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Tuesday, June 18th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Luke 1

Bengel's Gnomon of the New TestamentBengel's Gnomon

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Verse 1

Luke 1:1 . Ἐπειδήπερ , Forasmuch as ) A brief dedication applying to both the works of Luke: [1] it may be also termed the Preface or Introduction, and from it there shine forth pre-eminently gravity, simplicity, and candour. πολλοὶ ἐπεχείρησαν many have taken in hand ) Luke does not hereby denote Matthew and John, who had been among the very eye-witnesses of the facts and ministers of the word; not to say that Luke both wrote before John, and does not seem to have seen the Gospel of Matthew. There remains the one evangelist Mark alone; but Luke speaks of many, and employs the word ἐπεχείρησαν , have taken in hand , in a middle sense [ i.e. neither expressing disparagement nor praise]; and consonant with this is the particle καθὼς , even as , which implies a consonance with the relation [report] of the eye-witnesses and ministers either sought after or attained by the writers alluded to: also the expression κἀμοὶ , to me also , agrees with the same view; for by it Luke does not so much oppose himself to those many writers, but rather adds himself to their number, as one of the same class, in such a manner, however, as that he may contribute somewhat even still to the ἀσφάλεια and firm assurance of Theophilus. He therefore intimates, if only he has had reference [not merely to others, but] also to Mark [ which indeed, if you compare together the forms of expression and the order of narratives in each, is not very unlikely . Harm., p. 36], that several particulars, not mentioned in Mark, are read to his hand for recording; but that the other writers, as, for instance, he who wrote the Gospel according to the Egyptians , are less calculated to serve towards producing ἀσφάλεια and firm assurance. ἀνατάξασθαι , to set forth in order ) in writing or instructive [catechetico, referring to κατηχήθης , Luk 1:4 ] words. Hesychius says, ἀνατάξασθαι , εὐτρεπίσασθαι . τῶν πεπληροφορημένων ) πληροφορία , when it is attributed to a man, denotes the fulness of knowledge in the understanding, or of eager desire in the will: 2 Timothy 4:17 ; Hebrews 6:11 , note. Such vigour characterized τὰ πράγματα , the Christian facts , which Luke describes in both his works, whilst they were occurring [were being accomplished]: and these alone had this characteristic; for which reason this periphrasis whereby he designates the same facts is quite sufficient. It was in the sight of the world that the Gospel facts occurred: Acts 26:26 . ἐν ἡμῖν , among us ) in the Church, but especially among the teachers, and these veterans.

[1] The names Lucius and Lucas are the same; except that the former, being a diminutive of the latter, has somewhat of a more familiar sound. Mention is made as early as in Act 13:1 of a Lucius of Cyrene among the prophets and teachers of the Church, which at that time flourished at Antioch; and therefore it must have been but a short time after the death which befel Herod (ch. Luk 12:23 ), A. Dion. Era, 44. It is owing to this, I am inclined to think, that Eusebius and others have considered Antioch as the native place of Luke. Furthermore, Paul makes mention of a certain Lucius among his ‘kinsmen,’ Romans 16:21 , and calls Luke [Lucas] his fellow-workman and the beloved Physician, Philemon 1:24 ; Colossians 4:14 . Now, whether he be only Luke [Lucas], or also Lucius , he is the very person who wrote the Acts of the Apostles, having accompanied Paul himself from the Troad, first to Philippi ( Act 16:10 ), next from Philippi to Troas, nay, even as far as to Rome (ch Acts 20:6 , Acts 28:16 ; 2Ti 4:11 ): and it is owing to this that he most frequently uses the first person plural in his narrative. Moreover the lively [vigorous] style of Luke, which is particularly appropriate to the very joyful subject of the Acts, comprising, as they do, in their history the completion [carrying into effect] of the New Testament, seems to have derived some of its characteristics from the association of many years, which Luke maintained [enjoyed] with Paul. Harm., pp. 35, 36. Lucas seems to me to be the contraction of Lucanus, as Silas from Silvanus, and to be altogether a distinct name from Lucius. ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 2

Luke 1:2 . Παρέδοσαυ ἡυῖν , they have delivered to us ) to me, and to the other companions of the apostles. ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς , from the beginning ) It was not from Paul alone, who was converted after the beginning , that Luke received his information. αὐτόπται καὶ ὑπηρέται ) They themselves saw [ αὐτὸς ὄπτεσθαι being the components of αὐτόπτης ], and, what is more, ministered . So also Paul was a minister and witness : Acts 26:16 ; so also the mother of our Lord herself, Mary: Acts 1:14 . There were many such witnesses, advanced in years, and so of the highest authority [ for instance, the twelve apostles, the seventy disciples, Mary Magdalene, and several more . V. g.]: 1 Corinthians 15:6 ; Romans 16:7 . It was such as these themselves, and the companions of such, who wrote the books of the New Testament. No room was left for doubting. τοῦ λόγου , of the word ) Acts 10:36 . This one ‘word’ embraces many ‘words,’ Luke 1:4 [ ὧν κατηχήθης λόγων : subjects of instruction].

Verse 3

Luke 1:3 . Ἔδοξε κἀμοὶ , it seemed good to me also ) A holy inclination, worthy of an evangelical man. παρηκολουθηκότι , having traced up [followed up: Engl. Vers. having had perfect understanding ]) A choice and happy word: it is said of him who has been all but present himself at all the events, and who has learned them from those who were actually present; for instance, Paul uses it of Timothy, 2 Timothy 3:10 [ παρηκολούθηκάς μου διδασκαλίᾳ , thou hast fully known my doctrine ], as being one whom Paul brought about with him presently after the persecutions, which he endured at Antioch, etc. The antithetic term is ἀπολέλειμμαι , the thing has escaped me , I do not comprehend it . Thus the cause is implied, why Luke regarded it as a fixed thing that he both could and ought to write. He is the person who in Acts 13:1 , or at least in Acts 16:10 , was already discharging an evangelical function. ἄνωθεν , from above [tracing upwards]) i.e . “from the beginning,” Luke 1:2 ; Luke 1:5 . [ He intimates by this term, that he meant to supply those particulars which Mark has omitted . Harm., p. 37.] Scripture hands down to us the first commencements [origines] of things, even those of the Gospel and of the Church. πᾶσιν ) τοῖς πράγμασιν . All these matters had been followed up by Luke accurately [ ἀκριβῶς ]. καθεξῆς , deinceps, successively, subsequently; [ in order ]) ἐξῆς , afterwards ; καθεξῆς , successively (‘deinceps’), subsequently . As Luke had followed up [ascertained] all things, it was the next thing [ καθεξῆς ] to follow, that he should describe them. And indeed this Preface savours of fresh [recent] joy, such as would be felt at the coming to the knowledge of [joyful] facts. Moreover he describes in order (for καθεξῆς has this force also), first, the Acts of Christ, His Conception, Nativity, boyhood, Baptism, gracious deeds done by Him, preaching, Passion, Resurrection, Ascension: then next the Acts of the apostles. Yet this very fact [viz. his narrating these events in order ] does not prevent his at times joining together some events which were separated from one another in point of their respective times: ch. Luke 1:80 , Luke 3:20 , etc. κράτιστε Θεόφιλε , most excellent Theophilus ) This Theophilus belonged to Alexandria, as the ancients testify (see Ord. Temp. , p. 225), Ed. ii., p. 196, and Harm. Ev. Ed. ii., p. 80; and that was a city in which especially flourished κατήχησις , Luke 1:4 . He was a most noble man, as the title given him by Luke shows: comp. Acts 28:26 ; Acts 24:3 ; Acts 26:25 . The same title is not given to the same Theophilus in Acts 1:1 , either because he was then in private life, or because his excellence and Luke’s intimacy with him had increased. Moreover this title of respect serves as an argument, that the Gospel history is a true one, and allowed itself from the very beginning to be offered for acceptance to the most distinguished personages. The holy examples of illustrious men, described in these books, were calculated to stimulate Theophilus to imitate them.

Verse 4

Luke 1:4 . Ἵνα , that ) Expressing the scope of the whole work, [ which in John is stated at the close of his Gospel , ch. Luke 21:24 . Harm., p. 34.] ἐπιγνῷς , thou mightest clearly perceive ) The compound verb is emphatic. [2] κατηχήθης , thou hast been instructed ) by the mouth of others. This κατήχησις [3] also comprises sacred history. Luke hereby claims to himself greater authority than that of those from whom Theophilus had previously received instruction. [ τὴν ἀσφάλειαν , the certainty ) This unerring certainty has place, where nothing of a spurious character is added, nothing that is necessary is omitted (left to be wished for, desideratur ), and all the particulars are attested and proved by adequate documents and proofs. V. g.]

