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a Heb. ii. 3.
1 Pet. v. 1.
1 John i.l. b Mark i. 1.
and mit which nong us. ,
of the the beon as theva
* Hele 11:31 surely believed among us, 2 & even as they delivered them i Felni: unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, John xv. 27. and ministers of the word; 3 it seemed good to me also,
having bhad perfect understanding of all things from the c Acts i. 1. very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent d John 1x. 31. Theophilus, 4 d that thou mightest know the certainty of
those e things, wherein thou d hast been instructed. e Matt. ii. 1. 5 There was e in the days of Herod, the king of Judæa, b render, traced down.
e render, sayings. d render, wast. word means fulfilled. But the A. V. has having traced down] by research, the more likely rendering. Meyer would and so become accurately acquainted with. render it, which have found their com.
from the very first-i. e. as in pletion among us,' i. e. 'us of the apostolic ver. 5;—as distinguished from those who times ;' meaning «Theophilus and him. only wrote of the official life of the Lord, self,' &c. among us, i. e. us Chris- or only fragments perhaps of that. tians, you and me, and all members of the in order] i. e. consecutively. By this Church of Christ-so also the unto us word we must not understand St. Luke to in ver. 2. 2.] The Apostles, &c., deli. lay claim to any especially chronological vered these matters orally to the Churches accuracy in writing ; - which indeed is not in their teaching (see below on ver. 4), and found in his Gospel. He traced the events others drew up accounts from that cate- in order as they happened: but he may chetical instruction. It appears from this, have arranged them as other considerathat St. Luke was not aware of any tions led him. most excellent Theonarration drawn up by an eye-witness or philus] It is wholly unknown who this minister of the word. Their account of person was. The name was a very comthese matters was a tradition, from which mon one. The conjectures about him are the narrations were drawn up. He can. endless, and entirely without value. It not therefore have seen (or, having seen, appears by the title given him, that he not recognized as such, which is highly was a person of dignity, and of course, improbable) the Gospel of St. Matthew. from ver. 4, he was a convert to Chris. Compare 1 John i. 1-3.
tianity. The idea of the name being beginning] Not, from the very begin not a proper, but a feigned one, designing,' i. e. the birth of the Lord, &c., but nating those who loved God’ (found as from the official beginning : see Acts i. early as Epiphanius, and adopted again 21 f. It differs from from the very first recently), is far-fetched and improbable. below. eyewitnesses most probably
4. instructed] Theophilus had then stands alone: but it may well be taken been orally instructed in the narratives with of the word (see below). minis which form the subject of this Gospel : ters, i. e. ministering servants—but in and St. Luke's intention in writing it is, connexion with from the beginning. that he might have a more accurate knowof the word-not, the personal word' ledge of these histories. The word means (i. e. Christ : so Orig., Athanasius, Cyril, literally, catechized, 'catechetically taught.' Èuthym.) which would be altogether alien
those sayings] not, as in A. V., to from St. Luke's usage (see on Heb. iv. 12): be rendered 'things:' neither the Greek but, the word,- the word preached :— nor the corresponding Hebrew word ever we have the expression “ the ministry (but has this meaning, as is commonly but there diaconia) of the word” in Acts erroneously supposed. In all the comvi. 4. 3. it seemed good to me also) monly-cited examples of this, 'things exSt. Luke by this classes himself with these pressed in words' are meant: here the many, and shews that he intended no dis- histories,-accounts. paragement nor blame to them, and was 5-25.] ANNOUNCEMENT BY GABRIEL going to construct his own history from OF THE BIRTH OF John. Peculiar to similar sources. The words which follow Luke. The style in the original now imply however a conscious superiority of totally alters and becomes Hebraistic, sig. his own qualification for the work. There nifying that the following is translated or is here no expressed claim to inspiration, compiled from an Aramaic oral narration, but at the same time no disclaimer of it. or perhaps (froin the very distinct charac
Ixiv. 10, 19. Neh. xii. 4,
8 Gen. vii, 1:
1 Kings ix. 4.
3. Job i. l. Acts xxiii. 1
a certain priest named Zacharias, ' of the course of Abia : 11 Chron. za and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name !
