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B. C. 5.
Mary's hymn of praise.
John Baptist is born. 52 · He hath put down the mighty | 56 And Mary abode with her about A. M. 4000. An. Olymp. from their seats, and exalted them of three months, and returned to her An. Olymp.
CXCIII. 4. low degree.
own house. 53 He hath filled the hungry with good 57 Now Elisabeth's full time came that things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. she should be delivered ; and she brought forth
54 He hath holpen his servant Israel, in re- a son. membrance of his mercy;
58 And her neighbours and her cousins heard 55 " As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon and to his seed for ever.
her; and they rejoiced with her.
* 1 Sam. 2. 6, &c. Job 5. 11. Ps. 113. 6.--- 1 Sam. 2.5. Ps. 31. 10.
« Ps. 98. 3. Jer. 31. 3, 20.
Gen. 17. 19. Ps. 132. 11. Rom. 11. 28. Gal. S. 16.-_ver. 14.
and his omnipotence by his arm. The plague of lice was the honour of the giver. There is an allusion here, as in several finger of God, Exod. vii. 18. The plagues in general were other parts of this song, to the case of Hannah and Peninnah, wrought by his hand, Exod. iii. 20. And the destruction of as related 1 Sam. i. 2, &c. ii. 1–10. Pharaola's host in the Red Sea, which was effected by the om
Verse 54. He hath holpen (supported antehabeto] his servant nipotence of God, is called the act of his arn, Exod. xv. 16. Israel] Israel is here represented as falling, and the Lord
He hath scattered] A180 XOŞToe huth scattered ubroad; as a comes speedily in and props him up. The house of David whirlwind scatters dust and chaff.
was now ready to fall and rise no more; Jesus being born of The proud) Or haughty, utiem panus; from væse above, and the very last branch of the regal line, revived the family, and €2199 I shew—the haughty men, who wish to be noticed in restored the dominion. preference to all others; and feel sovereign contempt for all I remembrance of his mercy) By mercy; the covenant but themselves. These God scatters abroad--instead of being
which God made with Abraham, Gen. xv. 18. is intended; in his sight, as in their own, the most crcellent of the earth, which covenant proceeded from God's eternal mercy, as in he treats them as struw, stubble, chaff, and dust.
it salvation was promised to all the nations of the earth. See In the imagination of their hearts.] While they are forming Gen. xvii. 19, and xxii. 18. and this proinise was in one form their insolent, proud, and oppressive projects-laying their or other, given to all the fathers, ver. 55. plans, and imagining that accomplishment and success are This song properly consists of three parts.. waiting at their right hand, the whirlwind of God's displea- 1. In the first part Mary praises God for what he had done sure blows, and they and their machinations are dissipated for herself, ver. 16–50. together.
2. In the second, she praises him for what he had done, Verse 52. He hath put down the mighty from their seats) || and would do against the oppressors of his people, ver. 51-53. Or, He hash taken down potentates from their thrones. This 3. In the third, she praises bim for what he had done, and probably alludes to the removal of Saul from the throne of would do for his church, ver. 53–56. Israel, and the establishment of the kingdom in the person Verse 56. And Mary abode with her about three months) and family of Darid. And as Mary spoke prophetically, this According to some, the departure of Mary from Hebron saying may also allude to the destruction of the kingdom of must have been but a few days before the birth of John.; as Satan and his allies, and the final prevalence of the kingdom | nine months had now elapsed since Elizabeth's conception; of Christ.
see ver. 36. Hence it immediately follows: Verse 53. Filled the hungry the rich he hath sent empty Verse 57. Now Elisabeth's full time came, &c.) But accordaway.] God is here represented under the notion of a person ing to others, we are to understand the three months of of unbounded benevolence, who is daily feeding multitudes Mary's visit as preceding the birth of John, which would at his gates. The poor and the rich are cqually dependant complete the time of Elizabeth's pregnancy, according to upon him; to the one he gives his affluence for a season, and ver. 36. and the only difficulty is to ascertain whether Mary to the other his daily bread. The poor man comes through a went immediately to Hebron after her salutation; or whether sense of his want to get his daily support, and God feeds him ; she tarried nearly three months before she took the journey. the rich man comes through the bust of gain, to get more Verse 59. And her neighbours and her cousins-rejoiced with added to his abundance, and God sends him empty away- her.) Because sterility was a reproach, and they now renot only gives him nothing more, but often deprives him of joiced with their relative, from whom that reproach was now that which he bas, because he has not improved it to the rolled away. To rejoice with those whom God has favoured,
3 le is called John at the particular
desire of his father and mother.
