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Luke 1:46-47

Context
Mary’s Hymn of Praise

1:46 And Mary 1  said, 2 

“My soul exalts 3  the Lord, 4 

1:47 and my spirit has begun to rejoice 5  in God my Savior,

Luke 1:68-69

Context

1:68 “Blessed 6  be the Lord God of Israel,

because he has come to help 7  and has redeemed 8  his people.

1:69 For 9  he has raised up 10  a horn of salvation 11  for us in the house of his servant David, 12 

1 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.

2 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.

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

4 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.

5 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.

6 sn The traditional name of this psalm, the “Benedictus,” comes from the Latin wording of the start of the hymn (“Blessed be…”).

7 sn The verb come to help can refer to a visit, but can also connote concern or assistance (L&N 85.11).

8 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.

9 tn Grk “and,” but specifying the reason for the praise in the psalm.

10 sn The phrase raised up means for God to bring someone significant onto the scene of history.

11 sn The horn of salvation is a figure that refers to the power of Messiah and his ability to protect, as the horn refers to what an animal uses to attack and defend (Ps 75:4-5, 10; 148:14; 2 Sam 22:3). Thus the meaning of the figure is “a powerful savior.”

12 sn In the house of his servant David is a reference to Messiah’s Davidic descent. Zechariah is more interested in Jesus than his own son John at this point.



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