[2] The ἐπὶ augments the force of the simple verb. Wahl explains it, plane et accuratè cognoscere . ED. and TRANSL.

[3] Whence Engl. word, catechism, catechetical . ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 5

Luke 1:5 . Ἐγένετο , there was ) Following close upon the Preface itself, Luke exhibits the History of Jesus Christ from His entrance into the world, up to the time of His ascension into heaven. In this History we may note

I. THE BEGINNING: wherein we have

1. The conception of John, Luk 1:5-25

2. The conception of Jesus Himself, Luk 1:26-56

3. The nativity and circumcision of John: the hymn of Zacharias: the youth of John, Luk 1:57-80

4. Jesus Christ’s ( a ) Nativity, Luk 2:1-20

( b ) Circumcision and name given, Luk 2:21

( c ) Presentation to the Lord in the temple, Luk 2:22-38

( d ) His own country and growth, Luk 2:39-40

II. THE MIDDLE: when He was twelve years of age, and subsequently, Luk 2:41-52


1. The entrance on it: wherein is described the Baptist; His baptism, His temptation, Luke 3:1-2 ; Luke 3:21-22 ; Luk 4:1-13

2. The acceptable year in Galilee,

A. Set forth before His hearers at Nazareth, Luk 4:14-30

B. Made good in actual performance:

α . At Capernaum, and in that region. Here are to be noted

1. His acts not censured by his adversaries; whereby Jesus

1. Powerfully teaches, Luk 4:31-32

2. Delivers one demoniacally possessed, Luk 4:33-37

3. Cures the mother-in-law of Peter, and many sick persons, Luk 4:38-41

4. Teaches everywhere, Luk 4:42-44

5. Calls Peter, and also James and John, Luk 5:1-11

6. Cleanses the leper, Luk 5:12-16

2. His acts censured by His adversaries, and that with gradually increasing severity.

To this class belong

1. The man with palsy, Luk 5:17-26

2. The call of Levi, and the eating with publicans and sinners, Luk 5:27-32

3. The question as to fasting answered, Luk 5:33-39

4. The plucking of the ears of corn, Luk 6:1-5

5. The withered hand restored, and the plotting against Jesus, Luk 6:6-11

3. His acts, of which the issue [result] was different in the case of the different persons with whom He had to do:

1. In the case of His chosen apostles, Luk 6:12-16

2. In the case of His other hearers, Luke 6:17-18 ; Luk 6:20-49

3. In the case of the centurion, Luk 7:1-10

4. In the case of the disciples of John, in connection with whom we have

a . The occasion of the raising of the young man at Nain, Luk 7:11-18

b . The embassy from John, Luk 7:18-23

c . The reproof, Luk 7:24-35

5. In the case of Simon the Pharisee, and the sinner, the woman who showed Him much love, Luk 7:36-50

6. In the case of His own immediate attendants, Luk 8:1-3

7. In the case of the people, Luk 8:4-18

8. In the case of His mother and brethren, Luk 8:19-21

β . On the sea, Luk 8:22-26

And beyond the sea, Luk 8:27-39

γ . On this side of the sea, again:

1. Jairus, and the woman with the issue of blood, Luk 8:40-56

2. The apostles sent forth, Luk 9:1-6

3. The doubts of Herod, Luk 9:7-9

4. The report of the apostles, Luk 9:10

5. The eagerness of the people: the kindness of the Lord: the five thousand fed, Luk 9:11-17

3. The preparation for His passion, etc.

A. The recapitulation of His doctrine concerning the person of Jesus Christ. Silence enjoined; His passion foretold; following Him enjoined, Luke 9:18-19 ; Luk 9:21-27

B. His transfiguration on the mountain; the lunatic healed; His passion again foretold; humility and moderation commanded, Luke 9:28-29 ; Luke 9:37-38 ; Luke 9:43-44 ; Luke 9:46-47 ; Luk 9:49-50

C. His great journey to Jerusalem when about to suffer. Herein we may fix eighteen intervals [incidents marking divisions]:

I. THE SAMARITANS, unwilling to receive Him, yet tolerated, Luk 9:51-57

II. On the way: unsuitable followers repulsed: suitable ones constrained, Luk 9:57-62

III. AFTERWARDS, seventy messengers sent before Him: and received back with joy Luk 10:1-24

AND a lawyer taught love to his neighbour by the example of the Samaritan, Luk 10:25-37

IV. In a certain village, Mary preferred to Martha, Luk 10:38-42

V. In a certain place, the disciples are taught to pray, Luk 11:1-13

In a certain place, the demon is cast out: this act is defended, Luk 11:14-26

In a certain place, the exclamation of the woman of the company is corrected, Luk 11:27-28

In a certain place, the people who were eagerly desirous of a sign, are reproved, Luk 11:29-36

VI. In a certain house, the Pharisees and Scribes are refuted, Luke 11:37-38 ; Luk 11:45-54

VII. A discourse is addressed to the disciples, Luk 12:1-12

A discourse is addressed to one interrupting Him with a request, Luk 12:13-21

A discourse is addressed to the disciples, Luk 12:22-40

A discourse is addressed to Peter, Luk 12:41-53

A discourse is addressed to the people, Luk 12:54-59

VIII. The need of repentance is shown, Luk 13:1-9

In the synagogue the woman is healed on the Sabbath, the kingdom of God thus increasing as the mustard-seed, Luk 13:10-21

IX. On the journey, He declares the fewness of those about to be saved, Luk 13:22-30

X. On that day Herod is called a fox; Jerusalem is reproved, Luk 13:31-35

XI. In the house of the Pharisee, a man with a dropsy is healed on the Sabbath, Luk 14:1-6

Humility is taught, Luk 14:7-11

True hospitality, Luk 14:12-14

The principle [ratio] of the great feast, Luk 14:15-24

Self-denial required, Luk 14:25-35

XII. Joy over repenting sinners is defended, Luke 15:1-2 ; Luk 15:11-12

Their duty as stewards is enjoined on the disciples, Luk 16:1-13

And the avarice and derision of the Pharisees are refuted, Luk 16:14-31

They are cautioned against ‘Offences,’ Luk 17:1-4

The faith of the apostles is increased, Luk 17:5-10

XIII. On the borders of Samaria and Galilee, He cures ten lepers, Luk 17:11-19

XIV. He answers the question as to the time of the coming of the kingdom of God, Luk 17:20-37

He recommends continual and humble prayer, Luke 18:1-2 ; Luk 18:9-14

XV. He blesses little children, Luk 18:15-17

He answers the rich ruler, Luk 18:18-27

And Peter, Luk 18:28-30

XVI. He foretells the Passion a third time, Luk 18:31-34

XVII. Nigh Jericho, a blind man given sight, Luk 18:35-43

XVIII. In Jericho, salvation is conferred on Zaccheus, Luk 19:1-10

An answer is given as to the sudden appearance of the kingdom of God, Luk 18:11-28

4. His acts at Jerusalem.

A. The first days of the great week.

1. His royal entry into Jerusalem, Luk 19:29-44

2. In the temple,

α . The abuse of it corrected and chastised, Luk 19:45-46

β . Its right use restored, Luk 19:47-48

And vindicated, Luk 20:1-8

3. Discourses in the temple:

α . The parable concerning the husbandmen, Luk 20:9-19

β . The answer concerning the tribute-money, Luk 20:20-26

And concerning the resurrection, Luk 20:27-40

γ . The question concerning David’s Lord, Luk 20:41-44

δ . The disciples warned of the Scribes, Luk 20:45-47

ε . The widow’s offering praised, Luk 21:1-4

4. The end foretold, of the temple, of the city, of the universe,Luke 21:5-6; Luke 21:5-6 ; Luke 21:8-9 ; Luke 21:25-26 ; Luk 21:28-29

5. The covenant of His adversaries and the traitor, Luk 22:1-6

B. Thursday.

a . The preparations for the Passover made by Peter and John, Luk 22:7-13

b . The Supper, and words spoken at it, Luk 22:14-23

c . Who is the greatest? Luk 22:24-30

Peter and the rest of the disciples are admonished, Luke 22:31-32 ; Luk 22:35-38

d . On the Mount of Olives:

