At that time Jesus went on the Sabbath-day through the corn - "The time is determined by Luke in these words, εν σαββατω δευτεροπρωτω, that is, on the Sabbath from the second-first.
"Provision was made by the Divine law that the sheaf of first-fruits should be offered on the second day of the pass-over week, Leviticus 23:10, Leviticus 23:11. On the morrow after the Sabbath, the priest shall shake (or wave) it. Not on the morrow after the ordinary Sabbath of the week, but the morrow after the first of the pass-over week, which was a Sabbatic day, Exodus 12:16; Leviticus 23:7. Hence the seventy, επαυριον της πρωτης, the morrow of the first day; the Chaldee, the morrow after the holy day. The rabbins, Solomon and Menachen, have it, On the morrow after the first day of the pass-over feast; of which mention had been made in the verses foregoing.
"But now, from the second day of the pass-over solemnity, wherein the sheaf was offered, were numbered seven weeks to pentecost: for the day of the sheaf, and the day of pentecost did mutually respect each other; for on this second day of the pass-over, the offering of the sheaf was supplicatory, and by way of prayer, beseeching a blessing upon the new corn, and leave to eat it, and to pot in the sickle into the standing corn. Now, the offering of the first-fruit loaves on the day of pentecost, ( Leviticus 23:15-17;), did respect the giving of thanks for the finishing and housing of the barley-harvest. Therefore, in regard of this relation, these two solemnities were linked together, that both might respect the harvest; that, the harvest beginning; this, the harvest ended: this depended on that, and was numbered seven weeks after it. Therefore, the computation of the time coming between could not but carry with it the memory of that second day of the pass-over week; and hence pentecost is called the feast of weeks, Deuteronomy 16:10. The true calculation of the time between could not otherwise be retained, as to Sabbaths, but by numbering thus: this is σαββατον δευτεροπρωτον, the first Sabbath after the second day of the pass-over. This is δευτεροδευρερον, the second Sabbath after that second day. And so of the rest. In the Jerusalem Talmud, the word פרוטוגמייא שבת shebeth protogamiya, the Sabbath, πρωτογαμιας, of the first marriage, is a composition not very unlike." Lightfoot.
His disciples were an hungered - Were hungry. The former is a mode of expression totally obsolete. How near does the translation of this verse come to our ancient mother-tongue, the Anglo-Saxon! - The Healer went on rest-day over acres: truly his learning knights hungred, and they began to pluck the ear and eaten - We may well wonder at the extreme poverty of Christ and his disciples. He was himself present with them, and yet permitted them to lack bread! A man, therefore, is not forsaken of God because he is in want. It is more honorable to suffer the want of all temporal things in fellowship with Christ and his followers, than to have all things in abundance in connection with the world.
At that time - Luke Luke 6:1 fixes the time more particularly. He says that it was “the second Sabbath after the first.” To understand this, it is proper to remark that the “Passover” was observed during the month “Abib,” or Nisan, answering to the latter part of March and the first of April. The feast was held seven days, commencing on the fourteenth day of the month Exodus 23:15, on the “second” day of the paschal week. The law required that a sheaf of “barley” should be offered up as the first-fruits of the harvest, Leviticus 23:10-11. From this day was reckoned seven weeks to the feast of “Pentecost” Leviticus 23:15-16, called also the feast of weeks Deuteronomy 16:10, and the feast of the harvest, Exodus 23:16. This second day in the feast of the Passover, or of unleavened bread, was the beginning, therefore, from which they reckoned toward the Pentecost. The Sabbath in the week following would be the “second Sabbath” after this first one in the reckoning, and this was doubtless the time mentioned when Christ went through the fields. It should be further mentioned, that in Judea the barley harvest commences about the beginning of May, and both that and the wheat harvest are over by the twentieth. Barley is in full ear in the beginning of April. There is no improbability, therefore, in this narrative on account of the season of the year. This feast was always held at Jerusalem.
Through the corn - Through the “barley,” or “wheat.” The word “corn,” as used in our translation of the Bible, has no reference to “maize,” or “Indian corn,” as it has with us. Indian corn was unknown until the discovery of America, and it is scarcely probable that the translators knew anything about it. The word “corn” was applied, as it is still in England, to wheat, rye, oats, and barley. This explains the circumstance that they “rubbed it in their hands” Luke 6:1 to separate the grain from the chaff.