was Elisabeth. 6 And they were both & righteous before vidi. ." God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances Kings 11. of the Lord blameless. 7 And they had no child, because Alis. 18." that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were [e now] f well stricken in years. 8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God 'h in the order of his bi Chron. course, 9 according to the custom of the priest's office, his lorem vii. lot was i to burn incense when he went into the temple of i Exod. 111. ?, the Lord. 10 k And the whole multitude of the people will were praying without at the time of incense. 11 And 12.11; there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on Rev. viii. s, the right side of 'the altar of incense. 12 And when I Exod. III. 1. Zacharias saw him, m he was troubled, and fear fell upon m Judg: vi, 22 : him. 13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Za-cheier charias : for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth Rev. 1. 17. shall bear thee a son, and n thou shalt call his name John, n ver. 60, 63.
8. 1 Sam. ii.
xiii. 92. Dan.
e omit : not in the original.
ter of these two first chapters) document. holies on the great day of Atonement,
5. of the course of Abia (Abijah)] Levit. xvi. But this is manifestly an This was the eighth of the four-and-twenty error: for it would necessitate Zacharias courses of the priests (see ref. 1 Chron.). having been high priest, wbich he never These courses kept their names and order, was; and in this case there would have though not their descent, after the cap. been no casting of lots.
11.] the tivity. The courses were of a week's altar of incense, Exod. xxx. 1, must not duration each. Elisabeth] This is be confounded with the large altar of the Septuagint rendering, Exod. vi. 23, of burnt-offering : that stood outside the holy Elisheba, the wife of Aaron : signifying, place, in the court of the priests. It was God (is my) oath: i. e. a swearer by, during the sacrifice on the great altar that worshipper of, God. John was thus of the daily burning of the incense took place : priestly descent by both parents. 9.] one of the two priests, whose lot it was This was the most honourable office which to offer incense, brought fire from off the was allotted among the priests each day, altar of burnt-offering to the altar of and the same person could not serve it incense, and then left the other priest more than once. the temple) the there alone,—who, on a signal from the holy place: see Heb. ix. 1-6, and Exod. priest presiding at the sacrifice, kindled xxx. 7. An account of John Hyrcanus the incense: see Exod. xl. 5, 26. the high priest having a vision at the time This is no vision, but an actual angelic of offering incense is given in Josephus : appearance. The right is the favourable see the extract in my Greek Testament. side : see Matt. xxv. 33. “We must unThere also we are told that the people were derstand the right as regarded the officioutside in the courts of the men and ating priest, who stood with his face to the women):--their prayers were offered while altar. It would thus be on the N. side the incense was burnt, as the smoke was of the holy place, where the table of shewsymbolical of the ascent of prayer, Rev. bread stood, whereas on the S. side was viii. 3, 4. It appears, from the allot- the golden candlestick,” Bleek. 13.] ment having been just mentioned, to have He had then prayed for a son—but, as been the morning incense-burning. Theo- appears below, long since--for he now had phylact and others understand the whole ceased to look for an answer to his prayer. as describing the entry into the Holy of Many Commentators have thought his
o ver. 58.
Gal. i. 15.
ix. 21-23. Matt. xviii,
o ver. 68. 14 And 8 thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall
rejoice at his birth. 15 For he shall be great in the sight p Num. vi, S.of the Lord, and P shall drink neither wine nor strong
Judg. xiii, 4. a Serv. 33. drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, 9 even
ch. vii. 33.
Matt. xi. 14.
shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to
people prepared for the Lord. 18 And Zacharias said unto * Gen. xvii. 17. the angel, Whereby shall I know this ? for I am an old u Dan. viii. 16:
x 21-23. ** man, and my wife h well stricken in years. 19 And the 10. Heb. i. angel answering said unto him, I am u Gabriel, that stand 8 better, he shall be to thee.
h see on ver. 7. prayer was for the salvation of Israel by i.e. “the Lord their God,” manifest in the the appearance of the Messiah : but the flesh. De ette denies this interpretaformer view appears more probable.
