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27 To a virgin espoused to a forth a son, and shalt call his man whose name was Joseph, of name JESUS. the house of David ; and the vir- 32 He shall be great, and gin's name was Mary.
shall be called the Son of the 28 And the angel came in Highest; and the Lord God unto her, and said, Hail, thou shall give unto him the throne that art highly favored; the Lord of his father David. is with thee: blessed art thou 33 And he shall reign over among women.
the house of Jacob forever; and 29 And when she saw him, of his kingdom there shall be she was troubled at his saying, no end. and cast in her mind what man- 34 Then said Mary unto the ner of salutation this should be. angel, How shall this be, seeing
30 And the angel said unto I know not a man? her, Fear not, Mary: for thou 35 And the angel answered hast found favor with God. and said unto her, The Holy
31 And behold, thou shalt con- Ghost shall come upon thee, and ceive in thy womb, and bring the power of the Highest shall
23. The Lord is with thee; or, the be perpetuated, and that the blessings Lord be with thee; that is, the Lord of the Messiah's reign would be combe favorable to thee. This was one municated to other nations, by their of the forms of salutation among the becoming attached to the Jewish naHebrews. Compare Judges 6: 12. tion and owning the sway of the Ruth 2: 4.
Messiah, the king of the Jews; so 31. Jesus. See on Matt. 1: 21. that, with them, the people of the Mes
32. Give unto him the throne of sial and the Jews were synonymous his father David. The son of Mary terms. But the Messiah's object was would be a lineal descendant of Da- a spiritual one, the deliverance of vid, and would be the king of the men from sin; and only those are in Jews, the long-expected Messiah. reality his people who are truly pious. See on Matt. 1: 1.
It is over his believing and redeemed 33. The house of Jacob. Jacob, or people, distinguished by the name Israel, was the father of the twelve house of Jacob, that he will rule forpatriarchs, the progenitors of the Jew- ever. ll Of his kingdom; of his reign, ish nation. Thus the whole nation his royal administration. || There might be designated as the house, or shall be no end. He will never cease family, of Jacob. Since the family to reign in the hearts of his people. of Jacob, or the Jewish nation, had While the world stands, and the work been set apart as the people of God, of redemption is going forward, he the two phrases house of Jacob and will rule as King and Lord of the new people of God came to be of the same disp ation; and when the work of signification; and even when the redemption is completed, and his of. people of God, strictly speaking, that fice, as the Mediator, shall cease, still is, the truly pious, were meant, the the great principles of his governphrase house of Jacob would naturally ment shall rule in the hearts of those be employed. In this verse, the true whom he shall have saved. Compare people of God, owning subjection to 1 Cor. 15 : 24. the Messiah, are meant, of whom the 35. The Holy Ghost — the power of house of Jacob was an emblem. The the Highest. These expressions are Jews supposed that their nation would here equivalent. Such repetitions of
overshadow thee: therefore also that the mother of my Lord that holy thing which shall be should come to me? born of thee shall be called the 44 For lo, as soon as the voice Son of God.
of thy salutation sounded in mine 36 And behold, thy cousin ears, the babe leaped in my Elisabeth, she hath also conceiv- womb for joy. ed a son in her old age; and this 45 And blessed is she that is the sixth month with her who believed: for there shall be a was called barren:
performance of those things 37 For with God nothing shall which were told her from the be impossible.
Lord. 38 And Mary said, Behold 46 And Mary said, My soul the handmaid of the Lord; be it doth magnify the Lord, unto me according to thy word. 47 And my spirit hath reAnd the angel departed from joiced in God my Saviour. her.
48 For he hath regarded the 39 And Mary arose in those low estate of his handmaiden: days, and went into the hills for behold, from henceforth all country with haste, into a city generations shall call me blessed. of Juda,
49 For he that is mighty hath 40 And entered into the house done to me great things; and of Zacharias, and saluted Elisa- holy is his name. beth.
50 And his mercy is on them 41 And it came to pass, that that fear him, from generation when Elisabeth heard the salu- to generation. tation of Mary, the babe leaped 51 He hath showed strength in her womb : and Elisabeth was with his arm; he hath scattered filled with the Holy Ghost. the proud in the imagination of
42 And she spake out with a their hearts. loud voice, and said, Blessed art 52 He hath put down the thou among women, and blessed mighty from their seats, and exis the fruit of thy womb. alted them of low degree.
