And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
1. In going to these great feasts, families and neighbors would join together, and form a large collection.
2. It is not improbable that Jesus was "with" them when they were about to start from Jerusalem and were making preparations. Seeing him then, they might have been certain as to his presence.
3. A part of the company might have left before the others, and Joseph and Mary may have supposed that he was with them, until they overtook them at night and ascertained their mistake.
Kinsfolk - Relatives.See Poole on "Luke 2:44"
they turned back again to Jerusalem, that is, the next morning, for it can hardly be thought they would set out that night, after they had travelled all day, without taking some repose:And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Luke 2:45 f. Ζητοῦντες] present participle: “ubi res aliqua nondum quidem peragitur, sed tamen aut revera aut cogitatione instituitur paraturve,” Kühner, ad Xen. Anab. i. 3.16. Comp. Dissen, ad Pind. Ol. vii. 14, p. 81.
μεθʼ ἡμέρας τρεῖς] is reckoned, in most accordance with the text, from the point at which the search meant by ζητ. αὐτόν began, consequently from their return to Jerusalem, the day of this return being counted as the first, and that of the finding as the third. Comp. the designation of the time of Christ’s resurrection as “after three days.” Others explain it otherwise. “Grotius: Diem unum iter fecerant, altero remensi erant iter, tertio demum quaesitum inveniunt.” So also Paulus, Bleek, and others, following Euthymius Zigabenus.
ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ] We are to think of the synagogue, which “erat prope atrium in monte templi,” Gloss. Joma, f. 68, 2; Lightfoot in loc.; Deyling, Obss. III. ed. 2, p. 285 f.
καθεζόμενον] The Rabbinic assertion: “a diebus Mosis ad Rabban Gamalielem non didicerunt legem nisi stantes,” Megillah, f. 21,1 (Wagenseil, ad Sotah, p. 993), according to which Jesus would thus already appear as a teacher, is rightly rejected as unfounded in the N. T., by Vitringa, Synag. p. 167, and more recent expositors.
ἐν μέσῳ] has its reference to the seeking of the parents; Jesus was not hidden, but He sat there in the midst among the teachers. We may conceive of Him at the feet of a teaching Rabbi, sitting in their circle (comp. on Acts 22:3). In this there is nothing extraordinary to be discerned, since Jesus was already a “Song of Solomon of the law” (see on Luke 2:42). But to find here a sitting on an equality with the teachers (Strauss, comp. de Wette) is not in accordance with the text, since the report would not otherwise have limited the action of the child to the ἀκούειν and ἘΠΕΡΩΤ.
ἘΠΕΡΩΤ. ΑὐΤΟΎς] The Rabbinical instruction did not consist merely in teaching and interrogating the disciples, but these latter themselves also asked questions and received answers. See Lightfoot, p. 742 ff.; Wetstein in loc. The questioning here is that of the pure and holy desire for knowledge, not that of a guest mingling in the conversation (in opposition to de Wette).
 Lange, II. 1, p. 130, invents the idea that “the genius of the new humanity soared above the heroes of the old decorum.”
 So also older dogmatic writers. “Ceu doctor doctorum,” says Calovius, who specifies the fourfold aim: ob gloriae templi posterioris illustrationem, Haggai 2:10; ob adventus sui manifestationem; ob sapientiae divinae demonstrationem; ob doctorum informationem.—Into what apocryphal forms the conversation of Jesus with the doctors might be fashioned, may be seen in the Evang. infant. 50 ff. Even by Chemnitz He is said to have discoursed already “de persona et officiis Messiae, de discrimine legis et evangelii,” etc.Luke 2:45. ἀναζητοῦντες: the present participle, expressing the purpose of the journey back to Jerusalem, where (not on the road) the search took place (cf. Acts 11:25). The ἀνά here (as in ἀνεζήτουν, Luke 2:44) implies careful, anxious search.
All the way as they went. Force of ἀνὰ, as above.
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