Matthew 12:4
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread--which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests.

New Living Translation
He went into the house of God, and he and his companions broke the law by eating the sacred loaves of bread that only the priests are allowed to eat.

English Standard Version
how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests?

Berean Study Bible
He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for them to eat, but only for the priests.

Berean Literal Bible
how he entered into the house of God, and they ate the loaves of the presentation, which it was not lawful for him nor for those with him to eat, but only for the priests?

New American Standard Bible
how he entered the house of God, and they ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat nor for those with him, but for the priests alone?

King James Bible
How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
how he entered the house of God, and they ate the sacred bread, which is not lawful for him or for those with him to eat, but only for the priests?

International Standard Version
How is it that he went into the house of God and ate the Bread of the Presence, which was not lawful for him and his companions to eat but was reserved for the priests?

NET Bible
how he entered the house of God and they ate the sacred bread, which was against the law for him or his companions to eat, but only for the priests?

New Heart English Bible
how he entered into the house of God, and they ate the show bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for those who were with him, but only for the priests?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
How he entered the house of God, and he ate the bread of the table of THE LORD JEHOVAH, that which was not legal for him to eat, neither for those who were with him, but rather for the priests only?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Haven't you read how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of the presence? He and his men had no right to eat those loaves. Only the priests have that right.

New American Standard 1977
how he entered the house of God, and they ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those with him, but for the priests alone?

Jubilee Bible 2000
how he entered into the house of God and ate the showbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for those who were with him, but only for the priests?

King James 2000 Bible
How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the showbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them who were with him, but only for the priests?

American King James Version
How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the show bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?

American Standard Version
how he entered into the house of God, and ate the showbread, which it was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them that were with him, but only for the priests?

Douay-Rheims Bible
How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the loaves of proposition, which it was not lawful for him to eat, nor for them that were with him, but for the priests only?

Darby Bible Translation
How he entered into the house of God, and ate the shewbread, which it was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those with him, but for the priests only?

English Revised Version
how be entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which it was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them that were with him, but only for the priests?

Webster's Bible Translation
How he entered into the house of God, and ate the show-bread, which it was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them who were with him, but only for the priests?

Weymouth New Testament
how he entered the House of God and ate the Presented Loaves, which it was not lawful for him or his men to eat, nor for any except the priests?

World English Bible
how he entered into the house of God, and ate the show bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for those who were with him, but only for the priests?

Young's Literal Translation
how he went into the house of God, and the loaves of the presentation did eat, which it is not lawful to him to eat, nor to those with him, except to the priests alone?
Study Bible
The Lord of the Sabbath
3Jesus replied, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for them to eat, but only for the priests. 5Or haven’t you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and yet are innocent?…
Cross References
Leviticus 24:9
"It shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place; for it is most holy to him from the LORD'S offerings by fire, his portion forever."

1 Samuel 21:4
The priest answered David and said, "There is no ordinary bread on hand, but there is consecrated bread; if only the young men have kept themselves from women."

1 Samuel 21:6
So the priest gave him consecrated bread; for there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence which was removed from before the LORD, in order to put hot bread in its place when it was taken away.

Matthew 12:3
Jesus replied, "Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry?

Matthew 12:5
Or haven't you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and yet are innocent?

Mark 2:26
During the high priesthood of Abiathar, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which was lawful only for the priests. And he gave some to his companions as well."

Luke 6:4
He entered the house of God, took the consecrated bread and gave it to his companions, and ate what is lawful only for the priests to eat."

Hebrews 9:2
A tabernacle was constructed. In its first room were the lampstand, the table, and the consecrated bread. This was called the Holy Place.
Treasury of Scripture

How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the show bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?

the shew-bread.

Exodus 25:30 And you shall set on the table show bread before me always.

Leviticus 24:5-9 And you shall take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes thereof: two …

but.

Exodus 29:32,33 And Aaron and his sons shall eat the flesh of the ram…

Leviticus 8:31 And Moses said to Aaron and to his sons, Boil the flesh at the door …

Leviticus 24:9 And it shall be Aaron's and his sons'; and they shall eat it in the …

(4) How he entered into the house of God.--Strictly speaking, it was in the tabernacle at Nob, where Ahimelech (possibly assisted by Abiathar, Mark 2:26) was ministering as high priest (1Samuel 21:6). The shewbread, or "bread of oblation," consisted of twelve loaves, in two rows of six each, which were offered every Sabbath day (Exodus 25:30; Exodus 40:23; Leviticus 24:5-9), the loaves of the previous week being then removed and reserved for the exclusive use of the priests. The necessity of the case, however, was in this instance allowed to override the ceremonial ordinance, and our Lord teaches men through that single instance to see the general principle that when positive commands and necessities involving the good of man come into collision, the latter, not the former, must prevail.

