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28And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me?

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28. highly favoured—a word only once used elsewhere (Eph 1:6, "made accepted"): compare Lu 1:30, "Thou hast found favour with God." The mistake of the Vulgate's rendering, "full of grace," has been taken abundant advantage of by the Romish Church. As the mother of our Lord, she was the most "blessed among women" in external distinction; but let them listen to the Lord's own words. "Nay, rather blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it." (See on Lu 11:27).

31. The angel purposely conforms his language to Isaiah's famous prophecy (Isa 7:14) [Calvin].

32, 33. This is but an echo of the sublime prediction in Isa 9:6, 7.

34. How, &c.—not the unbelief of Zacharias, "Whereby shall I know this?" but, taking the fact for granted, "How is it to be, so contrary to the unbroken law of human birth?" Instead of reproof, therefore, her question is answered in mysterious detail.

35. Holy Ghost—(See on Mt 1:18).

power of the highest—the immediate energy of the Godhead conveyed by the Holy Ghost.

overshadow—a word suggesting how gentle, while yet efficacious, would be this Power [Bengel]; and its mysterious secrecy, withdrawn, as if by a cloud, from human scrutiny [Calvin].

that holy thing born of thee—that holy Offspring of thine.

therefore … Son of God—That Christ is the Son of God in His divine and eternal nature is clear from all the New Testament; yet here we see that Sonship efflorescing into human and palpable manifestation by His being born, through "the power of the Highest," an Infant of days. We must neither think of a double Sonship, as some do, harshly and without all ground, nor deny what is here plainly expressed, the connection between His human birth and His proper personal Sonship.

36. thy cousin—"relative," but how near the word says not.

conceived, &c.—This was to Mary an unsought sign, in reward of her faith.

37. For, &c.—referring to what was said by the angel to Abraham in like case (Ge 18:14), to strengthen her faith.

38. Marvellous faith in such circumstances!

Lu 1:39-56. Visit of Mary to Elisabeth.

39. hill country—the mountainous tract running along the middle of Judea, from north to south [Webster and Wilkinson].

with haste—transported with the announcement to herself and with the tidings, now first made known to her, of Elisabeth's condition.

a city of Juda—probably Hebron (see Jos 20:7; 21:11).

40. saluted Elisabeth—now returned from her seclusion (Lu 1:24).

41. babe leaped—From Lu 1:44 it is plain that this maternal sensation was something extraordinary—a sympathetic emotion of the unconscious babe, at the presence of the mother of his Lord.

42-44. What beautiful superiority to envy have we here! High as was the distinction conferred upon herself, Elisabeth loses sight of it altogether, in presence of one more honored still; upon whom, with her unborn Babe, in an ecstasy of inspiration, she pronounces a benediction, feeling it to be a wonder unaccountable that "the mother of her Lord should come to her." "Turn this as we will, we shall never be able to see the propriety of calling an unborn child "Lord," but by supposing Elisabeth, like the prophets of old, enlightened to perceive the Messiah's Divine nature" [Olshausen].

43. "The mother of my Lord"—but not "My Lady" (compare Lu 20:42; Joh 20:28)" [Bengel].