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Luke 1:45-47

Context
1:45 And blessed 1  is she who believed that 2  what was spoken to her by 3  the Lord would be fulfilled.” 4 

Mary’s Hymn of Praise

1:46 And Mary 5  said, 6 

“My soul exalts 7  the Lord, 8 

1:47 and my spirit has begun to rejoice 9  in God my Savior,

1 sn Again the note of being blessed makes the key point of the passage about believing God.

2 tn This ὅτι (Joti) clause, technically indirect discourse after πιστεύω (pisteuw), explains the content of the faith, a belief in God’s promise coming to pass.

3 tn That is, “what was said to her (by the angel) at the Lord’s command” (BDAG 756 s.v. παρά A.2).

4 tn Grk “that there would be a fulfillment of what was said to her from the Lord.”

sn This term speaks of completion of something planned (2 Chr 29:35).

5 tc A few witnesses, especially Latin mss, (a b l* Irarm Orlat mss Nic) read “Elizabeth” here, since she was just speaking, but the ms evidence overwhelmingly supports “Mary” as the speaker.

6 sn The following passage has been typeset as poetry because many scholars regard this passage as poetic or hymnic. These terms are used broadly to refer to the genre of writing, not to the content. There are two broad criteria for determining if a passage is poetic or hymnic: “(a) stylistic: a certain rhythmical lilt when the passages are read aloud, the presence of parallelismus membrorum (i.e., an arrangement into couplets), the semblance of some metre, and the presence of rhetorical devices such as alliteration, chiasmus, and antithesis; and (b) linguistic: an unusual vocabulary, particularly the presence of theological terms, which is different from the surrounding context” (P. T. O’Brien, Philippians [NIGTC], 188-89). Classifying a passage as hymnic or poetic is important because understanding this genre can provide keys to interpretation. However, not all scholars agree that the above criteria are present in this passage, so the decision to typeset it as poetry should be viewed as a tentative decision about its genre.

7 tn Or “lifts up the Lord in praise.”

8 sn This psalm (vv. 46-55) is one of the few praise psalms in the NT. Mary praises God and then tells why both in terms of his care for her (vv. 46-49) and for others, including Israel (vv. 50-55). Its traditional name, the “Magnificat,” comes from the Latin for the phrase My soul magnifies the Lord at the hymn’s start.

9 tn Or “rejoices.” The translation renders this aorist, which stands in contrast to the previous line’s present tense, as ingressive, which highlights Mary’s joyous reaction to the announcement. A comprehensive aorist is also possible here.



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