Luke 2:22 MEANING

Luke 2:22
(22) When the days of her purification . . .--The primary idea of the law of Leviticus 12:1-6, would seem to have been that of witnessing to the taint of imperfection and sin attaching to every child of man, just as that of circumcision (its merely physical aspects being put aside) was that of the repression or control of one chief element of that sinfulness. Here neither was necessary; but the whole mystery of the birth was not as yet revealed to Mary, and therefore her act was simply one of devout obedience to the law under which she lived. The period of purification lasted for forty days from the birth, bringing the Feast of the Purification in our Church Calendar to February 2nd.

To present him to the Lord.--This, as the next verse shows, was only done according to the law of Exodus 13:2, when the firstborn child was a son. It was obviously a witness of the idea of the priesthood of the firstborn--a survival of the idea in practice, even after the functions of that priesthood had been superseded by the priesthood of the sons of Aaron. The firstborn of every house had still a dedicated life, and was to think of himself as consecrated to special duties. Comp. Hebrews 12:23 as giving the expansion of the thought to the whole company of those who are the "firstborn," as they are also the "firstfruits" of humanity (James 1:18). As a formal expression of the obligation thus devolving on them, they had to be redeemed by the payment of five shekels to the actual Aaronic priesthood (Numbers 18:15).

Verse 22. - When the days of her purification according to the Law of Moses were accomplished. This period lasted forty days from the birth. The forty days, according to the date of the nativity accepted universally by the Catholic Church, would bring the Feast of the Purification to February 2.

2:21-24 Our Lord Jesus was not born in sin, and did not need that mortification of a corrupt nature, or that renewal unto holiness, which were signified by circumcision. This ordinance was, in his case, a pledge of his future perfect obedience to the whole law, in the midst of sufferings and temptations, even unto death for us. At the end of forty days, Mary went up to the temple to offer the appointed sacrifices for her purification. Joseph also presented the holy child Jesus, because, as a first-born son, he was to be presented to the Lord, and redeemed according to the law. Let us present our children to the Lord who gave them to us, beseeching him to redeem them from sin and death, and make them holy to himself.And when the days of purification,.... Of the Virgin Mary, the mother of our Lord; though most copies read, "of their purification"; and so read the Syriac, Persic, and Ethiopic versions, including both Mary and Jesus: and now, though Mary was not polluted by the conception, bearing, and bringing forth of Jesus, that holy thing born of her; yet inasmuch as she was in the account of the law clean; and though Jesus had no impurity in his nature, yet seeing he was made sin for his people, both came under this law of purification, which was for the sake of the son or daughter, as well as for the mother; though our reading, and which is according to the Complutensian edition, best agrees with the Hebrew phrase, , the days of her purifying or purification, in Leviticus 12:4.

according to the law of Moses, in Leviticus 12:1.

were accomplished; which for a son were forty days: the seven first days after she gave birth she was unclean; and then she continued three and thirty days in the blood of her purifying, which made forty; see Leviticus 12:2 but though the time of her purifying was upon the fortieth day, yet it was not till the day following that she came to the temple with her offering: for so runs the Jewish canon (w),

"a new mother does not bring her offering on the fortieth day for a male, nor on the eightieth day for a female, but after her sun is set: and she brings her offering on the morrow, which is the forty first for a male, and the eighty first for a female: and this is the day of which it is said, Leviticus 12:6 and "when the days of her purifying are fulfilled for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring", &c.

And this was the time when they, Joseph and Mary, brought him, the child Jesus, to Jerusalem, and to the temple there, to present him to the Lord, to the priest his representative; and which was done in the eastern gate, called the gate of Nicanor: (x) for here,

"they made women, suspected of adultery, to drink, and purified new mothers, and cleansed the lepers.

And here Mary appeared with her firstborn son, the true Messiah; and this was the first time of his coming into his temple, as was foretold, Malachi 3:1.

(w) Maimon. Hilch Mechosre Cappara, c. 1. sect. 5. (x) Misn. Sota, c. 1. sect. 5.

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