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59 And it came to pass, that ? on 1 of thy kindred that is called by this A, 301. An. Olymp. the eighth day they came to circum- | name. .
cise the child; and they called him 62 And they made signs to his faZacharias, after the name of his father.
ther, how he would have him called. 60 And his mother answered and said, Not 63 And he asked for a writing table, and SO; but he shall be called John.
wrote, saying, His name is John. And they 61 And they said unto her, There is none marvelled all.
& Gen. 17. 12. Lev, 12. 3.b ver. 13.
c Ver. 13.
and to congratulate them on the advantages which he has They called him Zacharius] Among the Jews, the child granted to them, is a duty which humanity, charity, and re was named when it was circumcised, and ordinarily the name ligion call upon us to fulfil.
of the father was given to the first-born son. 1. It is a duty of humanity which should be punctually per Verse 60. Not so; but he shall be called John.] This is the formed. We are all members of each other, and should re name which the angel desired should be given him, ver. 18. joice in the welfare of the whole. He who rejoices in his and of which Zacharias by writing had informed his wife. neighbour's prosperity, encreases his neighbour's happiness, There is something very remarkable in the names of this faand gets an addition to his own.
mily. Zachariah, nons; the memory or memorial of Jehovah; 2. It is a duty wbich charity or brotherly lore requires us to 1,70 yeho at the end of the word, being contracted for 171,79 perform with sincerity. In the polite world, there is no duty | Yehorah, as in many other names. Elisabeth, now's the better fulfilled in word, thm this is : but sincerity is utterly | sabbath or rest of my strong God : names probably given them banished : and the giver and receiver are both convinced that by their parents, to point out some remarkable circumstance compliments and good wishes mean--nothing. He who does in their conception or birth. And John, which should always not endeavour to take a sincere part in his neighbour's pros- be written Jehochanan or Yehochanan, put the grace or perity, will soon feel ample punishment in the spirit of jea- mercy of Jehovah : so named, because he was to go before lousy and enzy.
and proclaim the God of all grace, and the mercy granted 3. It is a duty of religion which should be fulfilled with through him to a lost world. See John i. 29. see also chap. piety. These neighbours and relatives saw that God had mag
iii. 16. and Mark i. 4. nified his mercy towards Elizabeth, and they acknowledged Verse 61. None of thy kindreå] As the Jewish tribes and his hand in the work. God is the dispenser of all good—he families were kept sacredly distinct, it appears the very names distributes his favours in mercy, judgment and justice. Let of the ancestors were continued among their descendants, us honour him in his gifts; and honour those for his sake, partly through reverence for them, and partly to avoid conwho are objects of his favour. The society of believers are || fusion in the genealogical tables, which, for the sake of dis.but one body; the talents, &c. of every individual are profit- tinguishing the inheritances, were carefully preserved in each able to the whole community; at least none are deprived of a
of the families. It seems to be on this account, that the share in the general welfare, but those who through jealousy neighbours and relatives objected to a name, which had not or envy refuse to rejoice with him towards whom God hath before existed in any branch of the family. wagnised his mercy.
