But when the Pharisees saw [it], they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.
Note 1 at Mt 12:2: No Old Testament law expressly forbids plucking grain and eating it on the Sabbath day. The Pharisees had written their own interpretations of the Mosaic Law and held them to be equal in inspiration to Moses' writings. It was apparently these traditions that Jesus' disciples had violated. The Pharisees were probably interpreting the plucking of corn as being equal to harvesting and rubbing of the grains in their hands (Lu 6:1) as being equal to threshing.