2 Maccabees 5:19
17 Antiochus was elated in spirit, and did not perceive that the Lord was angered for a little while because of the sins of those who lived in the city, and that this was the reason he was disregarding the holy place. 18 But if it had not happened that they were involved in many sins, this man would have been flogged and turned back from his rash act as soon as he came forward, just as Heliodorus had been, whom King Seleucus sent to inspect the treasury. 19 But the Lord did not choose the nation for the sake of the holy place, but the place for the sake of the nation. 20 Therefore the place itself shared in the misfortunes that befell the nation and afterward participated in its benefits; and what was forsaken in the wrath of the Almighty was restored again in all its glory when the great Lord became reconciled.
23 Jesus was going through the grain fields on a Sabbath, and his disciples began to pick some heads of wheat as they made their way. 24 So the Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is against the law on the Sabbath?” 25 He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry— 26 how he entered the house of God when Abiathar was high priest and ate the sacred bread, which is against the law for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to his companions?” 27 Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for people, not people for the Sabbath. 28 For this reason the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”
Notes and References
"... Other, more distant parallels to this terse antithetical axiom in the Mekilta can be found in Jewish, Christian, and pagan literature around the turn of the era, but without mention of the sabbath. For example, a chronologically earlier Jewish parallel (early 2d century a.d.) can be found in the Apocalypse of Baruch 14:18: “Man was not created for the world, but the world for man.” Here it is the theme of creation that brings this saying into close proximity to Mark 2:27, though the context in the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch goes on to point out that the principle it has just enunciated is now being contradicted by the perduring existence of the world while “we” (i.e., the Jews) are perishing. Similarity in form though not necessarily in content can be found in the still earlier statement of 2 Maccabees 5:19: “But the Lord did not choose the people because of the Place [i.e., the Jerusalem temple], but the Place because of the people” ..."
Meier, John P. A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus (p. 332) Doubleday, 2009
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