Verse 62. They made signs to his father) Who, it apVerse 59. On the eighth day they came to circumcise] See pears from this, was deaf as well as dumb; otherwise they an account of this institution in the note on Gen. xvii. 10–14. might have asked him, and obtained his answer in this way. Ilad circumcision been essential to an infant's salvation, God
Verse 63. A writing table] [Livex.dhov, a tablet, a dimindwould not have ordered it to be delayed to the eighth day, tive of tivat, a table. « The boys in Barbary are taught to because in all countries, multitudes die before they arrive at write upon a smooth thin board, slightly daubed over with that age. Baptism which is generally allowed to have been whiting, which may be rubbed off or renewed at pleasure. substituted for circumcision, is no more necessary to the sal Such probably (for the Jewish children use the same) was vation of an infant, than eircumcision was. Both are signs the little board, or writing table, as we render it Luke i. 63. of the covenant-circumcision, of the putting aruay the im that was called for by Zacharias.” Shaw's Travels, p.
194. purity of the flesh; and baptism, of the washing of regenera- | My old MS. considers the word as meaning the instrument of tion, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, producing the answer writing, rather than the tablet on which he wrote : and he arof a good conscience towards God. «Confer 1 Pet. iii. 21. with inge a poyntel, wwoot seyinge, Joon is his naine. Tit. jii. 5. This should never be neglected : it is a sign and A thin board, made out of the pine tree, smeared over token of the spiritual grace.
with wax, was used among the ancients; and to this the An
Zacharias' speech is restored ;
and he begins to prophesy.
64 · And his mouth was opened im 66 And all they that heard them "laid A. M. 4000. An. Olymp. mediately, and his tongue loosed, and them up in their hearts, saying, What An. Olymp. he spake, and praised Godo.
manner of child shall this be! And 65 And fear came on all that dwelt round the hand of the Lord was with him. about them : and all these " sayings were noised 67 And his father Zacharias was filled abroad throughout all the hill country of with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,. Judea.
68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel ; for
* Ver. 20.
- Or, things. ver. 39.
& Ch. 2. 19, 51.-_Gen. 39. 2. Ps 80. 17. & 89. 21. Acts 11. 21.
Joel 2. 28. -- 1 Kings 1. 48. Ps. 44. 15, & 72. 18. & 106. 48.
glo-saxon version seems to refer, as it translates Tiramidoor, pex The hand of the Lord was with him.] God defended and brede, a war board or cloth.
prospered him in all things, and the prophetic spirit began to Verse 64. The latter clause of the preceding verse should rest upon him. de joined with the beginning of this, as follows: And they Verse 67. Zacharias-prophesied] The word prophecy is marcelled all, for his mouth was opened, &c. Every person to be taken here in its proper acceptation, for the predicting must see the propriety of putting this clause, And they mar or foretelling future events. Zacharias speaks, not only of selled all, to the beginning of the 64th verse, instead of lear- | what God had already done, but also of what he was about to ing it at the end of the 63d, as in the common version. The I do, in order to save a lost world. people did not wonder because Zacharias said, He shall be Verse 68. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel ; for, &c.] called John ; but because he himself was that instant restored Zacharias praises God for two grand benefits which he had to the use of his speech.
granted to his people. 1. He has visited them. 2. Ile has And he spake, and praised God.] In his nine months' si- || ransomed them. J. He speaks by the spirit of prophecy, lence, he had learnt the proper use of his tongue; and God, || which calls things that are not, as though they were; because whose power was discredited by it, is now mugnised. Happy they are absolutely determined by the Most High, and shall they who, in religious matters, only break silence in order to be all fulfilled in their season. God visits his people in the speak of the loving-kindness of the Lord !
