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Luke 2:36-40

The Testimony of Anna

2:36 There was also a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old, 1  having been married to her husband for seven years until his death. 2:37 She had lived as a widow since then for eighty-four years. 2  She never left the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. 3  2:38 At that moment, 4  she came up to them 5  and began to give thanks to God and to speak 6  about the child 7  to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. 8 

2:39 So 9  when Joseph and Mary 10  had performed 11  everything according to the law of the Lord, 12  they returned to Galilee, to their own town 13  of Nazareth. 14  2:40 And the child grew and became strong, 15  filled with wisdom, 16  and the favor 17  of God 18  was upon him.

1 tn Her age is emphasized by the Greek phrase here, “she was very old in her many days.”

2 tn Grk “living with her husband for seven years from her virginity and she was a widow for eighty four years.” The chronology of the eighty-four years is unclear, since the final phrase could mean “she was widowed until the age of eighty-four” (so BDAG 423 s.v. ἕως 1.b.α). However, the more natural way to take the syntax is as a reference to the length of her widowhood, the subject of the clause, in which case Anna was about 105 years old (so D. L. Bock, Luke [BECNT], 1:251-52; I. H. Marshall, Luke, [NIGTC], 123-24).

3 sn The statements about Anna worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day make her extreme piety clear.

4 tn Grk “at that very hour.”

5 tn Grk “And coming up.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. The participle ἐπιστᾶσα (epistasa) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

6 tn The imperfect ἐλάλει (elalei) here looks at a process of declaration, not a single moment. She clearly was led by God to address men and women about the hope Jesus was. The testimony of Luke 1—2 to Jesus has involved all types of people.

7 tn Grk “him”; the referent (the child) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

8 tc A few mss (1216 pc) read ᾿Ισραήλ (Israhl, “Israel”) or ἐν τῷ ᾿Ισραήλ (en tw Israhl, “in Israel”), but this reading does not have enough ms support to be considered authentic. More substantial is the reading ἐν ᾿Ιερουσαλήμ (en Ierousalhm, “in Jerusalem”; found in A D L Θ Ψ 0130 Ë13 33 Ï), though the preposition was almost surely added to clarify (and perhaps alter) the meaning of the original. The simple ᾿Ιερουσαλήμ, without preposition, is found in א B W Ξ 1 565* lat co.

map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

9 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the conclusion of the topic.

10 tn Grk “when they”; the referents (Joseph and Mary) have been specified in the translation for clarity.

11 tn Or “completed.”

12 sn On the phrase the law of the Lord see Luke 2:22-23.

13 tn Or “city.”

14 map For location see Map1 D3; Map2 C2; Map3 D5; Map4 C1; Map5 G3.

15 tc Most mss (A Θ Ψ Ë1,13 33 Ï) read πνεύματι (pneumati, “in spirit”) after “became strong,” but this looks like an assimilation to Luke 1:80. The better witnesses (א B D L N W pc lat co) lack the word.

16 sn With the description grew and became strong, filled with wisdom Luke emphasizes the humanity of Jesus and his growth toward maturity.

17 tn Or “grace.”

18 sn On the phrase the favor of God see Luke 1:66.

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