Vol. 18, No. 02 – January 13, 2019
In these passages, there are 20 or so discernable OT quotations and allusions. It shows how much Mary knew of her Scriptures and how cherished they were in her home. She blends quotations and allusions to Messianic psalms and OT prophecy.
In addition, this is very similar to the great exaltation of Hannah, the mother of the prophet Samuel, found in 1 Sam 2:1-10. In vs. 46, we see a quote from Psa 34:2-3.
Psa 34:2-3, “My soul will make its boast in the LORD; The humble will hear it and rejoice. 3O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together.” Cf. Psa 35:27; 69:30.
These passages are typically called “the Magnificat,” from the first word found in the Latin translation of this great exaltation by Mary, “Magnificat anima mea Dominum,” that comes from the Greek word for “exalt,” which is the Present, Active, Indicative of the verb MEGALUNO, μεγαλύνω that can be translated, “magnify, enlarge, lengthen, extol, make great, or praise.” This word is used in vs. 58, for “displayed,” and is also used in Mat 23:5; Acts 5:13; 10:46; 19:17; 2 Cor 10:15; Phil 1:20. It is related to the Greek word MEGAS for “great” and is used in the NT for, “to extol, magnify,” e.g., “to make great by word, or to acclaim.” So, it means, “to praise a person in terms of that individual’s (God’s) greatness.”
Therefore, this is a praise psalm where God is to be praised and the reason for that praise is given in what is said. Personal reasons appear in vs. 46-49, while in vs. 50-56, corporate reasons applying to certain types of people are noted. In this praise, we see three recipients of blessings, 1.) Mary, vs. 46-49, 2.) All of mankind, vs. 50-53, 3.) Israel, vs. 54-55. The main reason for this praise is that God is honoring His covenant.
As such, Mary is exalting or magnifying “the Lord,” KURIOS, within her “soul,” PSUCHE, which is now being expressed verbally. Hers was a joy that compelled her to lift her voice in this hymn of praise. The fullness of the Spirit should lead to joyful praise in our lives too, Eph 5:18-20, and so should the fullness of God’s Word in your Soul, Col 3:16-17.
In vs. 47, we see quotes from Psa 35:9 and Hab 3:18 that completes the thought which began in the previous verse. See also Psa 24:5; 25:5; Isa 12:2; Micah 7:7. Here, we have the word “rejoice,” which is the Aorist, Active, Indicative of the Verb AGALLIAO, ἀγαλλιάω that means, “rejoice, be overjoyed, exult.”
Habakkuk 3:18, “Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.”
Luke also used this verb in Luke 10:21, as our Lord Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit as He exalted God the Father. As a later Hellenistic word it meant, “to rejoice exceedingly,” and only being used in the Bible, it primarily means, “religious exuberance” and denotes “rejoicing” to the fullest extent, cf. Acts 2:26; John 8:56.
Exceeding joy is the mark of the people of God, despite the fact that they may be experiencing persecution and hardship, and this type of joy is based upon confidence, faith, and trust in God, Mat 5:12; 1 Peter 1:6, 8; 4:13.
1 Peter 4:13, “But to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.”
It is also linked to rejoicing exceedingly because of the fulfillment of eschatological expectation and hope, Rev 19:7.
Like the Lord Jesus in Luke 10:21, Mary was filled with the Holy Spirit and accomplishes this rejoicing from her human spirit, PNEUMA. Both these terms, PSUCHE and PNEUMA are used throughout Scripture as expressions for the entire person. Therefore, we see Mary fulfilling the OT, and NT, command to “love the Lord with all our soul and body,” Luke 10:27; Deut 6:5; Lev 19:18.
Luke 10:27, “And he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”
The object of Mary’s rejoicing also notes her personal statement of faith and trust by proclaiming, “God my Savior,” THEOS MOU HO SOTER. In Hannah’s song, He is “YHWH’s King”; in Mary’s song, He is “my Savior”. Mary recognized her son to be her Lord and Savior. And, as such, she is not any different than the rest of fallen humanity, all of whom need Jesus the Savior.
This phrase, “God my Savior,” is used 6 other times in the NT, 1 Tim 1:1; 2:3-4; Titus 1:3; 2:10; 3:4; Jude 1:25. It declares God as the savior of all men. This emphasizes the Plan of God the Father for our salvation, and the Deity of Jesus Christ who became man to provide us with salvation. The salvation for all of mankind is found only in and by God.
