Anna the Prophetess

Anna the Prophetess Bible study

Anna the Prophetess
Luke 2:25-35 Simeon

Luke 2:36-40 Anna the Prophetess

Luke 2:41-45 Jesus’ Parents
LUKE 2:36  36 And there was Anna, a prophetess, daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with a husband seven years from her virginity.

Who was “Anna” (Luke 2:36)?
Anna was a “prophetess” (Luke 2:36) - i.e., a female prophet - who had been a widow for so long that she is identified by her father “Phanuel” (Luke 2:36), who presumably outlived her husband.

At what age did Anna the prophetess become a widow?
Girls typically married in their teens in her days. Had Anna married at fifteen, she would have become a widow at twenty-two after living “with a husband seven years from her virginity” (Luke 2:36).

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

How long had Anna the prophetess lived 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 leave 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, had been given (see 2 Chronicles 34:22). If so, then Anna literally “did not leave 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).

When the news spread of what Simeon and Anna had said, 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 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?
Joseph, Mary and Jesus 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 settled in Galilee after learning that Archelaus was ruling in Judea.