as fixing the time of what followed, inserted it in his record.

It may be noted that the facts of the case fix limits on either side. The corn was ripe enough to be rubbed in the hands, and yield its grain. It had not yet been gathered. It could not therefore be much earlier than the Passover, when the barley harvest began, and not much later than the Pentecost, when the wheat was ripe. If it preceded, as it appears to have done (see Luke 9:12), the feeding of the Five Thousand, it must have been before the Passover (John 6:4). The conjectures, such as they are, are as follows:--

(1.) The first Sabbath of the second month of the year, taking Nisan (in which the Passover occurred) as the first month.

(2.) The first Sabbath after the second day of the Passover, that day being itself kept as a supplementary feast.

(3.) The first Sabbath in the second year of the sabbatic cycle of seven years.

(4.) As the Jewish year had two beginnings, one (the civil) reckoning from the month Tisri (including part of September and October); the other (the ecclesiastical) from Nisan, it has been supposed that the first Sabbath in Tisri was called first-first, the first in Nisan second-first.

(5.) The Sabbath in the Pentecostal week, the second chief or first Sabbath, as that in the Passover week was the first.

(6.) The day after the new moon, when, through some accident, its appearance had not been reported to the Sanhedrin in time for the sacrifice connected with it. In such a case the second day was kept as the monthly feast, i.e., received the honours of the first, and so might come to be known technically as the second-first. If it coincided, as often it must have done, with the actual Sabbath, such a day might naturally be called a second-first Sabbath.

In the total dearth of information it is impossible to speak decisively in favour of any one of these views. The last has the merit of at least suggesting the way in which St. Luke may have become acquainted with so peculiar a term. We know from Jewish writers in the Mishna that the new-moon feast was determined by the personal observation of watchmen appointed by the Sanhedrin, and not by astronomical calculation, and it was when they failed to observe or report it in time that the rule stated above came into play. We know from Colossians 2:16, that the observance of that feast had risen into a new prominence in the ritual of a sect which there is every reason to identify with that of the Essenes. (See Note on Colossians 2:16.) Among those whom St. Luke seems to have known at Antioch we find the name of Manaen, or Menahem, the foster-brother of Herod the Tetrarch (Acts 13:1), presumably, as many commentators have suggested, the son or grandson of Menahem, an Essene prophet, who had predicted the future sovereignty of Herod the Great. (See Introduction.) In this way, accordingly, if such a technical nomenclature were in use, as it was likely to be among the Essenes, St. Luke was likely to hear it. We may add further, that Manaen, from his position, was likely to have been brought into contact with the Baptist; that he could scarcely fail to have been impressed with a life which was so entirely moulded, outwardly at least, on the Essene type; and must have passed through the teaching of John to that of Christ. We find this incident following in immediate sequence upon one in which the disciples of John were prominent (Luke 5:33). May we not think therefore, with some reason, of Manaen having been among them, and of his having supplied St. Luke with the technical term that fixed the very day of the journey through the corn-fields? Combining this view with the fact that if this were a new-moon Sabbath it must have been the beginning of the moon of Nisan, possibly coinciding with an actual Sabbath, we have the interesting fact that the lesson for the first Sabbath in that month, in the modern Jewish calendar, is from 1 Samuel 21, and so contained the history of the shewbread to which our Lord refers. This coincidence, corresponding with what we find in the synagogue discourses of Luke 4:17, and of Acts 13:15 (where see Note), is another confirmation of the view now maintained.

It remains to add that one group of MSS. of high authority omit the perplexing word, and that some critics hold it to have grown out of an original "on the first Sabbath," as contrasted with the "other Sabbath" of Luke 6:6; and suppose that an ignorant scribe corrected this in the margin to "second," and that one still more ignorant combined the two readings. These arbitrary conjectures are, however, eminently unscholarly; and the very difficulty presented by the word must, on all usual laws of textual criticism, be admitted as an argument for its genuineness.

He went through the corn-fields.--See for the narrative that follows Notes on Matthew 12:1-8, Mark 2:23-28.

Plucked the ears of corn, and did eat.--Better, were plucking, and were eating.

Verses 1-11. - The Lord's teaching on the question of the observance of the sabbath. Verse 1. - And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first. The expression accompanying this note of time of St. Luke, "the second sabbath after the first," more literally, "the second-first sabbath," has always been a difficulty with expositors of this Gospel. The word is absolutely unique, and is found in no other Greek author. Recent investigations in the text of the New Testament have proved that this word is not found in the majority of the more ancient authorities. Of the modern critical editors, Alford and Lachmann enclose the disputed word in brackets; Tregelles and Meyer omit it altogether; but the Revisers of the English Version relegate it to the margin in its literal form, "second-first;" Tischendorf alone admits it in his text. The question is of interest to the antiquarian, but scarcely of any to the theologian. It was, perhaps, introduced at an early date into many of the manuscripts of St. Luke, owing to some copyist writing n the margin of his parchment in this place "first" to distinguish this sabbath and its scene from the other sabbath alluded to four verses further on; "second" was not unlikely to have been written in correction of "first" by some other copyist using the manuscript, thinking it better thus to distinguish this from the sabbath alluded to in Luke 4:31; and thus the two corrections may have got confused in many of the primitive copies. It can scarcely be imagined, if it really formed part of the original work of St. Luke, that so remarkable a word could ever have dropped out of the text of the most ancient and trustworthy authorities. Supposing it to have been a part of the original writing, scholars have suggested many explanations. Of these the simplest and most satisfactory are:

(1) The first sabbath of each of the seven years which made a sabbatic cycle was called first, second, third, etc., sabbath. Thus the "second-first" sabbath would signify the first sabbath of the second year of the seven-years' cycle. This is Wieseler's theory.

