St. Luke the Evangelist says that when his parents brought his according to the custom of the law, the just and devout Simeon the elder took him in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation which you prepared before the face of all people, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the Glory of your people, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the Glory of your people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32)
Simeon, the priest, was a righteous man, and was one of the 70 (seventy two) elders who translated the Old Testament from Hebrew to Greek. This was in the time of Ptolemy in the year 284 B.C., who was by the will of God to Jerusalem. He brought 70 men from among the learned Jewish teachers and scholars and commanded them to translate the Old Testament from Hebrew to Greek.
He put every two of them in an isolated place, and he set a men over them to watch them, and to see that they did not met each other, or make an agreement about what they were going to write, or change one word of the law, for it is very well known that the Jews are wicked men. So they would not agree on one translation, and to ensure a correct text after comparing all of the translations. Simeon the elder was one of them. When Simeon the elder was translating the verse from Isaiah 7:14 “behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call his name Immanuel,” he was afraid to translate that “a virgin shall conceive,” because the king would will laugh at him, and will not accept his word. He wanted to translate the virgin as a “young lady.”
And then he had doubts within himself, and said, “This is impossible- for a virgin to conceive and to bring forth a son”, and whilst he was thinking upon the matter slumber overcome him and he fell asleep. And the angel of God appeared unto him, and said unto him “O thou who doubtest this thing, thou shalt not taste death until thou hast seen the Christ, who shall be born of a virgin, and hast carried him into the sanctuary,” as it might be this day. And the eyes of Simeon were blind. And when he received our lord Christ into his hands, his eyes were opened, and he saw straightway. And the Holy Sprite spoke unto him, saying, “This is the child that you have been waiting for.”
He blessed God and said, “You are letting your servant depart in peace according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles and the Glory of your people Israel.” (Luke 2:28-32)
And then he said unto his mother Mary, “this thy son is set for the falling and the rising of many of the children Israel,” that is to say, “For the falling of those who do not believe in him, and for the rising of those who do believe in him.” And then he made known unto her that suffering and separation would enter her heart at the time of His passion, and he said, “The spear of separation which shall be in thy heart shall pass through it.” And when he had finished what the Law had commanded him, he died in peace.
The prayers of this righteous man be with us, and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.