Matthew 12:2 KJV
But when the Pharisees saw it,
they said unto him,
Behold, thy disciples do
that which is not lawful
to do upon the sabbath day.
Berean Study Bible and New International Version
When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.”
New Living Translation
But some Pharisees saw them do it and protested, “Look, your disciples are breaking the law by harvesting grain on the Sabbath.”
English Standard Version
But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.”
Berean Literal Bible
And the Pharisees, having seen, said to Him, “Behold, Your disciples are doing what it is not lawful to do on Sabbath.”
New King James Version
And when the Pharisees saw [it], they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!”
New American Standard Bible
Now when the Pharisees saw [this], they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath!”
But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath.”
But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, “Behold, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath.”
But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.”
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But when the Pharisees saw [it]
In the position in which the narrative stands in the other two Gospels, the Pharisees would appear as belonging to the company that had come down from Jerusalem to watch and accuse the new Teacher (Luke 5:17).
- He claimed the power to forgive sins,
- He ate and drank with publicans and sinners.
- And now they found that He was teaching men to dishonour the Sabbath, as He had already taught them in Jerusalem (John 5:10; 16).
They said unto him
Luke says, “unto them”, to the disciples, or to the disciples and Jesus.
It seems, they took notice of this action, both to Christ and his disciples, and first spoke of it to the one, and then to the other, or to both together.
Thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.
The law of Moses so expressly allowed the plucking ears of corn as one passed through a field, that, malignant as they were, they pretended not to find fault with the action itself
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.
But they were perverse enough to think this to be a kind of reaping and dressing the grain, which was indeed forbidden on the sabbath.
The Pharisees mention it with astonishment, and indignation.
What they refer to,
- Is not their walking on the sabbath day: this they might do, according to their canons, provided they did not exceed two thousand cubits, which were a sabbath day’s journey,
- Nor was it their passing through the corn fields; though, according to them, “it was not lawful for a man to visit his gardens, “or his fields”, on the sabbath day, to see what they want, or how the fruits grow; for such walking is to do his own pleasure.” But this they knew was not the case of Christ, and his disciples, who were not proprietors of these fields:
- Nor was it merely their plucking the ears of corn, and rubbing and eating them, which were not their own, but another man’s; for this, according to the law, in Deuteronomy 23:25 was lawful to be done:
- But what offended the Pharisees was, that it was done on a sabbath day, it being, as they interpret it, a servile work, and all one as reaping; though, in the law just mentioned, it is manifestly distinguished from it.
Their rule is: “He that reaps (on the sabbath day) ever so little, is guilty (of stoning), and “plucking of ears of corn is a derivative of reaping”; and is all one as its primitive, and punishable with the same kind of death, if done presumptuously: so Philo the Jew observes, that the rest of the sabbath not only reached to men, bond and free, and to beasts, but even to trees, and plants; and that, “it was not lawful to cut a plant, or branch, or so much as a leaf”, on a sabbath day.
And it may be what might make this offence of the disciples the more heinous was, that they plucked these ears, and ate them, and so broke their fast before morning prayer; for a man might not eat any thing on a sabbath day until morning prayers were ended in the synagogue, nor indeed on any other day; for they used not to eat bread till after they had offered the daily sacrifice, which was about the third hour of the day, or nine o’clock in the morning; nor did they eat till the fourth hour, or ten o’clock.
Upon the Sabbath day
The Pharisees, doubtless desirous of finding fault with the Christ, said that in plucking the grain on the “Sabbath day” they had violated the commandment.
Moses had commanded the Hebrews to abstain from all servile work on the Sabbath (Exodus 20:10; 35:2-3; Numbers 15:32-36).
On any other day this would have been clearly lawful, for it was permitted (Deuteronomy 23:25).
How blind is superstition, that they could think that it was contrary to the will of God, that his people should fit themselves for the service of the sabbath by a moderate refreshment!
Some of the Pharisees ordinarily attended Christ’s motions, not to be instructed by him, but (as is afterward said) that they might have something whereof to accuse him.
What a little thing do they carp at!
Wherein was the sin?
The plucking of a few ears of corn, and rubbing them, could hardly be called servile labour, especially not in the sense of the commandment, which restrained not necessary labour, but such labour as took them off from the duties of the sabbath; but their tradition had made this unlawful, as it was a little reaping and a kind of threshing.
Hypocrites and formalists are always most zealous for little things in the law, or for their own additaments to it.
[When] ☆ δὲ (de) ☆ Conjunction ☆ A primary particle; but, and, etc.
[the] Pharisees ☆ Φαρισαῖοι (Pharisaioi) ☆ Noun – Nominative Masculine Plural ☆ Of Hebrew origin; a separatist, i.e. Exclusively religious; a Pharisean, i.e. Jewish sectary.
Saw [this] ☆ ἰδόντες (idontes) ☆ Verb – Aorist Participle Active – Nominative Masculine Plural ☆ Properly, to stare at, i.e. to discern clearly; by extension, to attend to; by Hebraism, to experience; passively, to appear.
They said ☆ εἶπαν (eipan) ☆ Verb – Aorist Indicative Active – 3rd Person Plural ☆ Answer, bid, bring word, command. A primary verb; to speak or say.
To Him ☆ αὐτῷ (autō) ☆ Personal / Possessive Pronoun – Dative Masculine 3rd Person Singular ☆ He, she, it, they, them, same. From the particle au; the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person, and of the other persons.
Look ☆ Ἰδοὺ (Idou) ☆ Verb – Aorist Imperative Active – 2nd Person Singular ☆ See! Lo! Behold! Look! Second person singular imperative middle voice of eido; used as imperative lo!
Your ☆ σου (sou) ☆ Personal / Possessive Pronoun – Genitive 2nd Person Singular ☆ You. The person pronoun of the second person singular; thou.
Disciples ☆ μαθηταί (mathētai) ☆ Noun – Nominative Masculine Plural ☆ A learner, disciple, pupil. From manthano; a learner, i.e. Pupil.
Are doing ☆ ποιοῦσιν (poiousin) ☆ Verb – Present Indicative Active – 3rd Person Plural ☆ (a) I make, manufacture, construct, (b) I do, act, cause. Apparently a prolonged form of an obsolete primary; to make or do.
What ☆ ὃ (ho) ☆ Personal / Relative Pronoun – Accusative Neuter Singular ☆ Who, which, what, that.
Unlawful ☆ I interpreted from “not lawful”
Not ☆ οὐ ou oo also (before a vowel) οὐκ ouk ook and (before an aspirate) οὐχ ouch ookh ☆ A primary word, the absolute negative adverb; particle; ☆ No, not; in direct questions expecting an affirmative answer
Lawful ☆ ἔξεστιν (exestin) ☆ Verb – Present Indicative Active – 3rd Person Singular ☆ It is permitted, lawful, possible.
ποιεῖν (poiein) ☆ Verb – Present Infinitive Active ☆ (a) I make, manufacture, construct, (b) I do, act, cause. Apparently a prolonged form of an obsolete primary; to make or do.
On ☆ ἐν (en) ☆ Preposition ☆ In, on, among. A primary preposition denoting position, and instrumentality, i.e. A relation of rest; ‘in, ‘ at, on, by, etc.
[the] Sabbath ☆ σαββάτῳ (sabbatō) ☆ Noun – Dative Neuter Singular ☆ The Sabbath, a week.
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