And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the grainfields; and his disciples plucked the ears of grain, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.
Read Chapter 6
Ambrose of Milan
The Lord Jesus begins to divest man [people] of the observation of the old law and clothes him with the new covering of grace not only through the understanding of words but also through the very usage and appearance of actions. Already on the sabbath, he leads him through the cornfields, that is, he brings him to what abounds in fruit. What the sabbath, the standing corn, and the ears mean to him is no small mystery. The field is this whole world, and the standing corn of the field is an abundant fruitfulness of saints in the sowing of the human race. The ears of the field are the fruits of the church that the apostles scattered with their works and on which they fed, sustaining themselves on our progress. The corn was already standing rich in abundant ears of virtues. The fruits of our merit are compared with these, because they also wither in a shower or are parched by the sun or soaked by the rain or shattered by storms or hoarded by the reapers in the storehouses of the blessed gr...
But the Lord proves the defenders of the law to be ignorant of what belongs to the law, bringing the example of David; as it follows, And Jesus answering said to them, Have you not read so much as this
But herein is a great mystery. For the field is the whole world, the corn is the abundant harvest of the saints in the seed of the human race, the ears of corn are the fruits of the Church, which the Apostles shaking off by their works fed upon, nourishing themselves with our increase, and by their mighty miracles, as it were out of the bodily husks, plucking forth the fruits of the mind to the light of faith.
Now the Jews thought this unlawful on the Sabbath, but Christ by the gift of new grace represented hereby the rest of the law, the work of grace. Wonderfully has He called it the second-first sabbath, not the first-second, because that was loosed from the law which was first, and this is made first which was ordained second. It is therefore called the second sabbath according to n...
For His disciples having no opportunity for eating because the multitudes thronged so, were naturally hungry, but by plucking the ears of corn they relieved their hunger, which is a mark of a strict habit of life, not seeking for prepared meats, but mere simple food.
But some say that these things were objected to our Lord Himself; they might indeed have been objected by different persons, both to our Lord Himself and His disciples, but to whomsoever the objection is made, it chiefly refers to Him.
For they bruise the ears in their hands, because when they wish to bring others over into the body of Christ, they mortify their old man with its acts drawing them away from worldly thoughts.
"And that it is said, that we and the Greeks know the same God, though not in the same way, he will infer thus: "Neither worship as the Jews; for they, thinking that they only know God, do not know Him, adoring as they do angels and archangels, the month and the moon. And if the moon be not visible, they do not hold the Sabbath, which is called the first;
And it came to pass on the second Sabbath after the first.—On the second Sabbath. The Arabic version.
What was this Sabbath?
1. The eighth day of unleavened bread or the last day of the Passover. Epiphanius, Vetablus, and others.
The first day of unleavened bread or the second day of the Passover, and therefore both the first and second Sabbath or Feast-day. Isidore, Euthymius, and another.
3. The Feast of Pentecost. The second or next greatest to the Passover. Maldonatus.
4. I however consider that this Sabbath was not a feast but a Sabbath in the strict sense of the word, i.e. a day on which the Jews were forbidden even to prepare their food ( Exodus 35:3), which they were permitted to do on other feasts ( Exodus 12:16).
That this is the true interpretation is clear from the other Evangelists, who speak of this day as simply a Sabbath.
(In accordance with Lapide the Revised Version reads, "Now it came to pass on a Sabbath.")
But why is this Sabbath called the second after th...
Now although David acted contrary to what the law approves, he is rightly and justly esteemed by us as worthy of all admiration because he was truly a saint and prophet. Since the law of Moses expressly commands justice and does not consider the person being judged, “how,” he says, “do you condemn my disciples while you still admire as a saint and prophet the blessed David, although he did not keep Moses’ command?” There is clearly indicated to us by the loaves of the showbread the bread that comes down from heaven to be set upon the holy tables of the churches and all the furniture of the table. Bread used for the performance of its mystical service was a plain type of the divine treasures. Spiritually the bread signifies the twelve apostles, of whom we shall speak in due order when our comments reach the disciples themselves. Commentary on Luke, Homilies –.