incarnation of Jesus Christ; therefore this Christ is called by. Verse 65. And fear came] Seeing what they might have him, Kuproso 6:05, Jehovah the God of Israel. Here the highthought a paralytic affection, so suddenly and effectually est and most glorious character of the Supreme Being is healed. Bas-This word certainly means in several places, I given to Christ. 2. This God redeems, his people : it is for religious fear or reverence ; and in this sense it is used Acts this end that he risits them. His soul is about to be made a ix. 3). Rom. ii. 18. xii. 7. 1 Pet. i. 17. ii. 18. jj. 2. The sacrifice for sin : he becomes flesh, that he may suffer and meaning of it here is plainly this : The inhabitants of Hebron die for the sin of the world. God, by taking upon him the and its environs, wlio were well acquainted with the circum nature of man, has redeemed that nature from eternal ruin. stances of Zacharias and Elizabeth, perceived that God had He hath-redeemed] ETOINCs autewoon, he hath mude a ran. in a remarkable manner visited them; and this begot in their som-laid down the ransom price. Aviçow signifies particularly minds a more than ordinary reverence for the Supreme Being. to ransom a captive from the enemy, by paying a price. The Thus the salvation of one often becomes an instrument of good following reinarkable passage from Josephus, Ant. b. xiv. to the souls of many. The inhabitants of this hill country, c. 14. sect. 1. fully. illustrates this meaning of the original. seem to have been an open, honest hearted, generous people ; “Herod not knowing what had happened to his brother, who were easily led to acknowledge the interposition of God, hastened zurgwear Pa, to ransom him from the enemy; and and to rejoice in the comfort and welfare of each other. The was willing to puy: autqov UTIEZ avtov, a ransom for him, to the people of the country are more remarkable for these qualities, | amount of three hundred talents.” Sinners are fallen into the than those in towns and cities. The latter, through that evil hands of their enemies, and are cuptives to sin and death. Jecommunication which corrupts good manners, are generally sus ransoms them by his own blood, and restores them to life, profligate, selfish, regardless of God, and inattentive to the liberty, and happiness. This truth the whole Bible teaches : operation of his hands.
this truth God has sliewn in certain measures, even to those Verse 66. What manner of child shall this ber] As there nations who have not been favoured with the light of his have been so many extraordinary things in his conception and written word: for Christ is that true light, which enlightens : birth, surely God has designed him for some extraordinary every man that cometh into the world. purpose. These things they laid up in their heart, patiently How astonishing is the following invocation of the Supreme waiting to see wbat God would work.
Being, (translated from the original Sanscrect by Dr. C. Wit-
The prophecy of Zacharius
concerning his son John.
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B. C 5.
a lie hath visited and redeemed his ! 70 As he spake by the mouth of A. M. 160. An. Olymp. people,
his holy prophets, which have been An Olymp. CXCIII. 4.
cxcii. 4. 69. And hath raised up a horn since the world began : of salvation for us, in the house of his servant 71 That we should be saved from our enemies,
and from the hand of all that hate us;
* Exod. 3. 16. & 4. 31. Ps. 111. 9. ch.7, 16.-. Ps. 132. 17.
• Jer. 23. 5, 6. & 30. 10. Dan. 9. 24. Acts 3. 21. Rom. 1. 2.
kins) still existing on a stone, in a care near the ancient city horns. Horns have also been considered as emblems of light ; of Gya, in the East Indies.
therefore the heathen god Apollo, is represented with horns, “ The Deity, who is the Lord, the possessor of all, appear to point out the power, glory, and excellence of the solar ed in this ocean of natural beings, at the beginning of the Ka- light. The Chaldee paraphrast soinetimes translates yap keren, lee Yoog. (the age of contention and baseness.) He who is horn, by niin mulcuth or knob malcuth , 1 Sain. ii. 10. onnipresent, and everlastingly to be contemplated, the Su- Jeremn. xlviii. 25. which signify a kingdom : but it is likely. preme Being, the Eternal One, the Divinity worthy to be that the allusion is here made to the horns of the altar; and adored-APPEARED here with a PORTION of his DIVINE NATURE. as the altar was a place of refuge and safety, and those who Reverence be unto thee in the form of (a) Bööd-dhă! Re- laid hold on its horns, were considered to be under the proverence be unto the Lord of the earth! Reverence be untotection of the Lord; so, according to the expression of Zathee, an INCARNATION of the Deity, and the Eternal charias, Jesus Christ is a new altar, to which, whosoever One! Reverence be unto thee, O God, in the form of the fees shall find refuge. God of Mercy; the dispeller of pain and trouble, the Lord
