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Bible Commentaries

The Fourfold Gospel

Luke 1

Verses 1-4


The Fourfold Gospel

P A R T F I R S T.
THE PERIOD OF CHRIST’S LIFE PRIOR TO
HIS MINISTRY.

I.
LUKE’S PREFACE AND DEDICATION.
cLUKE I. 1-4. Acts 1:21-23] and ministers of the word [the apostles were ministers, and not ecclesiastical dignitaries], 3; it seemed good to me also, having traced the course of all things accurately from the first [and being therefore thoroughly fitted to write the gospel], to write unto thee in order [not in chronological, but in topical order], most excellent Theophilus [Luke also dedicated the Book of Acts to this man. Nothing is known of Theophilus, but he is supposed to have been a Greek of high official rank]; 4 that thou mightest know the certainty [might have a [1] fixed written record, and not trust to a floating, variable tradition or a treacherous memory] concerning the things [the gospel facts] wherein thou wast instructed.

* NOTE.--The four Gospels are respectively represented in this volume by the superior letters a, b, c, and d; and variations in the readings of the four Gospels are inserted in braces, thus: { }.

[FFG 1-2]

Verses 5-25


V.
ANNUNCIATION TO ZACHARIAS OF THE BIRTH
OF JOHN THE BAPTIST.
(At Jerusalem. Probably B. C. 6.)
cLUKE I. 5-25.

c5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judæa [a Jewish proselyte, an Idumæan or Edomite by birth, founder of the Herodian family, king of Judæa from B. C. 40 to A. D. 4, made such by the Roman Senate on the recommendation of Mark Antony and Octavius Cæsar], a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course [David divided the priests into twenty-four bodies or courses, each course serving in rotation one week in the temple ( 1 Chronicles 24:3-19). Of these courses that of Abijah was the eighth] of Abijah: and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron [The Baptist was of the priestly race by both parents, a family distinction much esteemed among the Jews. He who was thus doubly a priest proclaimed Him who changed the priesthood], and her name was Elisabeth. [She was named after her ancestress Elisheba, the wife of Aaron.] 6 And they were both righteous before God [that is, truly righteous, or righteous in God’s judgment, and not in mere appearance-- Genesis 7:1], walking in all the commandments and ordinances [Strictly construed, commandments would refer to moral, and ordinances to ceremonial laws. The two words include all the positive and negative precepts] of the Lord blameless. 7 And they had no child [this fact was a reproach and shame to her, barrenness being considered even a punishment for sin by many], because that Elisabeth was barren [the births of Isaac, Samson, Samuel and the Baptist were all contrary to nature, and were faint foreshadowings of the greater miracle which took place in the birth of our Lord], and they both were now well stricken in years. 8 And it came to pass, [9] that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course [that is, when it came the turn of his course to minister in the temple], 9 according to the custom [there were many duties in the temple service, and the priests in each course daily drew lots for these duties] of the priest’s office, his lot was to enter into the temple [not that group of buildings, courts, and enclosures which was all called the temple; but the real sanctuary itself, the small but holy building which took the place of the tabernacle of the wilderness] of the Lord and burn incense. [Made of a mixture of sweet spices. The temple incense was made of stacte, onycha, galbanum, and pure frankincense, in equal parts, beaten very small-- Exodus 30:7, Exodus 30:8, Exodus 30:34-38.] 