Let's take a look at this chapter in its entirety first to see what we can observe from it alone within the context of the book of Mark, and then we will double back and provide elaboration and corroboration.

The observation stage is to teach an individual to focus on the text at hand which, by and large, has all the information necessary to understand what it is saying without going on unnecessary tangents elsewhere.

Remember that something elsewhere may be true, but in the text at hand it may not be in view.

XII) [Mk 2:23-26]:

(Mk 2:23 NKJV) "Now it happened that He went through the grainfields on the Sabbath; and as they went His disciples began to pluck the heads of grain.

(Mk 2:24 NKJV) And the Pharisees said to Him, 'Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?'

(Mk 2:25 NKJV) But He said to them, 'Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him:

(Mk 2:26 NKJV) how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?'

(Mk 2:26 Greek) "pOs eisElthen..eis ..ton oikon tou theou .epi abiathar .tou archiereOs

.............................."how he entered into the house of ..God ..Abiathar the high priest,

kai .tous artous tEs .....prtheseOs ....ephagen hous ..ouk exestin ......phagein

and the ..loaves of the .presentation ate, ........which .not .it is lawful .to eat

ei mE tois hiereusin, ..kai edOken kai ....tois ...sun autO ousin"

if not .for the priests, .and gave .....even to the with him ..being?"

(Mk 2:27 NKJV) And He said to them, 'The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

(Mk 2:28 NKJV) Therefore the Son of Man is also LORD of the Sabbath."

[BKC, p. 114]:

"2:23-24. While walking on a footpath through someone's grainfields one Sabbath, Jesus' disciples... began picking some heads of grain to eat. This was legitimate (Deut. 23:25), but the Pharisees viewed it a reaping, an act forbidden on the Sabbath (cf. Ex 34:21), so they demanded an explanation from Jesus."

[Note that the disciples' picking and eating some heads of grain could hardly be contstrued as reaping]

"2:25-26. In response Jesus appealed to Scripture and a precedent set by David and his companions when they were hungry and in need (1 Sam 21:1-6). The words 'his companions' and 'in need' are key elements in this incident. David entered the tabernacle court, requested the consecrated bread (cf. Lev 24:5-9) which was restricted by Mosaic legislation to the priests (cf Lev 24:9) and gave some to his men. Jesus used this action which God did not condemn, to show that the Pharisees' narrow interpretation of the Law blurred God's intention. The spirit of the Law in respect to human need took priority over its ceremonial regulations.

Mark stated that David's action occurred in the days of Abiathar the high priest, but the high priest was actually Ahimelech, his father (1 Sam 21:1). A plausible explanation is to render the introductory phrase: 'in the passage about Abiathar, the high priest' (cf. parallel phrase in Mark 12:26). This was a customary Jewish way of indicating the section of the Old Testament where a desired incident could be found. Abiathar became high priest shortly after Ahimelech and proved more prominent than he, thus justifying the use of his name here."

So the Greek preposition "epi" which can literally mean, "on, upon, at, by, before, over, against, across" is used here in Mk 2:26 and below in Mk 12:26 in a grammatical construction which qualifies an event or a thing. In the case of the two examples given, it qualifies a time in history and a location in Scripture respectively. So there is no discrepancy in Mk 2:26.

1) [Compare Mk 12:26]:

(Mk 12:26 N KJV) "But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage how God spoke to him, saying, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob' "

(Mk 12:26 Greek) "peri .tOn nekrOn hoti egeirontai ouk anegnOte

................................"Concerning but the .dead, ....that they rise, .not .have you read

en tE biblO MOseOs epi tEs batou, hOs eipen ..autO ho theos legOn ..EgO

in the book of Moses on .the .bush, .how spoke .to him God, ....saying, I

ho .theos Abraam ......kai ..ho ..theos Isaak .....kai ho ..theos IakOb?"

the God .of Abraham .and .the God ...of Isaac and the .God ..of Jacob?"

2) [Compare Mt 12:1-8]:

3) [Compare Lk 6:1-5]:

4) [Compare 1 Sam 21:1-6]:

(1 Sam 21:1 NKJV) "Now David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech was afraid when he met David, and said to him, 'Why are you alone, and no one is with you?'

(1 Sam 21:2 NKJV) So David said to Ahimelech the priest, 'The king has ordered me on some business, and said to me, Do not let anyone know anything about the business on which I send you, or what I have commanded you. And I have directed my young men to such and such a place.

(1 Sam 21:3 NKJV) Now therefore, what have you on hand? Give me five loaves of bread in my hand, or whatever can be found.'

(1 Sam 21:4 NKJV) and the priest answered David and said, 'There is no common bread on hand; but there is holy bread, if the young men have at least kept themselves from women.'

(1 Sam 21:5 NKJV) Then David answered the priest, and said to him, Truly, women have been kept from us about three days since I came out. And the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in effect common, even though it was consecrated in the vessel this day.'

(1 Sam 21:6 NKJV) So the priest gave him holy bread; for there was no bread there but the showbread which had been taken from before the Lord, in order to put hot bread in its place on the day when it was taken away."