So the priest gave him hallowed bread: for there was no bread there but the showbread, that was taken away from before the LORD, to put hot bread in its place the day when it was taken away.
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Ambrose of Milan
Even if they accuse, yet Christ excuses, and he makes the souls that he wishes, that follow him, similar to David, who ate the loaves of proposition outside of the law—for even then he foresaw in his mind the prophetic mysteries of a new grace. - "Isaac, or the Soul 6.56"
In many other testimonies of the divine Scriptures, Christ appears both as king and as priest. With good reason, therefore, he is declared to be David’s son more frequently than he is said to be Abraham’s son. Matthew and Luke have both affirmed this: the one viewing him [David] as the person from whom, through Solomon, his [Jesus’] lineage can be traced down, and the other taking him [David] for the person to whom, through Nathan, his [Jesus’] genealogy can be carried up. So he [David] did represent the role of a priest, although he was patently a king, when he ate the show bread. For it was not lawful for any one to eat that, except the priests alone. - "Harmony of the Gospels 1.3.5"
Our Lord put forward the clear example of David, who was not accused either over this, as he was over something else. It was not permissible, he said, for David to eat [the holy bread] since he was not a priest. However, he was a priest, because he was a temple of the Spirit. Because they did not understand this, he openly proved them wrong with regard to their own [position]: “The priests were defiling the sabbath in the temple, and they were not guilty of sin.” Another element is depicted for us there. Before David was persecuted, he partook of the bread with authority. - "Commentary on Tatian’s Diatessaron 5.24"
When the disciples had been hungry on the sabbath and had plucked some ears [of grain] and rubbed them in their hands, they violated the holy day by so preparing their food. Yet Christ excuses them and even became their accomplice in breaking the sabbath. … For from the Creator’s Scripture and from the purpose of Christ there is derived a vivid precedent from David’s example when he went into the temple on the sabbath and provided food by boldly breaking up the show bread. Even he remembered that this privilege (the dispensation from fasting) was allowed on the sabbath from the very beginning, from when the sabbath itself was instituted. For although the Creator had forbidden that the manna should be gathered for two days, he permitted it on only one occasion—the day before the sabbath—so that the previous day’s provision of food might free them from fasting on the following sabbath. Therefore the Lord had good reason for pursuing the same principle in the “annulling” of the sabbath (s...