Verse 4. - How he entered into the house of God, and did eat; rather, and they did eat, with Revised Version margin (ἔφαγον), the simple plural verb laying the action less at David's door than does the phrase in the parallel passages - "and he gave" them to eat. Observe that the mention of ordinary people, like David's attendants, adds to the force of our Lord's illustration. The shew-bread (Exodus 25:30; Leviticus 24:5-7). Which. Which kind of food (). Was not lawful (οὐκ ἔξον η΅ν). Reminding the Pharisees of their own words in ver. 2. For him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? (Leviticus 24:9). How he entered into the house of God,.... Not the temple, which was not then built; but the tabernacle, which was then at Nob, the city of the priests, and which probably adjoined to Abimelech's house:

and did eat the shewbread; for that this is meant by the hallowed bread, in 1 Samuel 21:6 is certain; though R. Joseph Kimchi (n) thinks it was the bread of the thank offering; to which R. Levi ben Getsom (o) seems to incline: but the general sense of the Jewish doctors (p) is, that it was the showbread; and which is very clear from that text, and is rightly affirmed by Christ;

which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests: see Leviticus 24:5 and so the Jews say that this bread , "is forbidden to strangers" (q); that is, to any but the priests, which, after the burning of the frankincense, was divided equally among them: that course of priests that came into the service had six cakes, and that which went out six; though the high priest had a right to half himself, but he did not use to take it, it being judged not to his honour to do so (r). No hint is here given, nor in the history, in 1 Samuel 21:1 that it was on the sabbath day that David came to Ahimelech, and ate the showbread; but this is observed, and disputed, by the Jewish writers. Some indeed are in a doubt about it; but others (s) readily give into it, that it was on the sabbath day, which he chose to flee in, for the greater safety and preservation of his life: and indeed it seems reasonable it should be on that day; since on that day only the showbread was removed from the table, and other loaves put in the room. One of their writers (t) says,

"that showbread was not to be eaten, but on the day, and night of the sabbath day; and on the going out of the sabbath day; and on the going out of the sabbath David came there.''

Now our Lord's argument stands thus, that if David, a holy, good man, and, the men that were with him, who were men of religion and conscience, when in great distress, through hunger, ate of the showbread, which was unlawful for any to eat of but priests, the high priest himself assenting to it; then it could not be criminal in his disciples, when an hungred, to pluck, rub, and eat a few ears of corn, which were lawful for any man to eat, even though it was on the sabbath day: and for the further vindication of them, he adds,

(n) Apud R. David Kimchi in 1 Samuel 21.6. (o) In ib. (p) T. Bab. Menachot, fol. 95. 2. R. David Kimchi, Abarbinel & Laniado in 1 Samuel 21.6. (q) Laniado & Abarbinel in ib. (r) Maimon. Hilch. Tamidin, c. 4. sect. 12. 14. (s) Bemidbar Rabba Parash. 23. fol. 231. 9. Laniado Cli Jaker, fol. 226. 4. & 227. 2, 3, 4. & Jelammedenu in ib. (t) R. Isaiah in 1 Samuel 21.5. 4. How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the showbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?—No example could be more apposite than this. The man after God's own heart, of whom the Jews ever boasted, when suffering in God's cause and straitened for provisions, asked and obtained from the high priest what, according to the law, it was illegal for anyone save the priests to touch. Mark (Mr 2:26) says this occurred "in the days of Abiathar the high priest." But this means not during his high priesthood—for it was under that of his father Ahimelech—but simply, in his time. Ahimelech was soon succeeded by Abiathar, whose connection with David, and prominence during his reign, may account for his name, rather than his father's, being here introduced. Yet there is not a little confusion in what is said of these priests in different parts of the Old Testament. Thus he is called both the son of the father of Ahimelech (1Sa 22:20; 2Sa 8:17); and Ahimelech is called Ahiah (1Sa 14:3), and Abimelech (1Ch 18:16).12:1-8 Being in the corn-fields, the disciples began to pluck the ears of corn: the law of God allowed it, De 23:25. This was slender provision for Christ and his disciples; but they were content with it. The Pharisees did not quarrel with them for taking another man's corn, but for doing it on the sabbath day. Christ came to free his followers, not only from the corruptions of the Pharisees, but from their unscriptural rules, and justified what they did. The greatest shall not have their lusts indulged, but the meanest shall have their wants considered. Those labours are lawful on the sabbath day which are necessary, and sabbath rest is to froward, not to hinder sabbath worship. Needful provision for health and food is to be made; but when servants are kept at home, and families become a scene of hurry and confusion on the Lord's day, to furnish a feast for visitors, or for indulgence, the case is very different. Such things as these, and many others common among professors, are to be blamed. The resting on the sabbath was ordained for man's good, De 5:14. No law must be understood so as to contradict its own end. And as Christ is the Lord of the sabbath, it is fit the day and the work of it should be dedicated to him.
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