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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
Luke 1



Verse 1

Forasmuch as = Since, as is well known indeed. Greek. epeideper. Occurs only here in N.T.

have in hand. Implying previous non = success (Acts 19:13). Elsewhere only in Acts 9:29. A medical word. Compare Colossians 4:14.

to set forth in order = to draw up.

a declaration = a narrative. Greek. diegesis. Occurs only here in N.T., used by Galen of a medical treatise.

of = concerning. Greek. peri. App-104. Not the same word as in verses: Luke 1:5, Luke 1:27, Luke 1:35, Luke 5:61.

things = matters, or facts.

which are most surely believed = which have been fully accomplished; i.e. in fulfilment of prophetic announcement. among. Greek. en. App-104. As in verses: Luke 1:25, Luke 1:28, Luke 1:42

Verse 2

from. Greek apo. App-104.

from the beginning. Greek. ap" arches; i.e. from the birth or ministry of the Lord. Compare John 15:27. Acts 1:1, Acts 1:21, Acts 1:22.

were = became.

eyewitnesses. Greek autoptai. Occurs only here. Not the same word as in 2 Peter 1:16. A medical word (Colossians 4:14). Compare our autopsy.

ministers = attendants. A technical word, often translated "officer".

Verse 3

having had perfect understanding = having followed up accurately.

all. The 1611 edition of the Authorized Version omitted this "all".

from the very first = from above. Greek. anothen. As in Matthew 27:51 (the top, Mark 15:38). John 3:3, John 3:7 (again), John 3:31 (from above); Luke 19:11, Luke 19:23. James 1:17; James 3:1, James 3:17. It may mean from the beginning, as in Acts 26:5, but there is no need to introduce that meaning here, as it is already in Luke 1:2. Moreover, havingunderstood them "from above", he necessarily understood them from the very beginning, as well as perfectly, or accurately. The greater includes the less.

in order = with method. most excellent. A title of social degree, not of moral quality. See Acts 23:26; Acts 26:25.

Theophilus. A common Roman name = beloved of God.

Verse 4

That = in order that.

mightest know = get to have full knowledge. Greek. epiginosko.) App-132. Not the same word as in verses: Luke 1:18, Luke 1:34.

things = words.

wherein = concerning (Greek. peri. App-104.) which.

thou hast been instructed = thou wast [orally]

taught. Greek. katecheo. See Acts 18:25. 1 Corinthians 14:19. Galatians 1:6, Galatians 1:6.

Verse 5

There was = There came to be. A Hebraism, Compare Luke 1:8, and see on Luke 2:1.

in. Greek en. App-104. Not the same word as in verses: Luke 1:15, Luke 1:20, Luke 1:44-47.

in the days. A Hebraism. See Matthew 2:1. Compare Esther 1:1.

Herod. See App-109.

the king. This title had been conferred by the Roman Senate on the recommendation of Antony and Octavius.

of = out of. Greek. ek, App-104.

Abia is named in 1 Chronicles 24:10, and Nehemiah 12:17. Out of the four who returned from Babylon twenty-four courses were formed (by lot) with the original names. See App-179.

the daughters of Aaron. The female descendants of Aaron always married priests

Elisabeth. Aaron"s wife, Elisheba (Exodus 6:23)is spelled Elizabethin the Septuagint.

Verse 6

before. The Texts read enantion, not enopion (= in the presence of, as Luke 1:19). Both are found in the Papyri in this sense.

God. App-98.

ordinances = legal requirements. Greek. Plural of dlkaioma, which should always be so rendered in its other nine occurrences (Romans 1:32; Romans 2:26

;, Luke 5:16, Luke 5:18; Luke 8:4; Hebrews 9:1, Hebrews 9:10; Revelation 15:4; Revelation 19:8). Compare Numbers 36:13. Sometimes rendered "judgments" (Exodus 21:1; Exodus 24:3), where LXX has dikaioma.

the LORD. Must here and elsewhere be often rendered Jehovah. See App-98. A. b.

Verse 7

no. Greek. ou. App-106.

child. Greek. teknon. See App-108.

because that = inasmuch as.

well stricken = advanced.

Verse 8

it came to pass. A Hebraism. See note on Luke 1:5.

while he executed, &c. = in (Greek. en. App-104.) executing. Greek. hierateuo, to act as a priest. Not peculiar to Biblical Greek, but found often in the Papyri.

