Anna the Prophetess

Anna the Prophetess - Luke 2:36-40

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Anna the Prophetess
LUKE CHAPTER 2 COMMENTARY

Luke 2:36-40 Anna the Prophetess

LUKE 2:36  36 And there was Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very advanced in years, having lived with a husband seven years from her virginity.

At what age did Anna the prophetess become a widow?
Girls typically married in their early teens in her days. Had Anna married at 15, she would have become a widow at 22 after living “with a husband seven years from her virginity.”

LUKE 2:37  37 And this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.

How long had Anna the prophetess spent as a widow?
about 84 years - about 22 years = about 62 years

What had Anna been doing for all those years?
Most women who become widows in their early 20s focus on finding another man to marry. Anna had instead “served God” (Luke 2:37) for over 60 years.

What is meant by “did not depart from the temple” (Luke 2:37)?
It could mean that Anna was at the temple daily from when it opened to when it closed. But it is also possible that Anna had been recognized as a prophetess and been given a room in the temple quarters, as Huldah, a prophetess who lived when Josiah was king of Judah, was given (see 2 Chronicles 34:22). If so, then Anna literally “did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.” (Luke 2:37)

LUKE 2:38  38 And coming up at that moment, she gave thanks to the Lord and spoke about Him to all those looking for redemption in Jerusalem.

At what “moment” (Luke 2:38) did Anna come up to them?
Just as Simeon finished speaking

What did Anna do upon her arrival?
“She gave thanks to” God the Father “and spoke about” Jesus “to all those looking for redemption in Jerusalem.” (Luke 2:38)

What did she tell them?
Most probably that Jesus is the One they are “looking for” (Luke 2:38)

Who else should have welcomed Jesus at the temple in Jerusalem?
All of the priests, including the high priest, and the entire Sanhedrin.

LUKE 2:39-40  39 So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town, Nazareth. 40 And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon Him.

Did they return to Galilee directly from the temple in Jerusalem?
They returned to and spent some time living in Bethlehem, where they were visited by the wise men who had followed the star of Bethlehem and brought gold, frankincense and myrrh. They then escaped to Egypt just before King Herod committed the slaughter of the innocents, and then returned to Israel and chose to settle in Galilee after learning that Archelaus was ruling in Judea.

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