And he said to them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Matthew 12:1. This phrase has given great perplexity to commentators. A "literal" translation would be, "on the Sabbath called "second first,"" or second first Sabbath. The word occurs nowhere else. It is therefore exceedingly difficult of interpretation. The most natural and easy explanation is that proposed by Scaliger. The "second day" of the Passover was a great festival, on which the wave-sheaf was offered, Leviticus 23:11. From "that day" they reckoned "seven weeks," or seven "Sabbaths," to the day of Pentecost. The "first" Sabbath after that "second day" was called the "second first," or the first from the second day of the feast. The "second" Sabbath was called the "second second," or the second Sabbath from the second day of the feast; the third the "third second," etc. This day, therefore, on which the Saviour went through the fields, was the first Sabbath that occurred after the second day of the feast.
Rubbing them in their hands - The word "corn" here means wheat or barley, and not maize, as in America. They rubbed it in their hands to separate the grain from the chaff. This was common and allowable. Dr. Thomson ("The Land and the Book," vol. ii. p. 510, 511) says: "I have often seen my muleteers, as we passed along the wheat fields, pluck off ears, rub them in their hands, and eat the grains, unroasted, just as the apostles are said to have done. This also is allowable. The Pharisees did not object to the thing itself, only to the time when it was done. They said it was not lawful to do this on the Sabbath-day. It was work forbidden by those who, through their traditions, had made man for the Sabbath, not the Sabbath for man." So Professor Hackett ("Illustrations of Scripture," p. 176, 177) says: "The incident of plucking the ears of wheat, rubbing out the kernels in their hands, and eating them Luke 6:1, is one which the traveler sees often at present who is in Palestine at the time of the gathering of the harvest. Dr. Robinson relates the following case: 'Our Arabs were an hungered, and, going into the fields, they plucked the ears of grain and did eat, rubbing them in their hands. On being questioned, they said this was an old custom, and no one would speak against it; they were supposed to be hungry, and it was allowed as a charity.' The Pharisees complained of the disciples for violating the Sabbath, and not any rights of property."
of the sabbath—as naked a claim to all the authority of Him who gave the law at Mount Sinai as could possibly be made; that is, "I have said enough to vindicate the men ye carp at on My account: but in this place is the Lord of the law, and they have His sanction." (See Mr 2:28.)See Poole on "Luke 6:1"
that the son of man is Lord also of the sabbath; and may do what he will, and suffer his disciples to do whatever he pleases on that day; See Gill on Matthew 12:8.And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Luke 6:5. καὶ ἔλεγεν: in Lk. this important logion about the Son of Man’s Lordship over the Sabbath is simply an external annex to what goes before = and He said: instead of arising out of and crowning the argument, as in Mt., and partly in Mk., though the latter uses the same phrase in introducing the logion peculiar to him about the Sabbath being made for man. If Lk. had Mk. before him, how could he omit so important a word? Perhaps because it involved a controversial antithesis not easily intelligible to Gentiles, and because the Lordship of the Son of Man covered all in his view. How did he and his readers understand that Lordship?Verse 5. - And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath. The Master closed his reply to the Pharisee inquirers with one of those short assertions of his awful greatness which puzzled and alarmed his jealous foes. Who, then, was he, this poor unknown Carpenter of despised and ignorant Nazareth? He was either a blasphemer too wicked to be allowed to live, or the alternative must have been a very awful thought to some of the nobler spirits among those Jerusalem learned men. Across their minds must have flitted not once or twice in that eventful period some anxious questionings as to who and what was the strange and powerful Being who had appeared in their midst.
See on Matthew 12:6.
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