1. Jesus prays to the Father, is strengthened by an angel, and rouses His disciples Luk 22:39-46

2. Is betrayed: is unseasonably defended [by Peter’s sword] against His assailants. Bears Himself holily, Luk 22:47-53

e . Being seized, He is led into the high priest’s house, Luk 22:54

Peter denies Him and weeps, Luk 22:55-62

The Lord is mocked, Luk 22:63-65

C. Friday.

α . His Passion and Death. His acts,

1. In the Council, etc., Luk 22:66-71

2. In the Governor’s hall, Luk 23:1-5

3. Before Herod, Luk 23:6-12

4. Again in the Governor’s hall, Luke 23:13-14 ; Luk 23:17-25

5. On the way to the cross, Luk 23:26-32

6. At Golgotha; where we have the description of

a . The cross itself; and Jesus’ prayer for their forgiveness, Luk 23:33-34

b . The parting of His garments, Luk 23:34-35

c . The taunts uttered against Him, and among these the inscription on the Cross Luk 23:35-39

d . One of the robbers, however, converted, Luk 23:40-43

e . The miraculous portents, and the death of Jesus, Luk 23:44-46

f . The spectators, Luk 23:47-49

β . His burial, Luk 23:50-53

D. The preparation and the Sabbath, Luk 23:54-56

E. The Insurrection: it becomes known

a . To the women, Luk 24:1-12

b . To two going into the country, and to Simon, Luk 24:13-35

c . To the rest also, Luke 24:36-37 ; Luk 24:44-45

F. The instruction of the apostles; the Ascension of our Lord; the joyous alacrity of the apostles, Luk 24:46-53

Ἡρώδου , of Herod ) All the particulars are set down clearly: the names, the times, and the places. [ Not a few of the false prophets for instance, Mahomet without premeditated foresight, have by slow and imperceptible degrees gained over parties of retainers, and afterwards deceived both themselves and others: accordingly, the circumstances of their birth and their condition, in their early years, are in the case of such impostors unknown, unworthy of trust, and fictitious. But the conception of Jesus Christ, His nativity, His infancy, His boyhood, etc., are supported as to their credibility by signally striking proofs. From eternity God hath definitely foreordained them, and hath by His ancient prophets declared them, and confirms their fulfilment subsequently by the instrumentality of irrefragable witnesses . Harm., p. 59.] τῆς Ἰουδαίας , of Judea ) The theatre or scene of all the events. ἱερεὺς , priest ) not the high priest, but one from among the regular courses of priests. ἐξ ἐφημερίας Ἀβιά , of the course of Abia ) The priests were divided into twenty-four courses or classes: and the course of Abia was the eighth, according to 1 Chronicles 24:10 [Abijah = Abia]. Ἐφημερία in the usage of the LXX. answers to the Hebrew מחלקת , sometimes also משמרת . Each course in its order had the discharge of the priestly duties devolving on it for seven days, from Sabbath to Sabbath. [Hence it is allowable to infer that Zacharias discharged his turn of duty from the 2d of September to the 9th of September: see Ord. Temp., pp. 230, 231 (Ed. ii. pp. 200, 201): and the 2d of September that year among the people of Israel corresponded to the I. Tisri. Behold how, at the commencement of the year, [4] simultaneously with the angel’s message which was brought to Zachariah, the New Testament took its commencement . V. g.]

[4] By the express direction of Moses the year began with Nisan (Exodus 12:2 , Num 9:1 ). But this was the ecclesiastical year regulating the festivals; whereas the civil year began, as it begins now, with the month Tisri. The reason which the Rabbins assign for the month Tisri beginning the year is, that it was the month in which creation took place. If this be true, it is appropriate that the New Creation has its first commencements on the same month as the Natural Creation. ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 6

Luke 1:6 . Δίκαιοι , righteous ) The condescending goodness of Scripture, which speaks of the righteousness of the pious, ought not to be treated as if it is in opposition to the doctrine of justification [by faith]. ἀμφότεροι , both ) God brings forth His chosen instruments from pious parents. ἐνώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ , before [in the presence of] God ) Genesis 17:1 . ἐντολαῖς , the commandments ) viz. the moral ones. δικαιώμασι ) the ceremonial ones [ ordinances ], Hebrews 9:1 .

Verse 7

Luke 1:7 . Καὶ , and ) They no longer now had any hope of offspring, owing to a twofold cause [their age and Elizabeth’s barrenness ]: Luke 1:18 ; Luke 1:36 (comp. Rom 4:19 ); and perhaps they were now not even seeking for [desiring] offspring. προβεβηκότες , far advanced ) A sweet description of the old age of the godly, which looks to the blissful goal [ προβεβ . implying progress towards it].

Verse 8

Luke 1:8 . Ἐν τῇ τάξει τῆς ἐφημερίας αὐτοῦ , in the order of his course ) As to the chronological clue afforded by this passage, we have treated in the Ordo Temporum , p. 230 [Ed. ii. p. 200]. [ In twenty-four weeks the courses of the priests returned back in rotation; and this alternation of courses prevailed even up to the destruction of the temple . V. g.]

Verse 9

Luke 1:9 . Ἔλαχε , he was allotted the office) The functions of the priests were distributed by lot. [5] τοῦ θυμιάσαι , of burning incense ) Exodus 30:1 , etc.

[5] This was so, according to S. R. D. Crusius, Hypomn. P. I., p. 41, partly for the sake of order, partly to avoid contentions. Comp. 1 Chronicles 24:4-5 . E. B.

Verse 10

Luke 1:10 . Πᾶν , all ) It must therefore have been a solemn day, and perhaps the Sabbath, on which Zacharias entered upon his duty, Luke 1:22-23 .

Verse 11

Luke 1:11 . Ἄγγελος , an angel ) the name of whom was afterwards communicated to Zacharias, Luke 1:19 .

Verse 13

Luke 1:13 . Μὴ φοβοῦ , fear not ) This is the first address from heaven in the opening dawn [aurora] of the New Testament, which is most charmingly described by Luke. The fact is here sweetly set before us; then we are led by rugged and severe paths to a most delightful issue. Such is also the case in the Apocalypse subsequently. εἰσηκούσθη , has been hearkened to [granted]) This is to speak to the heart. [Zacharias in heart desired , though he no longer spoke .] Acts 10:4 . ἡ δέησίς σου , thy prayers ) He had sought offspring in former days. [ For he did not himself any longer cherish the expectation of the fulfilment of his desire . V. g.] Ἰωάννην , John ) The name, John , was prescribed: the name of Mary was not prescribed.

Verse 14

Luke 1:14 . Χαρήσονται , shall rejoice ) Luke 1:58 ; Luke 1:66 .

Verse 15

Luke 1:15 . Ἔσται , shall be ) viz. that son shall be. Κυρίου , the Lord ) God the Father is meant. Presently after he speaks also of the Holy Spirit and of the Son of God. Already, in connection with the forerunner of the Messiah, the economy of the Holy Trinity more fully expands itself to view. καὶ οἶνον καὶ σίκερα οὐ μὴ πίῃ , and wine and strong drink he shall not drink ) So also Judges 13:4 , μὴ πίης οἶνον καὶ σίκερα . Σίκερα is from the Hebr. שכר , and denotes all drink distinct from wine, and yet intoxicating, as the juice of the date, malt liquor, etc. Such abstinence was enjoined on John, also on the mother of Samson. καὶ , and) Similarly, being filled with the Holy Spirit, is put in antithesis to being drunk with wine, Ephesians 5:18 . ἐκ , from) An abbreviated mode of expression: meaning, in the womb (Luke 1:41 ; Luk 1:44 ) and subsequently [from that time forward].

Verses 16-17

Luke 1:16-17 . Ἐπιστρέψει , καὶ προελεύσεται , he shall turn, and shall go before ) The words presently after in Luke 1:17 , to turn , ἐπιστρέψαι , refer to the verb ἐπιστρέψει , in Luke 1:16 : and ἑτοιμάσαι , to make ready , refers to προελεύσεται . Κύριον , the Lord ) Christ is therefore God. Comp. the following verse, ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ , before Him Κυρίῳ , the Lord : and in verse 76 [“ the Highest before the face of the Lord ”].

