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Luke 1

SUMMARY.--Preface. The Announcement to Mary. The Visit of Mary to Elisabeth. The Prophecies of Mary and Elisabeth. The Birth of John. The Prophecy of Zacharias. The Child in the Deserts.

      23. To his own house. To his own city and home.

      24. Hid herself. Did not go into society, both from delicacy and that she might have more time for devotion.

      25. Take away my reproach. To be childless was regarded a great calamity in Israel. Compare Genesis 16:1-3 Genesis 30:1 .

      26. Was sent to a city of Galilee. Nazareth, the home of Mary. Matthew ( 1:20 ) gives an account of this visit, but does not give the angel's name.

      27. To a virgin. She was espoused; that is, formally engaged to Joseph, but not yet married. Compare with Matt. 1:18-25 Matt. 1:18-25 .

      30-33. Fear not. In the angel's message we have, (1) An assurance, Fear not. (2) A promise, Thou shalt bring forth a son. (3) A command, Thou shalt call his name Jesus. (4) A prophecy, He shall be great, the Son of the Highest, sit on David's throne, reign forever.

      39. Arose. In consequence of the angel's words. Went into the hill country. The central plateau of Judea, containing the cities of Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Hebron. Hebron was a Levitical city ( Josh. 21:11 ). Whether the city was Hebron, Juttah, or some other, is only conjecture.

      42-45. Blessed art thou among women. The language of Elisabeth, Oriental poetry, is that of an inspired prophet. Mother of my Lord. Jesus, our Lord and Savior.

      46-55. Mary said. Mary also is filled with the spirit of prophecy. These two godly women are the first human prophets of the New Testament. Mary's language is in part drawn from the Psalms. This hymn is divisible into three parts: (1) 46-49 , recognition of God's strange grace upon her own humble person and character; (2) 50-53 , a recognition that it is ever thus that God exalts the humble, and brings low the proud; (3) Luke 1:54 Luke 1:55 , the result is that humble Israel is now to be exalted according to God's ancient promise to Abraham. My Saviour. Mary, by this word, reckons herself among that which was lost. She obtained salvation, not from herself, but from Jesus.--Bengel. Call me blessed. Pronounce me highly favored, or happy in being the mother of the Messiah. Abraham was blessed in being the father of the faithful; Paul in being the apostle to the Gentiles; Peter in first preaching the gospel to them; but who would think of worshiping or praying to Abraham, Paul, or Peter? To Abraham. See Genesis 12:1-3 Genesis 13:14-17 Genesis 15:5 . And his seed. The seed promised to Abraham was to be a blessing to the whole world. Compare the hymn of Hannah ( 1 Sam. 2:1 ).

      59. On the eighth day. On the eighth day male Jewish children were circumcised and named ( Gen. 17:12 ). The kinsmen present called the child after his father's name, a common Jewish custom, but Elisabeth protested that his name should be John, that given by the angel. The matter was referred to the father.

      63. Asked for a writing tablet. Because his tongue had not yet been loosed.

      65. Fear came on all . . . them. On account of so many marvels.

      67. Zacharias . . . prophesied. As soon as his tongue was loosed it was employed to praise the Lord. All inspired utterances are called prophesying, but in the present case there was clearly inspired prediction. In the Old Testament spirit the kingdom of Christ in the future is described in general terms.

      68-75. A horn of salvation. An allusion to the Savior. The horn was a symbol of power. As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets. "Of him have all the prophets borne witness." "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." "The whole volume of Scripture did prophesy of him. He was the sum and scope of all their predictions. He was Abraham's promised seed, Abraham's Isaac, Jacob's Shiloh, Moses' Great Prophet, Esaias' Immanuel, Ezekiel's Shepherd, Daniel's Holy One, Zechariah's Branch, Malachi's Angel; all of them predictions to foretell his coming. All their types and ceremonies pointed at him. He was Abel's Sacrifice, Noah's Dove, Abraham's First Fruits, Aaron's Rod, the Israelites' Rock, the Patriarchs' Manna, David's Tabernacle, Solomon's Temple; all these prefigured his incarnation. They were the folds and swathing of the this babe Jesus."--Bishop Brownrig. From our enemies. The priest is, at the same time the patriot in the best sense of the term, deeply moved by the sight of Roman tyranny. The oath. This oath is recorded in Genesis 22:16 Genesis 22:17 . It was an oath in which God swore by himself, because he could swear by no greater ( Hebrews 6:13 Hebrews 6:14 ), that he would surely bless Abraham and his posterity; that promise was now to be entirely fulfilled by the coming of the Messiah.

      76-79. Thou, child. The babe, John, before him. Prophet of the Highest. "The Most High" is an epithet in Scripture only of the supreme God. By the remission of their sins. The remainder of the sentence embodies the gospel in brief. It promises (1) salvation, (2) not merely political but spiritual. A remission of, and redemption from sin, (3) indicates the cause--the divine mercy (compare John 3:16 Eph. 2:4-8 ), and (4) promises the result, "like to eyes in darkness, and peace to feet straying in paths of sorrow and perplexity." The dayspring. Christ is the morning light, the rising sun ( Mal. 4:2 ). The gospel brings light with it ( John 3:19 ).

      80. The child . . . was in the deserts. In the wilderness of Judea where he could have ample opportunity for communion with God.

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