Verse 9

According to. Greek. kata. App-104.

his lot was = it fell to him by lot.

to burn incense. Greek. thumiao. Occurs only here in N.T. incense. The first recorded use of incense by man began in disobedience (Numbers 16:6), and the last ended in unbelief (Luke 1:20),

when he went = going.

into. Greek eis. App-104.

the Temple = The Naos, or Shrine; i.e. "the Holy Place". Not

hieron (the Temple courts). See note on Matthew 23:1, Matthew 23:8.

Verse 10

praying. See App-134.

at the time = at the hour. This was the signal.

Verse 11

appeared. App-106. an angel. For the frequent references to angels in Luke, see Luke 1:26; Luke 2:9, Luke 2:13, Luke 2:21; Luke 12:8; Luke 15:10; Luke 16:22; Luke 22:43; Luke 24:4, Luke 24:23. Also frequently in Acts.

on = at. Greek ek. App-104.

the right side = the propitious side. Compare Matthew 25:33. Mark 16:5. John 21:6.

the altar of incense. See Exodus 30:1-10; Exodus 37:25-28. 1 Kings 7:48

Verse 12

saw. Greek. eidon. App-138.

upon. Greek. epi. App-104. As in Luke 1:35. Not the same word as in Luke 1:58.

Verse 13

unto = to. Greek. pros. App-104. Not the same word as in Luke 1:26.

not. Greek. me. App-105. As in verses: Luke 1:20, Luke 1:30, not as in verses: Luke 1:20, Luke 1:22, Luke 1:34.

for = because.

prayer = a definite petition.

is heard = was heard: i.e. not now, or recently. Evidently the prayer for offspring, which was now no longer offered.

bear thee = bring forth to thee.

John = Jehovah sheweth favour.

Verse 14

joy and gladness. Figure of speech Hendiadys (App-6) = joy, yea exultant joy.

at = upon[the occasion of]. Greek. epi. App-104., as in Luke 1:29.

birth = bringing forth. Greek gennao, used of the mother. See note on Matthew 1:2.

Verse 15

in the sight of = before.

See note on "before", Luke 1:6.

shall drink neither = shallin no wise (Greek. ou me. App-105.) drink,

strong drink. Greek. sikera, any intoxicating drink not from grapes.

shall be filled. Verbs of filling take the Genitive of what the person or vessel is filled with. See App-101. note. Here pneuma hagion is in the Genitive case.

the Holy Ghost = holy spirit. Greek pneuma hagion, or "power from on high". See App-101.

from. Greek ek. App-104. i.e. before birth. Compare Luke 1:44.

Verse 16

children = sons. See App-108.

to = towards. Greek. epi. App-104.

Lord. Greek. kurios. App-98.

Verse 17

go = goforth.

the spirit and power. Figure of speech Hendiadys (App-6) = the

spirit = yea, the powerful spirit (Malachi 4:5).

Elias = Elijah.

to turn, &c. Reference to Malachi 3:1 with Malachi 4:5, Malachi 4:6.

See App-107.

disobedient = unbelieving. to = in. Greek. en. App-104.

wisdom. Greek. phronesis (not sophia) = understanding. Occurs only here, and Ephesians 1:8 = the product of Sophia. See notes on Job 28:28; Job 40:4.

Verse 18

Whereby = According to (Greek. kata, as in Luke 1:9) what [sign].

know = get to know. Greek. ginosko. App-182.

for I am an old man. To Zechariah the promise seemed to come too late; to Mary (Luke 1:34)too early.

Verse 19

answering said. See note on Deuteronomy 1:41.

Gabriel = the mighty man of God. The messanger of the restoration (Luke 1:26; Daniel 8:16; Daniel 9:21), as Michael is the messanger of Israel"s delieverance from judgement (Daniel 10:13, Daniel 10:21; Daniel 12:1. Jude 1:9; and Revelation 12:7). Probably two of the seven angels of Revelation 1:4; Revelation 3:1; Revelation 4:5; Revelation 5:6; Revelation 8:2, Revelation 8:6; Revelation 15:1, Revelation 15:6, Revelation 15:7, Revelation 15:8; Revelation 16:1; Revelation 17:1; Revelation 21:9.

in the presence. Same as "before", Luke 1:6.

am = was

shew = announce.

Verse 20

behold. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6.

thou shalt be dumb. The finite Verb and Participle denote continuous silence.

be performed = come to pass.

believest not = didst not believe. App-150. Note the Negative.

not. Greek. ou. App-105.

which = which are of a kind which. Greek. hoitines, denoting a class, or kind of words.

in = up to. Greek eis. App-104. Marking the process continuing up to the end.