Some imagine that this form of speech, is taken from the of all things, the Deity who overcometh the sins of the Kātëč| custom of ancient warriors, who had a horn of steel on the Yoog; the guardian of the universe, the emblem of mercy top of their helmets, which ordinarily lay Hut, till the person toward those who serve thee-(6) O’M! the possessor of all came victorious from battle, and then it was erected, as emthings in VITAL FORM! Thou art (c) Bråhmě, Veeshnoo, || blematical of the victory gained. Such a horn as this, is reand Nähésa! Thou art Lord of the universe ! Thou art || presented on the helmet of the Abyssinian kings and warunder the form of all things, moveable and immoveable, the riors : see the plates in Bruce's Travels. To this custom of. possessor of the whole ! and thus I adore thee. Reverence wearing or lifting up the horn, the following scriptures are be unto the BESTOWER OF SALVATION, and the Ruler thought to allude : 1 Sam. ii. 10. Psal. cxii
. 9. cxlviii
. 4. Lam. of the faculties ! Reverence be unto thee, the DESTROYER . 17. In ancieni gems and coins, this form of the horn on of the EVIL SPIRIT! O Dāmõrdără, (d) shew me favour ! | helmets, is easily discernible, sometimes fiut, sometimes erectI adore thee, who art celebrated by a thousand names, and ed. A horn filled with various fruits, was also th: emblem under various forms, in the shape of Bööd-dhă, the God of of abundance among the ancients : hence their cornu copia, MERCY! Be propitious, O Most High God!" ASIATIC
or horn of plenty. From all this we may learn, that the Lord RESEARCHES, vol. i. p. 284, 285.
Jesus gives a luminous, powerful, prevalent, glorious, and a. Verse 69. And hath raised up a horn of salvation] That bundane salvation or REFUGE to mankind. is, a mighty and glorious saviour': a quotation froin Psal. xviii. 2. Horns are the well known emblems of strength, glory, the word osxos, house, is often used in the Sacred Writings.
In the house of his sprane David] Or, in the family: so and power, both in the sacred and prophane writers, because In ver. 32. the angel states that Mary was of the family of the strength and beauty of horned animals, consist in their David; and Zacharias, who, from the nature of his office,
must have been well acquainted with the public genealogical (a) Brod-dha. The name of the Deity, as a:uthor of happiness.
tables, attests the same thing. This is a matter of consider15) O'M. A mystic emblem of the Deity, forbidden to be pronounced | able importance ; because it shews forth the truth of all the but in silence. It is a syllable fornied of the Sanscreet letters ž, o o, which in composition coalesce, and mave , and the nasal consonant m.
prophetic declarations, which uniformly slate, that the Mes. first letter stands for the Creator, the second for the Prescrver, and the third siah should come from the family, and sit on the throne of for the Destroyer. It is the same among the Hindoos, asimme Yehovah David. is among the Hebreces.
Verse 71. That we should be saved (literally, a salvation). (c) Brahma, the Deity in his creatice quality. Veeshnoo, he who fill from our enemies] As Zacharias spoke by the inspiration of eth all space, the Deity in his preserving quality. Mahesa, the Deity in the Holy Spirit, the salvation which he mentions here, must his destroying quality. This is properly the Hindoo Trinity : for these three names belong to the same Being. See the notes to the Bhagrat necessarily be understood in a spiritual sense. Satan, death,
and sin, are the enemies from whom Jesus came to deliver us. (d) L'amordura, or Darmadevé, the Indian God of Virtue.
Sin is the most dangerous of all, and is properly the only
The prophecy of Zacharias
concerning his son John.
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B. C. 5.
72. * To perform the mercy promised | mies, might
him without A M. 4000. An. Olymp. to our fathers, and to remember his fear,
An. Olymp holy covenant;
75 In holiness and righteousness 73 "The oath which he sware to our father before him, all the days of our life. Abraham,
76 And thou, child, shalt be called the pro74 That he would grant unto us, that we phet of the Highest : for thou shalt go before being delivered out of the hand of our ene- the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; ;
• Lev. 26. 42. Ps. 98. 3. & 105. 8, 9. & 106. 45. Ezek. 16. 60. rer. 5-1.