10 The whole multitude [the presence of the multitude indicates that it was a sabbath or a feast day] of the people were praying [Incense is a symbol of prayer ( Psalms 141:1, Psalms 141:2, Revelation 8:3). Each of the multitude prayed in silence] without [outside the sanctuary, in the temple courts, particularly the court of the women] at the time of incense. [Incense was offered evening and morning ( Exodus 30:1-8). Probably at 9 A. M. and at 3 P. M. Compare Acts 3:1. The text favors the idea that Zacharias’ vision came in the morning.] 11 And there appeared unto him [one of God’s invisible messengers who came visibly-- 2 Kings 6:17, Psalms 34:7] an angel of the Lord [Luke frequently tells of the ministration of angels ( 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). They are also often mentioned in the Book of Acts. There had been no appearance of an angel for about four hundred years] standing on the right side [the place of honor and dignity-- Acts 7:56] of the altar of incense. [The altar on which Zacharias was burning incense. It stood in the Holy Place in front of the veil which hung between the holy and the most holy places. It was a small table twenty-two inches in breadth and length and forty-four inches in height. It was made of acacia wood, and overlaid with gold-- Exodus 37:25.] 12 And Zacharias was troubled [as men always are at the sight of heavenly beings [10] -- Genesis 3:9, Genesis 3:10, Daniel 10:7-12, Revelation 1:17, Revelation 1:18] when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not [These are the first words of the gospel which began at that hour to unfold itself], Zacharias: because thy supplication is heard, and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. [This name means "the Lord is gracious," or "the Lord is merciful."] 14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness [thou shalt feel as Abraham did when he named his new-born son Isaac; that is, "Laughter"]; and many [but not all] shall rejoice at his birth. 15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord [compare Luke 1:6], and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink. [Strong drink is any other fermented liquor. Wycliffe’s version calls it "syder," and the Anglo-Saxon version calls it "beor," of which palm wine was the most common kind. As to the temperance of the Baptist, compare the history of Samson ( Judges 13:3-5) and the law of the Nazarite-- Numbers 6:2-4]; and he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit [the stimulation of the Spirit is elsewhere thus contrasted with alcoholic stimulants-- Acts 2:15-18, Ephesians 5:18], even from his mother’s womb. [See Luke 1:41.] 16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn unto the Lord their God. [These words were quoted from Malachi 4:6, and resumed the thread of prophecy which had been broken nearly four centuries before. Roman rule had brought in the vices and profligacy of Italy and Greece, and the nation needed to turn back to its former godly life.] 17 And he shall go before his face [the face of Messiah, who is also the Lord God-- Malachi 3:1] in the spirit and power of Elijah [And thus in fulfillment of the prophecy that Elijah should come again ( Malachi 4:6; Matthew 17:9-13). The Jews still expect Elijah as the forerunner of Messiah. John showed the spirit of Elijah in his ascetic dress and life ( 2 Kings 1:8, Matthew 3:4) and in his message of repentance-- 1 Kings 18:21-40], to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children. ["These are the last words of the Old [11] Testament, there used by a prophet; here expounded by an angel; there concluding the law; here beginning the gospel." The phrase may mean: 1. John will restore unity to the families of Israel, now divided into political factions, as Herodians or friends of Rome, and zealots or patriots; and into religious factions, as Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, etc.; or more likely it may mean, 2. That John would restore the broken relationship between the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and their degenerate descendants-- Isaiah 29:22, Isaiah 29:23, Isaiah 63:16, John 8:37-40], and the disobedient to walk in the wisdom of the just; to make ready for the Lord a people prepared for him. [As in the East the "friend," or go-between, prepares the bride to understand and appreciate her bridegroom-- John 3:28, John 3:29.] 