Verse 21

waited for = were looking for. The finite Verb and Participle denoting protracted waiting.

marvelled. Because such waiting was usually short.

Verse 22

speak: i.e. pronounce the usual blessing (Numbers 6:24).

perceived = clearly perceived, or recognised. Greek. epiginosko. App-132.

had seen. Greek. horao. App-133.

beckoned = kept making signs.

Verse 23

days = week.

ministration = public service. Greek leitourgia. Hence Eng. "liturgy".

to = unto. Greek. eis. App-104.

Verse 24

after. Greek. meta. App-104.

conceived. Greek. sullambano. A medical word, used in this sense in Luke and in James 1:15. See App-179.

hid = completely secluded. Probably to avoid all possibility of uncleanness, as in Judges 13:4, Judges 13:5, Judges 13:7, =Judges 13:1214. Occurs only here in N.T.

saying = saying that (Greek. hoti); giving the words.

Verse 25

looked on. Greek. epeidon. App-133. Occurs only in Luke here, and Acts 4:29.

to take away my reproach. Compare Genesis 30:23. 1 Samuel 1:6-10. Hosea 9:14. Contrast Luke 23:29.

Verse 26

the sixth month. After the vision of Zachariah.

This (Compare Luke 1:36) is the passage which gives John"s age as six months older than the Lord"s. See App-179.

from. Greek. hupo. App-104.

unto. Greek. eis. App-104. Galilee. One of the four Roman divisions of Palestine, comprising Zebulun, Naphtali, and Asher. Compare Matthew 4:13.

Nazareth. Now enNazirah.

Aram. See App-94. See on Matthew 2:23.

Verse 27

To. Greek. pros. App-104.

virgin. This settles the meaning of the Hebrew `almah in Isaiah 7:14. There is no question about the Greek parthenos.

espoused = betrothed. A year before marriage. See Matthew 1:18.

man = husband. Greek. aner. App-123.

Mary = the Hebrew Miriam. Exodus 15:20. See App-100.

Verse 28

Hail. See note on Matthew 26:49

thou that art highly favoured = [thou] having been graced [by God] = endued with grace. Occurs only here, and Ephesians 1:6 = accepted through grace. "Grace" does not occur in Matthew or Mark.

with = in association with. Greek. meta. App-104. Not the same word as in verses: Luke 30:37, Luke 30:51, Luke 30:56.

blessed . . . women. Omitted by T [Tr. ] A WH R. Probably brought here from Luke 1:42, where it is unquestioned.

Verse 29

when she saw him. Omitted by all

the texts. cast in her mind = beganto reason, or was reasoning. Imperfect Tense.

Verse 30

found. Put by Figure of speech Synecdoche (of Species), App-6, for "received".

favour = grace: which is favourthe unworthy, as patience is favour to the obstinate, as mercy is favour to the miserable, as pity is favour to the poor, &c.

with = from. Greek. para. App-104.

Verse 31

thou shalt conceive : i.e. forthwith conceive. The Tense marks a future action, the beginning of which in relation to future time is past, but the consequences of which still continue.

and. Note the Figure of speech Polysyndeton in verses: Luke 31:32, emphasizing each detail. Note the four statements of the angel, combining the four key = texts of the four Gospels shown in the Inter-relation of the Four Gospels:

Thou shalt . . . bring forth a Son: "Behold the Man".

Thou shalt call His name Jesus: " Behold My Servant".

He shall be great . . . the Son of the Highest (Luke 1:32)

: " Behold your God".

He shall reign, &c. (Luke 1:33)

: " Behold thy King".

JESUS. See note on Matthew 1:21 and App-48and App-98. X.

Verse 32

He shall be great, &c. Marks the break in the Dispensations, verses: Luke 1:32, Luke 1:33 being yet future.

the Highest = the Most High. Greek hupsiatos. Occurs seven times in Luke (Luke 1:32, Luke 1:35, Luke 1:76; Luke 2:14 (plural); Luke 6:35; Luke 8:28; Luke 19:38 (plural); and twice in Acts (Luke 7:48; Luke 16:17). Else. where, only four times (Matthew 21:9 (plural) Mark 5:7; Mark 11:10 (plural); and Hebrews 7:1).

Verse 33

over. Greek. epi. App-104.

