1:68 “Blessed 1 be the Lord God of Israel,
because he has come to help 2 and has redeemed 3 his people.
1:78 Because of 4 our God’s tender mercy 5
the dawn 6 will break 7 upon us from on high
1 sn The traditional name of this psalm, the “Benedictus,” comes from the Latin wording of the start of the hymn (“Blessed be…”).
2 sn The verb come to help can refer to a visit, but can also connote concern or assistance (L&N 85.11).
3 tn Or “has delivered”; Grk “has accomplished redemption.”
sn Has redeemed is a reference to redemption, but it anticipates the total release into salvation that the full work of Messiah will bring for Israel. This involves both spiritual and material benefits eventually.
4 tn For reasons of style, a new sentence has been started in the translation at this point. God’s mercy is ultimately seen in the deliverance John points to, so v. 78a is placed with the reference to Jesus as the light of dawning day.
5 sn God’s loyal love (steadfast love) is again the topic, reflected in the phrase tender mercy; see Luke 1:72.
6 sn The Greek term translated dawn (ἀνατολή, anatolh) can be a reference to the morning star or to the sun. The Messiah is pictured as a saving light that shows the way. The Greek term was also used to translate the Hebrew word for “branch” or “sprout,” so some see a double entendre here with messianic overtones (see Isa 11:1-10; Jer 23:5; 33:15; Zech 3:8; 6:12).
7 tn Grk “shall visit us.”
8 tn Or “Awe.” Grk “fear,” but the context and the following remark show that it is mixed with wonder; see L&N 53.59. This is a reaction to God’s work; see Luke 5:9.
9 tn This imperfect verb has been translated as an ingressive imperfect.
10 sn That Jesus was a great prophet was a natural conclusion for the crowd to make, given the healing; but Jesus is more than this. See Luke 9:8, 19-20.
11 tn Grk “arisen.”
12 tn Grk “visited,” but this conveys a different impression to a modern reader. L&N 85.11 renders the verb, “to be present, with the implication of concern – ‘to be present to help, to be on hand to aid.’ … ‘God has come to help his people’ Lk 7:16.” The language recalls Luke 1:68, 78.
13 tn Grk “They will raze you to the ground.”
sn The singular pronoun you refers to the city of Jerusalem personified.
14 tn Grk “your children within you.” The phrase “[your] walls” has been supplied in the translation to clarify that the city of Jerusalem, metaphorically pictured as an individual, is spoken of here.
15 sn (Not) one stone on top of another is an idiom for total destruction.
16 tn Grk “leave stone on stone.”
17 tn Grk “the time of your visitation.” To clarify what this refers to, the words “from God” are supplied at the end of the verse, although they do not occur in the Greek text.
sn You did not recognize the time of your visitation refers to the time God came to visit them. They had missed the Messiah; see Luke 1:68-79.