(in the Hill Country of Judæa, b.c.5.)
^C Luke I.39-56.
^c 39 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 -- Matt. i.18-25], into a city of Judah [where Zacharias dwelt -- see verse 23]; 40 and entered into the house of Zacharias and saluted Elisabeth.41 And it came to pass, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb [see verse 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 verse 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? -- Matt. viii.7, 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 now be determined. Inspired writers employ it in the higher sense when applying it to Jesus (Matt. xxii.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 -- I. Sam. ii.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 -- Jas. i.17.] 49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; And holy is his name. [Ex. xx.7.] 50 And his mercy is unto generations and generations. [that is, it is unceasing -- Ex. xx.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 (Ex. viii.19); his great power by his hand (Ex. iii.20); and his omnipotence by his arm -- Ex. xv.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.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 [ Mic. vii.20; Gal. iii.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.