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Verses 2-4

Matthew 12:2-4. The Pharisees said, Thy disciples do what is not lawful The law of Moses so expressly allowed the plucking ears of corn as one passed through a field, that, malignant as they were, they pretended not to find fault with the action itself, (see Deuteronomy 23:25,) but they were perverse enough to think this to be a kind of reaping and dressing the grain, which was indeed forbidden on the sabbath. But he said Have ye not read what, in a case of like necessity, David did, and his followers? and his necessity was a sufficient plea for his transgressing the law in a higher instance. How he entered into the house of God Into the tabernacle: the temple not being yet built. The meaning cannot be, that David himself went into the very tabernacle, for none but priests could go in thither: but it was into the house or chamber of the high-priest that he entered, situated beside the tabernacle, and called the house of God on that account. See note on 1 Samuel 21:3-6. Thus the apartment in which the High-priest Eli and his servant Samuel slept, is called the house of the Lord, 1 Samuel 3:15. And did eat the show-bread Gr. τους αρτους της προθεσεως , the bread of exhibition, or, the bread set forth. The Hebrew expression,

לחם פנים , is literally, the bread of the face, or, of the presence, so called, because it stood continually before the face, (so to speak,) of Jehovah; that is, before the ark, where God was peculiarly present. It consisted of twelve loaves, representing the twelve tribes of Israel, and was set every sabbath day, by the priest who served that week, on the golden table that was in the holy place of the tabernacle or temple. When the new loaves were brought, the stale ones were taken away, but were to be eaten by the priests only. See notes on Exodus 25:30; Leviticus 24:6-9.

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