Luke 2:11, “For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
1 John 4:14, “We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.”
“God my Savior,” is the theme of this proclamation, and all of the following verses support or define God’s provision of salvation.
In vs. 48, we see quotes from Psa 138:6 and Gen 30:13. Here, Mary once again shows tremendous humility as a willing “bondservant,” DOULE, cf. vs. 38, by noting her “humble state” TAPEINOSIS, as a young unknown maiden of the insignificant town of Nazareth in Galilee, who would become the virgin mother of the promised Savior as prophesized in Isa 7:14. God is close to the broken and the lowly.
She also recognizes Elizabeth’s prophecy that Mary would be “blessed among women,” in vs. 42. But here, Mary takes it a step further and states that all people will bless her for all generations. In vs. 42, “blessed,” was the verb EULOGEO, meaning “spoken well of, praised, extolled,” and in vs. 45, she was “blessed,” using the noun MAKARIOS for the good fortune, guidance, and protection God would give to her during her hardships of carrying and raising the Savior. Here, we have a cognate, the verb MAKARIZO in the Future, Active, Indicative that means, “to pronounce happy, blessed, or fortunate,” and “to congratulate someone.” It really consolidates the first two “blessed” into one. It is the praise she receives because of God’s watchful care, i.e., grace being in her life. Therefore, Mary’s words of praise are her recognition of God’s watchful, BLEPO, care over her life.
MAKARIZO is only used here and in James 5:11.
James 5:11, “We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.”
This also reminds us of Leah’s plight when she stopped bearing children and God blessings her with two more sons through Zilpah, Gen 30:13. So, MAKARIZO gives us the sense that all men will recognize God’s blessing and favor upon Mary and will congratulate her, holding her in high esteem.
In vs. 49, we see quotes from Psa 24:8 and Zeph 3:17, as Mary extols two attributes of God’s Deity that have been applied to her in grace.
1) He is the Mighty One, DUNATOS meaning, “having power, mighty, etc.” This is His Omnipotence. This reminds us of the principle found in Luke 18:27, “But He said, ‘The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.”
In the OT, God’s might, from the Hebrew term GIBBOR, is described in terms of His actions as warrior/king carried out on behalf of His people, Psa 24:8.
Psa 24:8, “Who is the King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, The LORD mighty in battle.”
Mary sees her event as another example of God’s mighty hand working on behalf of His people.
2) His name is Holy, HAGIOS means, “holy, consecrated, perfect, pure, etc.” This is His holiness, and reminds us of who God and Jesus Christ are, cf. vs 35; Luke 4:34.
Finally, God’s “name” ONOMA is, according to the common ancient meaning, His whole reputation or character.
As we noted above, “God my Savior,” is the theme of this proclamation, and all of the following verses support or define God’s provision of salvation. In this praise, we are noting three recipients of “blessings” or better “God’s provision for salvation for,” 1.) Mary, vs. 46-49, 2.) All of mankind, vs. 50-53, 3.) Israel, vs. 54-55. We now note the second recipient, “all of mankind.”
In vs. 50, we see an allusion to Psa 103:17, and a third attribute noted, “mercy,” ELEOS, ἔλεος that means, “mercy, compassion, sympathy, or pity.” We will see God’s faithfulness in vs. 54-55. ELEOS is further used in this narrative in vs. 54, 58, and is used of the Lord by Zachariah in vs. 72, 78.
ELEOS is a response to someone else’s condition of distress. It is the Lord’s activity on behalf of His people rooted in His compassion and mercy. Therefore, it means God’s response to our condition of distress; being under sin and its penalty of death. It is the expression of God’s covenant love. Having mercy upon man, God did something about our distress by sending His Son to save the world from their sin. This is what Mary is proclaiming here.
As she states, this mercy “is upon generation after generation”, GENEA KAI GENEA, cf. Psa 103:17, that means for all of mankind.
Psa 103:17, “But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children.”
Mary then notes the recipients of this mercy, “toward those who fear Him,” even though it is available to all. This is the 1st condition in this passage, cf. vs. 52. “Fear” is the Verb PHOBEO, that means, “fear, be afraid, become terrified; worship, reverence, respect.” It is the heartfelt awe and reverence of God that is essential to the Christian faith. It means we believe in Him and His Word and respond to it. Those who do, receive His mercy, the salvation of their souls, because God’s mercy reached down to our time and place, cf. 2 Sam 22:3, 47; Psa 24:5; Micah 7:7; Titus 3:4-6; 2 Peter 1:11.
