Monday, May 21, 2012

The Redemption of Israel

Luke 2:36-38 (ESV)
And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, [37] and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. [38] And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.

Sometimes all that strikes me is an “aside.” But these can be quite significant. I suppose one could go on about what it meant to be a prophetess, and what relationship this might have to the prophetesses of the New Testament after the resurrection of Christ. That could be interesting, and perhaps even more so the relation of that to pastor? I suppose perhaps the same relationship the office of prophet had to that of Priest. At times priests were prophets, but not all prophets were priests… But all priests were male, even if a few non priestly prophets were women.
But no, I’m hung up on her age. 84. I’m guessing this wasn’t common, but not unheard of either. If you survived your youth, you lived a long time. It is interesting, because Luke has all the qualities of information given by Mary. There is information given here that is doubtful anyone but Mary could have known. Some would think Luke made this stuff up, perhaps, because it would have been written too late for Mary. But Mary would have only been in her late Forties to Fifties when Christ died. Even if Luke wrote 30 years after perhaps even 40 years, right up to 70 A.D. though I think it likely was written long before that, it would have been very possible, even probable that Mary would still be around.
Anna speaks of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Israel. Why? Because Jesus is that redemption.

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