(2) The civil year of the Jews began in autumn about mid-September to mid-October (month Tisri), and the ecclesiastical year in spring, about mid-March to mid-April (month Nisan). Thus there were every year two first sabbaths - one at the commencement of the civil year, which would be called 'first-first;' the other at the beginning of the ecclesiastical year, which would be called 'second-first. The period here alluded to by St. Luke would perfectly agree with either of these explanations. The latter theory was suggested by Louis Cappel, and is quoted with approval by Godet. And his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands. St. Matthew adds here that they "were an hungred." This they might well have been in following the Master in his teaching in different places, even though some of their homes were nigh at hand. We have no need to introduce the question of their poverty - which, in the case of several of them at least, we know did not exist - here leading them to this method of satisfying their hunger. They had probably been out for some hours with Jesus without breaking their fast, and, finding themselves in a field of ripe corn, took this easy, present means of gratifying a natural want. The Law expressly permitted them to do this: "When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbour, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand" (Deuteronomy 23:25). And it came to pass on the second sabbath day after the first,.... Or "second first sabbath", concerning which interpreters are greatly divided. Some think, that it was either the seventh day of the feast of unleavened bread, or the eighth day of the feast of tabernacles. Others, that it was the sabbath which fell that year on the day of Pentecost; and that as there were three grand festivals among the Jews, the feasts of passover, Pentecost, and tabernacles; so when the sabbath day fell on the feast of the passover, it was called the first prime sabbath, when on the feast of Pentecost, it was called the second prime sabbath, and when on the feast of tabernacles, the third prime sabbath. Others have been of opinion, that as the Jews had two beginnings of their year, the one on civil accounts in Tisri, the other on ecclesiastical accounts in Nisan; so the first sabbath in Tisri was called the first first sabbath, and that in Nisan, which was this, the second first sabbath: but what seems most likely is, that this sabbath was, as it may be rendered, "the first sabbath after the second"; that is, the first sabbath after the second day of the passover, when the sheaf of the firstfruits was offered, and harvest might be begun; which suits well with ears of corn being ripe at this time, which the disciples rubbed. So the Jews reckoned the seven weeks from thence to Pentecost by sabbaths; the first after the second day they called the second first, or the first after the second day; the second they called the second second; and the third was named the second third; and so on, the second fourth, the second fifth, the second sixth, and second seventh, which brought on Pentecost, when the harvest was ended. So in the Jewish liturgies, there are collects for the first sabbath after the passover, and for the second sabbath after the passover, and so on to the sabbath before Pentecost. The eastern versions, Syriac, Arabic, Persic, and Ethiopic, not knowing what should be meant by it, have only rendered it, "on the sabbath day", as in Mat_. 12:1. See Gill on Matthew 12:1.

That he went through the corn fields; that is, Jesus, as the Syriac, Persic, and Ethiopic versions:

and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands: after they had plucked them they rubbed them in their hands to get clean off the husk or beard, that were on them, and then ate the grains. And as plucking of the ears of corn was forbidden on a sabbath day; see Gill on Matthew 12:2, so was rubbing them; though if they were rubbed before, the chaff might be blown off from them in the hand, and eat on the sabbath day: the rule is this (l);

"he that rubs ears of corn on the evening of the sabbath, (i.e. on the sixth day,) may blow them from hand to hand on the morrow, and eat''

But the disciples both plucked them, and rubbed them, and blew away the chaff from them on the sabbath day, and therefore were complained of by the Pharisees.

(l) T. Bab. Betza, fol. 12. 2. & 13. 2. Vid. Maimon. Hilch. Sabbat, c. 21. sect. 14. 17. CHAPTER 6

Lu 6:1-5. Plucking Corn-ears on the Sabbath.

(See on [1578]Mt 12:1-8 and Mr 2:23-28.)

1. second sabbath after the first—an obscure expression, occurring here only, generally understood to mean, the first sabbath after the second day of unleavened bread. The reasons cannot be stated here, nor is the opinion itself quite free from difficulty.6:1-5 Christ justifies his disciples in a work of necessity for themselves on the sabbath day, and that was plucking the ears of corn when they were hungry. But we must take heed that we mistake not this liberty for leave to commit sin. Christ will have us to know and remember that it is his day, therefore to be spent in his service, and to his honour.
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