Jacob. Put for all the natural seed of the twelve tribes.

for = unto. Greek eis. App-104.

for ever = unto the ages. See App-151. More Reading, see Psalms 45:6. Daniel 7:13, Daniel 7:14, Daniel 7:27. Micah 4:7. 1 Corinthians 15:24-26. Hebrews 1:8. Revelation 11:16.

Verse 34

seeing, &c. = since, &c. Mary"s answer shows how she understood the angel"s promise. She does not question the fact, as Zacharias did (Luke 1:18), but only inquires as to the mode. To Mary the promise seems too early, to Zacharias too late.

know = come to know. Greek. ginosko. App-132.

Verse 35

shall overshadow. Compare Exodus 33:22. Mark 9:7.

therefore = wherefore.

that holy Thing. See Hebrews 7:26. 1 Peter 2:22, and note on Matthew 27:4.

the Son of God = God"s Son. App-98.

Verse 36

cousin = kinswoman.

she hath also conceived = she also hath conceived.

Verse 37

nothing = not (Greek. ou. App-105) any word. Greek. rhema. See note on Mark 9:32.

Verse 38

Behold. Greek idou. App-133.

handmaid = bondmaid.

word. See note on Luke 1:37. Same word.

Verse 40

entered. A detail, to emphasize the fact, by which she recognized the truth of the sign of Luke 1:36.

Verse 41

leaped. Greek. skirtao. Only used in N.T. here, Luke 1:44, and Luke 6:23. Compare Genesis 25:22. Septuagint has the same word.

Verse 42

spake out = cried out. Greek. anaphoneo. Occurs only here. A medical word. See Colossians 4:14.

Verse 43

to. Greek. pros. App-104.

Verse 44

lo. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6.

sounded in = came into.

for joy = in (Greek. en. App-104.) exultation.

Verse 45

blessed = happy. Not the same word as in Luke 1:42.

performance = fulfilment. from. Greek para. App-104.

Verse 46

Mary. From a common practice of transcribers in replacing a pronoun by the corresponding proper noun, or name, some have thought that this hymn is a continuation of Elisabeth"s words. And the Structure favours this idea. But there is no MS. evidence for it.

My soul = Imyself. For emphasis. See App-110.

Verse 47

my spirit. See App-101.

rejoiced = exulted.

in. Greek. epi. App-104.

God my Saviour. Note the Article = the God [Who is] the Saviour [of me]. See Septuagint Deuteronomy 82:15. Psalms 24:6

;, Luke 25:5; Luke 95:1.

Verse 48

regarded = looked (Greek. epiblepo. App-133.)

upon (Greek. epi. App-104.) See James 2:3, and compare 1 Samuel 1:11. Psalms 33:14; Psalms 119:132 (Septuagint).

Verse 49

He That is mighty = the Mighty One.

His name. See note on Psalms 20:1.

Verse 50

mercy = pity. Greek. eleos. See verses: Luke 1:54, Luke 1:58, Luke 1:72, Luke 54:78. Not the same word as in Luke 1:30.

fear = reverence.

from generation, &c. = unto (Greek. eis. App-104.) generations of generations.

Verse 51

with. Greek. en. App-104.

His arm. Figure of speech Anthrapopatheia. App-6. Compare Isaiah 52:10; Isaiah 59:1, Isaiah 59:16.

Verse 52

put down the mighty. Amaziah (2 Kings 14:10); Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:16); Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 5:20); Belshazzar (Daniel 5:23; Daniel 5:30).

seats = thrones.

them of low degree = the lowly.

Verse 54

holpen = laid hold of [for help], or taken by the hand. Compare Isaiah 41:8, Isaiah 41:9.

in remembrance = [in order] to remember.

Verse 55

As = according as.

our fathers. Compare Micah 7:20. Galatians 1:3, Galatians 1:16. Acts 2:39.

for ever = unto the age. See App-151. a.

Verse 56

with = in fellowship with. Greek. sun. App-104. Not the same word as in verses: Luke 1:28, Luke 1:30, Luke 1:37, Luke 28:39, Luke 28:61, Luke 28:66.

returned = returned back. Greek hupostrepho. Almost peculiar to Luke. Oct:. only in Mark 14:40. Galatians 1:1, Galatians 1:17. Hebrews 7:1. outside Luke and Acts.

Verse 57

full time = fulfilled time.

and. Note the Figure of speech Polysyndeton (App-6) throughout the passage verses: Luke 1:57-67, eighteen "ands".

brought forth. Greek gennao. Correctly rendered here, of the mother. Used of the father it = beget. See note on Matthew 1:2.