Verse 17

Luke 1:17 . Αὐτὸς , himself ) In antithesis to the others ( πολλοὺς , many ), Luke 1:16 . ἐνώπιον , before His face ) in His immediate presence. ἐπιστρέψαι , κ . τ . λ ., to turn [convert], etc.) The language in this passage, as often in prophecies, is figurative, abbreviated, and as it were poetically with this sense: John shall effect that the parents as well as the children alike, the disobedient as well as the just alike, men of every age and character, may be prepared for the Lord. But it was not convenient to say: He will convert [turn] the disobedient and the unjust along with the obedient and just alike; for the just need no conversion. Therefore, instead of the concrete, the abstract is used: He will convert the disobedient to the state of mind of the just; i.e. those who disregard God’s law he will convert, or bring to such a state, that they will join themselves to the number of the just, putting on the docility and wisdom of these latter; and, just as the just are ready, so will the disobedient become ready for the Lord. καρδίας , hearts ) The heart is therefore the seat of conversion , of obedience , and of prudence . πατέρων ἐπὶ τέκνα , of the fathers along with the children alike ) Mal. 3:24, לב אבות על־בנים ולב בנים על־אבותם , LXX. καρδίαν πατρὸς πρὸς υἱὸν , καὶ καρδίαν ἀνθρώπου πρὸς τὸν πλήσιον αὐτοῦ . The expression is equivalent to a proverb, so as to signify the multitude the ‘many’ converted ( Luk 1:16 ). So Genesis 32:11 , μητέρα ἐπὶ τέκνοις . So decidedly πατέρων ἐπὶ τέκνα , Exodus 20:5 ; Exodus 34:7 : also κνήμην ἐπὶ μηρὸν , Judges 15:8 . See also על , Amos 3:15 ; Judges 12:1 ; and πρὸς , in the Son of Sir. (see the quotation below). At the same time there may be designed to be marked the care of the fathers for the salvation of their children, as opposed to what takes place in a flight such as Jer 47:3 describes, οὐκ ἐπέστρεψαν πατέρες , ἐφ ̓ υἱοὺς αὐτῶν . καὶ ἀπειθεῖς ἐν φρονήσει δικαίων , and the disobedient in [to] the wisdom [prudence] of the just) This is set down instead of what is found in Malachi: and the heart of the children upon [super: but Engl. Vers. to] their fathers. Disobedience is especially the fault of youths: prudence [wisdom] and justice are especially becoming in fathers. The angel says, in the prudence, not into [to] the prudence. The feeling [sentiments] of those who are just, is immediately put on in conversion. ἑτοιμάσαι Κυρίῳ λαὸν κατεσκευασμένον , to make ready a people prepared for the Lord) Asyndeton [absence of copulative between ἐπιστρέψαι and ἑτοιμάσαι ]: to convert [turn], to make ready. The people is to be made ready, lest the Lord, finding the people not ready for Him, should crush them with His majesty [“Lest I come and smite the earth with a curse”], Malachi 4:6 . A people prepared, i.e. complying with the instructions of John, who makes them ready, and obedient to the Lord; no longer having such hearts as are described in Proverbs 15:7 , ולב כסילים לא כן , LXX. καρδίαι ἀφρόνων οὐκ ἀσφαλεῖς , The hearts of fools are not safe [Engl. Vers. from Hebr., But the heart of the foolish doeth not so, i.e. do not disperse knowledge]. Let the antithetic terms be noted, ἀφρόνων and φρονήσει ; and the kindred terms כן and ἑτοιμάσαι . Concerning Elias, see Sir 48:11 , καὶ ἐπιστρέψαι καρδίαν πατρὸς προς υἱὸν , καὶ καταστῆσαι φυλὰς Ἰακώβ . That the work of the Son of Sirach is far from a low and common one, its accordance with the angel’s words proves. See also Matthew 23:34 , note.

Verse 18

Luke 1:18 . Κατὰ τί γνώσομαι ) So LXX., Genesis 15:8 . The question of Zacharias is one affecting the very fact itself, thus betraying that he laboured under a want of faith: the πῶς , how , which Mary started as a question, was accompanied with faith: comp. Luke 1:34 [ How? ] with 45 [“Blessed is she that believed .”]

Verse 19

Luke 1:19 . Γαβριὴλ , Gabriel ) The reason why Zacharias ought not to have had any unbelief, is the authority of the heavenly messenger. The name is compounded of גבר and אל , and indicates the main object of his embassy, viz. concerning the incarnation of the Son of God, אל is גבר , God is man. Gabriel had appeared to Daniel also. It was the same angel, and he came on the same business. ὁ παρεστηκὼς , who am wont to stand in attendance) Seven angels stand in the presence of God, Revelation 8:2 . One of these, Gabriel, stands in attendance [adstat, stands by], or stands with the six others. ἀπεστάλην , I have been sent) Luke 1:26 ; Hebrews 1:14 . εὐαγγελίσασθαι , to show thee these glad tidings) Thus marking the beginning of the Gospel [= Glad tidings]: ch. Luke 2:10 ; Luke 2:17 , Luke 3:18 ; Mark 1:1 .

Verse 20

Luke 1:20 . Ἰδοὺ , behold ) as much as to say, by this thou shalt be made know . An appropriate sign is given to him who asked for a sign, though the sign given was not such as he would have desired. σιωπῶν , silent ) in the matter of fact [actually]. μὴ δυνάμενος λαλῆσαι , not able to speak ) in the want of the ability to speak [physically]. Comp. [accordingly in his recovery both are specified] Luke 1:64 , the mouth and the tongue . For the most part, those to whom a great revelation is vouchsafed, are wont to lose something of their natural power, without however real hurt to them. So Jacob was made lame; but his lameness proved, not a blemish, but a mark of honour to him: so Zacharias here was made dumb: Saul (Paul) was for a time deprived of sight. This dumbness of Zacharias at the same time acted as a spiritual medicine, lest he should too much pride himself on account of the prophecy as to the greatness of his son. ἄχρι ἧς ) Comp. Luke 1:64 [His mouth opened] with Luke 1:13 [Thou shalt call his name John ], 63 [When the ‘things’ foretold were ‘performed,’ and Zacharias, ceasing from unbelief, wrote, “His name is John”]. [ The day alluded to was the day of John’s circumcision, on which he received his name . V. g.] ἀνθ ̓ ὧν , because ) Therefore it was, strictly speaking, a punishment. οὐκ ἐπιστεύσας , thou hast not believed ) He did not believe: on this account he was not able to speak. [6] πληρωθήσονται , shall be fulfilled ) It is the event which chiefly produces faith. εἰς τὸν καιρὸν αὐτῶν , at their own season ) their proper season. Comp. at this time [ will I come ], Romans 9:9 . 2 Kings 4:16 .

[6] See 2 Corinthians 4:13 . ED. and TRANSL

Verse 22

Luke 1:22 . Λαλῆσαι , to speak ) for instance, to give the blessing. Zacharias, as being dumb , was in the meantime excluded from the exercise of all the functions of a priest. This constitutes the prelude to the termination of the ceremonial law, now that Christ is coming. ἐπέγνωσαν , they perceived ) A benefit thus accompanied the very punishment of Zacharias. Thereby all were stirred up to attention.

Verse 23

Luke 1:23 . Εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ , to his own house ) An abbreviated form of expression: the city , in which Zacharias dwelt, requiring to be understood. Comp. Luke 1:39 . So also Luke 1:56 . The house of Zacharias is put in antithesis to the temple of the Lord: see Luke 1:9 .

Verse 24

Luke 1:24 . Ταύτας , these ) the days of which Luk 1:23 makes mention [the days of his ministration]. περίεκρυβεν , She hid herself) that her pregnancy might be unobserved: owing to which, subsequently her pregnancy was suddenly made the more apparent. λέγουσα , saying ) to the partakers of [those who sympathized in] her joy.

Verse 25

Luke 1:25 . Οὕτω , thus ) even as all, five months afterwards, saw her [viz. pregnant]. ἡμέραις , in the days ) definitely fixed beforehand. ἐπεῖδεν ) ἐπέβλεψεν , Luke 1:48 ; ἐπεσκέψατο , Luke 1:68 . τὸ ὄνειδος , my reproach ) viz. the surname by which they called her, viz. barren , Luke 1:36 . ἐν ἀνθρώποις , among men ) She had scarcely accounted herself as one of the human race [to be counted among men ] on account of her barrenness.