18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? [In asking for a sign Zacharias showed his unbelief ( Matthew 12:38, Matthew 12:39). His question in the original is in four words. Four faithless words cost him forty weeks of silence.] for I am an old man [So said Abraham ( Genesis 17:17). The law which retired Levites from service at the age of fifty years ( Numbers 8:25, Numbers 8:26) did not apply to priests. They served to extreme old age], and my wife well stricken in years. 19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel [This name means "hero, or mighty one, of God." Gabriel announced to Daniel the time of Christ’s birth and death, and the overthrow and final restoration of the Jewish nation ( Numbers 8:26.). He also announced the birth of Jesus to Mary ( Luke 1:26). The Bible gives the name of but one other angel; viz.: Michael, meaning "Who is like God?" Since Gabriel was the messenger who announced God’s merciful and gracious purposes, and Michael the one who executed his decrees and punishments, the Jews had a beautiful saying that "Gabriel flew with two wings, and Michael with only one." The very ancient book of Enoch ( Judges 1:14) gives us the name of two other archangels; viz.: Uriel, meaning "God is light"; and Raphael, meaning "healer of God"], that stand in the presence of God [Seven angels are [12] spoken of as standing in the presence of God ( Revelation 8:2) and may probably be called angels of the presence ( Isaiah 63:9). But to see the face of God is no doubt accorded to all angels ( Matthew 18:10). One who stands in the presence of God should be believed by men without approving signs]; and I was sent to speak unto thee, and to bring thee these good tidings. [Our word "gospel" means good tidings.] 20 And, behold, thou shalt be silent [it was a sign; and also a punishment for having sought a sign] and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall come to pass, because thou believedst not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. 21 And the people were waiting for Zacharias, and they marvelled while he tarried [The Jews considered slow service as irreverent and displeasing to God. The punishment attached to displeasing service made them fearful-- Leviticus 16:13] in the temple. 22 And when he came out, he could not speak unto them [Could not dismiss them with the usual blessing ( Numbers 6:23-26). Disbelief is always powerless to bless]: and they perceived [probably by his excited manner] that he had seen a vision [the most vivid and objective of all spiritual phenomena-- Luke 24:23, Acts 26:19, 2 Corinthians 12:1, Daniel 9:23] in the temple: and he continued making signs unto them, and remained dumb. 23 And it came to pass, when the days of his ministration [They are said to have lasted from the evening of one Sabbath (Friday at sundown) to the morning of the next. Though doubtless chagrined at the punishment which had come upon him, the old priest remained at his post, and dwelt in the temple until his week was finished] were fulfilled, he departed unto his house. [Some guess that he lived at Hebron, others at Jutta, five miles south of Hebron, others at Ain Karim, four miles west of Jerusalem, but no one knows.] 24 And after these days Elisabeth his wife conceived; and she hid herself [probably through mingled feelings of modesty, humility, devotion, and joy] five months [at the end of which time her seclusion was interrupted by the visit [13] of Mary], saying, 25 Thus [graciously and mercifully] hath the Lord done unto me in the days wherein he looked upon me, to take away my reproach [the reproach of being childless-- Genesis 30:23] among men.