2 Sam 22:3, “My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; My savior, You save me from violence.”
2 Sam 22:47, “The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock; and exalted be God, the rock of my salvation.”
Psa 24:5, “He shall receive a blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”
Micah 7:7, “But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me.”
Titus 3:4-6, “But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 5He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.”
2 Peter 1:11, “For in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.”
Luke 1:51, “He has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart.”
This passage is a reference to the great “dispersion,” of Israel. In this verse we have quotes from Psa 98:1, where in vs. 2-3, it speaks of salvation, and in Psa 118:15.
Psa 98:1-3, “O sing to the LORD a new song, for He has done wonderful things, His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him. 2The LORD has made known His salvation; He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations. 3He has remembered His lovingkindness and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.”
In Luke “might deeds” is the Noun KRATOS that means, “strength, power, might, dominion, authority.” It refers to His “manifested strength.” It is the power to rule. As God has all authority to rule, His power will be real, seen, heard, felt and perfect. It typically is translated “might or dominion,” and in the NT, it always refers to “authority” above that of humans.
1 Tim 6:16, “Who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.”
With this is the word “arm” the Dative Singular of BRACHION, βραχίων. This refers specifically to the shorter part of the arm from the shoulder to the elbow, because of its relationship to the word BRACHUS, meaning “short.” It references the strongest part of the arm.
In its three occurrences in the NT, it is used metaphorically of the power of God, Luke 1:51; John 12:38 quoting Isa 53:1; and Acts 13:17. The expression occurs often in Deuteronomy, the Psalms, and Isaiah, Deut 4:34; 5:15; Psa 44:3; 77:15; 98:1; Isa 30:30; 40:10-11; 52:10; 59:16.
Therefore, combined, Mary is praising God for His working strength in providing salvation for Israel against her enemies, especially the enemy of sin, with a view to what He is now doing for all of mankind, by bringing His Son Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, into the world to save mankind.
And more specifically, we see in the second half of this verse, a reference to the Lord “scattering” nations and the people of Israel in the past for their rebellion, with the Aorist, Active, Indicative of the verb DIASKORPIZO, διασκορπίζω that means, “scatter, disperse, waste, winnow.” The sense of “scatter” or “disperse” predominates the NT understanding. Cf. Mat 26:31; Mark 14:27; with Zech 13:7.
This also has a prophetic view to what He will do to Israel for rejecting the Messiah, Jesus Christ. This is a reminder! Yet, Jesus would die not only for the Jewish nation but for the “dispersed” children of God in order to unite them together into one, John 11:51-52. This may apply to the Jews of the Dispersion, but in the light of the universalism of this Gospel, it probably also refers to the anticipation of the ingathering of the Gentiles, who become the children of God when they acknowledge the saviorhood of Christ, John 1:12; 10:16.
John 11:52, “And not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.”
John 1:12, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.”
This past “scattering” was of “those who were proud (HUPEREPHANOS – proud, arrogant, or haughty) in the thoughts (DIANOIA – mind, understanding, intellect, feelings, or disposition), of their heart (KARDIA).”
DIANOIA is also used in Luke 10:27 for “loving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind.” Therefore, because they did not heed the great commandment, the Lord scattered and will scatter them.
Therefore, quoting Psa 98:1, with reference to God’s strength to gain salvation for all of mankind, and speaking to God’s scattering of the arrogant peoples who reject Him, Mary is reminded of the great strength of God that is merciful, righteous, and just.
Alluding to Job 5:11, “So that He sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety,” Mary continues to exalt God’s power to rule, by speaking further about His past examples of righteousness, just, and mercy.
Luke 1:52, “He has brought down rulers from their thrones, and has exalted those who were humble.”
“Brought down rulers” uses the Aorist, Active, Indicative of the Verb KATHAIREO, καθαιρέω that means, “take down, tear down, destroy, or demolish.” Interestingly, this word also references the Cross of Jesus Christ, the seat of His power to rule, as it was used in Mat 15:36, 46; Luke 23:53 and Acts 13:29 in reference to taking the Lord’s body off of the Cross after His work for salvation was completed. Because of our Lord’s victory on the Cross to provide salvation for the world, He has the power to rule and judge. Cf. Mark 16:19; Acts 2:33; Rom 8:34; Col 3:1; Heb 10:12; 1 Peter 3:22.
Heb 10:12, “But He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of god.”
Mark 16:19, “So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.”
Acts 2:33, “Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.”
Rom 8:34, “Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.”
