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Matthew 12:1

At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the grain field; and his disciples were hungry, and began to pluck the ears of grain, and to eat.
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Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
At that time Jesus went through the corn fields (Through the crops of corn becoming white, or ripe), &c. Luke adds that this Sabbath was the first from the second (Vulg.); which I will explain in the proper place. Again there is here a Hysterologia; for these things appear to have happened after the Mission of the Apostles, and therefore before the Sermon on the Mount, as may be gathered from Mark ii22 , and Luke vi1. That they rubbed the ears of corn in their hands, and satisfied their hunger Isaiah , says S. Jerome, a mark of their austere life. But when the Pharisees saw it, &c. Luke 7:2, has, they said unto them, i.e, to the disciples of Christ, because they brought forward the objection first against the disciples, afterwards against Christ. Observe, they do not find fault with the disciples for plucking ears of corn, or grapes; for this was permitted by the law, Deut. xxiii25 , but because they did it on the Sabbath. For to pluck ears seems a servile work, and therefore, a vio...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
And his disciples being hungry. How truly admirable is the conduct of the apostles, who would not depart from the company of Jesus, though pressed by the greatest hunger and fatigue, not even to take a little refreshment for the body. (St. Chrysostom) It is remarked by St. Jerome, that the Pharisees did not accuse the disciples of theft, but of a breach of the sabbath. St. Luke calls this sabbath, Sabbatum secundo primum, which is differently explained by interpreters. Ribeira, following St. Chrysostom and Theophilactus, thinks that every sabbath was so called, which followed immediately any feast. Maldonatus is of opinion that some particular sabbath is pointed out by this name, and conjectures that it was the sabbath of Pentecost, because it is the second of the great feasts, viz. the Passover, Pentecost, Scenopegia, or of the Tabernacles. In the Greek, sabbath is in the plural, and means the days of the sabbath or rest, which were a part of the feast. The three great feasts lasted...

Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
We must first point out the beginning of this passage: “At that time Jesus went through the standing grain.” This is set at the time he gave thanks to God the Father for having given salvation to the people. The same meaning is given to what went before (his thanksgiving) and what came after (his walking in the fields). Note the relationships. Spiritually viewed, the land is the world, the sabbath is the day of rest, and the crop is the effect of future believers upon the harvest. Therefore, having gone out to a field on the sabbath, the day of rest under God’s law, he proceeded into this world, to visiting the crop, the sown field of the human race. And since hunger is the craving for human salvation, the disciples hasten to pluck off the ears of corn, namely, the holy people, to get their fill of salvation. But the grain is not yet ready for human consumption. Rather, the crop upholds faith in the events to come. The added power of words completes the sacrament that implies both hung...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
But Luke says, On a double Sabbath. Now what is a double Sabbath? When the cessation from toil is twofold, both that of the regular Sabbath, and that of another feast coming upon it. For they call every cessation from toil, a sabbath. But why could He have led them away from it, who foreknew all, unless it had been His will that the Sabbath should be broken? It was His will indeed, but not simply so; wherefore He never breaks it without a cause, but giving reasonable excuses: that He might at once bring the law to an end, and not startle them. But there are occasions on which He even repeals it directly, and not with circumstance: as when He anoints with the clay the eyes of the blind man; John 9:6, 14 as when He says, My Father works hitherto, and I work. And He does so, by this to glorify His own Father, by the other to soothe the infirmity of the Jews. At which last He is laboring here, putting forward as a plea the necessity of nature; although in the case of acknowledged sins, ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
How could he who foreknew all things be unaware of the consequences of this action, unless it had been his will that the sabbath law had to be reinterpreted? That was his will indeed, but not in a simple sense. He never broke the law without adequate cause, and always by giving a reasonable justification. His purpose in doing so was to bring the old law to an end, yet not in a defiant manner. There are indeed occasions in which he repeals the old law directly and without any fanfare, as when he anointed the eyes of the blind man with clay, and as when he said, “My Father is still working, and I also am working.” He does this to glorify his own Father and to soothe the enmity of the Jews. His appeal is to the necessity of nature in this case, since his disciples were hungry. The Gospel of Matthew, Homily ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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