[FFG 9-14]

Verses 26-38


VI.
ANNUNCIATION OF THE BIRTH OF JESUS.
(At Nazareth, B. C. 5.)
cLUKE I. 26-38.

c26 Now in the sixth month [this is the passage from which we learn that John was six months older than Jesus] the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth [Luke alone tells us where Mary lived before the birth of Jesus. That Nazareth was an unimportant town is shown by the fact that it is mentioned nowhere in the Old Testament, nor in the Talmud, nor in Josephus, who mentions two hundred four towns and cities of Galilee. The way in which Luke introduces Galilee and Nazareth shows that he wrote to those unfamiliar with Palestine. Compare the conversation at John 1:45, John 1:46. Galilee comprised the lands of Zebulun, Naphtali, Issachar and Asher. It was rich in trees and pastures. Its people were hardy and warlike], 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man [In the East, the betrothal or engagement was entered into with much ceremony, and usually took place a year before the marriage. It was so sacred that the parties entering into it could not be separated save by a bill of divorcement-- Matthew 1:19] to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David [that is, Joseph was of the house of David]; and the virgin’s name was Mary. [The same as Miriam-- Exodus 15:20.] 28 And he came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee. 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this might be. [Whether it meant a present sorrow or joy, for God’s salutations all [14] mean joy, but usually is in the distant future-- Hebrews 12:11, 2 Corinthians 4:17, 2 Corinthians 4:18.] 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not [the gospel is full of "Fear nots"; it teaches us that perfect love which casts out fear-- 1 John 4:18], for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. [The same as Hoshea ( Numbers 13:8), Joshua, and Jeshua ( Zechariah 3:1). It means the "salvation of Jehovah." It was one of the most common Jewish names, but was given to Jesus by divine direction because of its fitness-- Matthew 1:21.] 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High [A common Hebrew way of saying "He shall be." Even the evil spirits called Jesus by this name-- Mark 5:7]: and the Lord God shall give unto him [he shall not receive his kingdom as a bribe from Satan ( Matthew 4:9), nor win it by force of arms ( John 18:10, John 18:11, John 18:36, Matthew 26:53), but as the gift of God-- Acts 2:32-36, Philippians 2:9-11, Matthew 28:18] the throne [see Psalms 132:11] of his father David [this must refer to Mary’s descent from David, for she is expressly told in Luke 1:35 that her son would have no earthly father]: 33 and he shall reign over the house of Jacob [That is, over the family or descendants of Jacob; but the expression includes his spiritual, rather than his carnal, descendants ( Galatians 3:7, Galatians 3:28, Galatians 3:29). This name therefore includes the Gentiles as the name of a river includes the rivers which flow into it] forever [ Daniel 2:44, Daniel 7:13, Daniel 7:14, Daniel 7:27, Micah 4:7, Psalms 45:6, Hebrews 1:8, Revelation 11:15]; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. [ Isaiah 7:9. Christ shall resign his mediatorial kingdom to the Father at the close of this dispensation ( 1 Corinthians 15:24-28); but as being one with his Father he shall rule forever.] 34 And Mary unto the angel, How shall this be [Her question indicates surprise, not disbelief. Unlike Zacharias, she asked no sign. The youthful village maiden, amid her humble daily duties, shows a more ready faith in the far more startling message than the aged priest in the holy place of the temple in the atmosphere [15] of the sacred incense], seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow [the Spirit of God is thus spoken of as "brooding over" or overshadowing creation to develop it-- Genesis 1:2] thee [This indicates that the Holy Spirit himself created the body of Christ ( Hebrews 10:5). The spirit, or divine nature, of Christ was from the beginning, and was unbegotten--that is, in the sense of being created]: wherefore also the holy thing. [the body of Jesus-- Hebrews 7:26, 1 Peter 2:22] which is begotten [ Galatians 4:4] shall be called the Son of God. [As the Evangelist is here talking about the bodily and human nature of Jesus, it is possible that he may here speak of Jesus as the Son of God in the same sense in which he called Adam the son of God ( Luke 3:38); that is, his body and human nature were the direct and miraculous production of the divine power. If so, we find Jesus called the Son of God in three several senses: 1. Here, because he was born into the world in a supernatural manner. 2. Elsewhere, because by his resurrection he was begotten from the dead ( Romans 1:4, Acts 13:33, Psalms 2:7). 3. Also elsewhere, because of the eternal, immutable, and unparalleled relationship which he sustains to the Father-- John 1:1, John 1:14, John 1:18.] 36 And behold, Elisabeth thy kinswoman, she also hath conceived a son in her old age. [The angel tells of Elisabeth’s condition, that it may encourage the faith of Mary, and lead her to trust in Him with whom nothing is impossible-- Jeremiah 32:17, Jeremiah 32:27, Genesis 18:14, Matthew 19:26.] 37 For no word from God shall be void of power. [ Isaiah 55:11.] 38 And Mary said, Behold, the handmaid [Literally, "slave" or "bondservant." It is the feminine form of the word which Paul so often applies to himself ( Romans 1:1, Titus 1:1). Mary uses it to indicate her submissive and obedient spirit] of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. [In great faith she not only believes the promise, but prays for its fulfillment. She bowed to the will of God like [16] Eli ( 1 Samuel 3:18), and became the mother of Him who prayed, "Not my will, but thine, be done"-- Luke 22:42.] And the angel departed from her.

[FFG 14-17]

Verses 39-56


VII.
MARY, FUTURE MOTHER OF JESUS, VISITS
ELISABETH, FUTURE MOTHER OF JOHN THE BAPTIST.
(In the Hill Country of Judæa, B. C. 5.)
cLUKE I. 39-56.

