Luke 2:37

37 Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer.

Luke 2:37 Meaning and Commentary

Luke 2:37

And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years
Which is not the date of her whole age, as some have thought, but of her widowhood state, as distinct from her marriage state, and the time of her virginity. And this sense all the versions favour.

Which departed not from the temple
that is, she was constant in her devotion there, at the time of divine service, whether by night or day; not that she was in it, for she had been out of it now; otherwise it could not with propriety be said of her, that

she coming in that instant,
as in the next verse; but that she always was there when there was any worship performed, in which women might be concerned, and which is pointed out in the next clause:

but served God with fastings and prayers, night and day:
she attended to the usual fasts of twice a week, and to such as were enjoined the whole congregation, and to the several set times of prayer, and to every act of devotion, private or public, by night or day. In ( Exodus 38:8 ) we read of women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: both the Targums of Onkelos and Ben Uzziel render it, "who came to pray"; and the Septuagint version, "that fasted": Anna did both.

Luke 2:37 In-Context

35 As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”
36 Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years.
37 Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer.
38 She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.
39 When Jesus’ parents had fulfilled all the requirements of the law of the Lord, they returned home to Nazareth in Galilee.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or She had been a widow for eighty-four years.