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Luke 1:50-55

Context

1:50 from 1  generation to generation he is merciful 2  to those who fear 3  him.

1:51 He has demonstrated power 4  with his arm; he has scattered those whose pride wells up from the sheer arrogance 5  of their hearts.

1:52 He has brought down the mighty 6  from their thrones, and has lifted up those of lowly position; 7 

1:53 he has filled the hungry with good things, 8  and has sent the rich away empty. 9 

1:54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering 10  his mercy, 11 

1:55 as he promised 12  to our ancestors, 13  to Abraham and to his descendants 14  forever.”

1 tn Grk “and from.” Here καί (kai) has been translated by a semicolon to improve the English style.

2 sn God’s mercy refers to his “loyal love” or “steadfast love,” expressed in faithful actions, as the rest of the psalm illustrates.

3 tn That is, “who revere.” This refers to those who show God a reverential respect for his sovereignty.

4 tn Or “shown strength,” “performed powerful deeds.” The verbs here switch to aorist tense through 1:55. This is how God will act in general for his people as they look to his ultimate deliverance.

5 tn Grk “in the imaginations of their hearts.” The psalm rebukes the arrogance of the proud, who think that power is their sovereign right. Here διανοίᾳ (dianoia) can be understood as a dative of sphere or reference/respect.

6 tn Or “rulers.”

7 tn Or “those of humble position”

sn The contrast between the mighty and those of lowly position is fundamental for Luke. God cares for those that the powerful ignore (Luke 4:18-19).

8 sn Good things refers not merely to material blessings, but blessings that come from knowing God.

9 sn Another fundamental contrast of Luke’s is between the hungry and the rich (Luke 6:20-26).

10 tn Or “because he remembered mercy,” understanding the infinitive as causal.

11 tn Or “his [God’s] loyal love.”

12 tn Grk “as he spoke.” Since this is a reference to the covenant to Abraham, ἐλάλησεν (elalhsen) can be translated in context “as he promised.” God keeps his word.

13 tn Grk “fathers.”

14 tn Grk “his seed” (an idiom for offspring or descendants).



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