c39 And Mary arose in these days [within a week or two after the angel appeared to her] and went into the hill country [the district of Judah lying south of Jerusalem, of which the city of Hebron was the center] with haste [she fled to those whom God had inspired, so that they could understand her condition and know her innocence--to those who were as Joseph needed to be inspired, that he might understand-- Matthew 1:18-25], into a city of Judah [where Zacharias dwelt--see Luke 1:15]; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit [sufficiently to have a supernatural knowledge of things and to utter prophecy]; 42 And she lifted up her voice with a loud cry [Indicating intense, ecstatic joy. What joy must have filled the hearts of these two women as they realized that one was to be the mother of the long-expected Messiah, and the other of his Elijah-like forerunner!], and said, Blessed [see Luke 1:28] art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 43 And whence is this to me [why am I thus honored?-- Matthew 8:7, Matthew 8:8], that the mother of my Lord [This word imported sometimes divinity, and sometimes mere superiority. The Jews employed this term in connection with the Messiah; but in which sense can not [17] now be determined. Inspired writers employ it in the higher sense when applying it to Jesus ( Matthew 22:41-45), and in that sense it is no doubt used here] should come unto me? 44 For behold, when the voice of thy salutation came into mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy 45 And blessed is she that believed [Elisabeth may have here remembered how her own husband failed to believe]; for there shall be a fulfilment of the things which have been spoken to her from the Lord. 46 And Mary said [She speaks in poetic strain. Her song closely resembles that of Hannah-- 1 Samuel 2:1-10], My soul doth magnify [Mary’s song is called "The Magnificat" from this word] the Lord, 47 and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. 48 For he hath looked upon the low estate [this refers to the contrast between her present condition and that of the former glories of David’s house, from which she sprang] of his handmaid: For behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. [Here ends the first section of her song. In it she speaks of herself, and her adoration toward God for his condescending blessing. Mary was blessed in her motherhood, Abraham in his covenant and promises, Paul in his apostleship, etc., but none of these human beings are to be worshiped because of the blessings which they received. Rather should we bestow the more worship on God, from whom these their blessings flow-- James 1:17.] 49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; And holy is his name. [ Exodus 20:7.] 50 And his mercy is unto generations and generations. [that is, it is unceasing-- Exodus 20:6] On them that fear him. [Here ends the second division of her song. In it Mary glorifies God for his power, holiness and mercy.] 51 He hath showed strength with his arm. ["God’s efficacy is represented by his finger ( Exodus 8:19); his great power by his hand ( Exodus 3:20); and his omnipotence by his arm-- Exodus 15:16"]; He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their heart. 52 He hath put down princes from their thrones, And hath exalted them of low degree. [18] 53 The hungry he hath filled with good things; And the rich he hath sent empty away. [These expressions are hyperboles for the disappointment of the proud, the princely, and the rich, in whose families the Messiah was expected. God has passed these by, and exalted a lowly one. Here ends the third section or verse of the hymn. It speaks of the changes which the Messiah should work as if he had already worked them.] 54 He hath given help to Israel his servant, That he might remember mercy; 55 (As he spake unto our fathers) Toward Abraham [ Micah 7:20, Galatians 3:16] and his seed for ever. [The hymn closes with an expression of gratitude to God for his faithfulness in keeping his covenants.] 56 And Mary abode with her about three months [or until John was born], and returned [a favorite word with Luke, used twenty-one times in his Gospel] unto her house.

[FFG 17-19]