tion, as contrary to all analogy: and yet John-i. e. God is favourable : we have himself explains the expression by saying it under the form of Johanan, 2 Kings that what the Messiah" does, is in Scripxxv. 23; 1 Chron. iii. 24; 2 Chron. xxviii. ture ascribed to God as its doer (similarly 12. 14.] The words of the original Meyer). But why? because Messiah is here may be rendered two ways-either GOD WITH US. This expression is besides there shall be to thee, i. e. thou shalt used (see Zech. xiv. 5) in places where the have, as A. V.: or, he shall be to thee, undoubted and sole reference is to the ... joy and gladness. 15. in the Messiah. in the spirit and power] sight of the Lord] signifying the spiritual As a type, a partial fulfilment, of the pernature of his office and influence. The sonal coming of Elias in the latter days priests were similarly prohibited to drink (see note on Matt. xi. 13, 14). Bleek strong drink ; and the Nazarites even remarks that it was not in the wondermore rigidly. strong drink] the word working agency of Elias that John was is sikera_any strong liquor not made like him, for John did no miracle,”—but from grapes. Wiclif renders, he in the power of his uttered persuasion. schal not drynke wyne ne sidir. he to turn ....] The first member only shall be filled with the Holy Ghost is a of the sentence corresponds with Malachi. contrast to, and a reason for, the not The angel gives the exposition of the drinking wine nor strong drink : compare second member, - which stands in the Eph. v. 18. Olshausen and Meyer LXX, “and the heart of a man towards think that (comparing ver. 44) the mean- his neighbour" (in A. V. "and the heart ing is, the Holy Spirit should in some of the children to their fathers "):- for wonderful manner act on the child even of course that must be understood in the before his birth. But this is not necessary, better sense, of the good prevailing, and
- nay, would it not rather be in this case the bad becoming like them. 18.] “in his mother's womb....?” The The birth of John, involving human genefrom seems to fix the prior limit of the in- ration, but prophetically announced, and dwelling of the Spirit, at his birth. supernatural, answers to the birth of
16.] The work of John was Isaac in the 0. T. But Abraham's faith one of preparation and turning men's was a strong contrast to the unbelief of hearts towards God. For full notes on Zacharias : see Rom. iv. 19. an old his office, see on Matt. xi. It may man] The Levites (see Num. iv. 3 ; viji. suffice here to repeat, that it was a con. 24, 25) became superannuated at the age centration of the spirit of the law, whose of fifty: but it appears, by extracts from office it was to convince of sin: and the Rabbinical writings given by Lightthat he eminently represented the law and foot, that this was not the case with the the prophets in their work of preparing the priests. 19. Gabriel] meaning, Man of way for Christ. 17.] before him- God: see Dan. viii. 16; ix. 21, also Tobit
1 Chron. ix.
* Gen. XXI. 23.
Isa. iv. l. liv. 1, 4.
in the presence of God; and i am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. 20 And, behold,
thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day v Ezek. lii. 26: that these things shall be performed, because thou k believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. 21 And the people I waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple. 22 And when he came out, he could not speak unto them : and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple : m for hen beckoned unto them, and remained speechless. 23 And it came to pass, that, as soon as "the days of his w see? Kings ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own 2 house. 24 And after 0 those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, 25 Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to s take away my reproach among men. 26 And in 1842. iv.1: i render, was.
render, believedst. 1 render, were waiting.
m render, and. n render, was beckoning.
O render, these. xii. 15. The names of the angels, say presentative of the people. 22.] They the Rabbis, came up with Israel from knew, by some excitement, visible in his Babylon. We first read of both Michael manner. It was not his office to pronounce and Gabriel in the book of Daniel. But the benediction, but that of the other inwe are not therefore to suppose that they censing priest; so that his ‘not being able were borrowed from any heathen system, to speak,' must mean, in answer to the as Strauss and the rationalists have done; enquiries which his unusual appearance the fact being, that the persons and order prompted. This answer he gave by a of the angels were known long before, and sign : and the question was also by signs; their names formed matter of subsequent for (see ver. 62) he was deaf, as well as revelation to Daniel. See Josh. v. 13-16. dumb, which indeed is the strict meaning
that stand in the presence of God] of the word used in the original. 23. one of the chief angels near the throne of as soon as ....] The week during which God. They are called seven in Tobit, as his course was on duty. Mr. Greswell, by above. 20.] We must not consider much elaborate calculation, has made it this dumbness solely as a punishment; it probable, but only as one out of several was also a sign, as Zacharias had required. alternatives, that this week was Tisri It is impossible for us to say what the 18-25, i. e. September 20- October 6, of degree of unbelief in Zacharias was, and the sixth year before the Christian era. therefore we can be no judges as to his
A deaf and dumb person, we thus being deserving of the punishmerft (against see, was not precluded from some of the Strauss and the rationalists). and priestly ministrations. 24, 25.] hid not able to speak This is not a repe. herself-either, to avoid defilement : sce tition, but an explanation of the ground Judges xiii. 13, 14,- to hide her pregnancy and reason of his silence. until the day from her neighbours till it was certain and that these things shall be performed] apparent,-or, from the precaution which •What day? that of the birth and the the first months of pregnancy require. giving of the name,' Euthymius. 21.] Kuinoel suggests, that the reason may It was customary for the priest at the have been, that she might devote herself time of prayer not to remain long in the more uninterruptedly to exercises of deholy place, for fear the people who were votion and thankfulness, and that this is without inight imagine that any vengeance expressed by the words following my had been inflicted on him for some in. reproach] of barrenness : see reff. formality ;-as he was considered the re26–38.] ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE SAME
y Matt. i. 18.