But the Pharisees and Scribes not knowing the Holy Scriptures agreed together to find fault with Christ's disciples, as it follows, And certain of the Pharisees said to them, Why do you Tell me now, when a table is set before you on the sabbath day; do you not break bread? Why then do you blame others? .
As if He said, Whereas the law of Moses expressly says, Give a righteous judgment and you shall not respect persons in judgment, how now do you blame My disciples, who even to this day extol David as a saint and prophet, though he kept not the commandment of Moses?
“Behold, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the sabbath.” Our Lord had instructed them in advance and trained them in the truth of the just, so that whenever he dispensed from the law fully, they would not be alarmed. His Father had also dispensed from sabbaths to show that the sabbath was of his own making. He was also continuing to dispense from it that he might show that these were discerning remedies, proposed by the skilled physician for the pain which stretches from the sole of the foot to the head. Commentary on Tatian’s Diatessaron
On the sabbath day then they were seen passing through the corn fields, and eating the corn, showing that the bonds of the Sabbath were loosened, when the great Sabbath was come in Christ, Who made us to rest from the working of our iniquities.
As this chapter is almost verbally like to the 5th, 7th, and 12th of St. Matthew, and the 3d of St. Mark, the reader is referred to these for further explanation.
On the second-first sabbath. An obscure passage, on which St. Jerome says to Nepotianus, that he consulted his master, St. Gregory of Nazianzus, but in vain. St. Chrysostom, Hom. xl. in Matt., takes it for a double feast, or a double rest: by which we may either understand a sabbath, and another feast concurring on the same day; or a sabbath and a feast immediately succeeding to each other. Theophylactus says the same; and that then the latter day, on which they were to rest, was called the second-first. Others say, that when the Jews kept their solemn paschal feast for seven days, the last day was called the second-first, because it was kept with equal solemnity as the first day had been. See Maldonatus. Later interpreters have found out other expositions, of which the most plausible seems to be, that by the second-first sa...
In Sabbato secundo-primo en sabbato deuteroproto. See St. Chrysostom, Hom. xl. in Matt. in the Latin edition, in the Greek of Savil om lth p. 262, tom. ii. otan e argia e, kai tou sabbatou tou kuriou, kai eteras eortes diadechomenes. See St. Hieron. ad Nepotianum. tom. iv, part 2, p. 262. Ed. Ben.
He says, On the second-first, because it was the second day of the Passover, but the first of unleavened bread. Having killed the passover, on the very next day they kept the feast of unleavened bread. Andit is plain that this was so from the fact, that the Apostles plucked ears of corn and ate them, for at that time the ears are weighed down by the fruit.
For there was a double feast; one on the principal sabbath, another on the next solemn day succeeding, which was also called a sabbath.
And mark, that whenever the Lord speaks for His servants, (i.e. His disciples,) He brings forward servants, as for example David and the Priests; but when for Himself; He introduces His Father; as in that place, My Father works hitherto, and I work.
But Mark declares that He uttered this of our common nature, for He said, The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. It is therefore more fitting that the sabbath should be subject to man, than that man should bow his neck to the sabbath.
Now He says, on the second sabbath after the first, because the Jews called every feast a sabbath. For Sabbath means rest. Frequently therefore was there feasting at the preparation, and they called the preparation a sabbath because of the feast, and hence they gave to the principal sabbath the name of the second-first, as being the second in consequence of the festival of the day preceding.
But he reproves them in another way, as it is added, And he said to them, that the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath. As if he said, I am the Lord of the sabbath, as being He who ordained it, and as the Legislator I have power to loose the sabbath; for Christwas called the Son of man, who being the Son of God yet condescended in a miraculous manner to be made and called for man's sake the Son of man.