Verse 27

Luke 1:27 . Πρὸς παρθένον , to a virgin ) Matthew 1:23 . μεμνηστευμένην , [ espoused ] betrothed ) by the divine ruling of Providence. It would not have been befitting that Mary should have been only betrothed after the annunciation of the angel, and not sooner. ἀνδρὶ , to a man ) who was designed to act as guardian both of the virgin and of her offspring. ἐξ οἴκου Δαυίδ , of the house of David ) Construe with Joseph ; comp. ch. Luke 2:4 . This is, however, not to the exclusion of Mary.

Verse 28

Luke 1:28 . Εἰσελθὺν , entering in ) At evening time, as is probable. Comp. Daniel 9:21 . κεχαριτωμένη ) Ephesians 1:6 . The Vulg. renders gratia plena , in a passive sense [“ filled with grace”], (as Ovid, Carmina plena favoris ), one who has found favour , Luke 1:30 . She is so called, not as the mother of grace, but as the daughter of grace, especially at that early time. μετὰ σοῦ ) May the Lord be with thee [not, “The Lord is with thee,” as Engl. Vers.] Comp. Matthew 1:23 , at the end of verse, and the note. It is parallel to, χαῖρε , Hail . The Indicative is taken for granted, [7] and the Optative here subscribes to [seals and confirms] it. So Judges 6:12 [the angel to Gideon, “The Lord is (or rather, may the Lord be ) with thee”], Κύριος μετὰ σοῦ . σὺ , thou ) The Vocative: as in Acts 4:24 [ Δέσποτα , σὺ ὁ ποιήσας , etc.] Chrys de Sacerd., p. 322.

[7] The χάρις of the Lord, implied in χαῖρε , is with her. ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 29

Luke 1:29 . Διεταράχθη , she was troubled ) Her being troubled arose from the apparition itself ( ἡ δὲ ἰδοῦσα , when she saw him). Therefore she does not seem to have been previously accustomed to apparitions. [ All things, in the case of the blessed Virgin, both what was foretold to herself, and what ensued subsequently, befel her without her expecting them. But if her conception, as the tradition of several members of the Roman Church represents, had been immaculate, she could have hardly accounted herself, however superlatively modest, in such an ordinary position (so entirely undistinguished from ordinary men and women). V. g.] ποταπὸδ εἴη , of what kind may be ) The formulæ themselves, which had been addressed to her, hail , and, the Lord with thee , were ordinary salutations; but from the peculiar and extraordinary titles which the angel added, Mary understood that the formulæ, especially as being conjoined with these titles, were employed with an extraordinary [distinguishing] and new force. In fact, in all the recorded apparitions of angels, there is no other instance occurs of such a salutation. Mary not only wondered, but also cast in her mind, of what kind might be , what was the meaning, and what the drift of this salutation.

Verse 30

Luke 1:30 . Εὗρες γὰρ χάριν , for thou hast found favour ) Hebr. מצא חן . So Acts 7:46 ; Hebrews 4:16 .

Verse 31

Luke 1:31 . Ἰδοὺ , behold ) In the words following is contained a summary of the Gospel, which is repeated at Luke 1:50-51 ; Luke 1:68-69 ; ch. Luke 2:10-11 ; Luke 14:30-31 . Comp. the words, 2 Samuel 7:8 , etc.

Verse 32

Luke 1:32 . οὗτος , He ) The Messiah is clearly described, even as at Luke 1:68 , etc., and ch. Luke 2:30 , etc. μέγας , great ) The greatness of John, described at Luke 1:15 , is far exceeded by the greatness of Jesus, described here. [ See Luke 1:33 , and comp. Daniel 2:35 ; Ephesians 4:10 . V. g.] Υἱὸς Ὑψίστου κληθήσεται , He shall be called the Son of the Highest ) Jesus, even in a point of view distinct from His Divine nature, and from His personal union with God the Father, is, in a sense transcendentally above all angels and men, the Son of the Highest , on account of the extraordinary nature [rationem, principle of His conception and nativity. τὸν θρόνον Δαυὶδ τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ , the throne of David His father ) Christ was promised to the fathers , especially to Abraham, as the Seed . He was promised by Moses, a prophet , as the Prophet . He was promised to David, a king , as the King . Even the temporal kingdom of Israel belonged to Jesus Christ by hereditary right. Massecheth Sanhedrin, ch 4, says, that Jesus is nearest to the kingdom , קרוב למלכות .

Verse 33

Luke 1:33 . Οἶκον Ἰακὼβ , the house of Jacob ) Under this house are contained the Gentiles, even as, for the sake of illustration, there are contained under the appellation of the Rhine, the rivers that flow into it. But yet it is the house itself [Israel] which is principally alluded to, especially at this early period, and in an address to an Israelitish woman. At this early stage in the Gospel history, its progress is designated generally: the spiritual sense lies hid beneath. So Luke 1:68 , etc. βασιλείας , of His kingdom ) Repeat, over the house of David, on the throne of David : Isaiah 9:7 . That which has not yet been accomplished, shall be accomplished.

Verse 34

Luke 1:34 . Πῶς , how ) This How is not inconsistent with faith, as Luk 1:45 proves. [8] οὐ γινώσκω , I know not ) The present is here used for [in accordance with and in reference to] the very moment of the conception, which was still future . She gathers from the words of the angel himself, that she is not about to know man. Ἐπεὶ , seeing that , is categorical [absolute]. Mary understood that this promise is being now given to her as one immediately about to be fulfilled, without respect to the consummation of her espousals. A woman is also said to know a man , Numbers 31:17 ; Judges 9:39 .

[8] The difference between her and Zacharias, Luke 1:18 ; lay not in the words but in the spirit. ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 35

Luke 1:35 . Δύναμις ὑψίστου , the power of the Highest ) Often these words are put in conjunction, Spirit and Power , as in Luke 1:17 ; but in this passage the Power of the Highest rather denotes, by Metonymy, [9] the Highest , whose Power is infinite. So we have the expression, the power of our Lord Jesus Christ , 1 Corinthians 5:4 . The coming of the Holy Ghost upon Mary made her fit for receiving the overshadowing of the power of the Highest . ἐπισκιάσει σοι , shall overshadow thee ) This overshadowing denotes the mildest and most gentle [most modified] operation of the Divine power, whereby it was effected that the Divine Fire did not consume Mary, but made her fruitful. Comp. Mark 9:7 [the cloud overshadowed them at the transfiguration]; Exodus 33:22 . Many suppose allusion is here made to חפה , veiled , as a bride. It was not fitting that the will of man or of the flesh should help towards this [the Saviour’s incarnation]. It was from the substance of Mary that the elements were taken, whatever contributed not only to the ΣΎΛΛΗΨΙς , the conception , but also to the nourishment of the holy fetus [embryo]. And this is considered [is to be viewed so], either antecedently to the moment of actual union with the Λόγος , or else in the very act and state of union. Antecedently to the union, it [what was taken from the substance of the mother] no otherwise than the mother herself, required to be redeemed by virtue of the λύτρον , redemption , about to be effected through the ΘΕΆΝΘΡΩΠΟΝ , God-man, Christ, and was sanctified by the Holy Spirit; and thus it was that the union of the ΛΌΓΟς and the flesh, now [made] holy, had place. I may purchase a farm: and out of the produce of that farm, when subsequently well cultivated, I may pay the price for the farm itself, which has become much more valuable since its cultivation. David bought the area [site] of the temple for a few shekels of silver [ 2Sa 24:24 ]; but the same area became inestimably valuable, when the temple was built upon it. [10] διὸ καὶ , wherefore also ) Thus the Angel gives a satisfactory answer to the question, How , Luke 1:34 . τὸ γεννώμενον , [11] which is being conceived [ given birth to ; not as Engl. Vers. Which shall be born ]) in this new and extraordinary manner. Abstract terms, and such as are expressed in the neuter gender, are very much in consonance with those first beginnings of the Gospel revelation; Luke 1:68 ; Luke 1:71 ; Luke 1:78 ; Luke 2:25 ; Luke 2:30 ; Luke 2:38 . ἅγιον , Holy ) This word is regarded by Tertullian, the Syr [12] Version, the author of the discourse against all heresies in Athanasius, and others of the ancients, as part of the predicate, It shall be called Holy , (and) the Son of God . At all events, the sense of the sentence is most full and compressed: There is a something which is to be given birth to: that which is being given birth to, shall be holy; this holy thing shall be called the Son of God . The whole is inferred from the immediately preceding words of the angel, and that in some such way as the following: The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee ; wherefore that, which is being given birth to, shall be Holy. The Power of the Highest shall overshadow thee ; wherefore that Holy thing shall be called the Son of God . Luk 1:32 is parallel to this: Thy Son shall be great , and shall be called the Son of the Highest . In Divine things, greatness and holiness very much harmonize. It was concerning this Holy One that the same angel spake in Daniel 9:24 .