ch. ii. 4,5.
b ver. 12.
the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto y Matt. 1:18. a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin Y espoused
to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David ;
and the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And the angel came z Dan. ir. 23: in unto her, and said, 2 Hail, thou that art highly favoured, a Judg. vi. 12. a the Lord is with thee[9: blessed art thou among women].
29 And [r when she saw him,] b she was troubled at his saying, and s cast in her mind what manner of salutation
this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Warril 2: Mary : for thou hast found favour with God. 31 c And,
behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth d ch. ii. 21. a son, and d shalt call his name Jesus. 32 He shall be e Mark v.7. great, e and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and 12 Sam. vii. 11, f the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father 11. Isa, ix. David : 33 & and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for Rev. ili.%" ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34 Then oli 1,27. said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I
· know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said h Matt. i 20. unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the 9 omitted by several of the ancient authorities
romit. 8 the word is 'rendered, mused, ch. v. 15; thought, oh. xii. 17; consider, John xi. 50.
6, 7: xvi. 5. Jer. xxiii, 5.
& Dan. ii. 44:
ANGEL OF THE BIRTI OF CHRIST.
Eph. i. 6 (“made us accepted” A.V.). It 26.] in the sixth month-referring to the corresponds to “thou hast found favour “five months" in ver. 24. Nazareth] with God,” ver. 30. 32. his father In this particular the information of our David] This announcement makes it almost Evangelist appears to be fuller than that of certain (still see note above) that Mary St. Matthew, who seems not to be aware of also was of the house of David. No astoany residence at Nazareth previous to the nishment is expressed by her at this part birth of our Lord : but see note on Matt. of the statement, and yet, from the nature ii. 22. 27.) of the house of David of her question, it is clear that she did not refers to Joseph in this place, who (see explain it by supposing Joseph' to be the Matt. i.) was of the direct lineage of David. destined father of her child. “See 2 Sam. That Mary was so, is nowhere expressed vii. 13: Ps. lxxxix. 3, 4: Isa. ix. 7: Jer. in the Gospels, but seems to be implied in xxxiii. 15. 34, 35.] This question ver. 32, and has been the general belief differs from that raised by Zacharias above. of Christians. The Son of David was to It is merely an enquiry after the manner be the fruit of his body (Ps. cxxxii. 11); in which so wonderful a thing should take which He would not be, unless His virgin place; not, how shall I know this ?-it mother was of the house of David. See takes for granted that it shall be, and only notes on the genealogy in ch. ii. Still, asks, How? The Holy Ghost-the we must remember the absolute oneness creative Spirit of God, of whom it is said, in the marriage relation, which might Gen. i. 2, that He “moved upon the face occasion that Mary herself should be of the waters.” But as the world was not reckoned as being in very deed that which created by the Holy Ghost, but by the her husband was. Perhaps this has been Son, so also the Lord was not begotten by hardly enough taken into account.
the Holy Ghost, but by the Father; and 28.7 highly favoured, not "full of grace,” that, before the worlds. “No more is as the Vulgate :--the above is the meaning here to be attributed to the Spirit, than of the original word in the only other what is necessary to cause the Virgin to place where it occurs in the N. T., viz. perform the actions of a mother. ...