St. Symeon was one of the 72 Hebrew scholars that were sent to translate the Old Testament into Koine Greek (the Septuagint) at the request of Ptolemy II Philadelphus, King of Egypt, from b.c. 283 to 246. The Jewish Biblical scholar Philo, (b.c. 20 to a.d. 50), attests that this translation was made miraculously, as all of the scholars who did the translation were physically separated, but produced the exact translation word for word. When St. Symeon came to the verse of Isaiah 7:14 predicting that a “virgin” would conceive and bear a child, he was tempted to change this to a “maiden” to make this easier for the Egyptians to believe. He was corrected by an angel and then told he would live to see this prophecy fulfilled.
Time passed and St. Symeon did not die, and grew older and older waiting for the promise of this great miracle to be seen by his aged eyes. When the Lord Jesus Christ was brought into the Temple, this righteous man came by God’s inspiration to receive Him into his arms, and give thanks that he had seen the Messiah that Isaiah and all the Prophets looked for, saying in earnest, “Lord, now lettest Thy servant depart in peace…” (Luke 2:29).