[9] See Append. Here the substitution of the Adjunct ( the Power ) for the Subject ( the Highest ). ED. and TRANSL.

[10] So Jesus purchased our flesh (humanity) by the redemption about to be made by Him, and then afterwards, by the union of the Λόγος to it, and by the actual paying of the price of His blood, as God-man, made it infinitely more precious. ED. and TRANSL.

[11] The words ἐκ σοῦ , of thee , subjoined to this participle, had been declared in the margin of the larger Ed. to be an improbable reading; but in Exodus 2:0; Exodus 2:0 the reading is raised to the sign δ , and is given in the Vers. Germ. , though enclosed in brackets. Therefore Bengel ought not to have been reckoned, in the Bibl. Theol. Tom. viii. p. 106, among those who have omitted these words. E. B.

[12] yr. the Peschito Syriac Version: second cent.: publ. and corrected by Cureton, from MS. of fifth cent.

Lachm. reads ἐκ σοῦ (though in brackets), with C corrected later, ac , some MSS. of Vulg. Iren. Cypr.: and, before γεννώμενον , Hil. ABD b omit the words; and so Tischend. ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 36

Luke 1:36 . Καὶ ἰδοὺ , and, behold ) To Mary, inasmuch as she believed, a more favourable [pleasant] sign is without solicitation given, than had been given to Zacharias, who did not believe. συγγενὴς , thy [ cousin ] kinswoman ) Therefore John and Jesus also were kinsmen [cousins]. υἱὸν , a son ) Elisabeth’s pregnancy was unknown among men, excepting the members of her own family; but here we find even the time and the sex of the offspring indicated to Mary by Divine information, with a view to strengthen the faith of Mary. But of the office of the Forerunner nothing is said; for Mary was about to hear that from his mother.

Verse 37

Luke 1:37 . Πᾶν ῥῆμα , every word [ thing ]) As to things contradictory in the very terms, whether such are possible to happen, is not a subject which need be disputed; for they do not constitute a word [in the sense ῥῆμα , verbum , is here used, a true word or thing]: nor does a thing done and undone, i.e . true and false [a word verified and then falsified], constitute a word ; for repentance of His deed or promise does not apply to God: Genesis 18:14 , μὴ ἀδυνατεῖ παρὰ τῷ Θεῷ ῥῆμα ; Is any word impossible with God? ( Surely not .)

Verse 38

Luke 1:38 . Γένοιτό μοι , be it done unto me ) Compare the assent which David expresses to God’s covenant promise, 2 Samuel 7:25 [The word that Thou hast spoken establish it for ever, and do as Thou hast said], 28. ἀπῆλθεν , departed ) even as he previously came in , Luke 1:28 .

Verse 39

Luke 1:39 . Ἀναστᾶσα , having arisen ) The angel had given her the suggestion [occasion] which led her to go, Luke 1:36 . [ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ταύταις , in those days ) of the sixth month, Luke 1:26 ; Luke 1:36 . V. g.] μετὰ σπουδῆς ) Σπουδὴ , and its derivatives and compounds, often in the LXX. denote haste, בהלה . εἰς πόλιν Ἰούδα , to a city of Juda) Luke does not specify the name of this city of the priests in the hill country, but from Joshua 21:11 , we know it was Hebron; but he specifically sets down the name of the tribe, Juda. Here then it was, we may, not without good reason, conjecture, that the conception of Jesus Christ took place. [The haste of the holy virgin, just now noticed, is in consonance with this view. Harm. p. 42.] Comp. Kohlreiff. in Jes. 30; and concerning the nativity of Jesus Christ in the land of Canaan, p. 96. Moreover, there were most remarkable motions and emotions in Elisabeth, and her infant in the womb, and in Mary, Luke 1:41-42 : also the particle γὰρ , for, in Luke 1:44 , has an altogether peculiar weight, expressing the reason why, at this particular point of time, Elisabeth first proclaims Mary to be the mother of her Lord [ Luk 1:43 ]. Of so great moment, in truth, is the conception, that, if it had happened at Nazareth, He would have been called a Nazarene for that reason, rather than on account of His parents dwelling there. But this fact of their dwelling there is given as the one and only cause of that surname which He bore [ch. Luke 4:16 ; Luk 4:24 ]. As it is, the Lord, both with reference to His mother and progenitors, and with reference to the places alike where He was conceived as well as born, was sprung from Juda.

Verse 40

Luke 1:40 . Ἠσπάσατο , saluted ) The salutations of the saints and those of the ungodly are altogether different. No mere effort of reason can comprehend how powerfully moving and how effectual is the will of the saints, which draws its resources from God by faith and love, and then turns the tide of them on friends capable of receiving them [susceptible to them].

Verse 41

Luke 1:41 . Καὶ ἐπλήσθη , and was filled ) The spiritual motions [and emotions] of the embryo and of the mother were conjoined: Luke 1:15 .

Verse 42

Luke 1:42 . Ἀνεφώνησε φωνῇ μεγάλῃ ) So ἐφώνησε φωνῇ μεγάλῃ Acts 16:28 . Others read ἀνεβόησε [13] φωνῇ μεγάλῃ . And so Matthew 27:46 ; LXX., Gen 27:38 ; 1 Samuel 28:12 ; Isaiah 36:13 ; Isaiah 11:13 , etc. Also 3Ma 5:48 (51); Hist. of Sus. four times; Hist. of the Drag. Luke 1:40 (41). But ἀναφωνεῖν is employed in a very different sense; for instance, of the sounds heard in public worship, as it was duly ordered by David. καὶ εἶπεν , and said ) It was not until after these words which, coming from the Holy Spirit, followed immediately after the salutation of Mary, that Mary reported to Elisabeth what the angel had announced to her. εὐλογημένη , Blessed ) These words, which in the angel’s salutation were last in order, stand first in the salutation of Elisabeth. καὶ εὐλογημένος , and blessed ) This was not added in Luke 1:28 . ὁ καρπὸς , the fruit ) Mary therefore was truly the mother of Jesus.

[13] C is the only good authority for ἀνεβόησε . ABD Origen expressly, 4,149 ab , read ἀνεφώνησεν . The very strangeness of the use of the latter word is an argument for it not having come from transcribers: ἀνέβοησε was evidently a marginal explanation. Bengel’s own principle, “Præferatur ardua lectioni procliviori,” supports ἀνεφώνησε . ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 43

Luke 1:43 . Ἡ μήτηρ , the Mother ) This new appellation addressed to her, could not but move in her inmost soul the Virgin mother. The Mother , saith she, of my Lord ; she does not, however, call her, My Lady [ i.e. as if she had lordship, like Christ, over all]. τοῦ Κυρίου μου , of my Lord ) Comp. ch. Luke 20:42 ; John 20:28 .

Verse 44

Luke 1:44 . Γὰρ , for ) By this she seems to intimate, that at the same precise point of time both her infant-fœtus leaped, and Mary began in actual fact to be mother of our Lord. Comp. the ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν , from the-now-time [from this time forth]. ἐσκίρτησεν , leaped ) Nor was that leap of salutation the one and only act of faith [in the infant John]; for he was “filled with the Holy Ghost” [even from his mother’s womb], Luke 1:15 .

Verse 45

Luke 1:45 . Μακαρία , blessed ) This is evident from the instance of Zacharias on the opposite side. πιστεύσασα , who hath believed ) Luke 1:38 . ὅτι ἔσται ) that [but Engl Vers. for ) there shall be. αὐτῇ , to her [in particular]) This has an emphatic reference to ἡ πιστεύσασα , who hath believed , and is put instead of, to thee : just as in ch. Luke 13:34 .

