On a sabbath (en sabbatwi). This is the second sabbath on which Jesus is noted by Luke. The first was Luke 4:31-41 . There was another in John 5:1-47 . There is Western and Syrian (Byzantine) evidence for a very curious reading here which calls this sabbath "secondfirst" (deuteroprwtwi). It is undoubtedly spurious, though Westcott and Hort print it in the margin. A possible explanation is that a scribe wrote "first" (prwtwi) on the margin because of the sabbath miracle in Luke 6:6-11 . Then another scribe recalled Luke 4:31 where a sabbath is mentioned and wrote "second" (deuterwi) also on the margin. Finally a third scribe combined the two in the word deuteroprwtwi that is not found elsewhere. If it were genuine, we should not know what it means. Plucked (etillon). Imperfect active. They were plucking as they went on through (diaporeuesqai). Whether wheat or barley, we do not know, not our "corn" (maize). Did eat (hsqion). Imperfect again. See on "Mt 12:1"; see on "Mr 2:23" for the separate acts in supposed violence of the sabbath laws. Rubbing them in their hands (pswconte tai cersin). Only in Luke and only here in the N.T. This was one of the chief offences. "According to Rabbinical notions, it was reaping, threshing, winnowing, and preparing food all at once" (Plummer). These Pharisees were straining out gnats and swallowing camels! This verb pswcw is a late one for psaw, to rub.