Verse 58

shewed great mercy = magnified His mercy. A Hebraism. Compare Genesis 19:19. 2 Samuel 22:51, Septuagint.

upon = with. Greek meta. App-104. Not the same word as in verses: Luke 1:12, Luke 1:35.

Verse 59

on = in. Greek. en. App-104. Not the same word as in Luke 1:65.

on the eighth day., Genesis 17:12. Leviticus 12:3. Philippians 1:3, Philippians 1:5.

child. Greek. paidion. App-108.

they called. Imperf. Tense = were for calling,

after. Greek. epi. App-104. Not the same word as in Luke 1:24.

Verse 60

Not so = No. Greek. ouchi. App-105.

Verse 61

There is = That there is.

of = among. Greek en. App-104.

that is = who is.

Verse 62

made signs. Imperf. Tense = were consulting him by signs; i.e. while the colloquy was going on,

would = wished to. Greek. thelo. App-102.

Verse 63

writing table = writing tablet Table was used for tablet in 1611. Used by medical writers in Luke"s day.

wrote, saying. A Hebraism. Compare 2 Kings 10:6.

"John" = the grace of Jehovah, was thus the first written word of that dispensation.

Verse 64

immediately = at once. Greek parachrema. Occurs nineteen times. All in Luke or Acts, except Matthew 21:19, Matthew 21:20. A medical word (see Colossians 4:14), used thirteen times in connection with disease or healing. Rendered "straightway "in Luke 8:55. Acts 5:10.

spake = began to speak. Imperf. Tense.

Verse 65

on = upon. Greek. epi. App-104.

sayings. Greek. Plural of rhema. See note on Mark 9:32.

were noised abroad = were talked of.

throughout all = in (Greek. en. App-104.) the whole.

Verse 66

that heard. The 1611 edition of the Authorized Version reads "that had heard".

Verse 68

Blessed. Hence the name "Benedictus" given to Zacharias"s prophecy.

God = the God.

visited = lookedon. Not the same word as in Luke 1:48. See App-133.

redeemed = wrought a ransom for. Compare Titus 2:14.

Verse 69

an horn of salvation. A Hebraism. See Psalms 132:17. 1 Samuel 2:1, 1 Samuel 2:10. Ezekiel 29:21.

His servant David. See Psalms 132:10.

Verse 70

by = through.

Greek. dia. App-104. Luke 1:1.

since the world began = from [the] age i.e. of old. See App-151.

Verse 72

to = with. Greek meta. App-104.

Verse 73

The oath, &c. See Genesis 12:3; Genesis 17:4; Genesis 22:16, Genesis 22:17.

Verse 74

out of= from. Greek. ek. App-104.

hand. The 1611 edition of the Authorized Version reads "hands". serve: or worship.

Verse 75

holiness. Toward God. righteousness. Toward men. Compare 1 Thessalonians 2:10. Ephesians 4:24.

Verse 76

before. Greek. pro. App-104.

Verse 77

knowledge. Greek. gnosis. App-132.

by = for. Greek. en. App-104.

Verse 78

Through = On account of. Greek dia. App-104. Luke 1:2.

tender mercy = bowels of compassion. Figure of speech Anthropopatheia (App-6).

whereby = in (Greek. en. App-104.) which.

dayspring. Greek. anatole. Hebrew. zemach = branch (see page 1304), is rendered anatole in Jeremiah 23:6 and Zechariah 3:8, because of its springing up. Both meanings (branch and light) are here combined. Compare Ezekiel 16:7; Ezekiel 17:10.

on high. Greek. hupsos. Occurs five more times: Luke 24:49. Ephesians 3:18; Ephesians 4:8. James 1:9. Revelation 21:16.

Verse 79

give light to = shine upon.

the shadow of death. A Hebraism. Zalmaveth. Job 10:21; Job 38:17. Psalms 23:4; Psalms 107:10. Isaiah 9:2. Matthew 4:16, &c.

guide = direct. Wycliffe has "dress", through the O. French dresser = to arrange, still preserved as an English military term.

Verse 80

waxed strong = grew and was strengthened. spirit. Greek. pneuma. See App-101.

the deserts. The article. indicating a well-known part.

shewing = public or official inauguration. Greek. anadeixis. Only occurs here. The verb anadeiknumi occurs Luke 10:1. See note there.


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 1:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

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