43 And whence is this to me, 53 He hath filled the hungry the same thought by different forms fervent gratitude and the language of speech are frequent in the Bible.
of praise. 36. Thy cousin. The more general 51. He hath showed strength; he term relative would here be prefera- manifests his power, performs mighty ble; it would more exactly represent deeds. || The proud in the imaginile the original word.
tion of their hearts; those who in39. The hill country. There was dulge haughty thoughts and purposes, much hilly country in Judea, the in opposing the will of God. || He south part of Palestine. || A city of hath scattered ; he breaks up
their Juda. What particular city the pa- combinations, and defeats their purrents of John the Baptist lived in, is poses. unknown.
52. The mighty from their seats; 41. Filled with the Holy Ghost ; the more properly, rulers from their influence of the Holy Spirit. exciting / thrones.
with good things, and the rich 61 And they said unto her, he hath sent empty away.
There is none of thy kindred 54 He hath holpen his servant that is called by this name. Israel, in remembrance of his 62 And they made signs to his mercy;
father, how he would have him 55 As he spake to our fathers, called. to Abraham, and to his seed, for- 63 And he asked for a writ
ing-table, and wrote, saying, 56 And Mary abode with her His name is John. And they about three months, and returned marvelled all. to her own house.
64 And his mouth was open57 Now Elisabeth's full time ed immediately, and his tongue came that she should be deliv- loosed, and he spake, and praised ered ; and she brought forth a God.
65 And fear came on all that 58 And her neighbors and dwelt round about them : and her cousins heard how the Lord all these sayings were noised had showed great mercy upon abroad throughout all the hillher; and they rejoiced with her. country of Judea.
59 And it caine to pass, that 66 And all they that heard on the eighth day they came to them, laid them up in their hearts, circumcise the child; and they saying, What manner of child called him Zacharias, after the shall this be? And the hand of name of his father.
the Lord was with him. 60 And his mother answered 67 And his father Zacharias and said, Not so; but he shall was filled with the Holy Ghost, be called John.
and prophesied, saying, 55. As he spake, &c. Reference is were frequent in Jewish houses. made to the oft-repeated promises of || Saying. A. person may speak eiprotection and favor to the descend-ther by_audible expressions or by ants of Abraham.
signs. Zacharias was at that time The beautiful language of Mary in without the power of speech; but he vs. 46–55, celebrating the power of expressed his wishes by writing. God, and his condescension to the 64. His mouth was opened, fc. lowly, is in the true spirit of the He- Compare v. 20. brew poetry. It should be compared 65. Fear. More properly, amazewith the grateful acknowledgment of ment. Hannah in 1 Sam. 2: 1-10.
66. The hand of the Lord was with 58. Cousins ; relatives.
him ; the Lord was with him in a 59. The eighth day. See Gen. 17 : merciful manner. 12.
67. Filled with the Holy Ghost. 60. John. Compare v. 13.
See on v. 41. || Prophesied. The 62. They made signs to his father. word prophet is applied, in the ScripCompare v. 20.
tures, to persons who spoke, or acted, 63. He asked ; by signs, doubtless. under a divine influence, whether in || A writing-table ; a tablet, a small predicting future events, or in utterboard covered with a substance suit- ing the praises of God, or exhorting able for writing on. Such tablets to religious duty. The verb prophesy
68 Blessed be the Lord God 73 The oath which he sware of Israel; for he hath visited to our father Abraham, and redeemed his people,
74 That he would grant unto 69 And hath raised up a horn us, that we, being delivered out of salvation for us, in the house of the hand of our enemies, of his servant David :
might serve him without fear, 70 As he spake by the mouth 75 In holiness and righteousof his holy prophets, which have ness before him, all the days of been since the world began :
71 That we should be saved 76 And thou, child, shalt be from our enemies, and from the called the Prophet of the Highhand of all that hate us; est, for thou shalt go before the
72 To perform the mercy face of the Lord to prepare his promised to our fathers, and to ways; remember his holy covenant; 77 To give knowledge of salis used with the same extent of mean- as the Jews had been, with flocks and ing. The language of Zacharias on herds. The phrase horn of salvation, this occasion was mostly praise to or power of salvation, is equivalent to God for having now so signally com- the phrase powerful one, by whom deinenced the fulfilment of the promises liverance will be wrought, that is, powrespecting the Messiah. He also dis- erful, mighty deliverer, or saviour. || In tinctly mentioned the office which the the house, &c.; in the family of Dainfant would hereafter perform, as the vid. See Matt. 1: 1. herald of the Messiah.