The law of God gave the poor a right to a certain portion of the produce of the soil. When hungry, a man was at liberty to go to his neighbor's field or orchard or vineyard, and eat of the grain or fruit to satisfy his hunger. It was in accordance with this permission that the disciples of Jesus plucked and ate of the standing grain as they passed through a field upon the Sabbath day. PP 531.1
All the gleanings of harvest field, orchard, and vineyard, belonged to the poor. “When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field,” said Moses, “and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it.... When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again.... When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterward: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt.” Deuteronomy 24:19-22; Leviticus 19:9, 10. PP 531.2
Every seventh year special provision was made for the poor. The sabbatical year, as it was called, began at the end of the harvest. At the seedtime, which followed the ingathering, the people were not to sow; they should not dress the vineyard in the spring; and they must expect neither harvest nor vintage. Of that which the land produced spontaneously they might eat while fresh, but they were not to lay up any portion of it in their storehouses. The yield of this year was to be free for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and even for the creatures of the field. Exodus 23:10, 11; Leviticus 25:5. PP 531.3
But if the land ordinarily produced only enough to supply the wants of the people, how were they to subsist during the year when no crops were gathered? For this the promise of God made ample provision. “I will command My blessing upon you in the sixth year,” He said, “and it shall bring forth fruit for three years. And ye shall sow the eighth year, and eat yet of old fruit until the ninth year; until her fruits come in ye shall eat of the old store.” Leviticus 25:21, 22. PP 531.4Read in context »
Upon one Sabbath day, as the Saviour and His disciples returned from the place of worship, they passed through a field of ripening grain. Jesus had continued His work to a late hour, and while passing through the fields, the disciples began to gather the heads of grain, and to eat the kernels after rubbing them in their hands. On any other day this act would have excited no comment, for one passing through a field of grain, an orchard, or a vineyard, was at liberty to gather what he desired to eat. See Deuteronomy 23:24, 25. But to do this on the Sabbath was held to be an act of desecration. Not only was the gathering of the grain a kind of reaping, but the rubbing of it in the hands was a kind of threshing. Thus, in the opinion of the rabbis, there was a double offense. DA 284.1
The spies at once complained to Jesus, saying, “Behold, Thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the Sabbath day.” DA 284.2
When accused of Sabbathbreaking at Bethesda, Jesus defended Himself by affirming His Sonship to God, and declaring that He worked in harmony with the Father. Now that the disciples are attacked, He cites His accusers to examples from the Old Testament, acts performed on the Sabbath by those who were in the service of God. DA 284.3Read in context »
Christ, during His earthly ministry, emphasized the binding claims of the Sabbath; in all His teaching He showed reverence for the institution He Himself had given. In His days the Sabbath had become so perverted that its observance reflected the character of selfish and arbitrary men rather than the character of God. Christ set aside the false teaching by which those who claimed to know God had misrepresented Him. Although followed with merciless hostility by the rabbis, He did not even appear to conform to their requirements, but went straight forward keeping the Sabbath according to the law of God. PK 183.1
In unmistakable language He testified to His regard for the law of Jehovah. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets,” He said; “I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17-19. PK 183.2
During the Christian dispensation, the great enemy of man's happiness has made the Sabbath of the fourth commandment an object of special attack. Satan says, “I will work at cross purposes with God. I will empower my followers to set aside God's memorial, the seventh-day Sabbath. Thus I will show the world that the day sanctified and blessed by God has been changed. That day shall not live in the minds of the people. I will obliterate the memory of it. I will place in its stead a day that does not bear the credentials of God, a day that cannot be a sign between God and His people. I will lead those who accept this day to place upon it the sanctity that God placed upon the seventh day. PK 183.3Read in context »
The other article was upon Christ going through the cornfield, plucking the ears of corn, and healing the withered hand—twelve pages. If I can, with Mary's help, get out these subjects of such intense interest, I could say, “Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace.” These writings are all I can see now.... 3SM 106.4Read in context »