Col 3:1, “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”
1 Peter 3:22, “Who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.”
Now, in Mary’s proclamation, our God took down the “rulers from their thrones,” that not only speaks of the various arrogant kings of nations, including Israel, who rejected the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but also of the elite fallen angels who are rulers of Gentile nations. The Cross of Jesus Christ accomplished the latter.
“Rulers” is the Greek Noun DUNASTES, δυνάστης where we get out English word “dynasty” from that means, “ruler, sovereign, court official, prince, or potentate.” In our passage, it is speaking of wicked or evil rulers who have rejected God and His plan for salvation. It is only used here and in Acts 8:27; 1 Tim 6:15.
1 Tim 6:15, “Which He will bring about at the proper time (Christ’s 2nd Coming)—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign (DUNASTES), the King of kings and Lord of lords.”
Notice, Jesus is the “only sovereign,” as opposed to the false god’s of the ancient pagan world that were backed by elite fallen angels, cf. Eph 6:12.
Eph 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
“Thrones” is the Noun THRONOS that means, “throne, seat (of power), or dominion.” Compare KRATOS from vs. 51. It speaks to the seat of authority, power, and dominion. It speaks of human rulership, as well as signifying angelic powers, Col 1:16, including the “throne” (i.e., authority) of the dragon which will be handed over to the beast; Antichrist, cf. Rev 13:2.
Col 1:16, “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.”
Rev 13:2, “And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.”
Therefore, as God the Father will give His Son “the throne of David,” vs. 32, He will also tear down the rulers and their thrones of both men and angels that have rejected Him.
Yet, God “exalted those who were humble.” “Exalted,” is the Aorist, Active, Indicative of the Verb HUPSOO, ὑψόω that means,” to exalt or raise on high.” This is another word in reference to the Cross of Jesus Christ, as we see Jesus speaking about Moses lifting up the Brazen Serpent in the wilderness, and likened this to His own lifting upon the Cross and its consequent effect of delivering men to eternal life, John 3:14.
This is a paradox, because in Jesus being physically lifted up, He was also humiliated because the lifting took place in His execution as a criminal. Yet, that very same humiliation produces salvation and eternal life for those who will look to Him and live, as the Israelites who looked to the Brazen Serpent lived to escape the fiery serpents who were slaying them in the wilderness. Also note that the fiery serpents in the wilderness are analogous to the false pagan demon backed gods of the ancient foreign nations that represented sin and rebellion against God.
Note too, that as a result of being lifted up on the Cross, Jesus is now lifted up in glory being seated upon a throne at the right hand of God, as noted above.
That paradox is not lost in Mary’s statement either. Because with this, we have the Adjective TAPEINOS, ταπεινός that means, “humble, lowly, undistinguished, poor, downcast, or subservient.” When speaking about people it includes the ideas of, “despised, rejected, or poor.” This is the 2nd condition we see in this proclamation, cf. vs. 50.
Like our verse, James sharply contrasts the lowly and the proud, the lowly are exalted, the proud brought down. Yet, those who are “lowly” can “boast,” knowing that their Father loves them, James 1:9; 4:6.
James 4:6, “But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, ‘God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble’.” Cf. Psa 138:6; Prov 3:34.
James 1:9, “But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position.”
Being “humble” is tantamount to “submitting yourself to Christ as your Savior and others in service of Christ,” 1 Peter 5:5; cf. Eph 5:21. It means acknowledging that you are a sinner and are in need of a Savior. Thereby, you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior.
This is how believing man is exalted and enthroned. Those who accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, will sit upon His throne, being in union with Him, cf. Rev 3:21; 4:4; 2 Tim 2:12; Mat 19:28.
Luke 1:53, “He has filled the hungry with good things; and sent away the rich empty-handed.”
The first half is a quote from Psa 107:9, “For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, and the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.” Cf. Psa 22:26; 34:10; 146:7.
“Hungry,” is the Present, Active, Participle of the Verb PEINAO, πεινάω that means, “to hunger or be hungry.” By extension it also means, “to long for or have an intense desire for something which is necessary for the sustenance of life.” This is our longing for a Savior, which is absolutely necessary for salvation and eternal life. It is also an intense desire for spiritual nourishment which is necessary for the continuance of living the spiritual life.
Mat 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Cf. Isa 55:1; Luke 6:21a; John 4:14; 6:35, 48f. 7:37.
