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51

He has shown strength with his arm;

he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.


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51. He hath done might This means, “he hath wrought powerfully.” The arm of God is contrasted with every other aid: as in Isaiah, “I looked, and there was none to help,” (Isaiah 63:5;) “therefore,” says he elsewhere,

“his arm brought salvation unto him;
and his righteousness, it sustained him,” (Isaiah 59:16.)

Mary therefore means: God rested satisfied with his own power, employed no companions in the work, called none to afford him aid. What immediately follows about the proud may be supposed to be added for one of two reasons: either because the proud gain nothing by endeavoring, like the giants of old, to oppose God; or, because God does not display the power of his arm for salvation, except in the case of the humble, while the proud, who arrogate much to themselves, are thrown down To this relates the exhortation of Peter,

“Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God,”
(1 Peter 5:6.)

He hath scattered5656     διεσχόρπισεν,, he utterly discomfits, a metaphor derived from putting to flight a defeated enemy. The word not unfrequently occurs in the Septuagint, but very rarely in the classical writers; though one example is adduced by Kuinoel from Aelian, Var. Hist. 13:46: τοὺς μέν διεσχόζπισεν, οὓς, (read τοὺς) δὲ ἀπέχτειενε.” — Bloomfield's Greek Testament. the proud in the thought of their heart5757     “La ou nous avons rendu, Il a dissipe, le mot Grec signifie proprement, Il a escarte ou espars.” This expression is worthy of notice: for as their pride and ambition are outrageous, as their covetousness is insatiable, they pile up their deliberations to form an immense heap, and, to say all in a single word, they build the tower of Babel, (Genesis 11:9.) Not satisfied with having made one or another foolish attempt beyond their strength, or with their former schemes of mad presumption, they still add to their amount. When God has for a time looked down from heaven, in silent mockery, on their splendid preparations, he unexpectedly scatters the whole mass: just as when a building is overturned, and its parts, which had formerly been bound together by a strong and firm union, are widely scattered in every direction.




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