Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 2:23-37

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Luke 2:23

written in the law. Luke summarized the relevant Old Testament texts (Exod. 13:2, 12, 15) to explain the rituals of v. 22. Everymale. Under God's covenant with Israel, God claimed the right to the life of every firstborn son in Israel. This was a reminder of Israel's redemption from Egypt (Exod. 13:14). God did not require the firstborn to be sacrificed as in some pagan religions. Instead, the parents acknowledged his gracious rule over their lives by redeeming the child through an animal offering.

Luke 2:24

Normally, a lamb was offered in sacrifice for the mother's purification (v. 22). However, God made provision for those in poverty and allowed them to offer two doves or pigeons (Lev 5:11; 12:8). By noting this was Joseph and Mary's offering, Luke acknowledged their poverty. Moreover, he pointed to the humility of Christ's incarnation (1:48, 52-53).

Luke 2:25-26

Simeon. Seems to have been a lay person, unconnected to the priesthood. Because of his godliness, God chose to bless him by allowing him to see the promised Christ before he died. consolation. The comfort Israel would have through the Christ. Through him, God would bring deliverance for his people (see Isa. 40:1; 49:13; 51:3; 57:18; 66:11). Holy Spirit. Simeon enjoyed an unusual manifestation of God's Spirit. He revealed the promise to Simeon and guided him to Jesus (v. 27). The outpouring of the Spirit in relation to Jesus's birth (1:15, 35, 41, 67) fulfilled messianic expectations and marked a new work of God (Isa. 61:1).

Luke 2:27

temple. This was the larger temple complex, which included several courts and chambers around the original sanctuary (1:9; 23:45). The additional areas were added by Herod (see note on 1:5).

Luke 2:29

Like a watchman on the wall, Simeon's task was complete. He had seen the fulfillment of God's promise and was ready for death (2:26).

Luke 2:30-32

God's salvation would come through Jesus and be for all peoples — Jews and Gentiles alike. This saving light would shine into the spiritual darkness of the Gentiles (Acts 26:17-18; 2 Cor. 4:6; Eph. 5:8; 1 Pet. 2:9). As people came to faith in Jesus, Israel would also receive glory. They were privileged to receive God's revelation and be the people from whom God sent the Christ (Rom. 9:1-5; Gal. 3:8).

Luke 2:34-35

Simeon told Mary the means by which Jesus would bring salvation and cause the world to be divided. The division comes between those who put their faith in him as Christ and those who reject him (see 4:29; 6:20-26; 20:17-18; Rom. 9:33; 1 Pet. 2:6-8). Though some may look righteous outwardly (see Isa. 29:13; Matt. 23:27; Mark 7:6), he will make known their hearts before God. sword. This would be painful for Mary because it would mean the rejection and death of her son (see 2:49; Mark 3:21, 31; John 19:25-27).

Luke 2:36

Anna. From Asher, one of the ten Northern tribes of Israel (Gen. 49:20; Deut. 33:24-25). prophetess. Like Deborah (Judg. 4:4) and Huldah (2 Kgs. 22:14), she had a special anointing of the Spirit and conveyed God's revealed truth.

Luke 2:37

Anna was widowed at a young age. Yet she lived with evident devotion to the Lord for an unusually long time (see 1 Tim. 5:5). serving. Normally the word for Old Testament priestly service. Anna lived a life of dedicated service, interceding for Israel regularly.

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