This implies recognition of personal deficiency and a desire to live a godly life. The one who is hungry finds all of his actions motivated by his hunger. Jesus said, He himself is that Bread of Life who appeases the gnawing spiritual hunger of humanity. The one who comes to the person, work, and word of Jesus Christ for spiritual satisfaction, will never experience the pangs of this kind of “hunger” again, John 6:35.
John 6:35, “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst’.”
And as Mary stated, they are, “filled with good things,” EMPIMPLEMI, “to fill quite full or satisfy.” It is a “satisfied” condition because one has had plenty. And it has the sense of to “enjoy something” by having your “fill” of someone’s company, Rom 15:24.
AGATHOS means, “good” of intrinsic value. It is speaking here to all the spiritual sustenance God has provided; His Son, His Word. Therefore, this phrase is speaking about all aspects of salvation and the spiritual life, both in time and eternity. Yet, it does not leave out God’s physical sustenance that He also provides to all.
In contrast, those who are “rich,” is the Present, Active, Participle of the Verb PLOUTEO that means “to be rich or wealthy,” primarily in a material way. The stem of this verb goes back to a root common to many languages meaning “to fill” or “to be filled.” So we see a contrast. Those who are filled with Satan’s cosmic system will ultimately be “empty handed,” regarding the salvation and spiritual life, both in time and eternity.
Luke 6:25, “Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.”
Luke 12:20-21, “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ 21So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
Rev 3:17, “Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,’ and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.”
Keep in mind that the mere fact of being rich is not in view here, as the theme of “wealth” itself will reveal that temporal wealth ought also to be viewed as a gift of God and used properly, cf. 1 Tim 6:17-19. But in our passage, it refers to those who are living for self and the world, and do not see the necessity of a Savior or to live properly the spiritual life.
Therefore, the arrogant rich are “sent away,” the Aorist, Active, Indicative of the Verb, EXAPOSTELLO ἐξαποστέλλω, that means, “send forth, or send away.” In every instance of this word, including here, there is a clear emphasis on the sender and on the purpose for which the one sent is being sent. For example, in contrast to our verse, Gal 4:4, tells us God sent His Son into the world to save the world.
Gal 4:4, “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law.” In this case, the Sender is God who sent forth His Son, Jesus Christ. It speaks of the historical condition that has to do with the mode of His coming: 1) “made of a woman,” i.e., the Virgin Mary, and 2) “made under the law.” These relate to the cultural, spiritual, and physical matrix in which the Lord was born and grew up.
As such, for those who reject what the Father has sent, namely His Son Jesus Christ, they will be sent away, “empty handed,” which is the Adjective KENOS, κενός that means, “empty, without content, worthless, vain, in vain, or ineffective.” In other words, their spiritual life will be “empty, worthless, vain, in vain, and ineffective.” Many times, this word is used for those who show up empty handed or without gifts. Therefore, if in arrogance we reject the Messiah and the things of God, we will have nothing to offer up to Him in the form of the “fruit of the Spirit.”
We noted this word in Eph 5:6, that speaks of God’s judgment against those who are empty handed because of receiving the false doctrines of the world, “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.”
Therefore, in the second part of Mary’s great proclamation of God the Savior in regards to all of mankind, she speaks of His Mercy to save, His power to save, and His righteous and just judgment against those who reject His salvation, including the fallen angels. Yet, He exalts and enthrones those who have humbled themselves in recognition of their need for the Savior, which He has abundantly provided to those who desire it, while rejecting those who do not, leaving them with nothing to show for their lives.
As we noted above, “God my Savior,” is the theme of this proclamation, and all of the following verses support or define God’s provision of salvation. In this praise, we are noting three recipients of “blessings” or better “God’s provision for salvation,” 1.) Mary, vs. 46-49, 2.) All of mankind, vs. 50-53, 3.) Israel, vs. 54-55. We now note the third recipient, “Israel.”
In both verses, there is no direct quote, but heavy reliance upon the principles found in many OT passages.
Luke 1:54, “He has given help to Israel His servant, in remembrance of His mercy.”
“Given help,” is another of Luke’s unique terms that gives special meaning to Mary’s proclamation. It is the Verb ANTILAMBANOMAI, ἀντιλαμβάνομαι in the Aorist, Middle Deponent, Indicative that means, “help, support, or benefit by.” It is only used here and in Acts 20:35, and by Paul in 1 Tim 6:2.
In Acts 20:35, Luke is quoting Paul and our Lord, “In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’.” Cf. Lev 25:35.
