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Gospel of Luke

Gospel of Luke

Simeon and Anna

Figure Analysis

These two old timers are always loitering around the precinct of the temple at Jerusalem, and they are described in similar terms:

  • Simeon is "waiting for the consolation of Israel" (2:25), and Anna addresses herself to "all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem" (2:38).
  • Simeon is guided by the Holy Spirit (2:25, 27), and Anna is called a "prophetess" (2:36). 
  • Simeon is "just and devout" (2:25 KJV), and Anna devotes herself night and day to fasting and prayer in the temple (2:37).

Like many of the best characters, Simeon and Anna are most interesting for what they say about the main squeeze of the story—in this case, Jesus. When Mary and Joseph bring the newborn baby Jesus to Jerusalem to perform the necessary rites prescribed by Torah, there these two are, ready and waiting to foretell his remarkable future.

We only get Simeon's testimony in detail, but it's a big one. After all, it's the first time Luke foreshadows all the crazy conflict and opposition that will come during the course of the story. Check out 2:34-35 to see what we're talking about.