on Luke 2 :25
And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem - This man is distinguished because of his singular piety. There can be no doubt that there were many persons in Jerusalem named Simeon, besides this man; but there was none of the name who merited the attention of God so much as he in the text. Such persevering exemplary piety was very rare, and therefore the inspired penman ushers in the account with behold! Several learned men are of the opinion that he was son to the famous Hillel, one of the most celebrated doctors and philosophers which had ever appeared in the Jewish nation since the time of Moses. Simeon is supposed also to have been the Ab or president of the grand Sanhedrin.
The same man was just - He steadily regulated all his conduct by the law of his God: and devout - he had fully consecrated himself to God, so that he added a pious heart to a righteous conduct. The original word ευλαβης, signifies also a person of good report - one well received among the people, or one cautious and circumspect in matters of religion; from ευ, well, and λαμβανω, I:take: it properly denotes, one who takes any thing that is held out to him, well and carefully. He so professed and practised the religion of his fathers that he gave no cause for a friend to mourn on his account, or an enemy to triumph.
Several excellent MSS. read ευσεβης, pious or godly, from ευ, well, and σεβομαι, I worship; one who worships God well, i.e. in spirit and in truth.
Waiting for the consolation of Israel - That is, the Messiah, who was known among the pious Jews by this character: he was to be the consolation of Israel, because he was to be its redemption. This consolation of Israel was so universally expected that the Jews swore by it: So let me see the Consolation, if such a thing be not so, or so. See the forms in Lightfoot.
The Holy Ghost was upon him - He was a man divinely inspired, overshadowed, and protected by the power and influence of the Most High.
on Luke 2 :25
Whose name was Simeon - Some have supposed that this Simeon was a son of the famous "Hillel," a distinguished teacher in Jerusalem, and president of the Sanhedrin; but nothing is certainly known of him but what is here related. He was an aged man, of distinguished piety and reputation, and was anxiously expecting the coming of the Messiah. Such an "old age" is especially honorable. No spectacle is more sublime than an old man of piety and high character looking for the appearing of the Lord, and patiently waiting for the time to come when he may be blessed with the sight of his Redeemer.
Just - Righteous before God and man; approved by God as a righteous man, and discharging faithfully his duty to man.
Devout - This word means "a religious man," or a "pious" man. The original expresses the idea of "good reputation, well received," or of high standing among the people.
Waiting for the consolation of Israel - That is, waiting for the "Messiah," who is called "the consolation of Israel" because he would give comfort to them by his appearing. This term was often applied to the Messiah before he actually appeared. It was common to swear, also, by "the consolation of Israel" - that is, by the Messiah about to come. See Lightfoot on this place.
The Holy Ghost ... - He was a holy man, and was "divinely inspired" respecting the Messiah about to appear.
on Luke 2 :25
2:25 The consolation of Israel - A common phrase for the Messiah, who was to be the everlasting consolation of the Israel of God. The Holy Ghost was upon him - That is, he was a prophet.