6 Gen. 12. 3. & 17. 4. & 22. 16, 17. lieb. 6. 13, 17.
* Rom. 6. 18, 22 19.9. 14.--- Jer. 32. 39, 40. Eph. 1. 4. Thess. 2. 13.2 Tim. 1. 9. Tit. 2. 12. 1 Pet. 1. 15. 2 Pet. 1. 4.-e Isai. 40. 3. Mal. 3. 1. & 4. 5. Matt. 11. 10, ver. 17.
enemy we have to fear. Satan is without us, and can have phet of the Most High. Prophet has two acceptations : Ist, a no power over us, but what he gets through sin. Death is person who foretells future events ; and, 2dly. a teacher of men only in our flesh, and shall be finally destroyed (as it affects in the things of God, 1 Cor. xiv. 3. John was a prophet in us) on the morning of the resurrection. Jesus redeems from both senses : le proclaimed the mercy which should be comsin; this is the grand, the glorious, 'the important victory. municated; announced the baptism of the Holy Spirit; and Let us get sin cast out, and then we need fear neither death taught men how to leave their sins, and how to find the salnor the devil.
vation of God. See chap. iji, 5-14. His very name, JekoVerse 72. His holy covenant] See the note on ver. 54. chanan, the grace or mercy of Jehovah, (see ver. 60.) was a
Verses 74, 75. Being delivered, &c.] The salvation brought constant prediction of the salvation of God. Our Lord terms by Jesus Christ, consists in the following things :
him the greatest prophet which had ever appeared in the 1. We are to be delivered out of the hands of our enemies, world. He had the honour of being the last and clearest and from all that hate us ; so that sin shall neither have domi- prophet of the Old Covenant, and the first of the New. nion over us, nor eristence in us.
2. His employment. Thou shalt go before the face of the 2. We are to worship God, autzevav, to render him that Lord to prepare his ways. He should be the immediate foreservice and adoration which the letter and spirit of his religion runner of Jesus Christ, none being capable of succeeding him require.
in his ministry but Christ himself. Ile was to prepare his 3. We are to live in holiness, a strict inward conformity to ways, to be the honoured in-trument in the hands of God, the mind of Christ—and righteousness, a full outward con- of disposing the hearts of multitudes of the Israelites, to beformity to the precepts of the gospel.
lieve in and follow the Lord Jesus. 4. This is to be done before God, under the continual in- 3. Zacharias points out the doctrine or teaching of John. fluence and support of his grace, and with a constant evidence It should be yswois owongas, the science of salvution. Men are of his presence and approbation.
ignorant, and they must be instructed. Human sciences may 5. This state is a state of true happiness—it is without fear. be profitable in carthly matters, but cannot profit the soul. Sin is all cast out, holiness is brought in; God's power up- The science that teaches God, must come from God. No holds, and his approbation cheers and comforts the be- science is of any avail to the soul, that does not bring salvulieving heart. Thus misery is precluded, and happiness esta- tion with it: this is the excellence of heavenly science, and blished.
an excellence that is peculiar to itself. No science but that 6. This blessedness is to continue as long as we exist—all which comes from God can ever save a soul from the power, the days of our life, in all ages, in all situations, and in all the guilt, and the pollution of sin. circumstances. What a pity to have lived so long without 4. Zacharias predicts the success of his son's ministry. God in the world! when so much happiness and glory are to Under his preaching, the people should be directed to that be enjoyed in union with him!
tender mercy of God, through which they might obtain the Tas bwns, in the last clause, is omitted by many MSS. Ver- | remission of their sins, ver. 77, 78. Those who are sent by sions, and Fathers. Griesbach has left it out of the text : God, and preach his truth, and his only, shall always be snehowever, it is but of small importance whether we read all cessful in their work: for it is for this very purpose that God our days, or, all the days of our life.
has sent them; and it would be a marvellous thing indeed, Verse 76. And thou, child, &c.] Zacharias proclaims the should they labour in vain. But there never was such a case, dignity, employment, doctrine, and success of his son; and since God made man, in which a preacher was diviuely comthe ruin and recovery of the Jews and the Gentiles.
missioned to preach Jesus, and his salvation, and yet bail rio 1. His dignity. Thou shalt be called (constituted) a pro- ! fruit of his labour.