Verse 46

Luke 1:46 . Εἶπε , said ) in words, or even in writing. Mary had received the Divine message after Zacharias, and yet she is the first to raise the hymn of joy: the songs of both ought as well to be compared together, as also with the words of the angel, Luke 1:28 , etc., 13, etc.; and in another point of view with the language of Hannah, 1. Sam. Luke 2:1 , etc., and with the thanksgiving of David, 2 Samuel 7:18 , etc., on the same subject: also Psalms 34:0 . The hymns of Mary and Zacharias breathe altogether the spirit of the New Testament. And Mary was divinely so guided, that, even though she did not understand all the particulars (as ch. Luke 2:33 ; Luke 2:50 , implies), yet she spake out the mystery in words adapted to express even its most profound meaning. She praises God in the name of herself, and of her Blessed Offspring in the womb, and of Israel. The beginning of the hymn is in conformity with Psalms 31:8 , LXX: Ἀγαλλιάσομαι καὶ εὐφρανθήσομαι ἐπὶ τῷ ἐλέει σον · ὅτι ἐπεῖδες ἐπὶ τὴν ταπείνωσίν μου .

Verse 47

Luke 1:47 . Σωτῆρι , Saviour ) Preserver . See on Chrys. de Sacerd. pp. 452, 453. This expresses the force of the name, Jesus , as given, Luke 1:31 . [ Mary, by this mode of expression, reckons herself among those things which had been lost. Even she had her salvation, not from herself, but from Jesus . V. g.]

Verse 48

Luke 1:48 . Ταπείνωσιν ) the low estate . James 1:10 . עני LXX. often render ταπείνωσις . Her lowliness made Mary capable of receiving the great things, of which Luk 1:32-33 speak. μακαριοῦσί με , shall call [proclaim] me blessed) Comp. Luke 1:45 , ch. Luke 11:27-28 . πᾶσαι αἱ γενεαὶ , all generations) all posterity.

Verses 49-50

Luke 1:49-50 , Καὶ , and ) He [that is mighty, etc.], Whose name is holy, and Whose mercy, etc. [but Engl. Vers. “ And holy is His name, and His mercy,” etc.] For these three clauses are joined together by the and , repeated. So the Hebrew relative, אשר , is often not expressed but understood. It is not until Luk 1:51 that the new paragraph begins.

Verse 50

Luke 1:50 . Εἰς γενεὰς , to the generations ) Although the promise may seem to be long retarded, yet it is fulfilled, and that too, to everlasting. It is the same generations which call Mary blessed, Luke 1:48 .

Verse 51

Luke 1:51 . Ἐποίησε κράτος ἐξαπέστειλε κενοὺς , He hath showed strength He hath sent empty away ) God designed to do all these things through the Messiah, and the mother of the Latter was receiving an experimental proof of the fact in her own self. ὑπερηφάνους , the proud ) both those visible and those invisible [Satan, etc.] of this character.

Verse 52

Luke 1:52 . Δυνάστας , the mighty [potentates]) as Saul, and Herod.

Verse 53

Luke 1:53 . Πεινῶντας ἐνέπλησεν ἀγαθῶν , He hath filled the hungry with good things ) Psalms 107:9 , LXX. ψυχὴν πεινῶσαν ἐνέπλησεν ἀγαθῶν . To the 10th verse of the same psalm corresponds also the Song of Zacharias, Luke 1:79 . ἐξαπέστειλε , He hath sent away ) Though they might have seemed to be the nearest to God.

Verse 54

Luke 1:54 . Ἀντελάβετο , He hath helped ) in the fact of His sending the Messiah. The same verb is given as the rendering of נשא , 1 Kings 9:11 . παιδὸς , servant) So Luke 1:69 . μνησθῆναι ) for this reason, because He remembered; or else, in order that He might evince Himself mindful, Luke 1:72 ; Habakkuk 3:2 .

Verse 55

Luke 1:55 . Ἐλάλησε , He spake ) with an oath, especially to David. πατέρας ἓως αἰῶνος , our father even to all ages ) Mary comprises the past and future. τῷ ) Construe thus, μνησθῆναι ἐλέους τῷ Ἀβραάμ [not ἐλάλησεν τῷ Ἀβραάμ ]. Micah 7:20 , LXX. δώσεις ( εἰς ) ἀληθείαν τῷ Ἰακὼβ , ἔλεον τῷ Ἀβραὰμ , καθότι ὤμοσας τοῖς πατράσιν ὑμῶν κατὰ τὰς ἡμέρας τὰς ἔμπροσθεν . [14] Psalms 98:3 , ἐμνήσθη τοῦ ἐλέους αὐτοῦ τῷ Ἰακώβ . Also Psalms 119:49 . ἕως , even to ) Construe with τῷ σπέρματι , to his seed . [15]

[14] The Vatican LXX. reads δώσει εἰς ἀλήθειαν , etc. πατράσιν ἡμῶν . Engl. Vers. from Hebrew, “Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.” ED. and TRANSL.

[15] ABD omit ἕως αἰῶνος . C supports it, as also A in the Psalms, bc Vulg. “in sæcula.” ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 56

Luke 1:56 . Τρεῖς , three ) She departed before the birth-giving [confinement] of Elisabeth. εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτῆς , to her own house ) from which she had been some time before commanded to go, in order to stop at Bethlehem. [ Therefore it is to this (point of time) belong the statements which Matthew has inserted, at his ch. Luke 1:18-24 , in the narrative itself concerning the nativity of Christ . Harm., p. 42.]

Verse 58

Luke 1:58 . Μετʼ αὐτῆς , had showed great mercy upon her [dealt in great mercy with her ]) So ἔλεος μετὰ τῶν πατέρων , to perform mercy upon our father [to deal in mercy with our fathers]: ch. Luke 10:37 , note. [16]

[16] Hellenistic construction, as in LXX. 2 Samuel 9:1 , etc. ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 59

Luke 1:59 . Ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματι τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ , after the name of his father ) This was not the custom among the Jews: but in this case an extraordinary cause moved the members of the family, inasmuch as John was to sustain the whole posterity of [was the sole representative to posterity of] Zacharias.

Verse 60

Luke 1:60 . Εἶπεν , said ) by special revelation. For if she had learned it from Zacharias by letter, there would have been no need that the question should be again asked him, as it was in Luke 1:62 .

Verse 61

Luke 1:61 . Συγγενείᾳ σου , thy kindred ) They supposed that Elisabeth, if she chose to give a name different from that of Zacharias, would follow [adopt one of] the names of her own family. [ Even in this respect it was befitting that something new and unprecedented should be done . V. g.]

Verse 62

Luke 1:62 . Ἐνένευον , they made signs ) To one dumb it is more convenient, that he should see persons making signs, than that he should hear them speaking, inasmuch as he is not able to reply to them by word of mouth. It is not probable that Zacharias was also deaf . τὸ ) The article is here demonstrative.

Verse 63

Luke 1:63 . Πινακίδιον , a tablet ) If the relics of the Gospel histories, which are usually shown, were as genuine as they are numerous, there is no doubt but that Providence would have preserved this tablet. ἔγραψε , λέγων , he wrote, saying ) He wrote in these words: Luke 1:64 . [17] Comp. 2 Kings 10:1 ; 2Ki 10:6 ; 2 Chronicles 21:12 . Ἰωάννης , John ) The last writing in the Old Testament ends in חרם , i.e . [“lest I come and smite the earth with”] a curse , Malachi 4:6 . This, the first instance of writing in the New Testament, begins with grace [ John in Hebr. = the grace or favour of God ]. ἔστι , is ) Zacharias does not so much command, as indicate the Divine commands. ἘΘΑΎΜΑΣΑΝ , they marvelled ) at the newness of the name, without precedent in the family, and at the unanimity of Zacharias and Elisabeth on the question of the name, though there had been no consultation between them, which must therefore have been the result, not of preconcerted design, but of a revelation, which had been vouchsafed to each of the two.

[17] This verse shows his ‘mouth’ was not yet ‘opened:’ therefore ‘saying’ does not mean oral words. ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 64

Luke 1:64 . Αὐτοῦ , of him ) i.e . Zacharias.

Verse 65

Luke 1:65 . [ Φόβος , fear ) This whole affair breathed of Divine guidance.] πάντα , κ . τ . λ ., all , etc.) All whatsoever is recorded from Luke 1:11 .

Verse 66

Luke 1:66 . Ἔθεντο , laid up ) A most wholesome study [deliberation]: that the connection of the several events should be carefully observed after long intervals elapsing in the Divine operations. Comp. ch. Luke 2:18-19 .