70. Since the world began; from the 68. Visited ; visited with favor, earliest times. Predictions concernkindly regarded. || Redeemed ; deliv- ing the Messiah, the future Saviour, ered from a lowly and afflicted con- commenced immediately after the fall dition. The Jews had long been in of Adam, and continued during the subjection to other nations, and they time of God's employing prophets to deeply felt this as a state of political announce his messages to men. degradation, and as marring the glory 71. That we should be saved, &c. of their religion. They fondly an- The Jews were in subjection, and ticipated the times of the Messiah, as were regarded by other people with days of prosperity, both in their secu- unfriendly feelings. Such a state of lar and their spiritual affairs. Those things the pious among them would days such a man as Zacharias would consider as unfavorable to their rehail in view of the religious prosperi- ligious prosperity, and would regard ty which would then begin to bless deliverance from it as a most desirable the world. But as a Jew, even he event. would probably connect with this re- 72. Covenant ; promises, engageligious prosperity special temporal ments. good for his nation in its being ele. 73. To our father Abraham. Com. vated to power. Under a divine in- pare Gen. 12: 2, 3. 22: 18. fluence, he spoke of the desired deliv- 74. Compare vs. 68, 71. erance as actually commenced.
75. Holiness and righteousness ; pie69. A horn of salvation. In the ty towards God and integrity towards Scriptures, a horn is employed as an emblem of strength, or poroer. Com- 76. Prophet. See on v. 67. ll Bepare 1 Sam. 2: 10. Ps. 75: 10. 89: fore the face of the Lord ; probably, 17. See, too, Deut. 33: 17. Such a before the Lord Messiah. || To prepare use of the word horn was natural to his ways. Compare Matt. 3 : 3. people who were so much occupied, 77. Unto his people. The Jews
vation unto his people, by the
80 And the child grew,
and remission of their sins,
waxed strong in spirit, and was 78 Through the tender mer- in the deserts till the day of his cy of our God; whereby the showing unto Israel. day-spring from on high hath
CHAPTER II. 79 To give light to them that AND it came to pass in those
, of death, to guide our feet into decree from Cesar Augustus,that the way of peace.
all the world should be taxed. were the Lord's people, and to them Roman emperor at the time here spofirst was to be announced the salva- ken of. || All the world. This extion which the Messiah would effect. pression is to be understood in a
78. The day-spring from on high; a limited sense. The Romans were in celestial morning, the dawn of a heav- the habit of designating the Roman enly day. The coming of the Mes- empire by this extensive term. It siah was, as it were, the commencing was also used in a still more restricted of heaven on earth. At his coming, sense, as signifying the country init might well be said, that light bad habited by the Jews, that is, so to shone forth from heaven, that God speak, the Jewish world. The same had caused a celestial sun to arise word is used in this last sense in upon the earth. Compare Is. 9: 2. Acts 11: 28, where a famine is spo60: 1, 3.
ken of, which afterwards took place 79. The shadow of death. See on in Palestine. The Hebrew word sig. Matt. 4: 16. | The way of peace ; nifying earth is frequently used in the way of true happiness.
the Old Testament with reference to Zacharias anticipated the richest the land, the country of the Jews. blessings for the world in connection This manner of speaking would natwith the coming of the Messiah. urally lead to a similar use of the From the Messiah was to proceed word which Luke employed. It salvation; the Messiah was to be the may also be observed, that none of celestial sun, by whose benignant the civil historians of the time rerays light would be shed on man's ferred to by Luke make mention of a darkness, so as to guide him to ever- decree, on the subject here spoken lasting bliss. And has not the gospel of, affecting the whole empire. They of Jesus Christ proved itself to be a would hardly fail to speak of so exlight from heaven? Are we walking tensive a decree, had one been issued in this light?
in respect to the whole empire. But 80. Waxed strong in spirit. The a decree affecting only a distant and word spirit here has respect both to comparatively unimportant appendthe mind and the heart, to the intel. age of the empire, might well be lectual and to the moral qualities. passed over in silence by them. In As John advanced in age, he also the view of Luke, however, it was a gave evident proofs of a strong mind highly important item, as connected and a pious heart. || The deserts. with the birth of Christ. Il Should be See on the word wilderness in Matt. taxed; more properly, should be en3: 1. || The day of his showing unto rolled. A census was ordered, rather Israel; the time of his publicly coming than a levying of taxes for the Roforth as the forerunner of the Mes- man government. The country of siah.
the Jews was not, at the time spoken CHAPTER II.
of, a Roman province. It was a 1. Cesar Augustus ; the name of the kingdom under Herod the Great, and