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The Testimony of Anna

36 There was also a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old,[a] having been married to her husband for seven years until his death. 37 She had lived as a widow since then for eighty-four years.[b] She never left the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.[c] 38 At that moment,[d] she came up to them[e] and began to give thanks to God and to speak[f] about the child[g] to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.[h]

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  1. Luke 2:36 tn Her age is emphasized by the Greek phrase here, “she was very old in her many days.”
  2. Luke 2:37 tn Grk “living with her husband for seven years from her virginity and she was a widow for eighty four years.” The chronology of the eighty-four years is unclear, since the final phrase could mean “she was widowed until the age of eighty-four” (so BDAG 423 s.v. ἕως 1.b.α). However, the more natural way to take the syntax is as a reference to the length of her widowhood, the subject of the clause, in which case Anna was about 105 years old (so D. L. Bock, Luke [BECNT], 1:251-52; I. H. Marshall, Luke, [NIGTC], 123-24).
  3. Luke 2:37 sn The statements about Anna worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day make her extreme piety clear.
  4. Luke 2:38 tn Grk “at that very hour.”
  5. Luke 2:38 tn Grk “And coming up.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. The participle ἐπιστᾶσα (epistasa) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
  6. Luke 2:38 tn The imperfect ἐλάλει (elalei) here looks at a process of declaration, not a single moment. She clearly was led by God to address men and women about the hope Jesus was. The testimony of Luke 1–2 to Jesus has involved all types of people.
  7. Luke 2:38 tn Grk “him”; the referent (the child) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  8. Luke 2:38 tc A few mss (5 16 348 1071 1216) read ᾿Ισραήλ (Israēl, “Israel”) or ἐν τῷ ᾿Ισραήλ (en tō Israēl, “in Israel”), but this reading does not have enough ms support to be considered authentic. More substantial is the reading ἐν ᾿Ιερουσαλήμ (en Ierousalēm, “in Jerusalem”; found in A D L Θ Ψ 0130 ƒ13 33 M), though the preposition was almost surely added to clarify (and perhaps alter) the meaning of the original. The simple ᾿Ιερουσαλήμ, without preposition, is found in א B W Ξ 1 565* lat co.