It is a compound word from ANTI, “against, opposed to, or mutually,” and LAMBANO, “take, take hold of, grasp, seize, get, or obtain.” It is the opposite of taking or seizing, so it means, “to give or help others, or to take hold of another mutually as by the hand.”
In the LXX, it is used in the Psalms metaphorically to describe how the Lord “supports” or “helps” His people, Psa 18:35; 63:8; 119:116, and how He “protects” them, Psa 41:11; 69:29. Often the subject in these texts is “the Lord’s right hand,” pointing back to ANTILAMBANO’s literal meaning. Therefore, Mary uses it, as in the Psalms, to describe God’s support of His people, Israel, Ἰσραήλ.
Next, we see that the Greek word for “servant” is not the typical DOULOS or feminine DOULE, as Mary called herself, but is instead the Noun PAIS, παῖς, and not HUIOS, that means, “servant, child, son, or daughter.” PAIS is also used in vs. 69. This word is a term that defines human relationships. In relation to family, it means, “son or daughter.” In relation to age, it means, “child.” And, in relation to social position, it means, “servant or slave.” So here, it is reflecting the family relationship God has with the people of Israel, as well as they being His working hand.
In the LXX (Septuagint) and NT, the use of PAIS denotes relationship to God as a “servant of God.” This usage is not found in classical Greek. Yet, it is significant in the NT, because it is used of Jesus as the servant of God. Mat 12:18 identifies Jesus with the Suffering Servant spoken of by the Lord through the prophet Isaiah, “Behold my servant,” Isa 42:1; 52:13; Mat 12:18, and Isa 53:11, “Because of the affliction of His soul, He shall be satisfied; Through His suffering, My servant shall justify many, and their guilt He shall bear.”
In PAIS, we have a blending of “sonship,” HUIOS, with “servant-hood,” DOULOS. The concept of the sonship/servanthood of Jesus and its extension to the lives of believers is prominent in the NT. Christians are sons and daughters of God, and therefore servants following the example of Jesus.
Nevertheless, Mary is speaking about Israel’s relationship to God as His son/servant, a picture which Jesus fulfilled in His First Advent, which Israel brought forth through Mary. Jesus is the Son/Servant brought forth by Israel through Mary. It is this Son/Servant who has and would “give help,” to Israel, i.e., salvation.
Mary is speaking of the close familiar relationship God has with the people of Israel, and the help, guidance, and protection He provided to them.
In the second half of this verse, Mary gives the reason why God has helped His servant/son, Israel, “in remembrance of His mercy,” which in the Greek is simply the Verb MNAOMAI and the Noun ELEOS, which we noted in vs. 50.
MNAOMAI is in the Aorist, Passive, Infinitive, for receiving ongoing action in the past. The action was God “being mindful of and remembering,” His mercy towards the people of Israel, i.e., providing a Savior. This mercy is still in view for you and me today, so that we can rely upon it.
This word reminds us of the Cross of Jesus Christ regarding forgiveness of sin. For example it is used for:
1. The disciple who “remembered” that a brother had a dispute with him, he should immediately seek reconcilia-tion, even if it meant a temporary delay in his worship, Mat 5:23-24.
2. Peter “remembered” the prophetic words of Jesus after he had denied Him three times, Mat 26:34. He wept “bitterly” because of realizing what he had done, Mat 26:75.
3. One of the thieves crucified alongside Jesus realized the just condemnation of his crimes and acknowledged the innocence of Jesus when he said, “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom,” Luke 23:42.
4. The writer of Hebrews speaking of the finished work of Jesus Christ upon the Cross, tells us of God’s new covenant in which He would “remember no more” the sins and iniquities of believers, Heb 8:12; 10:17; cf. Jer 31:31-34. That is because they have been paid for by Jesus upon the Cross.
Heb 8:12, “For I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”
Luke 1:55, “As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever.”
In this passage, Mary is remembering the words spoken by God to her forefathers that encompassed all of the promises and covenants He made with Israel. By saying this, Mary is telling us that she is not just making these things up, but that she is quoting the Scriptures that conveyed to her and all of Israel God’s covenant promises, especially in providing and sending the Messiah.
The phrase, “to Abraham and his descendants, (SPERMA, “seed, offspring, descendants”), means the people of Israel.
And, as she states, “forever” AION, she is saying that these promises are for all of eternity, forever, for all the ages to come. She is saying that God does not lie; He is faithful and veracity, keeping and fulfilling His promises by sending the Savior, her son.
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#19-001, 19-002 & 19-003
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.
Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!