Verse 67

Luke 1:67 . Προεφήτευσε , prophesied ) concerning the events which were immediately about to be. These prophesyings were spoken by Zacharias, either on the very day of John’s circumcision, or after that the fact had become widely circulated.

Verse 68

Luke 1:68 . Ὅτι , because [for]) Zacharias is especially speaking of Christ, Luke 1:69 : and of John only as it were incidentally: see Luke 1:76 . ἐπεσκέψατο , κ . τ . λ ., He hath visited and made redemption ) i.e. He hath visited so as to make redemption , etc. The same verb occurs in Luke 1:78 . [ λύτρωσιν , redemption ) However earnestly desired by Zacharias John was, yet the former speaks first concerning Christ, and that, in an especial manner and most fully: he speaks of John only as it were in passing, Luke 1:76 . V. g.]

Verse 69

Luke 1:69 . Κέρας , a horn ) Psalms 132:17 . This term signifies abundance and kingly strength. The article was not suitable to be added at that early period. So also Luke 1:68 ; Luke 1:71 ; Luke 1:78 . Afterwards the fact of itself claimed these names more openly as belonging to Jesus Christ alone. σωτηρίας , of salvation ) In allusion to the name, Jesus : comp. Luke 1:71 ; Luke 1:77 . John only gave the knowledge of salvation: the Lord gave salvation itself. Δαυὶδ , David ) Psalms 132:17 ; Psalms 132:6 . παιδὸς ) עבד , servant, Psalms 132:10 .

Verse 70

Luke 1:70 . Καθὼς ἐλάλησε , as He spake ) The point at which Mary left off, Luke 1:55 , is the same as that at which Zacharias now begins. διὰ στόματος , by the mouth ) To prophesy cost the prophets no labour in so far as they received the power from God; whatever it cost them, was merely in so far as they had to put forth their prophecies to men hostile to them. They needed merely to lend their mouth [for God to supply the words]: nay, even “ a mouth ” was given tham, Luke 21:15 . ἁγίων , holy ) There was no prophet that was not holy: [18] 2 Peter 1:21 ; Hebrews 11:32-33 . ἈΠʼ ΑἸῶΝΟς , since the world began ) Even from the very beginning there were prophets.

[18] Balaam seems an exception. But perhaps Beng. means by ‘sanctus’ consecrated to God, and set apart from other men by God to His service. Ed. and Transl.

Verse 71

Luke 1:71 . Σωτηρίαν , salvation ) Understand, I say . The idea contained in an horn of salvation [ Luk 1:69 ], is repeated in a briefer form. [ A horn of salvation salvation, I say, from our enemies , etc.] μισούντων , who regard us with hatred ) He describes the spiritual benefits in language still in conformity with the phraseology of the Old Testament, viz. language applicable to temporal aid.

Verse 72

Luke 1:72 . Ποιῆσαι ) [to perform] by performing . ἔλεος , the mercy ) Mercy and remembrance of the covenant is the same as חסד ואמת , grace and truth. μετὰ , with [19] ) The antithetic word is ἐξ , from [our enemies], Luke 1:71 . τῶν πατέρων , our fathers ) long since deceased: [20] ch. Luke 20:37-38 . μνησθῆναι , [ to remember ] by remembering ) An allusion to the name Zacharias. [21]

[19] But Engl. Vers. “promised to .” Rather, as Luke 1:58 , μετʼ αὐτῆς ; “to perform mercy in His dealings with our fathers.” ED. and TRANSL.

[20] And yet still He is their God: therefore the covenant still holds good. ED. and TRANSL.

[21] Which in Hebrew means one whom the Lord remembers , from זָכַי , to remember. ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 73

Luke 1:73 . Ὅρκον , ὃν ) That is ὅρκου , ὃν , [ ὅρκου in apposition to διαθήκης , Luke 1:72 .] It depends on μνησθῆναι , [to remember] in remembrance of . τοῦ δοῦναι ) On this depends ῥυσθέντας λατρεύειν , i.e . δοῦναι , ἵνα ῥυσθέντες λατρεύσωμεν . The article indicates that the preceding infinitive, ποιῆσαι , is explained by this subsequent infinitive. [22] So also Luk 1:77 compared with the preceding words [ ἑτοιμάσαι ὁδοὺς αὐτοῦ , τοῦ δοῦναι ]: and also Luke 1:79 , and ch. Luke 2:22 ; Luke 2:24 .

[22] The Genitive ( τοῦ δοῦναι ) is often used to express the reference in which a thing is taken: as here, “to perform His mercy, viz. in respect to His granting to us.” ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 74

Luke 1:74 . Ἀφόβως , without fear ) The Fear of our Enemies, not fear of the Lord Himself, and that a filial fear, is set aside: Hebrews 2:15 , [To deliver them who, through fear of death , were all their lifetime subject to bondage .] λατρεύειν , that we might serve ) This constitutes the Priesthood of the New Testament.

Verse 75

Luke 1:75 . Ἐν ὁσιότητι καὶ δικαιοσύνῃ , in holiness and righteousness ) The same combination of words occurs, Ephesians 4:24 ; 1 Thessalonians 2:10 . Righteousness expresses conformity to the law: holiness , conformity to nature. πάσας ) on every day [ all the several days ]: Hebrews 2:15 .

Verse 76

Luke 1:76 . Καὶ , and ) Answering to what Zacharias has heretofore sung [prophetically uttered], there now correspond those words which follow: concerning grace towards His people, Luk 1:77 answers to the previous Luke 1:68 ; concerning salvation, Luk 1:77 answers to Luke 1:69 ; concerning mercy, Luk 1:78 answers to Luke 1:72 . παίδιον , thou child ) How little soever thou art now. He does not call the infant by name. He speaks as a prophet, not as a parent.

Verse 77

Luke 1:77 . Γνῶσιν ἀφέσει , knowledge in [ by ] the remission ) Hebrews 8:11-12 ; Jeremiah 9:23 . ἐν , in [Engl. Vers. by ]) Construe in with salvation [ σωτηρίας ἐν ἀφέσει ]. ἀφέσει , remission ) which is the Foundation of Salvation.

Verse 78

Luke 1:78 . Διὰ , through ) Construe with ἀφέσει , remission through , etc. ἐλέους , of mercy ) An allusion to the name John: [In Hebr. = the mercy or grace of the Lord .] [ ἐπεσκέψατο ἡμᾶς , hath visited us ) He was the Saviour even before that He assumed human nature. For His incarnation was a visiting of us of His own free choice. V. g.] ἀνατολὴ ) So the LXX. render צמח , Zechariah 3:8 ; Zechariah 6:12 ; Jeremiah 23:5 : for צמח is also said of the dawn of daylight. See John Gregor. Observ. c. 18, Tom. vii. Crit. col. 585, where there is a copious and admirable dissertation. There is a Metonymy of the Abstract for the Concrete, Day-spring [day-rising], i.e. the Sun-rising. See following verse [“to give light,” etc., which applies to the sun itself, not to its rising]; Joshua 9:1 ; Revelation 22:16 . ἐξ ὓψους , from on high) This is said concerning the Son of God in this passage, and concerning the Holy Ghost in ch. Luke 24:49 [Endued with power from on high]: comp. Galatians 4:4 ; Galatians 4:6 . So [The second man is the Lord] from heaven, 1 Corinthians 15:47 .

Verse 79

Luke 1:79 . Ἐπιφᾶναι , so as to give light to [ to shine in full manifestation on ]) Again comp. Psalms 132:17 [I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed]. τοῖς καθημένοις , them that sit ) Comp. Matthew 4:15 , note on the passage of Isaiah quoted there. σκότει καὶ σκιᾷ θανάτου , in darkness and the shadow of death ) These are conjoined as their opposites, light and life .

Verse 80

Luke 1:80 . Ηὔξανε , grew ) in body. ἐν ταῖς ἐρήμοις , in the deserts ) Here the more inward and remote parts of the desert are denoted; but in Matthew 3:1 [“the wilderness of Judea,” where John began his preaching]: it is the exterior desert that is meant. He remained exempt from contact with [lit. rubbing with ] life in its ordinary and polluted forms. The Forerunner of Christ, and Christ Himself, had experience themselves, and gave a specimen to others, of both kinds of life; and indeed, first, of a solitary mode of life, afterwards also of a public one. ἓως , even up to ) Ch. Luke 3:2-3 .

Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 1". Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jab/luke-1.html. 1897.
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