Verses 57-80


VIII.
THE BIRTH AND EARLY LIFE OF JOHN THE BAPTIST.
(Hill Country of Judæa, B. C. 5.)
cLUKE I. 57-80.

c57 Now Elisabeth’s time was fulfilled that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. 58 And her neighbors and her kinsfolk heard that the Lord had magnified his mercy towards her [mercy in granting a child; great mercy in granting so illustrious a child]; and they rejoiced with her. 59 And it came to pass on the eighth day [See Genesis 17:12, Leviticus 12:3, Philippians 3:5. Male children were named at their circumcision, probably because at that time the names of Abram and Sarai had been changed ( Genesis 17:5, Genesis 17:15). Females were named when they were weaned], they came to circumcise the child; and they would have called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. 60 And his mother answered and said, Not so [Zacharias had [19] evidently written, and thus communicated to his wife all that the angel had told him, and how the child was to be named John]; but he shall be called John. 61 And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred [Family names were even more thought of, and honored, among the Jews than among us. They had no taste for romantic and eccentric names] that is called by this name. 62 And they made signs [this seems to indicate that Zacharias was deaf as well as dumb] to his father, what he would have him called. 63 And he asked for a writing tablet [tablets were sometimes made of lead, but were usually small wooden boards, either smeared with wax, or having sand sprinkled over them, on which words were written with an iron stylus or pencil], and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all. [Being surprised that both parents should thus unite upon an unexpected name.] 64 And his mouth was opened immediately [See Luke 1:20. The angel’s words were now completely fulfilled, therefore the punishment for disbelief was removed], and his tongue loosed, and he spake, blessing God. [Probably the words recorded in Luke 1:68-79.] 65 And fear came [The miraculous phenomena attending the birth of John made the people so conscious of the presence of God as to fill them with awe. The influence of this fear spread far and wide until the chills and tremors of expected changes and revolutions were felt even by the citizens of Rome, as their poets and historians testify] on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judæa. 66 And all that heard them laid them up in their heart, saying, What then shall this child be? [We probably find an echo of this question thirty years later when John entered upon his ministry-- John 1:19.] And the hand of the Lord was with him. 67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied [This his prophecy is the last of the old dispensation, and the first of the new, or Christian, era. It also is poetry, and is a hymn of thanksgiving for the time of Messiah’s [20] advent], saying, 68 Blessed [the hymn gets its name from this word, and is called the Benedictus] be the Lord, the God of Israel; For he hath visited [Come back, in the person of his Spirit, to his people. After some four hundred years of absence the Holy Spirit, as the spirit of prophecy, had again returned to God’s people. Malachi, the last of the prophets, had been dead about four centuries] and wrought redemption for his people, 69 And hath raised up a horn [the horn is a symbol of power-- Daniel 7:7, Daniel 7:8, Daniel 8:21] of salvation for us In the house of his servant David [this also indicates that Mary was of the house of David] 70 (As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets that have been from of old) [ Genesis 3:15, Genesis 22:18, Genesis 49:10, Numbers 24:17, 2 Peter 1:21, Hebrews 1:1], 71 Salvation from our enemies [not only Rome, the enemy of Israelitish prosperity, but also those evil agencies which wage ceaseless warfare against the souls of men-- Ephesians 6:12], and from the hand of all that hate us; 72 To show mercy towards our fathers, And to remember his holy covenant [contract or agreement]; 73 The oath which he sware unto Abraham our father [see Genesis 12:3, Genesis 17:4, Genesis 22:16, Genesis 22:17], 74 To grant unto us that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies Should serve him without fear, 75 In holiness and righteousness [holiness is good conduct toward God, righteousness is good conduct toward men] before him all our days. 76 Yea and thou, child [the rest of the psalm is addressed to the infant John], shalt be called the prophet [see Matthew 11:9, Luke 20:6] of the Most High: For thou shalt go before the face of the Lord [the Lord Jesus Christ] to make ready his ways [ Isaiah 40:3, Matthew 3:3]; 77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people [Israel had a false idea that the Messiah’s salvation would be from political evil. John was needed to tell them that it was from sin that God proposed to deliver them. Perdition does not consist in political wrongs, but in divine condemnation] In the remission of their sins [through Christ’s work-- Acts 5:31], [21] 78 Because of the tender mercy of our God, Whereby the dayspring from on high [One of the many names for Jesus or his kingdom. The prophets loved to picture Messiah’s advent as a sunrise ( Isaiah 9:2, Isaiah 60:1-3, Malachi 4:2, Matthew 4:16, John 1:4, John 1:5). Christ’s coming was the dawn of a new day for Israel and for mankind] shall visit us, 79 To shine upon them that sit in darkness and the shadow of death; To guide our feet into the way of peace. [Travelers in the Judæan mountains often waited patiently for the morning light, lest they should lose their lives by a false step taken in the darkness-- Isaiah 59:8.] 80 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit [ 1 Samuel 2:26, Luke 2:40, Luke 2:52] and was in the deserts [The thinly settled region west of the Dead Sea. In 1 Samuel 23:19 it is called Jeshimon, or "the Horror"] till the day of his showing unto Israel. [The day when he commenced his ministry and declared his commission as Messiah’s forerunner.]

[FFG 19-22]

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Luke 1". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tfg/luke-1.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.